Monday, 6 July 2009

Longbow Heritage - Jim's Jungle Jaunt Shoot Report 4th & 5th July 2009

After the excellent shooting last week I was looking forward to another entertaining weekend shooting Jim's Jungle Jaunt; near Shackleford. Carol always organises a good shoot but this year she managed to surpass herself not only because of the target layout and shooting lines but primarily because of her commitment to run the shoot even though one of her neighbours managed to burn down Carol's house along with the rest of the block. All credit to Carol for putting on the shoot and as usual a fun shoot it was.
Jim's Jungle Jaunt is a two day shoot in the woods around an organic farm near Shackleford which this meant that we had real live piglets roaming the woods. As such we we under strict orders not to shoot anything that moved apart from the eagle. Although the weather forecast warned of showers the weekend turned out to another glorious two days with sun cream a mandatory requirement for the shoot and a prolific amount of water a must.
Again for those interested I recorded a Google Earth GPS file that records our days travel around the 3 loops of the shoot.

As mentioned this was a two day shoot and we would be starting on the same target each day. As appears to be coming the usual format for my entries I will walk through the first day and highlight the entertaining differences for the second day.

Saturday 4th July

Although Saturday was going to be a glorious day for the weather what I did not know when tucking into my breakfast bacon butty was that it was going to be a diabolical days shooting for me although I must say I broke more arrows on the Sunday than Saturday. I must admit that, for whatever reason, Jim's always costs me a lot of broken shafts but fortunately Carol is always on hand to resupply me. If I ever improve my shooting standard she may end up going out of business.
For those that don't know, and their can't be many of those, the targets at Jim's are all 3D-2Ds hand drawn 3Ds fixed to foam backing and as such don't resemble any of the traditional targets and this is one of the things that makes Jim's so much fun (not for the sighted archer). Although sometime we do have extended discussions about exactly what we are shooting so given that my descriptions of the targets are based on what I think they are.
After the roll call we followed Carol down to our assigned target, 36, and prepared for the start of the shoot. 45 marketed target peg shooting a mixture of traditional big game and multi-target shots. The first target was going to be a medium distance baboon straight trough the trees. Having missed the sound of the car horn to start the shoot we eventually started when we heard the other archers shooting. The first target should have been an indication of how my shooting was going to go for the day. It's never a good thing to start the day with a blank but that's exactly what I did. Oh well it was only the first target everyone else scored but such is life.
Moving on the second target was a honey badger through the gaps in the trees and I took it out with my first arrow; this was the way the day should start. But no the wolf pack on the the next target lost me a maximum of 60 point as I blanked the lot but what I didn't know at this point was that it was going to be the beginning of a 14 target run of either blanks of 4s with the odd exception. The 4th target, a croc, was going to be my best shot until much later in the day.
Having disposed of the croc it was onto the next honey badger and I was starting to drop behind the rest of my group although this was not unexpected with Ruth shooting Freestyle and Richard shooting Compound Unlimited it was not good that James a Longbow and John, my son, cub longbow where leaving me behind.
MandrilMoving on to the Mandril James was have a cracking days shooting barely needing more than two arrows and John could almost have survived with just one. Having sorted out the Mandril it was onto a small white owl in front of the roots of a fallen tree and then moving swiftly onto the first snake of the day a large undulating target where it is surprisingly easy to shoot either over or under the target. Once the Snake had be sorted and the stray arrows located we moved onto a well camouflaged Anteater through the criss-crossing branches our penultimate target before the first tea stop. With the anteater deceased we had a single arrow at a very small piglet and no it was not one of the ones from the farm. With our beacon in hand it was back to the tea tent and my son first burger sandwich and coke of the day.
Having refreshed ourselves it was time to move out into the open for our second loop and onto a very long buffalo
some 80 yards away. Although the exact distance was a point of hot debate between Ken, the compound archer from the group behind, and Richard in our group once we had all shot. Richard chose 80 yards and hit Ken decided it was 100 and missed. Me I assumed it was 80 but still missed. Buffalo
Having missed the Buffalo we moved onto the second target in the open another honey badger which finally provided me a much need hit. The badger disposed of we moved to the edge of the trees and took a pot shot at a Tasmanian Devil. Not a shot you should miss because the concrete hard ground meant the arrows would skip along for quite a distance behind. Moving back into the edge of the woods it was time to shoot a big cat on a branch again another target that punished the bad archer with a long walk in the fields. As with all cat targets Ruth our resident cat lover managed to kill the kitty. With the cat deceased it was a short walk to another snake this one hanging from a tree and you would not believe how easy it is to shoot through the coils of a snake. Next was the single arrow woodpecker which we all blacked with the exception of John who killed it.
Following the woodpecker were a series of targets shooting out through the trees into the open fields at a variety of game and predators the first of which was a lioness followed by a leopard. These were interesting head on shots through the trees and were to provide some entertainment on Sunday with me apparent shooting through a tree (see below). Following the leopard it was onto the Predatory / Prey shot. One arrow at the cheetah and 3 at the zebra again a shot that punished any misses with a long walk. Moving on the next shot was a lion and then a small monkey on a branch and then the Chris Boyton aka the gorilla shot. The next big cat on a branch was our penultimate shot before the second tea stop. The only animal that lay between us and a well deserved break was the long giraffe which Ruth successfully shot in the head a feat she was going to repeat on Sunday.
Having filled John with a Bacon and Sausage sandwich and topped up the water it was off into the valley for a hot and sticky session. The first target of this section, 16, was a small tortoise followed by a tapir and then a single shot spider that was slight worse for ware.
Now we were onto one of the classic Jim's shots the Elephant and the Egret. We were to take a single shot at the Egret and then shoot the Elephant big game style. As you can see from the shots below this was 50 yard + down hill at a very small Egret and an Elephant. Not an easy shot but having said that Ruth hit the Egret and killed the Elephant earning herself the full 60 points.
With Ruth over the moon it was time to shoot a tiger in the tree and then a longer than it seemed Rhino across the valley. This was followed by a well hidden orang-outang and a hanging snake which John had to shoot from the blue peg because the yellow was on top of a bees nest. Up the side of the valley was another kitty for Ruth to kill in the form of a black panther. With the panther out of the way it was back for another snake in the grass and then on to the hippoanther. This was a shot from the top of the valley down into the middle of the valley and from the red peg we were having a debate about whether it was a black panther or a hippo. As it turned out it was the black panther but one that could disguise itself at a hippo.
The next shot was the moving target always fun regardless of you success although last year I did shoot the rabbit out of the eagles claws sadly a feat I was not going to repeat.
Working our way out of the valley the next shot was a perched vulture followed by another kitty (leopard) for Ruth to kill and then a lioness through the trees. Time for our final tea break of the day and top up on the water before we shot our final 5 targets of the day.
After a quick stop we we off to target 31 a single shot at a spider and a well hidden boar followed by the across the path shot are a large dog with an open mouth. The penultimate target of the day was a small fox whilst we ended day with a brown bear.
Having had an excellent, if rather unsuccessful for me, days shooting it was off home for some well deserved rest and to fix the defletched arrows for Sunday.

Sunday 5th July

Sunday started as a rather cloudy morning but this soon disappeared and as far as I was concerned I was simply their for the enjoyment. After Saturdays shooting I could only do better, as long as you don't count broken arrows, and as it turned out my Sunday shooting was back on my normal form and this inevitably meant I had passed Saturdays score after 30 targets. To speed up the shooting some of the archers had been moved and Richard was no longer in our group so it was just going to be the 4 Westcott archers. The following are some of the entertaining photos of the day.

Target 41

This was to set the theme of my day yes I hit it with my first arrow but the fletchings and top of the arrow was missing. One dead arrow. Unfortunately I could not see this had hit so I took another shot which Rick-Oshea'd (the Irish Field Archer) of a few trees and ended up in 3 pieces.

Target 45

John wings the piglet.

Target 3

Yes I did it again put the arrow in the target but lost the fletchings.

Target 5

James bags the snake and celebrates by doing his snake impression thank goodness it was not a baboon !

Target 10

Now how the hell did I do that, yes from the red peg it it between the trees.

Target 17

Now how do we shoot that tapir, the Ruth way, my way or

James way.

Target 19

So close: If Ruth had not tried to compensate for the wind it would have been two hit on the Egret.

Target 23

Snake hugger.

Target 27

James bags the Eagle.
At the end of a second great days shooting it was back to the tea tent for the prize giving but prior to that Carol was going to scatter the ashes of Dolly her mum down by the Elephant. Having done this with the whistling arrows shot over our heads it was on with the final part of the weekend.
Although James and me did not win any medals John and Ruth both won a gold in their respective categories so another good day for Westcott.

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