Sunday, 19 July 2009

South Wilts 150th Anniversary Shoot Report 19th July 2009

South WiltsThis was my first trip to South Wilts and I was looking forward to a recommended shoot, although having seen the weather I was expecting to get damp if not wet, and as usual we travelled down in our usual Westcott group. On this their Anniversary shoot South Wilts had organised 40 3Ds set through their woods and into the opens fields surround it. This provided a variety of entertaining shots especially when the wind picked up.
The course layers at South Wilts placed a camouflaged back stop behind each of the targets that did not have a natural bank and the net result of this was that the shoot progressed rapidly. Having these backstop saved me, and I suspect other archers, a number of lost arrows and I would recommend them to more of the field layers especially with the camouflaged covering which meant they were not distracting. But the end of my comments on the pros of backstops and onto the a summary of another excellent days shooting; for those interested I have again been using my phone to track the course and the file can be found below.

As is traditional, for my son and me, we started the day with a bacon roll and then on to roll call. We were not shooting in out usual group and instead were with Brian, Peter and his Son Jack with our usual partners, in crime, on the target in front so I would be looking for Ruth's arrows.Our first target of the day was Wolf through the trees surrounded by some rather sharp brambles. Having shot the wolf we moved out into the field for some rather entertaining shots because the wind had started to pick up. The first field shot was a very long, full size, Buffalo that was just out of range for Ruth from the red peg but for me the hump on it's back was not quite high enough. This was my first blank of the day but such is life and once the target has been shot there's no point in worrying.
DeerThis out of the way we were off across the field for a very nice shot at a Deer through a small copse of trees but you needed to watch the overhanging branches. Having killed this one it was back into the open on the other side and a Bedded Deer. Having finally found the mark on this we moved back towards the woods for a "Pig of a shot" at a Boar. This was a tricky shot because we were shooting from the bright fields into the dim woods and the Boar was actually closer than it appear causing some of our group a bit of an issue but I liked it although I did only hit it high on the back.
Moving on we came across the first of a number of Standing Bears another lovely shot through the trees into a bright, slightly open, patch. Another kill and I was beginning to think this could be a good day. With the Bear despatched it was of to the shoot a sitting Cougar and then a low, long, walking Bear.
I like the large targets and the next was to be a small, white, Owl and needless to say this was one of those Base, Left and the right moments for another blank. Oh well the next target was a Standing DeerBedded Deer with a rather interesting peg layout.
partially hidden by the trees and then another
Bedded DeerAs you can see the white peg was closer to the target than the blue and this caught Brian out. Having apparently missed from the red peg he walked to the next peg and took a second shot from the blue to kill the deer. Only when I shot did he realise his mistake. Having potentially lost 6 points because of the mistake it was with much relief that on reaching the target we found his first arrow had hit.
Moving on it was time for a rock, well backstop, climbing Croc with some rather interesting small branches between you and the target. This was then followed by a larger, stickier, Croc down a fair straight and open path. Time for another Wolf and although a number of the targets appear to be clear and open the distance was often deceptive. But we soon finished off the wolf and then on to another Standing Deer with a hidden kill. With Venison on the menu it was time to get ourselves some pork for Sunday dinner and another Boar through some small saplings. The course layers did like to use the young sapling to cause the archer to pause for thought. This was to be Peters undoing later in the day.
Our next target was to be the Polar Bear and exceptionally well laid set piece recreating the natural habitat of this majestic beast.
Polar BearPolar Bear
Moving on from the Arctic Wastelands it was time to Shoot Bob Mills or rather his skeleton. This was a one arrow shot and we had to hit the skull.
With Bob dead again it was off to a well deserved cheese burger and a cup of tea. With our bellies full it was back out into the fields and time for a longish downhill at a standing Ibex and then on for some Pork Scratching with another BoarTurkey Shoot and then a Loooooong large Lion from a scaffolding platform.
or was it a Javelina. This was followed by a
We needed to be up on the scaffolding because their was no way you could see the target from the ground. This was going to be fun. I must admit I judge the distance perfectly and my first arrow was at the exact height of the kill but too far to the right and just skimmed the lions bum (no Westcott bot shot today). Moving to the white peg I did exactly the same, good grouping but totally the wrong end of the animal, but finally I managed to hit an animal the size of a barn door from the blue.
Now we were back to the smaller targets with a Beaver (I think) and then a Standing Deer. A brown Raccoon followed and then it was onto another Wolf and Coyote. Having shot a few smaller targets the next was another large Standing Bear through a thin alley of trees which provided Brian, with the help of Rick O'Shea, a rather interesting and entertaining kill.
Yes if you zoom in on the arrow that appears to be coming in from the right was Brian's shot from the red peg. Brian having finished his trick shots we moved onto a Bedded Stag and then a Leopard. Having killed the Leopard we were heading for the small targets again with a, shot out, Ground Hog. Fortunately it was only one target because the next was a nice Standing Deer followed by Bob the Cat and then a Walking Bear.
These were the sapling that caused Peter a few problems, although we did find all of his arrows. Having found Peters arrows we were off to shoot another small Boar and then a Standing Deer. The next shot was one of those longer deceptive slightly downhill large Standing Bear which was leaning on a log. The log Hmmmmm smallest part of the target but the easiest to hit.
With the large Bear out of the way, well the tree stump anyway, it was onto a Small Walking Bear and then back to the tea hut for a drink. After a brief break, no jumping, we were off for our final two targets of the day a longish Prong HornBoar in the trees.
up the path and a
With these final two targets out of the way it was back to the car to pack up and then to wait for the presentations. This being the South Wilts 150th shoot the medals were actually granite mounted and very nice indeed. So after an excellent days shooting were had time to relax with, yet another, cup of tea for the slower, compound, groups to return before the presentations could actually begin.
As it turned out it was not a bad day for Westcott with three medals / trophies for Shel, Ruth and John. For me it was great because I had not lost of broken any arrows. The only thing we need to do before we left was to book ourselves in for the South Wilts Pre-National shoot in September.

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