Monday, 31 August 2009

Windrush Shoot Report 29th/30th August 2009

Windrush LogoAugust bank holiday and time for the Windrush two day shoot and because the Saturday night promised a Hog Roast and Real Ale I decided it was a good idea to camp for the weekend. So I decided that it was a good idea to travel up early afternoon on Friday and pitch the tent during daylight. This would have been a good plan if it had not been a typical English bank holiday weekend. Having arrived late afternoon at the Windrush camp site we started to pitch the tent only for it to start raining. Not to bad for me because with my tent you put the outside up first and then the inside. For Ruth, one of my fellow Westcott Archers, it was not so good because she had to pitch the inside before cover the tent.
Although I had not shot at Windrush previously it had been recommended and I was looking forward to a good weekend of shooting a combination of 3D's and paper faces although paper face are not my favourite. As usual I decided to run my Nokia Application to generate a Google Earth file of the course.
As can be seen from the file the Windrush course covers a combination of typical woodland shot and more open field shots all based around the stream that runs through the middle of their woodland. Over the weekend we were to shoot two different rounds on the Saturday we would be shooting a Woodsman round whist on the Sunday it was going to be a standard Big Game round.

Saturday 29th August

After a clear cold Friday night Saturday turned out to be a glorious day and breakfast was going to be the typical bacon butty after registration. Today we were going to be shooting with Sam and Owen from South Wilts and given that Owen had shot through one of Johns arrows at the Westcott Indoor shoot John decided to refer to him as the "Arrow Killer" throughout the day. As mentioned we were going to be shooting a Woodsman round today which meant we were likely to be shooting 3 arrows on each of the 36 Targets.
We started the day on Target 24 a 3D Bedded Deer up a slight hill over open ground. Having started the day with 3 arrows at the first target we moved onto small Javelina paper face and then onto a paper face Rabbit that was to be shot from down a small dip in the hill. The result of this was that the rabbit was at head height and hence the shot was rather interesting. PolecatHaving killed the rabbit we moved onto small Polecat in a tree shrouded dell. This was a long shot for a small target and was going to require 3 arrows just to hit the face. From the pegs the view was masked by the brow of the dell and the associated overgrowth worse for my son than me but maybe that would be to my advantage for a change.
Having successfully shot the polecat we moved on up the other side of the dell to take another downhill shot at a small Prairie Dog through a well placed fork in the tree. providing another interesting shot especially for the tall longbow archer.
Alan; Alan; Alan; Alan
BearHaving disposed of Alan or was it Steve we moved on moved back through the woods for a long down hill shot through the trees at a Standing Bear in the fields below. This was a very flexible dancing bear which managed to dodge left and right for all my arrows but their was always Sunday. Having missed the bear we moved onto a Stag paper face across one of the stream that runs through the Windrush shoot and then back along the stream to take a shot a Swimming Duck.
As mentioned John and I have previous shot with Owen and following the arrow shattering experience at the Westcott Indoor shoot John had promised he would avenge his broken arrow and Owen was keeping a close eye on his arrows. It's always an advantage being a cub because you get to shoot last and your fellow archers arrows are a good target.
But Owen did not have to worry because the longbow archers showed the freestyle archers what a duck shoot is all about.
Duck despatched it was off for a Turkey Shoot and then moving swiftly on back into the trees for a small paper Cobra quickly followed by a paper Fox and then 3D downhill Bobcat. Having extracted our arrows from the bobcat and finally climbed back to the path we were off to shoot our final target, a small Alligator, before our first stop at the tea tent.
Having eaten a well deserved Bacon Burger and valiantly battle the wasps we were off to target 1 across the other side. Target 1 was a long up hill Wolf and the longbow archers again showed the freestyle archers how to shoot with both of us killing the wolf with the first arrow.
wolfTarget 1
Moving on it was back to the birds with a Pheasant through the trees and then a very small Jay, not a nice shot but not the smallest of the day, and then back to a 3D Beaver. A ricochet off the back of the beaver and a well placed rock cost me my first and last broken arrow of the weekend (not bad really).
A short walk to the top field provided us with some interesting and deceptive long shots. The first of these was a downhill Crocodile followed by a long uphill Standing Deer and finally a Turkey hiding in the bushes.
Moving back down into the lower field we shot our final 3 targets before the second tea break. These were nice open shots across the width of the field with the first being a Fox and this was followed by a large Brown Bear and finally a Stegosaurus. With the 3 despatched it was time for a well earned cup of tea.
Following our short tea break it was off to target 11 for our final set of targets the first of this stint was a Mountain Cat across the Stream.
mountain cat
This was followed by another uphill Deer (these were actually harder than they looked) and then we were back on top of the hill shooting a small legless Boar in a dip well hidden by the lay of the land. The interesting thing about this was that the Yellow peg was in the line of sight and hence the line of the shot but after my first arrow it was only half the peg as my arrow passed straight through it. It would have been an excellent shot if I had killed the pig but unfortunately my arrow drop short although the line was good.
The next shot was another long one down the line of a boundary fence at a standing Wolf. You could tell that this was more difficult than it looked by the number of fluorescent shirted marshal wandering around with metal detectors. With the wolf dead and all arrows found the next shot was back up the field at another Turkey hiding in the bushes and then onto another Duck across the Stream. This shot produced a nice set of Johns arrows in flight.
Following the Dead Duck it was time for another paper Fox and Turkey followed by the smallest target of the day a Stoat in fact I think some of the Dragonflies buzzing around were larger than the stoat. Needless to say this single arrow shot brought my short run of first arrow kills to an end.
Moving on we were back in the open shooting decent size faces with a Black Bear although the red peg did require a bit of a balancing act because it was fixed to a rotten log.
Target 20
Having shot the bear it was onto "Steve" another Prairie Dog and then past the Tea tent for a downhill Fox that was all but hidden when I stood up straight and hence required some contortion (but no photos of that). With fox out of the way we were at our last target of the day a single shot at a Mongoose or Snake well the sign did say Nominate. Having shot the snake and found no kill we forgot the Rule "If there is no kill zones marked on a target the whole animal is a kill" so we scored it as a wound Hmm. We found out later that it should not have been a nominate but we should have shot the Mongoose.
Well having had an excellent days shoots it was back to the tent to drop off the gear have a few cans of real ale and then back down for the evenings Hog Roast and entertainment (Morris Dances and then live Music).

Sunday 30th August

Having seen the forecast for Sunday I decided to get up early and pack the tent before we started shoot. This was the right choice because the clear blue sky start to the day was not to last. So having packed the tent it was down to tea tent for the breakfast bacon and egg butty and registration. Today we would be shooting Big Game and the organisers had mixed the groups so we had a new set of shooting partners for the day (Stuart, Gordon and Mark). Also we were to start on a different target. Today it was going to be target 19 (that pesky little stoat !).
Having walked out to the first target we noticed that the Windrush course layers had changed some of the targets and that pesky little stoat had been replaced by pesky little Jay. Following the starting blast on the horn we all took our single arrow shot and decided to leave the Jay in pristine condition for Sam and Owen who were now in the group behind. Having blanked the first we moved on to target 20 which was now a large Stag hidden under the trees but the red peg was still in the rotten tree stump. Having shot the venison for dinner it was time to start looking for the Christmas lunch because the next target was a Turkey (Steve having done a runner).
At this point we should have gone back to the tea tent but because we had only shot 3 target we moved straight onto Red Fox through the trees and contortions again. The next (yesterdays Mongoose) was a Turkey or was it a Ptarmigan followed by the uphill Bedded Deer that was further than it looked. Having shot the deer we again moved on over the hill for the long shot at a Wolf that did not have very generous wound lines and onto target 26. Today the Rabbit had been replaced by a Hare which provided a taller thinner target but the shot was still from down a hole.
The course layers had replaced the polecat in the dell with a rather small thin Cobra but I must say I managed to pull out one of my best shots of the day and kill the snake with my first arrow. Having removed the arrows and trekked back out of the dell it was time to take another shot at Alan the Prairie Dog and then on the the long Standing Bear. Today the bear did not stand a chance I was on form and killed it with a single arrow. I suspect this may be because when we arrived to remove our arrows we found it with a Fag in its mouth (one of the groups in front had a sense of humour).
Moving out onto the field the long shot across the stream had been replaced by another Bear which I again managed to first arrow kill. The bears did not stand a chance today.
Walking up to the Duck over the bridge shot we found it had been replaced by a Raccoon, the first of many, but from the peg the rope across the bridge still posed a hazard. Moving back up the hill our next shot was a downhill at a Turkey hiding under the trees. Having retrieved the arrows we returned to retrieve our bows only to find a member of Sam and Owen's groups behind was comparing the length and girth of my bow with his. Having mentioned I have a longer one my 10 year old son chirps up "he knows what we are talking about" which set everybody laughing.
The next shot was another downhill Cobra with not a lot of error around the kill followed by a paper face Bobcat and then a 3D Bobcat. The final shot before lunch was a single arrow at a very small bird, another Jay I think, which was I missed.
This target completed signalled time for lunch and another Bacon and Cheese Burger along with a fight with the wasps. It also signalled a change in the weather with a light drizzle blowing in that remained for the rest of the day (I'm glad I packed the tent in the morning).
Once lunch was complete and we were full and ready to rock n Roll it was off to target 1 which now sported a large Brown Bear. Today this shot was more tricky that Saturday and I required a couple of arrows before it fell.
Having disposed of another bear we were next faced with another Raccoon followed by a Skunk and on to a Carp. Like a fish out of water this was an easier shot than the Beaver yesterday and I had no intention of breaking another arrow. Having skewered the carp it was out into the top field again to shoot the Crocodile (which now had a mouth full of feathers) the long uphill Deer and the Turkey in the bushes. I was still having trouble with the Croc but the Deer went down with the first arrow.
Back down in the lower field it was time to shoot Pheasant and then the Bear and then Stegosauruses before moving back to the tea tend for a quick cuppa. The quick cuppa turned into a slightly longer delay first because their was a backlog in front and then just as the group in front of us was about to leave the whistles were blown and the shot stopped. This was because a loose horse was running across the lower field and needed to be caught and restrained.
After a 15 minute or so break in shooting to rescue the horse it was onto our final 8 targets. The first was the nice long shot across the stream as a white Mountain Goat followed by the uphill standing Deer. The next target was going to or had been yesterday the short legged boar but today it had been replaced by a standing Fox and I suspect the red peg had moved as well. Although John suggested I shoot the yellow peg again I decided I would rather kill the fox and did so with my first arrow. The long (longer than it looked) Wolf was next followed by the Turkey in the bushes and our aim as a group was to try and shoot its head off. We all failed in our challenge but I did manage to kill the turkey.
Target 16 was now a Polecat across the stream whilst 17 was another Raccoon and our final target of the day was the Fox with the minimal wound lines. That was it we only the walk back fortunately we could follow the course quite quikly back to the tea tent. Having dropped off the score cards it was time to pack the equipment back in the car before returning for the raffle and the presentations.
It was quite a good weekend for Westcott taking 5 medals.
  • Mark - 1st Gents Compound Limited
  • Shel - 1st Gents FreeStyle
  • John (Ferret) - 3rd Gents FreeStyle
  • Ruth - 2nd Ladies FreeStyle
  • John - 1st Cub Boys Longbow
In addition Shel received special prize for the highest gents score of the weekend whilst Hugh, Ruth and Ferret walked off with a number of Raffle prizes. On the whole, despite the drizzle, it was an excellent weekends shooting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent report Andrew!!! Owen and I really enjoyed your company on the Saturday and look forwards to seeing you and John again,

Sam :-)