Monday, 7 September 2009

South Wilts Shoot Report 6th September 2009

South WiltsThe South Wilts shoot was going to be the last Faces practice shoot before the Nationals and I have some new arrows that I needed to try. Having been furiously working on then in the evening last week I finally finish them on Saturday just in time for the shoot. I new these arrows were going to shoot differently because I had switched from my normal 100 Grain Tophat piles to 125 Grain MedHeads and hence Sunday was going to be a "Learning Experience" Having shot the South Wilts 150th Anniversary Shoot I had a good idea of what to expect in the way of shots and was looking forward to a good days shooting.

As usual we started the day with the traditional Bacon Butties and registration, you have to get you priorities right, and then found we would not be shooting with the Ruth and James but instead found we would be shooting with George Spears and his son Joe. It was going to be one of those days where the Cubs showed the adults how field shooting should be done.

Having been scoffed the butties it was off to our first target, 11, and the short wait for the blast on the horn. As usual I had my phone and sports tracker running to follow the days shooting and the file can be found below.

As the horn blasted little did I know this was going to such an entertaining day hitting the targets I expected to miss and missing the targets I expected to hit. I put the initial long shot misses down to the extra drop-off provided by those extra 25 Grains.

The first target of the day was a medium distance Mountain Goat through the trees and under growth and provided the first points of the day. It's a good way to start scoring on the first target and raises the hopes that it will continue that way. With the Goat out of the way it was off to shoot a Coyote in the snow with wound lines that we not too generous and hence slightly more difficult. At this point the arrows were shooting well with the medium distance shots I was getting the drop-off I was expecting. The next shot at a Standing Deer was longer and the now I was to find out how the heavier arrows faired and the answer was they dropped quite rapidly. Ok not a problem because today was a "Learning Experience".

You could, metaphorically, hear the Course Layers laughing in the background as we came the the next target; a tiny Stoat
to be shot from all of 1m or maybe less. I could almost bend down and place the point of my arrow on the Stoat from the Red peg but as we all know the close ones are often a lot harder to hit than the long ones but today I was on form and Killed the stoat with a single arrow.


Little did I know bu this was going to be the way my luck was running with the tiny targets. With the Stoat history we were back to the longer targets with a Spingbok and then onto a Turkey. Now I did not know it at this time but Turkeys were going to be the bane of my life during the shoot and there were plenty of them to shoot but more of that later. With the first of the Turkeys out of the way it was of to the next small and smelly target a Skunk which I quickly disposed of and then it was another Turkey.

As I mentioned I was shooting a new set of arrows and I had only finished them on Saturday so what happened next did not best please me. This was a medium distance shot with a tree stump just in front of the target and as I mentioned I had not quite figured out the drop-off for the arrows. so having shot high on the first arrows I needed to take a second from the white peg and you can probably guess what happened I clipped the stump in front of the target and watched as half my arrow went flying into the trees. I did not take a third shot because it did not die in vain but scored me an expensive 10.


Well you can't let these things put a damper on your shoot, so I didn't, and completely missed the next very long Standing Deer. Oh well nearly time for our fist stop of the day with only a Boar between John and his second Bacon Butty of the day. With the broken arrow still not bothering me I was going to kill the pig even if it took 3 arrows !


All refreshed after a quick food intake (John and Joe that is) we were back into the woods, once we worked out when the sign was pointing, and time to shoot another Red Deer. Nice shot that provided John and me with a kill watching John eat his Bacon Butty must have done me good or was it the Carrot Cake I had Hmmmm.

The next target was one of those tiny Jays but it was placed down the side of a bank. All the peg were together and the angle of the shot was not nice was the longbow touching the ground. I resolved this by straddling the steps down to the target and killed the Jay with my first arrow. That was not two small targets I killed with the first arrow.


With the Jay out of the way it was onto another Standing Deer and then Alan the Prairie Dog followed by one of the Standing Deer faces with the tree across the front and the guys at South Wilts had specifically written that the tree does not score having previous had an archer argue that it did. Me I always assumed it did not score because a real tree would not.

Following on from the deer it was time for a bit of Grouse (well something like that) shooting and then onto the Duck hunt. I was starting to get the hang of these new arrows which was quiet fortunate because the next shot a long Black Bear and although I did not wound it on the first arrow they were all on the target. Then from a large target it was back to a Tiny Squirrel could I do it again. Well like bob the Build yes I could and killed the Squirrel with the first arrow.


Squirrel despatched it was off to another long shot ad a Boar that dropped off down hill and was a lot further away than it looked. With the porker providing scratching it was off to a Hare raising shot through the undergrowth and then an Antelope. Moving on it was time for another long shot, this part of the course contained a number of these, at a Stag. Again because of the lay of the land this downhill shot was more deceptive than it first appeared but my problem was the fact I pulled the shot right and sailed past its bum. The next was a trick Fox with little in the way of a Wound line and a Pro Kill the course layers had obviously drawn on with a 2p piece (well it was slightly larger).

I was getting into the swing of thing and decided I would kill the next target a Cougar and with John one hand with the Camera we have the evidence.


Cougar disposed of it was onto another Grazing Deer an then another long Black Bear which I managed to hit on the nose but alas no wound but John did kill it with his first arrow. Following on from this was another Turkey (I hate Turkeys) and then a well laid long Stag through the trees. Having put my first arrow to the right we had to spend time fruitlessly searching for a missing arrow. With one broken arrow and now one missing it was off to our last target before lunch a Mountain Goat.

hobbitsFollowing John's 3rd Bacon Butty of the day it was off to our final 10 targets of the day with the first being another Grouse hiding through the door of the "Hobbit's Standing". Having shot the target John was busy making a few comments to Fred and Terry about it being a good size for them - Kids!.

Another Red Deer followed closely followed by a second Red Deer and then another Turkey. This time it was the Turkey facing you with a wound line the size of the kill on the deer. A longish Javelina followed and then Steve the Prairie Dog although that was an entertaining discussion with Fred. With that joke getting old it was time for a Cougar and then a a Hare I wounded by a hairs width (wound lines Hmmmm)  and John killed first arrow.

Another Stag through the trees followed and interesting target with little margin for error and so missing the trees I pulled left and missed the deer as well. Our final target of the day  was another longish Javelina and I had not intention of blanking the last shot of the day and so with that in mind I wounded the pig and then it was off for the long walk back to the tea hut.

Returning to the tea hut at 16:00 it was one of the quickest rounds of 40 targets we have shot and a very pleasant day. Having won a bottle of win in the raffle and John winning the Cub Longbow Westcotts two other medals made it a good day all round especially when Sam returned my missing arrow.

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