Monday, 3 May 2010

South Wilts Shoot Report 2nd May 2010

South WiltsThe South Wilts Bluebell shoot was our first field shoot of 2010 (not sure why) and I was looking forward to getting back into the field. John had a new, Gary Evens, longbow and was looking forward to shooting in his preferred environment. Having just completed a new set of arrows for John he was ready with completely new equipment and give him his dues he quickly got used to them. In addition John had decided that he would be shooting the Junior pegs rather than his Cub pegs so that would give me a chance.
For a change we did not have our usual / traditional Bacon Butties before registration but instead John tucked into so leftover pizza from his party the day before. Today we were not shooting with Ruth and James but instead teamed up with Mike, Mike and Trev a longbow, true, archer and two Darksiders for what was forecast to be a very wet day but at least their would be the Bluebells and a mixture of 3Ds and paper faces. As usual the course layers did an exceptional job making this a great shoot regardless of the fact it cost me 3 smashed arrows ....trees.

We were due to start on Target 17 so after John had polished off his morning pizza it was time to turn on the Nokia Sports Tracker and walk out to the first target and the quick introduction to our fellow archers.
After the short blast of the horn it was time to start the days shooting and what a day it was going to be. Our first target of the day was was a Turkey hidden behind a tree and this should have given us a good idea what was in course layers mind when they layed the course. With 3 for 4 at least I didn't blank the first target of the day (year) but that was not to last. Following the Turkey was a longish Mountain Goat through the trees and undergrowth and although I managed to miss all the woodwork I also blanked the Goat.
BisonArriving at Target 19 we noticed a brown lump in the distance; in fact so far away was this target that it required a marshal to spot the arrows. This brown lump in the distance turned out to be a long shot at a Bison through the Bluebell meadow. Having put my first arrow over the target I put the second shot and finally managed to skewer with my third. Not a brilliant start to the day but next we had the Polar Bear from the top of a small tower and although my first arrow went astray the second was a 14 so not as bad as it could have been.
Following the Polar Bear it was time for a shortish Wild Boar and yet another 3 for 4 it wasn't my day but I was having fun. The threatened rain had not arrived and the general banter in the group was easy going and fun.
The next target, a Standing Deer, provided me with my first 20 of the day it was shot through the trees with very little of it was showing from the peg. Tricky with a high change of the ricochet but not this time my first arrow landed plum in the kill. Hopefully a change in my luck but as things turned out not the case the next target was a very deceptive Standing Bear positioned in a small depression.
CaribouHaving third arrowed the Bear it was time for a paper faced Caribou, the reduced size picture, and to say the least I completely blanked it but not John he scored his first 20 of the day or if we had of been scoring them 24.
Moving on from the Caribou my luck was going to change, for a while, a large White Mountain Goat was going to provide me with a 10 and of all thing a medium distance Rabbit a 16. Things were looking up our next target a Headless Turkey (I can only assume someone else had shot it off) was a fairly open shot, for a change, that provided a 20 and we were off.
The next shot was a long fairly open shot at a large Bear leaning against a tree stump and a beautiful shot it was. Time for the longbow archers to show the Darksiders how it is done with John and me both killing the Bear with our first arrows.


As luck would have it mine was going to change the next target was a Bobcat and a 3 for 8 followed by a Standing Dear that cost me my first broken arrow with a ricochet off a tree sending the top of my arrow, and fletchings, in one direction and the pile and the rest of the shaft in the other.
Oh well if I can get away with only one broken arrow it won't be too bad. But then came the Bedded Deer. With the fist arrow going under and splitting whilst the second ricocheting of its back into the backstop snapping the pile off this Deer cost me two arrows for a measly 4 points.
Three broken arrows it was time to get my act together and the next Prairie Dog I despatched with the first closely followed by another Standing Deer that went the same way. Then came the Stoat and tiny target from no more than 6 feet. With the Darksiders setting their sites to the 80 meter mark I could have just pushed the arrow home. But as the rule dictate I shot it using my standard draw and killed it with the first.
With the small Stoat out of the way we moved onto another long Standing Deer through the trees. I was expecting another ricochet but although I missed with the first 2 at least the 3rd was a hit. A medium distance Porcupine provided me with another first arrow and then it was off to another long shot at a distant Bear. This was one of those tricky to judge shots where the course layer was being particularly deceptive but as a longbow archery that tend to do it instinctively and my point of aim is always 3 inches above the target I missed. With the bear getting away we moved onto another long shot this time at a Lion. Having put the first 2 over its back at least the 3rd hit the mark.
I was beginning to have a bad run but with our next target being the penultimate before lunch I was looking forward to a burger. So it was off to a Howling Coyote through the undergrowth and a 20 so maybe my luck was changing an with the Boar being a "Pig of a Shot" through the tight trees I scored a 16 and then off for a well earned burger and more Pizza for John.
Fully refreshed after lunch it was down the lane and then target 1. Looking across the road and into the woods it was difficult to see when we were actually shooting but eventually we spotted a brown lump on the brown mud. This was in fact a well camouflaged Alligator. A first shot wound was a great way to start the afternoon and only got better with the next long Prong Horn with a 20. The longbow archers were starting to worry the Darksiders (well we can but hope) with all of us scoring a 20.
BearUnfortunately the next Black Bear stopped my run with only a 3rd arrow but at least the next Mountain Lion provided a 10. The next target was a paper Fox face, the one with little in the way of wound area, but not to worry a 20 was in the bag. Next was another Bedded Deer and then onto paper face Standing Deer before we reached the Jay through a V in the trees. With the Jay only providing a measly 4 my luck was to change again and run of three 20s on the Javelina, Standing Bear and Squirrel. The Squirrel is always a fun target being one of those where you either Wound, Kill and Pro-Kill all at once or miss; Fat arrows are definitely a must for this target.
With the Squirrel Skewered it was time for the Turkey Shoot and then a paper face Walking Bear through the trees and the Bluebells. Our third from last target was a fairly open shot at another Coyote (well I think it was) but it didn't matter because the line of my arrows in the back stop was a perfect match for the targets back with each arrow just skimming the target.
Another blank with only two to go a Black Antelope was hiding in the trees and although it missed the first arrow the second was a kill and then it was onto our final target of the day another well hidden and excellently placed Standing Bear (well the one that leans against a tree). From the pegs we could only see the top half of this target with the rest hidden behind a badger set and piled earth. I shot my first and thought I had put just over the bears shoulder and into the backstop but the second arrow kill was good enough for me. But on arrival at the target the first was in the should so an extra 2 points was appreciated.
With all the targets shot it was time to total up the scores and back for a coffee and the results. Although I didn't win a medal John did and his score was not bad considering he was shooting the Junior Pegs with a new bow.
As always with the South Wilts shoots it was a great day out shooting a wonderful course capped by a being in a good group. Not a bad day for Westcott either with a couple of medals and a good turnout.

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