Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Avalon Shoot Report 17th & 18th July 2010

AvalonWhen this shoot first appeared in the calendar it classed with Jim's Jungle Jaunt which was not great because I wanted to shoot both. Fortunately Avalon moved their shoot date and so I could shoot both. Having watched the weather with interest the week before I was not quite sure what we were going to be in for but as luck would have it the rain of the previous week (although I understand they had none in Sandy anyway) had disappeared for the weekend and it promised to be warm and pleasant and rather entertaining especially on the Sunday but more of that later.

As usual the course layers at Avalon did an exceptional job providing an entertaining and at time rather difficult course that was changed over night by the sadistic pixies. We only had one issue on the second day with the course which required target 40 to be removed.

To all those Archers who were complaining and swearing about the Cub that had a ricocheted off the back of the Leopard, that was target 40, narrowly missing the marshal taking photo on target 2. Just think if the course had not been layed the way it was it would never have happen. All he did was highlight a fault in the course. 

But enough of whining archers back to the positives and as I have already said the course was well structured and very entertaining.

As this was going to be Ruth & James last shoot for a while, because of an impending sprog, Sam & Owen had requested to shoot with them so John and I would be shooting with Emma and Trevor, from Goshawk, both shooting Unlimited. An interesting combination 2 Unlimited and 2 Longbow archers. Two taking the time before the shot calculating distances for their guaranteed hit and 2 spending time after the shot hunting for stray arrows.

Saturday 17th

Having eaten the traditional "Bacon Butties" with a double helping of Black Pudding it was time to follow our marshal to our designated starting target, 28, we exchanged scorecards and awaited the sound of the horn that would start the day. Now today Trevor was going to be shooting his new bow which he had spend all of Friday setting up with Tony (The Archery Company).

With the sound of the air horn it was time to shoot our first target a Bobcat through some close packed trees. After 3 arrows and an 8 it was not such a good start to the day but at least I scored and eventually managed to follow Emma's and Trevor's arrows into the kill. This was going to be the general theme for the day. Emma and Trevor would shoot first and John and I would try and follow them into the kill, well the target, with varying degrees of success.

With Bob the Cat out of the way it was off to our next target and a Wolf an easy shot but not for me today and hence a disappointing 4. This was not the best way to start a days shooting but a least the conversation was good. It was also entertaining watching Trevor do a noddling dog impression switching his head position as he remembered Tony's instructions.

It was of to target 30 next a Wolverine and my first Kill of the day a nice shot dodging the saplings and no ricochets. Was this going to be when my luck changed ? Of course not the next target, a downhill Raccoon, was a complete blank I mean how could I miss it their were not even any trees in the way.

Moving on from the disappointing Raccoon it was a short walk to 31 and a Mini Bear through a V in the tree. A short downhill that was trickier than it looked but a 16 was good enough for me. With the Mini Bear out of the way we moved the short distance up the bank to a long shot over the undulating ground at a Standing Deer, that was to prove Shels (Westcott) undoing on Sunday, this was a tricky one to judge but I was rewarded by a 10.

As we walk to our next target Trevor's luck changed whilst trying to blow a wasp of his hand it did what wasps always do and stung him at which point a few words were uttered and his new bow bounced off the ground. Having checked his bow and put his anti-sting cream on it was of to the next target and Trevor had another excuse to explain why Emma was scoring higher than him.

The next shot was a real Turkey, as they say, the classic Avalon through the building at a Turkey. This instead of the window with the bars across the course layers had hung ropes across the window. At this point I was glad I did'nt have a long rod as I watched Trevor try and position his bow so it didn't hit the ropes and the arrow would would clear them. When it was my turn to shoot the shot looked rather interesting for a longbow but as long as didn't hit anything that was all the mattered. As it turned out the windows and enclosed shot focused my mind and I scored a 24.

Over the ropeUnder the ropeJust step back dear
Standing BearMoving on it was time to shoot a Standing Bear across a valley and what would have been a very entertaining shot for short compound archers. A 4 meant I was back to the general trend for the day but oh well it's all part of the fun and I did pay to shoot 3 arrows at each target.

Oh it was a short walk to a Javelina and a 16 so maybe things were not as bad as I thought. Then onto a Climbing Bear down the hill into open ground. At this point the wind was beginning to pick up and it was a rather entertaining shot waiting for the leaves to move out of the way. But once the gap appeared a quick release scored me a 20 and then it was out into the open.

Our next target was another one of those rather interesting shots that was very deceptive being a long uphill shot at a Standing Deer. This one was going to cause us all problems, especially with the strong gusty wind, requiring 3 arrows from Emma, John and me and a couple from Trevor. Needless to say I blanked this one regardless of the level of concentration I appear to have put into it (thanks John for the photos!).

Time to move on, and another photo opportunity for John, to a Downhill Fox through the tree and a nice 16.

With the Fox no longer hunting the chickens it was time for our final target before lunch a longish uphill Leopard and another 16. It was time for a well deserved break, a burger and a Cup of tea.

Fully refreshed it was off to target 1 and a Walking Bear through the trees and over the remains of the tree felling. A 16 and it looked like the burger had done its job but oh no the next target was another long downhill Ram and a blank. No this was long from the blue peg but John showed me how it was down with a first arrow (yes he was shooting Junior again not cub pegs).

FrogOh well, I seemed to be saying that a lot today, it was off to the next peg a rather tricky little Frog shot underneath the overhanging branches of a large pine tree that even required John to kneel. No this may be ok if you are shooting a nice short compound but is not so easy when shooting a 74" longbow but a bit of the "Holywood Style" shooting scored me 16. At least for the next shot I could stand and hold my bow up although the Javelina was through the saplings and the potential for ricochets was high. But no I was on form and scored a 16 for my efforts before we moved onto another well hidden target, a Turkey, through the foliage.

On to target 6 and another that caused various people issues and heart-ache. This was a long Impala through the trees and cost Emma a shattered arrow from what appeared to be a simple miss and a fair amount of time rooting through the undergrowth and leaf litter for missing arrows. For me it was search for 2 arrows whilst only scoring a 4 but hey-ho at least I found my arrows.

StegosaurusA Skunk was next on the list and another 16 so that was good before moving onto a nice shot at a Hyena and then on to the back side of the course overlooking the fields of horses. These were real so not our targets in fact the next was going to be a Stegosaurus through a small gap between a thick branch and a mass of pine needles. Another great shot that required some interesting positioning. You rapidly get used to doing the splits at Avalon that and other contortions.

Now the Stegosaurus was extinct we moved on to a uphill shot at a Standing Deer and on over the hill to a Mini Bear behind a tree stump. With the mini bear disposed of it was time to move on to a long tricky Standing Deer through the trees and over a small valley. This proved to much for me and I blanked it. Little did I know it was going to be worse on Sunday.

Having climb up to target it was a quick walk along the fence to the next shot back across the valley at a Ram hiding behind a tree and then on to another large Standing Bear across the valley and close to a tree that turned out to be rather attractive for James's arrow on Sunday. With a 10 on the bear we moved onto a smaller target with a small Badger through the beach foliage and a 16.

Next was target 16 a Standing Deer or rather the front half of a Standing Deer through the trees. Although this was a straight shot for a longbow it was rather more entertaining with branches and trees in the way. Having disposed of the deer it was off to a Mini Bear and a lost arrow. Oh well at least wooden arrows are cheap to make and making them is part of the fun of Archery. Having given up the search it was on up over the hill and into a patch of young pine trees which meant lots of low, densely packed branches to shoot a Boar across a small dip.

Once the boar was crackling we moved through the trees to shoot back across the dip at a Large Goat which was well hidden through the branches of the trees. The question was did I try to go under the close branches and maybe hit the distant ones over over the close ones and miss the distant  ones.

The answer was over and miss and hit with the second. As it was their was only one more target, a downhill Walking Bear, before another well deserved tea break and another Bacon Butty for John, the third of the day, before moving onto our last 7 target. So far it had been a hot and sticky day not as hot as Jims Jungle Jaunt but a top up of the water was required and unlike the weather with only 7 targets to go my score for the day was not looking hot.

DeerTarget 1 was another downhill Climbing Bear quickly followed by by a Bedded Deer through some entertaining branches and trees. Like the compound archers this one did not cause me a problem and provided a needed 16. A short walk from the deer our next target was a downhill Jackal that was completely obscured by a branch when standing at the red peg although I suspect this would not have been an issue for Fred. A uphill Howling Wolf was next on the agenda, which John 24ed, and this was quickly followed by a small Frog in a hollow that I 24ed and then onto a long Leopard across another small valley which John 24ed.

Our final target of the day was a small Skunk between the trees and down a dip and a 16 was a good way to finish the day. Having complete the days shooting it was time to total up the score, on the doors, and hand the cards back into registration.

At this point it's time to say:

"Emma Creamed Trevor".

With Emma happy at beating Trevor it was time to give the early evening entertainment a go or rather John did. For those archers who felt up to the task their was some Popinjay shooting which basically entailed shooting Flu-Flu Blunts at birds on a frame hanging from one of the many tall trees in the car park and on occasions hitting one (or a car).


Sunday 18th

Overnight the sadistic course setters had been out moving the pegs and generally making the course more difficult although this also made it more entertaining. So as usual it was arrive early eat the Bacon Butties, with black pudding again, an say hi to Emma and Trevor again who had stayed at Tony's and been night shooting. Essentially the course would be the same as Saturday and we would be starting on 28 again which was great because today we were bringing in the 3Ds after the shoot and we finished on the Skunk so not much to carry.

Sunday was going to be essentially the same course as Saturday with a few difference, as mentioned, in the layout of the pegs but for me it was going to completely different. Having only shot 496 on Saturday my challenge for the day was to break the 500 mark. As it turned out I had a storming day on Sunday and had past 500 after only 32 targets beating Saturdays morning score after only 13 targets. By the end of the day I had only blanked one target, the Long Deer at target 12, and lost none of my arrow scoring 5 24s and 6 20s brining in a total of 632 before the adjustment for target 40.

John on the other hand had a bad day that went downhill after his ricochet off the back of the Leopard, that was target 40, narrowly missed one of the marshals taking a photo on target 2. Being handed his arrow back by a shaking marshal put him off his shooting for the rest of the afternoon which meant another two missing arrows. So by the end of the weekend he had one broken, three missing and one missed marshal.

Some of the key differences for the day were as follows.

Shel takes a Shot from the White

In one of those rare occasions Shel was seen taking a 3rd arrow at the target (33). Although I spotted it I only have the photographic evidence for the White shot.


A Turkey becomes a Bear

The builds shot was subtly changed and we need to shoot though one of the other windows at a longer Bear. This time their were metal bars across the windows and a definite increase in the chance of a ricochet but again the window focus my attention and I got a 16.


The Offending Target 40

As mentioned the ricochet of Johns arrow from the back of Target 40 and the near miss of the marshal caused the removal of the target and as can be seen from the picture below a simple ricochet of the back would take the arrow over the hill and on to Target 2 peg behind. This was not and issue in the end, except with a few whining archers, because the Avalon guys promptly removed the target and hence any further danger. All credit to them.

target 40

If you're going to miss do it in style

The pegs for Target 14 had been moved slightly which put the Standing Bear between two trees. As we walked up to the target we noticed that their were two arrow stuck about 40 feet up the tree; who would be daft enough to do that. Well at the end of the day we found out that one was James.

By the end of an exceptional weekend Westcott had done pretty well in the medal stakes with 2 Golds (Ruth and John) a Silver (Shel) and Bronze (Hugh) but most importantly we had all had a great time thanks to all the hard work put in by Avalon.

Saturday 17th July


Me John

Me John
28 Bobcat 8 10 08 Hyena 16 16
29 Wolf 4 10 09 Stegosaurus 16 16
30 Wolverine 20 - 10 Deer 10 10
31 Raccoon - 20 11 Mini Bear 16 10
32 Mini Bear 16 20 12 Deer - 10
33 Standing Deer 10 16 13 Ram 10 10
34 Turkey 24 - 14 Standing Bear 10 4
35 Standing Bear 4 16 15 Badger 16 -
36 Javelina 16 10 16 Standing Deer 16 20
37 Climbing Bear 20 10 17 Mini Bear 10 4
38 Standing Deer - - 18 Boar 8 14
39 Fox 16 10 19 Large Goat 10 8
40 Leopard 16 4 20 Walking Bear 16 10
01 Bear 16 16 21 Climbing Bear 14 16
02 Ram - 16 22 Bedded Deer 16 10
03 Frog 16 10 23 Jackal 14 8
04 Javelina 16 4 24 Howling Wolf 16 24
05 Turkey 10 16 25 Frog 24 -
06 Impala 4 10 26 Leopard 10 24
07 Skunk 16 10 27 Skunk 16 16

232 208
264 230

Total 496 438

Sunday 18th July


Me John

Me John
28 Bobcat 16 16 08 Hyena 16 14
29 Wolf 24 20 09 Stegosaurus 16 16
30 Wolverine 16 16 10 Deer 16 8
31 Raccoon 16 24 11 Mini Bear 16 10
32 Mini Bear 16 16 12 Deer - -
33 Standing Deer 10 16 13 Ram 4 4
34 Walking Bear 16 - 14 Standing Bear 16 10
35 Standing Bear 20 16 15 Badger 16 4
36 Javelina 14 16 16 Standing Deer 20 16
37 Climbing Bear 14 14 17 Mini Bear 20 16
38 Standing Deer 14 4 18 Boar 16 16
39 Fox 24 14 19 Large Goat 16 10
40 Leopard 10 8 20 Walking Bear 16 4
01 Bear 20 10 21 Climbing Bear 10 16
02 Ram 20 10 22 Bedded Deer 10 16
03 Frog 24 4 23 Jackal 10 4
04 Javelina 24 - 24 Howling Wolf 16 4
05 Turkey 20 10 25 Frog 24 16
06 Impala 10 4 26 Leopard 16 4
07 Skunk 14 10 27 Skunk 16 -

342 228
290 188

Total 632 416

1 comment:

Just another Jones said...

Another great write up of a great weekend. Cheers