Monday, 30 May 2011

3D Nationals Shoot Report 28th & 29th May 2011

3D NationalsMay bank holiday weekend had finally arrived and hence it was time for the 2011 NFAS 3D Nationals and as was the way with English weather it was looking a bit grim. Not to worry though because we would be shoot at Osmaston Park near Ashbourne and a wonderful drive down the A515 from my parents.
This would be the first Nationals where John would be shooting as an U16 and he was looking forward to shooting from the Blue and in addition have more competition. Having not been given his trophy at previous Nationals (because it had not been returned) he was hoping he could win one this time and as it happens he did come first and receive his medal and trophy.

TrophyThis year the traditional longbow archers would be shoot B course, laid by Pines Park, on the Saturday and A course, laid by Wasp, on the Sunday and as luck would have it the short walks to their part of the woods. Osmaston Park provides some wonderful woodland to shoot in and hence promised an excellent weekends shooting once I had found where to enter the park (missed the signs on the A52).

Having found where the entrance was it was a quick park up and grab the equipment before a brisk walk the registration (we were not that late but they were being strict) for the mandatory arrow check and then into the registration tent where our cards appeared in front of me (I'm getting known ;-) ). With the cards in hand it was off outside to find that the queue for the food was enormous so we were going to have to start the day without a Bacon Roll and cup of tea Hmmmm.

With roll-call done and safety instruction given it was off to our starting Target (B25) and meet our shooting partners for the the day Marin and Sandra. Having exchanged cards it was just time to wait for the starting horn (long wait because X & Y needed to walk out). Once the horn had sounded it was ladies first and time to shoot my aim for the day was to get around without any blanks, lost or broken arrows.

The first target of the day was a Walking Bear and a relatively easy shot to start the day, just the type you need to get you going, although it did require two arrows. With the first target in the bag and hopefully the start of a full day without a blank it was time to move onto the next, one of those mythical creatures, a Jackalope and another 10. Not the way I wanted to start the champs but hey-ho things can only get better.

But things were going to get better with another fairly easy shot at a Javelina and I was beginning to get my eye in and I needed to if I was going to keep up with John. Leopards may not be able to change their spots but to one that followed could certainly hide them behind the trees and yes again a second arrow was required.

The long Stag that followed was longer than anticipated, unless you are John, and as I walked away with only a 10 John scored his first 24 of the day.

BearPigA Standing Deer quickly followed by a pig of a Boar behind the trees and bracken and then onto a Climbing Bear through the Rhodedendroms and my first 24 of the day. Things were looking up as we moved on, over the hill, to a Goat and then onto another Rhodedendrom shot at a Pig. Another 24 so maybe the plants were helping although I really do hate Rhodedendroms as backstop because of all those branches available for ricochets. With the pig in the bag we moved down the hill and across the road for an uphill Allegator before moving on to a uphill Grazing Deer and a broken arrow as it clipped something hard below the target. To add insult to injury the second arrow disappeared into the undergrowth (although it was returned later).

With one broken arrow recovered it was off across the road to another Boar and another 24 for John. With the pig shot out of the way we moved back up the hill again, towards the break area, to shoot a downhill Walking Bear and then a uphill Standing Deer and then he final target before first break another Walking Bear.

It had been a long first stint without a food or tea break and John, as usual, was starving so filling us up on bacon cheese burgers and tea was a necessity. Having filled up it was back out into the woods for a Cobra over a rather well placed branch and a 24 lunch certainly did the job.

This was quickly followed by a bright orange Frog through a V in a tree and the V left little room to hit the kill and psychologically drove you away. A longish large Standing Deer was our next target and then one of those Reclining Boars (the ones that are half raised from the ground) that brought us to the halfway point.

bearThe second half of the course started with a small grey Fox and then the small Climbing Bear on the tree stump (which has a kill marked on it - why) and a 24 today certainly was going well that was my forth of the day.

Feeling good after the Bear it was off to a Bobcat, a Boar and then long Standing Deer and another 24.


Well it was tied to the tree so what did I expect. With the venison cooked we were off to a Coyote quickly followed by an anorexic Turkey that would that would make Bernard Matthews roll in his grave and would never be fat enough for Christmas.

A Standing Deer was next on the list closely followed by another Standing Deer hiding in the Rhododendrons before a looooong Bedded Elk. No I know this is a large target but at this distance it looked small and so I was going to have to give it some welly but failed miserably with the first and only a 10 with the second. The next was a Walking Bear and then onto a Badger and a Mosquito. The last time I shot a Mosquito I hit it in the leg but this time a 20 was on the cards.

The Mosi swatted it was time for a small Bedded Deer before moving on to a Baboon and another 24 what was happening I have not shot this well for quite a long time maybe it was trying to keep up with John. A Boar was next on the list and then quickly onto a Bedded Deer and Rhododendrons (getting a taste for it) before the final 3 targets of the day.

The third from last target was a long downhill Reindeer and my final 24 of the day before the penultimate Boar and a Stag that only netted me a 4.

With all the targets shot it was time to hand the cards in and review the results of an excellent days shoot. A total score of 618 for John and 652 for me meant we had both put in a personal best and in addition I had a clear round with not lost arrows (they all returned) and only one broken arrow. So was Sunday going to be as good a Saturday we would have to wait and see.

As wee arrived Sunday morning the weather was looking a bit greyer than it had on Saturday but that was not going to spoil anything. Today we had our own Bacon Butties so no worries about the queue but they would come after we had picked up the score cards and checked our relative positions from the Saturday. I was lying 12th and John was first by about 28 points not bad as he had only shot once since the 2010 Nationals.

So today we were on A course and starting on Target 6 as usual we all filed out for our course briefing and then on to the target. Today we would be shooting in a group of 5 with Sheila, Phil and Matthew one of the few people I have met who has a heavier longbow than mine. With the cards exchanged and air horn blown it was time to shoot the first target as Stegosaurus across the bracken and undergrowth and after a 10 I was hoping I could have another clear round but alas as you will see it was not to be the case.

dinoWith the dinosaur history it was off to a large Mountain Goat you did not want to miss because there was a bees nest directly behind it and although dropping an arrow on the nest from 40 yrds was ok scraping with an arrow rack was a definite no no. So having missed the first and put it in a tree (no problem with bees) I scored another 10 and it was off to our third of the day a long large Dinosaur and then onto a pig of a shot at a Boar.

With the Boar cracking it was time to grab some Turkey and as it turned out my first 24 of the day. OK so now we were starting to get into a rhythm and the Howling Wolf behind the Rhododendron proved to be no problem. So today was going to be one of Rhododendron back stops and a desire not to miss.

As luck would have it the following Ibex through the bushes provided to be a natural and I was cooking on gas. I was in the groove and the following Raccoon proved to be only a minor problem providing me with a 10; not great but it would do.

Conversations with people who had shot the A course on the Saturday had indicated it was challenging in places but I was feeling happy and then came the Polar Bear a long slightly downhill shot at a smaller than life size (proved to be a problem) Polar Bear which I managed to put 3 arrows over the top. My first blank of the weekend and I was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, A course was a bit more challenging than B.

Next in line was a Jackalope and with my first arrow I managed to remove its antlers before hitting its leg with the second to the sound of a mighty clank - the metal peg holding it to the ground. A Raccoon was next followed by one of those Bright Orange Frogs.


After skewering the frog it was off to a Mini Bear between two tree trunks that provided no margin for error if you went left or right but as I found over the top was ok. A Bedded Deer provided a nice recovery shot and then we were on to a Honey Badger and some very wet ground. Thankfully it was not raining or this target could have been very messy indeed.

coyotecoyoteA small red Fox followed and provided a nice 20 and then it was time for a Coyote and the red peg was directly behind a tree. So should I go left around the tree or right. I decided right in the end and was rewarded with a 16.

For some reason the Grazing Deer that followed proved more troublesome but then the Turkey that followed had a large fan tail that proved rather useful. A Standing Deer followed and was our penultimate target before the second break of the day. With only a Leopard between me and a Bacon Cheese Burger a lack a patients cause me to miss with the first two and score a mighty 4.

Following the short lunch break it was off towards the "swamp" area and our first target would be a long Standing Deer, that I completely blanked, quickly followed by an Antelope. Now that I was back to hitting the targets the Frog that followed was no problem and neither was the Reclining Boar.

streamA Puma followed and then it was onto the really wet area of the course and an Alligator by a stream. This was a fun target because if you dropped short you would end up in the stream. So you guessed it I put one in front and had some very wet fletchings. The second I buried the arrow in the roots of the tree behind and lost the pile as I pulled it out.

We moved up along the edge of the stream and shot across it at the next target a well hidden Wolf in the trees. The target the followed was probably the best shot of the day and consisted of a large downhill Reindeer that managed to fool everyone. It was target that became the discussion point of many a AFB archer as archers that never normally missed could not hit the Reindeer. It took me 3 arrows and Phil 4 to hit the thing whilst John managed it in 2.

With the entertaining reindeer out of the way it was on to a Bedded Mountain Goat and a shot where it definitely help being tall before a longish downhill Grazing Deer that managed to blank and break my second arrow of the weekend. Oh well the small Goat that followed was another where it helped to be tall  and hence being able to shoot over the branch that blocked the sight of most archers.

deerWith the goat out of the way it was onto a picturesque Javelina surrounded by the ubiquitous rhododendrons and then another Standing Deer that provided my second 24 of the day and this one was plumb in the middle of the 24 ring.

Now some may say that was skill me I'd say it was more to do with luck although you aim for the kill the centre of the 24 ring is definitely luck. With one standing deer dispatched it was onto another, Standing Deer, before time for today's Baboon via a quick stop at the tea tent.

With only four targets to go we were all looking forward to finishing and we were about to shoot the targets we had walked past on the way out. The first was a uphill shot at a Coyote and a short climb up the hill to take a longish shot at a Standing Deer before moving on to our penultimate target of the weekend a Walking Bear.

We had a few problems with this target because first of all the archers from the group in front had finish slightly before us and having brought their target back to the road proceeded to walk directly behind the target. Now I know shooting moving targets is fun but other archers! Anyway once they had passed Phil went to take his shot again and all of a sudden a marshal appears and hence another aborted shot.

Finally we managed to shoot the Walking Bear and move on to our last target an uphill Black Panther and my first bouncer of the weekend which was rather unusual.

With the shooting done all that remained was to bring the target back to the road, wander back to hand our cards in and then  wait for the results. Having packed, changed and bought John some new shafts it was time for the results and the one we were interested in was the Junior Boys Longbow. As Johns name was called out he was up for the Gold and his trophy with second place being 120 points behind him he had managed to stretch his lead during a more challenging day shoot.

With it all over bar the shouting it was time to head off home for a well deserved beer (King Goblin) look forward to next years 3Ds which will again be held in the grounds of Osmaston Park.


Saturday 28th May


Me John

Me John
25 Walking Bear 10 14 05 Fox 16 10
26 Jackalope 10 20 06 Climbing Bear 24 8
27 Javelina 20 16 07 Bobcat 16 16
28 Leopard 10 20 08 Boar 20 10
29 Stag 10 24 09 Standing Deer 24 -
30 Standing Deer 20 8 10 Coyote 16 16
31 Boar 16 16 11 Turkey 16 16
32 Climbing Bear 24 16 12 Standing Deer 20 16
33 Goat 10 16 13 Standing Deer 20 20
34 Pig 24 16 14 Bedded Elk 10 14
35 Alligator 16 16 15 Bear 10 16
36 Standing Deer 8 16 16 Badger 20 16
37 Boar 8 24 17 Mosquito 20 20
38 Walking Bear 10 16 18 Bedded Deer 14 14
39 Standing Deer 16 16 19 Baboon 24 16
40 Walking Bear 16 16 21 Boar 20 16
01 Cobra 24 16 22 Bedded Deer 20 24
02 Frog 16 16 23 Reindeer 24 20
03 Large Standing Deer 16 8 24 Boar 16 16
04 Reclining Boar 14 14 25 Stag 4 10

298 324
354 294

Total 652 618

Sunday 29th May


Me John

Me John
01 Stegosaurus 10 10 21 Leopard 4 10
02 Mountain Goat 10 16 22 Standing Deer - 14
03 Dinosaur 4 16 23 Antelope 8 20
04 Boar 14 - 24 Frog 16 16
05 Turkey 24 14 25 Reclining Boar 16 16
06 Howling Wolf 16 14 26 Puma 16 4
07 Ibex 16 16 27 Alligator 4 -
08 Raccoon 10 10 28 Wolf 16 16
09 Polar Bear - 16 29 Reindeer 4 10
10 Jackalope 10 16 30 Bedded Mountain Goat 16 10
11 Bobcat 16 16 31 Grazing Deer - 16
12 Frog 16 10 32 Goat 20 10
13 Mini Bear 10 16 33 Javelina 16 14
14 Bedded Deer 16 16 34 Standing Deer 24 16
15 Honey Badger 16 10 35 Standing Deer 20 10
16 Fox 20 4 36 Baboon 16 16
17 Coyote 16 16 37 Coyote 20 10
18 Grazing Deer 4 4 38 Standing Deer 4 14
19 Turkey 16 14 39 Bear 16 10
20 Standing Deer 16 - 40 Black Panther 16 14

266 234
252 246

Total 518 480

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