Sunday, 17 July 2011

Avalon Shoot Report 16th & 17th July 2011

With the hot spell over and a forecast of some showers this weekend was promising to be cooler and slightly damp and having just returned from a week in Istanbul I was looking forward to some cooler weather and was not going to be bothered by a bit of rain.

But as they say you should be careful what you wish for because on Saturday the it was not raining Cats and Dogs it was raining Elephants and Hippos as the heavens opened at the start of the shoot we we all soaked within a few targets. As a result many an, intelligent, archery packed up and left early and so all that remained were foolhardy and insane.

I'm not sure which of those two camps I fit in but having been soaked within a few targets and having no equipment that would be badly damaged by the rain I decided to work my way through all my waterproofs and stick it out for the day and then try and dry everything before returning on Sunday. Fortunately I do have multiples of some items so the wet and still dripping were left in the utility room to be replaced by new dry versions. The only thing I could not dry was the leather handle on my longbow. Sunday as it turned out was a total contrast to Saturday with only a single short deposit of Elephants and hence by the end of the day even my bow handle had dried.

As I said I rolled up on Saturday looking forward to another fun two days shooting at Avalon and with rain in the forecast decided to put on a set of waterproofs and then it was off for the Tea and bacon butty before being briefed and told they decided to make the course slightly harder this year and throw in a bit of drizzle.

So with a bit of water in the air it was off the first target of the day, 33, and meet up with the archers I'd be shooting with and today it was going to be Karen (longbow) and Mark & Sam (Compound). Little did we know what would happen over the next few targets. So with the cards exchanged and the horn blown it was time to start shooting but what was this the sound of the horn was also an indication to the gods that it was time to start throwing those Elephants and Hippos and so began the inevitable process of getting soaked to the underwear.

wolfOur first target of the day was to be a Frog, one of the few creatures to do well in the weather, and as it turned out I started well and then it was off to a Standing Deer before moving on to long Standing Stag over a slight valley as the rain came down heavier. As we moved up the, rapidly becoming slippery, bank behind the Stag we were all getting wetter and by the time we reached our next target a Wolf back across the valley the rain was coming down that heavy that the flash of the camera was highlighting the raindrops (right) either that or if I believed in the paranormal wood sprites or some other apparition drifting across the front of the camera.

With the Wolf only providing a 4 it was on to a Turkey and a nice 20.  By this time we were all soaked and Sam & Mark had the additional problem of water on their sights which meant they could not see much of the targets. Having never shot a compound with a sight I was not aware of how difficult it is to see the target until I took a look through Marks.

So with the rain finding it's way into any and all gaps and Sam loosing arrows their was an air of despondency. Karen was dripping and not enjoying herself but at least I scored a 20.

So with a Half full glass it was onto a Standing Deer with an apple in its mouth and then a Mini Bear. At this point Sam lost another arrow and had a rapidly dwindling supply. Now for me, although I don't like loosing them, it's only a matter of a few pounds but for a compound archer this was becoming expensive.

Having found the arrow I put past the Bear it was on to our next target a Turkey and then a dodgy Fox before a Prong Horn and then the Tea Hut for a change of clothes and a nice cup of tea. Whilst I went off to change my waterproofs Sam bought the tea and we all had a discussion about what we wanted to do.

It's quite amazing how a nice warm cup of tea can change your perspective and so with a gladdened heart and a rosy outlook it was off to Target 1 and a Javelina. A long Standing Bear quickly followed and then a Frog in the rain before a downhill Antelope that only granted me 4 points (better than Sunday when the replacement Bear split my shaft).

With the raindrop sprites appearing in all my photos and our compound archers suffering badly (slowly rusting) we, longbow archers, were down to shooting bare shafts (well they may as well been the fletchings were so wet) it was onto another Mini Bear hiding behind a tree. Then it was off to a long shot through the trees at a Standing Deer out in the open and a blank before heading back into the trees for a Cougar. By this time the effects of the tea had worn off and I was the only one still shooting with Karen, Sam and Mark being soaked and Sam having only three arrows in her quiver they had decided to leave at the next tea stop.

SkunkBeing the only nutter in the group and not having anything that would rust I decided I would keep going and so it was onto a Skunk though the trunks of the trees. This was quickly followed by a Standing Deer and then on past the building we usually shoot through to a Coyote and then onto a Walking Bear.

A shot at a Turkey in a large Bowl in the forest floor was next before we moved on to a Goat through the saplings followed by another downhill shot at a Bedded Stag.

With the large bedded stag only providing a 4 the rain was affecting my shooting and I decided it was time for some drier arrows although even these had my arrow wraps peeling off because of the water seeping down the back and the one on my first arrow had already fallen to bits.

So with drier arrows in hand it was time for a Wolverine through the trees and a 16, they were working, and then onto a long Leopard before a tricky Baboon through some Camo netting that required me to take a rather interesting shooting position to even see the target. With only a quick shot at a Jackalope (Hare) with no horns between me and another cup of tea it was a quick three arrows and then the short walk back to the tea hut.


With no sign of a letup in the rain Karen, Sam and Mark decided it was time to pack up and head off home. They were not the first and would definitely not be the last to come to the same conclusion. For me I was soaked to the skin with soggy leather shooting gloves that had stained my hands a 1000/day smokers yellow and had the consistency of used chamois and now the only one remaining in my group. With score cards falling apart it was time to find another group and I could only move forward.

As it happened Sam and Owen's group that started on target 33 were also in for a tea break and so saying a quick goodbye to the rest of my group (the intelligent ones) I joined the target 33 crowd and continued on my way. At this point we were now a group of 6 with Sam & Own, Rob & Sharon and Colin but a quick shooting longbow archer was not going to slow them down much.

So refreshed by another tea it was off to target 19 and a Bedded Goat before we moved onto a Micro Pig. At this point the rain had actually started to ease and bit of blue were showing so maybe just maybe the weather would improve. With a shot at a Walking Bear next the sun was definitely trying to break through.

SamBy the time we reached the next Wolf it had succeeded and we were starting to steam. Next we had a small Pheasant before moving onto a Walking Bear and then over the hill to a long Standing Bear along the hill side.

With the standing bear wounded it was off down the hill to another Wolverine and then onto to an uphill shot at a Leopard before moving onto  a Bobcat hidden behind the trunk of a large fur tree and partially covered by the branches.


With the Bobcat out of the way it was only a Javelina and a Standing Deer that stood between me an quick trip home for a warm shower and dry clothes. With the last two targets out of the way and the others having shot their additional two it was time to head back and pack up for the day.

Although this had been the wettest I have ever shot in it was still a fun days shooting and I could always dry things for Sunday an so with that in mind it was time to head off.

Arriving back on Sunday I picked up my card and found I was the only member of my group so with a quick change around I was moved to Sam & Owen and Rob & Sharon's group and would be starting on target 33 today. Overnight the peg fairies had been around the course and moved everything and so even though the targets were essentially the same the shots were not. So with the full wet over trousers on ( I knew it would not rain if I did this) we headed off to our starting target for another fun days shooting with another entertaining group.

The first targeted today was the Standing Buck across the valley before we moved on to the Wolf back across the valley before it was time for the Turkey. With a 16 and 20 on the first two targets today was looking to be a better day than Saturday and a 24 on the Turkey was an even better score. I had not managed one yesterday so a 24 on the Turkey was great and in addition I was not wet.

24With the turkey behind me it was on to the Standing Deer with the apple that now appeared to be a lot  further away but a quick 16 was a good result before we moved onto a changed target and a Skunk under the bushes. I was required to squat to even see the target and as such was the only member of the group not to score a 24.  Up until this point I had been giving Owen the compound archer a run for his money being ahead for a number of targets and then matching him arrow for arrow but alas he started to make a break and those pins in his sight were a definite advantage. Oh well it was good whilst it lasted.

Next we had the Turkey and a luck leg got me a 16  before we shot the Fox (this looked just like the Coyote we would shoot later) and then the Prong Horn. Whereas Saturday I shot it through the leg and into the back stop today it would be a good body shot that provided the 16 before we moved onto the first tea stop of the day.

Fully refreshed it was off to target 1 and the Javelina once again before the long downhill Standing Bear which today provided me a 10 rather than a 4. Then it was on to the Frog and another 24 today was going well.


With the frog out of the way the next target had been replaced overnight so today we would be shooting a Climbing Bear and as my first arrow clipped the bear it made a rather odd sound. The second did not fair much better and the third passed straight through its back. Moving onto the following Mini Bear I pulled out my first arrow to notice a split running from the nock through the fletchings and decided not to shoot it (another for Fred) with a new arrow and Sam taking a very unflattering picture a 16 was scored and then we were off to the next.

Our next target was the Standing Deer in the open before moving back into the woods for the Cougar and then onto the Skunk which had been moved and for some reason on of the trunks had been cut. Next was the long Standing Deer by the building and then the Coyote that looks like the Fox. The Walking Bear was next and the sky was starting to cloud over again so were we about to have rain. This was a distinct possibility because Sam had left her waterproof at the tea hut on the back of a chair.

And so as we approached the the Turkey in the Bowl the heavens opened and I was photographing those sprites again. So hiding under her umbrella Sharon was doing the scoring and keeping Sam dry at the same time. As we moved on the heavy rain stopped with only the odd bit here and there. So as we approached the Goat it was relatively dry.

The Bedded Stag was no problem today and provided a 20 and then it was on to the Wolverine before the Leopard and then the Baboon which had moved and allowed me to shoot over the branch. Again it was only the Jackalope between me and a cup of tea so a quick 16 and we were off.

As Sam went to grab her waterproof that someone had moved into the rain and was now soaked I grabbed my sandwich from the car and a quick tea. After a quick lunch break it was back into the woods for the final 12 target and we started with the Bedded Goat before it was Micro Pig time again and then the Walking Bear.

Next was the Wolf from a completely different angle and we spent some time looking for Owen's arrow he lost on Saturday before the group behind arrived and we moved on to the Pheasant. I'm not sure what it was about this target but Saturday it was Sam sticking her tongue out in the photo and today it was Owen pulling faces.

With the Steam rising from our damp clothes it was off to the Walking Bear and then over the hill to the Standing Bear that we would be shooting uphill, slightly, today. At this point it started to blow a gale and all of us were being buffeted by the wind and its blustery nature meant you could not compensate so with Owen missing with the compound I was not surprised when my arrows went astray.

Oh well as the wind dropped it was back down the hill to a Wolverine and then a long Leopard before it was time for the Bobcat again and another 24. It was a target where the lowest score for the group was a 20 so good shooting all around.

With 3 24s in the day it was going quite well and so we moved onto the Javelina and then the uphill Standing Deer before the Frog and the final Standing Deer of the day. With the days shooting over it was time to find out my score for the day and see how it compared to Saturdays. I expected it to be better because it felt like a better day and as it was an improvement of 94 was good.

Sunday Club
So after another great days shooting all that remained was to pack up and head off home for a cold beer.

Saturday 16th July


Me John

Me John
31 Frog 16 - 11 Walking Bear 16 -
32 Standing Deer 16 - 12 Turkey 4 -
33 Standing Buck 10 - 13 Goat 14 -
34 Wolf 4 - 14 Bedded Stag 4 -
35 Turkey 20 - 15 Wolverine 16 -
36 Standing Deer & Apple 16 - 16 Leopard 14 -
37 Standing Bear 10 - 17 Baboon 10 -
38 Turkey 16 - 18 Jackalope (Hare) 4 -
39 Fox - - 19 Bedded Goat 16 -
40 Prong Horn 16 - 20 Mini Pig 10 -
01 Javelina 10 - 21 Walking Bear 14 -
02 Standing Bear 4 - 22 Wolf 16 -
03 Frog 16 - 23 Pheasant 10 -
04 Antelope 4 - 24 Bear 16 -
05 Mini Bear 20 - 25 Standing Bear 16 -
06 Standing Deer - - 26 Wolverine 16 -
07 Cougar 14 - 27 Leopard 16 -
08 Skunk 20 - 28 Bobcat 16 -
09 Standing Deer 10 - 29 Javelina 4 -
10 Coyote 10 - 30 Standing Deer 14 -

232 -
246 -

Total 478 -

Sunday 1th July


Me John

Me John
33 Standing Buck 16 - 13 Goat 16 -
34 Wolf 20 - 14 Bedded Stag 20 -
35 Turkey 24 - 15 Wolverine 10 -
36 Standing Deer & Apple 16 - 16 Leopard 16 -
37 Skunk 20 - 17 Baboon 10 -
38 Turkey 16 - 18 Jacklope (Hare) 16 -
39 Fox 16 - 19 Bedded Goat 16 -
40 Prong Horn 16 - 20 Mini Pig 4 -
01 Javelina 16 - 21 Walking Bear 16 -
02 Standing Bear 10 - 22 Wolf 10 -
03 Frog 24 - 23 Pheasant 16 -
04 Climbing Bear 10 - 24 Walking Bear 20 -
05 Mini Bear 16 - 25 Standing Bear - -
06 Standing Bear 4 - 26 Wolverine 16 -
07 Cougar 16 - 27 Leopard 8 -
08 Skunk 16 - 28 Bobcat 24 -
09 Standing Deer 20 - 29 Javelina 10 -
10 Coyote - - 30 Standing Deer 16 -
11 Walking Bear 16 - 31 Frog 16 -
12 Turkey 10 - 32 Standing Deer 10 -

302 -
270 -

Total 572 -


Just another Jones said...

Sadly, this might be the last Avalon shoot for a while or even eer after Vandals torched the sites storage and huts
Was a great weekend, thanks for company

The Old Toxophilist said...

SO what we all need to do is have a whip-round at the Nationals this year and get Avalon up and running again. A couple of pounds from everyone would do it.

samwisemoss said...

hahaha some very flattering photos there Andrew! See you at our shoot in September? :)