Monday, 29 August 2011

Excalibur Shoot Report 27th-28th August 2011

ExcaliburHaving never shot at Excalibur previously I was looking forward to a good weekends shooting, especially since shooting with Mark and Scott at Fleet and the description of the targets Mark builds, and so after a long drive we finally arrived in Clacton. Excalibur have a small section of woodland but they use it well fitting 20 custom targets into the small area and generally making it one of the most fun shoots on the calendar.

Mark from Excalibur tends to custom build / modify the targets to the highest quality and as I said we were looking forward to an entertaining weekends shooting even though the weather had been atrocious and the weekend promised rain but after Avalon what's a bit of rain.

So having arrived and eaten the traditional bacon roll it was off the the starting target, 6, and meet our fellow archers and today we would be shooting with Steve, Steve - I never hit 24, Shaun and Stuart. Because of the size of the Excalibur woods we would be shooting 2 x 20 targets and the way they make this more interesting is to lay out 2 sets of pegs and you shoot one the first time around and the other the second. To speed up the process we split the group into 2 and 3 shot from the left and 3 from the right allowing double shooting which was to prove interesting on Sunday.

PenguinsSo with the start signal sounded we were off to shoot the first target of the day a Raccoon and with a 16 it was a good start and we were off. With most of the targets being walk backs they are quite close together and so it was only a short walk to the following Red Fox and then on to a single arrow at, one of, a pair of Penguins.

The penguins were followed by a very hard, not difficult, Monitor Lizard that just didn't want to release the arrows and we spent some time trying to extract them. Having finally removed the arrows it was a short walk before a long Bedded Deer and a number of Barnes Wallis shots from my fellow archers before a quick trip back to the tea tent and our first break of the day.

I decided to have a slice of Theresa's bread pudding and considering the amount of alcohol it contained would be a mistake. So having had a quick cuppa it was of to the multi target consisting of a Zebra, Giraffe and Wildebeest with a single arrow at each and my first blank of the day (an expensive blank missing out on a potential 72 points). But as I have already alluded I believe that it was the bread puddings fault or that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

So having retrieved my arrows it was off to the next target a Standing Deer through a narrow gap in the trees and then onto a Skunk and 24 not bad given the size of the target and its distance.

This was probably my best shot of the day with an arrow in the middle of the pro ring and so it was off to a long Standing Wolf before a Turkey shot and an Alligator or was it a Croc. Walking around the back of the alligator it was off to a very interesting shot at an Owl in the undergrowth. This was to prove a very costly shot on Sunday with a number of misses,  ricochets and the inevitable shattered arrows.

Prong HornOn Saturday the only reason we could see the target was a shaft of sunlight was falling on its white head. On Sunday we did not even have that luxury especially because it had been turned so its back was facing the pegs. A nice shot at a Walking Bear followed before a longer shot at a Panda and then it was out into the field for another long shot at a Rhino before it was back to the tea tent.

Following a quick Pork and Apple burger it was off to target 1 and a Kestrel on a spiders web before a Flamingo followed by a small Turkey and a Sitting Wolf. Our final shot, of the 20 targets, was a Prong Horn and a 24 for John.

Having shot the 20 targets from the left peg first time around it was time to switch to the right pegs and find out how different the the shots were. The course layers certainly did an excellent job setting the two sets of pegs because the the shots they provided were completely different and provided the experience of the 40 target shoot.

So having shot the 20 targets again it was off to the Colchester Feering Travelodge not the best experience but at least it cut down on the drive for Sunday.

So getting up bright and early Sunday it was off back to Excalibur for a Bacon and Sausage roll before the second day of 2 x 20 targets. Today we would be shooting with the Steve, Steve, Shaun and Stuart again so no introductions were necessary and the entertaining banter started immediately. Overnight the Excalibur guys had been out swapping targets and placing Marks Pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance the Peacock. Having chatted with Scott this was 3 weeks work and given the amount of detail seemed a shame to shoot but shoot it we did.

The course was essentially the same but the targets had all moved and some had become much tighter to the trees and the net result of this was 5 smashed arrows and this was a first given what my bamboo arrows have survived previously. Some of them were so badly damaged that the pieces were even to small for Fred.

Having had a brief chat with Harry Boyce at a target and then a tea break suggesting that I take my photos after I have shot, not a problem to me half of them are already, because some people may accuse me of cheating suggesting it had a range finder of I was identifying the kill. What a sad state of affairs it is that:

  1. People would even consider cheating what's the point of winning if you cheat.
  2. That it would help me a longbow archer knowing the distance (I shoot instinctive and knowing the distance would probably have a negative effect) and where the kill is.
If I want to know where the kill is on a target I let the Compound archers shoot first it gives me something to aim at.

Although I totally understand where Harry was coming from I just think it sad that it is even something we need to think about.

Anyway enough of my ranting this was an excellent two days at Excalibur and I will be putting it on my regular "Must Shoot" list to see what Mark has cooked up for the next shoot.

Skunks Bum
I made a comment before shooting this "Who would be the first to shoot through the web into the spider" and as Harry pointed out later that's exactly what I did.

Saturday 27th August


Me John

Me John
06 Raccoon 16 - 06 Raccoon 10 16
07 Red Fox 10 10 07 Red Fox 4 4
08 Penguins 20 24 08 Penguins 16 16
09 Monitor Lizard 10 - 09 Monitor Lizard 20 16
10 Bedded Deer 16 16 10 Bedded Deer 16 -
11 Zebra / Giraffe / Wildebeest - - 11 Zebra / Giraffe / Wildebeest 36 16
12 Standing Deer 16 - 12 Standing Deer 16 14
13 Skunk 24 16 13 Skunk 16 -
14 Wolf 16 10 14 Wolf 20 4
15 Turkey 4 16 15 Turkey 16 8
16 Alligator 10 - 16 Alligator 20 10
17 Owl 10 8 17 Owl 16 16
18 Walking Bear 16 10 18 Walking Bear 16 16
19 Panda 16 16 19 Panda 16 16
20 Rhino 10 16 20 Rhino 4 10
01 Kestrel 10 - 01 Kestrel 16 16
02 Flamingo 10 - 02 Flamingo - 16
03 Turkey - 10 03 Turkey 16 -
04 Sitting Wolf 20 20 04 Sitting Wolf 16 16
05 Prong Horn 16 24 05 Prong Horn 10 -

250 196
300 210

Total 550 406

Sunday 28th August


Me John

Me John
06 Bobcat 10 10 06 Bobcat 16 24
07 Baboon 16 10 07 Baboon 10 10
08 Woodpeckers - - 08 Woodpeckers 16 -
09 Javelina 16 10 09 Javelina 24 16
10 Rhino 10 10 10 Rhino 16 -
11 Zebra / Giraffe / Wildebeest 40 16 11 Zebra / Giraffe / Wildebeest 32 16
12 Wolf 10 10 12 Wolf 16 8
13 Skunk - - 13 Skunk 16 -
14 Hyena 16 16 14 Hyena 10 -
15 Turkey 16 16 15 Turkey 16 4
16 Alligator 4 10 16 Alligator 4 4
17 Owl 4 8 17 Owl - 10
18 Walking Bear 16 4 18 Walking Bear 10 4
19 Tiger 24 10 19 Tiger 10 -
20 Peacock 16 16 20 Peacock 16 16
01 Spider 10 4 01 Spider - -
02 Flamingo 16 16 02 Flamingo 14 16
03 Carp 16 10 03 Carp 20 -
04 Wild Boar 16 20 04 Wild Boar 20 4
05 Wild Boar 16 - 05 Wild Boar 16 20

272 196
282 152

Total 554 348

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