Friday, 29 May 2009

3D Nationals 24th & 25th May 2009

3D NationalsFollowing on from last weeks rather wet shoot at Fleet Ibex I was anticipating a wet weekends shooting but in fact it turned out to be one of the warmest / sunniest weekend of the year, so far, which meant the waterproof never made it out of the car. Osmaston Park provided enough woodland to allow for the laying of 3 courses of which we were due to shoot two. I think the choice of courses was based on luck of the draw because we were shooting in a mixed discipline group. My son and me were picked to shoot the B Course on the Saturday and the C Course on the Sunday (the advantage of this was that the A Course had a 20 minute walk before they could start). Both Courses were of 40 3Ds spread over a 12 Mile trek through some rather interesting woodland.
This was always going to be an interesting weekend, for the same reason last weeks Fleet Ibex was, because I would be shooting a borrowed 40lb Longbow with my arrows matched to my 65lb longbow. So knowing this I was not expecting to have an astounding score I just hoped I would not be too badly embarrassed by my 10 year old son.

I had just downloaded the Nokia Sports Tracker for my phone and decided the 3D Nationals would be a good place to test it so if you are interested in the Google Earth files for the B and C Courses here they are:

Saturday 23rd May

The B Course was layed around one of the large ponds / small lakes within Osmaston Park and we we due to start on a longish grazing Deer.

B Course

Mary / John (Keith), /Me / John / Graham

Having met the rest of the group we awaited the shotgun blast and kicked off the day with the longish shot at the deer which I missed with the first but hit with my second arrow. So at least it was not going to such a bad day, although my first arrow vanished into the Rhododendrons which were to plague the B course. This arrow would not return until the end of Sunday which was surprising because I thought I had lost it for good (like Mary's). Having successfully started the day we were off through the Rhododendron roots to our next target, a bear, a slightly tricky shot through the trees and the bushes. Having successfully dispatched we moved onto a uphill boar, with one of those well place trees behind, by this time my son was definitely shooting better than I was (but that is nothing unusual). The bear that followed was a longish target that you did not want to miss because trying to find arrows in the Rhododendrons was a pain. Then our first tea stop of the day (my one real complaint of the day was that the prices for refreshment on the B Course were extortionate - outside caterers).

Following a cuppa we were off around the lake starting with another, long uphill, boar that taxed me and my bow. Followed by a downhill, with the lake as a back drop, bedded deer that was well hidden behind a tree stump. Having dispatched the deer it was off for another pig of a shot up the hill again, these were definitely taxing me and was finding it difficult to reach the long shots. At least the next large Elk was a downhill shot which was much better suited to my shooting. After this we returned to the lake to dispatch a Grey Goose on the edge of the lake. Fortunately this had a backstop, because there was nothing behind but water, but to shoot from the red peg you needed to be under 6' so with my head in the trees and my bow wrapped in the branches it was a fun shot. We move onto a down hill deer, by an old picturesque water wheel, and then another bedded deer. The going now changed from the slippy, damp, Rhododendron covered hills to low trees with damp undergrowth (well it had been raining earlier in the week). Back across the road we shot another deer, good job I like Venison, and then back up the hill for a leaning bear. I was getting used to these uphill shots now and things were looking up. Well that is what I thought until we came to the next target which was a long uphill large deer. We were now back into the thick of the woods and for change it was time to shoot a big cat, leopard, than Groundhog day. This was an interesting target because we were shooting side on and the kill was at the front. After due discussion it was decided that the target had obviously turned on its base and having taken our shoots put it back where it should be. Next was another pig of a shot and I thought I had the flukiest shot of the day:


Hitting it in the back after a ricochet but it was not to be and I had to score my second arrow. For a change the next target was a small crocodile well positioned in the middle of some puddles and again you did not want to miss this because the fate of your arrows was a very muddy forgone conclusion.


Having kept my arrows clean we moved back into the thick of the trees and another deer, this time with a backstop, and then onto another boar. With the boar dead it was time for the wolverine (I think) hidden in the bushes. This was duely followed by another deer and then a long long long standing bear (this was a nice shot).

Our final target before lunch, and a well deserved cup, was another uphill bear with the Rhododendrons as a back stop (by now I was beginning to hate Rhododendron).

Having polished off a burger and tea it was on to the first of the final round of targets and back around the lake again. We were off shooting crocodiles again. Another shoot we not much, apart from accuracy, to stop your arrows disappearing to the murky depths. The croc disposed of it was time to shoot a grey thing (not sure what it was badger maybe) followed by a waving bear, or was he boxing, which I completely missed requiring John to cut my arrows out of the tree. Turkey was on the menu next followed by a long uphill stag that tested me again and then another (Oh) deer.

We were back by the lake again with a standing doe, fortunately with a tree between it and the lake, followed by another Crocodile although this one was definitely out of water. The course layers must of decided that by now we had lost enough arrows and decided it was time for a backstop on our next bedded deer but for a change it was not required. Following this was a rather odd boar, that cost Mary a carbon arrow, with a stone filled bank behind. This caused a few interesting discussion with the marshals stood by because my son bounced his arrow out of the kill. It was finally ascertained, having read the rules, that because we had all witnessed it he could score the kill and that made him smile.

The boar was followed by a small white fox, with a very annoying base, which required 3 arrows to be shot only to find the first had scored. We were now well into the Rhododendrons again and the shooting though them caused a fair few ricochets and this was no exception for the boar that followed. The next was another groundhog, this time with a visible kill, hidden within the bushes. What was next may well have been an elk but looked like a cow and was as usual through the trees and note especially good for a longbow archer. All the fun of a parabolic trajectory those compound archers have it easy at times. But given that I am not to worried about scores it's all part of the fun, wooden arrows are cheap after all, and we swiftly moved onto our penultimate target another bear. This dispatched the we rounded up the day as we started with a deer in the bushes.

After a great day of shooting with a fun bunch of people it was off back to the car park to see if I could get the car out and back to my parents for the night. Considering I had lost one arrow and defletched a number of other all in all it was a good day. I had the evening to glue the fletchings back on.

Sunday 24th May

Given that Saturday was a glorious day Sunday was even better with blue skies and not a cloud to be seen. This was definitely going to be hot and require plenty of the factor 40 sun cream. As is usual on the second day the groups were changed and this was done by moving 3 people from the target behind forward. Today we would be shooting on the Hanson layed C Course in another part of the extensive Osmaston woodland which was to provide some different terrain that was a lot drier than Saturday.

So off we marched to our starting target John, me and our new shooting partners Liz, Lindsay and Tony and again awaited the sound of the shotgun to allow us to start our days shooting. With the crack of the gun we were off to what proved to be an even better day than Saturday. To kick off we were to shoot a rather relaxed looking big cat uphill and through the bracken (which is better than Rhododendrons) and the day was off, although not too well for me because I blanked the first target, moving on it was time to shoot a small sitting fox which I hit and broke my duck. Having dispatched the fox it was time to move onto something bigger in the form of a walking bear. A nice long open shot nothing to difficult but tricky all the same.

Next the Hanson guy had decided to place a small crocodile head on. Although this is a long target it was rather thin and somewhat more trick than you would anticipate. Never the less it received its just deserts and we were off for an uphill shot at a white wolf. Again the long uphill were cause me an issue but my son was loving it although he kept saying he hated the uphill they never seemed to cause him a problem. Next it was the turn of a goat to stand in the way of our arrows closely followed by another side on shot at a walking bear although the kills on these were often tricky to hit. Moving into some slightly more open woodland and the glorious sunshine our next target was a spotted deer at a slight angle. Trickier than it initially looked.

Moving back down the path the crocodile reappeared this time side on and hence more to miss. Having skewered a croc (they are nice to eat especially tails) it was another open shot across the bracken at a small stag. My son found out that even bracken can deflect a light arrow. Next it was the turkey shoot and Tony managed to hit the leg, a shot that he could probably not repeat, and then on to a rather tricky long Stag through some overgrown Rhododendrons. The shot from the cub peg was not much better.

C 30A sitting cat, I think, was closely followed by a very large resting elk / stag that was further away than it looked. Having disposed of the stag it was time for some more pork scratchings with another boar. Having shot the boar the next target just looked like a black blob hidden by the bushes. It was in fact a black owl that was well hidden in the shade / shadows made all the darker by the brilliant sunlight. Pork was on the menu again with the next two targets giving us an uphill boar and a downhill boar all surrounded by foliage.

Time now for a long boxing bear in open ground nice shot if you can hit it. With the bear sorted it was time for a tricky Ibex, well from the red it was tricky, through some overhanging trees and then on to a badger in a bush. Over the hill, not me but the next target, was a nice white mountain goat in a ditch again trickier than anticipated. A wolf in the bushes provided our next target and the bright sun causing a few issues with the shadows it cast.

An deer missing its antlers was our penultimate target before a well deserved burger and cup of tea. Now the only target between us and lunch was a small red fox. With the fox disposed of it timely fashion it was time for lunch (Hanson doing their own catering meant the price was reasonable).

Post lunch shoot started with a very long stag through some nice open trees. My only problem is the bow I was using could not reach the target from the red peg with the arrows I had. If the previous was a ,simple, long shot the next was a tricky short shot. Another deer but through the V of a tree (if you look at the picture it is there honest). Apparent if you managed to get the arrow through the V you would hit the kill. I can categorically say this is not true because their were plenty of other branches on the other side between you and the target.

With the deer out of the way it was time for another relaxing big cat hidden between the trees and a small fox somewhere through those Rhododendrons. Following the fox we moved onto a long standing bear, tied to a tree, that was again difficult to reach given the trees and the path of my arrows. At least the deer / goat next was shorter and hence within my reach although for my son some of the bracken was rather high. With the target dispatched it was time to move onto the wolverine, through the Rhododendrons again, another nice but tricky shot for someone who is slightly taller than average.

The next target produced my favorite photo of the weekend, giving a true indication of the glorious weather, and was of an uphill shot at a standing stag. From the red peg the shot was somewhat more tricky and one of the archers in the previous group shot wide, left, but hit the target after a few ricochets. One of the few time a Rhododendron was helpful.

C 9

Having taken on the stag it was time for a very short small black animal, badger maybe, hidden below a number of trees in a hollow. It was at this time I found out that Liz (compound) used a 60 yard site mark for such short distances me I just aimed straight at it. At least the next animal was recognisable it was a raccoon again in a small hollow. Having sorted the raccoon the next target was difficult to see at first and the pegs we definitely designed for some one of a smaller stature. It was another owl but this time you needed to shoot through a number of bushes and a lot of intertwined branches.

A bedded Ibex started our last four targets and require the archer to be able to shoot around the bushes and miss the tree in other words a fun shot. This was closely followed by an open uphill over a slight crest impala and downhill boar. unfortunately for me I blanked both of these bouncing my arrows of their back (such is life). Our final shot of the day and the weekend consisted of a nice standing cheetah. Although I did not kill it I still only used one arrow so that closed the day on a high.

Having finished shooting we grabbed the 3 D and returned it to the road and the returned to the assembly area where we awaited the raffle, auction and prize giving. As I expected I did not win anything but John managed to win a t-shirt in the raffle and more importantly the Silver for the U12 Longbow beating my score by a large amount. Another cub longbow medal for Westcott to go with the Compound Limited Bronze for Mark and Freestyle Bronze for Shel.


No comments: