Got to try my new 40lb hybrid longbow out today at a field shoot. It was the inaugural shoot of a new private enterprise and great fun, around 18 of us trying out a new course in a new place. The course will change each time and hopefully it will grow and develop and acquire all the creature comforts one might want, not least hot tea and coffee dispensers for the lunch break.
Here was quite a tricky shot, not because of the big horizontal branch but because of the thin one across the centre of the target. I hit that en route to the target and my arrow ricocheted off and into a tree.
Here’s another shot…
Didn’t too well there…
I started the day with 12 arrows and ended it with 8. I’m told that’s not unnormal for a beginner doing field archery, and I am still only 9 days after finishing the beginners’ course. I forget this sometimes! Was reminded today when my coach scored over 800 to my score of 270, despite several people saying that was good considering my lack of experience. Also, I didn’t come last in the adult male category, amazingly! (And I forgot to score two ends, although there’s a chance that’s because I was looking for arrows and they’d have been blanks anyway.) Anyway, I lost a couple and broke a couple more.
Of course, the important thing is to have fun, and it certainly was. There were some tricky shots and it’s surprisingly fun just trying to hit a thing strapped to a tree 40 or 50 yards away.
For me, I found that the shoulder burn of last night’s club session was gone and pulling the 40lb was easy and my release is a lot better using it. I almost wish I’d gone heavier, but remembering that everything advises that a lighter weight is better for developing form, I’ve probably got the right thing. The bow shoots well, and sometimes I get some great shots. Unfortunately, I’m inconsistent. As with the last field shoot, I was worse in the afternoon. I’m not used to these day-long events out in open air! I was definitely tiring after lunch and probably my draw was weaker.
But the main problem is now anchoring and aiming. I can aim, but I think I mess it up by altering my anchor, but I also don’t feel my anchor works all the time. Or maybe they both work but I’m not holding my head the same way each time. I feel like only a lot of target shooting on the range can solve this, because I need to just keep shooting the same distance until I work out what the effect of each alteration I make is, such as where my anchor is, how I attach my anchor to my face, how I look down the arrow, and so on.
What did I learn today? In truth, what I learnt was that I love my bow and it’s right for me, even if I can’t shoot it perfectly yet.
Also, I got a stick. Inordinately pleased with this. Hopefully the next time you see it, it’ll be a bow rest and I’ll have saved £50.
Also, the other bow rest I found on eBay arrived. I might do this up and make it a bit smarter. Very pleased with it though. Ideal for balancing my bow on when it’s got to sit behind the line on the range repeatedly.
Closed for travel…
Open for use…
And one piece of advice was shared with me today: bracers are for strapping back loose clothing, not to stop the string twanging your arm. Possibly said tongue in cheek.