Field shoot and barbecue 

Another private field shoot. Some new faces for this site and a lot of good company. This is what it’s about: being out in the fresh air, in amongst the trees, good company, no pressure, and lots of tricky targets to have fun with.

I shot the course worse than ever before. At the end, while waiting for the barbecue, I found a target and just shot at it. And kept shooting on my own. Somehow, I suddenly got my eye in. It just happened. Partly it was because I suddenly noticed how bad my string picture was. It sounds crazy, but I’d forgotten all about it and so had developed bad habits. Suddenly everything did what I wanted and when a group of us went for the swinging roundel, my first shot looked like this.

I’m still really enjoying field shooting and am looking forward to it all starting up again across the county in October for the winter season. That said, I’m also looking forward to shooting endless ends at 20 yards indoors because I feel the consistency and more rapid frequency of it will help me work on technique.

Managed not to lose any arrows. That’s always a bonus. But I later discovered one had a hairline fracture down it, so I snapped it to take it out of circulation. First time I’ve done that. Felt like ripping a fiver in half. 

I have plans to buy new arrows before the countywide shoot coming up. I have 5 that are the same, and 3 that are the same but not as straight as they could be. Definitely time for some new ones.

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July field shoot

Having not properly shot in a while, I was apprehensive about this field shoot. However, I knew, at the same time, it would be good fun. There was just six of us and we set out about ten targets and enjoyed the morning, shooting in the sunshine.

I lost two arrows on the first end, but found them later. After that I got back in the swing of it and shot much better. Although, I did lose one arrow completely in a bog. While I was looking for it, the others were shooting a target spinning from a rope. It was a block with one side – the scoring side – painted white. Unfortunately, they were filming and when I joined them and I managed to shoot just about the worst I ever have. Forever my wildly shot arrows ricocheting off tree trunks will be preserved for posterity. 

One particularly amusing home made target… 

The experience reignited my enjoyment of archery. Can’t wait for the next one, which should also include a barbecue! 

Field shoot

Went to a private field shoot this morning. Just 18 targets and finished by lunch. Weather had been wet but dried up nicely as we started, although remained boggy underfoot.

Here was one of the shots, between tree branches… 

Which resulted in this kind of thing…

A lot of the targets were fun to shoot. 

On this one, whatever was scored on the picture of the fox was doubled by hitting the dangling roundel with a fourth arrow. 

It was a fun morning out, but I was also pleased with my progress. I scored more highly than last time I did this shoot, missed an awful lot less, didn’t lose any arrows, and, wonderfully, didn’t smash any. More than anything recently, this has shown me that I am making progress, and having that confirmation is very encouraging.

I was also advised that the brace length of my newish bow had decreased, so by winding the string a few times this was fixed and, in theory, will make it easier to shoot. Presumably this narrowing of the distance between the bow and the string has been happening for some time, hopefully it’s one less thing going wrong from now on. Another lesson learned.

I also had an archer talk me through his method of making arrows. I can’t remember it all, but it didn’t seem too difficult. I’m definitely going to give this a go at some point.

Field Shoot

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.