Had a great shoot yesterday.
My bows, glove bracer and tab were still in someone else's van from the Tudor shoot so I took out the 40# 'bark on' Hazel flat bow, and borrowed a tab. I was slow starting but got going after a while and didn't actually blank any targets.
The format was 10 x 3D targets which we went round three times. This worked out great on a hot day as it gave two brief snack and drink stops. It was quick to pack away the targets too.
Thanks to all those who set out the course and organised it.
Going round three times also gave a chance to improve on some of the tricky shots.
The course was cleverly set out with some shots that should have been easy but were deceptive, a badger partially hidden in a dip and a simple fox with a lot of foliage and Shadow making the range deceptive.
It was mostly in the woods with one walk across the sunny field for a shot at a Rhino (painted face on bales), once in the open the wind was fairly strong and into us/across which made it quite a long shot. Getting back into the cool woods was very welcomed.
I managed a respectable 393 (came 4th). Oddly I felt getting back to my full 28" draw seemed hard, maybe I was still a tad stiff from shooting the heavier bows on the Downs? It probably didn't help that I'd done a dozen or so pull ups at the Weald and Downland Museum, just 'cos one of the fit young guys had done it. (Will I never learn?).
I was shooting with a great bunch of guys and afterwards we stopped of for a pint on the way to collect my bows and stuff.
It was good to finally get all the bows, tools and equipment back with their rightful owners. I was amazed that we hadn't lost or broken more kit.
The final equipment tally was, two lost arrows, one broken. A lost piece of waterbuffalo horn and my white baseball cap.
But I'd gained a red flag which had been our clout target, a handy souvenir.
At the Tudor shoot I'd take my little 35# Hazel bark on bow in case any ladies wanted to shoot. The lightest longbow was 50# which was plenty enough for the blokes who weren't used to archery.
Now it could cause some argument and discussion as to whether it is authentic and in period... a thorny question, as it would be tempting and simplistic to say it isn't in period. Of course we can't prove it.
Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.
Bowyers had obviously made such bows in Neolithic and iron age times, were they still in use for hunting or as bows made by woodsmen, or a child's or ladies' bows? We can't say for certain.
Strangely that bow performed surprisingly well being better matched to the physique of the archer, it was also shooting much heavier arrows than usual (3/8" 32" 150 grain points and 5" flights).
Mind the poor thing was being overdrawn to about 31" without protest!
I suppose the reason is that 35#at 28" overdrawn to 31" ends up being very similar to 50# at 28" being underdrawn to 27". I'll have to play with the figures later.
After the shoot some of the other girls had a go and with a few pointers took to it with aplomb. A bunch of archers encouraging the girls to try their bows? Who'd have thought it!
I'd been in two minds as to whether I should take that bow, but was glad I did as it was a bit of a star.