Thanks to the football tournament, we couldn’t shoot at Seaton yesterday, so off we went on a trip to Thirsk. For most of us, it was our first ever attempt at field archery, and the members of Stonebow Archery thankfully took that into account as our arrows flew wildly 🙂
We were welcomed with bacon butties (or veggie equivalent!) by Alison and her team of helpers, divided up into teams, and sent on our way. Although field archery comes with it’s own set of rules, all carefully explained by the experts, most of us ignored the “one arrow” rule and continued to empty our quivers at each target. Most of us also ignored the different coloured pegs and tried everything from the red (or the wasp!) – regardless of advice from the experienced field archers on hand!
Injured Ian did a marvelous job of shooting everyone and handing out afternoon snacks, while Morris was on hand to lend his morale support (and sympathy) as we blundered our way through the woods. It’s a good job we weren’t relying on stealth to catch our supper…
Last year’s beginners set off as a group, and soon proved their head for heights with the flying owl. Graham helpfully worked the hoist while Ethan took careful aim from the platform, before Denis and Catherine each took a turn.
Colin confidently led his team off into the woods, carrying his longbow, while
Patrick chose to go barebow for the day. Pam and Kev, however, opted to keep the full Olympic-style recurve. One of them obviously had the right idea, because they scored a kill on the owl!
Patrick looked calm and confident while taking aim at a distant pig, while Pam put the coach’s tips into practice, Kev pulled faces and Colin did… a happy dance???
My team headed off to shoot some fields (they’re big, so you can’t miss!), and despite the usual comments about my hat, I was glad of it when we got to the windy end of the course! Bill brought his flatbow, and seemed to be trying to kiss the string without drawing it, while Ethan showed us all up with his new longbow. Joe was proof that if you take the expert’s advice you do much better, as he hit first time once he set his foot to the peg!
Lunchtime was a welcome break, with hot food and a bit of a rest! Veggie soup was lovely, as were the cakes. Can’t comment on the chilli, but since there wasn’t any of it left it must have been good!
After lunch we went off again, to finish off those wild animals. And a few trees.
Bill showed his group how it was done, while they all watched carefully. They must have been expecting a few lost arrows, as Morris carefully watched through binoculars. No need for it by the time they got to the Centurian, as Steven showed him who was boss! Brother in laws Wayne and Kevin kept their cool (and their sights!), but headed off early to go to work.
Last group consisted of the kids… While Jay seemed to take it seriously, Mark didn’t. Except when we was shooting, while Amy didn’t take it seriously. And I’m not sure we should have let Amy climb the ladder.
All in all, a very successful first field shoot for Heugh. We had a few casualties – Kev shredded three arrows, Steven decided his would go round trees better if they were bent, and Ethan took the ear off a fox – but nothing spoiled the day.
As for good shots – there was a few. I kneecapped the Centurian, while someone else shot him square in the forehead. Ethan’s longbow was deadly (especially if you were behind him), Joe thought a tree branch looked like a tempting target, and it looks like someone managed to shoot Bambi vertically in the head four times. Wow. And I’m sorry Mark, but shooting the deer in the eye, through the brain and out of the back of it’s skull doesn’t count as a kill shot, so you don’t get the points.
Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get the all important group photo at the end of the day, because the last group there were too busy having fun to notice how late it was getting, and folks had already begun to leave. As we left, we expressed our thanks to our hosts (as I’m sure everyone did!) and promised we’d see them again soon.
So, anyone up for another go in September/October???