30th June 2018
By Benjamin Thompson
The 30th of June was a sunny Saturday unlike any other and for some of us here at Heugh Bowmen, it was undeniably the perfect day for a traditional field shoot. With an early morning start for the majority of archers attending and almost an hour drive on the cards, the day was setting itself up to be quite the adventure! Providing we find the place first… Undeniably there were a lot of members who struggled to find the farm where the event would take place. One particular group, without naming names, attempted to ring Club Secretary Karen for directions without realising she was competing, alongside another three of our own, as part of the DNAA County team at Lilleshall that day (Sorry again for the phone call, Karen!)
Once we had all arrived safely, albeit late, the delicious breakfast buns awaiting us was a perfect reception courtesy of our wonderful hosts, Stonebow Field Archers, who could not have been more welcoming. Once all the safety procedures and registration had been completed, the participating members of Heugh Bowman, as well as some accompanying members from Norton Archers, separated into groups of four and were let loose upon the forest, with guidance from the amazing Stonebow team of course! The turn out for the event was fantastic with almost all bow-styles, ages and genders being represented adequately.
As this was the first time at a field shoot for a lot of our archers, most of us did not know what to expect other than trees, 3D animal targets and more trees. Luckily the gorgeous weather held up all day and, a few empty bottles of sun cream later, we were all well-adjusted to the shooting style and scoring method used in field archery. Now, as you will all know by now, the day did result in several casualties, namely several lost and/or broken arrows that are yet to be retrieved from the woodland. If only we had taken the warnings about losing arrows more seriously in the weeks prior to the field shoot… If anything, it’s an excuse to spend some of your hard-earned pennies on those shiny new arrows you’ve had your eyes on for a while, and maybe a field quiver while you’re at it…
In total, each group aimed to shoot at twenty-five different targets with the total scores being compared at the end of the day. With the option to shoot from a ‘wasp’ peg on a couple of targets giving us the opportunity to double our score on that particular target, the competitive nature of the sport began to show. Taking some time out for lunch, and several desperate attempts to find those missing arrows mentioned earlier, the majority of archers ended the day feeling exhausted yet fulfilled. A lucky few of us were able to return to some of our favourite targets, let’s be honest the 6ft bear was on everyone’s highlight reel, and this was a great opportunity to experience the freedom that field archery offers.
Before it was time to return home with our archery bags a few pounds lighter, the winners of the day where announced and awarded with medals. The winning members of our club were as follows:
1st Place Female Bare Bow (Under 13s) – Naomi
1st Place Male Freestyle (Under 16s) – Justin
1st Place Senior Female Bare Bow – Helen
2nd Place Senior Female Bare Bow – Lisa
1st Place Senior Female Freestyle – June
Joint 2nd Place Senior Male Bare Bow – Kev B. & Jay
3rd Place Senior Male Bare Bow – Ben
1st Place Senior Male Compound – Bryan
Of course, special mention goes to Greg who walked away with the ‘Biggest Loser’ award for the most lost (not recovered) arrows!
Finally, on behalf of all of us here at Heugh Bowman I would like to thank Alison and the other members of Stonebow Field Archers who assisted on the day. If it was not for their fantastic help and guidance, a lot of us would not have had a clue on what to do at the Field Shoot. It goes without saying that we would all have been considerably less fed without these fine fellows too! I am positive we will be returning to Stonebow in the future, eager to try out hand at field archery once more.