I had a great day shooting at Welsh Newton yesterday for my first EWBS shoot. Now I just need time for the aches, the pains and the stiffness, all caused by five hours of shooting what for me at least are heavy bows to subside.
The weather was perfect and unexpected for mid November as we observed a Remembrance Sunday silence before a three arrow volley at the first mark, a flag at the bottom of the sloping field.
Roving marks are something new to me and the challenge of the undulating ground and marks that invariably had a big tree or even a row of trees between you and them was a challenge to say the least. There was even one occasion when it was necessary to crouch down to get a view of a mark through a gap in the hedge before standing again to shoot uphill and almost blind over larger trees, aiming mostly from memory.
As my next arrow disappeared behind a large oak into a field that dropped away steeply beyond the second mark, I was glad that I had a good selection of arrows and selected a heavier one for my second shot, (two or three arrows only are shot at these marks, so there is little chance of correction)
The marks, I would think, were between 100 and 200 yards distance, with most I guess around 150 yards. Luckily I was feeling on top of my bamboo backed JB8 for this and managed to overshoot as many marks as I fell short on. Some times overshooting was to prove a good thing as on a couple of occasions the marks had been set close to a pond that could not be seen until close up to it.
The highlight of the day for me was a maximum score at a Welsh flag on a hill at around 120 yards. If you look carefully at the photo you can see familiar brown feathers in the foreground and also if you enlarge it another set by the dog’s front leg, this arrow was only 12 inches from the flag.
On the edge of some woodland we had several 3D targets set out including a pig, a pheasant, a fox, a wild boar and even a bear. Misses, and here there were many, meant that arrows embedded themselves in trees or disappeared into the brush and fallen leaves, not good with brown fletchings but I managed to come home with a full arrow sack.
The day finished with a chance to shoot the arrows, (2 standards, 2 livery, and 2 quarter pounders) that I had made this week, down the flight corridor. For this I used JB9 (bamboo not being allowed for historic arrows) and tired muscles objected to the heavier bow but I managed around 160 yards for standard, 140 yards for livery, and the quarter pounders just managed to clear the horse jumps we were shooting over in front of the shooting line to make about 100 yards.
By now the light was fading fast and with just about enough strength left to retrieve my arrows, I said goodbye to new friends, thanked my hosts Brian and Alistair and headed for home. More photographs can be found here:
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