Archery…

more than men in tights…

OK…so doing reps isn’t enough

So..Saturday saw me and a chum heading down to Quicks for the afternoon. My objective was to resist temptation and to shoot, his was to give in to temptation and to shoot. To those ends we were both successful.

To a degree.

I hung about for a bit as he started piling stuff on the counter he wanted bolted to his bow, then went to shoot some. The first few arrows were kinda all over the place, apparently spending so long together in a tube had made them want a bit of time apart. Over a few ends they started coming together again and my last end consisted of one arrow that was so averse to the gold it missed the boss entirely and buried itself in the wood frame.

Despite being able to pull off six dozen reps the other evening, the most I could do without horrible shakes was three, I guess holding at full draw takes it out of me more than I expected, either than that or I’m using the wrong muscles to hold there. Or both of course.

When I’d given up, not wanting to destroy the few arrows I have, I borrowed a bow scale from the shop – I’d left mine at home, along with all my other tinkering stuff, to weight my holding weight….39 and a bit pounds…no wonder it hurt….

On the subject of restraint, I bought myself some nocking points (for the new strings) and a spare arrow rest…..see…I was a good boy!

That wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped…

A bloody hot evening tonight, it was 106F when I left the flat. I arrived at the field with the intention of shooting a few ends at 80yds, then a few at 60yds – OK, I admit it, I was going to finish the Hereford I started on Sunday. Things conspired against me :(

As we were collecting after the second end someone we didn’t recognise arrived at the field. I went over and said hi, he asked if it was too late to join the club night. It transpired he was one of the new members from the last n00b course. So I kitted him out with a bow, stand, arrows, bracer etc etc and escorted him back to the line where I double checked with the Treasurer that he’d paid up etc. We had two there tonight from that course. Next came the handing out of shooting guidelines and signing a copy to our records. We seem to have converted a fair number of n00bs into members this year, we just have to see how many of these we still have in 2yrs time.

Anyway…back to shooting at last.

I shot 1 1/2 dozen at 80yds, missing once, wide left, putting two into the white at 9 o’clock. I noted that it was in all cases arrow 1, so this was removed from service…then I moved to 60 yds and did exactly the same, wide left, one every end.

So boys and girls, it’s not the arrow, it’s me that’s crap. Probably not helped by the facts laid out in a previous post. I grabbed the toolbox from the car as I have some 5/16 washers in there..but the damned things compressed as I tightened the button.

There’s nothing for it…I must buy the nut..what else should I buy ‘to make it worth it’? Suggestions? The only place I know that stocks them is Alternative and as I kinda need it in a hurry I should go there.

The last time I put one wide it took 30 minutes to find, so that was it for the evening.

I could have and should have moved over to the 20yd noob bosses and thrown some at them, if only to improve my somewhat morose mood.

Still, tomorrow is another day….and even shooting badly is better than not shooting.

And I thought it was going badly…

Today I shot a Windsor round, the last one I intend to shoot this year. I woke up late, after maybe 3 hours of sleep. I thought I was running late, jumped in the bath, got dressed, filled my cooler and left.

The sky cleared as I headed the 10ish miles to Yateley from home, but clouded over again. By the time we started it was overcast, chilly and there was a strong left-right wind across the field.

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I wasn’t shooting well. At 60yds I had as many 5’s as 9’s and a handfull of 3’s to boot, we’ll pretend the 1 never happened..ok? I had things on my mind, not least the thought I had offended a good friend. By the time the distance finished I was really quite despondent over the way I was shooting. At the distance change we had a 45 minute break for lunch – a pastie, two cups of tea and a mars bar, since you ask ;). Over the lunch period the skies cleared a little and the temperature rose slowly.

My shooting at 50yds was kinda mixed, plenty of 9’s & 7’s but also too many 5’s & 3’s * . The skies cleared and I found it easier to enjoy the shooting. Maybe it was because I realised that I wasn’t going to break any records, personal or otherwise, I just enjoyed being there, stood in a field, the sun in the sky, doing something I love.

At the next distance change we had a 15 minute break, my parents had shown up to watch, I bought a cup of tea and chatted for a while until we had to recommence.

Now came the 40yd ends. Because my parents had sat the other end of the line from me, I had to scurry back to take my place on the line for the first detail. Maybe I should scurry more often, that end brought me a score of 52, my best of the day and probably my best in competition, certainly this year.

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I stormed the 40yds. I have no remaining records prior to this year with the exception of totals listed at my club or in competition records so cannot say this for absolute certain, but the score for this distance is the best I can recall. I scored 296 for the distance, dropping 28 points.

I didn’t keep a running total during the day, I have found in the past (last week included) and found that knowing how I am doing doesn’t help me in the slightest.

I was given my scoresheet to sign at the end, the total over the distances were 222, 250 & 296 = 768. This represents an increase of 94 points over last week and 162 over my first full round of four weeks ago. it is also only a few points short of my PB for this round, set four years ago.

While it is a long way from the 940 shot today (a new Berkshire record) by one of my clubmates, it represents a big step forward.

Today is a good day to be me.

* In preparation for my shot I nock my arrow, take up tension in the string and then look down at the ground along the line from me to (attempt to) clear my mind of the last shot. During the mid distance (50yds) there was a compound archer on the next target across who found it impossible to hitch up his trousers properly. Every time I tried to set my mind/shot I got to stare at 2″ of hairy arse crack. This is my excuse and I will stick by it.