October 22, 2007

Shooting stuff

I’ve signed up for a 6 week beginners course in field archery. The Grauniad ran a piece on it in a recent supplement so I thought I’d have a go.

Field archery differs from target archery in that you walk a course of targets rather than shooting at a big target in an open field. Instead you are shooting through woodland at varying ranges, target sizes and conditions – light, trees in the way etc etc.

So far it’s been very enjoyable. The club, March Hare Archers based at Throckmorton, is very well run and the instructor is great. So far I’ve missed the target once in two weeks (not shooting from the greatest range it has to be said…) and seem to be getting the hang of keeping arrows within a close group when shooting.

I’ve been shooting a 24lb bow and next week move up to a 28lb so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

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  1. Steve Rumsby

    It does get harder for a little while when you move to a stronger bow. You’ll be less consistent because you can’t hold the bow as steady at full draw. Obviously that will get better as your muscles get used to it. It will also get better as your technique improves. On the flip side, because the arrows are travelling faster, you’ll be more accurate eventually. 4lb doesn’t sound a big difference, but you’ll notice it.

    I assume you are shooting a recurve box? I have this picture in my head of field archers using compound bows rather than recurves. Am I just mistaken?

    22 Oct 2007, 15:19

  2. It’s a recurve bow. Some use a compound bow, others longbows, korean bows and so on.

    I have mixed opinions on compound bows – the hi-tech element is all well and good I think I would prefer less tech assistance in my shooting. I think I lean towards the recurve and traditional bows.

    Cycling, Archery – are there any interests we don’t have in common…

    22 Oct 2007, 15:32

  3. Steve Rumsby

    There’s only one proper type of bow. A longbow with a 100+lb draw weight. And wooden arrows, of course – none of this carbon fibre rubbish. Actually, I can’t imagine drawing a 100lb bow. Lots of skeletons dating from the middle ages have been found to have deformed backs. Guess why?

    A compound bow feels like cheating to me, too. I’ve used one for about 20 minutes or so, and it is so much easier. I’ll stick with my recurve. In fact, I haven’t shot for several years, now. I had to give up when No. 2 kid came along – I just didn’t have the time. I daren’t think how bad I’d be if I tried it now. My muscles have most definitely forgotten how to draw a 36lb bow:-) At least I do remember the proper technique – keep all the tension in the back and not the arms. Easier said than done, though…

    22 Oct 2007, 15:39

  4. hmm – not sure the mongolians, koreans, Japanese and so on would agree with that very English statement, though of course you are right! Looking at how a compound works it does seem a little – cheaty?

    22 Oct 2007, 15:51

  5. Steve Rumsby

    Robin Hood was English. What more needs to be said… :-)

    Enjoy your shooting. I’m jealous…

    22 Oct 2007, 15:56

  6. Casey

    Is this one step towards going out on a country shoot? I swear within 5 years you will be a squire!

    23 Oct 2007, 13:28

  7. I have to admit that the notion of hunting with a bow has crossed my mind.

    The woods round our way are full of pheasant and deer at the moment. It’s nice to see them wandering around and then go home and eat one. Yumm.

    There is a form of field archery where you shoot at large 3D models of animals – deer, game birds and bears. You get points for where you hit the animal – kill shot, injury or miss!

    The shooting with a gun thing is starting to appeal too. Not sure i’m Squire material though. Still reading the Grauniad don’t you know…

    24 Oct 2007, 15:28

  8. Steve Rumsby

    Have you seen what those animal targets cost? They’re staggeringly expensive. I was tempted to get one for the garden until I saw the prices…

    And just wait until you decide to buy your own bow:-)

    24 Oct 2007, 16:46

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