On Sunday I attended my first ever NFAS field shoot. It was in Seedfield near Manchester so Richard and I got up pretty early Sunday morning and made breakfast for ourselves and John (Richard’s father) and Cliff (Richard’s older brother). After breakfast we set off around 7am, and got there just before 9am.
There were at least 80 archers competing on the day, everyone seemed very friendly so I didn’t really feel out of place and in fact I had a lot of fun chatting to some of the other archers. I took a load of pictures from the event which I’ve posted up on my flickr account.
It was my first ever field shoot so I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect, but basically there were twenty targets scattered around this pretty large wood. The archers are divided into twenty groups of four. Each group begins on a different target. As all the members of the group finish shooting you move to the next target and so on. We go around the entire course twice. To put it into perspective, it took just under three hours to go around the circuit once.
You have to shoot at each target from one of three pegs that are placed at different distances. The red peg is the furthest and the blue peg the closet to the target. The idea being that you shoot once from the red peg, if you score then you don’t shoot again. If you miss however you then have to move to the white peg, if you miss there you move to the blue peg. So you shoot a maximum of three arrows at each target. You can score a wound, a kill or an inner kill, with points awarded based on which beg you scored from for example an inner kill from the red peg on your first arrow is worth 24 points.
What makes field shoot’s far more interesting is that you don’t neccessarily have a clear line of sight to the target as this picture shows (click to enlarge):
I often found myself having to shoot between trees, and since the targets can be at different elevations and varying distances it made the whole experience far more challenging. Up until this shoot I had only ever shot indoors at a fixed elevation which was roughly head height. I had no idea how I would get on in a forest.
Here’s a pic of the four of us:
And here’s one of me …
By the end of the day I was exhausted, everyone was! But I was over the moon … I managed to score 424 on my first ever shoot which apparently is an incredible score, considering I actually out scored a number of seasoned archers and I’ve only been doing this for five weeks! I had a good teacher tho 😉
I’m really looking forward to the next field shoot which is on December 16th!