Tips & Tech

Tales from the field.

 

Kit list.

 

Obviously take your primary kit, bow, arrows etc. Bring plenty of arrows out to the shoot as there is a possibility that you will lose a few in the early days. Then you need to think of a few other things both for yourself and kit setup.

 

Personal kit.

Good footwear and gaiters are essential for soft wet ground that you will encounter. Let’s talk about the cold weather and assume in this country that prepare the worst and hope for the best. Thermal layers for the cold days as there will be plenty of those. Then use layers of light clothing so as not to restrict your shooting style.

Gloves can be worn but need to be easy to remove when shooting. Some choose mitts so they can pop their fingers out to shoot easily. I carry a fuel hand warmer with me that last for 6-12 hours depending on the fill. Warm fingers give me plenty of feel on the tab hand when shooting as cold, wet hands don’t work well.

I use a breathable waterproof top layer that I keep on but others prefer to remove their coat and shoot even in the rain. Personal choice is yours and has to suit your technique.

Hats range from fleece to fully brimmed waterproof ones with some choosing a leather hat like Crocodile Dundee. The fully brimmed certainly keep the water out of your eyes on the rainy days. Good as long as they don’t catch your string at full draw.

 

 

Before you enter

Make sure you are confident in your equipment setup. The key to success is consistency in everything you do. Body/feet alignment to the target. Even balance. Good stance and “T” shape. Alignment along the shooting axis of bow hand through to your tab hand. Solid anchor point for your tab hand. You will only gain mastery of all this with practice.

If you have access to a field this will allow you to get sight marks before the event. Your sight marks are best setup at 5 meter gaps out to 50/60m depending what your shooting style and age/skill level is. An afternoon spent doing this can avoid frustration on the day. Keep a small notebook that fits into your pocket/quiver to view the site marks for each distance. A laminated on is even better as over much of the year rain isn’t far away. If you’re trying to guess site marks once you go beyond the 18m mark that you shoot in a club it will be a long day.

At least on a marked round you have one less variable to consider. Coping with up or downhill gradients and perhaps rain are tough enough.

 


Entry

Depending on the rules of the competition you are entering, you may or may not be able to enter on the day. Personally I think it better to have a form entered with payment early leaving one less thing to do at the event. Many competitions don’t allow entry on the day so double check. If you look at it from the organiser’s point of view they would, I’m sure, like to have less to do on the day.

 


On the day

You will carefully have gotten all your kit organised the night before I’m sure… This really is a good thing to do so you just need to boil the kettle for your flask, pack the kit in the car and off you go.

Leave enough time to get there and setup. Especially if it’s your first event it can be bit daunting. Once at the location go to the entry area and give your details in so they can mark you in on the entry list. Generally you will be in a group of 4 people but maybe less if some people haven’t shown up. They will give you a coloured scoring card to match the colour of peg you’re shooting off. If you are in a group of more experienced people they may fill the card in for you.

If you don’t fill the card in the first time it might be worth taking one with you and seeing how it is filled in for the day you will have to do it. This happened to me on my second shoot as in my group of 4 there were two juniors so myself and the other adult got volunteered. A bit nervous at first but I got the hang of it.

Basically the card contains all the info about you and your score. Name. Scorer’s name. Club. Age if junior. Type of bow you’re shooting. Longbow,Trad,Freestyle, Barebow, Compound etc. Peg you’re shooting at. (White, yellow, blue, red).

It’s important to confer with your fellow marker to double check your scores match for all ends each competitor has shot. Then get each competitor to sign the card you have scored and the other marker to sign your own card. Lastly hand them in at the entry position and chat over all the good and bad shots you had no doubt.