Just completed the first field shoot of the year, this was a taster day held for the plymouth university archery club by another local club (South Hams Field Archery club). This was only the second time ever shooting a field course, and only the second or third time I have shot my longbow this year.
I would have shot my barebow (#UUKHA) , but as I currently don’t have arrows suitable for field shooting this did not happen. Having arrows that cost north of £350 of a set of 12 would have meant being terrified of missing for the entire day, as happened last year at Dunster Archery week (see photo). On this occasion I lost about £75 pounds worth of Aluminium-carbon arrows. Not an experience I would like to repeat any time soon. So after speaking to some of the club members I have ordered a set of very cheap fibreglass arrows from the internet, fingers crossed they shoot okay, otherwise I may have to get some arrows from these guys: https://www.nijora.de/ , as they are the only company I know that sell arrows longer than 33 for less than an arm and a leg! if anyone has any other suggestions I am all ears, please comment below.
Speaking of my longbow, I have been meaning to write about it for a while. I currently shoot a Triple laminate bow, Hickory backed, purplewood heard and lemonwood belly, made by Will lord. This was a custom made bow (due to my gorilla size arms), I had it made to 50 lbs at 33″ draw, not something that is available off the shelf at your average archery store. its overall length unstrung is about 6’7″ and strung is approximately 6’6″. Having only occasionally shot this bow since I bought it at the end of last years outdoor season I have put off writing about it until I have had a good chance to shoot it and let it settle down.
What I have noticed is that it has taken a large amount of string follow even over the few times I have shot it (totalling around 10 sessions). I have always meticulously de-strung it after sessions and during breaks. As I normally shoot alongside archers with bamboo backed bows it is immediately obvious how much slower this bow is. It is also noticeably heavier and chunkier than the other bows I have seen. As can be seen from the pictures of the bow fully drawn there is a slightly uneven tiller. Shooting the bow feels quite nice if I am honest, I think this is helped by the bow shooting relatively slowly and being on the heavy side.
Overall I feel that it is OK for the (discounted) price I paid. I am currently looking for a replacement to use as main bow. It is serviceable for now.
Props to South Hams Field Archery Club for hosting the University members for the have-a-go. We had a fantastic day in the sun winging arrows at some fake animals. the course we were on was fantastically set up, some lovely clean shots and some more challenging shots, with rock shaped consequences on either side.
I recently rediscovered my air rifle and as such have been thinking about how to improve it. I have already made one small addition to keep a small amount of ammunition handy whenever I grab the gun.
When I first bought the gun I also went out and bought a cheap gunlight to use for lamping/ratting at night (I bought a second hand version of this). This search should yield something useful. the particular torch I bought came with a normal torch cap and a momentary remote switch. which was great because I could use it as a nnormal torch when i wasnt out hunting. the only proble is is that it only takes two CR123A batteries which are extremely expensive considering that they only last about 6 hours before the light starts to fade and flicker.
So I hit ebay for a quick shopping spree and after some searching and comparing (every little helps 😉 ) I found these battery holders to be the best value for money. Although you could try this search instead: battery holders.
Because rechargeable AA batteries only put out 1.2 v instead of 1.5 I will have to conduct some prelimiary test on the birghtness of the torch runnign at 4.8v (4×1.2). the chances are that it will work just not be as bright(single battery holders are on the way as I write and I will test at a full 6v too).
The plan is to connect a 4 cell holder and a 1 cell in series, and then test the duration, then as necessary add more of these combos in parallel, until a sensible amount of battery life is reached or the pack gets too heavy.
I you’re interested this is where I get my pellets from as my gun is very fussy about which pellets I force down it…:
After coming back from a quick stroll in the woods with the trusty springer I realised that there has to be a better way to carry pellets while out hunting. So I did a quick google image search which showed two basic ideas first some form of pouch or container for pellet: these have several disadvantages, firstly they rattle unless well padded, and secondly they damage the pellets by rattling. Also this isn’t much better than a pocket.
The other idea was some kind of foam used to hold each pellet separately. This ensured that the pellets cannot rattle and reduced potential for damage to pellets.
Being the neigh on compulsive hoarder that I am I realised that I probably have some suitable foam somewhere in my room. The material I found is a firm black foam used to hold electronics in position in a case (in this case a laser pointer/memory stick/ remote/receiver combo thingy). The foam is about ¾ as high as an rws superdome pellet (available here).
The idea is to cut a small rectangle from the foam and punch small holes about 1/3 the diameter of the pellet into the foam (a leather punch would work great) but I just used a micro screw driver to punch the 4 sides of the hole out and remove the core of foam. This allows the pellets to be pushed into the foam as well as easily removed with the fingertips.
The holes do not have to line up although it does look neater if it is reasonable regular.
I then used electrical tape to attach this patch of foam to the side of my gun stock. So that now when I go out I always have 44 pellets right where I need them, right next to the breach.
Here is a shot of the final product in its simplicity.