Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Saturday, 20 June 2015
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
The woods have seen some action since we were last there. At this time of year the Fallow are gathering into groups and had passed though our little world, flattening the Bluebells and chowing down on the bark of Beech trees.
On Friday as the skies darkened, then burst, we achieved escape velocity and were on the road. By making lateness part of the plan we set off within half an our for the allotted time and made the most rapid pace across and out of town. In all the trips we've made The Northern Monkey and myself have always failed to leave early enough and have sat in traffic most of the way across the south of England. By leaving later we arrived at the same time we usually do, but drama-lessa nd with the serenity of the intentionally late.
Our archery practice sessions are starting to bear fruit.
Things I learned about archery the time around:
1. Archery is seriously dependent on Natural Point of Aim; seeing as arrows are traveling a lot slower than bullets this should have been the bleeding' obvious, but I guess its taken us a while to get to the bleeding' obvious.
2. On the subject of which, it turns out the shot starts before you draw the bow; by aiming with my left heel before I start to draw the bow is on target as soon as I draw it back. Consistently the pins were over the target, just had to use my hips to adjust vertically and its time to squeeze the release's trigger.
3. Arrows that are so bent they have names come into their own at longer ranges; The Northern Monkey shoots aluminium arrows with varying degrees of bent-ness They are called things like; The Wanderer, Hook Nose, Curvy Lady and The X-Files [its out there. Somewhere]. At 10 and 20 meters they won't group for toffee, more often than not sailing into the bushes, but at the furthest extreme of our shooting lane, where we can shoot at 50 and then 60 meters, he sunk not one, but two bulls.
It was my turn to feel the pain and dismay. I started the year with 12 arrows, broke one on day one, [pallets are not as good as foam targets], lost two a couple of archery camps back. This time I went from 9 to 4 alarmingly quickly, breaking one trying to get it out of a tree, 'hiding' 3 under the leaf mould and the last a catastrophic failure.
Hodgeman keep ringing in my ears “It's like rifle hunting...only more expensive, and less effective.”
Regular readers will know that one of my favourite bloggers and to me the outdoorsman's outdoorsman is that Rifle-Sage of the north, Hodgeman. I've been reading his blog for years and if you want to read real practical advice about hunting, firearms, and kit he's your man.
Some pals of his have made this film about their mutual friend. Poignant without being folksy this is great storytelling. its a window into the way of life of a hunter-contractor who always wanted to live, work and hunt in Alaska as he hunts that symbol of the north, Barren ground Caribou. Seems like a happy and contented guy.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Posts on the SBW blog are like London buses you wait for ages then two come along back to back.
Sometimes the kit does make a difference, all the most accurate shots I've ever taken have been with rifles with triggers that have that sweet, crisp break, the break that's not a hair trigger and isn't scratchy either, my Parker Hale Phoenix, and the Blaser's (R93 and R8) spring to mind.
When I bought my bow it came as a Ready To Hunt package from Hunter's Friend [who I can't recommend enough] with a Truball release [I think it's the cyclone]. It's OK, in fact it was perfect while I was getting my form together shooting in the backyard and at fifteen meters. At 25 meters I started to notice the long travel and scratchy feel which seemed to amplify with every wobble and waver I made.
Bored with the sheer divisiveness of Archerytalk I posted to reddit.com/r/Archery/ asking for opinions on releases, only got two responses, both shouting out for Scott Releases.
During a visit to an Archery shop I got to try out one of their thumb releases, so beloved by the target shooting crowd. Wow, so crisp, so sudden, so WOW! I was tempted, not by the price, but by the mechanics of the thing, then I had a disturbing vision of a repeat performance of the time when I dropped a round from a high-seat and it clattered off every effing rung of the effing ladder on the way down, it would also be fair to say that I don't tend to lose things that are tied-on, so that was a factor too.
Looking online for reviews of Scott's Mongoose XT certainly has its fans, I can see the thinking behind the single calliper concept. Don't know if it works, but I like the idea, so I pressed Buy Now.
Have I managed to spend my way to accuracy? I'll let you know after the weekend.
The 10m Range which offers limited opportunity beyond sighting in the first pin
I wish to state for the record that The Northern Monkey has several advantages in this game. He's a lot taller and stronger than me, that draw length gives arrow speed and therefore a flatter trajectory, he also practices more than me. When he shoots straight arrows his groups are generally smaller than mine, but thanks to his ally-handicap....
While Bare-Bow is all 'art' with getting to know each arrow part of the 'fun', Compound shooting is more 'science' - once your rig is properly set up the first 10 meters are almost a gimme, sometime the repeatability of it all gets a little tedious. Un-like gloating.
Essential kit for woodland archery 101 - the metal detector
Carbon Versus Aluminium/'Aloominum'
Price - Woodland archery is often about searching for arrows, every miss is potentially eight and a half Euro you'll never see again. Focuses the mind.
Straightness - Before or after the first time the arrow strikes something hard? Alloy arrows make a wonderful noise as they bounce off a tree, morphing into scrap metal as they fly through the air.
Durability - Of my 12 Aftermath's I've smashed one, and lost two. TNM has eighteen arrows in varying degrees of bent-ness.
Findability - I am yet to find some of mine, he is yet to find a straight arrow in his collection.
While we're on the subject of durability the lovely people at Schmeisser Archery have sent me a couple of broadheads for testing. First impressions are they are very well balanced - at 10m there was no desirable difference in point of impact from my field points , and they're a lot easier to dig out of a tree stump than the three bladed designs. As to their claim to durability? We'll have to see in subsequent testing, they do seem tough as old boots.
Hoping to get down there again this weekend - new toy has been ordered, if the postie does his bit we'll find out if you can really spend your way to accuracy?