Monday, 15 August 2016

Whew What a Scorcher

Went to the Medieval Society roving marks shoot yesterday in Norbury park in Surrey. Beautiful setting great company and superbly organised shoot despite their catering equipment being stolen the night before. They managed to find replacements at short notice, kept calm and carried on.

I shot the 60 pounder Yew hunting longbow which served to finish its shooting in. It performed well, but was hard work by the end of the day... mind I should hardly complain when there were those shooting 100# and over.
The weather was pretty hot despite the forecast saying overcast so my forearms and face are a nice shade of red this morning and I have a pale stripe across my forehead from the reversed baseball cap!
The were some very tricky shots over distances from about 100 - 210 yards which were difficult to judge, I only scored on one mark where I was aiming near vertical, the arrow was in the air so long we had time for a drinks break before it landed.
Sorry no pics as I limited what I was carrying to keep the weight down.
I travelled with my mate JT, which was good as it kept the driving down... shattered by the time I got home but a quick shower and a roast dinner soon fixed me up. The shoulders were a bit sore, an asprin and an early night has left me remarkably bright and breezy this morning and feeling very limber.

It was great to meet up with old friends and particularly to have a chat with Chris Boyton and show him the Osage flight bow for comment. I said I might slim the tips a bit more and he commented " There's always wood to be removed from tips" which I rather liked. I also showed him some of the patches on bows (several of mine, and many of his, were being shot) particularly a belly patch on the 130# Warbow which was to protect a pinch. "I do that" was his response which I found very encouraging.
I'd recently seen a very disparaging remark from a bowyer who was criticising such work and proudly saying how he only uses perfect staves. He really needs to get out more! Some of Chris Boyton's bows were from superb staves, but there were also plenty of character bows incorporating dramatic knots missing from the side of the bow and roller coaster undulations.
So if you are trying your hand at making a bow and you meet a problem, don't just saw the bow into firewood, try to find a fix or a save, it's how we learn and don't be afraid of imperfect wood.
If you insist on waiting for the perfect Yew stave, you may never make a bow.

In the heat of the afternoon, I got drawn into a slightly heated discussion with a guy shooting a 100# bow who claimed it shot flat at 90 yards. I explained that an arrow drops about 8" over a 10 yard flight! After some explanation and order of magnitude maths, it transpired he meant the point blank range (point on distance) was 90 yards. He then started to explain to me what point blank range meant... I had to laugh and say I did actually understand this stuff. It ended in a good natured manner. But it does illustrate how careful we need to be our words else we end up with people who think modern target bows have paradox and point blank range is zero.

Thanks to all at Med' Soc' for a great day!
There, I've added a pic to cheer you all up... courgettes from the garden at last... yum!

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