On Sunday August 27th we’ll be shooting our outdoor club championships. This will be shot over a Windsor round (3 dozen each at 60yds, 50yds and 40yds). As last year we make it a bit more of an event by arranging for some nibbles and drinks to make a picnic out of it in the breaks when moving distances.
The toilets in the church rooms across the street will be accessible for comfort breaks.
What is a jelly bow? A small, simple and low-poundage bow—we’ve bought 12 for our club. The blue ones we have are 36 inch long (compared to 68 inch for an average recurve), and have a draw weight of a maximum of 12 pounds when drawn to their full 20 inches (by which time they stack like hell). They are not toys though: we’ve shot club arrows to 80 yards with them! So all safety precautions you take for regular recurve bows must also be taken when shooting jelly bows!
How do you shoot them? Up to you. Because of their short draw length you can’t anchor them on your face the same way as a regular bow. And because of the very steep string angle it is best to only use one finger above and one finger below the arrow. You can adjust the grip up and down to set nocking point height, or to change from right to left-handed use. They shoot best if you don’t draw them to maximum, just to the point where they begin to seriously stack (giving a usable draw length of maybe 17-18 inches).
Jelly bows are great equalisers. When we have jelly bow events, everybody shoots with a club jelly bow. You can use your own arrows or club arrows but you cannot modify the bow other than moving the grip up/down. You might have to share your jelly bow with others.
What is a clout shoot? In clout shooting the target is a flag in the ground, and archers try to get their arrows in the ground close to the flag. A regular clout is shot at distances of 140yds or 180yds, so most arrows have to be shot with a fairly high trajectory and land quite steeply—they won’t be hidden in the grass. Regular clout shoots require a field of at least 300yds long to get a safe overshoot (and even then it is entirely possible to reach much further with a high-poundage recurve or compound bow).
How do we shoot a Mini Jelly Bow Clout?
A (St. Neots flavoured) Mini Jelly Bow Clout (MJBC) is shot with the clout (a target flag) at 60yds from the shooting line. The target area itself is half the size of a regular imperial clout target and is 24 feet in diameter, with 5 scoring zones (scoring 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). I’ve made two mini clout measuring tapes, their use will be demonstrated at our first MJBC.
As the target distance is not that far of the maximum distance that can be reached with the jelly bows you’ll need to shoot with the bows pointing quite high (see the picture). Remember that aiming too high will actually reduce the distance you’ll reach. Like longbows they do not have centre-shot so you’ll be aiming off left/right as well.
We’ve done a test, and concluded that the MJBC is great fun (especially Felicity as she beat us all by a wide margin)! We will announce one on a Saturday shortly (once I’ve finished re-serving the strings on the other 7 jelly bows).
This coming Sunday we will be shooting a somewhat different round: an informal “Big Game” shoot, inspired by the field shoot that our club organises on behalf of BCAA every year (second Sunday in November). We will be shooting at target faces with (somewhat) realistic depictions of game animals—from a rabbit to a moose—at distances between 10yds and 60yds.
Moving from the woods to our field means we’re making a few changes to the round format, which will be explained during assembly—the most important concession is that each archers will get all three chances from the same peg on the shooting line. The round is still shot over 28 targets (actually 7 targets, each shot 4 times), and groups move from target to target after each end. Scoring is the same as for the field shoot (which again will be explained during assembly).
For those who shoot sighted bows: You’ll be adjusting your sight on every end (of a maximum of 3 arrows). For those with unsighted bows: You will not get a chance to “get your eye in”…
This is a St. Neots Bowmen club shoot, however we welcome archers from other clubs to join us on this occasion. Just show up at our field around 9:30am on the day. We would expect to finish before 1pm. Send an email to “email@example.com” if you plan to come so we get an idea how many archers to expect. This event is free.
A nine strong delegation of St. Neots Bowmen participated in the Presidents & Pairs tournament on Sunday June 25th. The event took place at the field of Dunstable Bowmen, and after some initial consternation the competition got underway. There was a lot of interest, so we were shooting 6 archers to a boss. Just the odd drop of rain before we got started. The wind kept all archers from putting in record-breaking scores.
The Presidents & Pairs tournament is not decided on individual scores, but on team or pair scores. There was no separate barebow category but as the results were handicap-adjusted this was not a problem. Our recurve team of Mary Louca, Sunil Kalra, Abs Sohrabi, Andrew Blake and Russell Smith won both the league team trophy and the President’s team trophy, while Stacey Taylor and Marc Bax won the compound pair award.
St. Neots Bowmen offered visitors to the Village Fete in Offord Darcy on Saturday June 17th the opportunity to discover their inner Robin Hood. We held three short (30 minute) taster sessions, which were taken up by over 30 aspiring archers.
Our normal Have-a-Go sessions are two hours long. The next one will be held on Saturday July 22nd 11am-1pm, and the last one of this outdoor season will be on Saturday August 19th, again 11am-1pm. See the “try archery” page for more details on these sessions and our beginners’ course starting in September.
Yesterday club members Mary Louca, Sunil Kalra, and Nel and Marc Bax participated in the SCAS/BCAA clout archery championships. Though the range in Offord is too small to do any clout practice we did manage to produce two county champions: Mary Louca won the ladies barebow gold, and Marc Bax left his compound at home to win gents barebow gold. More importantly, a pleasant day engaged in a somewhat different form of archery was had by us all. We hope more members will join us on other clout shoots in the area!
What is clout archery?
In clout archery the target is a flag in the ground. The goal is to get your arrows to land close to the flag, in a scoring zone 24 feet (7.3m) across. If you land within a foot of the flag you score “a clout” – the maximum score of 5 points. The further away, the lower your score. It is a fact of life that for many archers the majority of their arrows will be misses.
One small point: The distance to the flag is much greater than your normal target distance. Ladies shoot at 140 yards, gentlemen at 180 yards. You don’t need a very powerful bow to reach such a distance, 30lb and carbon arrows will easily get to 180 yards. You’ll be aiming at the sky, hence why most archers shoot barebow or longbow.
Sussex archery has produced an excellent Cloud Archery Basics document for download.
On Sunday April 30th we will be shooting our first outdoor club tournament of 2017: a head-to-head shot over 50m, at a full-size 122cm target. Note you can participate shooting recurve, barebow or longbow (but not compound): all bow styles will compete in a single competition as per World Archery standards. read more…
Last Sunday (March 5th) Nel and I (team “Double Dutch” for the occasion) participated in the Beiter Hit-or-Miss express tournament organised by Hingham Bowmen (Hingham lies about 15 miles west of Norwich). As a warm-up we first both shot a Worcester round (241 resp. 299, so we won’t talk about that), but the real reason for coming started afterwards. read more…
For the 2017 outdoor season we are introducing the “252” scheme which has been adopted by many other clubs. Some clubs use the 252 scheme to keep archers from shooting long distances until they’ve reached a good score on the shorter distances. We won’t—you can shoot any distance you like.
As I’d like to see many club members participating in external events, I’ve made the overview below for your convenience. You can find more tournaments either on the Archery GB calendar (only shows UK/World record status events), or better on the diary published by Brighton Bowmen. There is a choice of events every weekend!