“If archery was easier, they’d call it quantum mechanics.” ~unknown.
I don’t have photographs available for this event yet, but I’ll get them up as soon as I get them processed. Had to use film and a disposable camera because the digital camera is inoperative. How 20th Century!
We have had an incredibly dry Summer in northern California, and the ground was the consistency of concrete. We camped on a cow pasture and made sure to set up camp during the daylight on Friday so that we could remove (by shovel) all the cow patties from the tent’s footprint before setting it up. That didn’t get rid of the flying insects, though. Agriculture always has this certain air about it, don’t you think?
Two arrows each at sixty-three targets in two days. Twenty each on Ranges A & B, and 23 on Range C. That last three on Range C were novelty shoots, and I’ll explain them in more detail when I have pictures to help illustrate.
It was really hot on Saturday. I don’t know what the temperature was, but we were grateful that a good deal of the paths on Ranges A & B were in the shade of oak trees, and we praised every cool breeze that came our way.
In spite of the heat on Saturday, the low temperatures on Friday night hovered near freezing. The coyotes we heard during the night were probably complaining about the cold. I started off shooting very badly Saturday morning. I don’t know if it was target panic or lack of sleep from the cold. Or maybe it was the alignment of the planets and the color of my underwear. Regardless, my arrows seemed to be allergic to foam simulacra of small furry mammals. My shooting companions often heard me complain that, “I hate this sport!” But half-way through the first course, I found my groove and couldn’t miss. Suddenly I was shooting guided missiles instead of arrows. I made nice with Artemis.
Range C was a different story. We hit it early on Sunday (which was slightly cooler than Saturday) as we had to turn in our scores by 1:00 PM. Everybody complained about the placement of the targets. They were often placed so that if the archer missed the target, her arrows went flying into a ravine or they smacked into granite. Though I didn’t lose any arrows, one bent at nearly 30 degrees, and another broke in half. We spent more time looking for arrows in the poison oak than we did shooting.
Most of the targets were between 15 meters and 30 meters. A few were as far away as sixty meters, and a couple were at more than 100 meters, marked as Par 2 (double the score if you hit the target in one shot). All of the distances were unmarked, so there was a great deal of discussion between my shooting mates as to our estimates of the distance. Just because some targets were close doesn’t mean that they were easy. Seemed like the closer the target was, the trickier it was. The archer would have to sit or stoop or stand one one’s toes or lean to one side or perform some kind of contortion to get a clear view of the target, or aim the arrows between boughs and rocks.
The vendors included a man selling his own brand of modern longbows. They were beautiful and shot well, but not any better than my Martin Vision, and I couldn’t justify spending $450.
(I deleted a short rant about people who assume that I cannot pull a fifty-pound longbow due to my gender. Fodder for another post.)
When all was said and done, I took home Second Place in Adult Female Recurve. But the really kewl part of this story is that the woman who took First Place and beat my score by 100 points (she obviously had no problem with target panic) is six months pregnant. Her husband shot a near perfect score! I imagine that baby being born with an itty bitty bow in his hand.