Three of Blaidd's members made the trip up the M6 to Old Delph for their open shoot. As we are all new to NFAS, this was yet another course we hadn't shot before. The archers present, were myself shooting TBH, Gareth also shooting TBH and Terry shooting Freestyle.
First thing to not about Old Delph is that it is easy to find and the car park is right next to catering/registration. This means you can leave lunch in your car, but why would you even bring lunch when the food is both great and cheap. It's the first shoot (including the Nationals) where I managed to get a very good vegetarian breakfast and lunch. I know there probably aren't that many veggies in NFAS (it is simulated hunting after all), but there will be more than most clubs realise, so having an option is great, plus when the food is good, everyone can eat it, veggie or not. So first thing to do is congratulate the catering at Old Delph, it was spot on.
So to the shoot. The weather was claiming a high of 15 degrees and sunny, but when we were standing around in the low mist at 9am, it was more like 5 degrees, and I was regretting not bringing more layers.
Once the shooting started, we warmed up a bit and the weather did improve. As for the course, it had some real extremes with lots (and I mean lots) of small paper faces of what seemed like mostly skinny birds, mixed in with some long and large 3Ds. Normally for me the small faces at around 20 yards are my real nemesis, but on this day I shot them quite well. In fact I shot better in general than I have on any NFAS shoot to date, with no blanks and only two shots from the blue and both ended up as 8s.
I was particularly pleased with my long shooting on that day, hitting the long shot to the bear, the bison, the low lying cat and the spotty deer from the red. All of these were quite long, especially the bison in the field.
Quick side note on the bear and the spotty deer. These were home made targets, made from several layers of foam stuck together then sculpted into shape and they were amazing, especially the bear. Well done whoever made these.
I ended up with 574 and two spots and was very happy, but it was only good enough for second place as Gareth shot even better than me and scored 592. Terry also shot well and came third in freestyle, meaning we all went home with a medal.
I think we all really enjoyed the shoot and the course and will certainly make the trip back again. Thanks to everyone involved.