Harlequin Valentine Fun Shoot 2018

Harlequin Valentine Fun Shoot 2018
by Queen Bee
KLFA Roving Reporter and Crossbow Queen
I’ve always maintained that if you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t be a field archer. Well, today’s Valentine Fun Shoot at Harlequin proved the point.
I set off north west with dawn an hour away. The temperature was a snug 2 degrees and I began to wish I’d copied all the drivers who weren’t on the road with me and stayed in bed. However, undaunted, I carried on with the knowledge that today would undoubtedly be the first straightforward, uncomplicated journey to a shoot. Yeah right!
As always, I’d allowed myself an extra hour to get lost, and added on a few more minutes to nosh a full English when I arrived. Harlequin had posted that there were roadworks on Melbourne Road but, as usual, I thought I’d be able to zig-zag through. As I halted in front of a barrage of red and white cones a tall, helmeted and goggled handsome young man (behave yourself, Margaret!), slid gracefully out of his lorry cab. I tried ‘silly old biddy’, ‘lost little old lady’, and even a spot of feminine wile to no avail. With his right arm waving in a huge circle he told me I’d have to “go all the way round”. Blast.
Turning round I set off, very fast, back the way I’d come and followed yellow diversion signs for more than seven miles to find the other end of Melbourne Road in the same condition and my satnav refused to tell me which way to go. I sat with the car blinkers on and phoned a friend. No reply. As I began to panic – because I hate being late anywhere – a car drew up in front of me and an angel from Hanson arrived to rescue me. He pointed to a dark pink NFAS sign directly opposite me with an arrow pointing left. Because I’ve been used to seeing bright yellow, and occasional white, NFAS signs it hadn’t occurred to me that I should be looking for pink! I followed my rescue angel higgledy-piggledy past numerous, now obvious, pink signs and we arrived at Harlequin with plenty of time to eat my full English.
Due to everyone stuffing their faces we set off just before 10.30. The instructions had been thorough, if a little confusing. Kills counted, as did pro-kills but not spots. As I’d always put a spot in the spot column for a pro-kill I wasn’t quite sure of the logic but took it to mean that pro-kills DIDN’T count. Some of the targets sported pink or red hearts some of which were  ‘broken’, with a very faint zigzag line that one couldn’t see until right up close, and if hit scored nil point. All the other hearts of varying sizes sported different scores. These weren’t logical as sometimes an enormous heart that was impossible to miss scored 100 whereas a tiny heart scored nil point again, and of course many of us went for a smaller heart as the big one couldn’t possibly be worth anything as it was too easy. It was a case of double-double bluff and sometimes a triple bluff – very clever indeed and mind-numbing in the extreme.
A paper face of a reindeer had an enormous red heart on it’s nose at the centre of which was a tiny pink heart. That’s got to be worth 100 we all thought. I took careful aim and was really miffed when I just missed the pink heart by a gnat’s whisker only to sigh with relief when I discovered that the tiny heart was worth nothing!
One of the shots was a distant elk with a huge heart in the middle of the kill. The actual kill zone on the animal was huge anyway so I thought sod the heart I’d go for the kill. Straight as an arrow (excuse the pun) my arrow flew straight into the heart. Drat. Nil point, but when I looked under the heart I’d scored a magnificent pro-kill at quite a long distance so I wasn’t really too disappointed.
There were quite a few normal targets and I managed a fair few kills, and pro-kills that I thought didn’t count, so was reasonably pleased with my final score if one discounted the added or subtracted scores for hearts hit or missed.
At the end of the day it didn’t matter whether the spots counted or not as only the number of hearts hit had any value! The prizes were 3” little shiny cups for the highest total score of good hearts’ value, and the highest number of broken hearts hit. It was a terrific shoot that had everyone roaring with laughter all day, and if you’re still confused you’re not the only one. 
As I said before – if you can’t take a joke ……

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