Rednex Weekend Shoot 31/3-01/4 2018
by Queen Bee
KLFA Roving Reporter & Crossbow Queen
Stressed, ‘over-worked, and under-paid’, I set off for Rednex weekend shoot in Essex. If it was as good as last year’s one I was in for a treat!
On the Friday the weather couldn’t make up its mind, and I drove through blinding sun, cloudy sun, dull clouds, wet clouds and finally, as I drove into Thorpe-le-Soken, my sister’s village, the rain began in earnest and in fact threw it down for the rest of the day.
Finishing off the curtains and curtain rails I was putting up for Angela, and rosy-cheeked from half a bottle of warm Mulled wine, I fell onto my blow-up bed on the floor of the front room and slept soundly until the dawn chorus.
After a rare 10 minute journey I arrived in a water-logged farm yard and parked next to a lovely little church and a pink Tudor-style house. In the front garden the most enormous black turkey strutted his stuff, gurgling in front of four white guinea fowl. With his tail fanned sexily, his chest fit to burst, and his head nodding up and down he kept the confused little group within his reach and was still in charge as I left the shoot later in the afternoon. I remarked to another archer that he was much bigger than the usual 3D turkey we shot at to which the archer replied, “Yes, and at least he’s got a head!”
There was a good turnout of well over 120 archers for the 40 targets which were in a set of twenty either side of a wide grassy track – the only bit of the wood that wasn’t ankle-deep in mud or water.
I discovered that I was shooting with three of my favourite ‘lady’ archers – Karen, Shirley, and Sue – who kept me tearful with laughter for the next 6 hours. Oh, how it raised my spirits – for which I thank them.
The course was very well set. Nothing was over about 40 yards and if one thought they looked straightforward one was in for a surprise. Trees and dead ground had been used cleverly and the targets were all interesting and in tip top condition. Woodland flowers began to show their colours as the day warmed up – primroses, woodland anemones, violets, and the pungent smell of wild garlic. Birdsong was a continuous companion. The BBC weather had warned of rain all day. Unusually (yeah, right!) they were incorrect and it was perfect shooting weather. I read somewhere that if the BBC weather forecasters were 60% right they’d get a bonus in their pay packet. Today they would go hungry.
There were no holdups or emergencies and I finished – yet again – 12 short of 800. My arrows had taken a beating and I’d lost two so was down to only three serviceable missiles. I went to bed that night with a vague feeling that I might be taking an early bath on the morrow.
As with the previous day, the weather was perfect and there were even more archers, and a very handy chap used his Dragon Snot to mend one of my retrievable arrows so I now had 4. The course had been well tweaked and there were some amazingly beautiful targets to shoot at. What a talented club Rednex is. An almost life-sized peacock had painted feathers that glimmered in the gloom, and a startlingly bright green chameleon with popping yellow eyes was far too cute to shoot. Painted animals from the African plains presented themselves craftily – looking much bigger than they actually were, and the shoot was as well-set, if not more so, than the previous day.
I shot a blinder first half with only five 16s then, for some unknown reason, I began to get target panic! I’d eye up the animal and then couldn’t squeeze the trigger, jerking it in desperation anywhere but the kill zone. I struggled to control this inexplicable phenomenon seeing my super score crashing south. Then with a bacon butty and an egg, that I didn’t wear, inside me, I pulled myself together and because of my huge first 20 score managed to finish the day only 10 short of the Saturday. But AGAIN just short of 800.
It is no word of a lie that this weekend at Rednex had been the most enjoyable, and successful score-wise, shoot I’ve attended yet. The course had a great deal to do with it but my giggling partners were irrepressible. Someone named us the Bananarama Coven – don’t ask… but it involved a banana joke!