The long awaited Autumn, Longbow Heritage shoot took place at Fort George, Hampshire on the 31st August. Whilst taking part in their Spring shoot, I had the fantastic experience of shooting the course with one of the UK’s great archery legends, Micky Pearce. 1994 European and World Champion and 6 times 2nd placed UK Nationals, on one occasion only missing the title to one point ….. to his best mate, another UK archery legend Jim Spooner, with whom I will have the pleasure of shooting with in Cyprus this October.
Micky’s wife Carol Pearce (formerly Edwards) is a highly respected ladies English Longbow archer and also a genius when it comes to hunting style courses. Carol makes full use of all the obstacles, shadows, bushes and deadground tricks available and just loves to get the archers on their knees for a clear shot. So I was really looking forward to another challenging day.
At this Autumn’s meet I was to shoot in a different group, in Barebow class as I chose to use my Bodnik Big Bear with carbon Timbersticks. This meant I was to miss out on a repeat of my Spring experience with Micky. However…… Micky was more than willing to shoot around with me on the Monday…. GREAT…. More fun to come.
After all the pre-shoot chatter and instructions, we were lead out to our specified start points and I found myself shooting in a group with two friends Graham and Sandra.. even better. Without any effort whatsoever, this turned out to be the most relaxed and enjoyable shoot I had ever taken part in, even with all Carols great challenges. Just like a walk in the woods with friends. I honestly feel that it made a great difference in my scoring, as I came in with 698 points for 40 targets with only 3 second arrows through the whole day and two of those were kill shots. The end result being a gold medal for my first Barebow class shoot…….WOW!
SO, NEXT THE HIGHLIGHT.. Shooting with Micky………………..
It was an awesome start to the day with a fantastic sunrise scaring the morning mist back into the shadows. Micky had risen early to shoot but was only delayed much to his frustration…by his late breakfast 😉 . Once fed, we were off.
Taking it in turns around the course to shoot the sometimes doubled targets, I was enjoying his stories of past exploits and watching his well-practiced form, whilst also studying his exotic looking hand-made sinew backed yew-bow, which looks like something borrowed straight from The Lord of The Rings. This man knows what he likes to shoot and how to do it well.
Part way round I suggested he have a try of my custom Bodnik Big Bear, an offer he eagerly accepted despite it being a little heavier draw than he chooses.
We came to a shot at a small bear… and he took my Big Bear to hand and drew it a couple of times to get the weight, took and arrow, settled himself, drew back, focussed and…. ‘pop’.. straight in the target.
Without time to draw a breath he said ‘Right. That’s it. How much do you want for it???? A jest of course, but it really made him smile.
He continued to comment as to how smooth my bow drew and that a slightly lighter one would suit him perfectly. “A really nice piece of kit.” he said, certainly a seal of approval from a master.
Well, the shoot was completed far too quickly, and I could quite happily have done it all over but we had to travel home, so we said our farewells with much hope for a repeat opportunity in the future. But until then I have another great weekend to look back on .