Field archery is a sport that involves archers shooting at targets that are placed at a variety of distances. The distance from the archer to the target is unmarked. Targets are usually set out in woodland and undulating terrain. There are a number of different styles of bow which can be used including traditional wooden long bows, recurve bows and compound bows.
Field courses are not usually set out on a flat, level field. In fact, field courses often involve the archers shooting at targets placed at the top or bottom of sloping ground. The archers may also be faced with natural obstacles such as trees or bushes that have to be shot over or around. This all goes to present the archers with a considerable challenge.
In field archery the archers usually shoot no more than three arrows at each target. The emphasis is on having fun. Archers who have previously only attended target archery shoots are often struck by the friendliness of the field archery scene. Instead of several dozen archers spread out along the shooting line all loosing arrows in silence, field archers shoot in small groups of four or five. This helps to quickly establish friendships and individual archers tend to encourage each other. The majority of these shooting groups will contain archers shooting different styles of bow and each style has their own set of excuses when they miss.
Westcombe field archers are all members of the National Field Archery Society (NFAS). Under NFAS rules targets are either images of game animals (known as 2D’s or paper faces) and three dimensional replica animals (known as 3D’s). We do not ever shoot at real animals nor does the NFAS support the use of a bow and arrow for hunting in the UK (it is also illegal).
Absolutely not. There is a strong emphasis on safety. Every precaution is taken to ensure that accidents do not happen. Archery has an excellent safety record.
IS IT EXPENSIVE?
Club membership and insurance are very reasonable. Getting started in the sport need not be very expensive at all. The basic essentials, including a bow and a set of arrows can be obtained for about £100. If suitable second hand gear can be obtained this figure can be reduced even further.
CAN ANYONE DO IT?
Physical strength is not a prerequisite. People of all ages and physical ability can enjoy archery with the appropriate training and equipment.