Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saturday's Archery Competition

On Saturday we went to an archery competition held by the South African Bow hunters Association (SABA) at Magnum Archery in Donkerhoek. This shoot is a sort of practice for bowhunters as it closely resembles hunting in South Africa. On the course there are 30 3D rubber targets (there used to be only 20 but the number was increased to accommodate the large numbers of people that attend) of animals, but only 20 are shot at. There is a range of animals that are made for shooting at with broadheads for hunting practice, e.g. wildebeest, gemsbok, springbok, impala, baboons, crocodiles, lions, lionesses, warthogs, bush pigs, hyenas, leopards, seals occasionally, and one can also buy rabbits and ducks. The people are divided into groups, and each group starts at a different target and moves onwards. There are two lines drawn on the animal in a not-so-circular shape around where the lungs and heart are if viewed from the side. In the middle and smaller circle is the heart shot, and if the arrow hits here, you score ten points, but if the arrow hits in the other and larger circle, five points are scored, as this a lung shot. If the animal is hit outside the two circles, then one point is taken off your score. If the arrow misses the animal completely, then no points are scored. There are between 30 and 100 metres between the rubber targets, and put together, this makes a long course to walk. During the winter the weather isn’t too bad, but in the summer it gets hot, and I mean really hot, especially in the sun. There are refreshment vehicles where you can buy drinks and sometimes snacks, and it is always a pleasure to see these on the course. Sometimes one person’s arrow hits the back of another arrow, and this is called a Robin Hood, as this legendary character splits other arrows, and I did one of these on the course by splitting one of my father’s arrows. On the course, arrows are lost, and sometimes not found. My brother Daniel shot an arrow past a target into a river, and had to wade in to get it. If the arrows hit a rock or stone, this can damage the arrow or head.
After the course has been finished, which takes three to five hours, everyone goes back to the reception area for a late lunch and cool drinks, and while this is happening the committee works out the scorecards for everyone, and then prizes are given, and then there is a lucky draw for all the people who shot over 70 %, in which prizes such as knives, lanterns, money and other equipment are given. I came third in my category which is Junior Male Broadhead, but nobody else in my family placed in the top three. At the previous shoot last year, all of us placed. At this shoot, two of our friends came with, an eight year old boy (James) and his father (Uncle Eddie). In the lucky draw I won a backpack and a lantern. I don’t know why my name was in twice, but I was lucky.
All in all, it was a good day.
(P.S. I also received free sunburn on my neck!)

1 comment:

  1. Cool pictures Nathan. Looks like you had fun!
    Haha, why didn't you wear a hat???



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