Judg­ing the tar­gets

Over two days and six grounds, all shoot­ers would have hit a flat spot but there’s likely to be dis­agree­ment about which grounds or tar­gets posed the most dif­fi­culty.

Field and Game - - NATIONAL CARNIVAL 2017 -

Sta­tis­ti­cally, there was lit­tle be­tween the six grounds. There were a dozen pos­si­bles over the week­end with four on ground three, and three on ground two, which by con­sen­sus was con­sid­ered the easiest of the grounds.

Ground six had two pos­si­bles even though it was, ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Cham­pion John Younger, the most chal­leng­ing.

“I was a lit­tle bit wor­ried about the six grounds, think­ing it would be tight with a lot of straight­away birds and then you walk to dif­fer­ent scenery and get an­other cou­ple of them, but no, they had some bril­liant tower birds — the mix­ture of birds was bril­liant,” he said. Last year’s cham­pion Robert Hall also found trou­ble at ground six.

“I strug­gled with the last pad, a left to right quar­ter­ing crosser and an­other left to right crosser that would have been 50–60 m out,” he said.

“The tar­gets were really good: they are get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter ev­ery year and the ter­rain helped with dif­fer­ent tar­get pre­sen­ta­tions.”

Grade by grade the av­er­ages per ground were un­re­mark­able, with AA vary­ing be­tween 18.4 (G6) and 20 (G2).

Ground two pro­duced the best av­er­age scores across all grades and each grade pro­duced its low­est av­er­age scores on ground six with the ex­cep­tion of C-grade who av­er­aged 10.7 birds on both five and six.

Bren­ton Irons con­sid­ered it a fair mix with enough tougher tar­gets to sep­a­rate the top guns.

“I thought they were a lit­tle harder than I re­mem­bered them and that’s not a bad thing. There were still eas­ier tar­gets there but it was a chal­lenge for the high-level shoot­ers,” he said.

The shift to a 100/50 tar­get for­mat over six grounds was given a strong en­dorse­ment.

“On the first night it was really hard to de­ter­mine who was the out­right leader be­cause ev­ery­body shot dif­fer­ent grounds,” Robert said.

“I think it was a great move; the Na­tional Car­ni­val has been get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and it is be­com­ing the pre­mier event.”

“I would say it is the best na­tion­als I’ve shot, pe­riod,” John said.

“You can’t beat six dif­fer­ent lay­outs be­cause no­body goes back to the same tar­get twice and you don’t have to bust a gut to al­ter birds; the hard work has really paid off for this club.”

Bren­ton agreed, say­ing it was “fan­tas­tic” and the best Field & Game Car­ni­val he has at­tended.

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