Gary Chilling­worth re­ports on the sea­son’s fi­nal dou­ble-head­erf from Fur­nace Mill and the Mighty No­mads

Gary Chilling­worth brings us all the news from the HFT scene

Air Gunner - - Contents -

A s we rush to­ward the end of the sea­son, it’s time for the fi­nal dou­ble- header of the year. Fur­nace Mill and the Mighty No­mads are two clubs based close to Kid­der­min­ster, and they both have a fear­some rep­u­ta­tion and a loyal fol­low­ing of reg­u­lar shoot­ers.

Fur­nace is lo­cated within a won­der­ful fish­ing com­plex and has some of the best- look­ing cour­ses on the HFT cir­cuit to­day, with large lakes, marsh­land, lush trees, and a great café and car park. Shoot­ing at Fur­nace is a very civilised af­fair and the cour­ses are al­ways sec­ond to none,

No­mads is also a won­der­ful place to shoot. Un­like Fur­nace Mill, it has un­du­lat­ing slopes and hills and it would be fair to say that these ar­eas are No­mads rai­son d’être.

FUR­NACE MILL

Day one of the dou­ble- header was hosted by Fur­nace Mill and as usual they had laid on a spec­tac­u­lar course. One of the rea­sons I love shoot­ing here is for the shots across the lake. As you lie down to look at the tar­get, which can be any­thing from a duck to fly­ing fish, it’s al­ways fun to see the rip­ples on the wa­ter and the re­flec­tions it throws up. You can also gauge the wind by watch­ing leaves float across the pond, or if the wind does pick up, you can some­times see pat­terns form­ing across the top of the wa­ter.

Even though I love shoot­ing on this sec­tion of the course, it would be fair to say that it does not al­ways love me. I think there are mer­peo­ple liv­ing be­low and when­ever I shoot, they some­how knock my pel­let out of the way and I see it slam­ming into the bank.

There is a strange light at Fur­nace Mill and as you move through the woods, ev­ery­thing seems a bit softer and more serene. How­ever, one of the best bits of the day was af­ter the shoot. As I put my

guns away and had a lit­tle cry af­ter get­ting se­verely beaten by the course, I spotted three repro­bates ap­proach­ing me. Tom and Steve Willing­ham and Neil Wake­lin had all shot well in the morn­ing and now it was time for fish­ing. They had brought their kit along and af­ter a morn­ing of HFT. it was now time for a af­ter­noon on the river­bank.

NO­MADS

No­mads is one of my favourite places to shoot. I have al­ways loved it and found it a won­der­ful chal­lenge, and now that it’s in the hands of Perry Broad, it’s go­ing from strength to strength. No­mads is also the stamp­ing ground of Air­gun World’s Jim Tyler, but this should cer­tainly not put you off at­tend­ing – sorry Jim.

No­mads is all about know­ing your gun and the way it han­dles when you are shoot­ing on in­clines. The ter­rain is in­sid­i­ous, you will stand be­fore a tar­get and there will be a gen­tle slope in front of you, but as you look at the tar­get it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine how far away it is. This is be­cause we mere mor­tals strug­gle to de­ter­mine dis­tance when we have to com­bine range and el­e­va­tion – or maybe that’s just me. Ba­si­cally, when a tar­get is up in a tree it’s easy, mea­sure to the bot­tom of the tree and add a few yards, but try do­ing that on a slope, and then see how you do.

There is no doubt that a huge amount of work had been put in on the No­mads course. It was tech­ni­cally al­most per­fect and when you see shoot­ers like Dave Tay­lor, one of the top shots in the UK and the pre­vi­ous day’s win­ner, miss tar­get af­ter tar­get due to range traps, you know that the course is a bel­ter.

RE­SULTS

Both rounds were spon­sored by Gamo and it’s great to see such a won­der­ful brand get be­hind the UKAHFT. On the Satur­day, Steve Willing­ham won a stun­ning Gamo Phox, and Steve O’Mara won one of their bril­liant pumps. On the Sun­day, Bran­don Roff walked away with a won­der­ful Gamo Coy­ote and all three of them were ex­cep­tion­ally happy.

We had some great re­sults over the week­end:

On Satur­day, Dave Tay­lor won the Open, with Perry Broad tak­ing the Re­coil­ing, Mike Burgess the Vets, Abi Maw the Ju­nior 14-16, Myla Parsons Smith the 9-13. Ja­son Lock­ett won the .22 and Karen O’Mara the Ladies. The Team event went to Riv­ing­ton, and the Man­u­fac­tur­ers was taken by Steyr.

On the Sun­day, Paul Kelly took the Open class, Gary Chilling­worth the Re­coil­ing, Mike Burgess the Vets, Ewan Pantling the 14-16, Myla Parsons Smith the 9-13, Ja­son Lock­ett the .22 and Sarah Pantling the Ladies. Again, the team event went to Riv­ing­ton and Air Arms took the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ tro­phy.

The dou­ble- head­ers are a great time to meet with friends, go for din­ner and drinks and revel in the com­mu­nity that is the UKAHFT. For more in­for­ma­tion about these events go to www.ukahft.com http://www. no­mad­shft.club and http://www. fur­nacemill.net/

“There is no doubt that a huge amount of work had been put in on the No­mads course”

ABOVE: Perry Broad worked hard on the course and shot well on day 1, not so much on day 2

RIGHT: Team York­shire take part, but they have to bring the tea

BE­LOW: Team Air Arms took the vic­tory in the team event

ABOVE: Gone fishin’ - Tom, Steve and Neil re­lax af­ter the morn­ing shoot

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