The Northern Monkey crew shows what team spirit and hard work can achieve
The Northern Monkeys report on their latest successful charity shoot
Northern Monkey HFT, a DIY group of shooters in the North East, spent a long season travelling and learning from the many excellent courses set out in the summer of 2018, so it was time to take that learning and put on their major event of the year, The Andrew Luckley Memorial. If there is one thing that is clear for all course setters and event organisers, there is a great deal to be done in order to be successful.
Preparations actually began many months ago, with group decisions on format, timing and sponsorships as far back as June. With a wide set of skills and backgrounds to draw upon, the more outgoing of the team brought in the sponsors and supplier support; Air Arms, Optics Warehouse and BASC, to mention just a few, whilst the more reserved spent many a night locked away in sheds and dens preparing equipment and materials.
Two main sponsorship paths are always part of the event; raffle prizes to help cover the group’s expenses, and lane sponsorship going directly to the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team. Both avenues were extremely well supported, and the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team received 180% of its target.
The day began with a short period corralling the guest shooters for early morning cake and raffle ticket sales. It was not long before the course design team, Peter Muir and Dave Dresser, emerged from the woods having set out a much-anticipated course, and after a brief zero check, it was time to march off into the wood for the safety briefing.
So it began, and the conditions were perfect. There was a significant and changeable wind, but not too gusty, dry ground, and light cloud provided contrast to the late summer trees.
The hard work that Peter and Dave had put in really showed. New areas of wood were used with wide-open, long-range lanes, as well as deep, dense foliage tunnels for pegs of all ranges. Use of the ground and flora to create some quite impossible range estimations came time and time again, with many a range only estimable through the scope. Peg 5, a 16-inch high, 35mm, 40-odd yarder, that looks for all the world like it was a 25mm, 30 yards away, raised many an eyebrow. Peg 19, the ‘falling upwards’ NMHFT monkey target raised many a second look. Peg 20 was like shooting fish in a barrel, literally, because it was a fish in a barrel. The ‘clang’ carried well throughout the whole wood when missed, raising smiles everywhere. It’s a mark of the quality of the course and the competitiveness of the shooters that some targets were called for a check, but the single session of some 45 shooters ran smoothly and was over all too soon. Everyone agreed the course was top class, which showed just how much progress the group has made in such a short space of time.
A quick tally up of scores and we were ready for the prizegiving of some quite unique and custom Northern Monkey trophies from Advanced Targets, which were regarded by all as really rather special. Then began the mega faffle. Many generous donations for the raffle, and the fantastic take up of tickets from our friends have enabled us to continue for another season. Northern Monkey are extremely grateful for all the support throughout 2018 and we’re determined to be a force to be reckoned with in 2019!
“The ‘clang’ carried well thoughout the whole wood when missed”
Targets deep within the woods to confound rangefinding
The Mega Raffle
Retaining his Open Class win, Mark Wilson