Shooting Day One: White Course

Being up before the birds is never welcome in my house but it seems I’ll do anything for Field Target!

Dropped on the plinker for 8am for final checks and filling up with air, which I elect to do early because they are always running out of it or the bottle is a 150, not something you want on your mind really when your shooting a rock hard course.

Everyone then moved over to the course gates at 9am for the longest brief I’ve ever heard, Trev could have sold ten books of tickets in that time it took. I’m starting on lane 1 for all 3 shoots so that’s a real bonus but another 40-minute wait wasn’t that welcome. I was nervous enough without the hanging around and then to double down on that no-one wants to go first. So I bite the bullet and do it.

All 3 courses are running at the side of each other which means there’s not that much space but finally the whistle goes and I celebrate that with a double dink, one a 6 and the other at 3.

The wind here is tough to read, gusting and switching all the time, you go on the man edge and it blows you over or you come out and that’s where it lands. It’s really difficult on the reducers and boy is there a lot of them.

I started really badly, I just couldn’t read the course but I started digging in. I even called a target, massive branch straight through the kill. Marshals refused to clear it and ask me to move, normally I’m a have go kind of guy but this is the Worlds and I kinda expect to be able to see the kill without shunting up and down the lane. I’ve now got five marshals stood behind me and I’m pretty pissed off, so I nail both targets.

The middle section of the course is open, I couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo in this section, one second there was nothing, next a massive gust. Picked the wrong edge on a couple and by this point I was settled but worried about my score. Got told off a couple of times for not having my bagged gun over the firing line but there was little to no space anywhere, I did offer to put it up on the marshal’s second shelf but he didn’t get the reference.

Looking at my card and seeing a 4/10 really narked me off, so I started using all my time and only pulled the trigger when I was 100% sure, sans risks. I only missed two out of the next 20 targets.

By the end I was completely knackered, it wasn’t that it was that long of a course more that it was nearly impossible to read. I could have done better but I did enjoy it and now I need to settle quickly, use all my time plus try and forget the sun is beating down.

From brief to the last lane took 6hrs and 17 minutes, I was broken and beyond repair, I couldn’t even be bothered to grab a burger and beer. Jose, one of my lane partners, came over with a drink and a pat on the back, that cheered me up. I think that was the hardest day shooting I’ve ever had. The Springer lads couldn’t finish the course either due to lack of light, so they are shooting first thing what they missed and then they start a new course. We’re not shooting until 2.30pm but I bet we have the same problem, dusk hits at 8pm and it helps if you can see the targets, there’s a long day ahead, time to buckle in.

Shooting the Yellow course today at 2.30pm