Knowing that wet weather shooting is not spoken about too much, here is some information to help you when the wet weather hits:
So you role up to the weekend shoot and the sun is out. It's a great morning and you are feeling good. Equipment is good. You are all set up and ready to shoot a monster score. As you start your sighters you see a few clouds in the sky and by the start of the third dozen it happens; the heavens open and you suddenly realise that you are standing in the middle of a field, at the weekend, in the pouring rain.
With the British weather this is an all too common experience and unless you are a very "special" person it can be a painful time shooing in not ideal conditions. Being prepared for these eventualities could be the difference between still hitting that monster score or not.
So what do you do? Here are some of the hints and tips about shooting in wet weather.....
First of all the most important thing is to have suitable wet weather clothing that will keep you dry, but more importantly are suitable to shoot in. The only way you will know is to try it out. Put on your wet weather gear (ideally when it's not raining) so you can take your time and make sure the clothing fits and it's not too baggy.
If you are struggling masking tape can be a god send. Remember it's not a fashion parade. You can use the tape to stop clothing getting caught in the string when you release.
Investing in good wet weather gear is recommended. It may cost a few quid, but when you are able to shoot and stay dry you will see the results and guarantee you will have a smile on your face.
It may be obvious, but a good outdoor umbrella is a must. Try and keep as much water off you as you can. A good golf umbrella or archery brolly is a great item for a christmas or birthday list.
Other clothing that you might look at is thin warm layers. There is nothing worse than getting cold and trying to shoot, and when you become cold there is a greater chance of injury, so thin layers allow you to stay warm and dry. If you do get any item really wet you can change it quite easily.
Make sure you have good footwear to shoot in. If the rain comes down you don’t want to be skating all over the shooting field. Walking boots with a decent tread may sound a little over the top, however you will be thankful when you don’t end up with mud on your behind or worse.
Shooting in the rain can be a good experience, but be warned your arrows will normally drop on the target. The faster you adapt to the conditions the more chance you have of still hitting that monster score. Many national records have been shot in poor conditions. You relax and just let the shot happen as sub consciously you say to yourself that you will not hit the score.
Keeping your bow as dry as possible is difficult but it is worth the hassle. Have a towel handy and wipe off excess water BEFORE you shoot. You will be surprised at the difference this will make.
Make sure you stay hydrated. Just because it's raining and cool, it doesn't mean your body will not need fluids. Drinking a little but often is the key and ideally liquid that is at room temperature.
Last but by no means least you will need some form of shelter. A good size for the spectator line for your bow and you. These range from £50 to £150, but well worth the investment.
As you will probably get the hint, this is all about preparation. The more you have covered the ”what if’s” the better the score you will be able to achieve.
There is lots here that have only touched the surface, bit like looking at an ice-burg, there is so much more that you can not see. If you have some thoughts on this please do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and title your email “Wet Weather Shooting”, and some of the replies will be posted on line. Please let us know your thoughts.
Shoot em strong and see you on the shooting line soon.