Now that the summer outdoor season has started at Knepp it is time to make every member, who wants to shoot, aware that every piece of equipment has to be brought from the Club’s shed onto the field and erected; and packed away at the end of the session. It is only sensible to help out where you can, so that we can get shooting as quickly as possible. For this reason, I will outline the procedure for setting up so that if the “old dependables” don’t show up there will be no doubt about what to do, or how to do it.

Because Knepp Castle Estate stipulates that we cannot use obtrusive markers we had to devise a system so that we can place the shooting line and target bosses where we want them to be for the particular requirements of the day. This has been done by sinking numbered house bricks, at 10 yard intervals, along the edge of the ground adjacent to the tree line. The first one, numbered ‘0’, is positioned down the field from the service road which leads to the car park. This is the closest point to that road at which any target boss can be placed to maintain an appropriate overshoot safety zone. I put one of the stakes into the ground there so that it can be seen easily.

Once that has been done, decide what the maximum distance over which anyone wants to shoot will be. If, for example, someone wants 60yards, the shooting line must be established 60yards down the field from the ‘0’ brick. If more is needed, extend the distance to the shooting line from the ‘0’ brick.

The shooting line needs to be marked out by a length of blue rope with a stake at each end to stretch it taut. If a boss is required for beginners at 10yards, put a stake in the ground at the 50yard point (assuming that the shooting line is at 60yds from ‘0’). For 20 yards put a stake by the 40yard brick. For 30 yards…… well you work it out!

The numbering system may seem cock-eyed but the essential point is that if nobody wants to shoot at the longer range, bring the shooting line up the field towards the ‘0’ brick. This reduces the distance that the target bosses have to be wheeled and as soon as you have done your turn in moving them you will appreciate this! Fortunately, the ground has not been churned up so much by the animals this year and the ground has been rolled  ̶  but I still recommend that the bosses be taken along the surfaced road. When they have been positioned, put the bogie wheels a good way from them so that stray arrows don’t puncture the tyres.

Once set up, the bosses need to be secured by being tied to a pin in the ground. That prevents them falling forward, or being blown forward on a windy day; and arrows from being damaged or broken if a boss falls from its stand with arrows protruding. (Pins designed for this are kept in the bosses, with rope to use as ties).

It is advisable that bosses being used for beginners be rested on the ground against a couple of stakes so that arrows can be aimed downwards. This will make it easier to find arrows that miss!

The ‘heavy’ work of moving bosses about and into position is probably best left to the strongest (though foam bosses are fairly light) but there is no reason why the ladies and youngsters should not help out, for example by staking out the shooting line and the restricting rope around the track at the top of the shooting field that prevents people going into the overshoot area.

The general principal is that those who get the equipment out can, justifiably, pack up early if they want. Those who arrive late make their contribution by packing away.

Happy shooting to you all.

Brian Clarke – Shipley Bowmen Committee