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May 2014  
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Lessons Learned
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  3rd June 2014

The end conclusion for the Falcons is "very nearly". From around 35 yards short at the start of the day, the closest they came to the Gents' circle was 15' or so.

From talking to experienced Clouters, two things could help with this.

  • Making the arrows heavier and stiffer at the front, with bigger piles and footing respectively.
  • More power, Igor. My bow makes 46lb or so at my ridiculous short 24.5" draw. If I can get up to 60lb or so I should get there no sweat.

Quite a few Clouters shoot horsebows, which compared to a new longbow are pretty inexpensive. They're less accurate but in Clout that's less of an issue.

So my nest step is to replace the 80gr piles with 100gr - cheap and easy - and treat myself to a crunchy horsebow with as much wallop as I can get.

The overall result is a success; I now don't feel I just can't clout, and I look forward to more adventures into this distinctly enjoyable sector of the sport of Archery.

Postscript, September 2014: After some more experimentation, these arrows do go further with the horsebow than any of the others, including borrowed 11/32 arrows. 160y was still a real struggle. Perhaps a thumb-ring?

Update, April 2015: Recently, I took these arrows to my first Flight shoot, where we were shown how to use a high-tech folded piece of paper to achieve a 45° shot (see R). It's far steeper than you expect! With that, my longbow, a shelf tab, and the Falcons with 100gr points, I made 212 yards to my own amazement.

So they can do it after all. Unfortunately, the slender necks of the Falcons coupled with a still fairly high weight make them very, very prone to shear at the neck, and I now have only six left. Despite this, they have been a success and will bequeath their lessons to the next set of Birds of Prey.

Update, September 2015: In the wake of flight shooting, the Falcons and the Horsebow combined with an actual technique have proved equal to the challenge; I can now score the odd point at Clout and go over if I choose! I still have six Falcons (the others were evidently Thin Yoghurts). Let's see what happens at this year's Crecy!