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HFT Diary - Forward Planning

HFT Diary - Forward Planning

As the clocks gently click over to another year, it’s that time again, to calmly take stock, and look forward to another season of Hunter Field Target shooting. Time to reflect on last year’s highs and lows, try and assess our strengths and weaknesses, and revue our approach for the coming months.

Shoot entries

Fancy getting involved in the 2018 HFT season? Then it doesn’t pay to hang around. The UKAHFT-run World Championships, held once again at the lovely Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, are already fully booked, with a full complement of 360 shooters all paid up and eager for the two-day event to arrive. But if you fancy taking part in other national shoots over the course of the year, there are plenty of dates to consider. Many take us to beautiful outdoor locations too, which is all part of the attraction.

The United Kingdom Air-rifle Hunter Field Target association (UKAHFT) National Rounds can get over subscribed, so it pays to get in early. Look at their website at https://sites. google.com/site/ukahft/ and click on ‘Forms’, to print off the application form for the season’s shoots. There are nine separate rounds, and entries for these events are all postal applications, and payment is required, normally by cheque, in advance. Sometimes the entries fill up, and the organisers keep a list running of standby shooters interested in a place, if one should become available, so try and get in early to avoid disappointment.

The masters

HFT Masters events are a separate series altogether, and have a more relaxed approach to booking; and here, notification tends to be on Facebook, or the organiser’s website www. hftmasters.com . Keep an eye out for an on-line list of shooters for each event, and add your name to one as appropriate, as entries are sometimes limited. Payment is on the day. Much the same rules apply across the two organisations, with perhaps the biggest difference being that the HFT Masters shoots have all unsupported discipline shots, which is a great challenge, and run a two-tier shooter class system, so newcomers have a greater chance of success initially.

I tend to shoot two thirds of each series through the year, and thoroughly enjoy both. Look for the double date weekends, as these are deliberately arranged to minimise travel ideally. These are an opportunity to stay away in a hotel or even camp over, adding a big social side to the sport, which is a big draw for many.

Masterclass

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One feature set to make a return in 2018, is the highly successful Master Class courses, run by the HFT Masters crew. These are a series of training courses, laid on for novices to the sport, whereby some of the top shots in HFT pass on their skills and experience by way of demonstration, in a class environment. These days have proved very popular, so will be eagerly awaited I’m sure. Sessions will be run throughout the year, at either Maldon’s M.A.D. HFT club ground, or Pete’s Airgun Farm- both based in Essex, and having discussed the venture with Ian Bainbridge, from HFT Masters, the dates are to be decided soon. Once dates are set, we at Shooting Sports plan to cover an event, so it should be quite exciting all round!

UKAHFT rule change

Obviously, rules exist to govern the sport of HFT, and the UKAHFT organisation has arrived at a set of rules that most clubs now work to. It’s worth keeping an eye on any changes that are made, as they are amended from time to time- either to close a loophole that devious competitors are exploiting (it inevitably happens in all sports), or to subtly alter the dynamics of the target course. This year sees an amendment to the section that deals with supported kneeling shots, and the change was apparently trialed through the winter league shoots. There must be 2 x supported kneeling shots with hit zones of 25mm at 8-30 yards, (as before), but now there can also be kneelers at 35-45mm at 8-40 yards. The change effectively allows supported shots now out to 40 yards, which is worth noting!

Kit review

I spent much of last year chasing my tail, and making changes all too often, using a selection of rifles, with a variety of add-ons. Not ideal, and the sign of someone swimming against the tide. If anything, this is the time of year to decide on which rifle to use, and then stick with it, to arrive at a level of consistency, and that all-important familiarity. The well-known and much used adage of ‘beware the man with one gun’ still holds true. So, get happy with a combination, and then get to know it inside out and stick with it!

For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are possible), and all the latest information on anything connected with Hunter Field Target shooting, look at the following websites: https://sites.google.com/site/ukahft/ and www.shooting-the-breeze.com https:// sites.google.com/site/whfta1/ In addition, details of HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.com and www.whfto.com

UKAHFT 2018 national series planned shoot dates

Pre Season - 29th April, Dunfermline
R1 - 20th May, Misfits, Rutland
R2 - 23rd June, Rivington Rifles, nr Bolton
R3 - 24th June, Emley Moor, Yorks
R4 - 21st July, M.A.D., Essex
R5 - 22nd July M.A.D.
R6 - 18th August, Furnace Mill, Shropshire
R7 - 19th August, Nomads
R8 - 23rd September, Cambridge
R9 - 21st October, Quarry Hunters, Wales

HFT masters planned shoot dates for 2018

Round 1 - 22nd April, Cambridge
Round 2 - 12th & 13th May Northern Shooting Show, Harrogate
Round 3 - 17th June Cloybank, Scotland
Round 4 - 28th July Emley Moor
Round 5 - 29th July Rivington
World HFT Champs. - 4Th & 5th August, Czech Republic
Round 6 - 2nd September, Venue to be advised
Round 7 - 28th October, M.A.D., Essex
Master Classes - Dates T.B.A, Pete’s Airgun Farm / M.A.D.

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