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HFT Diary - Home in the range

HFT Diary - Home in the range

Sustained manky weather, as in persistent high winds and record rainfall, has well and truly put a dampener on the early part of this year. I’ve never seen quite so much surface water lying in patches on my local fields as has been the case recently, and I moved to Lincolnshire in 2000! Storm Herbert and his annoying mates have definitely put a spanner in the works, and that means that much of our careful preparation for the coming HFT competition season has had to be put on hold. Yet, if like me, the withdrawal symptoms set in if shooting sessions are missed, then action needs to be taken. It’s more serious than that of course, for those of us that compete, and harbour dreams of lifting silver cups in our sleep! For a long lay-off spells disaster and slow reactions come the next top-flight competition, will soon destroy our first outing of any note.

In short then, repetition and familiarity with our chosen hardware, keeps everything ticking over. So, when the going gets rough, running for cover is the answer, and with an increasing number of dedicated indoor shooting facilities to play with, this is perhaps the time to explore what’s on offer. OK; shooting on a set range indoors may not be duplicating what we encounter on a typical HFT course, but any consistent practise with our main kit, is still a big help where serious preparation is concerned.

Indoor facilities

There are, I’m sure, many indoor shooting facilities around the country, that accommodate airguns, but I’ve listed below, a few of the specialist venues that have arisen, to cater for the growing number of enthusiasts who wish to set up their kit free from the effects of the outside elements. Being able to fine tune the zero, so that you know that your favourite competition rig is shooting pin perfect, is a major asset and a huge boost to the confidence. Trying to set everything up outside in a 50mph wind is hardly conducive to good results and has us just chasing the pellets, so to speak. Dead calm still air indoors is therefore the way to go, if utter precision is the goal. Keeping dry undercover is obviously another benefit that comes with this kind of facility, and as a fair-weather shooter these days, (unless I get caught mid competition in a downpour), it’s all part of the civilised approach that I now favour.

The only exception here is the Range and Country ranges, which whilst they allow for precision bench rested shooting, all under covered firing points, still have firing points open to the elements. Put on the thermals, coat and all the gear however, and the impressive facilities can still be appreciated.

  • Doncaster Airgun Range, Doncaster, Yorkshire, DN1 2ST; www.doncaster-airgun-range.co.uk 07563 880042
  • Atherton Indoor Range, Atherton, Lancashire, M46 9FD; www.athertonindoorrange.co.uk 07745 278372
  • Pete’s Airgun Farm, near Chelmsford, Essex; www.airgunfarm.co.uk 07973 509198
  • Range & Country Airgun Club, North Rauceby, Lincolnshire, NG34 8QU; www.rangeandcountry.co.uk 01529 414728
  • Impact Ranges, Cambridgeshire, - OPENING SOON 01954 231518
  • On Target Range, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN4 7DY; www.ontargetrange.co.uk 01604 315224

World awaits

For those unaware, a few weeks back, the organisation behind the Midland Game Fair held at Weston Park, - Countryman Fairs, announced that they had gone into liquidation; and with this event the intended backdrop for the World Championships, I was quite concerned when I heard the news. However, it turns out that the show must, and will indeed go on, and a supposed brand-new event will now take place under the heading of ‘Our Countryside Rocks’. WHAT? Yes, that’s what I thought, but our World Championship will still be a part of it, and as far as I can see, it will be business as usual.

story continues below...

Speaking of which, entries are now open for this prestigious event, so if you fancy taking part and lining up against the best HFT shooters from around the globe, then the World Hunter Field Target Championships, (the Weston Park UK based event, not to be confused with the WHFTO rival tournament) is a must. Last year’s event, the first HFT Worlds held at Weston Park, was widely regarded as one of the best to date, with amazing surroundings, and admittedly superb sunny weather. Either way, my entry is now in the post and I can’t wait!

An entry form can now be printed off from the website, completed and sent to the organisers along with payment (either cheque or postal order). Whilst there is normally a large entry for this top event, around the 360 mark, most likely, places do tend to fill up quite quickly; so, if you do fancy taking part, I would get on the case pronto! A fantastic wooded venue and top-class target courses await, so you won’t regret it! www.whfta.org

United Kingdom Hunter Field Target Association (UKAHFT) calendar 2020:

Pre-season 22nd March 2020 Theydon ARC, Theydon Bois, Essex, (RM4 1ST)
Round 1 26th April 2020 Misfits HFTC, Leicestershire, (LE16 7QB)
Round 2 17th May 2020 Meon Valley, Hampshire, (SO32 3QX)
UKAHFT National Recoil Championship 7th June 2020 Details TBA
Round 3 27th June 2020 Rivington, Lancashire, (BL7 0HG)
Round 4 28th June 2020 Emley Moor, Yorkshire, (WF4 4HZ)
Round 5 18th July 2020 Maldon & District (M.A.D.), Essex, (CM3 6PZ)
Round 6 19th July 2020 Maldon & District (M.A.D.), Essex, (CM3 6PZ)
Round 7 22nd August 2020 Furnace Mill, Shropshire (DY14 8NR)
Round 8 23rd August 2020 Nomads HFT, Worcestershire, (WR6 6PL)
Round 9 25th October 2020 Quarry Hunters, South Wales, (NP12 2BQ)
Gathering November (TBA) TBA

World Hunter Field Target Association
World HFT Champs., 19th & 20th Sep 2020, Weston Park, Shropshire, (TF11 8LE) www.whfta.org

World Hunter Field Target Organization

* European Hunter Field Target Championships 5-7th June 2020 Hungary (Ravazd) www.ehftc2020.eu/en/
* World Hunter Field Target Championships 24-26th July 2020 Slovakia (Skycov) www.whfto.com

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, take a look at the following websites: www.whfto.com www.ehftc2020.eu/en/ www.whfta.org www.ukahft.org and www.shooting-the-breeze.com and the portal website www.ukahft.com

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