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HFT Diary: Take to the Indoors!

Indeed, it’s no coincidence that indoor ranges are enjoying an explosion of popularity at the moment, as an increasing number of shooters discover the benefits of doing their thing inside, and in relative comfort. Of course, one huge advantage is that the shooting can take place regardless of wet conditions, on days when we would otherwise have had to lock away the kit and give up on the idea. And venues such as Pete’s Airgun Farm, near Chelmsford, down in Essex, are gearing up to take advantage. Pete offers a variety of memberships, allowing shooters to turn up several days a week, for effectively a reduced rate. There’s a massive selection of knock-down targets to shoot at, or you can set up paper-types, out to a full Field Target 55yards.

Strive to succeed

Doncaster Ranges, run by Brian Samson, is another great example, of the interest that’s out there, and this range again offers the airgun enthusiast a full distance for HFT- out to 45 yards. If you want to succeed in Hunter Field Target, then the first pre-requisite is that you possess a rifle scope combination that has been perfectly zeroed, and that means wind-free conditions, and shooting ideally from a rested position. Trying to battle against the elements outdoors is all very well, and of course we choose to be outdoors in beautiful country locations for our regular sport. But the back-ground homework, so vital to any serious competition campaign, can benefit enormously from fine tuning, indoors.

These ranges allow anyone to set up paper targets at each distance, normally 5-yard intervals, and track the impact point through the trajectory. Make a neat diagram or note that trajectory, and the knowledge is then banked, ready to be called upon, come the next competition. Apart from setting up the rifle combination initially, trials with different pellets can be undertaken, and the results used. But the confidence that comes from seeing exactly how particular ammo shoots, and from seeing that perfect zero set, is not to be underestimated

And so, to Kelmarsh?

This year’s HFT season seems to be a later start than previous years, and whilst there are inevitably winter leagues, smaller events, and regional competitions happening periodically around the country, most weekends, the first national event is the World Championships (UKAHFT), hosted again at the Kelmarsh Country Fair, in Northamptonhsire. This is a two-day event, entries to which had filled out by late last year, I believe. 360 shooters will slog it out, through two, 30-target courses, shot over the two days, and with teams descending from around the globe, it should be an exciting opener to the season.

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So, who is in with a shout this time round? Well, a glance at the final series placings last year will tell you that Daz Taylor and last year’s champion, James McLachlan, won’t be far away. But seasoned campaigner, Dave Ramshead, a former UKAHFT Series Champion, is due his turn on the rostrum, having come close on several occasions in the past few years. Former World Champion, Vince Holland, is still a class act, whilst Neil Wakelin is another name who has shown some real consistency over the last year or so. Bear in mind though, that we were all taught a thing or two by Rudy Goldslade, who lifted the title in 2014 when he was just 16, and it’s clear that HFT is a sport where age or sex are no barrier to success. If you possess the talent, and the nerve to see the job through, anything is possible. On that score, keep an eye on young Tom Willingham, 14-16 years Series winner in 2017, and now competing with the adults. Another cool customer, who’s held in there, and learnt his craft.

One thing’s for sure, the winner will have earned their place, after a hard-fought weekend, and I for one can’t wait for the action to start!

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

1st & 2nd April-  World HFT Championships (UKAHFT), Kelmarsh, Northamptonshire

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 22ndJuly - 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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