RE: [SCA-Archery] Popinjay shoots
- There was a popinjay shoot, as described here, at the International Horse
Archery Festival, in Iowa, too. The local archery club supplied
specially-designed for the shoot; 6 for $1, I think. They were blunted,
with flu-flus to control over shot, but also, as I recall, were also tapered
such that they "scooped" upward toward the target. I may be able to track
down the information on their construction, if anyone was interested.
From: SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SCA-Archery@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Greg Young/Jocelyn Wirth
Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:36 PM
Subject: [SCA-Archery] Popinjay shoots
There is a style of popinjay shoots still being practiced in Belgium to
this day. A number of archery clubs in Canada are dedicated to this type
of shoot, including two clubs here in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
It involves a tall pole approx. 80 feet with what looks like a christmas
tree arrangement on top. It is a series of tiers with steel pegs with 10
pegs on the lower tier, with the number of pegs decreasing towards the top
with one final peg. Small wooden "birds" (about 2 inches long with a
feather attached) are pressed onto the pegs, held in place by friction.
The birds have certain point values assigned according to the tier they are
on, with the top bird or "King" having the highest value (and also most
decorated, with more feathers attached).
The archers stand at the base of the pole and shoot almost straight up in
order to knock the birds off of their pegs with blunted arrows, either
specially made in Belgium or plastic blunts made especially for this sport
attached to a regular arrow. Naturally, all eyes are on the arrows as they
are shot on account of the wild trajectories if the arrow should strike any
of the steel structure at the top!
I tried this out for one summer with the Saint Sebastian Archery Club here
and had a lot of fun. The birds are difficult to hit and bending backwards
can be hard on the back, but it was still fun. Although all of the archers
in the club use recurves or compounds, I am sure it could be done with
lower-powered crossbows. Too much draw weight and an arrow could shatter
if it struck the target structure square on.
Baron Robin Kyrke
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