Mile Oak Welcome back shoot and 2019 Southern Hunters.

8 October 2020  |  Air Arms

Air Arms ambassador, Gary Chillingworth reports on the return of competition shooting at Mile Oak's welcome back shoot and 2019 Southern Hunters.

It has now been more than 6 months since many of us have shot competitively, a few of us have been lucky enough to shoot in our gardens and there have been a few people who have been able to meet and shoot together, however, a proper, full on competition has been only a dream.

Luckily, however, Charles Peel the Air Arms Team Captain and Supreme Overlord of Mile Oak shooting club has spent time looking into the rules about gatherings and competitions and with some work, on Sunday the 23rd September we were able to have our first shoot of the year.

Complying with Government Guidelines.

To make the shoot Covid safe, the numbers were restricted to two sessions of 30 shooters each, (to comply with government guidelines) there were 30 pegs and with groups of two to a peg who were keeping a meter apart, the shooters were able to leave a clear peg between them and the group in front and behind. The pegs themselves were pieces of covered rebar and each shooter was given a plastic sleeve to place over them. Each shooter was also given a string puller. The supported standing and kneeling shots were taken using metal scaffolding polls instead of trees and between each shooter using them, the polls were cleaned

The shoot itself was vintage Mile Oak, with 15 targets in the woods (that were a mixture of technical and downright tough) and then there was the open field with a small gale blowing from left to right with the odd cow being blown over. There were some great targets throughout the course, but the one that made everyone laugh was the school bus with two pictures of infamous shooters looking out the windows. Trust me, it is very wrong to look through a scope and see Graeme Cargan and Jean Greatrex looking back at you from the target.

The shoot was not just an excuse for us to get out and shoot some tin chickens though, it was also there to raise some money for some good causes. The first of these was Cancervive a wonderful organisation that looks after the people who are left behind when people pass from Cancer and the second was St Wilfrids hospice, this again is a fantastic organisation and one who looked after Terry Aiken, one of the Southern Hunter family who passed a few years back.

It was decided that there would only be two classes for this shoot, Open and Recoiling and the winners were Richard Woods who shot a respectable 55 with his Anschutz and Gary Chillingworth who shot a 58 with his Air Arms TX200HC, it’s quite rare for the top score of the day to be taken with a springer and Richard was seen in the car park having a little cry afterwards.

Finally, this comp was also used to wrap up the 2019 Air Arms Sponsored Southern Hunters series and award the trophies  and the winners were, in

Open class winner, Richard Woods,

In Recoiling, Nigel Wood (who used his AA TX200 to take the title for the 3rd year on the trot).


  • In the ladies, Debbie McNahught (with her AA HFT-500)
  • Vet’s, Mike Burgess (with His AA FTP-900) in .22 
  • Juniors, Ethan Dailey shot better than most of the adults.
  • Finally the teams went to Cops and Robbers.

Every year Air Arms very generously give a wonderful prize and this year was no exception, on offer was a stunning Air Arms S500 and the lucky winner was Roy Pearce, so, on behalf of everyone, congratulations to his wife Barbara on her new rifle, as Roy lost it within 10 seconds of winning it.

This was a great event and everyone had fun that was safe and secure, shoots like this are going to be the path back to competitive shooting and I hope that there will be more events to come.
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