Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Target Panic

Today was another good day at the bow bender’s club out in the country. I don’t get it…the baby dropped a massive deuce but it was no big deal because we have a dirt floor. I quickly picked up and bagged the land mine and retched at the smell. I then put it in the plastic garbage can but the funk filled the gigantic barn sized building. Then I cleaned up some other stuff and opened the garbage can again…and for some reason the plastic bag wasn’t containing the horrible stench! Like an ill wind… the invisible reek came billowing up out of that garbage can and I nearly keeled over. Heroically, with no regard to my own personal safety…I grabbed the bag and staggered out to the Dawgmobile and carefully put the bomb in the back of the truck. Friends…I say unto you that there are Marines and …sob…Texans that smell like roses compared to that little pupper. I think I got PTSD! Again! How does a knotted and sealed bag manage to stink like that?!?!


But…the glorious good news is that the ordeal may have finally dislodged a serious psychological problem I’ve had for years: target panic.

Target panic is something that afflicts almost every serious archer at some point in their recreational shooting careers. It can take years to resolve for some. It’s ruined promising archers since the game was invented. Here’s how it works: when the human body draws and anchors the bow for the shot, there’s a lot of mental and psychological gears turning throughout. During the aiming process the conscious mind seeks to align the sights with the target…and the subconscious mind reflexively prepares for a large explosive release of energy upon the arrow’s release. The body will “flinch” during the release and that in turn causes all kinds of other problems that destroy accuracy. Archers will ‘punch’ their release, they’ll fall out of form, they won’t follow through, they’ll move during and after the release - and all of this precipitates a blown shot. It happens in milliseconds and controlling it is crucial to a good shot. When it becomes entrenched…the hapless archer gets even more frustrated as he tries to cope with it…and that in turn leads to even more inaccuracies. Which causes more frustration and mental issues. 

For me it was infuriating and manifested itself with chronically undershooting my target. During the aiming process my sights often would sink below the target and raising them back up was a nightmare, the bow would seem to weigh a thousand pounds and my mind refused to raise it. It’s the damnedest thing that has been dogging me for years.

Today, after having my nasal passages and sinuses cleared out…I found myself able to shoot again. My trigger finger disaccoiated itself from my eyes, allowing me a close to perfect trigger squeeze. The bow was able to fire itself, free of any induced human error. Doing this is a mental trick like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time…just more difficult. Once you master that…you will be able to compete. 

The classic archery course of fire is 30 arrows at 20 yards, at a standard bullface like the one above. Bullseye is 10, with a perfect score of 300. Most determined shooters will get into the 270 range scores with some serious practice and decent equipment. The men are separated from the boys in the 280s. In the 290s…you are looking at the true marksmen, often shooting advanced target rigs with low draw weights and optical sights. For a piker like me…280s are damned fine scores. Today we got a 276. Not bad…nothing to brag about…but nothing to really complain about either. 

I owe my good score and straight arrows to my Maker… or to an incredibly rank little bag of dogshite…!  A miracle? Worked through a little dog and a bag of crap? It would be proof that God loves His retards and their rude jokes, and it makes me smile to think of things that way.

Thanks for stopping in and hearing me prattle! Have a great Humpday!


  1. Compound or real bow ?

  2. DOG/GOD works in mysterious ways. Truly, you are blessed. NOW, every chance you get, don't fuck up. Immortal advice from Tech Sargent Metcalf, basic training, San Antonio, Tex., August, 1969. It was warm that day.

  3. Maybe save a little of the offscour and make mustache wax with it? Eau de Pup. Just for the competition mind you, not for a date with the missus.

  4. I had the very good fortune of being taught how to shoot a bow by Van and Shirley - both professional archers. The first time I had target panic, they gave me some advice that worked for me - I have passed it on to others since then; it doesn't work for everyone. As long as you have been in archery, I am sure that you have tried this technique for overcoming the target panic:

    I go to the line and get set up as always. Come to full draw and sight the bow. Then I close my eyes and do my best to forget the bow and concentrate and focus as hard as I am able on the sensations in my back muscles.

    Shoot 30 arrows that way and target panic is eliminated for me .... until the next time I have it.

    By the way, I always shot in 300 league with a Darton Viper set at 70lbs - until it was stolen. The best I ever did with it was 299. My average per season at my league was generally in the 280s.

    1. Holy crap! I was a Darton guy too...twenty-some years ago. I am pretty sure I was shooting that new Darton Viper at the time too. I went from that to the PSE solo cam like all the cool kids of the day... and never accomplished much with it.

      For now I'm a Matthews shooter... I love the Hoyt high end bows but the draw cycle on them just don't agree with me at all...

    2. The Viper was indeed one of the best of the late 90s. Everything of note that I killed with a bow was done with that Viper with the exception of the Cape Buffalo (it was illegal in Mozambique to hunt buff with a bow under 100lbs draw weight at the time). It was the first bow that I owned, so it has a special place in my memory.

      I bought a Matthews Solo-Cam for my sister on her last Christmas before cancer took her - that one was also stolen in the same burglary that got my Viper (and about six other bows). So I am fond of the Matthews bows as well.

    3. Those bloody solo cams! All the snipers in my neck of the woods went to them and I just got spanked at the tournaments. Like you though…I was shooting aluminum XX78s. Somebody convinced me to go to the 2512 shafts and you could bend them with a dirty look. I tried to sell my old solo cam on kijiji but didn’t get one single offer 😂

      I gave it and the dozens of 2512s away just to be done with them…