Garmin Xero Bow Sight
Finger Shooting Bows
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
DarrinG 19-Feb-18
DarrinG 19-Feb-18
Bowboy 19-Feb-18
timex 19-Feb-18
ohiohunter 19-Feb-18
White Falcon 19-Feb-18
Bentstick81 19-Feb-18
Bou'bound 19-Feb-18
The last savage 19-Feb-18
spike78 19-Feb-18
Tim M 19-Feb-18
Norseman 19-Feb-18
Shug 19-Feb-18
Bentstick81 19-Feb-18
Scar Finga 20-Feb-18
elkmtngear 20-Feb-18
Bowriter 20-Feb-18
Shawn 20-Feb-18
Russ Koon 20-Feb-18
ohiohunter 20-Feb-18
Scar Finga 20-Feb-18
spike78 20-Feb-18
Hunter's Granddad 20-Feb-18
Russ Koon 21-Feb-18
Norseman 22-Feb-18
Outdoordan 22-Feb-18
Outdoordan 22-Feb-18
Outdoordan 22-Feb-18
Z Barebow 22-Feb-18
DarrinG 22-Feb-18
spike78 22-Feb-18
mgmicky 23-Feb-18
hogthief 23-Feb-18
Z Barebow 23-Feb-18
Russ Koon 23-Feb-18
Outdoordan 23-Feb-18
Curt 06-Mar-18
BOX CALL 06-Mar-18
From: DarrinG
19-Feb-18
Suggestions for finger shooting bows? I don't even mind if they are not the newest models.

From: DarrinG
19-Feb-18
I've read that Hoyt Protec, Ultratec and Striker models are suited for a finger shooter. Thoughts?

From: Bowboy
19-Feb-18
Montega or Tribute are two other finger bows from Hoyt. Also the old reflex Caribou if you can find one.

From: timex
19-Feb-18
I had a reflex caribu typical round wheel long axle to axle reflex riser Hoyt. Forgiving accurate quiet & very slow

From: ohiohunter
19-Feb-18
I had an old defiant with the red colored camo that shot great w/ fingers. I think it was 34 ata, probably find one for $100 if that. I also recently picked up a Mathews triumph that feels great at full draw fingers.

From: White Falcon
19-Feb-18

White Falcon's embedded Photo
White Falcon's embedded Photo
I shot this Javelina with a Mathews. I forgot my release.

From: Bentstick81
19-Feb-18
I'm shooting a mathews Mission UX2, instinctive with fingers. I was very surprised at how well it shoots for a very short bow.

From: Bou'bound
19-Feb-18
Hoyt aspen

19-Feb-18
Do not buy a reflex for finger shooting,,,I did when they first came out,,the archery shop "pro" assured me after a few all over the place shots I't was perfect,,,,,.yea I was an idiot....after 3 days of total madness,,,I called hoyt,,,,in no was is that bow intended for finger release the factory guy said laughing.........

From: spike78
19-Feb-18
Elite Victory although could be too much let off and back wall. I used to shoot fingers with an old Pearson Spoiler which you can find on Ebay. Also check out APA Archery they have a long ATA bow.

From: Tim M
19-Feb-18
I believe Chuck Adams still shoots fingers and is a Hoyt shooter. google what he shoots.

From: Norseman
19-Feb-18

Norseman's embedded Photo
Norseman's embedded Photo
Mathews Conquest

I’ve shot my Mathews Q2XL with fingers for the past 15+ years.

From: Shug
19-Feb-18
Matthews Icon... It’s the only bow I’ll shoot till the day I die... hopefully later than sooner

From: Bentstick81
19-Feb-18
That's a nice one Norseman. Congrats!

From: Scar Finga
20-Feb-18
Contact Bobby Fromme @ Performance Archery in San Diego, Ca. He can help you out. Not a lot of Pro shops that have anyone that shoots fingers around.

Good Luck!

From: elkmtngear
20-Feb-18

elkmtngear's embedded Photo
elkmtngear's embedded Photo
I shoot an Elite Pure with Fingers...very smooth shooting bow all around!

36 inch ATA.

Best of Luck, Jeff

From: Bowriter
20-Feb-18
I have never used a release-always been a finger shooter. I can make this extremely simple for you. Forget brand names or any type of branding. Just go shoot a lot of bows and buy the one you shoot the best. Pay no attention to length. If you like it, buy it.

From: Shawn
20-Feb-18
Mathews Conquest by far the best I have shot. I have one set up with plunger and springy rest. Shoot in instinctive great bow. I prefer an older one like the Conquest 4. Shawn

From: Russ Koon
20-Feb-18
I've shot fingers since I started, almost sixty years ago. Finally switched to a release two years ago, becuse the tendons in my my old fingers were staring to ache after just a few shots in practice, and there weren't many other finger shooters to shoot/compete with at 3D's any more.

One thing I found many years ago, when release shooters began beating me regularly at local shoots, was that the newer and faster compounds were too short ATA to shoot with the traditional style of split three-finger release. The more acute string angles make finger pinch a major factor.

I read somewhere about another finger shooter using modified release technique to shoot compounds with fingers. He pulled through the breakover with all three fingers as usual, then let the top and bottom fingers slide off the string as he got to full draw, holding the remaining draw weight with his middle finger alone.

That does a number of things, mostly all good.

It makes the bow MUCH less likely to shoot high or low because of the many variables in form like draw arm and wrist tensions, that result in the string being pulled more by the top or bottom fingers, which is often done subconciously.

It also makes the shorter bows much more shootable , since the single finger doesn't get pinched as easily as a three-finger spread.

It does take a while to practice that method of releasing until the muscle memory takes over and makes it your natural way. During the re-training process, there WILL be some accidental releases at half-draw when the fingers sortof decide on their own that it's time to release, buut those things disappear with enough summer practice by fall, you should be shooting better than ever before, and naturally enough for quick shots at rabbits or aerial targets

I found out later that the one-finger release method had also been discovered by finger shooters in target competitions where compounds were allowed but releases weren't.

The change in comfortably shootable ata length for average sized shooters had pretty much been established as being a minimum of ten inches more than draw length for the split three-finger release method, to about six inches more than draw length for the single-finger release method.

So, if you aren't already shooting the single-finger release method, you might want to consider whether you want try changing to it before putting a lot into a bow that's only shootable with the split three-finger style, and passing up the greater number of faster and usually quieter more modern ones available.

My personal favorites dropped in ata length from a 41" ata single cam Browning to a 35" ata Mathews, and my draw length was 28.5".

Still shooting the Mathews LX, and still trying to overcome the target panic that seems to come from switching from fingers to release. Recently borrowed a friend's little No-cam, and shopt it both ways. It's definitely too short for me for any extended finger shooting even with the one-finger method. I could get by with it strictly for hunting, but for me, there's a lot of practice shots required to regain and retain hunting accuracy, and that short an ata become torturous after frequent practices. Shoots sweet with a release, though, and if I really needed a new bow today, it would be at the top of my list.

From: ohiohunter
20-Feb-18
Interesting method Russ. How hard is it to let down w/ one finger? Thats gotta be tough on the ol'saluting finger. Have you ever shot your bow w/ your thumb? I believe it was the Viking or Mongolian style, basically like you're about to flip a coin instead its the string on the inside of your thumb pad. Its tough on that joint.

From: Scar Finga
20-Feb-18
Shawn X 2 I can't remember what cam is the best for fingers, but they do make a difference!

From: spike78
20-Feb-18
Russ, I too developed target panic instantly after switching to release. I wish I stayed with the fingers.

20-Feb-18
A pro tech with 65% let - off is a great bow

From: Russ Koon
21-Feb-18
ohiohunter,

Yes, letting down is touchy for a while after starting to shoot with this method, but like most anything else, you compensate for it and/or get used to it shortly with practice. The first few times it's pretty much a slowed-down dryfire, but it gets more slowed down and less spooky quickly.

Most aggravating part for me was that occasional accidental release at half draw. I had made a practice of drawing with he arrow pointing below the target anyway, for safety, but had gotten away from it sometimes when practicing out at a remote location. After a few early releases and watching my arrows go sailing over the treetops and a couple hundred yardsinto the woods, never to be seen again, I renewed my practice of making sure the draw was starting with a downwards pointing arrow. 8^)

I never experimented with the thumb release. I believe it was a Mongolian release method. I know I've seen pictures of what was described as Mongolian thumb rings that were suppsedly early release aids and were worn on the thumb with an extension that resembled a small shoehorn shape that was retained by the forefinger. Not sure if they were released by relaxing the finger, or sliding it off the end of the extension.

I did mess with a cheap plastic version of an early release device called a "bowlock" if I recall correctly, back in my recurve days. Never got consistent with it myself. My wife shot targets with me back then and she liked that one better than I did, but she also stayed with fingers for competitive shooting.

I did play with some leather pieces for a while, using them in a similar method to the thumb ring, but never got that comfortable with them, either.

From: Norseman
22-Feb-18
I do the same as Russ. Three finger draw, then drop the pointer finger.

From: Outdoordan
22-Feb-18

Outdoordan's embedded Photo
Outdoordan's embedded Photo
Shot fingers originally, then shot a release for 13 years, never could shake the target panic with the release. Tried everything until I just didn't like to shoot anymore, which was sad cause I love archery. Went back to fingers with a Hoyt Protec and really liked shooting again. Specially stump shooting. Last animal I took with the Protec.

From: Outdoordan
22-Feb-18

Outdoordan's embedded Photo
Outdoordan's embedded Photo
In 2011 I bought a Martin Shadowcat, which is a longer 40+" bow. Two years ago I switched to traditional and am really having fun with that. Although, I did lose two well shot blacktails this year with a longbow (50#). On my AZ strip hunt, I switched from longbow back to my recurve (62#) which I had killed a mulie with in 2016, however, it would not fit in my blind, so I dusted off the Martin Shadowcat and took this buck with it.

From: Outdoordan
22-Feb-18
I'd like to find a different compound that I could comfortably shoot with. So, I will follow this thread. Maybe one of the older Mathews as stated above? My Martin is nice, but I don't like the valley then sharp wall. Protec was much smoother, but not near as fast and hard hitting as the Martin.

From: Z Barebow
22-Feb-18
I am shooting a Hoyt Vantage. It is a Frankenbow, as it originally had E Wheels but former owner replaced cams (to Cam 1/2) and limbs. It took me a little to tune it, but I absolutely love the bow. I have shot nothing but fingers barebow since 16 years young (38 years ago!) Now if the shooter could capitalize with the bow, I could have plenty of grip/grin pics with that bow.

From: DarrinG
22-Feb-18
Thanks guys. I am a traditional shooter (recurves) but many years ago shot wheel bows, so they are not foreign to me. My last compound I shot fingers with was an Oregon Valiant Crusader, so that should tell you how long ago that was!

From my reading and gaining knowledge the last few weeks on compound bows for finger shooting, I am looking seriously at trying to find a Hoyt Protec...or even a little older Hoyt Striker II. My problem is finding a LEFTY at a reasonable price, as it seems some folks on such as fleabay are asking almost redicilous prices for a several year old, used bow. :( Anyhow, the search continues and I sure appreciate the advice given above.

From: spike78
22-Feb-18
Look for an older Pearson Spoiler from the 90s.

From: mgmicky
23-Feb-18
http://www.renegadebows.com/old_bows.phtml This was my go to bow before I went to trad bows. I don’t think they are in production anymore, but definitely worth checking out if you can find a used one.

From: hogthief
23-Feb-18
longest axle length possible. I shoot an old Hoyt SuperStar with fingers and it shoots better than I do. my dad shoots a reflex caribou (Hoyt), and he still shoots great! I still have a Browning Excellerator that is fun to shoot with fingers, although it has developed some squeaks and creaks that make it a non-hunter anymore. come to think of it, I've developed some squeaks and creaks too.

From: Z Barebow
23-Feb-18
DarrinG-I might be blasphemous, but I my latest finger bow from Archery Talk classifieds. I have found that site has the best selection for all shooters (They even have a LH category!) Be patient and I am pretty sure you will find what you are looking for. Now that being said, that is the only reason I "cheat" on Pat! (I hope this doesn't get me banned!)

From: Russ Koon
23-Feb-18
The letoff isn't necessarily a big factor. It depends on whether you're willing to adapt and get used to it.

I thought the "hard wall" was awkward at first, but after a while, I really preferred it, to the point that it was pretty much a requirement in later bows. It actually improves accuracy, because it really nails down the draw length. When shooting the old "long valley" bows, I would often find myself creeping forward with the drawing hand. With a definite stopping point, I soon learned to shorten the draw length to what it should have been earlier and come to rest at full draw keeping a little tension against that solid wall. Really helped with vertical group size. And you can always pull a little more against it if you personally need more holding weight to get off the string cleanly.

I shot with a guy about twenty years ago at the Triple Crown IBO shoot in Bedford who was shooting a 98% maximum letoff bow in our Hunter Fingers class. He ended up winning the class in that event, and had just returned from a spring bear hunt in Canada where he'd killed a nice bear with the same bow. Said it took all the worry out of having an animal stop behind a tree when they were almost clear for the shot.

There are always plenty of suggestions from people with the best of intentions but many of them will be based on "old wive's tales" regarding equipment changes that have been proven to be either wrong or at least a matter of personal preference years ago.

The most comfortable fit in a newer bow, the one that quickly fits your previous style of shooting and "feel", will most likely be a longer ATA and softer wall with a long valley. They will also be quite a bit slower and likely to need some work to shoot quietly. And since they will be older bows, they will most likely be harder to find parts for if needed, and usually a little heavier in the hand to carry. There are trade-offs in every decision, and the one choice that works best for you in the long run will be very hard for someone else to accurately make for you.

Your willingness to adapt and alter your shooting style, and your ability to devote practice time to getting used to something different, can open up your choices to include faster, shorter and lighter, and often quieter bows. It might not be the best choice for everyone, but others here have successfully made that choice. It is a viable option.

I would still recommend an ATA close to 6" longer than your draw length as the finger pinch issue seems to have pretty definite limit on how short the ATA can go, even with a single-finger hold.

Good luck on your selection.

From: Outdoordan
23-Feb-18
Good info Russ. I like my Martin Shadowcat because it is quite a bit faster than my Protec was. I even like the hard wall, I just wish the valley was longer, because I have to be careful when it "rolls" out of the peak and into the valley RIGHT before the wall it tends to want to "bounce" off the wall which is easier to take with a release than fingers.

My ultimate finger compound bow would have a quicker peak, longer valley, and a hard wall. ;)

From: Curt
06-Mar-18
I'm shooting a Hoyt Tribute. Love the valley and no solid back wall. Don't care bout speed, it's about placement!

From: BOX CALL
06-Mar-18
I've got old martin cougar magnums and cougar 11,and a couple of PSE.all old school finger shooters.two wheel,laminated limb bows.my old Jennings gave up the ghost.I shoot nothing but fingers.

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