Contributors to this thread:
Back Tension Breaking Weight
Does anyone change the weight that their release breaks during the summer to train and up the poundage it breaks at for hunting? Or do you shoot with the same poundage all year and just become more consistent?
I use a Carter tension activated release, and I notice that I'm much more accurate when my breaking weight is minimal. However, and this is a big however, if I've got some adrenaline going on, I tend to pull into the back part of the valley and into the wall without noticing and then when I deactivate the safety, the bow goes off.
What are your recommendations?
If you are going to hunt with one, I'd put the breaking weight about 2 pds heavier than your practise weight. Adrenaline definitely makes you pull harder!
I haven't had the balls to use my Silverback hunting, yet. It would be a benefit in that it will force you to be extremely conscious of your shot sequence and make you shoot the same as you do in practice.
I know wyobullshooter hunted with a tension release for a couple of seasons with good success.
Wyobullshooter really helped me "relearn" how to shoot in 2015 and 2016 with a tension activated release. I started two huge threads on my target panic and switching to a back tension release for hunting and he was one of the main contributors. After switching to a back tension release, my hunting success jumped dramatically.
Dino, I think your advice makes real good sense.
Personally....I would practice with it heavier and try to get comfortable shooting it heavier. I know on my thumb triggers I tend to get light on trigger tension when shooting at game so if anything happens on game I tend to have to pull a little harder.
Bowfreak -- that's interesting. But with a thumb trigger, can you pull into the wall of your bow without having to deactivate a safety?
Yes. But what happens is your preload doesn't end up being the same and your shot may break down slightly compared to your normal shot. It's possible your front shoulder raises a bit, you don't have as much preload on your thumb as normal. Both act as if you had an increase in DL (super micro level). This makes the shot a little tougher to go off and makes you think you are pulling much farther than normal.
I recently bumped up the breaking weight (2 lbs) on my Silverback to find that I would start falling out of my peep a little more than when I had it set at my normal 4 lbs over the holding weight. I didn't like the results so I ended up setting back. 4 lbs TO ME is perfect for all target shooting and hunting.
My wife heart shot 2 bucks last year with a silverback. It has really helped build her confidence back. I had to set it a little stiffer for hunting with cold weather gear on. I practiced with it a bit but found if I set my thumb trigger release up so that the barrel is deep in my thumb. I can just pinch my thumb and index finger together creating a surprise release. When those rutting bucks come in hot I’d hate to miss a opportunity because my back tension wouldn’t go off.
This is all good stuff.
I find that when my tension is set too heavy, my front shoulder lifts up causing my muscles to engage and then my shot goes to hell.
WOuldn't in make sense to set it super light to train the proper form, and then turn up the tension just a bit at the end of the summer? That's what I'm thinking anywya.
Chasewild. You could try it, it may work for you. I am on year #2 with my Silverback and I tried it too find it created bad habits and my shooting suffered. Just because it didn't work for me don't mean it wont for you. Everyone is different when it comes to a release.
I'll give it a shot, try to work on my form, and see if I can get more consistent. My bow arm seems to be the problem. So if I can isolate that without changing the weight, I'll do that.
The idea is to set it up heavy to learn mechanics and lighten it up after you are more seasoned. Shooting it super light will unfortunately probably lead you to where you ran from.....TP.
Chasewild, I'm glad to hear your hunting success has improved! All I did was pass on what worked for me from those much more knowledgeable, although for a long time I had a doctorate's degree in world class TP!
I'll echo Bowfreak's recommendation 1000%. Shooting a "hairy" trigger is a disaster waiting to happen for a couple reasons. It's impossible to have a surprise release, which is imperative for 99.999% of us. It only takes a few shots to get the yips and destroy all the work you've put in to control TP. Secondly, if you're concerned about your release firing before you're settled in, your concentration will be on your release rather than aiming. That leads to what I referred to in my first point...that demon called TP.
Several years ago, I was able to transition to a normal index finger release (Carter Rx1) from my tension activated release. As midwest alluded to, I had great success with my Carter Backstrap for the 2 seasons I used it. I killed a once-in-a-lifetime P&Y elk and moose. What it did was allow me to develop a correct shot sequence using back tension to fire my release. Thank God, I no longer have the uncontrollable urge to hammer the release, rather I simply squeeze my shoulder blades together until it fires. That said, when I did use my Backstrap, I used the same setting year-round. I set it to where it fired between 2-4 seconds of applying back tension. Full disclosure, there were times during practice or tournament where it would take a little longer than I'd like to fire, but when taking shots at my animals, my concentration, and confidence, was so great, I could float my pin on the spot I wanted to hit until the release broke...knowing my arrow would hit the spot I wanted.
Long story short, my recommendation is set your tension to fire before you start feeling uncomfortable, and leave it there. However, under NO circumstance would I ever recommend to anyone to set your trigger light.
It's funny, about this time every year, I almost go through a shooting slump. And my natural inclination is to change something, but inevitably, I end up going back to a heavy break point so I can focus on aiming. Thanks for the input, really appreciate it.
I've been shooting a hinge for a few years now and love hunting with it. I made a custom braided wrist tether for it so I don't lose it, they are expensive to replace, ask me how I know.
I use my silverback to shoot 3D all summer, and use it to practice with my hunting bow so I can keep the demon TP at bay. While hunting I use a thumb button release. I find while hunting I do more waiting then shooting, I don't get the urge to punch the trigger.
I’ve got 4 Backstrap releases. Will sell them for $50 each.
Something that might help you is I've found that the best shots I take are the ones I don't take. Meaning I let down on half the shots I draw. It definitely tells my subconscience mind that I'll shoot with my conscience mind when I want to. Also check out that guy from Oregon who gives the iron mind shooting talk. Joe (i am drawing a blank) That stuff really helped me.
Joel Turner, Iron Mind Hunting.
All good advice. Appreciate it.
I would recommend not hunting with that style of release. Find something that mimics it's geometry with a trigger. Those releases are just begging for trouble in a hunting scenario...
“I would recommend not hunting with that style of release.”
Couldn’t disagree more. Use what works best for YOU.. Use what gives YOU the most confidence to execute a shot, be it an index finger release, thumb release, resistance activated release, etc. Granted, it may not be the ideal choice for someone that isn’t fighting the TP demon, but for someone that is, it may be the ONLY choice.
Not only did the Backstrap help me overcome TP, my son still uses his to this day, with great results.
Wouldn't recommend a back tension release?
I too disagree with this statement. Not only has it kept me from taking shots I shouldn't, but when I NEEDED to make a shot, there is no way I could have made the shots I made with a trigger. I tried the Like Mike this winter for a month, and I could still feel it moving before the shot broke. SO I went back to a Carter Squeeze me.
Since starting this thread, I've "set it and forget it." And that mental decision has allowed me, already, to get back to what I was forgetting -- the process. FOcus on the shot execution and the arrow will go where it needs too.
I have killed two deer in two years with a Silverback release. One at 28 yds and the other at 25 yds. The arrow went right where I was looking/aiming instead of the old drive by and hammer the trigger hitting them high or low due to T.Panic. The key is to PRACTICE with it. I can make the shot go off pretty much on command, but I do practice for hunting scenarios thoroughly and I shoot nearly daily. Essentially I have made the release a habit or second nature. I cannot imagine shooting with any other release!
I’m shooting a Carter Squeeze me which is the newer version of the Backstrap. I’ve been shooting exclusively this spring and plan to hunt with it. However I think I need to up my weight.
Native Okie -- I had to do the same thing. My first year hunting with it, I had all kinds of trouble because I had it set too light. The next year, I dialed it up and it turned into second nature like Boatman describes above. That year, I made a perfect 43 yard shot on a bull with my wife sitting right next to me -- the pressure was extreme for me, and I just focused on the process. It's a good release. I'm sure there are others, but it does the trick.