Contributors to this thread:
What’s your “trigger”?
I shot fingers for almost 50 years and have switched to a release. Bought Dudley’s Back Strap back tension release and am really working on every shot being a surprise. How do you make the shot go off? Squeezing shoulder blades, elbow moving back, push/pull???? Thanks!
I could be wrong, but thought that back tension releases require squeezing your back/shoulder blade muscles together.
Relaxing my wrist and letting my back tension pull my wrist through the wrist strap just enough to let my finger which is already wrapped around the trigger set it off. I don't move my finger at all. Old FSS Condor wrist strap release.
My handheld three finger thumb-push release uses my thumb as a fulcrum as I rotate my elbow back.
Never liked the thumb-pull releases.
I just hammer the trigger with my index finger when I am ready. Seems to work. I'd never shoot a hinge or back tension for hunting, but I know people do. I want to shoot exactly when I need to and I can't do that very well with anything but an index trigger.
I am with Nick,, that type of a release with heavy hunting clothes on, forget about it!! Shawn
Silverback, Evolution or Trufire Sear right now. Subject to change :-)
I'm same as Nick. Index finger and hammer time. Surprise release when I practice for a few weeks before season and throughout, hit it when hunting.
Same. I can't imagine using a back tension release in a hunting scenario. It'd work sometimes, but many times, you have to release right now.
I tried the blackstrap but it wasn’t for me.My left arm was pulling left on release. It did help me focus more but I’m back to the second knuckle index finger with a B3, King release. I think the trick to the whole game is keeping your mechanics in line through the adrenaline at the moment of truth. Good luck. ??
Agree with Nick and others, wait for the best shot opportunity that you are likely to get, then hammer time.
I shoot a Carter Ember release. I do the Jesse Broadwater method. After I anchor I put my thumb on my release knob then relax my hand and it fires. I get a surprise release every time.
Hammer time turned into target panic time for me so I learned to shoot a finger trigger via a surprise release using back tension as described by X-man. I currently use a Carter "Like Mike" but learned the technique using a Carter "RX1". Except for a missed opportunity at a Desert Bighorn, which turned out just fine 15 minutes later, I haven't missed a shot opportunity at animal since 2014 when I began utilizing this technique.
I envy guys who can consciously and purposely pull the trigger without any sort of target panic creeping in. I'm just not one of them....
Jasper, on that release, there are some great tutorials on youtube from Dudley on how to use it and adjust the tension as well. Basically, you draw back, squeeze the trigger and continue to pull through the shot, while still squeezing the trigger until the release goes off.
I shoot a Carter RX2 index finger release. I use back tension to set it off. Tried thumb release last season and missed a couple nice bucks. Went back to my RX2 and am glad I did. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!
Jasper, I have heard the motion required as being like squeezing an egg between your shoulder blades. It is hard to do if your DL is too long.
I shoot a Carter Quickie index with a Scott buckle strap. Reps in the backyard and a relaxed unaware target are back tension like described above. If I have a short window of opportunity, I put the pin where I want and hit the trigger. Most shots are back tension and hopefully surprise but close to and during season I will practice holding for various counts from releasing as fast as possible to holding as long as possible to mix it up. Pete
I shot fingers and it rip when I was in the kill zone for many years. Did the same thing when I switched to a release and then out of the blue a couple of years ago my mind started going haywire just as I was about to hammer the trigger and it was not good! I missed several gimme shots and lost my confidence. Since I started shooting back tension my accuracy and consistency is probably the best it’s been in 50 + years of shooting. I’m fine with it taking a few more seconds to release an arrow with back tension if it means I’m more accurate. I took xman’s advice about relaxing my wrist and letting it slip backwards a tiny bit to make the shot go off and wow! That’s the key for me hands down! Thanks everyone....
I dont think i would be comfortable with a back tension while hunting either. Like nick said, i want to know its goin off when everything in my brain says cut it. But i use my middle finger to trigger, my index finger lays lightly on top of my release block. Seems to be an extra point if contact, which makes me feel a tiny extra bit of stability in holding steady
Well, back tension releases may be great for many but not for me, particularly for hunting. I tried one some time ago and gave up on it. I shoot my best with a conscious trigger pull, and I do fairly well. When hunting I don't want arrows to be flying until I want them to.
Bowhunter55 - If you'd ever be interested in selling that RX2, I'd pay top dollar for it. Finding one, anywhere, is about impossible. That is my favorite release.
That’s funny. Punching or slapping your trigger and a regularly anticipated shot, is a great way to keep your archery career short. It’s a short term style of shooting.
I hunt with a thumb activated release, but I do ALL my practicing with a back tension Stanislavsky. I have a 29.5 draw length and can’t squeeze my shoulder blades together. So, when practicing, once set, I pull thru the shot with my shoulder only. Works real good for me.
I switched to hunting with a hinge release. Scott Longhorn Hunter. I have shot a few deer & turkey with it with no issues.
"Hammer time" may be exaggerated. Been shooting that way for 20 years, so what's short term? Wanna have a shoot-off Dino? ;)
Archery and any skill is different for different people. The don't teach you to shoot a wrist shot off your front foot but it worked for Messier. Unorthodox styles can work, if not for most. In archery whatever you do, as long as you can repeat it without introducing unwanted variables to the arrow flight.
Adam, you are funny. And, yes I would have a shoot-off with you. :) Funny that a Jet's fan would speak of the accolades of Messier. As a shooter that struggled terribly with Target panic, or anxiety, and how crippling that can be, I really recommend that others find a different way of shooting other than lining up the pins and letting her buck so to speak. I do believe there are very few archers who can shoot well and consistently with finger trigger releases. Of course there are exceptions. But sooner or later and with continued practise, that desire to get the arrow away quickly and as soon as that pin drives by the target becomes overwhelming. The connection between the brain and that trigger finger is too strong. I liken it to a basketball free throw shooter. There is a reason no one shoots 2 handed free throws any longer. There are specific techniques and approaches that work best to enable that shooter to perform well under pressure. Specifically, when you are on that line, and the game is close, of course you are consumed with making the shot. However, if all you concentrate on is making the shot, Chances are good you will be too nervous to perform. This is where your practise comes in...you have a process that you focus on to complete the shot, the way you have done it a thousand times in practise. When I went away from the trigger, and retrained myself to shoot, by being dynamic in my shot, having a mantra, by pulling with my back muscles and allowing my pin to float around the target, was when I finally was able to get the "control" of my shot back. It has been quite a journey, and I still get flinchy, but I am way, way ahead of where I once was.
I used to be able to just put the pin on and punch the trigger until I couldn't.
I shoot a thumb button now and will not allow myself to consciously activate the trigger. I preload the trigger and start pushing my elbow to the wall behind me until it fires (as Dudley teaches). Most of my off season practice is with a tension or hinge release. It sure is nice to be able to hold the pin on target again and not lock up underneath.
Midwest. U r preaching to the choir brother.
I envy you all that can just slap an index finger trigger and actually have your pin on what you are wanting to hit. The reason I shoot a thumb trigger is because I can't. Those who shoot an index finger release and don't have or develop target panic to some degree are in the minority. I hope those of you that don't suffer never do.
I have shot a lot of animals with a thumb trigger using back tension and I have yet to have a situation where it kept me from taking a shot. The fact that I am shooting a thumb trigger is the sole reason I have killed as many animals as I have. The biggest disadvantage I could put on myself would be to hunt with an index trigger. I may get a few shots off before it all falls apart, but I know that it is all going to fall apart. With my thumb trigger I am able to actually hold my pin on the spot I want to hit and execute a shot. The whole animal comes in, draw, aim and shoot is always a conscious act for me now. No blacking out and not remembering what happened as my shot process is now controlled.
It literally only takes a second or so more to pull through the shot than it does to punch a trigger.
I am sorry that some of you get flinchy… I do not. Also, I can shoot a free throw pretty damn well too. In all seriousness, I realize TP is real for many... I am afraid to type it out, let alone discuss it.
"I am sorry that some of you get flinchy… I do not."
You have not, and I hope you never do. That's the funny thing about target panic, you don't have it until you do.
Jim fletcher flathead release. Not sure you can get fletcher releases any longer, which is a bummer. Though I may be the only person who liked em :)
I'm with Muche and Pauls. I bought releases that would help me shoot a "surprise" release and I shot worse. I just "settle" the pin and pull the index, seems to work. Any TP I had was much worse with the "surprise" release.
Jasper, to help answer your question, NOT to tell you how you shouldn’t shoot a release that can make you a much better archer.
I’ve been using the back strap and silverback releases all winter, both tension activated. No trigger, and for me it has been a matter of just pulling back with my elbow. My elbow is high up, some small muscles in my upper back tense up when I do that and then I just slowly increase tension. My bow hand/arm/shoulder has to have a bit of pushing forward or stabilization to hold on the target. But not too much pushing forward or you’ll start to activate the release that way and your bow hand will shoot off to one side when the shot breaks and your release hand will come out away from your face, not over your shoulder as it should, allowing you to tense your bicep as part of your follow through. You’ll know when you are getting it right when your bow shoots forward when the shot breaks, not straight off to the left for a right handed shooter.
I think as you shoot more and more with a high elbow you’ll start to feel exactly which small upper back muscles are being used to pull through the shot and you’ll get better and better at properly pulling through without pulling you off target, taking forever to make it go off or shaking too much. I don’t think at first which muscles you are using is a concern, just think of your elbow coming back. Your bow hand shoulder should be low and tight in the socket but not tensed up muscles. Bone to bone contact from your bow to your shoulder with good chest up posture.
That’s my 2 cents, mostly stolen info from John Dudley’s YouTube videos and my own experience with it. Lock up your other releases and only shoot a tension activated release for a few months and you’ll become the best archer, bowhunter you’ll ever be! I stole that piece of advice from Randy Ulmer. Heard him and Dudley have killed a few critters along with winning a few archery competitions.
Thank you Mike! Great stuff, appreciate you taking the time. I like the elbow specific info. It’s interesting how a thread can get off course, lol
To me, it’s like pulling the trigger on a rifle. Just comes natural. I tried back tension once and I vowed to never ever do it again. That started to cause tp for me. If you have tp then you have to work hard and figure out what works for you and not someone else. Whatever cures your tp will make you a better archer but it may not make you a better bowhunter.