Using A Thumb Trigger Release Part 2

Posted by: Bowhunting Contributor on Feb 26, 2013
Page 1 of 2

Written by contributor Mark Huelsing of

In Part 1 of this series we began to ponder the idea if bowhunters should take a cue from target archers and consider using a handheld release; specifically a thumb-trigger release.  Transitioning to a thumb trigger release has helped me improve my shot execution, and assisted in eliminating any sort of target panic or anxiety that I had experienced in the past with standard wrist-strap releases.  But before I give you the wrong impression, let me clarify – it is possible to “punch” a thumb-trigger release; and target panic is primarily a problem of the mind, not the hand.


While a good deal of mechanical releases can be manipulated to fire on command, a thumb-style will lesson the tendency to do so to a certain degree. However, the bulk of target panic problems have their origin in the mind.

How to Begin Using a Thumb-Trigger Release
If you are interested in beginning to use a thumb-trigger release (or any new style of release for that matter), the worst thing you can do is grab it and start shooting arrows at the target. Long before you ever attach the release to your bow, you should become familiar with the release’s operation by practicing with a training aid. (Make you're own trigger device)

You also want to be sure that your release is setup properly before you begin using it.  For those that are new to a thumb-trigger release, I recommend setting up the release with little-to-no trigger travel, and mid-to-heavy weight trigger poundage.  This is especially true for anyone that has experienced any sort of target panic or shot anxiety – using a thumb trigger with a light breaking weight will do nothing to help your problem.

Once you are comfortable operating the release it is time to move to the bow, but before you start shooting as normal, you should begin by “blank bailing” at the target.  It very difficult, if not impossible, for the mind to focus on aiming and release execution at the same time while shooting a bow; and since we are concerned with learning proper release, we need to take aiming out of the shooting equation.  Get close to your target, close your eyes, and execute your shot – focusing on applying a proper pull-through release. (How to Blind Bail Practice)

Anytime you try a new release always follow the rule: don’t go too far (away from the target), too light (in trigger sensitivity), too soon (take your time!).

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1 Comment on "Using A Thumb Trigger Release Part 2"

Re: Using A Thumb Trigger Release Part 2 #
I have been using a Carter Chocolate Lite for the last few years. I spot and stalk, so I carry mine on a lanyard that I carry around my neck. I tuck my release into my belt when not in use. I just pull it up and clip it on my D loop, and am ready to shoot.
Posted by Patch on 2/27/2013 7:06:00 PM

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