If you ever get the chance to chat with a talented target archer, ask him or her about release choice. It's likely you'll get far more information than you bargained for. This is because target archers sole goal with their passion is to become more accurate with every shot.
Bowhunters, well, they're different. They often agonize over bow choice, arrow weight, fletching choice, etc. What they don't fret about is their release.
Often, they buy whatever is in their price range. If all of your shots are whitetail-range close and you're not too picky, you can get away with a lackadaisical approach to releases — but why would you? And if you travel out west or like to stretch well beyond 20 or 30 yards on your shots, it's necessary to get serious about which release you choose.
This is simply because accuracy is one of the things you can control to a large extent. The weather is out of your hands, as is deer movement, and someone bumbling into your setup while they take pot-shots at squirrels. How well you can shoot is in your command, and an asset to shooting better is a release that fits perfectly (and doesn't change how it fits at any time), offers the perfect amount of trigger tension, and is just the right amount of crisp trigger-wise.
If you've taken release aids for granted, or are simply looking to improve your odds of perforating lungs two at a time, consider the following seven choices.
Cabela's | Instinct Provider Release
Any good release will provide an adjustable trigger, and such is the case with the new Instinct Provider from Cabela's
. This release offers a wide range of trigger sensitivity adjustments so you can tweak it until you find the ideal amount of pressure. Each dual-jaw-caliper Provider boasts a roller-sear design that culminates in a very smooth release and crisp trigger break.
To ensure the length is exactly where you want it, the Provider features five-hole spiral-length adjustments. A leather wrist strap (buckle closure) finishes off this latest offering from industry powerhouse Cabela's.
Fletcher Archery | Outsider
Any company that can make it selling releases for over five decades knows what they are doing. Such is the case with Fletcher Archery
, and its latest — the Outsider
— is a prime example of why the company has had such staying power.
The Outsider is a loop only, thumb-trigger release that is built into a wrist-strap design. This means that you can achieve surprise releases
and thumb-trigger accuracy while having the hunting convenience of a wrist strap. To shoot the Outsider, you need to put your index finger on the stabilizer arm and your thumb on the trigger, which takes a little getting use to. However, once you're comfortable with it you'll shoot better, which is the whole point.
Scott Archery | Mongoose XT
is synonymous with top-notch release aids. This is no accident, and is further evidenced when you shoot the new Mongoose XT
. The single-caliper Mongoose XT is one of my favorites. One of the reasons for this is the trigger is ultra-crisp, which is due in part to Scott's zero trigger travel design.
A self-closing spring-loaded jaw ensures quick hook-ups during those times, like around November 7th, when you might suddenly need to shoot. Plenty of length adjustment is available in this solid-swivel release that is available in Black or Realtree Xtra
Spot Hogg | Whipper Snapper
A lot of hunters won't give up their wrist-strap releases to try to a thumb-trigger release, but they should. Most of us would shoot better with a thumb-trigger release if we'd give them a shot, the downside of course being that they are less convenient to carry in the woods than a wrist-strap release. That being said, if you're into making good shots, releases like the Whipper Snapper from Spot Hogg
will get you there.
The Whipper Snapper is ergonomically designed, features an extremely fast trigger, and can be set just once to your personal settings with no danger of anything changing. It's offered in three- or four-finger options, with either open or closed jaws. If you shoot a D-loop on your hunting bow, you owe it to yourself to at least spend a month during the summer shooting a Whipper Snapper. You may just find yourself converted to the thumb-trigger side of life.
T.R.U. BALL | Fang Mini
Due to the popularity of 2014's Fang 3 and Fang 4
releases, T.R.U. BALL
decided to increase the lineup to include the new Fang Mini
. This release is ideal for women and children who want an adjustable thumb-trigger release that will fit them perfectly.
To truly customize the fit of the Fang Mini, shooters can fully adjust trigger travel and thumb-barrel positions, which is ideal for maximizing your potential at the range and in the field. A really cool feature of the Fang Mini that most shooters will come to love is the fact that you pull the trigger to fire (of course), but also pull the trigger again to reset the the hook. Simple, smart and convenient — what's not to like about that?
Tru-Fire | Smoke
You don't have to hunt in the puff-puff state of Colorado to use the new Smoke from Tru-Fire
. This release might be one of the best bargains on the market, considering it only costs $50 and offers plenty for that price like adjustable trigger travel and length adjustments.
It's also designed with a truly small head and is available in the Foldback Option, which means the potentially clanky parts that might bonk into a treestep and spook deer can be secreted away while you're getting into and out of your stand. I shot this release extensively during turkey season this year and ended up liking it enough to continue shooting it as I ready myself for big game this coming fall.
TRUGLO| Speed Shot XS BOA
A torque-free, 360-degree rotating head and synchronized dual-jaw design are just a couple of the notables of the new Speed Shot XS BOA from TRUGLO
. One-inch of length adjustment and precision wear-free jaws are a couple more, but easily one of the coolest elements of this release is its use of BOA.
For those unfamiliar, BOA is an ingenious system that allows you to twist a knob and tighten a strap to exactly where you want it, every single time. Unlike velcro or buckles, which could change release orientation depending on wear over time and whether you've got gloves on or not, the BOA allows you to tighten the strap to exactly where you want it every single time you shoot and hunt, no matter what and we all know that consistency is the cornerstone of accuracy.