One of the most challenging aspects of hunting with a bow is achieving precision accuracy. While consistent practice helps, bow hunting has an additional challenge of extreme finger fatigue due to pulling, holding, and releasing the drawstring.
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Of course, not all releases are created equal. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite ones.
At a Glance: Our Top 3 Thumb-Releases For Hunting
While each has its own pros and cons, we have confidence that any one of these choices could be the best release for hunting you’ll find!
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Top Notch Releases for Hunting
Tru Ball Archer Fang
The Tru Ball Archer Fang compliments a high-quality build and a budget-friendly price. The full containment system is perfect for hands-free handling and precision shooting.
- Anodized aluminum
- Hook jaw style
- Full containment system
- Accommodates both hands-free hunting or quick, repetitive shooting
- Designed with a hook-style jaw
- Customizable thumb barrel position
The trigger is extremely user-friendly. Pull once to release the drawstring, and pull again set the hook in its original position.
Tru-Fire Synapse Hammer Throw Release
This release shines with its high level of customizability, a heavy-feeling brass build, and the ability to accommodate a four-finger hold.
You pay more for these features, but the difference in shooting quality is immediately noticeable.
- Hook jaw style
- Accommodates two, three, and four-finger use
- Thumb button features multi-position customization
- Configurable trigger pressure during use
One of our favorite features is that the trigger pressure can be adjusted without changing out springs or taking apart the device.
The Tru-Fire Synapse is easily configurable even in the heat of hunting or recreational shooting.
Tru-Fire Edge 4-Finger Hand Held Bow Release Aluminum
If you love the Tru-Fire brand, but the Synapse Hammer Throw Release is a bit out of your budget, then the Edge 4-Finger Release is a great option.
- Edge release head
- Small, lightweight aluminum design
- Designed with a four-finger release
- Consistent anchor points every time you draw
- Trigger tension and thumb knob are adjustable
- Ambidextrous design
- Head can be locked into any position
While not as configurable as the Synapse, the Edge still features essential customization, a great build for the price, and a design that is approachable for beginners and experts alike.check latest price
Tru-Fire is a well-established, award-winning brand, which makes it easy to trust the quality of their budget-conscious accessories, including this bow release.
Benefits of a Thumb-Release
Many may be reading these reviews and wondering why they need a release at all.
Those releases provide several benefits that have made seasoned hunters and professional archers alike swear by them. Here are some of the strongest benefits:
Thumb drives relieve strain from your fingers and hands and make smooth releases consistent. Being able to rely on consistent, accurate shots is paramount to successful hunting. That consistency is also ideal for competitive shooting, where even small changing variables can greatly alter where the arrow lands on the target.
First, they feel comfortable and more natural when compared to index or wrist releases. Any bowhunter can tell you that there is a mountain of difficulties to overcome without having to worry about your release feeling awkward or uncomfortable (read.. perfect bow release)
If you are looking to make bowhunting a more comfortable experience, then a thumb-release should be a top priority for you.
The hooking mechanism is a huge advantage it has over other release aides. Most can be hooked into a d-loop, making pulling back for a full draw easy and comfortable. Many offer “hands-free” hunting, meaning you can lock the d-loop into the release mechanism, saving you steps for when you’re ready for a full draw.
Getting a couple of early steps preset is a huge advantage to hunters in particular. You may be stalking prey for an hour or longer, waiting for the perfect opportunity to take a shot.
Having the arrow locked into the release mechanism means you’ve already completed most of the steps to get to a full draw, allowing you to make use of the tiny windows of opportunity you may have to take down game.
They are very quiet, which is vitally important to hunters. Even the smallest noises can scare away game or make them move into a position where getting a proper shot is impossible (read.. benefits of a release aid?)
Most bowhunters strive for a “surprise shot,” meaning that the animal has no warning that an arrow is coming. Those releases make it much easier to pull off a true surprise shot since the arrow is released with so little sound and torque. The lack of noise at the point of release, combined with the hooking mechanism removing steps for a full draw, allows your releases to deliver fantastic surprise shots.
While their weight can vary, high-quality releases usually feel weighty, giving them a quality feel. The weight also aids in pulling the drawstring back smoothly for a full draw.
Not all releases feel weighty, and just because they don’t doesn’t mean they’re low quality. Generally, more expensive models will be made with brass or other heavier metals, giving them that quality feel.
Being able to adjust and configure the release and your draw, in general, is a huge advantage. Many releases allow you to customize what kind of grip you want, choosing between a two, three, or four-finger grip. Others allow you to customize the pressure required to release the trigger and bow.
Most will also provide the option to adjust the thumb grip, so the accessory can be used with small hands, large hands, and everything in between. Proper grip, trigger pressure, and the ability to choose how many fingers to use when drawing are excellent features in making sure your draw and subsequent grip are the best you can provide.
Adjustability is also the biggest factor (aside from materials) that determines a release’s price. The more options for configuration it has, the more likely the price of the accessory will be high. While some brands do their best to find a compromise between an affordable price and broad customization, certain releases provide it much more easily than others.
Regardless of the design of the bow, you use with a certain release, you’ll almost always end up using a d-loop. Connecting the release to the d-loop has a number of benefits. It allows for consistently smooth pulls on the drawstring and reduces the torque produced by the string when pulled.
When the string (read.. best bowstring serving tool) is released, accurate shots are produced more consistently.
Finger grooves are one of the best benefits of using a thumb-release. With traditional pulling, your fingers are directly on the string, which can be uncomfortable and cause fatigue when shooting for extended periods. If you hunting in poor weather conditions, finger and hand fatigue can be exacerbated, making landing accurate shots extremely difficult. They resolve this problem well. Since their contact point is usually with a d-loop, your fingers don’t make contact with the actual drawstring.
Instead, your fingers are comfortably within the release grooves, which relieves the pain and fatigue that can be brought on with a traditional draw.
Finger grooves also make it easier for smooth, controlled pulls, an important factor to consider when hunting. Every small movement can make or break landing a kill, and the more controlled your movements are, the more success you’ll end up having. Factor all of the benefits together, and you end up with an accessory that helps with firing consistency on every level.
Choosing Your Release
When choosing a release, there’s a lot to consider, including what it’s made from, finger grip design, and the level of reconfigurability a model may offer. When deciding which thumb release is right for you, be sure to consider the factors you need most out of a draw-assist accessory. Are you willing to pay top dollar for high levels of reconfigurability, or is a budget option with a few choices a better option?