1 | Make Quality Contact with the Trigger
So, what does the perfect release look like? Let’s break it down. Once you’ve settled into your anchor and your pin is on target, depending on the type of release you’re using, move your finger or thumb to the trigger. Make firm contact with the trigger, don’t tap or lightly brush the trigger as these are common bad habits. Take a few blind bale shots to get familiar with how much pressure or pre-load can be applied to your release without it firing. At very close range, with your eyes closed, slowly build the pressure on your trigger, you’ll likely be surprised at just how much force is required to set it off. Once firm contact is made let the pin float on your point of aim and pull the elbow of your release arm backward. In this same movement, you should feel the muscles in-between your shoulder blades tighten, keep building pressure here and aiming until the shot breaks.
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2 | Practice with a String Bow
Simulating these movements repeatedly can be difficult for an archer new to proper release technique when using a bow. To simplify, focus your practice on only the release by using a string bow. These training aids allow you to create muscle memory of pulling through the shot without the need to actually fire your bow. String bows can be used almost anywhere and their small size makes them a convenient way to get in archery practice where and when you otherwise couldn’t.
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3 | Employ a Resistance-Style Release
One of the best tools for learning proper release technique is a resistance-style release. These handheld release aids are generally only used for training and, in some instances, target archery. Resistance releases are trigger-less and generally work by compressing a safety through the draw, then once on target, the safety is released and pressure is built in the back muscles, increasing resistance on the release. When the pre-set amount or resistance is reached, the release will fire. This style of release ensures each shot fires as a surprise, and with practice, can help build good shooting habits and cure target panic.
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4 | Switch Back to Your Hunting Release
Once you find yourself shooting a resistance release proficiently, begin to reintroduce your hunting release into practice sessions. Start by shooting a few practice rounds with the resistance release and then try to mimic the same techniques with your standard release aid. These changes won’t happen overnight; but with time and diligent practice, you’ll see your shooting improve.
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5 | Achieve a Surprise Release
The overlying theme and end goal is to achieve a surprise release just as you would when squeezing the trigger of a rifle. However, when shooting a bow, the surprise won’t come from trigger control, rather slight shoulder movement and the tightening of your back muscles.
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