Trigger Release vs. Thumb Release: Which is Better for Bowhunting?

Should I Use a Trigger or Thumb Release When Bowhunting?


Bowhunting is a rewarding and challenging sport that requires precision and accuracy. As a bowhunter, one of the important decisions you’ll have to make is choosing the right release aid for your shots. Traditionally, bowhunters have used trigger releases, but in recent years, thumb releases have gained popularity. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of using both trigger and thumb releases to help you make an informed decision.

Trigger Release:

A trigger release, also known as a wrist release or index finger release, is a commonly used release aid in bowhunting. It features a mechanical trigger that releases the bowstring when squeezed by the index finger. Here are some advantages and considerations associated with using a trigger release:

  1. Familiarity and simplicity: Many bowhunters are accustomed to using trigger releases and find them comfortable and convenient due to their straightforward operation.
  2. Seemless execution: Trigger releases offer quick and precise shots, making them ideal for hunters who prefer fast target acquisition and smooth shooting motions.
  3. Consistency: Trigger releases provide stable anchor points and shot execution, ensuring consistent performance during hunting situations.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when using a trigger release:

  1. Increased chance of flinching: Some bowhunters may experience a tendency to flinch or punch the trigger, leading to inaccurate shots. This can be mitigated with proper practice and training.
  2. Less margin for error: Trigger releases require a consistent and controlled trigger squeeze. Any variation in the trigger squeeze can affect the shot, making them less forgiving than thumb releases.

Thumb Release:

Thumb releases, also known as handheld releases or back tension releases, have gained popularity in recent years. These releases are operated by applying backward pressure, typically using the thumb, to activate the bowstring release. Here are some advantages and considerations related to using thumb releases:

  1. Improved accuracy: Thumb releases offer a more precise release mechanism, reducing the chance of unintended torquing or yanking of the bowstring. The controlled, back tension release aids in enhanced accuracy.
  2. Reduced trigger punching: Thumb releases eliminate the possibility of flinching or trigger punching, leading to more controlled and consistent shots. This can be especially beneficial for bowhunters looking to overcome target panic.
  3. Page retracted by Novus

Considerations when using a thumb release:

  1. Learning curve: Thumb releases may require a bit of practice to master the proper technique and back tension application. It’s essential to spend time getting familiar with its operation before using it in hunting scenarios.
  2. Slower response time: Thumb releases typically have a slower response time compared to trigger releases. This may not be ideal for bowhunters who prefer quick, instinctive shots.


The choice between using a trigger or thumb release when bowhunting ultimately depends on personal preference, shooting style, and the level of accuracy you aim to achieve. Both release aids offer distinct advantages and considerations that should be carefully considered. It’s recommended to try out different releases and seek guidance from experienced bowhunters or archery professionals to find the one that best suits your needs.

Remember, whether you choose a trigger or thumb release, consistent practice, and proper form are vital to improving your shooting skills and becoming a successful bowhunter.

With any questions, feel free to reach us at

For any of our MERCH-

For our Bowstrings-

Message Sent!

Your email provider might send our reply to the spam folder. In the event you haven’t heard from us in 24-48 hours, please check that folder.