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Release or Fingers?

Daniel Ellyson | Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Release or Fingers?

When a child gets their first bow, I can guarantee the first they will try to do is pull the bow back with their fingers. It will be totally natural for them to do this, especially after watching movies like Brave, The Hunger Games, and Avengers.

Shooting your bow with your fingers gives you control. This is what kids want and need. The first time is going to be filled with excitement and fear, and shooting with their fingers will calm them down and not make them think too hard before shooting. Personally I enjoy seeing kids shoot with their fingers, it takes me back to when I first started in archery, 24 years ago. But, given the awesome high tech youth bows of today, shooting with fingers is not always the best choice.

I recommend that you start a child with fingers for the following reasons:

·The child is not yet mature enough to comprehend how to use a mechanical release. This should be quickly identified with their inability to not keep their index finger off the trigger when pulling their bow back.

·They are shooting a recurve bow. The recurve is built to shoot with your fingers. It is a longer bow that will not pinch their fingers when pulling the bow back. The recurve will also not have any let-off. This will allow for the string to come off the fingers easily.

·If the child is shooting a Genesis bow for NASP. NASP rules do not allow for children to shoot with a mechanical release to keep it consistent for all kids in the program

·If the child wants to shoot with their fingers. Archery is the "in” sport today and more and more kids today want to shoot their fingers. If this is what they want to do I say let them have at it.

Mechanical releases have come a long way in the past decade. When I got my first release we had to alter it to fit me, today there are many release that are made specifically for kids.

Releases offer a huge advantage when shot properly. The tricky part is teaching the child to properly shoot a release. We will cover "properly teaching a child to shoot a release” in upcoming articles. The advantages to shooting a release will be a cleaner release off the string, no sore fingers, a more consistent anchor point, ability to shoot higher poundage, better accuracy, and improved arrow flight.

I would recommend that you start your child with a release when:

·The child will start hunting within one year of shooting a bow.

·The bow is 30 pounds or more

·The child can understand to keep their finger behind the trigger when pulling the bow back

·The child desires to become more accurate

When looking for a release for a child, there is no need to break the bank because they will probably out grow it within a few years. I highly recommend using Tru-Fire releases like the Tru-Fire Bullseye Jr., Tru-Fire Hurricane Jr, or the Tru –Fire Patriot Jr. These release will range in price from $24.99 - $39.99 and offer tremendous value with quality and life time warranty.

I hope this article helps you when deciding whether to start a child with a release or fingers. Make sure to follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our blog for more helpful information.

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1 Comment

  • Excellent article. I am purchasing my sons first bow from you guys and this article really helped us out. I am buying the Bear apprentice and he really wants to shoot his with his fingers...we will start there! Keep up the great work. Thanks, John
    January 28, 2014 at 3:41 PM by John G
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