Back Tension Release for Hunting: Should You Use It?

Back Tension Release for Hunting: Should You Use It?

Take a look at the shooting line of any archery tournament, and the chances are that you’ll see most archers use hinge – or back-tension – releases.

That’s no coincidence:

Some of the world’s best archers agree that back-tension release is the best option for helping them reach the highest accuracy levels possible.

What about back tension release for hunting, though?

Should you use it for hunting?

Well, if you’re considering ditching the trigger in favor of back-tension release this hunting season, the answer is YES – the accuracy is worth it.

This detailed – and critical – overview will inform you why, in detail!

Why You Shoud Use Back Tension Release for Hunting?

back tension release

Via Ebay.com

All these details have to come together to form the perfect shot time and again.

Understanding how your bow works – and how the accompanying gear and accessories affect your accuracy – is another part of the puzzle.

The fact that you’re here to learn about the bow release style, known as the hinge or back-release.

They are pretty good indicators of how dedicated you are to improve your skills!

Pros

Eliminating a trigger from the equation can be a surprisingly Zen-like experience: 

The only way to fire is to pull back until you build enough tension for the bow to release, never knowing the exact moment that it’s going to happen.

Draw, settle, float, and pull – over and over again.

Shooting with a back tension release almost feels like meditation – and the benefits don’t end there, either!

Element of Surprise

Shot deer precisely

Via The Huntin Grounds

Making every shot a complete surprise is the primary reason to consider switching to hinge-style release aid.

It’s nearly impossible to time the release precisely when there’s no trigger involved.

And as scary as a “surprise shot” may seem, it’s one of the best ways to reduce target panic and minimize flinch-inducing anxiety linked to timing your shot.

You can’t predict the exact moment that the bow will go off.

And since you can’t anticipate it, the arrow will be long gone before you ever get a chance to flinch.

You’re pretty much beating your body’s natural urge to react to the shot!

No Way To Rush the Shot

No Way To Rush the Shot

Via bowhunter.com

Another notable benefit of using a back-tension release for hunting is that there’s practically no way to do it.

You see, when you’re using a hinge release properly, hitting full draw takes time, and won’t be as immediate as punching the trigger.

In short, it won’t be an instant shot.

The design and the way that the back-tension release works forces you to slow down a bit and be mindful of the process.

And prevents you from rushing your shots, too.

Cons

I’m about to paint a somewhat negative picture of hinge-style release for hunting, not because I believe that it can’t work in hunting scenarios but I’d like to keep it real with you.

And that means pointing out the not-so-stellar aspects of back-tension bow release for hunting, too.

The Issue of a Moving Target

The Issue of a Moving Target

The difference between target archery and hunting is that the hunter’s target can choose to move at any time.

Think about what that means for you:

You locate a buck, settle in, and lock your target, your release hand starts to pull backward.

And just as the release is about to fire, the deer you’re targeting takes a step or two.

What do you do?

Back-tension release comes with improved accuracy, but you have to be willing to give up some control in return.

The Conditions Aren’t Perfect

The Conditions Aren’t Perfect

Sudden gusts of wind and extreme shooting angles can be real issues out in the woods – and cost you your shot.

And sure, outdoor target archers have to put up with windy conditions, too.

The difference here is that a target archer can lower their bow and wait for the wind to pass.

Hunters can’t do that – not with an animal standing within bow range.

Even more so, firing a bow with back-tension release at an extreme shooting angle can mess with the pressure on your release hand so much.

It causes you to fire before you’re ready!

What’s On the Market?

Opting for a hinge-style, rather than a trigger release brings about a ton of benefits:

  • Improving accuracy
  • Minimizing or flat-out eliminating
  • "Target panic” being some of them

As for the downsides, experienced hunters can overcome them by getting comfortable with back-tension release aid and learning how to react in hunting-specific scenarios.

And what better way to do so than to get the best back tension release aid and start practicing?

Here are five top-of-the-line back-tension release aids worth considering:

TRUBall FulKrum Flex Release Aid

Via thearcherycompany.com

  • TRUBall FulKrum Flex Release Aid
  • Carter Enterprises Honey 2 3-Finger Release
  • Tru-Fire Sear Archery Compound Bow Hinge Release
  • Scott Archery Ascent Micro Hinge Release
  • Stanislawski Jet Three Finger Release

Conclusion:

Some bowhunters stay away from hinge release because of the inability to time their shot as precisely as they could with a trigger release.

Then again, you’ll find many bowhunters who continue to use back-tension release with the utmost success, despite having to give up the ultimate control over an anticipated shot.

If you’re going to use back tension release for hunting, commit to it 100%.

Fire your bow with back-tension release until it becomes an extension of your hand. The familiarity will come in handy when it’s time to make that killing shot.

What do you think about back tension release for hunting? Will you incorporate it in your hunting routine?

Let me know in the comments section below!

Robert Gate

Hi, I’m Robert Gate – an avid hunter and founder of ArcheryTopic.com. I grew up in Texas, USA and learned archery from my dad when I was a child. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift when I got 12 years old. Read my story!

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