There are a number of different options available when it comes to bow release aids but there are two types that are preferred by hunters: handheld releases and wrist strap releases.
Either type offers the shooter the ability to calmly draw back the bow string, hold to steady the aim and then release with a minimum of adverse effect on accuracy.
When we talk about wrist strap releases we may be referring to releases that use one of three different types of release mechanisms. They may be single caliper releases, double caliper releases or hook releases.
On this page we will concentrate on bow releases with wrist straps by providing some tips about how to use them to get the most out of them.
Although it may seem to be a simple process there are a few handy tips that will ensure you will shoot in comfort and with the greatest level of repeatability and consistency as possible.
1. Make it consistent. When using a Velcro strap, wrap the release strap around your wrist so that it's snug but not tight. It should rest at about the base of your upturned palm. Once you've found a comfortable fit, put a sizing mark on the strap so that the device sits in the same place for every shooting session.- Scott Bestul (Field & Stream)
2. Finger position is important. Position the trigger so that it sits at the crease of your second knuckle. This ensures you are not reaching for the trigger and will avoid “punching” the trigger
3. Shoot with the arm. The idea is not to use the finger to pull the trigger but rather, to use the finger as the solid wall that trips the trigger as the elbow moves straight back and the trigger moves past the finger. This method means there will be no finger movement once you have anchored the draw and placed the finger over the trigger. - GRIV (Archery Learning Center)
4. Trigger travel. "I always recommend starting close to a blank bail and making the trigger super heavy, so the archer learns the feel of attaching their elbow to the trigger, learns the feel of the direction of the energy, and the rate of increased energy needed to make the release fire. Then I begin to make the release lighter so that the release fires in a comfortable and steady window, while the archer executes a strong and steady shot." - Michael Braden
5. Customize with adjustment. Make sure you take advantage of the adjustment options made available by the wrist release. Get the trigger angle positioned on your finger, set the trigger tension and travel for the trigger to be activated.
6. Choose a connector. Familiarize yourself with the different types of connectors. Some releases have rigid connectors while others feature soft, Nylon connectors. Some people prefer the ease of adjustment provided by the Nylon connector, others like the stability that comes from a rigid connector.
7. Foldback wrist straps. Look for a strap that features a fold away head so that the mechanism can be tucked away while setting up your hunting position. Because a wrist release remains strapped to your wrist throughout the day, you are invariably moving about, repositioning equipment and getting comfortable. A wrist release that doesn’t have the foldback feature is going to quickly become annoying as it gets in the way of your hands.
8. Consider the wrist strap type. You will be faced with the option of either a buckle or Velcro style of strap. When out hunting a Velcro strap may be more comfortable around the wrist but it can also be potentially noisy as you r-r-r-i-i-i-p-p it off.
9. Relax your hand. The majority of issues created when using a release aid are due to holding tension in your hands. You don’t want to choke the life out of your equipment. Your fingers should hold strong to the release, but your hand muscles should be loose and relaxed, allowing your shot to execute naturally. - archery360.com
As you become more familiar with using your wrist strap bow release the process will become routine. The set up, the shooting process and the accuracy will improve as you continue to practice and fire 100s of arrows.
Over time, the use of a wrist release will become second nature and the procedures discussed above will become part of the muscle memory of a normal day in the field.