I always shot fingers, and wanted to continue, but one day I picked up a short compound bow and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, the short length of the bow pinched my fingers to the point that it was painful, and I was shooting erratically, and I tried a release. It made such a difference, I shoot only a release now, and FOR ME, it is more accurate. There are a lot of finger shooters out there who are masters, but I am not one of them. Good Luck with whatever you choose!
I’ve been shooting off and on for a lot of years and I really enjoy it all. I’ve shot fingers with tabs, gloves, and bare skin, and I’ve shot several different releases, through it all.
I bought a new Matthews Legacy this year against the advice of my dealer. He asked how I would shoot it, and I told him that I like both fingers and releases. The Icon is a little longer and has a softer eccentric, more forgiving, less angle at the nock, etc. He told me this as I was shooting the Legacy in his range with bare fingers.
I left without it and did some thinking. I went back and bought the bow set up for a release, along with a prong rest (my first), and a new Fletchhunter Shorty release.
At home and at a range, I began getting acquainted with the new bow and set the sights. I did not make a single session with it without putting the release in the pouch and pulling out a Wilson hair tab. Now the nock point, the new “release style” rest, the sights, everything was set up for a release. I just stepped up to five or ten steps from the target bag and tried it. I’ve been shooting three fingers under on my long bow lately, and I was trying to see what I’d have to allow or change on the new rig. I didn’t rush or sweat it, just tried it and thought about a different sight for fingers, or marking a different nock point with floss, changing my anchor point, etc., just thinking, up close, no changes.
Wait a minute, I was shooting low. I tried one finger over/two under. I was very happy to find that now I can shoot my new rig either way by only sliding the soft release spacer down and out of the way.
I took the long way around to say just stay having fun while you shoot and just try what you have and keep it simple. What should you change? As little as possible, and I can’t say for sure in your case. I caught on to a lot one year reading the Easton Arrow booklet about picking your arrows, tuning your bow, etc. (Last year it was accessible online.) I then read after Asbell, Hill, Adams, and so forth, enjoying new recreation that I had not understood. I also found some people to shoot with that made it more fun and I started learning from them: whatever you dream up, someone has tried, or will maybe try with you.
The dealer does know what he was talking about. And I know he knows. He has helped me and I’ve found that what he says I can put in the bank. The Legacy seems to be just made for me and my play.
If you run into a specific situation, just ask.
O.K. I am hearing two things here. One is a suggestion to stick with a release, and the second is a suggestion to use a single cam bow. I don't like either one of these ideas and here is why.
I can and have shot a compound bow with my fingers for years. I enjoy it because it is more of a challange and I get the added benefit of not having to keep track of a release. You will also notice that your bow will be much quieter when using your fingers rather than a release. Can I achieve the same accuracy that I get with a release? No. However my accuracy is still good enough hunt deer out to 40yds.
Now down to the details of what you need to get started.
You need a good forgiving compound bow with the following characteristics.
1.) An axle to axle length of at least 40". This eliminates finger pinching.
2.) Either a round wheel or a soft dual cam bow. Single cams are no good for shooting with fingers because of the short valley they have. These bows also tend to have a positive stop which makes tailoring the bow to your exact draw length very difficult. If you need proof pick up a single cam bow and pull it to its stopping point then try to smoothly bring the bow back to an idle position.
3.) Long brace height. When shooting with fingers, forgiveness is key. A brace height of at least 7" and preferable closer to 8" is optimal.
There are several bows that have these qualities. Here is a small list.
1.)Reflex Caribou (These are no longer in production but are available used)
2.)Hoyt ProTec XL
3.)PSE Silhouette V5
4.)PSE Mach-11 V5
5.)PSE Dakota - Synergy Pro 65
You may have to adjust the draw length of your bow. Most release shooter tend to have a slightly longer and lower anchor point than finger shooters. I find a bow with a lower lettoff (60-65%) to draw smoother as you don't get that POP (for lack of a better word) when the cams roll over. I also prefer a soft cam or wheels. I shoot a 55# Golden Eagle, have never used a glove or tab and everyone I've shot with claims it is the quitest settup they have ever heard. Best of all I never lose or forget my fingers or fumble with getting them on the string. Releases may be great for target shooting but I think the are just extra baggage in the field. One last thing. I'll wager any release shooter I can get off 3 accurate shots to his one (and I'm really not that great a shot). A couple of other suggestions: feathers over vanes and a simple arrow rest (I use a flipper). As Dalton mentioned forgiveness is the key.
I love to shoot and I shoot both compounds and the more traditional stuff longbows and recurves. When I set up my compunds I shoot fingers, I touch my nose to the string and anchor with a feather off the side of the arrow in the corner of my mouth. This is the same form that I use when I shoot the traditional stuff. I use a glove type release that fits around my thumb and hand in a very reliable and repeatable fashion with or with out gloves. I believe that you should know how to shoot both ways and that a man has got to know his limitations and choose his shots accordingly. I also believe that most of the noise when we shoot a bow comes from the mechanical releases, my bows are practiclly noiseless when I shoot with fingers. If you are going to shoot a bow both ways try a glove release. Hope this was helpful.
One thing I haven't seen mentioned is your rest. Easton did a study of arrows shot from bows using both mechanical releases and fingers. Slow motion video showed release shot arrows bend vertically while finger shot arrows bend horizontally around the rests. Thus, if you are going to a finger release, you may need to change your rest as well as your knocking point. The best advice I could give you is to go to a reputable Pro Shop. They can answer any questions and help you set up your bow, if any changes need to be made.
Your correct! The nocking point for a release shooter is different than a finger shooter. Has to be set up for what your doing..... :lol: I use to know the what the difference was but it's been a while since I shot fingers...I can find out though.......... :grin:
Go to http://www.americanleathers.com/ and check out their shooting gloves. They have the slick shot and the big shot. I shoot the big shot. It is amazing. I don't get the sore ring finger like I did with the Damascus glove and with tabs.
Shooting fingers is quite a bit more challengeing than a release, its also a lot less abusive to your arrows. A little humility is good for building character so why not try it. I used to recycle my old boot leather into tabs to shoot with, the hard chrome leather is nice and slick and works well for a shooting tab. Just trace your fingertips and half of your palm, add1/2" or so margin all the way around and cut a 1/4" lace while you got the sissors out. Hint: Cut a couple of slits each side of each finger so you can tighten the lace a little, it'll help keep it on your hand. You can cut finger holes in the tab but I never did, thats why I used a lace instead.
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