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Thread: release vs fingers

  1. #1
    TXN
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    Default release vs fingers

    I am brand new to this forum and Martin bows, but have had experience with bowhunting for about 30 years now. However, my equipment is 30 years old and I'm finally ready to upgrade....that's why I'm here. I live in a pretty remote area and there are no archery shops nearby, so I'm counting on forum members to answer my questions before I order a bow.

    I have been leaning toward purchasing a Martin bow and have narrowed my choices down to the Warthog, Firecat, or Firehawk. I want to use the bow for deer hunting, both mule deer and whitetail.

    Although I have been shooting a bow and killing deer with it for 30 years and have actually killed 2 deer with a bow this season, I have never even seen a release except for when I've watched bowhunting shows on tv. I have always used my fingers...one over and two under and I feel pretty confident that this is the way that I would like to continue shooting. However, I'm not opposed to trying a release...maybe I'll like it?....but I would like the option of using my fingers if that is the way I'd like to shoot. So, my question is about using fingers vs a release on these new bows. As I said, I have watched bowhunting shows on tv and have never seen anyone using their fingers. Is this something that people just don't do anymore? If I purchase a new warthog or firecat will I be able to use my fingers if I want to or is their some reason that I will be restricted to using a release? It seems that I have read some posts on here that described cables coming off because of people using their fingers to draw the bow. Is this a problem I need to be aware of before deciding to buy one of these bows to shoot with my fingers?

    Basically, at this point, I guess I just need some knowledgeable people to explain the use of a release and to let me know whether I would be able to shoot with my fingers on a new warthog or firecat if I chose to shoot that way. I appreciate any help that anyone is willing to offer.

  2. #2
    RobD
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    I have a 09 Firehawk and I love it,Its very compact 29 3/4 Axle to axle,shots great,and veryFast n Quite,I am a hunter also so the small ata makes it nice,because i don't have to take much cover out around my tree stand to shot,I don't shot fingers so I would not know about your Question,but I would think shooting with a release ,you would be able to hold your draw longer without fingers cramping,probably shoot heavier draw weight, thats just my thoughts though,Im no professional, there are many knowledgeable people on here to help you threw that,hope it works out for ya

  3. #3
    Senior Member alex's Avatar
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    TXN, since you're an experienced archer used to finger shooting i'd say you'd better continue this way. The shorter A2A bows (like the Firecat and the Firehawk) are best to shoot with a release - they are not comfortable for fingershooting and are much more accurate with a release. The Warthog can be shoot with fingers but still i guess the release is the better option. The new 2010 Shadowcat or the Scepter are the best choice for fingershooters, so if you can afford them i think they'll be best for you. I have a 42" compound bow which i shoot with fingers only and a 2008 MOAB which i used to shoot this way, but since i've bought a release i am more accurate, which makes me happy , but still i prefer finger shooting and am really disappointed that i can't have the Shadowcat.
    2008 Martin MOAB - 45-60#, set at about 51-53# / 55#" Perfect Line" compound/ 55# Mongol horsebow/ 45# "Perfect Line" takedown recurve/ 45# Bearpaw Grizzly hunter recurve/ 55# Samick Longbow Cheetah ... and several homemade bows

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    TXN,

    Alec has things nsiled down pretty well. With almost any comapny these days you poor finger shooters are limited. You're better off with a longer ATA bow due to finger pinch and acute string angles of the shorter bows. As he said, it's just harder to get off the string well and get a consistent release.

    This super short bow craze will probably never go away due to popularity. People get too caught up in portability and maneuverability rather than accuracy. As a general rule longer bows are a bit smoother and balance better, too, but the average hunter usually hasn't tried enough longer bows to compare them with short ones.

    You can shoot a shorter bow with parallel limbs somewhat easier just due to different geometry, but depending on your draw length you're still better off with something longer than 36" and probably closer to 39"+.

    If you should decide a release is the way to go then your options are wide open and there are a ton of bows and releases to choose from. Best bet here is to try as many of each as you can to see what feels the most comfortable for you.
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  5. #5
    golfisserious
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXN View Post
    I am brand new to this forum and Martin bows, but have had experience with bowhunting for about 30 years now. However, my equipment is 30 years old and I'm finally ready to upgrade....that's why I'm here. I live in a pretty remote area and there are no archery shops nearby, so I'm counting on forum members to answer my questions before I order a bow.

    I have been leaning toward purchasing a Martin bow and have narrowed my choices down to the Warthog, Firecat, or Firehawk. I want to use the bow for deer hunting, both mule deer and whitetail.

    Although I have been shooting a bow and killing deer with it for 30 years and have actually killed 2 deer with a bow this season, I have never even seen a release except for when I've watched bowhunting shows on tv. I have always used my fingers...one over and two under and I feel pretty confident that this is the way that I would like to continue shooting. However, I'm not opposed to trying a release...maybe I'll like it?....but I would like the option of using my fingers if that is the way I'd like to shoot. So, my question is about using fingers vs a release on these new bows. As I said, I have watched bowhunting shows on tv and have never seen anyone using their fingers. Is this something that people just don't do anymore? If I purchase a new warthog or firecat will I be able to use my fingers if I want to or is their some reason that I will be restricted to using a release? It seems that I have read some posts on here that described cables coming off because of people using their fingers to draw the bow. Is this a problem I need to be aware of before deciding to buy one of these bows to shoot with my fingers?

    Basically, at this point, I guess I just need some knowledgeable people to explain the use of a release and to let me know whether I would be able to shoot with my fingers on a new warthog or firecat if I chose to shoot that way. I appreciate any help that anyone is willing to offer.
    I had this debate with my hunting buddy this year, (I wasn't shooting my "new to me" martin yet) He was hunting with a new 2007 model Browning compound with 60lb draw weight at 29" with 80% lettoff I was shooting a 1987 darton compound 80lb draw at 30" with 30% or less letoff... He shoots fingers I shoot release, both bows (we set them up together every year usually in July) were paper tuned at 10yds... at 15 to 20 yards we were exceptionally competitive with our groups... once past 25yds, there was no comparison in shot groups matter of fact he only put one pin on his bow, 25yds and thats it...he plain just couldn't group a pie plate past that, while up to 40 yards my groups were still the size of the bottom of a beer can.
    On the third day of our hunt I shot a doe at 42 yds, he had to pass on a non-typical 9 pt that never came inside 30yds..he didn't have the confidence to take a shot, so that afternoon after skinning out my deer and getting it hung to age... he asked if he could try one of my extra releases...so we zeroed the bow back out, reset the rest to square, put a d-loop on it and he started shooting, about 40 minutes later he was grouping to the bottom of a foam style beer coozy up to 35 yds and he could group in a pie plate at 40yds...
    All that said he was most amazed that his "misses" were no longer left or right, they were up down...his only struggle was on adjusting to the new nock point, feeling the release on his cheek instead of the tip of his finger...that said he ended up shooting an 8 point 2 weeks later at just a little over 30 yds, he was ecstatic.
    You will be more accurate with a release, it will feel different than your fingers, if you get a bow that shoots over 300fps with your hunting arrow you will most likely have to shoot a release to be consistent, the faster the bows get, the more minor disturbances affect the twisting/turning/bending of the arrow... by moving to a release you will have a better chance of eliminating those things. When I was younger I used to hunt with a tabby, I used several different releases until 2007, this is my favorite hunting and target release http://shop.eaglearchery.com/browse.cfm/4,737.html

    shoot many before choosing one, I highly recommend this release for hunting, I have shot from many odd different angles and have never had a problem with this release...
    AS WITH THIS RELEASE AND ANY OTHER, DO NOT DRAW WITH YOUR FINGER ON THE RELEASE UNTIL YOU BECOME VERY PROFICIENT WITH IT.

    The release my buddy picked out of my box was this one http://shop.eaglearchery.com/browse.cfm/4,7017.html the other thing he really liked was that he could keep his hunting glove on while shooting...

    the other thing I would highly recommend when ordering a new bow, is a Whisker Biscuit arrow rest... be sure to order it for the correct arrow size...once you shoot a whisker biscuit you will wonder how you lived without it, be sure to paper tune the whisker biscuit to perfection, and when you flight tune broadheads, only move your sights, not your rest...

    With the newer bows, they are "balanced" for the draw, should pretty much only require you to position the grip against the meat of the palm of your hand up in the base of the thumb area, when shooting a release, you won't get the "twist" in your hand that you got with shooting fingers, and as such you need to hold the bow with much less effort (none really) so that you don't impart your own imbalance by twisting/pulling/ pushing/ lifting. A good way to see the proper way to shoot a bow with a release is here http://www.rightforu.com.au/archerytech.html

    if you order your bow from someone and you can't be there to set it up, and paper tune it, and speed test it before picking your arrows, then I would recommend waiting and saving your money until you can, specifically the arrows, technology has changed so very much, that the wrong arrow choice to stiff, or to soft can cause you tons of grief.

    send me a private message if you are going to do all this on the phone or by computer and I will set you up with Tom at my local archery shop, they don't sell martin, but you could order a bow and have it drop shipped to him and he WILL set it up PERFECTLY. He can also speed test it at your specified draw length and get you set up with the correct arrows. He is the only guy I know that can group at less than one inch at 50yds, not only does he target shoot he also hunts and fills his tags, and he knows his business...He set up my martin, my dads matthews, and my dads martin, we could not be happier with his service or expertise.

    good luck

  6. #6
    TXN
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    Thanks for all of the replies...it gives me a lot to think about! At this point, I'm not going to make a decision. I'm a pretty impulsive person, so it's not easy for me to patiently wait on making this purchase, but I think I better be sure of what I want before I buy a bow as it will probably be the last bow I buy for a very long time.

    I am certainly not opposed to purchasing a longer bow if it will give me the option of using fingers if I want to. A short bow seems like a great idea for hunting, but I think I could manage to hunt just fine with a longer bow as well. I've been using a longer length bow for 30 years and it has never interfered with my ability to take deer, so the Sceptor or Shadowcat are definately options that I'm willing to consider. However, I think I'd like some more feedback on the idea of using fingers on the Shadowcat.

    When I viewed the photos of the Shadowcat, it appears that the limb orientation is very similar to that of the shorter bows as opposed to the way the Sceptor limbs are oriented. Is the Shadowcat really a viable option for finger shooting or would the Sceptor be the more desireable option for using fingers?

    I read the experiences of Golfisserious' friend's switch to the use of a release and am intrigued. I wouldn't mind having a bow that would give me the option of going either way. Would the Shadowcat fit this description?

    I'm concerned that after shooting with fingers for 30 years, a release might just feel too foreign and I won't like it. I am perfectly happy with shooting with my fingers and have had plently good accuracy to kill many deer over the years, but I do feel restricted to ranges under 30 yards and would love to extend my range a bit farther. If a release could give me confidence to take shots out to 40 yards and beyond, I think I would definately be interested in learning to use one.

    The problem I have is that the nearest Martin dealer is about a 5 hour drive from where I live and I won't have an opportunity to go there any time soon. I really don't want to purchase a bow that restricts me to using a release until I have experimented with using one and feel confident that I would like to start shooting that way. So, right now, I'm thinking that I might like to order a Shadowcat or Sceptor and plan to shoot it both ways and see which I prefer. Perhaps this is a bad idea since if I really like using a release, I may regret not purchasing a shorter bow?

    Anyhow, I seem to have hit an obstacle here and am not willing to make any decisions until I have more info. On the Martin website, I can't seem to find any info on pricing or ordering the new Shadowcat. Is it not yet available? Where can I find one?

    If you guys have any more input on the possibility of shooting the Shadowcat with fingers, I would love to hear what you have to say. Thanks again for all the help so far!

  7. #7
    golfisserious
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    its simple really:

    short bow:
    fingers will be inaccurate, left, right, up, and down.
    you will be confined to a release.

    Longer bow:
    you might if you are the best finger shooting archer in the world be able to shoot fingers accurately, you will lose some speed of the bow.
    release, you should be deadly accurate to at least 60 yds with a longer compound bow.

    if you are dead set on having a bow you want to shoot fingers with, you may want to consider a second bow, and it being a long bow, or a recurve.

    Part of getting a new compound bow and all its "technology" is using the technology, using fingers, you will be fighting, in my mind the reason for the technology...LONGER more ACCURATE shots with penetration.

    Now if you have the money to spare, do what I did, get one on ebay, see how you like it and save yourself a bundle up front... shop smart, search wisely and you can easily get your money back out of your "experimental" purchase. I searched easily over 1000 listings and watch countless "good deals" pass me by for a long long time before I finally stole mine for 150.00 because the guy did a poor job describing the bow.

    that said I know you can get an entry level 300fps bow from martin for about 230-240 brand new in the box, and experiment with that before dropping 1200.00

    email these guys mailto:customerservice@kmarcheryhut.com and they can set up a private auction for you... be sure to offer low... like 200 bucks for a threshold series bow package, or 180 for the bow by itself...

    all in all, go buy a release, set the release below your arrow, on your current bow, or below your lowest knock... before shooting a d loop, I used one knock and used my release to hold the arrow in position against the upper knock... if you buy a 30.00 release, you will get 30.00 dollar performance, the smoothest transition I know of that you will probably get addicted to is the tru-fire bear paw release that I use... everything else just feels wrong to me.

    and oh by the way...the first time my buddy shot his bow with the release... he was so suprised when it went off, that he dropped the bow...it was laugh out loud funny.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bfisher's Avatar
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    TXN,

    I respect your, ummm, indecision at this time. Buying one of these new bows can be quite a daunting experience. Technology has really changed in the last 30 years on these things.

    Trying to nswer a bit of your questions, I would say that you won't even get a chance to shoot one for at least a month. Demand for them and some of the other bows has flooded Martin. Most likely they won't be shippingh many till the end of this month. Price wise I think the ShadowCat MSRP is like $749, so that might slow you down, too. It's a pretty good chunk of change so take your time and get something that fits all your desires, whether it be a Martin or not.

    There is one thing in your favor at this time. Any bow that is suitable to shoot with fingers can be shot with a release. Not always so doing it the reverse way, though.

    There is one other consideration that I haven't seen mentioned and that is the amount of letoff. Most of these bows todayhave 80% letoff and this makes getting off the string cleanly with fingers a bit daunting. Thus, just another reason for the popularity of releases. You could possibly look in the classifieds on www.archerytalk.com for something like a used Scepter with
    14" mag limbs or Elite limbs. You just might find a good bargain. It's also possible you'd find one with 65% letoff cams or modules.

    Just some thought for you.
    If You're Not Living on the Edge You're Taking Up Too Much Space
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  9. #9
    TXN
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    Golfisserious, I can certainly see your point about taking advantage of available technology by learning to use a release. Your comment about becoming deadly accurate out to 60 yards is enough to capture my complete attention! ...ok, where do I sign up?

    I've spent quite a bit of time looking at bows online today and that new 2010 Shadowcat is awfully intriguing. I have not found any indication of price on them and haven't found a place to order one. Where can I find one?

    I am determined to get a new bow and to have several months of practice time before next deer season comes, so I'm quickly narrowing my choices down to find my next bow. If I had to place an order in the next 5 minutes, I'm pretty sure I'd go with the 2010 Shadowcat. Of course, as I stated earlier, I'm prone to being a little impulsive, so its probably a good thing that I can't find a place to order one!

    Another question about using a release as opposed to fingers: Since I have never used a release, I'm wondering about how it will change my anchor point. For the past 30 years, shooting off my fingers, I have always had an anchor point where my index finger is near the corner of my mouth. I don't know if this is proper technique or not...I've just been doing it this way for 30 years and have shot many thousands of arrows this way. So, if I switch to using a release, how much will it change my anchor point and/or draw length? I think my draw length is 29.5, so will a release require that the bow be set up for a shorter draw length than I would use with fingers?

    And, again, where do I find a place to order a Shadowcat and how much are they?

  10. #10
    TXN
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    Golfisserious, I can certainly see your point about taking advantage of available technology by learning to use a release. Your comment about becoming deadly accurate out to 60 yards is enough to capture my complete attention! ...ok, where do I sign up?

    I've spent quite a bit of time looking at bows online today and that new 2010 Shadowcat is awfully intriguing. I have not found any indication of price on them and haven't found a place to order one. Where can I find one?

    I am determined to get a new bow and to have several months of practice time before next deer season comes, so I'm quickly narrowing my choices down to find my next bow. If I had to place an order in the next 5 minutes, I'm pretty sure I'd go with the 2010 Shadowcat. Of course, as I stated earlier, I'm prone to being a little impulsive, so its probably a good thing that I can't find a place to order one!

    Another question about using a release as opposed to fingers: Since I have never used a release, I'm wondering about how it will change my anchor point. For the past 30 years, shooting off my fingers, I have always had an anchor point where my index finger is near the corner of my mouth. I don't know if this is proper technique or not...I've just been doing it this way for 30 years and have shot many thousands of arrows this way. So, if I switch to using a release, how much will it change my anchor point and/or draw length? I think my draw length is 29.5, so will a release require that the bow be set up for a shorter draw length than I would use with fingers?

    And, again, where do I find a place to order a Shadowcat and how much are they?

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