The bow release is a vital part of achieving the best performance from your equipment. It doesn’t matter whether you shoot a longbow, recurve, or compound bow, a mechanical release mechanism is necessary to improve your ability to hold your aim steady and eliminate any erratic movement when taking the shot. Trying to only use your fingers to shoot a 60 or 70-pound bow is being unrealistic. A slight jerk will cause the arrow to miss its intended target by a large margin, resulting in a disappointing hunting experience. Releases help reduce movement by shifting the stress of holding steady from your fingers to your wrist and back.
The type of release you choose should depend on what your skill level and personal preferences are. Those which cost more are usually more robust and contain additional options. Most archers begin by using a mechanical wrist release which contains an index finger trigger. Squeezing the trigger opens a small set of calipers, releasing the bowstring. The wrist strap type of release can be adjusted to change the angle of your hand as well as the reference point at which your hand contacts your cheek. This allows you to find your most comfortable shooting position while improving the accuracy and consistency of your shots. Trigger tension, activation travel, and angle adjustments are possible on wrist releases. Wrist attachment straps are available in velcro or buckle styles. Cheaper straps may cause noise when flexed, so avoid them unless you are target shooting.
Experienced shooters may desire to change to a mechanical hand release. This type of release relies on the tension of the muscles between your shoulders. As the bowstring is drawn the muscle tension increases to the point where your hand naturally triggers the release without relying on your index finger. These releases allow more fine-tuning of trigger tension and travel than wrist releases. Always remember that your release needs to be compatible with the type of attachment point located on your bowstring. D-loops, metal tabs, and string fasteners are all available options.