I hunt with a Scott Exxus and shoot indoors with a Scott Longhorn pro. Both have about the size frame and feel to me except the Exxus is a thumb release and the Longhorn a back tension. Thumb releases are great for hunting because you lock them on the string and your ready nothing tethered to your wrist. The Exxus has a crisp trigger and uses a sear firing mechanism, the down side of these type of thumb releases they are more expensive, must be cocked, and have a slight noise when it goes off. Probably the most popular thumb releases are the caliber type, they are easier to load on the string and silent. Tru Ball makes some nice hunting caliper type thumb releases. The Scott Exxus is no longer made or serviced by Scott.
Been reading about "surprise release" for years. I do this quite well with rifle target shooting; however, with a compound bow I tend to jerk the trigger mostly on 3D, back yard target and when I am shooting a number of rounds. I can remember a "Surprise release" on my black bear and on a few of my bucks and all of those were quick kills.
Does this type of shooting take a long time to perfect noting I have 40 + years of pulling the trigger to create the shot. Is it worth it?
In my early search for a hand/thumb release I am currently looking at T.R.U. Ball Fang or mini or a Hardcore 4 Revolution with the latter being more expensive.
Keep in mind I am most concerned about the release being "hunter friendly" and very reliable under normal hunting conditions.
Is a wrist string a must? Like the idea of hanging the release on the loop for ready. What are the key things to look for in this type of release? Don't like any additional noise.
Also I am now shooting poundage in the low 50's due to triceps surgery on both arms.
I hunt with a thumb release. All my other shooting is with a hinge.
With a surprise release your misses are smaller & alot of times you think you were not close to center, but it goes there anyway. Your subconscious is always centering the pin.
When I teach people how to shoot a surprise release , I use a resistance release. Almost impossible to cheat it.
When coming to anchor with your wrist release, wrap your finger around the trigger, so you feel some tension. Then pull as though you are drawing the bow another 1/4 inch. The release should fire with a surprise release. This is how my daughter fires her release.
If you want to shoot with a surprise release, The release should have no trigger movement before it fires. The more expensive releases have more adjustment for this. My daughter shoots a Like Mike release. It is highly adjustable (0-4lbs) with no trigger creep at all. Thumb releases are the same & should be fired with the same method.
I think anyone that wants to improve their shooting needs to learn to shoot a hinge. You can buy a used three finger Zenith comfort, TruBall BT or a Scott Longhorn hinge pretty cheap. Practice shooting with a hinge that has no trigger until you get comfortable with it and stay with it. Once you learn to shoot a hinge well it won't matter what release you shoot you will be better. Even if you start out using a combination of back tension and rotating your wrist to execute the shot, eventually it will come to you. When your used to shooting a trigger only, it can be a battle in your mind between fighting their pin floating on the target and when to squeeze the trigger. Once you learn to properly shoot a release, you will concentrate on your target only. When I shoot I concentrate on the target and subconsciously know my pin is there. I except the fact that my pin is going to float and some days worse than others and I don't fight it. While concentrating on the target I back tension my release until the shot breaks without thinking about it. Any release can be rushed even a hinge, mentally you have to stay focused on the target and let the shot just happen.
I bought the Scott Exxus two years ago after years of shooting a wrist strap caliper. I was slamming the trigger and the more i shot, the worse i got. Close to target panic. When i bought the Exxus i retaught myself to shoot. I worked on pin float, i basically did draw aim drills for 3 months before i even squeezed the trigger. I like the Exxus because its well made, highly adjustable both with tension and trigger position. I got more accurate and killed two deer with it last year in the first year of hunting with it. It is a little expensive but i buy the good stuff when it comes to archery gear. I love being able to just let it hang on the loop. I probably would not have killed my second deer if i was still shooting a wrist release. It happened fast, i basically had time to grab the bow, draw, aim release. If i had to fumble with getting the calipers on the loop i may not have had a shot.
Im a Carter guy... I shoot a Insatiable 2 and a Nock 2 it. I will never go back... Caters are quite pricey, I would try a Trufire Hardcore to start you off, then sink the cash into the Carter... if not, get on a Carter, Scott Exxus or Stan... you wont go back one you tune it properly.
I bought a Carter First Choice 3 finger release about 2 months ago. My 3-D scores are the best they've ever been, and once you learn how to use one it's hard to go back to a wristrap style. My Carter will be in the treestand with me come opening day.. good luck
I shoot a Carter Hammer. My buddy shoots a Carter Chocolate. It has tightened up my groups and improved my form. Sometimes small tweaks make a big difference. Give one a try, if you don't like it you can always resell it. By the way, both of my Carters were bought used and in great condition. Bought an extra for a backup.
I recently went through a heck of a time with target panic. So I completely changed everything starting with bow and moving to a single Pin site. Then a carter Thumb release and really worked hard on surprise release. After hours using a training tool I made, shooting without a target, then finally moving into shooting at targets I've been the most accurate I have ever been. Add in the fact I can clip the release on my D loop, no banging around or taking on and off if I want to put gloves on and I love it.
I switched to a thumb release last year and I shoot a lot better now ! It tightened my groups up and I love being able to hook it to my D-loop and always be ready ! You can keep your eye on the deer and bring the bow to you instead of having to look down to hook to the d-loop ! You do have to watch you don't bump the release because you don't have the strap around your wrist !! Then you'll be making a trip back down the tree unless you keep a spare in your pocket or pack like I do !!