Wrist Release or Thumb Release: Which is better for hunting?

Hunting requires using the right techniques to succeed in hitting a target more accurately. Without the right techniques, you’ll find it extremely challenging to catch prey. One of the best techniques that assist in hunting more successfully is the use of release aids. Release aids are mechanical devices that assist in releasing the bowstring instead of using your fingers.

Release aids make it easier and quicker to release a bowstring. Thus, your fingers won’t have to apply a lot of torque on the bowstring. Release aids release the bowstring using a trigger. There’re many types of trigger release mechanisms available today. The most common ones are wrist release and thumb release mechanisms. Each trigger release comes with a share of several advantages and some shortcomings. Let’s discuss these trigger release mechanisms in detail.

Wrist Release

Wrist release, also known as finger release, is among the most popular trigger release aids used by hunters. In this release, the hunter uses their index finger to press the trigger and release the bowstring. The release is pulled with the index finger, just like how you’d pull a rifle trigger. A wrist release enables the hunter to command the release trigger to make a shot more accurate. You can pull the trigger once the sight pin is in line with the spot you want to hit.

It’s known as a wrist release since the device often comes with a wrist strap. The wrist strap is either a Velcro or buckle strap. The advantage of the strap is that it ensures the release aid is readily available on your hand any time you want to use it. Also, the wrist strap comes with the advantage of making it easier to pull the bowstring backward as you can use your entire arm for torque rather than your fingers alone. Another benefit that comes with a wrist release trigger is that you can adjust the straps to the length most comfortable to you. That way, you can comfortably adjust the strap regardless of the size of your wrist.

However, wrist release comes with the disadvantage of introducing target panic. Target panic is an issue that results from anxiety when anticipating a shot. The anxiety makes an archer punch on the trigger rather than releasing it. This leads to inconsistent shooting. Thus, it needs the archer to be confident enough without any form of anxiety.

Another disadvantage of a wrist release is that you always have to adjust the wrist release after every shot. This makes it challenging to use since you have to find the most comfortable position after every shot.

Thumb Release

A thumb release trigger is a type of trigger aid that is handheld and is activated by pulling the release trigger with the thumb. One of the main advantages of a thumb release is that it makes it easier to get an anchor point. It also makes it possible to use the same anchor point consistently.

However, a thumb release trigger comes with the disadvantage of having to keep track of it. Since it’s not attached to any part of your body, you can easily lose it when hunting in a thick forest. Also, some thumb release triggers make a clicking noise when closing the clasp. The clicking noise can alert extremely close prey.

Wrist Release Vs Thumb Release- Which Is Better?

Wrist release is more ideal for use with beginners because it gives you more control over every shot. On the other hand, thumb release is more ideal for a skilled hunter. To add to that, thumb release triggers are typically smaller and lighter and are less prone to target panic than wrist release triggers.

While a wrist release is tied on the wrist, a thumb release is handheld. Thus, a wrist release is less prone to getting lost when hunting. On the other hand, you can easily lose a thumb release as it can easily fall off from your hand. Also, thumb release triggers are often more expensive than wrist release triggers.


Both wrist release and thumb release trigger aids come with their unique advantages and some shortcomings. Thus, the best option should be the one you find more usable and reliable. Your hunting skills and your budget will play a huge part in making the right decision. Now that you know their differences, it’ll be easier to choose the right trigger release aid.

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