There have been many threads on back tension and rotational draw. I have worked on pulling thru the release with back tension but I have a problem. My string hand has some arthritis and carpal tunnel problem, that have been repaired but causes some dexterity problems, which makes it difficult to pull thru the release as my hand at times doesn't want to release the string in a consistent manner. What I have found is that if I hook the second knuckle of my thumb behind my ear and with my index finger at the corner of my mouth I can do a dead release with better accuracy and consistency.
My question is can you use good back tension w\out pulling thru and touching the ear or shoulder. I'm sure there are others using the dead release successfully utilizing back tension and if so how does it work for you? Joel
One of the least understood benefits of back tension thru the release is that it allows you to hold steadier on target vs. just trying to "hold steady".
This is especially true with relatively light bows, as most trad bows are compared to tournament bows. However, it can be overcome by extreme mass risers or using a significantly heavy stabilizer.
If you want to be really accurate as say the top trad. shots in the world, you have to be almost dead steady on target at and through the release. IMO, only a fraction of trad archers/bowhunters are anywhere near this level, particularly guys who are short drawing and snap shooting. If we examined by video of how unsteady most trad. archers are by using a laser pointer in the tip of the arrow, this would be readily apparent. I don't think many would be able to hold steadier than the 4 ring on a 300 target in their actual shot sequence before release.. Therefore, you can't expect to group closer than that at least not consistently,
To break through to higher accuracy such as 250, 260, 270 and up on the 300 round with nontournament bows, you would need to be holdinig the laser beam pretty much in the 5 ring, which is smaller than your fist. And I mean at and through release...There are three roads to this nirvana...bow poundage you can domainate, increased mass, and proper form.
That said, keep in mind the realities of bowhunting if you'are a bowhunteer...such as being half frozen in a treestand all bundled up with one shot possibility perhaps after hours of sitting...can you even feel your back muscles? For the bowhunter, I'm suggesting there might be better alternatives than a pure back release...alternatively, if your fingers are half frozen, a dead release itself may be difficult...these are realities few archeryt books and dvds even consider!
One other issue for the bow hunter all bundled up using a pure back tension release method is your release force line is likely to be nowhere as linear as it was in your summer shooting. Your elbow verly likely is nowhere near as far back, for starters. Part of this comes from being bundled up and additional problems arise from a shooting position that is less than optimal.
Arugably a dead release negates the necessity of a rearward linear movement...I'm not sahying it is the best method necessarily, hnowever. This is a deep subject that would require a much fuller treatment than these brief notes.
Jus,,,,I dead release with swing draw What works for me is I worked in sticking my chest out as I reach the corner of my mouth,my anchor So I start my draw by swinging up and drawing at the same time,keeping my draw arm elbow inline,bring my head down to the arrow and stick my chest out like a pretty girl is walking by as I reach anchor,and release
Now of course that’s what works for me and how I’ve found the way to engage my back muscles Others do it other ways but just the simple chest puffing pulls it together
"If you want to be really accurate as say the top trad. shots in the world, you have to be almost dead steady on target at and through the release. IMO, only a fraction of trad archers/bowhunters are anywhere near this level, particularly guys who are short drawing and snap shooting. If we examined by video of how unsteady most trad. archers are by using a laser pointer in the tip of the arrow, this would be readily apparent. I don't think many would be able to hold steadier than the 4 ring on a 300 target in their actual shot sequence before release.. Therefore, you can't expect to group closer than that at least not consistently,
Have you watched top archers head on? You'd be surprised how much waving can go on as soon as the release is initiated.
Certainly the rock solid bow arm on release is not as common as believed.
One of the problems with the "Dead Release" is that you can't get off the string clean. Essentially, you are pulling to anchor then locking in. At that point you aim and now you have to get off the string. This is where many folks get the anxiety, because they have everything right where they want it and don't want to screw it up. Yet, now they have to get off that string. So, they try and sneak off the string - impossible task.
By dynamically pulling through the shot with the back while relaxing the fingers, you get a more stable shot. As evidenced in the Lancaster video referenced above, you can get pretty darn good if you have a very solid bow arm. I know these guys personally and have shot with all of them. They have very good bow arms.
For many years I've argued that your bow arm is the #1 thing when it comes to accuracy. You can get away with a lot on that string if your bow arm never moves. Still, the further you shoot (WA Field, NFAA and IFAA Field) the tougher it gets. You really have to pull through the shot to have success in field and target archery. At 20 yards and in there is room for error.
So, can you shoot good without back tension? How could anyone argue it? "Good" is a relative terms. One man's good is another man's suck. The better question is can you be the best shot that YOU can be without back tension? The answer to that is no.
Your situation with injury is totally different. You have to find what you can do comfortably and repeatably given your hand pain. Remember, the follow through is a result of back tension once there is no longer resistance on the fingers (absence of string). It should be a natural motion, not a forced follow through. Also, when I shoot a 30# bow my arm barely moves backwards. When I shoot a 55# bow it move back a lot. It's the result of the contracted back muscles (rhomboids) once there is no resistance from the string.
I used to shoot with what I thought was a dead release. The reality was I was anchoring so tight to my face that the force was being absorbed by my head on release. It was like getting a jab below my right cheek every time I loosed an arrow. Want to guess who developed target panic? My point is, the force has to go somewhere on release. for the OP, if you are at the end of your range of motion at anchor, be careful, as you may hyper extend something absorbing the energy that wants to go rearward but cant careful,
I read an article on form and improvements in the Traditional Archer magazine several years ago where the instructor (I think his first name was Rick) had the student, the writer start with his draw hand locked into his jaw and corner of the mouth (2 anchor points), to stop the excess movement during the shot.
After reading the article amd finding that it worked very well for me, I have shot this method ever since. As with a rifle, compound or any shooting sport excess movement is a killer. So I focus on locking my anchor then keeping my bow arm as steady as possible. Relaxing my fingers (i shoot with the tips of my fingers) was the easy part while I focus on the target and gap.
The whole key is be consistent no matter what your style is and be as solid as possible upon release.
To get a correct "Death Release" I need very active fingers aka I need to consciously open them to get that "hand in face" stillness. I prefer the other type of release because just relaxing a bit is enough for the string to "rip through the fingers" and it doesn't require a high level of attention from my part.
PS Most of the time the dead release is "in your face" because the string left the building BEFORE the archer touched his anchor.
It is totally possible to have a hard release that does not fly away or yank past your ear. It is totally possible to intentionally have a rip away high tension release that effects your accuracy in a wrong way. It is totally possible to have a soft fluffy release and still have your rip back to your shoulder after the fact and have no benefit at all. Personally, I need to watch for losing tension as I bore down with my final aim.
To get a correct "Dead Release" I need very active fingers aka I need to consciously open them to get that "hand in face" stillness. I prefer the other type of release because just relaxing a bit is enough for the string to "rip through the fingers" and it doesn't require a high level of attention from my part. PS Most of the time the dead release is "in your face" because the string left the building BEFORE the archer touched his anchor.
I get a short skid. On days where I shoot hundreds of arrows, the raw spot can be fairly noticeable. Draven, that is too much of a generality, I have seen an equal number of short releases fly through the face and past the ear. I have seen some, anticipating that fly back release mess up the alignment of the aim just to make certain of a fly through release. In typical Hill form a hard short release reaction seems to be more in line with Schulz teaches. I wonder sometimes if the sudden reaction to a release can cause wear and tear on the finger and shoulder joints. Instantly going from 70 pounds of resistance to nothing is a very dramatic thing.
Dean I don’t deny that. I just said why I don’t like “dead release” no matter the back tension involved or not. IMO back tension is there if your elbow goes back at release. What hand is doing is not important.
"Have you watched top archers head on? You'd be surprised how much waving can go on as soon as the release is initiated.
Certainly the rock solid bow arm on release is not as common as believed."
To the contrary, for the best archers I notice great steadiness for the most part...have to agree with Jimmy on the importance of a steady bowarm...variance is a prime enemy of accuracy. 50-50 (etc.) push-pull can help reduce this variance, but there are other ways such as proper grip (reducing grip torque), bow mass, stabilizers, etc.
A clean release itself will of course also reduce bow arm variation...all are interconnected...
"My question is can you use good back tension w\out pulling thru and touching the ear or shoulder"
Yes and Dewayne Martin is a good example of this.
When I shot Longbow this is pretty much how I shot, it felt like I had good BT and when the string fingers relaxed so did BT at the same instant, I shot some solid scores and won big tourneys this way.
Barebow is a lot more competitive here in Europe, Longbow I had maybe 8 top class Longbows to go toe to toe with, Barebow is different I'm guessing 40+ shooting world class scores. When I made that switch to BB I also made that switch to a more dynamic release, it was really hard to break 20+ years of habit but it has helped me be more competitive in Barebow, no enough to be top but enough to feel satisfied with my scores and tourney results. A lot more shots go wrong in LB and you always have a chance to catch up, BB you have no such leeway, mistakes are rarely recoved in BB and top guys rarely make those mistakes.
I undersatnd your frustration, trigger finger forced me into ILF recurves, now it's in my string fingers making it a daily challenge to shoot consistently, fortunately the big tourneys are in Summer where I have the least issues, winter I don't shoot much at all now.
When I shot with a more static release what was going on was I had to think "release" which basically stopped the BT process on the instant of release.
The switch from static to a more dynamic release was actually more of a mental adjustment than a physical one, I just made the release a non cognitive event, my focus was on powering the Scapular through the shot, the release never entered my mind. it's not easy to break 20+ years of habit and took quite a leap of faith. Even with trigger finger in string hand, this different approach has cleaned up my release a little.
"A clean release itself will of course also reduce bow arm variation...all are interconnected..."
What does it means "clean release"? I watch Rich Welch shooting and his hand and forearm are flying all over BUT his upper arm and elbow don't go out of the alignment. His bow hand can't move too much because his skeleton/body is still aligned until the arrow left the building and he is the living proof that "clean" is not necessary what we are seeing.
1 other thing to note: using a solid 2 anchor system allows me a better opportunity to know how I am messing up on my release. If I pull thru and miss I know what happened. I also know if I am short drawing and can correct it immediately. Just one more way I have found to be consistent in my shooting.
Taking all this way toooooo serious,,this is all you need right here. I mean this is all supposed to be just fun and all this shooting form and aiming and release, Just hunt and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I skipped through that, I saw a guy going on and on about all kinds of stuff. If I had to go on and on for nearly 11 minutes, there would have been a potty break in there somewhere or I would have had to point out a bird that came by. One thing, it must have been really cold out there, even though everything looks jungle green, he is dressed for an Iowa winter.
Posting for dean from his ref. All this perfect release stuff just sells shooting clinics and makes money for some trying to sell just another method. Howard is a perfect example, watch his video because think about it,,why does it matter what the hand looks like if the arrow is already gone? Just more of these shooting threads hype.>>>>>>>>>---------------------------->sammo
Rick Welch is a great example of an exception to what we might call a consensus of top shots in trad as well as other types of archery incl. Olympic recurve, compound, etc.
What counts is how accurate you are and you can certainly test a flying release like Welch's very easily...good luck in finding your arrows...
That said, I think many can find excellent results with an explosive type of release somewhat similiar to Welch's except the action is straight back. I suspect RW goes pretty much straight back for a critical instant and then outward past the critical moment so he can get away with it...
Further, although RW is a successful bowhunter, a strong argument can be made the best method for bowhunting in general is to minimize movement. For me that rules out the swing arm method and flying releases even though many successful bowhunters have used both (and good luck using the swing arm method in a Primos type of blind!; even the style of top IBO trad champions may need modification -- if bowhunting is your thing, these are all considerations you will want to consider).
I'm very familiar with Rick's accomplishements, and I have paid him money for his dvds. I do my homework...I don't know what in my post aroused your critical reply since I made a helpful suggestiion re: minimizing movement for trad. bowhunters. I speak from experience...sure, not everhyone is a perfectionist, I readily acknowledge that.
And I'm sure we both have disdain for "gizmos"...assuming the defination is along the lines of something that is hyped and doesn't work...
Just to add, inquiring minds might ask, how much better could he be? It's a question I often ask of myself.
In fact, my incessant self criticsim and my own hunting failures led me to improve and invent many new methods because I wasn't good enough and/or the existing shooting (including release) methods weren't good enough to satisfy me.
Dead hand releases lead to lots of problems. Imo it’s best not to shoot this way. Now anything absolutely repeated the same even if not perfect will lead to consistancy. Does that mean just any old type “form” can be used? Id say no. Look at all the help threads. A dead hand release for instance could lead to plucking, throwing your hand out, up, etc just a very little bit. That little bit could effect consistancy. Not that doesn’t mean straight back tension can’t be butchered as well it just means it’s easier to fix as your always coming straight back
The type of dead release the vast majority of people use is with the release hand held against the face and the fingers relax. Hopefully, with just a tad of back tension so there isn't creep.
I developed another type, but I won't say I invented it because I found out later my friend and tournament archer Arvid Danielson uses it amongst others including the Italian Olympic team some years back. At least it shows I was thinking...probably others here use it or a variant Amongst trad archers I suspect it is fairly uncommon, but certainly not unique.
The draw hand anchors to the face. The fingers slightly relax, but not enough relaxation to loose the string as in the common dead release. When you are ready "to shoot", the bow arm pushes toward target (usually in conjunction with some type of aiming system but not necessarily). This is extension should be small, maybe 1/4", sometimes more. As a result of the "push" or extension, the string begins to be pulled from the fingers in sort of a sequential basis and then very quickly the string is entirely loosed.
Sure, it is related to the 50:50 push pull method common in tournament archery, but it would be more like 95:5 push:pull resulting in a pretty much a dead release vs. backward extension.
Of course, there are intermendiate possibilities such as 75:25 push:pull, 99:1 push:pull, etc.
IMO, this is the method, Vic Berger used and he was one of the best shots ever. One advantage is that the rearward force line is contained at the anchor point rather than extending rearward so that worry of linearality is largely eliminated (depending on the ratio of push:pull).
The disadvantage for bowhunting under severe pressure is it is all too easy to jab the bow hand forward under the excitement of the shot. This can occur in tournament archery as well, but the tendency is lessened when you have a lot of arrows to find your groove so to speak, to say nothing of warm up shots.
Doing it when your trophy buck or bull is right front of you and you're likely to jab the bow hand forward at half draw if your excitement level is off the chart...but it can be done as cool as ice...it really depends on you...When properly executed, it gives an extremely good release.
I'll just add, a feature of a hypothetical perfect release for bowhunting would be that the release can be done strongly under excitement or calmly w/o much difference in results...I will argue elsewhere all existing methods in common use fail to meet this challenge. It doesn't mean they can't work well for some bowhunters, no not at all. But you better be cool as ice to implement those releases when the crucial moment arrives.
The problem as I often have said is not the human...the problem is in methodology. Methods should work for us, not against us. And it is very human to experience extreme excitement at the "moment of truth".
Sam, if I didn't know his hunting/tournament accomplishments, I'd say Rick is waving the game "goodbye!" in that video...oh boy...amazing he hits anything but then he has an excellent bow arm and the benefit of high mass arms (and bow).
Thanks folks lots of good information to factor into my type of shooting. With my dead release I'm constantly pulling until I relax my fingers. If I don't I have a tendency to pluck the string. Thanks again. Joel
I was taught years ago there is a major difference between a "dead release" and a soft/collapsing release. Same guy taught me that the residual (and many times exaggerated)movement caused by these release methods must be offset by the weight of the bow and it's accoutrements. He also said that follow through is in the bow arm, not the string hand.