Can You Shoot A Compound Bow Without A Release?

In recent years, the popularity of archery has skyrocketed, with more and more people taking up the hobby. 

Many who practice archery opt for the compound bow due to its power and accuracy. Can you shoot a compound bow without the use of a release? 

This blog post will explore this topic in-depth, looking at the risks and safety precautions associated with shooting this bow without using a release. 

We’ll also provide recommendations for those determined to shoot it. So, let’s dive in and explore the question!

What Is A Release On A Compound Bow?

A release, also known as a release aid, is an accessory used with compound bows to aid in the more accurate and consistent shooting. 

The release is typically attached to the bowstring, so when the archer pulls back on the bowstring to draw, the release is cocked. 

When the archer wants to fire the shot, they apply pressure to the trigger of the release, allowing the bowstring to release from the cocked position. This action allows for a consistent and accurate shot with each draw. 

The release can be made from various materials and come in multiple shapes and sizes. Some release aids have adjustable triggers and features that allow even more accuracy and consistency.

can you shoot a compound bow without a release

Can You Shoot A Compound Bow Without A Release?

The short answer is Yes. You can do that. This is known as ‘finger shooting’ or ‘instinctive shooting’ and is a traditional archery technique. 

While a release is generally considered the most accurate way of shooting this type of bow, many archers prefer to shoot without one.

If you are shooting without using a release, you must use proper form to ensure that you can achieve accuracy and consistency. 

Establishing a consistent anchor point, using proper back tension, and practicing a compatible release are vital. 

You can achieve great accuracy using finger shooting with practice and dedication.

can you shoot a compound bow without a release

Pros & Cons of Release

The release is essential equipment that can make or break an archer’s shooting accuracy. Choosing the appropriate release for your individual needs is essential, as different styles can have pros and cons.


The use of a release offers many pros. These include increased accuracy, reduced hand fatigue, improved consistency, and longer draw lengths.

  • Using a release allows the archer to draw the bowstring back more accurately, providing more accurate, consistent shots. 
  • By removing the need to pinch the string with the fingers, the archer can focus more on the target instead of worrying about the accuracy of their grip on the line. 
  • It reduces hand fatigue, which can result from the strain of pinching the bowstring for extended periods.
  • Using a release also enables the archer to increase their draw length, which is beneficial for increased accuracy and power. 


The release is crucial to shooting accuracy and consistency. Unfortunately, a few potential drawbacks exist while using a release. 

  • You must adjust the release to fit the shooter’s hand size and shooting style, which can be time-consuming. 
  • If a release is correctly adjusted, it can prevent the bow from being out of tune and lead to inaccurate shots. 
  • Some releases are not strong enough to handle the force of the compound bow and may cause the bow to misfire. 
  • The release itself can be a distraction, as the sound of the release firing can startle the shooter and disrupt their focus.

Is It Hard To Shoot A Compound Bow Without Using A Release?

Yes, this activity can be challenging. As compound bows are available with a mechanical release aid, they are generally best fired with a release aid to ensure perfect accuracy and consistency. 

Not using a release aid, the user can rely upon their strength and muscle memory to achieve the same results. 

It can take considerable practice to master the art of shooting without a release, as it requires excellent concentration and discipline. 

The lack of a release aid can cause fatigue in the user’s arms and shoulders, as the user must hold the bowstring at full draw for an extended period.

Tips For Shooting Compound Bows Without A Release

That action requires great skill and practice. Here are some tips to help you produce successful shots:

  • Make sure your form and stance are correct. You should balance your stance, and your arms should be bent. 
  • Make sure your back is straight and you grip the bow correctly.
  • Take the time to become familiar with the bow. Learn the different parts and how they work together.
  • Get comfortable with the bow. Make sure it is adjusted to fit your body, posture, and strength.
  • Position your fingers slightly apart on the string above the arrow. Practice your grip to ensure you can hold the bow steady.
  • Make sure you have a solid stance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your back straight.
  • Keep the bowstring vertical at all times. This will help ensure that the bowstring and arrow will be released simultaneously without any inconsistencies, making the shot more accurate.
  • Make sure your grip on the bowstring is firm but relaxed. Grasp the bowstring firmly to maintain control, but ensure it does not become too tight and cause tension.
  • Ensure that the bow fits your draw length. So, you will need to be sure that the draw weight is comfortable and in line with your physical capabilities.
can you shoot a compound bow without a release


Is a bow release necessary?

It is up to the archers to decide if a bow release is necessary for them, as it will depend on their shooting style and preferences. 

Do you need a mechanical release for a compound bow?

A mechanical release is an essential piece of equipment. 

  • This device, also known as a trigger release, is used to ensure accuracy and consistency in the shot.
  • It allows a precise and smooth release of the bowstring and arrow, which enables the shooter to maintain accuracy with each shot.

Do you keep both eyes open when shooting a compound bow?

Most shooters recommend keeping both eyes open when shooting this type of bow. This is because it allows for a more accurate aim and visibility of the target area. 

  • Keeping both eyes open is particularly beneficial, as it allows them to gauge the distance of their target better and adjust the draw weight accordingly. 
  • Keeping both eyes open can help improve the shooter’s depth perception and accuracy, allowing them to focus on the target more quickly. 

Do all compound bows have a let-off?

Most of them have a let-off feature, a mechanical system that reduces the amount of draw weight when the bow draws to a certain point.

  • This feature is often adjustable and allows an archer to customize their draw weight to match their shooting style and draw length. 
  • The let-off helps reduce the weight, allowing for better accuracy and control. 
  • This feature is especially beneficial for longer draw lengths and heavier draw weights, allowing archers to shoot more comfortably and consistently.

Are compound bows easier to pull?

The answer to this question is a definite yes. 

Compound bows with a pulley system reduce the force needed to draw the bowstring, making them easier to pull and less fatiguing for the user.

Read More: How To Store Arrows At Home? A Straightforward Guide


So, can you shoot a compound bow without a release? This action is possible but not recommended. 

Your shots will lack accuracy and consistency, and you can also suffer from increased hand shock and finger pinch. For these reasons, investing in a quality release is best if you plan to shoot compound bows. 

With the proper release, you will shoot with greater accuracy and consistency, and you can focus on your form and technique to improve your shooting. 

Thank you for taking the time to read the post!

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