bows

It isn’t just adults that take part in archery, many young people and children enjoy shooting a bow and arrow too. However, since they are much smaller, they do require special equipment that is designed to work with their shorter frame.

One piece of equipment that comes in extremely handy is the bow release, and there are several excellent youth bow release options out there. A bow release is a small piece of equipment that is used to help the archer accurately fire the arrow with a more significant deal of control and comfort.

However, choosing the right one is vital for comfort and effectiveness. In this article, we are going to be looking at how to select the proper youth bow release as well as showing you some of our favourite products.

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What To Look For In A Youth Bow Release

Shopping for a bow release for a child isn’t all that dissimilar to shopping for a bow release for yourself, although there are some things that you should think about since children are a lot smaller than we are. This is perfectly demonstrated when we look at the size of their hands compared to that of an adult.

  Length of hand (inches) Width of hand (inches)
Male adult 7.6 3.5
Female adult 6.8 3.1
Child, age 6 4.4 – 5.7 2.0 – 2.7
Child, age 11 5.5 – 7.0 2.0 – 3.1

It isn’t difficult to see from this information that a bow release that was made for adult hands would be far too large for the small hands of a child. For this reason, it is extremely important that you source a bow release that has been specifically designed with younger archers in mind.

Hand Or Wrist Release?

There are two main types of bow release; the wrist and the hand release and the kind that you choose will depend on several factors. Of course, you can speak to your child and determine which they would find more straightforward to use; you might also let your child try out each kind to see what they are most comfortable with.

A wrist release attaches to the wrist and is the most commonly used, especially among beginners. This type of release uses the arm strength to draw the bow and for this reason, is often a lot easier to use for younger archers who may not have a great deal of strength in their fingers.

In contrast, a hand release uses the finger strength to draw the bow and is released using a thumb trigger. These tend to be used by more experienced archers and can be a little more tricky to get the hang of. They are also perfect for those who are competing in archery tournaments.

Experience Level

Like many other things in archery, the type of bow release you purchase for a youth archer will depend on their level of experience. Of course, the most important thing is that they are comfortable using the release.

For children who have not used a bow release before, you may find that it takes a while for them to get used to it, particularly if they have been drawing their bow manually up until now. However, it is worth persevering since a bow release does have a lot of advantages.

In the main, a wrist release is going to be far easier to use for children who are new to this type of equipment. But it is worth keeping in mind that there is a potential for them to develop target panic when using a wrist release owing to the fact that their squeeze control may be lacking.

The alternative is using a less common hinge release which will allow them to get used to working with a bow release; however, these can be slightly more expensive.

If the young archer has had a little more practice and is at an advanced or intermediate level, then a wrist release might not be suitable for them. Fortunately, there are some other options.

Generally speaking, a hand release is better for those with more experience, but a lot of it comes down to what the individual archer feels more comfortable with. Alternatively, a hinge release can step up the child’s archery game, and despite popular belief, these are not just suited to those with target panic.

Once your child has gotten used to their bow release, you might want to upgrade them to a more sophisticated piece of equipment, and the good news is that there are many options to choose from.

Many of the more high-end releases have more adjustability options, and this can go a long way in giving your child the most accurate shot.

Why Is A Bow Release Important?

Unless you are familiar with archery, you may not have been aware that a bow release was necessary, and in truth, it isn’t. There is no reason why you cannot fire your bow in the traditional manner, just using your fingers. In fact, some people prefer this method of firing, and that is entirely acceptable.

However, a lot of archers prefer to use a bow release for its many benefits. Primarily, a bow release, sometimes called a release aid, is used to improve accuracy, which as we know, is essential in archery. For kids, especially those who are new to the sport, getting a good aim is not always easy, but using a bow release can help them to develop a greater level of accuracy. Not only this, but using a release will also ensure consistency. In competitive archery, there is nothing more important than remaining consistent.

The Best Youth Bow Release

Best Overall Choice – Scott Archery Youth Hero Bow Release

This is a great choice for a young archer since it boasts so many incredible features. For example, this bow release boasts a knurled trigger which means that the child will obtain a superior grip, making the entire experience far more comfortable.

Furthermore, this is a versatile release aid that is very easy to use. It features a velcro strap which is far easier for the child to take on and off themselves, but it is also super-easy to adjust. The nylon strap connector means that it can be infinitely adjusted and is specifically designed for smaller hands. What’s even more impressive is that both right and left-handed archers can use this release.

Scott Archery has been in the business for more than 30 years so you can feel confident that their products are a cut above the rest.

Best Alternative – TruBall Archery Youth Shooter Release

If you are unable to purchase the cream of the crop, then you needn’t look far to find an excellent alternative. The TruBall Archery bow release has been designed specifically for youths and has a range of features that make it superior.

Primarily, you will notice that this is a hook and loop system that is incredibly easy to use. Furthermore, the quick-lock connection system means that adjusting the strap is exceptionally straightforward and can be done by the child without assistance.

The rope-style connection means that torque is drastically reduced and this results in far greater accuracy with every shot.

The velcro strap is ideal for younger archers, and the release easily tucks into the sleeve when it is not being used so it will not get in the way.

Best Budget Youth Bow Release – Allen Compact Thumb Youth Release

Not all archery equipment has to cost the earth, and that is where this incredible budget-friendly bow release comes into play. At just $7.95, you would be hard-pushed to find anything quite as effective for such a competitive price.

The release is perfect for both children and adult archers who have smaller hands and can be used by both left and right-handed people.

It features a crisp thumb release that delivers much-improved accuracy and is easy to use. The grooved design makes this extremely comfortable to hold, not to mention that this is an exceptionally durable piece of equipment.

It will automatically lock onto the bowstring and can handle up to 75lbs of draw weight which is more than enough for a child.

Conclusion

A bow release is a common piece of equipment used in both target archery and in bowhunting but is far more common in target archery where precision and accuracy are imperative.

However, it isn’t only adults that take part in this exciting sport, and there are many children who love archery but using equipment that has been designed for adults simply isn’t a viable option. Using an adult bow release would make shooting very difficult for a child, but the good news is that there are plenty of bow releases that have been designed specifically for children.

It is important to take certain things into consideration when choosing a bow release for a youth, including their level of experience and what is most comfortable for them.

Deers are not small animals. If you are hunting them, you are going to need to make sure that you have the right equipment to effectively take them down. If you don’t, you will likely only injure the deer. Not only does this mean that you won’t get your kill, but it is also incredibly inhumane.

To be a successful archer, you need to think about several factors when it comes to deer hunting. But one of the most important is the draw weight of your bow. If this isn’t heavy enough, there isn’t going to be enough force to propel your arrow powerfully enough to kill the deer.

In this article, we are going to be exploring what the minimum draw weight for deer should be as well as giving you some handy tips.

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What Is Draw Weight?

The draw weight of a bow refers to the weight of pulling the bowstring back to full draw. You might sometimes hear this being called poundage, but they are one of the same thing.

If you are drawing a bow with a poundage of 50lbs, this would be akin to picking up an object weighing 50lbs. For this reason, the weight of a bow that you could handle may be vastly different from the weight of a bow that I could handle.

Everyone has different levels of strength and so it is vital that you choose a draw weight that you are comfortable able to manage draw after draw. But we will look at this in a little more detail later on.

There are many things that would impact the draw weight of a bow. But one of the biggest influencing factors is how stiff the limbs are. The more flexible the bow’s limbs, the lower the draw weight. This is because, as you draw the bow, flexible limbs will move more easily, meaning that there is less resistance.

If you are planning to go out and hunt deer, you will need a minimum draw weight; but what happens if this is too heavy for you? If this is the case, you are not alone. But the good news is that by using a compound bow, you will typically be able to shoot something with a much greater draw weight.

The reason for this is all down to the fact that these bows have what is known as let off.

What About Let Off?

Let off is a feature of all compound bows. The compound bow is a relatively new invention, having only been properly designed in the 1960s. Rather than being a simple pull-back design like more conventional bows, compound bows work a system of cams and strings.

This design has a huge advantage for archers since it will hold a lot of the draw weight so that you don’t have to.

The let off of a compound bow is usually given as a percentage. For example, if you are using a compound bow with a draw weight of 50lbs and a let off of 50%, the bow would take 25lbs of the weight. This means that you would only need to handle the remaining 25lbs.

Why Does Choosing The Right Draw Weight Matter?

When you buy a bow, one of the first things that any good archery shop assistant will do is talk to you about the draw weight. This is important for several reasons.

Primarily, as an archer, you need to be able to handle your equipment comfortably. If you are using a bow with a draw weight that is too high, you won’t be able to use the bow as effectively.

While you might feel comfortable drawing the bow once in an archery shop, things can feel vastly different when you’re out in the field. What a lot of people don’t realize is that many archery injuries stem from the archer using a bow that is too big for them.

There’s no shame in admitting when the draw weight is too heavy. Not only will this make the whole archery experience a lot easier for you, but it will also mean that you can take a much more accurate shot.

One of the main things to keep in mind when hunting deer is that you want to hit the deer in the vitals to take it down as quickly as possible. If you struggle with the weight of your bow, you might misfire, hit another part of the deer, and merely injure it. This isn’t good.

There is a common misconception among new archers that using a higher draw weight will increase the speed of the arrow. Yes, a higher draw weight will cause the arrow to fly faster; but only if you can handle it.

Shooting a bow with a higher draw weight than you can handle may increase the speed, but with your accuracy out, this won’t make a difference to the end result. You’ll get a much more precise and successful shot by lowering the draw weight.

Furthermore, you should keep in mind that many bowhunters choose heavier arrows. These do not have anywhere near as much speed as lighter arrows yet still make an effective kill. The skill of taking down a deer doesn’t lie as much in the draw weight itself, but rather your ability to handle it.

Can I Kill A Deer With A Low Draw Weight?

If you have had to take a considerably lower draw weight than you expected, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to hunt deer with as much success as you would have liked.

One thing that you should keep in mind is that while draw weight will influence the success of a kill, this isn’t the only factor that will.

When you are shooting a bow with a lower poundage, there are other things that you must consider. The higher draw weights will allow for deeper penetration of the arrow and will do a good job at hitting the vitals. However, lower draw weights can achieve just as much success provided that you hit the animal in just the right place.

Before you start shooting with a lower weight bow, make sure that you keep the following things in the front of your mind.

Distance

When shooting further away from a target, the arrow has to cover a greater distance. However, when you are closer, not only will the arrow lose less speed thanks to being closer, but it will also be easier to aim for your target. This is simply because the deer will appear much bigger than if you were further away.

For this reason, if you are shooting a lower poundage bow, we would advise getting as close to your target as possible.

Weight Of The Arrow

As we discussed earlier, many bowhunters will use a heavier arrow for better penetration. If you are using a bow with a smaller draw weight, a heavier arrow can complement your setup well.

Placement Of The Shot

There is potentially nothing more important than getting your shot in exactly the right place. If you want a successful kill, you must hit the deer in its vital organs. This means the heart and lungs.

Regardless of your bow’s draw weight, hitting the deer anywhere other than this will not cause a significant blood trail to kill it quickly. The only thing that you will likely achieve is maiming the animal. Yes, it may die over time, but this is not humane nor will you be going home with your prize.

Choose The Right Broadhead

Broadheads are one of the most effective types of arrows for bowhunting and are used by most archers hunting deer.

If you want to make sure that your lower poundage bow will still yield as good results as an 80lb bow, then you must choose the right broadhead. Fixed-blade broadheads are one of the best options.

Laws On The Minimum Draw Weight For Deer

There are regulations that archers need to adhere to when bowhunting. However, depending on your location, these may vary.

In the USA, the typical minimum draw weight for deer is 40lbs although there are some states where this is different. The only way to determine this is to check with your state before hunting.

40lbs is typically the lowest weight that you could use to effectively kill a deer. That being said, there are skilled archers that could shoot a 35lbs bow and still be successful. The lowest legal draw weights in the USA are in Pennsylvania and South Dakota who both require a minimum of 30lbs.

Conversely, in North Dakota, hunters are required to have a bow with a poundage of at least 50lbs for hunting deer. If you live in Wisconsin, you will need to have a minimum draw weight of 100lbs! It isn’t difficult to see how much variation there is depending on your locality.

That being said, there are some states that do not have any regulations that stipulate a minimum or maximum draw weight for deer hunting. These states include;

  • New York
  • Mississippi.
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Iowa
  • West Virginia
  • Virginia
  • South Carolina
  • California
  • Missouri

You should also consider that there is a maximum draw weight in many locations around the USA. The highest maximum is 200lbs and this is permitted in the state of Pennsylvania. So, while they also have the lowest draw weight restriction, they are also the most versatile state.

One of the most common questions is whether a bow as low as 20lbs could take down a deer. Unfortunately, the truth is that when you begin to get down into these very low weight categories, the bow wouldn’t have the power to propel the arrow effectively enough to kill a deer.

Aside from hunting deer, there are other legal minimum draw weights if you want to hunt other animals.

  • When hunting moose, the draw weight should be no less than 65lbs
  • When hunting antelope, the draw weight should be no lower than 40 – 65lbs but this will depend on the size of the animal.
  • When hunting bears, the draw weight should be no less than 40 – 65lbs but again, this will depend on the size of the animal.
  • When hunting elk, the draw weight should be no lower than 40lbs

How Do I Determine My Draw Weight?

We have talked about the importance of finding the correct draw weight and we must reiterate this point. Having a draw weight that is too high will only end in disaster. If you want to effectively and efficiently kill deer, you must find the proper poundage.

When you first go shopping for a bow, you should be given the option to try out different draw weights. The professional in the archery shop will offer you a selection of bows to try out.

However, a mistake that many people make is trying out a bow in the archery shop and finding it easy to draw then immediately committing to that bow.

Imagine that you have a 70lbs weight on the floor in front of you. Lifting it once may not require too much effort. However, if you then have to lift it over and over again, you might quickly become fatigued.

The same is true for a bow. This means that you should try the bow several times to ensure that you can handle the weight.

One of the best things to do is to try to hold the bow at full draw for at least thirty seconds. If you can manage this without shaking or feeling strained, then you can feel confident that the bow will be suitable.

Alternatively, you could attempt to draw the bow thirty times in a row. If you are able to do this, then the bow should work well for you. However, if you notice that you become tired before the thirty draws have been completed, you will need a lower poundage.

On a compound bow, the weight can be altered. But it is important to keep in mind that this is only within around a 10lb range. For example, if you have a 60lb bow, you might be able to adjust the weight between 50lbs and 60lbs. You certainly wouldn’t be able to change it to anything significantly different.

Altering your draw weight is simply a matter of making the limbs either tighter or looser. This is done by turning the limb bolts and as a general rule, turning the bolt once will alter the weight by around 2lbs.

Conclusion

Hunting deer requires just the right setup, especially if you intend on being successful. And we would guess that most archers want success!

One of the things that you should consider when hunting deer is the bow’s draw weight. This is the amount of force required to pull the bow back and in most places, there is a legal limit of the minimum draw weight for deer.

Across the United States, the average minimum is anywhere between 30 and 50lbs although this will vary by state. Before hunting, we would always advise checking the state laws.

It is also imperative that you select a draw weight that is comfortable for you. Failing to do this could mean that your shots are not as accurate and you don’t make a kill as easily.