Monday, July 15, 2013

Release Aids: Do You Use a Clean One for Hunting?

My Scott Archery Little Bitty Goose release (l) after I lost the trigger.


As I caught up on emails over the weekend, I received an excellent question regarding my archery release from Army Ranger Kelly Freeman.
Do you change releases to hunt? I used to be a sniper in the sandbox. Just getting back to bow hunting. I shoot a Scott release and really sweat at practice. I must say I'm in Bakersfield and its 104. But I shoot at least 70 arrows every day.

I wrote back and explained that I use the same release I practice with the hunt with. I wash it and spray it down, but I think Kelly is on to something. It might not be a bad idea to switch to a clean, sweat free release. I had never really thought about it before, but like Kelly I sweat a lot when shooting.

Back East, I would shoot and always used the same release. I would sweat, but not like I do out here in Southern California. Out of all of the things I changed out here between using ozone on my clothing and spraying down, I never gave changing my release much thought. As I pondered the idea of changing out my release I really think Kelly hit on a good point. I spend lots of time and money making myself as scent-free as possible, but I always use a sweat-soaked, stinky release. While I do wash it, I am sure the deer and pigs can smell it.

One of the reasons why I haven't considered changing my release is budget. Most of us can't afford two or three of the same release. Why do I say three? I will need three releases to carry out this strategy properly. One for practice and two for hunting. I always carry a backup release while hunting. I have had my release hang up on me and had parts fall off while hunting (see my 2011 whitetail hunt for the entire story). Having a backup saved my hunting trip! I used a Scott Little Bitty Goose and I love it. It is a wrist-strap type release and I have used it for a few years. While it is now and extension of my arm when hunting, I think it is time to reevaluate my tactics. I have decided that I am going to pick up another one and have it as my hunting release and leave the stinky one at home. Hopefully, this will get me closer to game and keep my stink down as much as possible.

Kelly, thanks for the excellent question! Even this old dog can learn a thing or two and I appreciate the new found knowledge. Time to start selling some of the gear I am not using and pick up another Scott Little Bitty Goose release.

Do you guys change out your release for hunting season?

11 comments:

  1. I'm probably going to be using a handheld release this season, which eliminates the smell of a sweat-soaked wrist strap. But in the past I have had my practice release and my clean/hunting release. I use my clean release while hunting, but keep my "stinky" release in my pack. If you wanted to, you could even keep the dirty/practice release in an air-tight bag. That way you can have a clean/primary, and a dirty/backup, and skip the need for a 3rd release.

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    1. Good tip, Mark. I thought about the bag routine and it is a viable option. I think it would get pretty stinky inside that bag though. Ha! It really is a good idea. Thanks for the input and I am looking forward to hearing about the handheld during a hunt.

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    2. Along with that you could throw in a scent free dryer sheet in the bag to help knock the scent down also. I do that with my clothes after I dry them I throw a scent cover dryer sheet in the bag with the clothes.

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  2. I don't.. I currently just have the one release and I do need to get a spare just for the fact that if it does malfunction, I'll have a backup. But what I do is after I shoot I let my release air out some and then I spray it down with some scent killer. I feel like this helps knock the scent down some but I know it doesn't kill it completely.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Dustin. That's what I am doing currently. I wash it, spray it down and do whatever I can to keep the stink down.

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  3. I don't swap mine. I like using the same one to hunt with that I practice with. I wash it off and make sure to douse it with scent cover spray prior to going hunting.

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    1. You, Dustin and I are currently doing the same thing, Ben. I like using the one I am practicing with, too. And the more I think about it, if I am hiking in 90+ temps, I am going to stink no matter what. A stinky release, that has been cared for, will stink just like the rest of me. Even a new one will, too. This is a very thought provoking idea and I really enjoy reading everyone's take on it.

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  4. I keep a backup in my pack, which is where it's been since I bought it. I do all my shooting and hunting with the same release.

    As far as spraying it with scent killer, if someone I'm hunting with hands me a bottle, I use it... but otherwise, I'm still not sold on the value of that stuff. Different conversation though, and off-topic.

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  5. Great topic, I have never even thought about the stink that can be created on your release while shooting over the summer. I shoot the same release The Scott Itty Bitty Goose, and I love it. I will have to get it washed and sprayed down for sure before heading out this year. Thanks for bringing this us.

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  6. Great topic, I have never even thought about the stink that can be created on your release while shooting over the summer. I shoot the same release The Scott Itty Bitty Goose, and I love it. I will have to get it washed and sprayed down for sure before heading out this year. Thanks for bringing this us.

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  7. IMO: "HUNT THE WIND" & ABSOLUTELY ", practice the way you are going to play!". Use the same release. If need be, use scent eliminating sprays, etc. to reduce the "stinkyness", but a dang good wash and airing before season (& a continued de-odorizing regiment) will suffice. Murphy's Law is an archer's, especially a bowhunter's nemesis. KNOW your equipment. Knowing your equipment means practicing w/it under multiple variables & challenges, including hot, SWEATY days. Furthermore, be "archery-intimate" with your equipment. Did I mention, practice the way you are going to play? Just saying & great topic.

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