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When you are hunting, the last thing you want to worry about is your equipment. It’s important to invest in gear you can trust to perform flawlessly when that once-in-a-lifetime shot presents itself.
Bowhunters often spend a lot of time researching the best compound bows. While your bow is certainly your most important piece of hunting equipment, many archers tend to overlook their release. Your release is might be the most important connection between you and your weapon. Choosing a reliable release will help you shoot more accurately and consistently, which can mean the difference between filling a tag and going home empty-handed.
A thumb release will help you find a consistent anchor point and improve your accuracy. Because thumb releases are growing in popularity, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are our top picks, just in case you need a little help deciding which one is best for you.
Our Best Choice
Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F Release
Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F Release - Best Thumb Release for Hunting
This comfortable thumb release is easy to use and has a crisp, clean trigger pull. It has a four-finger design that fits a hunter’s hand like a glove. It is highly adjustable, hooks easily on your D-loop, and offers 360-degree rotation for those difficult draw angles.
Top Compound Bow Choices on the Market
6 Best Thumb Releases for Hunting
1. Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F Release - Best Thumb Release for Hunting
The Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F thumb release makes the top of our list for many reasons. It’s comfortable, easy to use, quiet, and reliable.
However, where this release really shines is its adjustability. The Chocolate Addiction thumb release features three holes at the base of the trigger lever. The first hole adjusts trigger travel. The other two holes are spring-loaded to adjust trigger tension. These three adjustments allow for endless options in tension and travel, making this release easy to customize.
This release also couldn’t be easier to use. The cocking lever on the back closes the hook with one basic motion. You just place the hook on your D-loop and push the cocking lever.
And this thing makes almost zero noise upon arrow release.
Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F thumb release is pretty expensive. However, this thing delivers big in performance. We think it is definitely worth the investment.
2. Hot Shot Vapor 4 Release - Best Thumb Release for Deer Hunting
With over 30 years experience in the archery business, Hot Shot produces some of the finest products on the market. Their Vapor 4 thumb release is a perfect example of the company’s dedication to quality. It is whisper-quiet and has a crisp trigger that is fully adjustable and performs flawlessly shot after shot.
The Hot Shot Vapor 4 features an adjustable thumb barrel and an automatic closing jaw. This thing locks on tight until you’re ready to let that arrow loose. The hook design works to minimize torque on activation, preserving your accuracy.
This high-performance thumb release has an ergonomic feel that sits comfortably in your hand, which means you won’t have to fight it when you’re waiting at full draw. It also comes in black or a Realtree camo pattern, which is perfect for bowhunters.
If you prefer a thumb release with a full 360-degree head rotation, this isn’t the release for you. However, this thing will work just fine for most bowhunters.
3. Tru Ball Archery Fang - Best Affordable Thumb Release for Hunting
Tru Ball Archery is well-known for manufacturing a variety of quality releases that are also surprisingly affordable. Their fang thumb release is an economical choice for hunters on a shoestring budget, but it also performs like a much pricier model.
One of the best features of the Fange thumb release is the Full Containment System (FCS). This proprietary system allows you to click the containment back to load onto the D-loop, or click it forward to lock the containment into place.
To shoot, just click the containment back, draw your bow, and hit the trigger. This handy feature allows you to leave the release hooked to your bow. You’ll never be caught fumbling in your pockets for your thumb release. This system can be a little intimidating at first, but with some practice most hunters will come to appreciate it.
4. Tru-Fire Edge Release - Best Thumb Release for Bowhunters with Large Hands
If you have big hands, finding a release that fits well, is comfortable, and easy to use can be a huge problem. The Tru-Fire Edge thumb release is the answer. It’s sleek, durable design is super comfortable, even for shooters with meaty paws. It is also completely ambidextrous, so this thumb release can be used by virtually anyone.
The 360-degree head rotation ensures a torque-less draw, even with precarious treestand shooting angles. This release also comes with a limited lifetime guarantee and has an adjustable travel trigger.
Although simple to use, the Tru-Fire Edge does make a bit of noise, both when you clip it on and upon release. This could prove problematic in high-pressure hunting situations.
5. Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution - Best Thumb Release for Beginners
Tru-Fire has a number of high-quality archery releases on the market. Their Hardcore Revolution is the ideal release for shooters making the switch from a wrist release to a handheld release. The hook mechanism works just like most wrist strap releases, making it easier to adjust if that’s what you’re used to shooting.
The Hardcore Revolution features four finger grooves which work to keep your fingers comfortably in place. These grooves allow you to maintain a consistent grip which will help improve shooting form and accuracy. The head on this release also rotates a full 360 degrees so you won’t have to struggle with awkward draw angles in your treestand.
A wrist lanyard is also included, that fits comfortably on your wrist and keeps your thumb release easily accessible. However, you need to be careful that your dangling release doesn’t strike your bow and scare away all the deer.
If we have anything to criticize on the Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution, it would be the size. Hunters with big hands are going to struggle with this one. But that’s why we’ve made it our recommendation for beginners. Young archers will definitely appreciate its size and ease of use.
6. Carter Enterprises Wise Choice Release - Best Three-Finger Thumb Release for Hunting
Although Carter releases are a bit on the expensive side, their reliability and performance make them well worth the investment. The Wise Choice thumb release is one of their best and is basically the company’s First Choice release with a few major upgrades.
This release features an enclosed index finger loop, which not only looks really cool, but is also very comfortable. Carter also added in a small hole so you can attach the release to a wrist lanyard. This will allow you to always have year release right at your fingertips.
The Carter Wise Choice thumb release is made of sturdy aluminum alloy, so it is built to stand up to rough use.
It is also super easy to use. Just place the hook up to the D-loop and then depress the trigger. This causes the jaw to close around the D-loop and you’re ready to go.
Summing It Up
Our top choice is definitely the Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F thumb release. This is like the high-performance sports car of the archery release world. It’s quiet, smooth, comfortable, and easy to use. Like most high-end products, it comes with a chunky price tag. However, you definitely get what you pay for with this release. It outperforms every other release on our list.
Carter Chocolate Addiction 4F
If the Chocolate Addiction is out of your price range, any of these releases should serve you well. Just remember proficiency is your best weapon in the woods. To get the most out of your thumb release for hunting, be sure to spend plenty of time practicing. When that big buck walks out on opening day, you’ll be glad you did.