Monday, October 10, 2011

Whalens Hooker Review



Brinck:

I got serious about bow hunting about six years ago, and for those six years I have shot what most hunters shoot: a trigger release. But this season I made the change to a back tension release.

I was first introduced to a true back tension release the year Andrew and I became college roommates. Of course, Andrew was out shooting me 9 out of 10 times - he might claim 10 out of 10, but on good days I would put a few more in the black than he would. Over the years I would occasionally pick up his back tension and sling a few arrows down range, but I never spent enough time with it to get comfortable.

So what led me to make the switch? I mean I felt comfortable shooting a deer at 60 yards with my trigger release...what more did I need? Well I had two bad episodes of target panic this last year, one on a big gobbler, and the other was on that double drop tine buck we call "deuces". Sometimes I get a little too fired up, and we all know when that happens everything you have practiced flies out the window. So I knew I had to make the switch.

I did some shopping and I settled on the Whalen's Hooker with a wrist strap for hunting ability.
If you don't know this already, you need to if you are considering making the switch: 

     1. It is nothing like a trigger release 
     2. You will suck when you first pick it up 
     3. It will take TIME and REPETITION to master it  
     4. You better commit or you will go right back to your trigger release.

I know this because that is exactly what happened to me. I practiced my form at 5 yards for about 20 minutes, but got real antsy and backed it up to twenty and to my surprise I was all over the target and even sent one into the trees.

But to stop rambling, I put in the time and work and am shooting better than I was before. It just makes me slow down and execute the shot. I like the release and the strap, but the real test is to come...when I get deuces in front of me this year!

Will: 

Much like Brinck, most of my advances in archery have been made via Ahawk. The guy just puts in the time and energy that I don't. But it works out because he doesn't hoard is knowledge. So I also took the plunge this summer and bought the Whalen's Hooker. 

Unlike Brinck, I don't have plans on actually hunting with the release...I bought the back tension release for one reason, and one reason only: To help with my tendency to "punch" the trigger. 

I have never struggled with target panic, but I have always had a tendency to count down my shot, or to make that mental decision to fire. While I still consider myself a good shot, my tendency to consciously punch the trigger cuts down on my consistency. 

And this is one thing that a back tension release is tailored to fix.When shooting a back tension, the only thought that goes through your head is "aim, aim, aim." The release is a complete surprise, which will hopefully cut down on my tendency to punch the trigger, which will subsequently cut down on torque, and make my occasional "outlier" shot less marginal.

Plus, I just like saying, "hold on, let me pull out my hooker."  

Ahawk:

 I had always toyed with the idea of shooting a back-tension release in the field because my scores shot up dramatically in 3d tournaments while shooting one. The idea did not come to fruition for several years due to the fact that the typical back-tension release operates on a half moon style clip that you have to flip into place before every shot. That process can make some noise and would be nerve racking with a big deer being in range so I decided not to use one in the woods.

All of those fears went out the window when I saw the Whalens Hooker. The hooker has a unique design in that it has no moving parts. As you execute back-tension, the release rotates and in doing so the hook slips off the end of the d-loop causing your shot to go off. This is awesome in the field because it has no moving parts to have to secure before you hook it to your string. This eliminated all of the previous fears I had about shooting back-tension in the field.

I use the wrist strap with the release and set the release “cold” enough (cold meaning the release going off slower) where the release will not go off with all of the weight on the wrist strap allowing my hand to relax if I need to stay at full draw for awhile. This is also great because I know that the release is not going to go off while I am drawing back, which most back-tension releases are famous for… giving you a black eye during your draw cycle if you are not paying attention to how you draw your bow.

I would highly recommend this release to anyone who struggles with “punching” the trigger or has a case of target panic. It is the simplest back-tension release on the market. If you do buy one commit to it. It takes time to learn how to shoot back-tension, but I promise it will make you a better archer.

Check out their website here and be on the lookout for a video tutorial from Ahawk coming soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment