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Releases are mechanical hand-held triggers that help you pull back the bow string. This helps you use a more powerful bow without giving up accuracy or improving accuracy since you can pull the bow back easier. Most use "jaws" or a loop of string to hold the bowstring and then release it by pressing a trigger.
These come in several variations, with differences in how you trigger.
A chonco type release is held in the hand triggered with the index finger
A finger release is held in the fingers and triggered with the thumb or little finger
Wrist releases wrap around the wrist and are usually triggered with the index finger
Most target shooters use a thumb-triggered release while hunters prefer three-finger hand-held releases
Caliper releases use a manual operation with very few moving parts. The "jaws" usually won't close until you flip the trigger forward with your finger. Most are attached to a wrist strap. Durability and reliability are key advantages, a big plus for hunters.