Eric Shooting a Compound Bow with a Shoulder Harness
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Eric Shooting a Compound Bow with a Shoulder Harness

August 20, 2019

Today I want to talk to you about using a
shoulder harness or an adaptive release. As you can see, I’m missing my right arm,
and so to shoot my bow, I wear an arrow release on my shoulder that I use to shoot my bow. This right here is my shoulder harness. A lot of the work I did myself, but depending
on your skill level and your contacts, and people that you know, you may want to get
some of this made by maybe a machinist or perhaps someone that is pretty handy. The shell that you create does not necessarily
have to be this big and bulky and strong it just needs to be something that you can mount
your release to and that fits comfortably on your shoulder. My shell is made out of fiberglass. My dad and myself actually shaped fiberglass
on my shoulder and then cut it out to fit. The way that the shell fits on my shoulder
is just like any type of shoulder pad, but this fits on my shoulder. What that does is it gives me a firm anchor
point to mount my release. You can see I have a strap here that I wear
a belt that this secures to. The release itself can be done numerous different
ways. This just happens to be the way that I did
it. So with our shell, my dad and I have a 5/16ths
threaded stud sticking straight up that we mount to. On that, I have just a piece of aluminum bar
stock and I have a standard Carter Lucky release head. Most trigger releases will work fine, however,
I would avoid a caliper release. The reason for that is a caliper release requires
you to actually pull the trigger and open the caliper to be able to clip on to the loop. I prefer a hook style release so that I can
make sure the hook is set and then I can just hook it onto my loop without having to open
or close the release. The release trigger itself is attached to
a cable, and this cable is called a camera shutter cable. You can get it from most online camera companies. It has a thumb plunger when you buy it from
them – you will have to modify it. Take that thumb plunger off and then this
piece right here I had sourced out to a company that made basically a fancy clothespin. When I bite on that, you can see there’s
a little bit of motion, that pulls the cable inside and actually pulls the trigger. I shoot right handed. I put it on my left side so that my string
on my right side of my face isn’t interfering. I put this on my left side, hook in, I draw
back. When I bite down on this, it’s going to
release this hook. So full draw, I bite down, and that releases
the hook. The only other tricky parts of this whole
set up is really just having the access to the machines and the know-how to be able to
make the aluminum bar, mount the release head, mount the cable, etc. Alright, I’ve got my harness on, you can
see I’ve got my strap here attached, it’s anchored to this belt. Also you can see on my back, I’ve got two
straps that come down and attach to my belt. That holds my release in position on my shoulder. It doesn’t have to be super firm, but you
obviously don’t want it sliding when you go to draw your bow back. My release is on an aluminum bar that I can
kind of pivot so that it’s out of my way when I’m talking and doing things, but then
it will pivot into position when I’m ready to shoot. I’m going to go ahead and shoot a shot here. So, the first step to get ready for that is
to put my bite lever in my mouth. Again, I put it on my left side to keep it
out of the way of where my bowstring is going to be. So this goes on my left side. I can actually bite it right now and activate
my trigger, and I usually do that just to make sure that my trigger is safe, so I’m
actually going to release it and then reset it. I’m just want to release it and then reset
it and make sure that it’s clipped in and ready to go. Next to this stage right here I’ll go ahead
and nock an arrow, bring the loop up to my hook, hook in, and at that point I’ll expand
and pull the string back. When I’m aimed and ready I’ll bite down
on the bite lever, which will release the string.

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