I love bowhunting and have complete faith in my equipment, but the bottom line is there are a lot of things that go wrong.
You can spend days and weeks scouting, setting up your stand, placing and checking trail cameras and still have a tough time getting a buck to come within bow range. When one does finally get close enough, the last thing I want to worry about is my gear.
I shoot my bow often and check it regularly to make sure all the screws are tight, that my peep is firmly in place and that my string is in good condition. These basic maintenance checks can save you some big headaches by catching a problem before it has a chance to bite you.
But I'm not alone in my regimen. Most bowhunters today take good care of their equipment. Since new bows and their accessories cost more than a top-end rifle these days, it's no wonder.
One thing I've noticed, though, is many shooters still overlook their releases. Probably nine out of 10 bowhunters shoot with a mechanical release aid today, and probably eight out of the nine don't give much thought to the fact that if that release fails, the bow is pretty much useless. Sure, you can still shoot it with your fingers, but it's not going to hit where you're aiming.
I carry two identical release aids to the woods at all times: the release I use every day to shoot and a backup.
If my release fails, I can continue to hunt with no worries. If I lose it or drop it from my stand while putting it on, I can continue that day's hunt and can look for the lost one at lunchtime or the following day in daylight.
In addition, I like to have two releases for scent-control. The vast majority of release aids come with wrist straps made of material that can absorb sweat and other odor-causing agents.
When it comes to hunting, I keep my everyday practice release in a scent-proof plastic bag in my pack. That release gets used on hot, humid days when there's no way to control how much I sweat, so I don't want it exposed to the air while a giant buck approaches from anywhere close to downwind. I use the second release only for hunting, although I do fire test shots with it now and then just to make sure everything is working okay.
You can't be too careful when it comes to your bowhunting gear, and that definitely applies to release aids.
-- Tip suggested by Wally Stelzer