Eye Dominance: Why It Matters for Bowhunting

Eye dominance is easy to determine, and it’s an important consideration in deciding whether to shoot right- or left-handed.

Eye Dominance: Why It Matters for Bowhunting

Eye dominance is a physical characteristic that is far too often ignored when someone begins shooting a bow. Sure, a person can be left-eye dominant and still shoot a bow right-handed, provided they close their left eye while aiming and releasing the string. My 17-year-old son does exactly that, but I think he’d be better off in the long run switching over to left-handed.

Before I explain the reason why, it’s important that you understand how to determine eye dominance. There are several methods that work well, but I like this technique: With both eyes open, raise your right hand and point your index finger at some object 5 to 15 feet away. Hold your finger right under the object. Now, close your left eye. Did you finger stay pointed at the object? If so, then you’re right-eye dominant. However, if closing your left eye caused your finger to immediately jump to the side (it’s no longer pointed at the object), then you’re left-eye dominant.

I think it makes sense for right-eye dominant bowhunters to shoot right-handed, and left-eye dominant bowhunters to shoot left-handed, because you can keep both eyes open while a shot presents itself. As an animal nears your shooting lane and you draw and aim, everything stays lined up throughout the process, even if at the last split-second you close or squint with your non-aiming eye as you look through the peep to align your bowsight’s fiber-optic pin on the animal.

If you try to cheat the eye dominance issue (like my teenage son), then you must be 100 percent sure to close your dominant eye throughout the entire aiming and shooting process. If you cheat even a little bit (like squinting with your dominant eye), everything goes out of whack and it’s anybody’s guess where the arrow will go. Plus, it’s difficult to watch an incoming animal with only one eye open, and your peripheral vision is reduced, too. 

My youngest son is left-eye dominant and right-handed, just like his older brother, but he was willing to learn to shoot a bow lefty from the start, and he does very well with it.

Beginning bowhunters should determine eye dominance before learning to shoot right- or left-handed, and I encourage any longtime bowhunters to consider switching if their dominant eye isn’t the one looking through the peep.

This photo of the author’s two sons was taken in the family’s basement bow range nine years ago. Both boys are left-eye dominant, but only the youngest shoots left-handed.
This photo of the author’s two sons was taken in the family’s basement bow range nine years ago. Both boys are left-eye dominant, but only the youngest shoots left-handed.


Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.