What is your dominant eye? And why should that matter?

For many years, I really, really wanted to shoot 3d archery and hunt. My husband hunted ALOT and in the”off-season”, whatever that is, he shot 3d archery tournaments. So this would be a great way to share memories with my husband and our family. But every time, I picked up a gun, a bow or a crossbow it felt wrong. Really wrong. I chalked it up to my inexperience but it was more than that. I was completely hunched over whatever weapon I was using, strangling it. Ever seen one of those animals shows where everybody piles on top the alligator? That’s what I looked holding a gun-like I had to wrestle it into obedience.

So my husband John would try to get my out there practicing, practicing, practicing. And every time I shot, I flinched, punched the trigger, overextended my arm. Oh and the always popular one-Banging my head on the stock of the gun because I forgot what eye to look through-no I wish I was joking about that. I was really, really discouraged. And it doesn’t help that John has won the IBO National Triple Crown, the IBO Southern Triple crown and then to top it off he won the IBO World Championship. So every piece of advice he gave I trusted in and I still wasn’t getting it. I was resigned to the fact that if he couldn’t teach me, I was doomed.

So fast forward to a couple of years ago. There’s John, the shooting table and a crossbow ready for me to shoot. I guess he wasn’t prepared to give up on me. Ugg – those bad fluttery stomach issues flaired up just thinking about it.  And unfortunately the same problem happened. He would tell me just get ready, don’t hold your breath, don’t hunch over the table like that, look through the scope, what do you see? Why are you hunched over the crossbow like that? Blah, blah, blah. I saw nothing or wait-there was a possible sighting of a sliver of the target. What was wrong with me? I got so frustrated I yelled at John, “I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!” and marched off in a huff. John yelled FINE-DONT YELL AT ME! I actually went in the house, took a shower, got in my pajamas and stumped back down the stairs. Oh I showed him alright.

John yelled at me to come back outside-yes the neighbors are loving this. Why? I said-I’m done-I cant do it-I don’t know why. John urged me to try one last thing. Translation-just get out here (spoken through the glass back door). I walked outside and the shooting chair was turned in a different direction. I realized he wanted me to shoot left handed. What?! I can’t do this right handed and I”M RIGHT HANDED. After a few choice words were spoken, I sat down, put the butt of the stock against my shoulder (none too gently) and put my eye down.

What was this? I could see! This felt right! This felt great! Angels started to sing and the heavens shown a single ray of light on my uplifted face. Okay a little drama there but you get the idea. This was a single turning point for me and I haven’t even shot. I quickly looked up to see John smiling-Good now? Yes! Let me shoot!

So why is it that shooting left handed feels so right to me? Not just a crossbow or a gun but my compound bow as well. I hadn’t determined which eye was my dominate eye.  Maybe it’s more to it than that, but I don’t think so. To be quite honest I had thought about it but since I wear contact lenses to correct my vision I didn’t think it mattered.

So if your bow or gun just doesn’t feel right, if you have a problem seeing through the peep or the sight, please check to see which eye is your dominant eye. It made all the difference in the world to me.

How to determine your dominant eye:

  • Look around your house for an object like a door knob or a knick knack on your table. Even a small icon on your computer screen will work.
  • Hold both your arms up and out in front of you holding your hands out.
  • Take one of your hands and place it on top of the other one. Make a small triangle or circle with the space in between your thumb and index finger.
  • Look at the object you picked out through the small opening between your hands. Make sure you look at the object between your hands-no your hands themselves.

Now close one of your eyes. Do you see the object?
If you see the object with your left eye, you are left eye dominant.
If you see the object with your left eye, you are right eye dominant.

Good luck hunting those Backyards and Big farms!

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