Many successful archers shoot with both eyes open, and some, with just one eye open. So you might be left with questions like: should I shoot with both eyes open, or just one? Or which is the right way to shoot? There is no generally recommended shooting style as several factors ultimately determine how you should shoot.
If you seek information on practicing how to shoot with both eyes open archery, then this article is for you. We will also guide you with essential tips to getting your shooting done the right way. Read more to enjoy the premium package.
What Is Eye Dominance In Archery?
Eye dominance is a situation where one of both your eyes assumes control and is more important for your focus. The eye which takes the greater responsibility for your focus is your dominant eye, while the other eye is your subdominant eye. In most people, the dominant hand and the dominant eye share the same side, but that’s not in all cases.
This is a very important factor to consider when firing a bow in archery. If you’re used to shooting with one eye open, you may not bother about this. But if you are shooting with both eyes open, then your success in archery depends largely on understanding this subject.
Why is Eye Dominance Important in Archery?
When you look through a bow, you basically need to align your view to straighten all the sighting elements. This should start from your eye, through the peep, then the sight pin, and finally, the target. You need to have your dominant eye behind the string/peep to get them all aligned in a straight line.
When you adjust the bow’s sight properly, your line of sight should imitate the flight path of the arrow. The above statement does not involve the arrow’s trajectory curve but only the left-right aiming of the bow. This should work according to plan if the bow is sighted with the dominant eye.
If the archer attempts to shoot the bow with the subdominant eye, the dominant eye controls the shot. When this happens, your initial line of sight is altered by about three inches off to the side. When this happens, your sight-line and the arrow’s travel path no longer correspond. Consequently, you cannot see the arrow all through to the target; you also miss the shot dramatically.
To help you with any eye-dominance issue, we recommend the following tips:
- If you are new to archery, make sure to buy a bow that corresponds with your eye dominance. Bows come in two different types, right-handed bows and left-handed bows. A right-handed bow is meant to be sighted with the right eye, and a left-handed bow for the left eye.
- You probably have been in archery for quite a long period of time, and are already into the habit of sighting with the subdominant eye. You may find the process of correcting it frustrating and awkward. If that is the case, we recommend that you stick to your current technique.
How to determine your dominant eye
Determining which of your eyes is dominant is important for archery. It also applies to every other shooting sport out there. Firing a pistol or rifle still requires an understanding of this factor. So, the steps below explain an easy technique to help you identify your dominant eye.
- Hold out a circular object at arm’s length. You can curl your finger and hold out your hand if you don’t have a circular object close by.
- Try to focus on an object at the far end of the room. Also, make sure that the object is small enough to allow you to see it entirely through the circular object. Your brain will automatically choose which eye to focus on the object.
- While you have the object in view, close any one of your eyes.
- You may have to shift the circular object (or your hand) to the side to still focus on the object. If you did that, it means that you closed your dominant eye.
- But if you still have the object in view, the eye you closed is your subdominant (or recessive) eye.
- Alternatively, while you have your hand stretched out, make sure that the object is still in the scope. Slowly withdraw it towards your eye. Your brain will automatically direct your hand back to your dominant eye.
Should I Shoot With Both Eyes Open?
If you are successfully shooting with an eye closed, then stay on that technique. If not, then learn to shoot with both eyes open, or instead, learn why you are not successful at it. There is no universally correct answer to this question.
In addition to having a better view of the surrounding, there are a lot of benefits of learning this method. Also, it is more fun practicing when compared to shooting with one eye shut and the strain it causes. Some benefits of shooting with your eyes open are:
- You get a better view of the surrounding
- You can make a more accurate prediction of distances
- You have much less strain on your eyes
- You have a broader field of view
- It helps in low lighting conditions
While shooting with both eyes open is very beneficial, there are some reasons why you may not want to practice it. Let’s consider them below.
- First off, it requires a substantial amount of practice to ignore your subdominant eye perception successfully. This is very key as it can keep you distracted, making it difficult for you to focus attention on the aim.
- Secondly, you’ll have a tough time getting an aim with both eyes open if your dominant eye isn’t sufficiently dominant. This is because both your eyes will struggle for control over your line of sight, interrupting your aim. If your subdominant eye wins, you may never be able to aim with this technique.
If the downside of shooting with this technique is making you reconsider your stance, here’s a suggestion. Try shooting with one eye partially closed. Most people suggest that this method reduces the previous method’s disadvantages while you can still enjoy most of its benefits.
How To Shoot With Both Eyes Open Archery
Shooting a bow with both eyes open can be a very difficult task initially, but the results are worth the effort. However, the experience for beginners is somehow different from that of experienced archers traditionally who shoot with one eye closed. For the latter, we advise that they stick to their style if they find the outcome successful.
However, there is no harm in learning to shoot differently from the normal you. Let us take a step-by-step explanation on how to shoot with both eyes open archery.
- After you have determined your dominant eye, let us analyze your focus habit. In a conducive environment, set your bow like you usually do and shut your subdominant eye.
- Take aim like previous times but do not release the arrow. You can now open the closed eye and note what your vision is like. Also, remember to ensure that there is a good amount of light while you are practicing.
- If you focus on the target, you will have two bows in view. But if you focus on your bow peep, you will be seeing two targets.
- To determine your focus, continuously blink your subdominant eye. The blinking helps you to get rid of multiple images. After you have mastered this process, you can proceed to shoot.
- Retry the focusing process while aiming your bow and shoot with both eyes open. If you are already accustomed to shooting with one eye open, try shooting with your subdominant eye half-closed. Then, gradually open the eye during subsequent shots until you can comfortably leave it wide open.
The process should feel awkward and disorienting initially. This is why you need to spend pretty much time practicing as you get better. What this process does to your brain is, it trains your brain to take visual commands with both eyes and not just the dominant eye.
Developing a good aim and becoming more relaxed with your bow is worth learning. As important as learning is, practicing consistently is what makes you call the shots. Spending more time with your bow not only familiarizes you with the outs and ins of the bow. But you are also exposed to more personal in-depth knowledge you couldn’t have learned from a tutor.
What’s The Advantage Of Shooting With Both Eyes Open?
Shooting with both eyes open is advantageous but is also accompanied by some difficulties. Let’s consider some of its benefits.
In dim light conditions, shooting with one eye shut is especially hard. It is even harder if you are using a peep sight. This is because the amount of light that passes to your eye is very minimal. As a result, you find it hard to see when it is getting dark. In contrast, you would see better if your subdominant eye was left open due to more light entering the eye.
Secondly, shooting with both eyes open makes it easier to judge distance with a better 3D perception. Additionally, you better understand your surroundings as it gives you a wider field of view. This advantage also makes shooting a moving target much easier and possible.
The strain that comes with holding one eye shut for long practicing hours can get you eye fatigue. After all, the natural thing is having both eyes open or shut at the same time, not the reverse. This results in you not enjoying the fun of the art and ending up spending fewer hours practicing.
How to shoot with both your eyes open archery doesn’t involve much. You first have to know which of your eyes dominates over the other. After identifying which one of your eyes is dominant and which is subdominant, there’ a catch. Being able to sight a bow with your dominant eye while the subdominant is still open can be frustrating initially.
Being able to shoot without distractions from your subdominant eye is one major initial concern. Thankfully, constant practice can help you overcome it, and perfect in the art.
But, if shooting with one eye closed gives you successful results, then don’t bother changing. Also, if you’re struggling with the eye-dominance thing, the steps provided in this article will help you fix it.