Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Eye dominance

Messages posted to thread:
Mpdh 01-Apr-24
Clydebow 01-Apr-24
BigStriper1 01-Apr-24
Wudstix 01-Apr-24
David Mitchell 01-Apr-24
Jeff Durnell 01-Apr-24
fdp 01-Apr-24
Viper 01-Apr-24
Mpdh 01-Apr-24
JHPope 01-Apr-24
bugsy 49 01-Apr-24
tcbow 01-Apr-24
Dan In MI 01-Apr-24
Supernaut 01-Apr-24
Supernaut 01-Apr-24
Skeets 01-Apr-24
bohunr 02-Apr-24
Phil 02-Apr-24
Plugneck 02-Apr-24
tnlonghunter 02-Apr-24
bugsy 49 02-Apr-24
Papadeerhtr 02-Apr-24
Sasquatch73 02-Apr-24
Chaz 03-Apr-24
Aeronut 03-Apr-24
Aeronut 03-Apr-24
gradymaci 03-Apr-24
Therifleman 03-Apr-24
From: Mpdh Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 01-Apr-24

I am left handed doing everything except shooting weapons, and am right eye dominant. My son-in-law is right handed but left eye dominant. The only thing he does left handed is shoot a rifle. He shoots a bow right handed.

My question , is it possible to train yourself to change your dominant eye?


From: Clydebow
Date: 01-Apr-24

Probably have to wear a patch on the dominate eye for a great length of time. Laser surgery.

From: BigStriper1
Date: 01-Apr-24

I am Left eye dominate and Have to shoot Left handed now because of a Retina detachment in the Right eye. I shot Right handed for a long time and did very well but had to switch because of the detached retina, I just closed my left eye when shooting right handed as I close the right eye now shooting left handed.Probably better to shoot the side of the dominate eye if possible but it can work the other way also. Good Luck. Kurt

From: Wudstix Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 01-Apr-24

I'll be following this.

From: David Mitchell
Date: 01-Apr-24

I am very left eye dominant and tried to shoot right handed for many years with lots of frustration. A friend brought his wife's lighter weight left handed bow over and had me shoot it. What a revelation! I was looking right down the arrow at my target. It felt pretty strange at first, had to even think about how to put my arm guard on. Best thing I could have done for my shooting. Fred Bear recommended in starting new shooters out to first determine their dominant eye. Some people do ok shooting cross dominant but not me.

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 01-Apr-24

Simple answer...

Yes. You can effect change in that direction. But you may not have to.

The degree of difficulty in doing so depends on the degree of dominance, if any. I'm mostly ambidextrous. And it's been advantageous throughout my life. I'm grateful for it. I'm left handed, barely left eye dominant, and have shot bows right handed for almost a half a century. I shoot guns left and right, and use tools equally effectively left or right. Probably why shooting 'cross dominant' instinctive for me was relatively easy from the onset. I'm not looking down 'THE' shaft.

Date: 01-Apr-24

Dan Fritzgelral was blind in his right eye and shot right hand with his left eye and he was very very good at it

From: fdp
Date: 01-Apr-24

This article might interest you; dominance.html#google_vignette

Determine which of your eyes is dominant. An easy test is to keep both eyes open and look at an object that is a minimum of 20 feet away. Raise your right arm and point at this object. While your arm is pointing at the object, cover your left eye with your left hand. While continuing to point at the object, uncover your left eye and cover your right eye. The eye that is dominant is the eye that perceives your arm to remain pointing at the object. When the dominant eye is covered, your arm will appear to have moved and no longer be pointing at the object, even though you have not moved your arm.

Obscure part of your dominant eye. This will force the other eye to become dominant. When shooting, this can be achieved by smearing grease on the shooting lens so the dominant eye cannot see. Shutting your dominant eye and making corrections until you are shooting on target when using your nondominant eye will eventually force it to become dominant.

Keep practicing using your nondominant eye and obscuring the dominant eye. Eye dominance becomes fixed at about 10 years of age and muscle memory is used. This can take a very long time to overcome. If you cannot learn to shoot on the side with eye dominance, then just keep practicing to change your eye dominance. If you are really desperate, consider wearing an eyepatch over the dominant eye. This forces the other eye to do all the work.

From: Viper
Date: 01-Apr-24

M -

To actually answer your question, while is has been recorded to happen, it's so rare (without trauma), you can pretty much consider it "not possible". But most people forget its also usually always not necessary, except on the Internet.

Unfortunately we tend to worry way too much about things that just don't matter.

Viper out.

From: Mpdh Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 01-Apr-24

I have no intention of ever wanting to do this. I probably started shooting a bow when I was 10 yrs old. I think I shot rt. handed because it seemed easier for me to hold the bow with my stronger left hand.

I surely knew nothing about eye dominance back then either, and shooting rt. handed seemed the way to do it when I started shooting firearms also.


From: JHPope
Date: 01-Apr-24

I am right handed and after I suffered a Cartoid artery aneurysm in my right temporal region which crushed my optic nerve causing third nerve palsy. {which was my dominant eye} I continue shooting right hand and just comcenrate on the spot I want to but only shoot short distance.

From: bugsy 49
Date: 01-Apr-24

Jeff Kavanaugh is left eye dominant, and shoots a right hand bow. He does alright.

From: tcbow
Date: 01-Apr-24

Ok ,I have to stop reading these,every time this subject comes up I start overthinking and worrying about being L. eye dom. and R. handed and start doing crazy experiments, closing left eye,one lens sun glasses etc.. Oy, it's crazy!! Mostly kidding but I think I am going to just ignore it and work on other things like form. I think J. Kavanagh addresses his eye dominance in a video. It works for him. So there, that's my story,HaHa.

From: Dan In MI
Date: 01-Apr-24

I don't know if you can change dominance,but as Frank said, by fuzzing out your dominant eye some way it makes you use your non dominant eye.

I was strong right dominant most of my life. Somehow about ten years ago I am became sort of neutral. If I am not careful my left will take over. I can easily cure it by blinking my left eye and my right takes over, but it took a while to realize I needed to do that.

It's kinda weird. It was bugging me today while driving. There was bug splatter just above my line of sight on the windshield. Unless I concentrated I would see two about 4-5" right (or left) of each other. If I focused then there was only one.

From: Supernaut
Date: 01-Apr-24

I write left handed and throw a ball left handed.

I shoot bows and long guns right handed.

I shoot pistols with either hand. I can hit golf balls with either hand. I could hit from both sides of the plate when u played baseball.

When I kick boxed I could switch stance. My left hand is my power hand but my right leg is my power leg. I was able to catch alot of people with my awkward power set up.

Through my life I have learned to use almost every tool with either hand but anything that requires precision is done with my left hand.

I'm right eye dominant.

From: Supernaut
Date: 01-Apr-24

To answer the OP's question, I don't know if you can train yourself to change your dominant eye.

I do think that with enough practice at something it won't matter and you can be pretty good at something with either hand no matter what eye is dominant.

From: Skeets
Date: 01-Apr-24

Mpdh, I know why you don't intend to change: the way way you shoot bows and guns works perfectly. Most guns and bows are designed and made for right handed people. It works quite well for us.

From: bohunr
Date: 02-Apr-24

Back in the 80's Charlie Langston was a national and world champion field archer who I had the pleasure to know and practice with. He was right handed and left eye dominant. He had learned to shoot left handed because of it. He told me once that being right handed helped him steady the bow better.

From: Phil
Date: 02-Apr-24

When I read posts like this, I sometimes wonder how our ancient forefathers shot a bow from the right hand with the arrow on the right side of the bow ... while riding a horse

.... is eye dominance realy or thing?

From: Plugneck
Date: 02-Apr-24

It doesn't matter to me. As I got older and started needing reading glasses, my eyes changed. Where I used to be able to see the tip of the arrow now I see two arrows no matter what unless I close one eye. I don't worry about it and seem to do alright.

From: tnlonghunter
Date: 02-Apr-24

This is not a question with a simple "yes" or "no" answer. Viper's answer is pretty good. Additional elements that vary from person to person include (as has been mentioned) how strongly dominant the eye is. We're all on a spectrum from nearly equal eye strength (i.e., very little dominance) to strongly dominant. The stronger one eye dominates the other, the farther you have to go until the dominance becomes so neurologically engrained as to be practically impossible to really change.

So, it's a complex issue of the strength of th muscles in one eye, the neurological pathways that are built up over a lifetime of transmitting visual input in a specific way, and need. There are plenty of examples of fine shooters who score highly shooting opposite handed from their dominant eyes. Good for them. They are the exceptions on the end of the bell-curve, not the norm. Using examples of highly skilled - but extraordinary - people may be inspiring, but it's not good expectation setting.

Trauma or otherwise lack of sight in one eye is also a poor example of what is possible for the average person. The brain can do amazing things when it is forced to readjust. But, again, that's not the norm, and many can't adjust all the way to where they would have been pre-injury.

In the end, you can only answer this question by trying it yourself. But it will - probably - take a lot if effort to find out if it really works. Certainly, shoot with an eye patch, but also do as much if your daily routine as possible with the eye-patch. That will keep forcing the brain to rely on input from the one eye, which will speed up whatever amount of adaptation you're likely to get. There will be a limit, and only toy can decide whether the benefit is worth the work for the results you'll get. In the end

From: bugsy 49
Date: 02-Apr-24

Been doing it for better than 6 decades. My older brothers were all right handed, so I used their bows to learn to shoot. Other than shooting a bow I am a pure left hander.

From: Papadeerhtr
Date: 02-Apr-24

I just shoot with both eyes open. Don't pay attention to eye dominance and am pretty good shot. Like Viper said, I think we can make things way more difficult than need to be.

From: Sasquatch73
Date: 02-Apr-24

Why? I shoot bows primarily lefty, right eye dominant but can shoot right. Mostly right handed in things but because of construction and having to use both arms can do lots of things lefty/righty. In Archery eye dominance does not matter unless you are doing some kind of sighting system. Same with baseball, basketball etc. You don't see a baseball player or basketball player closing an eye to accomplish the throw/shot. Both eyes open instinctively to perform the shot. Practice is the only way to be good unless you rely on a "sighting system" (not actual sights mounted on a bow) that many use. Sighting? Got to use dominant eye. Next myth covered will be Right wing or Left wing feathers? Most to do understand why it does not matter anymore except for keeping tip tight but most use wax or glue on screw in points to keep tight. Good luck figuring it out with Practice.

From: Chaz
Date: 03-Apr-24

Short answer No.

but practice practice practice!!

Or buy a lefty bow !!;)

From: Aeronut
Date: 03-Apr-24

I've been chasing arrows for 58 years now. I am left eye dominant and do everything right handed. I can actually switch to my right eye while both eyes are open so I must be a rare one.

I had a bad retina detachment in my right eye in 2005 and after surgery it took a while to get back into the groove because I now have split vision without glasses. All is back to the normal, for me anyway, and I still shoot everything right handed.

In my opinion it's not your eyes, it's the space between your ears that controls how you shoot.

From: Aeronut
Date: 03-Apr-24

To add to my post, I never look at the arrow when I draw to shoot. I concentrate with both eyes on the spot I want the arrow to hit.

From: gradymaci Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 03-Apr-24

Yes you can.. I have been shooting right handed being left eyed dominant for 46 years, but you must not take extended time of like 6 months to a year or you will have to re- program your brain.. It does help if you have a bow cut to or in closer to the riser if you’re not shooting over a longer time. Both eyes are open when I shoot. Good luck Sit.

From: Therifleman
Date: 03-Apr-24

Absolutely not--- in my case--- my right eye is significantly weaker than my left eye. I've read a little about syntonic phototherapy to begin wondering if this would improve my sight in my right eye, but I've shot left handed for so long it just works. This would be a good conversation to have with your opthalmologist.

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