Shooting With Both Eyes Open Versus One

Shooting with both eyes open or one can be an important factor when you are shooting. In this article, I will explain why and when you should have both eyes open at all times when shooting with your bow.

Are you supposed to close one eye when shooting a bow? No, doing so will give you less view of your shooting field and get can be a disadvantage for your overlook. This applies to those who are shooting with the dominant eye. If you are shooting with your weak eye, you should close the dominant eye.

You have to decide for yourself if closing one eye, decreasing the overview in trade for more focus is the right thing for you. Having an overview can be more of a priority if you are hunting with your bow because you will have a lot of benefits from seeing what’s around you and on your sides. While shooting in a competition and having to see everything around you can be disturbing as well.

If you either chooses to have one eye open or both, is your choice. But I want to say one thing and that is to stick with your choice. Don’t switch between either of the options, this will mess up your aiming and can decrease the accuracy of your shots.

Why shoot with both eyes open

Shooting with both eyes open can give you a very important advantage both in tournaments and when you are hunting. Why? Let me explain

Let’s start with shooting in a competition or generally aiming for a longer period. Shooting with one eye means that you have to close your other one. This forces extra strain on your eye muscles and will eventually lead to your muscles getting fatigued.

I used to shoot with one eye all the time and was a fan. Until the day I was told not to. The coach explained to me why and it was eye-opening for me. I will try to explain what he said in my own words throughout this article. But one of the key points was that the eyes would relax more making it easier for you to aim.

Another great point is the light. Shooting when it’s dark outside can be a challenge especially if you close one of your eyes. This will decrease the amount of light coming in through your eyes resulting in reduced vision

depth perception, I will just mention this briefly, but it is something to remember. Closing one of your eyes while shooting will make it harder for you to calculate the distances of your archery target. The reason that I don’t want to go into more detail is that It won’t be a problem long term. Your brain will recognize the change and adapt to a new way of shooting. It’s just a thing to remember when first starting out.

Why shooting with one eye can be better

Shooting with one eye can be better in certain circumstances and for different people. The way of shooting you think feels best for you is the one you should pick. Some people can shoot a lot better with one eye closed and some don`t. But if you are starting out it’s preferred to try to shoot with both eyes open. At least for the first period of time.

Focus, Some shooters even professionals have mentioned that they feel more focused when shooting with one eye closed. Randy Ulmer, when he competes, he uses a blinder to cover his non-dominant eye. He says it helps him focus because having a blinder on the only seas the things he wants to see, the target. And having to see everything happening around him would disturb him while aiming at his target.

Cross-Dominant Shooting

Shooting with a Cross-Dominant eye can be a pain. When you are shooting with a pistol or a rifle there are several ways you can adjust to shooting with cross-dominant eyes, but in archery, this will be a lot harder. Because in archery form is such an important factor and if it’s not correctly done it can impact your accuracy.

Some people try to fix their cross-dominant situation by leaning their head against their drawing hand. This can work, but it will create a lot of disturbance in the shooting. Also, it will cause a lot of strain on the neck muscles which can cause a headache after some time.

Another way I have seen people adapting to this is by drawing their string on the other side of their heads. This way of shooting is, well not good. It’s tough to shoot this way accurately because you won’t have any measuring points on your alignment.

There are ways to adapt to this, but I don’t think there is any way to adjust this to a natural movement making it possible for you to shoot as accurately as a guy with normal vision.

I have no experience with this myself so if you find someone that tells you it’s possible, then believe them and ask them how. Afterward please tell me too, I am curious if there are any methods out there that work great. That would help me in my coaching, so please reach out if you find someone or know of a method yourself.

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About Andy Ryan

Shooting With Both Eyes Open Versus One 1Certifications: Sc. Kin. - Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
Education: University of Denver
Lives In: Denver

My name is Andy and I am the author and creator of Archery Power, I have been in the archery industry for many years and it’s my true love and passion. I am an instructor and maintain a Certification. It all started as a kid where me and my dad used to go hunting with a crossbow, since that time I have been obsessed with the sport.