Unlike what hunting gives off as an impression, there is much more to it than just slinging a rifle over your shoulders and going out to shoot. To hunt effectively, you will have to take into consideration many other things. For example, before hitting the arena, determining your dominant eye and hand is of the utmost importance.
As funny and bizarre as it sounds, you might be shooting with the wrong eye and hand, which, in turn, will downgrade your hunting performance. To avoid hunting with the wrong eye and hand, you have to learn about the idea of eye dominance and determine it for yourself.
Find out what eye dominance is and why it matters in hunting by reading on. Go, you are only a scroll away!
What Is Eye Dominance?
Effective hunting relies on proper eye-hand coordination. But, to achieve this, you must first determine your dominant eye. So, what exactly is eye dominance? The fancy name for this is ocular dominance, and the simple version is eye preference or eyedness.
The dominant eye sends more accurate visual messages to the brain. Therefore, given that precision shooting is the foundation for hunting, it is vital to understand the concept of eye dominance and identify your dominant eye.
How To Determine Your Dominant Eye
There are two common methods that you can take to test your eye dominance.
Step 1: Stretch your arms out in front of you
Step 2: Raise your thumb or index finger to pinpoint a distant item (Like a clock!)
Step 3: Close your left eye
If your thumb or index finger is still aligned to the distant item, your left eye is dominant, but if it has moved, your left eye is non-dominant.
Step 1: Make a circle or triangle with your hands
Step 2: Extend your arms out in front of you
Step 3: Place the circle or triangle over an item that is roughly 20 to 30 feet away
Step 4: Slowly bring your arms back to your face
- Do this while keeping your item in the circle or triangle
Your hands should naturally come back to your dominant eye.
If the answer is not apparent, you can try closing one eye at a time. Your weak eye will see the back of your hand while your dominant eye will be on the item in your circle or triangle.
Once you have determined your dominant eye, you can learn to pair it with your dominant hand. If you are lucky, your dominant eye will align with your dominant hand. If not, you have cross dominance, which means that your dominant hand is on the opposite side of your dominant eye.
Hunters with cross dominance find it more challenging to aim and shoot precisely, but the degree of difficulty also varies with what they bring into the hunting arena.
How To Correct Cross-Eye Dominance
If you shoot with a handgun and are cross dominant, you do not necessarily have to switch to shooting with your non-dominant hand. Instead, you can situate your dominant eye with the sights by shifting or tilting your head.
It will also help if you go into a modified weaver stance while lining your dominant eye with the sights. Even though this does not always sit right with hunters, it is a simple solution. Personally, I prefer this method over others.
You can correct your cross-dominance by bringing the handgun past your body’s centerline as well. Although I have never tried it myself, I have seen this done by many other seasoned hunters.
Long Gun Shooting
Long gun shooters will run into more struggles. You will most likely have to switch to shooting with your non-dominant hand. While this is undoubtedly difficult, it is not impossible if you practice regularly.
For this, aside from shooting, you need to practice carrying your rifle, shouldering, aiming, reloading, etc., as well. Just as the well-known saying goes, no pain, no gain. It will take some time and effort, but trust me, it will be worth it.
According to some of my fellow hunters, using the red dot is also a viable option. You will keep both of your eyes open: one eye will be on the target and the other on the red dot. With this approach, you will not have to change anything and will not be slowed down.
An alternative is to close your dominant eye and force your non-dominant eye to work harder. But, if you are like me, and your non-dominant eye naturally peeps open, you can try to wear an eye patch or tape the lens of your sunglasses over the dominant eye to practice.
You will have to train your eye for a long time to ensure that your previously dominant eye does not simply “steal back its reign” when you remove your patch.
Why Does Eye Dominance Matter in Hunting?
It is worth experimenting with different ways to correct your cross dominance for both handgun and long gun shooting.
If you neglect your dominant eye-hand coordination, you may find yourself falling behind other hunters in the realm. Your lowered accuracy and ability to precisely shoot can cost you many trophies in the long run. This is especially important when you are in hunting competitions and shooting contests.
Moreover, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to revert your hunting habits. Something else that is not commonly brought up in the discussion of postponing eye dominance correction is that you will be able to save more money if you do it sooner.
You will not have to replace too many accessories, such as hip quivers, stabilizers, and release aids, when you decide to re-coordinate your dominant eye and hand.
Now that you know what eye dominance is and which of your eyes is dominant, I strongly recommend that you do not miss the chance to fix your eye-hand pairing to optimize your hunting performance.
So, there you have it!
Hopefully, you will no longer be taken back if you hear your fellow hunters talking about eye dominance. You can even proudly boast that you have had it figured out earlier in your hunting journey and have corrected it to shoot effectively.