Can a Left Eye Dominant Person Shoot a Right Handed Bow?

Categorized as Archery Tips
archer shoots with the perfect anchor point

Last night I got this question from a friend: “Can a left eye dominant person shoot a right-handed bow?”.

Most archers with this problem prefer to shoot with their dominant eye and train their weak hand instead. For most people, training their weak hand to nock comes much easier than training their eyes.

So to answer the question that we have above, it will be easier for a left eye dominant person to shoot a left-handed bow, though it stills possible for a left eye dominant person to shoot a right-handed bow, it just takes more work.

I’ll explain more in the following.

How to Determine Your Eye Dominance

Most people would know since they were childhood whether they are left-handed or right-handed but not many people know which one their dominant eye is.

You can determine your dominant eye with the following simple test:

Hold both of your hands at arm’s length and put the hands together with a small hole in the center of your hands with your palms opened up.

With both eyes open, look through the hole at some distant target. Close the hole but make sure the target is still visible. Close your right eye then followed by your left eye.

Open your right eye; if your right eye is the dominant eye, the target will still be visible through the hole. On the other hand, if your right eye is not the dominant one, the target will be hidden behind one hand, and the hole will seem to have been moved.

Do the same test with your left eye, if you find that your right eye is not the dominant eye.

For more explicit instruction, check out the following video:

The guy in this video uses a slightly different method from the one that I described, but the basic idea is nevertheless the same.

Eye Dominance and Handedness

For most people, their eye dominance and handedness goes hand in hand meaning if you are a left eye dominant person, you would likely left-handed, and so the opposite.

But for some (around 25%-30% of the population), their eye dominance and handedness do not match. If you fall into this group, the differences between your eye dominance and handedness will make you shoot inaccurately.

Should You Shoot with Your Eye Dominance or Handedness?

The decision to shoot with eye dominance or handedness depends entirely on personal preference. In practice, you should try both to see which one works best for you.

Some people try to change their eye dominance by wearing an eye patch which makes them looked like a pirate. But changing your eye dominance is harder than changing your handedness and is not recommended.

In most cases, training your weak hand is a better option.

Finger shooters will also be better off shooting with their eye dominance rather than against it. The reason is that most finger shooters tend to look down on their arrow to aim instinctively.

If you look down the arrow with the non-dominant eye, your accuracy will likely to suffer. Therefore, if you shoot using a finger draw, it will be a lot better to shoot with your dominant eye.

Thumb shooters, on the other hand, might not be affected too much whether they shoot with or without their dominant eye because they tend to shoot using both eyes together.

Instinctive Shooting

You will gradually develop instinctive shooting as you gain more experiences in archery. Instinctive shooting is the method where you look at the target and let your body and brain to aim for the target.

The more instinctive your shooting is, the less likely you have to rely on your dominant eye.