Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

I will start out by saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Don't mess with a winning formula one way or the other. However, for those who are just starting out and looking for some input on which method to use, here are some suggestions shooting your bow with one eye versus two.

There are few things more important during the shot than your sight picture. And there are few things that have more influence on your sight picture than your eyelids. Sounds crazy, but you have several options here: you can shoot with both eyes open, with your non-dominant eye fully closed or with your non-dominant eye partially closed (squinted - that is what I do). Here are a few tradeoffs to consider when deciding which style to choose.

BOTH EYES OPEN

There is no question that shooting with both eyes wide open produces the widest field of view, but there is a potential downside. If your aiming eye is not significantly more dominant than your other eye, your eyes will fight to determine which one controls the sight picture. The result: as situations change, your sight picture will change too.

Dominance becomes an even larger problem when the light is low and the restriction of your peep sight slightly diminishes the acuity of your aiming eye. At times like this, it is very common for the non-aiming eye to seize total control of the sight picture. When that happens you'll miss by a mile. You can learn a lot about visual acuity and dominance by practicing under low light conditions for a couple of days.


NON-DOMINANT EYE COMPLETELY CLOSED

This the way Randy Ulmer shoots. In fact, when he competes he uses a blinder for his left (non-dominant) eye. His goal is to eliminate all possible variables in the sight picture, and by simply closing his non-aiming eye while shooting, he removes it from the equation. Sure, he gives up some field of view, but he says that he is so focused on the pin and the target that he really doesn't want to be distracted by anything on the periphery of his sight picture anyway.  He doesn't consider the lost field of view to be a negative.


NON-DOMINANT EYE PARTIALLY CLOSED

This is the way I shoot. I have found a good compromise by squinting my non-aiming eye.  This permits a fuller field of view while greatly reducing the acuity and possible dominance of the non-aiming eye. A possible lack of consistency is my only concern with this style of aiming but I have done it for 20 years, so it just happens naturally now.  I never even think about it.


It will work fine as long as you always squint the same. Ulmer states that at tournaments he has seen shooters whose aiming style changes as they get tired or when they're under pressure.  When your sight picture changes, your accuracy has the potential to change too.  So if you use the squint method, you have to be more diligent to be sure you are doing it the same on every shot.

CONCLUSION

There are a lot of ways to aim, and my choice is but one of them.  In the final analysis, consistency is the key to all aspects of archery and aiming is no different.  After you've experimented to find the best aiming style for you; keep it exactly the same on every shot.  Be conscious of your eyelids; these simple shutters can have a major effect on your accuracy.

Recommended for You

Create your own fluffy, Chinese-style bao buns at home with this recipe! Fill them with tender, braised venison shoulder or any other wild game meat you'd like. Recipes

Venison Bao Buns Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Create your own fluffy, Chinese-style bao buns at home with this recipe! Fill them with...

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm! How-To

Summer Scouting Spectacular

Bill Winke - July 17, 2019

Mid-Summer Is Prime Time to Watch Large-Racked Bucks — and Stoke Fall Enthusiasm!

Is your bow setup a bit noisy? Try these tips to silence it. Bow Accessories

6 Ways to Make Your Bow Quieter

Darron McDougal

Is your bow setup a bit noisy? Try these tips to silence it.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

First Look: Mathews Vertix Bow

"Petersen's Bowhunting" editor Christian Berg and Mathews design engineer Mark Hayes talk the smooth, quiet and fast shooting qualities of the new flagship Vertix bow from the Wisconsin bowmaker.

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

South African Warthog

South African Warthog

Mike Schoby and his wife Dory go on an action-packed South African hunt for plains game including the warthog.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

Best New Bow Sights for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new bow sights from the 2019 ATA Show!

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

See More Stories

More How-To

A misaligned peep can lead to missed opportunities in the field. How-To

How to Fix & Prevent Peep Sight Rotation

Randy Ulmer

A misaligned peep can lead to missed opportunities in the field.

Train your brain to handle high-pressure shots. How-To

Mental Preparation for Bowhunting

Clint Casper

Train your brain to handle high-pressure shots.

Switch up your release to prevent shot anticipation. How-To

2 Tips for Perfect Shot Timing

Levi Morgan

Switch up your release to prevent shot anticipation.

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×