Archers- I'm right-handed, left-eyed. How should I shoot?

I’m thinking about getting into archery, just as a hobby. The problem is that I’m right-handed, but damn near blind in my right eye.

So any ideas on whether I should shoot a bow with my right or my left hand?

I share those traits and draw the string with my left. It was just the way I first did it and made no effort to change until I learned I was “backward” for a right-handed person. I have difficulty managing the other way. Oddly enough, I can shoot a rifle from either side. But the arm-eye thing is more ingrained with the bow.

My advice/suggestion: do it the way it feels “right” to you.

My first impulse is: try out which way works best for you by using both a right- and left-hand bow and seeing which is better for your. (In my beginners course, the bows were rented for 6 months in different strenghts an orientation precisly so we could try out different ones at first).

I’m the same way and shoot rifle left handed. It never felt awkward the way trying to write with my left hand does because I never learned how to shoot right handed in the first place.

Targets or hunting?
Compound or traditional?
Mechanical sights or instinctive shooting?

CMC fnord!

Wow, I too am a right/left person but have never thought about this. You just explained why I have a crap time aiming a rifle but am great with a handgun. I’m good with snowballs too. I hope I never have to defend myself with a rifle…

Just popping in as another right-handed left-eyed person. In archery I was taught to draw the string with my left hand.

How do you learn which eye is dominant?

Determination of ocular dominance.

CMC fnord!

Me, too. Right handed, left eyed. Been that way since I was a kid.

I force myself to sight a rifle with my right eye, but it never feels quite right.

I learned to shoot a rifle right handed, sighting with my right eye. I lost the sight in my right eye, and it’s been a bitch to try to learn to shoot left handed.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Guess I’m going to have to learn shooting with my left hand.

Likewise (I learned how to shoot a bow when I was 14; that’s where I learned I’m left-eye-dominant, via the Miles test described in the Wikipedia article).

It wasn’t until I was in graduate school when I discovered that this also explained why I was always lousy at hitting a baseball or softball. I learned how to bat left-handed in 20 minutes, and was almost immediately a better batter than I’d ever been right-handed.

For those who are right-handed but left-eye-dominant: Are you sure you’re “truly” right-handed, and weren’t trained to be right-handed as a young child?

It’s possible to be cross-dominant with regard to hand-eye coordination. I’m lefthanded and shoot that way, but I’m right-eye dominant. I can’t shoot right handed, so I train my ‘weak’ eye to aim.

When I was given a lesson in skeet shooting, the instructor put some vaseline jelly on the lens of my glasses over the left eye. This made my right eye dominant, and I did quite well. Might not work so well if you are “almost blind” in that eye, but it might be worth a try.

I’m cross dominant and aiming with my left eye made my target shooting pretty difficult. I “trained” my right eye to be stronger so I could aim with my right, and it was surprisingly quick and easy.
For me, this was about being able to fully open my right while closing my left, rather than actually having better vision in one eye. So just practicing with the right eye open, left eye closed a few times a day did the trick for me.

I am also cross dominant, right hand/left eye. I shoot both archery and rifle right handed (in archery - I hold the bow with my left hand and draw with my right). it just “feels” right to me.

I have found that I do better if I squint my left eye a bit. I can still see down range, but it doesn’t confuse my brain.

I shoot mainly black powder rifles and recurve bows, but only for fun, not in any competitive scenario (though i did win an archery competition at Club Med - we were all amateurs).

I’ve also found left handed bows to be harder to find and cost more than right handed bows. So that has influenced my shooting style as well.

However, if you really are almost blind in your right eye (that is, your comment was more truth than hyperbole) you will want to go with a lefty bow and use your left eye.

I am a trained range master for archery in cub scouts. We have cheap bows that can be shot either righty or lefty. However, I usually go by handedness rather than eye dominance when I explain how to hold a bow. When you’re trying to move 30 kids through the range an hour, it is faster to use handedness rather than explain eye dominance and have to resolve the issue when a couple kids are cross dominant. Also, the kids have problems just reaching the target 5 yards away. Since people are weaker using their off hand, I’d rather the kids just hit the target and going away with good experience rather than frustrated that the arrow never reached the target in the first place. Once they move on to Boy Scouts, they can work on the finer points of archery and determine how they shoot best.

Since this is about a sport, it may be better for the Game Room than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

I’ve asked my parents this very question. They tell me that they never forced me to do anything right-handed, or stopped me from doing anything left-handed, and that they never saw any evidence of any left-handed tendencies when I was a child.