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  1. #1
    Senior Member chuckbuster's Avatar
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    Cross dominance in a bow

    I'm thinking of getting a bow, for the same reason as many; to be able to get out a little more for deer. My problem is that I am left handed and think the Almighty gave me a right arm just to keep me symmetrical.

    Anyway, I am left handed and left eye dominant. However, it feels far more natural for me to hold a bow in my left hand and draw with my right (as I have instinctively done the few times I have picked up a bow, and as I did as a kid when making toy bows with sticks and string). So, it appears that I have some cross-dominance issues with shooting a bow. If I decide to get into this game, is the consensus that I go with what feels natural (and try to shoot a bow right handed while trying to sight with my left eye). Or should I try and use a left handed bow? If it helps with weighing the issue, I shoot my pistols and rifles with both eyes open as it is.
    Magua took the hatchet to colour with blood...It is still bright.

  2. #2
    Member Bittereinder's Avatar
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    I would think that with archery it's more important to line up the string with your dominant eye. Just a gut feel, because archery involves more total body motion than shooting a gun, especially with the draw but I think also with holding at the draw, even with a compound bow. I imagine that having to hold your head a few inches over to the right would make it harder have a natural, relaxed release of the string, more so than doing the same thing but with maintaining a good grip and trigger control on a gun.

    Again, this is just my gut feel based only on having done archery on and off for years, but never in a really serious way.
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  3. #3
    Shotgun, rifle and a 4 wheel drive! BrotherRockeye's Avatar
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    I think a good first step is to go to a bow shop and do some testing.
    How does it feel to draw a left handed bow?
    Can you get a good anchor point right handed,left eye?

    Shooting right handed with your left eye could cause all sorts of problems with achieving a proper, consistent, repeatable anchor point.
    You would definitely have to shorten what would normally be your draw length unless you remove your nose. That might happen on it's own if you draw long and turn your head to sight. That said, if you use a peep sight and close your left eye, dominance isn't an issue.

    It's an interesting problem, please keep us updated.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member chuckbuster's Avatar
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    In terms of drawing a bow, I find it "natural" to draw with my right hand. Even mimicking a draw with my left hand feels awkward. As I said, the few times I've picked up a bow, it is done automatically with my left hand. I will have to go and check things out, I guess.
    Magua took the hatchet to colour with blood...It is still bright.

  5. #5
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    It may be time to review that documentary on the eye dominance issue and rehabilitation methods. I believe it was called Fire Birds and uses some unorthodox methods of correcting the issue.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member labradort's Avatar
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    I question the whole dominant eye thing. I learned about it way too late to change, for rifles, and it would be the same for bow, the little I've tried it.

    I bat baseball on the right, and use hockey stick on the left. I shoot on the right.

    These things all have one thing in common: my dominant left eye is exposed to where the action is.

    For baseball, my left eye is getting the best view of the pitcher and incoming ball as I bat right. For hockey, my left eye can see the threats coming towards the stick on the left, whether approaching in front or behind. For hunting, my aiming eye is the right eyeball, but the left can see things without the sight in the way. I've experienced this with red dot and it is awesome.

    If you are left eye dominant and hold the bow with the left hand, that would be the way I'd do it. Now your left eye is facing the target/prey and you're aware. I'm not an archer, but does a person really need to pull it behind the head, or can you shop for a bow that suits your arm length and style?

  8. #7
    Senior Member chuckbuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labradort View Post
    I question the whole dominant eye thing. I learned about it way too late to change, for rifles, and it would be the same for bow, the little I've tried it.

    I bat baseball on the right, and use hockey stick on the left. I shoot on the right.

    These things all have one thing in common: my dominant left eye is exposed to where the action is.

    For baseball, my left eye is getting the best view of the pitcher and incoming ball as I bat right. For hockey, my left eye can see the threats coming towards the stick on the left, whether approaching in front or behind. For hunting, my aiming eye is the right eyeball, but the left can see things without the sight in the way. I've experienced this with red dot and it is awesome.

    If you are left eye dominant and hold the bow with the left hand, that would be the way I'd do it. Now your left eye is facing the target/prey and you're aware. I'm not an archer, but does a person really need to pull it behind the head, or can you shop for a bow that suits your arm length and style?
    I'm wondering about that too. I'm 6'1" and have big long monkey arms, or so I'm told. Thus, I tend to think that I would have plenty of available draw length without going beyond my head.
    Magua took the hatchet to colour with blood...It is still bright.

  9. #8
    Member Bittereinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckbuster View Post
    I'm wondering about that too. I'm 6'1" and have big long monkey arms, or so I'm told. Thus, I tend to think that I would have plenty of available draw length without going beyond my head.
    From what I was taught in sport archery, I would think it's hard to get a good anchor drawing behind the head. I have my thumb connect to a specific point at the back of my jaw.
    If God didn't want holsters to be leather, he wouldn't have made so many damn cows.

  10. #9
    Shotgun, rifle and a 4 wheel drive! BrotherRockeye's Avatar
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    You don't draw past your head.
    Google "archery anchor point"

    Think of it this way.
    The arrow is your line of sight.
    The string when drawn is your rear sight, your sight pin the front.
    They all need to line up.
    We're kin cuz we shoot! What we shoot, and what we shoot at, shouldn't matter!

    "The worst an honest man can do is make an honest mistake" ~ Augustus McCrae
    There is no Justice...SUNRAY Lives

  11. #10
    Senior Member chuckbuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrotherRockeye View Post
    You don't draw past your head.
    Google "archery anchor point"

    Think of it this way.
    The arrow is your line of sight.
    The string when drawn is your rear sight, your sight pin the front.
    They all need to line up.
    Ahh, never thought of it that way. That makes sense.
    Magua took the hatchet to colour with blood...It is still bright.

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