both Eyes Open

Document Sample
both Eyes Open Powered By Docstoc
					              both Eyes Open
                                                                                          Shooting with both eyes
                                                                                          open is the correct method
                                                                                          whether shooting at moving
                                                                                          or stationary targets
             by marisa lee, regional Hunter Education Coordinator,
             division of Wildlife and freshwater fisheries

                Most of us have heard of eye dominance but few people            will cause your eyes to dilate differently. For a moment, the
             really know the significance of what it is and how it works.        data your brain receives appears confusing and even out of
             Essentially, the dominant eye looks directly at an object           focus at times. The brain is configured to operate with both
             while the non-dominant eye looks at the same object                 eyes open and your eyes are used to working together.
             from a slight angle. This small difference provides us with             Furthermore, shooting with both eyes open will prevent
             depth perception.                                                   excessive strain on a single sighting eye. Closing one eye over
                The dominant eye is primarily relied on for precise posi-        long periods of time fatigues the muscles of the face. Over
             tional information and the non-dominant eye is used to help
                                                                                 time, it will also begin to fatigue other parts of the body.
             determine distances. This ability to determine the distance
                                                                                     Once mastered, keeping both eyes open becomes a natu-
             to an object is due to the two eyes receiving slightly different
                                                                                 ral part of the shooting process. Benchrest shooters do it
             images due to the wide positioning on the face. The two im-
             ages are contrasted by the brain to calculate distance. This is     because they must make shots at the exact instant the wind
             especially important in shooting sports disciplines.                flags move to the correct position. Benchrest shooting is a
                                                                                 long distance precision shooting sport that uses flags to de-
             KeeP eYes oPen                                                      termine wind direction and speed. It is much too slow and
                 For shooting sports that involve moving targets, using          ineffective to continuously open and close one eye to see
             both eyes gives the shooter greater peripheral vision, which        both the reticle’s position on the target and then the position
             allows them to pick up the target sooner and judge its direc-       of the wind flags.
             tion and speed. The targets will look larger, closer and appear         Practical pistol shooters could not move and shoot as fast
             to move more slowly. Closing one eye robs your ability to           as they otherwise could if they didn’t keep both eyes open.
             distinguish depth of field and things will appear flat. Depth       Try walking or running with one eye closed. It is disorienting
             of field is an important attribute in our ability to make cor-      to say the least as well as inefficient. Shooting with two eyes
             rect judgments about the distance and behavior of a target.         open allows for better balance and orientation while holding
                 For shooting sports that involve stationary targets, shoot-     the firearm. Like anything else, keeping both eyes open may
             ing with both eyes open gives you a much brighter and more
                                                                                 take practice. Once learned, however, it becomes second na-
             natural field-of-view, even when looking through a peep
                                                                                 ture and the results are well worth the effort.
             sight. The dominant eye focuses crisply and does the actual
                                                                                     What does shooting with both eyes open have to do with
             “sighting” through the restricted area of the peep sight, and
             the other eye “fills in the gaps” in the picture.                   your dominant eye? In order to shoot a rifle or shotgun, we
                 Additionally, the eyes adapt to the incoming light by con-      must align the firearm underneath one of our two eyes, with
             stricting or dilating the pupil like a camera lens. If one eye is   the stock on our shoulder. If this shoulder is not the one that
             closed, no light is allowed through the closed eye, while the       corresponds with the dominant eye, then your brain could
             transmission of light through the other eye is high. This forc-     be fed a visual picture that would be erroneous, causing you
             es the pupils to regulate the different amounts of light and        to miss your target.

16   OutdOOr AlAbAmA | OCTOBER 2010

                                                                                                       Determining eye


                                                                                                         Make a triangle with both of your
                                                                                                         hands by overlapping your thumbs
                                                                                                         and the top half of your fingers.

the author demonstrates
the correct stance and
safety procedure when
shooting—using eye
protection and keeping
both eyes open.                                                                                           2     Extend your
                                                                                                                arms toward
                                                                                                                your target.

 determining eYe dominance                          situation. Some adults who are cross dominant
     So how do you determine which eye is           may not want to take the advice of shooting
 dominant? Start by making a small triangle         opposite handed due to the time and dedica-
 with your hands. (See Step 1) Keep your arms       tion required to re-coordinate yourself to
 outstretched away from your face, and with         using your least dexterous side. It may feel
 both eyes open, bring the triangle up to eye       awkward at first, while the muscle memory is
 level. Focus on the top of a friend’s nose. Your   being relearned; however, in time it will come               Look through the
                                                                                                                 triangle at the target.
 friend can then tell you which eye is looking at   to be second nature and feel just as natural as
 him or her through the triangle of your hands.     it did to shoot with your strong arm. Shoot-
 You can also do this yourself by using a mir-      ing from the shoulder on the same side as the        4       Keep your hand-triangle
 ror and doing the same procedure on yourself.      dominant eye is the best option to make you a                small enough so that only
                                                                                                                 one eye can look through
 Another way is to look through the triangle        proficient shooter long term.                                it up close.
 at a small distant object and then bring your          There are always those people who say, “I
 hands to your face while keeping the object in     can’t do that!” I tell them nonsense; you can         5      Keep both eyes open.
 view through the triangle. The eye that your       do anything you set you mind out to do. My
 hand comes to is your dominant eye.                mother always told me, “Can’t never did a
     Determining which eye is dominant deter-       thing; he died in the poorhouse and the ants
 mines if you need to shoot right or left hand-     carried him out the keyhole!” As a child, I
 ed. When shooting a bow, rifle or shotgun, if      was not really sure what that meant, but oddly
 you are right eye dominant you should shoot        enough, after she told me that, I always ac-
 right handed and if you are left eye dominant      complished what I said I couldn’t do.
 you should shoot left handed, regardless of            I could list countless professional shooters    Move your hands
 which is your strong or weak hand. Being           in all disciplines who have mastered the tech-      back to your face,
 right or left handed will not necessarily de-      nique, as well as non-professional shooters         still looking at the
                                                                                                        target through your
 termine if you are right or left eye dominant.     including my Dad. Are you really any different      hands. Whichever eye
 Approximately two thirds of the population         from any of them?                                   your hands gravitate
 is right-eye dominant and one third left-eye           Bottom line, in the shooting sports, you        toward is your domi-
                                                                                                        nant eye.
 dominant. In a small portion of the popula-        should shoot with both eyes open, and shoul-
 tion neither eye is dominant.                      der your firearm under your dominant eye.
     Cross dominance is a term used to de-          The rewards will be worth the effort. Before
 scribe someone who is right handed and left        you know it, your scores will skyrocket and         Double check by holding the triangle
                                                                                                        at arms distance again and closing your
 eye dominant or left handed and right eye          your time on the range or in the field will be      non-dominant eye. The target should
 dominant. This can be a highly intimidating        more productive.                                    remain centered in the opening.


Shared By: