Introducing a New Shooter Post 1: Dominant Eye


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check any new shooter to find out what their dominant eye is prior to trying to teach them how to shoot. Dominant eye is what matters, not dominant hand.

An easy way for a little older child or adult is for them to put their hands in a small triangle and put it out infront of them with their arms completely extended. Pick out an object on the other side of the room with both of their eyes open, have them put that object in the middle of their triangle, and then have them move that triangle slowly to their face, keeping that object in the center of the triangle. The triangle will come back to their dominant eye.

NOW.....MY METHOD for a MUCH younger child: This is for shooters that may be too young to understand the method above, or they are confused about what to do. I have used this on many three and four year olds. This is a SURE FIRE method for people who say they are "both eye dominant" because there is no such thing. No doubt you could have an injury to your dominant eye to where it could change on you at some point in your life, but you can't be "both". I have seen this dominant eye injury switch twice now.

You, as the teacher, go to the other side of the room. YOUR NOSE will become THE OBJECT the new shooter will use in their triangle. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT they make the triangle small, about the size of a silver dollar, and IT IS VERY IMPORTANT they extend their arms fully, and keep both eyes open.

You then, as the object, will be able to see which eye is inside the triangle, and THAT is their dominant eye.

PLEASE do not make a new shooter shoot with their dominant hand, they NEED to be shooting with their dominant eye. The dominant eye will take over at the exact wrong time (when a big buck appears, or a duck comes in to range, etc) if you try to work against the new shooter's personal biological makeup.

If you are going to be taking a new shooter to the range, this is one of THE first things you need to do with them after you teach them to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and treat every gun as if it were loaded. This can even be taught and reinforced with Nerf gun shooting. Teach them how to Nerf gun with proper hand and eye position.

So, in conclusion:

No matter if you are left handed, or right handed, the gun should be on the same shoulder as the side of your dominant eye.

If you are right eye dominant, the gun should be on your right shoulder. If you are left eye dominant, the gun should be on your left shoulder.

The same is true for shooting a pistol. You will be much more accurate and more of a natural shot if your trigger hand is on the same side as your dominant eye. If you are right eye dominant, your pistol should be in your right hand, and if you're left eye dominant, your pistol should be in your left hand. (If you are practicing pistol shooting for self-defense though, you should learn how to shoot using both hands!)

Send me a message about this any time and I will gladly help you out with any bumps in the road. I love getting new shooters lined out for success behind the trigger.
As a Thank You for cutman having me here, I have decided I am going to start a series of posts about getting youth in the field from starting with this dominant eye work and probably ending with something along the lines of ground blind placement. With 5/6/7 installments in between.

Over the past 20 or so years, I have made it my personal mission to help folks enjoy the outdoors and be successful in their hunting endeavors. My personal experience on the ground mostly comes from deer and turkey hunting in the midwest. I have trained several hundred folks through range days, seminars, special hunts, and one on one time. I have helped others plan their properties and stand/blind placement for hunting success. Beyond those contacts, I have made game calls (a main focus of turkey pot calls and buck grunters) for many more who have taken those calls and my reccommendations to the field with them and found some of their most adventerous times afield with a call I made them sitting on their lap or hanging from their neck.

I am here to learn much more than I am here to teach. Please include any thoughts you have on the topics that can help others learn more. Ask questions in the threads or in private.

One of my signature lines from many days ago that is a constant reminder to myself: A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Thank you all for having me here. I sure hope I can provide some nuggets of information for you all that you find useful.
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