That Gov. Mark Parkinson is right-handed but will be shooting left-handed at next week’s Governor’s Turkey Hunt in El Dorado gives me added confidence he’ll get his bird.
It shows that the folks who have recently taught the non-hunting gov to shoot were smart enough to check his eye-dominance and teach him accordingly.
For those who don’t know, most humans have a dominant eye that largely controls their line of sight. I’m right eye dominant so when I look down a gun’s barrel with my right eye the rifle or shotgun ends up pointing right where I’m looking. If I use my left eye the gun ends up pointing quite a bit to the left of where my eye tells me it’s aiming.
Many times I’ve seen shooters struggling to even hit within the same zip code of where they’d like because they’re using the wrong eye.
Several years ago Gov. Kathleen Sebelius showed up at the Gov’s hunt for her first time afield. “Friends who hunt a lot” had taught her to shoot. The first day she missed a nice tom and then missed two more the second.
On the hunt I noticed she was holding her head funny when looking down the barrel as she shot right-handed. Before the next spring Chris Tymeson, a Wildlife and Parks attorney and experienced shotgunning instructor, checked her eye dominance and found she was left eye dominant.
The next hunt Gov. Sebelius came ready to shoot left-handed and shot a nice tom from the first flock that was called to within range.
Years ago I hunted several times with a friend and his girl friend, Marilyn Underwood. She hardly drew feathers despite a lot of shooting on several trips. Standing behind her on one flush I saw she still had the gun’s barrel well behind the flushing rooster when she pulled the trigger.
I checked, she was left-eye dominant and shooting right-handed. We worked a bit on shooting left-handed at snowballs and went back to hunting. She killed the next rooster that flushed and a couple of more before the day was done.
Checking for one’s dominant eye is easy. Take a DVD and hold it at arm’s length, staring hard at some object across the room through the hole. Never taking your stare from the object slowly pull the DVD back to your face. It’ll go right to your dominant eye.
Some deal with cross-eye dominance by closing the dominant eye when they shoot so the lesser eye does the sighting. Works, but shooters lose depth of field vision.
When possible, though, it’s best to just learn to shoot with the dominant eye side of your body.
Hopefully Gov. Parkinson will be proof just how well that works.