Whether you are bowhunting, or if you love flinging arrows at a target, you want to make sure your vision is up to the task. Your bow may be “bare”, with no sighting aids at all, or you may have a complex target bow with string peeps and magnification. The visual demands of these shooting disciplines are quite different.
Shooting a bow without sights is often referred to as “barebow shooting” or “traditional archery”. Typically this type of archery is performed with both eyes open, and your focus is on the target of regard. With both eyes open, you can judge distance more easily through two-eyed depth perception. This leads to accurate elevation of your bow for the best shot. You want your optometrist to make sure both eyes are seeing as well as possible with glasses or contact lenses. Those of you that are using spectacle frames will want to see that you have adequate field of view in your lenses when you are at full draw. And as you work on your form, make sure you keep your head turned as much as possible toward the target so you can have both eyes fixating the target for the best depth perception.
Many times archers that use compound bows have peep sights and pin sights. The visual demands for using sights are much different. You are now doing a sighting task, and you will be using one eye to align your sights. Some archers must close their non-sighting eye to concentrate on the sights. Arrow flight can be followed much more easily if you can keep both eyes open, but that can be confusing for many shooters. Hopefully your dominant eye and your dominant hand are on the same side to make your archery easier. Bowhunters and target shooters using sights must have the best vision in their shooting eye, and some modification of your prescription may be required to allow you to see the sights easily without blurring the target excessively.
Be sure to let your Vision Source optometrist know that you love archery so he or she can develop the best vision for your sport.
Author: Dr. Frank Puckett
Monument Vision Clinic
1860 Woodmoor Drive, Monument CO