Minnesota Adult Hunter Safety Course


Dominant Eye

Knowing which eye is dominant is an important factor in shooting performance. The dominant eye is the one that looks directly at an object. The non-dominant eye looks at the same object at a slight angle. The result is depth perception. The small angular difference between the dominant eye and the non-dominant eye is what allows a hunter to judge the distance to a target or game animal. A firearm should always be shouldered on the side of the hunter's dominant eye. However, being right or left handed does not always determine if you are right or left-eye dominant.

A reason for shooting with your dominant eye is that in a stress situation, your dominant eye will take over. A hunter's heart rate will increase when they get the opportunity to shoot at game. Therefore, shooting with your dominant eye is a safety issue.

Find Your Dominant Eye

  • Step 1. Make a small triangle with your hands, overlapping your thumbs and the top half of your fingers.
  • Step 2. Extend your arms to the target.
  • Step 3. Look through the triangle at the target.
  • Step 4. Keep both eyes open.
  • Step 5. Move your hands back to your face while looking at the target through the triangle you made with your hands.
  • Step 6. Whichever eye your hand moves to is your dominant eye.

Now take a moment and try and find your dominant eye. Are you right- or left- eye dominant?

IMPORTANT! If you are a beginner, you should shoot on the same side as your dominant eye even if your strong hand is on the other side.