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Discussion Starter #1
Like a lot of older guys I started archery shooting and hunting with a recurve bow back in the 60’s before compounds. Never was really good shooting instinctively because of eye dominance issues and used a primitive sight even on the recurves. Moved to compounds in the late 70’s and have hunted with compounds ever since. In the mid 90’s I bought a Black Widow MAII with the intention of getting back into traditional archery. I shot pretty much daily for several years without getting comfortable enough to hunt with the bow.

I will be retiring shortly and will have plenty of time on my hands and am thinking about giving traditional another go. Maybe even build my own stickbow and arrows, but if I do it I’d like to learn to shoot with the off hand and hopefully be able to shoot instinctively (I’m right handed, left eye dominant).

Have any of you traditional guys switched to off hand shooting because of eye dominance? If so, how hard was it? How did you go about it?
 

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I've known a few people who have and its worked. I've contemplated it due to some shoulder issues but I am strongly right eye dominant. Like you said, you'll be retired and have some time on your hands so, what the heck? Might be fun and you just may be pleasantly suprised.
 

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One thing I know for certain is that I’m no longer a spring chicken and can just barely handle the Black Widow right handed anymore as my muscles are not used to shooting it. So, there is no way I’ll be able to start out left handed with a hunting weight bow. I guess the best thing to do is buy a used, low poundage left hand bow to start out with, see how it goes.

I find the idea of building a bow really appealing; it’s something I’ve thought about for years so I’m sure I’ll give it a try. It will be a lot of fun building and shooting one even if I never decide to hunt with it. I’d also like some pointers to some good how-to reference materials on bow building if anybody has recommendations.
 

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loridr,

I'm in the same boat as you with the eye dominance and I am getting in to traditional. But I made myself a promise that the only bow I'll use is one that I make. so far I haven't mastered it but still trying. Once I get one made I will see how the eye dominance goes. Good Luck
 

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Good luck back-at-cha.

You've made an attempt at bow building then? What have you tried and what hasn't worked out?

I figure I'll keep it simple and start with a self bow for my first attempt.
 

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Well the first thing I did was buy some books and did a good bit of internet searching. I read the Bowyers Bible vol 1 & 2 and “The Bent Stick” by Paul Comstock. Tradgang.com also has some good info in the bowyer’s forum.

The first bow I attempted was a 72” hickory long bow from a stave I bought on line. It started out good until the tillering process and lets just say my 72” longbow quickly became a 50 some inch bow.

So now I found some plans to make a bow out of a piece of red oak I bought at Lowes. So far so good I will post some pics when finished. It is a cheap way to try it and if I can get a decent bow out of it I will try again with a stave.

It is addicting and interesting to read about all the different styles and types of bows. The thing you will read in all of the books and web sites is, when tillering take small amounts of wood of at a time. That is so true


If your interested I have a few good links I can send you. Just shoot me a PM.
 

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I just reread one of my Traditional Bowhunter magazines at camp last weekend. Fred Asbell had an article about the off eye dominance. Fred is a huge proponent of switching your shooting to the dominant eye. The article made some good points that the dominant eye will always take over and in order to shoot instinctively, one must shoot with both eyes open in order to judge distance and depth perception. His article referenced two competitive shooters who had the same issues of being right handed and left eye dominant. Both had to stop shooting in competition because of the amount of time required to stay sharp. Both had to shoot constantly to work through the issues of cross eye dominance but still would have at least one flyer per session. Both became even better shooters after switching over to the dominant eye.
 

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I'm left handed but right eye dominent. I started out many years ago shooting a left handed bow, but couldn't shoot it worth a darn. Everybody just kept telling me to just look down the arrow. Of course I couldn't. It wasn't till after I tried to shoot a gun for the first time that someone realized what the issue was. I was given a hand-me-down right handed bow, and my shooting improved 10 fold. I shot a compound instintively up till about 10-12 years ago when I moved to an area where I couldn't practice as much as I had in the past.

As far as the arm muscle strength goes, I would start out slow with your current bow. Take a shot or two a day, and the strength will gradually increase. By bow season you should be able to shoot without any issues at all. I'm guilty of waiting till around August to start practicing for hunting season, and at first I can only shoot a few shots. After a week or so of shooting every day I can shoot 20+ shots in a row without issues, and that is shooting a 70# bow. Of course I'm not of retirement age
 

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You should be pulling with your back muscles, not your arms, especially with a trad bow.
 

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loridr said:
hunt/fish365 said:
Of course I'm not of retirement age
Whatchit there, Sonny! This here walkin cane is wicked!
Might want to watch who you are messon with. I could probably push you over, and you might break a hip


Good luck with you bow. I've been pondering getting a recurve for the last couple years now since I can practice in my back yard.
 
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