By Dr. Ryan W. Nelson
Hunting pheasant in Iowa can be challenging. For those who have been hunting them for years, you know it’s getting tougher. Here are some vision tips from an eye doctor that may help you harvest more roosters this year.
1. Yellow and amber tinted lenses can help you identify roosters from hens.
The colors of a rooster pheasant are easier to see when viewing them through a yellow or amber tinted lens. This becomes even more important in dim light, or on overcast days. If you have never looked though a quality pair of tinted lenses, now is the time to give it a try.
2. Single vision lenses will help you maintain a clear shooting target.
Spectacle lenses built specifically for hunting are a must for today’s avid hunter. Progressive addition bifocals are great for day-to-day wearing, but often have areas in the periphery of the lens that do not provide sharp vision. Do yourself a favor and select a pair of single-vision distance lenses with a large eye-size.
LASIK surgery may also be the perfect solution. LASIK may reduce your dependency on glasses while hunting all together.
Click here for the best LASIK in Iowa
3. Central vision is best for acuity and identification, peripheral vision is best for detecting movement.
Allow me to get technical for just a minute. The human visual system can actually be thought of as two systems working together. The “Whereis the bird” system (called magno) and the “What type of bird” system (called parvo). The magno system alerts us to a visual event and the parvo system identifies the event. The magno system does not carry information such as color and detail, so that it reaches the brain quickly. The cells that trigger the magno system are located in the periphery of the eye, those parvo cells responsible for detail are located in the macula (the area lined up with the center of the pupil).
Regular eye exams help detect the diseases that attack these two systems. Glaucomaaffects the magno system and macular degeneration affects the parvo system. Both glaucoma and macular degeneration can cause blindness if left untreated. If glaucoma and macular degeneration are caught early, before they start causing problems, you have a much greater chance of hunting pheasant in your golden years.
4. Stay away from billed caps that limit your visual field.
Finding more birds can be as simple as removing your hat …or finding one without a brim. You already know that your peripheral vision tells you “Where is the bird”. The human visual field extends 165 degrees horizontally and 135 degrees vertically. Compare that with a pheasant who might have more than 270 degrees horizontally and 170 vertically. A hat with a brim only further limits your range of vision.
5. Shoot with both eyes open.
Not only is shooting with both eyes open safer, but it opens up your peripheral vision so that you can identify your next shot quickly. Spend extra time at the shooting range practicing your aim with both eyes open.
To learn more schedule an eye exam in Cedar Rapids, Marion, or Robins, Iowa.