While choosing a weapon or a gun for survival, it is important to think about some essential tools to get it equipped with. Some survival skills and survival gear items are of the greatest importance, but they won’t get you a game. Packing up your survival backpack, think about the things that can help you stay nourished in the wilderness unless your food supplies, as well as water resources, are unlimited. If you hunt with a bow, your objective should be a proper rangefinder. Get ready smartly, and your survival chances will maximize.
Do you love hunting and know everything about it? If your answer is “yes,” you know exactly what kind of hunting kit a hunter should have. Any hunter usually has a rifle, ammunition, a bag, a hunting knife, and, of course, a rangefinder. Today, almost every hunter uses a laser rangefinder as a necessary thing.
In simple words, a rangefinder is a piece of functional equipment that helps hunters (especially bow hunters) calculate the distance to the intended target. You may find such a device in any hunting shop at an affordable price. You may choose the color, weight, size, and material of the device. In general, all the rangefinders have many great features that will make your hunting more effective.
Since there are many rangefinders in shops (with longer ranges or closer ranges), it is important to understand their advantages and disadvantages.
Therefore, this article contains a detailed review of hunting devices and will help you choose the best rangefinder!
Equipment Specs for Bow Hunting
As a rule, both hunting and golf rangefinders work the same way. The devices direct an invisible, sharp, and precisely focused beam of light at the object. You also need to measure the time it takes for the beam to pass the distance from the target back to the device.
Such devices usually function duly, but many factors affect the data. Here are some of them:
- Target reflectivity
- Weather conditions (fog, rain, hurricane)
- Sun glare
- Objects facing the target (trees, buildings)
- Low light situations
- The rangefinder’s capability to reflect the beams at the desired angle
If you consider these factors and carefully study the device’s technical features, your bow hunting will become easy and effective!
Hunting Rangefinder Types
Before you learn about the best rangefinders for bow hunting, let’s look at the differences between optical and laser rangefinders. Below are their main features and technical characteristics.
1) Laser rangefinder for bow-hunters
Laser rangefinder works on the lidar principle (a device for identifying objects using a light stream). The range finders use the technology of obtaining data about targets using an active optical system. Thanks to the emitter that sends the wave to the targets, waves returned to the receiver. After that, the hunting device calculates the distances.
The built-in computer determines the distance as follows: it adds up the time spent by the laser on passing in both directions. Next, the system multiplies the resulting number by the speed of light in a vacuum. The last calculation consists in dividing the result of multiplication by twice the refractive index of the medium. As a result, the computer determines the exact distance from the device to the observed object. A laser rangefinder (for instance, the Bushnell model) that calculates long distances is a great option for a long-range shooter!
Since the laser rangefinder is in demand on the market, most likely, when searching for such equipment, you will encounter this type. Most people choose a laser device for the following needs:
- The bow hunting
- Long-range shooting
- The fast target hit rate
- Hunting with a rifle
In general, a laser rangefinder is a great choice for accurate shooting, especially if you want to catch large prey. Such a hunting tool has advanced technology of action for instant destruction of the object. Moreover, most rangefinders have specialized cameras. On the other hand, if you use a tripod, you will be surprised by how exciting hunting can be!
By the way, here are some of the main features and functions of the laser rangefinder:
- Measuring distance from different reference points
- Measuring the area of the figure
- Continuous measurement
- Determining the minimum and maximum
More advanced features
The laser rangefinder has several reference points, which is due to the measurement features. The laser beam comes out of the device, so when measuring the distance from one wall to another, you will have to consider the length of this body. As a rule, a hunting rangefinder has a reference point.
Also, to measure a rectangle with a laser rangefinder, you need to determine its length, width and press a button. The device will calculate the area and display the result on the screen. This feature of the laser device makes the shot from a hunting rifle more accurate and sharp. You will not notice how quickly the bullet will hit the wild animal and bring you success!
2) Optical range finders for a bow hunting
Optical devices are a generalized name for a group of rangefinders with visual guidance to the object based on the use of the laws of geometric optics.
In the shop, you may find optical rangefinders with a constant angle and an internal base. For instance, sellers often suggest monocular and binocular devices. The optical rangefinder contains an optical radiation source, a device for controlling its parameters, a photodetector device, and a tool for measuring time intervals. The surveyors mainly use such devices.
Optical rangefinders are not capable of detecting distances automatically because they don’t have special sensors for that, and that’s why these devices are not for long-range shooting. In this case, you need to visually fix the scale’s data by looking into the eyepiece. For this reason, errors are the norm.
Thus, not to lose with a high-quality product, it is necessary to know its technical characteristics. Since such devices in the price category vary in different ranges, make only reasonable purchases!
Primary Features of Amazing Rangefinders
As already noted, knowing the specific features of hunting rangefinders is a step on the way to a conscious purchase. If you take into account every option of the device, you may choose the best rangefinder.
1) Distance measurement
In the past, people did not use rangefinders for bow hunting since such equipment did not exist. Today, it is a great option for measuring the distance to the animal.
The first thing you need to know is the capability of a laser rangefinder to calculate distances from 1 to 1500 yards (unit of measurement). The hunter with a rifle may use a rangefinder that calculates distances up to 400 yards. If you are engaged in bow hunting, you will need a rangefinder that accurately calculates the distance to 1000 yards.
If you are a golf fan, a laser device will ensure hitting the target at shorter distances. By the way, do not forget that reaching a distance of 1500 yards is possible under ideal weather conditions. Otherwise, you risk not reaching the goal. Also, always check the product description and technical characteristics of the product. It is the case when the effectiveness of your hunting depends on the specifications of the equipment.
2) Magnification of an object at a distance
The second most significant point is the magnification of an object at a distance. Usually, many rangefinders, binoculars, and cameras have this function. Why is this feature so important? When an animal is in the forest at a long range, you need to understand where to shoot. With the naked eye, you will not see your target, and with this rangefinder function, you will cope with the task.
Indeed, laser rangefinders for bowhunting and shooting from long ranges with a hunting rifle are capable of 10x magnification. When choosing such equipment, pay attention to this characteristic.
3) Main modes in rangefinders
In addition to the above options, you need to understand the target and priority modes of rangefinders. For example, if you want to become a first-class hunter, you should choose a device with Second-priority Target modes. This option will allow you to shoot at a target from a long range and hit it, ignoring the objects that interfere with it ahead.
On the contrary, a golf lover would prefer a laser rangefinder with a First-Priority Target. Your tool will ignore all objects in the background. In this case, your shot will also be accurate and extremely sharp.
4) Angle range compensation
The angle range compensation function is essential when you want to hunt animals from a long range. The accuracy of hitting the animal and, to some extent, the speed of the shot depends on it.
The mechanism of operation of the rangefinder usually offers a straight line of distance to the animal. However, if your target is at an angle and far away, the gap between the line of sight and the horizontal distance becomes longer. In this regard, a tool with the angle compensation function has an essential role for hunters. This technology ensures the hit in the animal and helps to hunt down the target. You will return home after shooting with the loot. The angle range compensation is a great feature of these tools for bow hunting.
5) Adjustable reticle and display
What else should you consider when buying a rangefinder in a shop? Undoubtedly, it is the function of the aiming point and the display.
If you do not have an aiming point, it does not mean that you will not be able to hunt. You will also go hunting, shoot an animal and even be able to kill it. But, if you don’t want to hunt for prey for a long time, a reticle is what you need!
Moreover, most rangefinders have LCDs that turn the reticle into black lines. As practice shows, this display option is not suitable for hunters. People may not fire a shot accurately at the animal in low light. For this reason, you should choose a rangefinder with an adjustable reticle with LED light. They will help you in the dark, even if there is no lighting in the vicinity. In a situation with bright lighting, this version of the reticle will also not be effective.
Which version of the rangefinder is better? Indeed, the ideal variant is a rangefinder with a liquid crystal display and backlight. In low light or bright – it doesn’t matter. Such equipment will help you hit the wild animal from all angles and any range.
The so-called eye relief of the device is also a significant point. According to the standards and convenient use of the equipment, it is best to buy a device with an eye relief of about 15 mm to 17 mm.
6) Weight and size: good shooting
Let’s now look at other features of rangefinders that need to be taken into account when buying a device. Undoubtedly, such characteristics as angle compensation, red display, range measurement accuracy, the technology of different modes are paramount. However, you need to pay attention to other categories such as weight and size.
Most modern models have a small weight from 200 to 400 grams and compact dimensions (10×6 centimeters). It allows you to carry them in the pocket of a hunting jacket. However, in the product line, you can also find bulky devices equipped with large lenses.
7) Noise reduction and design
The best rangefinders always have an ergonomic design. Therefore, it is best to use equipment with a matte finish for hunting.
As for noise reduction, this function provides hunters with complete silence when shooting. Some manufacturers specifically for hunting produce models of rangefinders in a shock-resistant case with increased tightness. Such devices work even in difficult weather conditions: snow, rain, frost, fog. There are devices with a water-repellent coating of display and anti-fog lenses.
8) Speed measurement function and modes
As a rule, hunters need to know how fast an object is moving. When choosing a laser rangefinder for hunting, it is worth paying attention to the presence of a function for measuring the speed of movement of an object.
By the way, these tools have different additional modes:
- Rain mode
- Scan mode
- Reflection mode
For instance, the rain mode allows you to ignore small obstacles, such as rain or snow. The scan mode makes it possible to make continuous measurements of a moving object. Finally, the reflection option determines the distance to an object with a high-degree-reflective surface.
Here are the main characteristics of devices that you need to know before buying the tool. First, remember the main rule: you need to choose rangefinders for each type of activity (shooting with a gun, hunting with a bow, golf, and geodesy).
Now let’s look at some of the best rangefinders so that you may buy the perfect one in the shop!
The Best Rangefinders on the Market
Below is a detailed list of the best devices based on customer reviews and product descriptions. Read this list carefully to choose the best rangefinder.
This list opens with the most budget and, at the same time, popular rangefinder of the Bushnell Bone Collector series. If you are a hunter with a rifle or a crossbow, the Bushnell device is for you!
In general, the Bushnell collection is legendary, as there are many different models for any needs. Bushnell collections include a wide choice of models ranging in colors and sizes. This Bushnell model has an ergonomic camouflage design so that an animal does not see your device in the forest. It is a perfect variant if you want to be inconspicuous. Secondly, this Bushnell model has one control button and a liquid crystal display. The Bushnell Bone Collector device shows the distance in both yards and meters (a unit of measurement).
You may carry it in your pocket, so its weight is 2 oz. In general, here are its main characteristics:
- Plastic material
- Maximum distance up to 600 yards
- Aiming reticle
- High accuracy of hitting the target
This Bushnell model is the best rangefinder for long-range bow hunting. Plus, it has a low price (about $50).
Another model of the Bushnell series is the excellent Bushnell Scout DX 1000 ARC model. This Bushnell model is suitable for both bowhunting and hunting with a short-range rifle. Although this Bushnell model has a range of 1000 yards, it is not for shooting with a long-range rifle. The accuracy of hitting the target has an error of 5 yards, but it is not essential. By the way, this Bushnell rangefinder is for hunting in low light conditions.
What other functions does this Bushnell device have? First of all, it is waterproof. Second, Bushnell Scout DX also has excellent angle range compensation. Finally, you may also use the following technology: arc mode. At any time, Bushnell Scout DX will let you switch between the arc mode for the bow to the arc mode for rifles.
The price of the Bushnell model varies from $ 50 to $ 150. The bottom line is that Bushnell Scout DX is arguably the best rangefinder for hunting in the forest from 600 yards.
For lovers of golf and hunting, the best rangefinder is the premium TecTecTec model. The price range varies from 130 to 160 dollars. The main feature of this device is the continuous scanning mode, as well as PinSeeker technology. This technology is crucial for golf enthusiasts, as it measures overlapping objects on the course with high accuracy.
When buying this model, you will receive a premium-class bag to carry the rangefinder with you, a strap, a cleaning cloth, as well as an excellent accumulator.
Here are a couple more features that this rangefinder has:
- The maximum distance is 540 yards
- High accuracy
- 6X magnification
- Two-year warranty period
- The weight is 19 grams
It is the top pick for playing golf with friends or at competitions.
In addition to the Bushnell line, an excellent model for hunting with a bow is the Nikon Arrow ID 3000 rangefinder. A distinctive feature of such a device is the Tru-Target technology, which allows you to reconfigure the rangefinder if the animal is hidden behind other objects.
You may use First Target Priority Mode, point the angle at the target, and not a single bush will prevent you from shooting and hitting the animal. The second mode of this model is the Distance Target Priority Mode. This function is necessary if there are dense thickets and impenetrable forests around you.
As for the range, it is equal to 550 yards. Therefore, it is not ideal for hunting. In any case, despite this drawback, hunters often buy this model. The price of this rangefinder is no more than $ 160. By the way, this model is small, which will not create difficulties in carrying.
The Nikon product is a cult brand whose Nikon Monarch 3000 model breaks all records in the number of positive reviews. This rangefinder has incorporated many perfect features such as image stabilization technology, a proprietary identifier, and automatic adjustment of shooting angles. With this device, your hunt will be successful!
Unlike the Bushnell rangefinder, the Nikon model has an 8-second continuous measurement of several targets, and the maximum distance to them is about 3000 yards.
Here are the meaningful specs:
- 6X magnification
- Tru-Target Technology
- Red display with multiple brightness levels
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Solid coating
Perhaps the best rangefinder for bowhunting is a laser device manufactured by Beaspire 1100. If you prefer advanced technologies and strive to keep up with the times, you will need this model for hunting! This type, like many Bushnell models, has USB charging.
Why is this model so perfect? Indeed, this device is suitable for bow hunting and golf, urban activities, outdoor activities in the forest, measuring, and climbing. In general, everything that your heart desires. Thanks to its valuable properties, hunters cope with any prey in any weather.
The main features are the continuous scanning mode and the option of measuring distance and speed. However, the most significant thing is a powerful battery with convenient portable USB charging and high accuracy of hitting the object. In addition to this, it is necessary to highlight the waterproof material, high-temperature resistance, and energy saving.
Finally, the Vortex Optics rangefinder 1800 model completes the list of the best-advanced devices. It is a legendary brand that produces ideal rangefinder models with the main display with angle compensated distance. Thanks to the HCD mode, you may hunt at any and in any location. Besides, the continuous scanning function will allow you to quickly track a moving object (simple click on the control button).
Here are some useful options for this model:
- The maximum distance is 1800 yards
- Additional angle modes
- Solid, durable coating
- Affordable price
It is a small list of the best devices suitable for hunting, golf, and outdoor activities. Choose only the best rangefinder for hunting so as not to lose sight of large prey. After studying the list of technical characteristics, always check the devices for customer reviews.
To sum up, today, a rangefinder is an excellent tool for hunting, outdoor activities, and other activities. You may find such devices in every country without any difficulties by buying in a store or ordering online. When choosing the best tool, focus primarily on the technical description of the product, its properties, and positive feedback from customers.
As for the price category, rangefinders vary in cost in different ranges: the most expensive devices and the cheapest ones. So choose the most practical and high-quality model so that this device will last you a long time!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best cheap rangefinder?
The most budget-friendly best option for hunting is the Bushnell Bone Collector rangefinder. This Bushnell model has an excellent price (about $ 50), practical material, and useful characteristics. If you want to train the accuracy of hitting an object, the Bushnell device is for you. Despite even a small range (600 yards, it is a little unit), you will aim and hit the object.
Is a rangefinder worth it hunting?
Absolutely! Today, a rangefinder is an integral part of any hunting. Large companies such as Nikon and Bushnell daily produce advanced devices equipped with LCDs, a convenient control option, and a long-range. For instance, Bushnell is an inexpensive option for hunting with a rifle or bow, and Nikon is a premium line. In general, a rangefinder is necessary equipment that ensures success. Browse the reviews, and you will see for yourself.
How do I select a range finder?
To choose the perfect device, focus on its technical characteristics. The most important reference points should be the following: the maximum distance to the target, magnification, accuracy of targeting, the speed of measuring the range, the composition of the material, and more. Secondly, consider the specifics of your activity: it is better to use some devices for hunting, and for golf, for example, others.