Outdoor Optics Rangefinders

Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting : Expert Reviewed (2021)

Without a doubt, bow hunting is an amazing experience. It’s a sport that emulates the old-fashioned hunting techniques of our ancestors. It’s a way to bring food home and connect with nature. Without a doubt, there’s no better meat than the one you get from nature itself.

However, you need many years of practice to get better at bow hunting. So, if it’s your first time, many prey will escape until your arrows reach the first one. But there’s a practical way to get the accuracy of the most experienced hunters in a short term. All you need is a new rangefinder for bow hunting.

These devices can give you the exact distance to your prey, so you can stand on the right location for a perfect shot. They can help you correct your shooting angle to impact the right point.

Today, we’ll show you how to choose the best rangefinders for bow hunting. Here, you’ll find a top 10 list with a thorough buying guide.

Top-rated Rangefinders for Bow Hunting: Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
1stNikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser RangefinderNikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser RangefinderCheck Price
2ndTecTecTec ProWild Hunting RangefinderTecTecTec ProWild Hunting RangefinderCheck Price
3rdHalo Range Finder Hunting Laser Range FinderHalo Range Finder Hunting Laser Range FinderCheck Price
4thAOFAR HX-700N Hunting Range FinderAOFAR HX-700N Hunting Range FinderCheck Price
5thVortex Optics Ranger 1800 RangefinderVortex Optics Ranger 1800 RangefinderCheck Price
6thBushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone CollectorBushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone CollectorCheck Price
7thSimmons Hunting Laser RangefinderSimmons Hunting Laser RangefinderCheck Price
8thWosports Hunting Range FinderWosports Hunting Range FinderCheck Price
9thTACKLIFE Laser Range Finder MLR01TACKLIFE Laser Range Finder MLR01Check Price
10thGogogo Laser RangefinderGogogo Laser RangefinderCheck Price

Why Trust Us

At RangerExpert, we are one of the most reliable online hunting gear reviewers who share their decade-long hunting and shooting experiences out in the wild and warzones with the audience on the site. Our dynamic team of bowhunters, archery gear experts, gunsmiths, marksmen, adventurers and nature explorers use the website to reach out to the hunting communities making recommendations regarding the types of hunting gear to get.

Not only do we carry out extensive market research before finalizing our chosen list of products, but we also put them to test in order to discover their full potential under different situations. In our reviews, we use simple language to explain the technical details of the gear and gadgets so people from all knowledge levels can understand them.

Nonetheless, we strictly maintain the integrity of our research and stick to objectivity when detailing our findings. Our core mission is to share the most useful and authentic information with our readers, so they can make educated buying decisions.

Our Product Selection Process

Our selection process consisted of a series of online and offline research and testing. We sifted through hundreds of consumer reports, online forum discussions, and reviews made by genuine users of bow hunting rangefinders and made a shortlist of 22.

Once we’d managed the initially shortlisted models at our disposal, thanks to our volunteer team that helped us manage the rangefinder models, we put them to test. The volunteer group also helped our team in carrying out the tests that continued for more than seven days.

Our marksmen and archer experts closely examined each of the testing units. Our key focus area included the build quality, lens quality, range capacity, precision, ergonomics, design, performance in low light, adaptability with different bows, adjustability, and durability. Based on these points we were able to champion 10 models from the rest.

Even then our quest didn’t end. We reached out to the country’s celebrated marksmen, and toxophilites to have their insights into our list. They helped us learn more about these models and we followed their suggestion when ranking these rangefinders on our list. Finally, we set out to write full reviews on each of the final models reflecting all the insights and hands-on test data.

Why Use a Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

Without a doubt, rangefinders can help you become a more effective bow hunter, thanks to its advanced technology for measuring target distance. However, the benefits you get are more than you can imagine. Here’s a list with some of them:

  • Help you choose the perfect shooting position

Arrows have a shorter range than bullets. So, there’s a high chance of missing shots if you’re too far from your prey. Knowing the distance to your target will help you choose the right shooting position.

  • Protect you from being attacked by wild animals

Rangefinders let you watch your prey from a safe position. That way, there’s a lower chance of being detected or attacked by wild animals.

  • Make you a better shooter

The more accurate shots you make, the more self-confidence you’ll gain. With practice, you’ll be able to make effective shots without the help of a rangefinder.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Hunting Rangefinder

Even if you’ve the best rangefinder for bow hunting, it won’t work well until you know how to use it the right way.

  • Choose the right range

If you’re buying a rangefinder for the first time, make sure to choose the correct measurement range. The max range of your device should exceed the vision range of your prey and the max range of your projectiles.

  • Choose rangefinders with built-in illumination

If you intend to use your rangefinder for night hunting, always opt for LCD backlights. Using a hunting flashlight to improve your visibility isn’t a good idea because your prey could easily detect you and escape.

  • Clean your device frequently

Keeping your rangefinder clean will help extend its service life. Also, it will prevent scratches on the lenses.

Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting: Top 10 Reviews

1 Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

Nikon Aculon is one of the smallest rangefinders that you can currently find on the market. It’s lightweight and you can carry it inside your pocket. This device is easy to use and you just need to push a button to know the distance to your target. You can obtain measurements in real time during 20 seconds by holding down the button.

In order to reduce energy consumption, this rangefinder turns off after 8 seconds of no use. Nikon Aculon follows a protocol known as Distant Target Priority Mode. So, the rangefinder only measures the distance to the furthest target. That means the rangefinder will ignore any obstacle located in front of your target.

This device can deliver accurate readings in a range of 6-550 yards. With a 20-mm lens and 6X of magnification, Nikon Aculon can still give sharp images of distant targets. This rangefinder makes the aiming process a piece of cake, thanks to its 16.7 mm of eye relief. If you wear glasses, this is exactly what you need.

The matte-black finish of the external cover prevents light reflection. On the other hand, the multilayer coatings on the lenses help correct the image colors. So, you can be sure you’ll always get vivid and distortion-free images of your target.

One of the most likeable features of this gadget is its simple interface. Some rangefinders give unnecessary information that tends to interfere with your vision. However, Nikon Aculon just shows you what you really need to know. Distance, unit of measurement, target and irradiation marks and battery status.

Another feature that we like about Nikon Aculon is the automatic battery saving mode. You don’t need to push a button to turn off your rangefinder. And that’s a great solution for those users that always forget to turn off their devices after each use. Without a doubt, Nikon Aculon extends the service life of your batteries like no other.

Specifications

  • Size: 3.6X2.9X1.5 inches
  • Weight: 4.4 ounces (without battery)
  • Measuring range: 6-550 yards
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Waterproof
  • Uncluttered LCD display
  • Distant Target Priority Mode

Pros

  • Durable and resistant
  • Compact size
  • Easy to store
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Energy-efficient

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • It may deliver inaccurate measurements

Our Verdict

Nikon Aculon is our top pick for a number of reasons. It’s compact, lightweight and easy to use. It offers an uncluttered view through the lens, class 1 laser technology, and ergonomic design that feels premium in the hand. The design is compact, meaning you can keep it in the pocket and go anywhere anytime. This makes you use it even more during hunting sessions.

If your priorities match, this model would offer the best value. It extends the service life of your batteries. The images are so clear that you feel you’re in front of your target when you use it. Without a doubt, our favorite choice in this top 10 list.

2 TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

This device has a camouflage skin that will make you one with nature. Your prey will never notice your presence, giving you enough time to aim and shoot. The hard cover of this rangefinder is waterproof and dust-resistant. The surface doesn’t scratch easily, so sand and other abrasive particles will cause no damage.

This device has a maximum measuring range of 540 yards. It measures the speed of moving targets. All distance measurements are shown in intervals of 1 yard. If you’re more familiar with the MKS system, you can change the unit of measurement to meters. The interface is clean and easy to understand. Best of all, it doesn’t interfere with your vision.

TecTecTec ProWild only weighs 185 grams. You can carry it inside your pocket or hang it around your neck. This device has its own carrying pouch. But you’ll have to make an additional money investment to get it. The pouch includes wrist straps for a more comfortable carriage.

What we like the most about this product is its long-lasting warranty. If your rangefinder gets damaged before the first 2 years of use, you can get a new one at no cost. You’ll have to register the product online after your purchase to validate the warranty. In addition, the customer support for TecTecTec products is available 24/7.

Another thing that we like about the ProWild is that it includes batteries. Most rangefinders on the market don’t include them. So, you have to spend your valuable time trying to find the correct ones. We didn’t find angle compensation features in this model that usually comes with the ProWild S model.

The crystal clear image this device delivers totally justifies the money investment. Targets at 540 yards still look sharp and clear. The multicoated lenses prevent light loss, giving you high-quality images all the time.

Specifications

  • Size: 4.1X2.83X1.61 inches
  • Weight: 6.53 oz
  • Max range: 540 yards
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Waterproof
  • 2-Year warranty
  • 30-Day money back warranty

Pros

  • Batteries included
  • Durable and resistant
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • Digits on the interface may be difficult to read in low light
  • The lenses may fog in high humidity conditions

Our Verdict

Certainly, this rangefinder will blend quite well with your camouflage clothes. It’s durable and resistant to abrasion and high impacts. In addition, the ProWild is one of the few models with more than a year of warranty. Overall, under $100, this model is unbeatable.

3 Halo Range Finder Hunting Laser Range Finder

Halo Range Finder Hunting Laser Range Finder

Halo XL450 rangefinder has a modern and ergonomic design that fits the shape of your hand. Its rugged construction makes it resistant to the highest impacts. In addition, its external case is resistant to water and abrasion. You can use this device near lakes and rivers with total confidence. But it isn’t 100% waterproof.

Additionally, this device has 6X of magnification and a max range of 540 yards. You can vary the unit of measurement to meters with the push of a button. All distance measurements are shown in increments of 1 yard. This device has a twistable eyepiece to quickly adjust the focus.

This device has an automatic speed scan mode that lets you know the distance to multiple targets. This feature is quite useful when you intend to shoot different prey that are close to each other. For example, a flock of ducks.

Above all, what we like the most about this device is its modern design. You won’t find anything similar to this rangefinder on the market. The textured portions of the external case help to improve grip. So, if you have sweaty hands, you can be sure this device won’t accidently slip while you’re using it.

Contrary to other devices, this one can calculate the incline and decline angle. So, you can attach it to your bow to correct the angle of your shots. This feature may be a great advantage when you’re aiming from a high ground.

Specifications

  • Size: 4X2.5X1.5 inches
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Max range: 540 yards
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Water resistant

Pros

  • Modern design
  • Ergonomic
  • Superior grip
  • High accuracy
  • Durable and resistant
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not 100% waterproof
  • Digits on the interface may be difficult to read in low light

Our Verdict

The modern design and simplicity of the Halo XL450 make it one of the best rangefinders for bow hunting. This is much more than a regular archery rangefinder. It can measure the incline and decline angle of your shots. So, if you want to improve your accuracy as a bowhunter, this is what you need.

4 AOFAR HX-700N Hunting Range Finder

AOFAR HX-700N Hunting Range Finder

AOFAR HX-700N is a bit bulkier than the first three models on this list. But this rangefinder is much more powerful. It has a max range of 700 yards. So, you can watch your prey from a longer and safer distance. The camouflage skin of this device blends with the colors and textures of the hunting ground. So, prey won’t notice your presence at a short distance.

In addition, AOFAR HX-700N has four different operation modes: range, fog, scan and speed. The range mode is perfect for bow hunting. It gives accurate distance readings to static targets. The fog mode improves accuracy in low light conditions and foggy environments. The scan mode gives you the distance to multiple targets crossed in your vision range. The speed mode calculates speed of moving targets in real time.

This rangefinder automatically turns off after 8 seconds of no use. This feature can extend the useful life of your batteries for more than 1 year. That means you won’t need to spend money on new batteries as frequently as with other rangefinders.

We highly recommend this product to duck hunters, who have to remain for hours in ponds. The AOFAR HX-700N is 100% waterproof and anti-fog. You can submerge it in water for several minutes and nothing bad will happen.

We like the AOFAR HX-700N because of its many extra accessories. With the purchase of this rangefinder, you get:

  • Carrying case
  • Lanyard
  • Carabiner
  • Cleaning cloth
  • User manual
  • CR2 battery
  • This rangefinder is a combo with all the elements that any bowhunter requires.

Specifications

  • Size: 4.33X2.95X1.77 inches
  • Weight: 6.35 oz
  • Max range: 700 yards
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Waterproof
  • 2-Year warranty

Pros

  • Superior measurement range
  • Rugged construction
  • Durable and resistant
  • Long lasting warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • The digits look so dim when battery power is low
  • Targets at distances longer than 500 yards may look too blurry

Our Verdict

By far, this is one of the most powerful rangefinders on our list though the optic system isn’t the best of all. This device is quite durable and can withstand years of harsh use without trouble.

5 Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Rangefinder

Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 Rangefinder

The Ranger 1800 has a max measurement range of 1800 yards. So, it’s perfect for both bow hunting and rifle shooting. This device has three basic operation modes: HCD, LOS and Scan. HCD is the measurement mode by defect. On HCD mode, the rangefinder displays the value of the horizontal component of your line of sight.

The LOS mode is more suitable for rifle shooting. In this mode, the rangefinder displays the value of your line of sight without correction. Then, you can compare it with the compensated distance calculated by a ballistic app. That way, you can know if the projectiles you’re using are able to hit the target.

The Scan mode gives you the distance to a moving object in real time. If the target changes its direction, you’ll see how the distance changes on the display. When the Scan mode is activated, you can see a small “S” blinking on the display.

In addition, the Ranger 1800 has three light settings to adjust the brightness of the digits. So, you can set the minimum brightness level during the day to save battery power. Then, you can set the max brightness level at night to clearly see the digits.

We highly recommend this device for expert rifle shooters and bowhunters. If you like to make calculations to improve the accuracy of your shots, this is what you need. The superior accuracy of this device is the main reason why we include it in this list.

We like the Ranger 1800 because it’s so easy to carry. The utility clip lets you attach your device outside your pockets. You can carry it around your neck using the included neck lanyard. The Ranger 1800 is lightweight. So, you’ll barely notice you’re carrying it with you.

Specifications

  • Max range: 1800 yards
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Objective lens: 22 mm
  • Yardage accuracy: +-3 yards (after 1000 yards)
  • Waterproof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Customizable brightness level

Pros

  • Superior measurement range
  • Ideal for expert users
  • Lightweight
  • Durable and resistant
  • Easy to use
  • It helps you improve your accuracy as a shooter

Cons

  • The digits may be difficult to read in low light conditions
  • Distance measurements may lose accuracy after 500 yards

Our Verdict

Vortex Optics Ranger 1800 is specially designed for expert users. It gives you accurate measurements of your line of sight. With this value, you can determine if your projectiles are able to impact the target. That way, you can know if you need to get closer to your target or not.

6 Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector

Bushnell Laser Rangefinder Bone Collector

Bushnell Bone Collector gives you sharp, HD-quality images at a maximum range of 600 yards. It’s sturdy and made with the best materials to guarantee a long-lasting service life. The camouflage skin of this rangefinder will make you imperceptible to your prey. With the help of this device and the right camouflage, you’ll become an invisible killing machine.

The 21-mm objective lens provides 4X of magnification, enough for aiming at a deer’s heart 500 yards away. The external case of this device is 100% waterproof. So, you can be sure it will suffer no damage if you accidentally drop it on a lake or river. The case is thick enough to protect the internal components from high impacts.

Bushnell Bone Collector has multi-coated lenses to prevent light loss and correct colors. So, every time you look through the lens, you get the most accurate and distortion-free images. You’ll feel like you’re looking at your prey with bare eyes from a few centimeters of distance.

Above all, what makes the Bone Collector so desirable is its superior accuracy. The results are quite consistent. To prove it, you can make several distance measurements on a single static target. All the results will be exactly the same.

Another valid reason to choose the Bushnell Bone Collector is its simplicity. The display only shows the required information. No menus and no additional functions. Bushnell keeps things simple to please its customers. That kind of simplicity is what you need on the hunting ground to aim faster and make an accurate shot.

Specifications

  • Size: 3X5X5.5 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 oz
  • Max range: 600 yards
  • Magnification: 4X
  • Objective lens: 21 mm
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Waterproof

Pros

  • Superior accuracy
  • Easy to use
  • Simple interface
  • Durable and resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry
  • Compact

Cons

  • Distance measurements may lose accuracy after 200 yards
  • The digits may be difficult to read in low light conditions

Our Verdict

Bushnell Bone Collector is certainly one of the most accurate picks on our list. It is a cheap option for many who are looking for an affordable or a low cost rangefinder with excellent accuracy. It may have accuracy problems after 200 yards though this small defect is nothing compared to all the benefits you get. Definitely, a highly recommended option for buyers on a budget.

7  Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder

Simmons Hunting Laser Rangefinder

Bushnell Bone Collector gives you sharp, HD-quality images at a maximum range of 600 yards. It’s sturdy and made with the best materials to guarantee a long-lasting service life. The camouflage skin of this rangefinder will make you imperceptible to your prey. With the help of this device and the right camouflage, you’ll become an invisible killing machine.

The 21-mm objective lens provides 4X of magnification, enough for aiming at a deer’s heart 500 yards away. The external case of this device is 100% waterproof. So, you can be sure it will suffer no damage if you accidentally drop it on a lake or river. The case is thick enough to protect the internal components from high impacts.

Bushnell Bone Collector has multi-coated lenses to prevent light loss and correct colors. So, every time you look through the lens, you get the most accurate and distortion-free images. You’ll feel like you’re looking at your prey with bare eyes from a few centimeters of distance.

Above all, what makes the Bone Collector so desirable is its superior accuracy. The results are quite consistent. To prove it, you can make several distance measurements on a single static target. All the results will be exactly the same.

Another valid reason to choose the Bushnell Bone Collector is its simplicity. The display only shows the required information. No menus and no additional functions. Bushnell keeps things simple to please its customers. That kind of simplicity is what you need on the hunting ground to aim faster and make an accurate shot.

Specifications

  • Max range: 625 yards
  • Magnification: 4X
  • Objective lens: 20 mm
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Water resistant
  • Rubber-coated case

Pros

  • Superior accuracy in open areas
  • Durable and resistant
  • Rugged constructions
  • Aluminum structure
  • Compact
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not 100% waterproof
  • The device loses accuracy when your line of sight isn’t clear

Our Verdict

Simmons Venture is another excellent choice for professional bowhunters and crossbow hunters. If you have a clear sight of your prey, this unit is 100% trustworthy. The digits may be difficult to read in low light conditions. The price isn’t that high for the level of performance it offers. However, you just need to aim at a high contrast area to solve that problem.

8 Wosports Hunting Range Finder

Wosports Hunting Range Finder

Wosports rangefinder is sturdy, ergonomic and easy to use. It has a camouflage skin so your preys can’t easily detect you. It has a maximum measurement range of 700 yards for static targets. Additionally, it works as a golf rangefinder, giving you the distance to any flag up to 150 yards away.

This device has a Scan mode that gives you yardages to multiple targets in real time. You just need to hold down the Power and Start buttons to activate the scan. In addition, the Wosports rangefinder is able to determine the speed of a moving target. This feature may be quite useful for fans of racing sports.

This device gives you accurate measurements when light conditions are 100% optimal. In case of rain or foggy weather, measurement errors may occur. For this reason, it isn’t recommended for humid areas.

This unit has a 25-mm objective lens that gives you up to 6X of magnification. Targets at 700 yards look amazingly sharp and clear. The multicoated lenses are good at preventing image distortion at long distances.

We like this device because it’s so easy to use. You can control all the main functions with just two buttons. However, the lack of accuracy in foggy weather explains why we don’t include it among our top five picks.

Specifications

  • Size: 1.97X0.79X1.57 inches
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
  • Max range: 700 yards
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Objective lens: 25 mm
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry
  • Eye-catching design
  • Durable and resistant
  • Simple interface
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • It may lose accuracy in foggy weather
  • Not 100% waterproof

Our Verdict

If climate conditions are ideal, this rangefinder will give you incredibly accurate readings. In terms of usability, this rangefinder is a no-brainer. Without a doubt, an excellent choice for bowhunters looking for simplicity and precision.

9 TACKLIFE Laser Range Finder MLR01

TACKLIFE Laser Range Finder MLR01

TACKLIFE MLR01 delivers HD images at a maximum range of 900 yards. It has 7X of magnification, so you can see even the smallest details of your target. The multicoated lenses prevent light loss and correct the colors.

This rangefinder has four operation modes. It’s capable of measuring linear and horizontal distance, height and speed. This unit can measure distance and height in yards and meters. With the push of a button, you can instantly change the unit of measurement.

On the base of the external case, there’s a ¼-inch screw hole so you can attach your device to a tripod. The stable support of the tripod eliminates error, giving you more accurate readings. This device includes a wrist strap, carrying case and user manual. Compared to others, this rangefinder gives more for less money.

What we love about this device is its USB charging system. You don’t need to replace the battery each year as with most rangefinders. That means you can save some extra money to invest in other things. In addition, the rechargeable lithium battery is covered by a 2-year warranty. So, you can get a new one for free while the warranty is still valid.

Specifications

  • Weight: 24 ounces (including battery)
  • Max range: 900 yards
  • Yardage accuracy: +-1 yard
  • Speed accuracy: +-5 km/h
  • Angle accuracy: +- 1 degree
  • Water resistant

Pros

  • Durable and resistant
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Superior accuracy even at long range
  • Compact
  • Rugged construction

Cons

  • Too heavy
  • Not 100% waterproof

Our Verdict

If you don’t want to spend too much money on new batteries, this is definitively what you need. TACKLIFE MLR01 has a rechargeable battery that can give you up to 3000 readings with a single charge. Unfortunately, the battery makes the MLR01 heavier than regular rangefinders. You can also use it for hunting with rifles. Overall, this model is a good value for money and our tests reconfirm that.

10 Gogogo Laser Rangefinder

Gogogo Laser Rangefinder

Gogogo Pro-GS24 is specially designed for golfers and bow hunters. It has some additional features that you won’t find on most rangefinders and hunters with compound bows. The flagpole-locking makes the rangefinder to vibrate when you aim at a flagpole. However, this function has a maximum range of 150 yards.

But you can aim at a flag up to 250 yards away and get accurate readings. This device has a maximum measurement range of 650 yards. It has a scan mode that gives you continuous readings in real time. The 25-mm objective lens provides 6X of magnification.

The Pro-GS24 measures speed and calculates the angle range compensation. These features make it one of the best rangefinders for sports lovers. It can also be a useful tool in the hands of any experienced bow hunter.

What we like most about this top-rated hunting rangefinder for sale is its design. The external case emulates the colors and textures of a golf ball. Unfortunately, the white external case doesn’t disguise spots as well as dark cases. So, you have to clean the surface frequently to keep your rangefinder looking like new.

We like this product because it offers 1 year of warranty and a 30-day money back warranty. So, if you’re not satisfied with the performance, you can return the rangefinder and get your money back.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 4.17X1.57X2.83 inches
  • Weight: 6.49 ounces
  • Max range: 650 yards
  • Objective lens: 25 mm
  • Distance measuring accuracy: +-1 m
  • Water resistant

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Ergonomic
  • Easy to use
  • Superior accuracy
  • Compact
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Prone to spots
  • Not 100% accurate

Our Verdict

If golf and bow hunting are your biggest passions, this rangefinder is made for you. It’s ergonomic, elegant and eye-catching. It detects flagpoles with superior accuracy and always gives you accurate results. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for the money.

Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting: Buying Guide

Rangefinders are generally bow mounted and offer precise distance readings for effective and efficient hunting, golfing and target shooting. These devices use DMC (digital magnetic compass) and inclinometers for accuracy. Laser rangefinders use 3D object modelling and 3-D object recognition technologies for greater accuracy.

Advanced models can be game changers if you can choose the right one for your bow. In terms of budget, you can always go for the inexpensive models, in that case you’d have to compromise on build quality and weather sealing options. Let’s discuss some key points that you need to focus before getting one.

1. Priority mode

The priority mode indicates the treatment the rangefinder gives to the target. In general, there are two main priority modes:

  • First priority
  • Second priority

First priority rangefinders measure the distance to the first object the laser impacts. They are quite useful in open areas, where there are no obstacles between you and your target. These devices are commonly used in golf courts, to measure the distance to the nearest flag.

For example, if the laser pierces the flag and hits a tree just behind, the distance to the flag is displayed. So, first-priority rangefinders help measure the yardage to translucent targets.

Second-priority rangefinders work the opposite way, measuring the distance to the furthest object. They’re great for hunting in wooded areas. In this case, leaves and tree branches may cross the laser path, causing errors. These devices will ignore those small obstacles.

2. Maximum range

So, what is the best rangefinder for bow hunting in terms of range? The maximum range is the longest distance that your rangefinder can measure. Choosing the right measurement range depends on many factors. The first one is the range of your projectiles.

For example, if the max range of your arrows is 60-30 yards, you need a rangefinder with a superior range. Before making any decision, you should consider the vision range of your prey.

Fortunately, deer have a poor vision during the day. So, you don’t need to be too far from a deer to go unnoticed. However, at night, deer’s vision is 50 times better than human vision. In that case, you’ll need a rangefinder with a longer range.

But if the prey has fast reflex and it’s potentially dangerous, the max range should be far superior. That way, you can watch your prey from a safe position.

Usually, most rangefinders on the market aren’t able to detect targets at the maximum range. Things like rain, heat waves and pollution may considerably decrease the laser range.

3. Reticle style

The reticle of your rangefinder is that small mark in the middle of the display that you use to aim at your target. It may have different shapes. It may be a cross, point, square or small circle. In most cases, reticles are black. They’re quite visible during the day, but difficult to see at night.

So, black reticles aren’t great for night hunting and you need LED reticles. LED reticles let you vary the brightness level in different light conditions. They’re much better than black reticles in many ways. When sun rays hit the objective lens, LED reticles are almost impossible to see.

If you don’t want to have these kinds of troubles, a rangefinder with backlights is the ultimate solution. These units have a black reticle that is clearly visible during night. Then, when natural light starts to fade, you can turn on the LED backlights.

Other Notable Brands

In the following section, we’ll be listing a number of other reputable brands and their popular rangefinder models:

Leupold (RX-1600i with Red OLED Display), SIG SAUER (KILO 2000), Enegitech, Anyork, Uineye, Tasco, DONZY, TIDEWE, WYXR, FitSand, Slicker, Petitwing, Huichen, METTE, FLBTY, PEAKPULSE, ElephantNum, AILEMON, Amadon, Ade Advanced Optics, IQ, Horn Hunter, MA3TY, Beaspire, ZTYD, NuTech, CREATIVE XP, Blue Tees, Minikuza, AIPACECAT, Bresser, Saybien, WSMLA, Gosky, HGFDSA, RINKMO, INLIFE, Redfield, VIVREAL, BIJIA, DGG, ATN, SYILIN, Muddy, MiLESEEY, DEAD-ON, OUBEL , REVASRI, LaserWorks, WAKYME, GolfBuddy, PROSTAFF, MOESAPU, Visionking, Garmin, DEKO, and SVBONY.

Storage & Maintenance Tips

In order to keep you rangefinder as new, you need to have a regular maintenance routine. Here are some useful tips:

  • Use a small microfiber cloth to remove the dust and other abrasive particles from the lenses. If you let dust to accumulate, it may get into your eye when the wind blows.
  • Dip a q-tip in alcohol to clean all those difficult corners where gunk may accumulate. For example, the round corners around the lenses.
  • Use a microfiber cloth damped in alcohol to clean the external surface. Don’t use water, because it may rust the surface.
  • Replace the battery when the power indicator starts to blink. If you wait too much, the battery may explode and spill acid inside your device.
  • Keep your rangefinder stored in closed and dry space. Don’t submerge your device in the water for a long time. Especially if it isn’t 100% waterproof.

A Word from RangerExpert

As you can see, choosing the best rangefinders for bow hunting isn’t as easy as it seems. There are many things you need to consider in order to make a good decision. For example, you need to consider the use you’re going to give to your unit. That way, you can decide if you need a first-priority or second-priority device.

On the other hand, you have to choose the right measurement range. Usually, rangefinders with the longest ranges are the most expensive ones. So, you have to choose carefully if you’re on a budget.

FAQs

1. What is the meaning of Reflective Target?

Ans. A reflective target is any kind of surface capable of reflecting light.

2. Are rangefinders the same as RF binoculars?

Ans. No. Although both devices have the same purpose, they’re different. For example, a rangefinder has a single barrel. On the other hand, RF binoculars have two. In addition, RF binoculars usually have a greater light gathering and magnification.

3. Can laser rangefinders affect your health?

Ans. Yes. If the laser beam is focused directly to the eye, it can cause temporary blindness.

4. How do laser rangefinders really work?

Ans. The functioning of laser rangefinders is quite simple. When you push the action button, you shoot a laser beam to the target. Part of the laser beam bounces on the target and comes back to the rangefinder. When this happens, the device determines the delay time. Then, it calculates the distance, considering the speed of light is always a constant.

5. What are the differences between hunting rangefinders and golf rangefinders?

Ans. Golf rangefinders are first-priority devices. On the other hand, hunting rangefinders are second-priority units.

6. Are golf GPS and rangefinders different?

Ans. Yes, there surely are differences. A golf GPS unit provides the yardage to the front, middle and back areas of a golf course. On the other hand, a rangefinder provides the distance to a certain target.

7. Do rangefinders have magnification?

Ans. Yes. Usually, rangefinders have a magnification range of 4X-7X.

8. Is it possible to use an iPhone as a rangefinder?

Ans. Yes. Apps like Red Dot Camera can turn your iPhone into a rangefinder.

9. Can you use a hunting rangefinder for golf?

Ans. Yes. However, you may have trouble trying to aim at a flag or any other translucent target.

10. What is the best rangefinder for the money?

Ans: Check out the top model on our list–Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11. Our research and testing cemented its position on the top as it offers a superior value for how much it costs.

About the author

Carolina Pina

A Passionate Toxophilite

Carolina believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature. She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

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