If you're in the market for a new (or your first) rangefinder, let Step Outside be your guide.
By Trent Jonas
If there's one essential accessory every modern bowhunter should have, it's a rangefinder. Rangefinders help you accurately gauge the distance between yourself and your quarry, informing the adjustments needed to take your shot. Whether you're spending the early morning hours hunting turkey or searching for that buck you've been stalking for days, a state-of-the-art rangefinder will ensure that your arrows fly true. Here are a few of our favorites on the market.
The Nikon ProStaff 1000i is a 6x20 laser rangefinder that offers a ranging capability of up to 1,000 yards. Equipped with Nikon’s ID (incline/decline) technology, the ProStaff 1000i allows you to range actual distance, based on the angle of your shot, or the horizontal distance of your target, which can allow for more accurate targeting if you are shooting from a stand or aiming uphill. This rangefinder is compact and ergonomic, fitting comfortably and easily into one hand, but make no mistake: It’s powerful. The 6x optical system ensures that you can see a deer-sized target clearly at 600 yards and can range it from even greater distances—way more than enough range for any bowhunter.
Another awesome rangefinder for bowhunting enthusiasts is the Vortex Ranger 1800, especially for bowhunters who target quarry from longer ranges. The Ranger can laser range a highly reflective target at 1,800 yards—well over a mile. The effective range for a deer-sized target is 900 yards, which means the vast majority of bowhunters will always be able to see—and hit—their targets. The Ranger is compact and rugged, able to withstand and perform in the wettest conditions. Its LED screen is intuitive with three brightness settings and a red mode to preserve your vision in low light conditions. The Primary HCD (horizontal component distance) mode displays a distance reading that compensates for any angles.
The Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition is a 4x20 laser rangefinder that packs a lot of performance into a compact package—and with a wallet-friendly price point, it packs in a lot of value, as well. The Bone Collector’s single-touch action is fast and responsive. At the tap of a button, it will display a precise distance to your target, from 10 to 600 yards, with an accuracy rating of plus or minus one yard. The Bone Collector boasts a rainproof housing and top-notch optics with 4x magnification.
The Leupold RX-Fulldraw 3 is a rangefinder that is specifically targeted toward bowhunters. With lightning fast ranges, the Fulldraw 3 will display distances out to 1,300 yards that are accurate within half a yard. One particularly useful feature on the Fulldraw 3 is the Trophy Scale, so you can gauge your target’s size as you range it and before you decide whether to take the shot. This ergonomically-designed rangefinder is armor-coated and waterproof, so it can withstand even the toughest conditions, and offers 6x magnification. True Ballistic Range (TBR) technology compensates for incline while factoring in both your ballistics information and the distance to your target.
The Nikon Monarch 3000 is an image-stabilized laser rangefinder that boasts an effective range of 3,000 yards—almost two miles—on reflective targets. So, even if a target is out of your range, you’ll know how much distance you’ll have to cover before you can shoot. The Monarch 3000 is equipped with Nikon’s ID (incline/decline) technology to compensate for targeting angles, as well as a variable-intensity red OLED display to ensure that you find the right target/background contrast in just about any lighting condition.