Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting in 2019 Review

Is a rangefinder a part of your everyday hunting equipment? Probably not! Nevertheless, it is handy to keep one in your gear, especially because it will look odd holding a measuring tape in your hands in the forest.

There are dozens of brands out there, each promising the best rangefinder for bow hunting. The fact is it can be difficult to choose the right one without paying a higher price.

What you need is the most suitable rangefinder for your particular needs. Without the knowledge of important criteria for choosing a good rangefinder, you may end up buying one you don’t necessarily need.

So, how to choose the best rangefinder for bow hunting? This is exactly what you will learn in our following expert review. You will find the information about key features, top products from popular brands, and answers on the most common questions about a rangefinder for bow hunting.

What is the best rangefinder for bow hunting?

When looking for a rangefinder for bow hunting, keep several points in mind including its type, range, magnification, display, etc. Our experts have performed thorough research of various top hunting rangefinders and have created a short buyer’s guide to help you.

Among other things, we would like to provide you with a buyer’s guide and comparison of the best rangefinder for long range shooting. This guide will help you understand the different features of the best hunting rangefinder so you can make a purchasing decision.

How to choose the best hunting rangefinder for the money?

It’s better if the customer knows which features to look for before choosing the right product. We have listed the most important features of the best hunting rangefinder below.

Types of Rangefinder

Depending on your budget and scope, you can choose between three available rangefinders.

– Laser: This device uses a pointed laser to measure distances accurately. Hunters prefer a laser range finder over the other types because of its incredible accuracy. These are easy to use and display results quickly on a built-in screen.

All modern measuring devices work with lasers these days. They are also cheaper than the other types.

– Optical: It uses principles of optics with the operator handling lenses to measure distances. The alignment of the lenses or prisms may require some practice and is time-consuming. Although an optical rangefinder is the least expensive out of all the types, it is not recommended to be used in the field.

– Ultrasonic: These devices use sound waves to measure distances accurately. However, they are not useful for hunting as other sounds in the forest can interfere and give incorrect readings.

Range

The range of the device is one of the most important criteria in addition to countless calculation options. With most laser devices from reputable suppliers, you can almost always assume the measurements are reliable. Low-cost rangefinders can determine distance up to 100 yards accurately.

If you are a long-range shooter, you need long range rangefinder equipped with powerful technology. Consider buying the best long distance rangefinder with at least a 1000 yard range. This long-range also affects the price.

For bowhunters, the maximum required range to work with is 250 yards.

Weight  

For beginners, we recommend a lightweight rangefinder and a compact design. Sometimes a hunter needs a tripod to fix the scope.

Choose only the best lightweight hunting tripod which you can carry easily. Your spotting scope should be lightweight otherwise the tripod will lose its balance every now and then.

You need a lightweight spotting scope tripod made of carbon fiber. This material is lighter than the standard aluminum or steel. It also offers higher durability than other metal tripods.

Angle Compensation

For most targets within 200 yards, you don’t have to bother with inclination. However, for longer range targets, studying angle compensation becomes extremely important. Earlier, bow hunters would use complicated mathematical calculations to determine the angle at which they shoot. These days, you can use a rangefinder with angle compensation that generates results within milliseconds.

Using the slope mode, your rangefinder automatically calculates the range with angle compensation based on the distance and angle of inclination set by the built-in inclinometer. Note that different manufacturers may call this feature with different patented names.

Magnification

Most bowhunters find rangefinder magnification useful, especially during daylight. It allows you to spot the difference between two distant objects which may appear together. It can also help in sighting hanging branches between you and your target. Magnification will add to the cost of the rangefinder.

Usually, a 6x – 8x compound bow scope magnification is more than enough.

Mode

Use different ranging modes on your rangefinder to improve the accuracy of distant measurements. There are three modes you should look for in particular. The Scan Mode is most important and convenient as it scans a moving target and gives a continuous reading of its range. Avoid purchasing rangefinders that lack a scanning ability.

The other two are Bulls-eye and Brush modes, which help focus on close and farther objects respectively. While using tripods for hunting, you can easily set the focus with your rangefinder on one of these two modes.

Display

The display you need in a rangefinder depends on whether you want to hunt in the day or night. A rangefinder with a black reticle is suitable for hunting in daylight with an LCD display mode.

Rangefinders with a red display are used for hunting in dim light and use LED screens. The red LED display costs higher than others.

The screen should display readings clearly but remember a brighter font will interfere with your line of sight.

Size and Design

As a bow hunter, you and a tree stand have a special relation. When you need to climb up to the tree stand, the last thing you want is excessive weight. Most rangefinders are designed to be compact, so you can quickly fit one in your backpack. The lenses and battery used with the device make it heavier. However, avoid an overly compact device which is difficult to operate the controls.

You can tuck most rangefinders in your hunting jacket easily. You have to replace the battery, not more than once a year.

Durability

Cheaper products are not made of quality materials, so expect to compromise with reliability and durability. A rubber coating around the device is ideal so it does not slip out of your hand. The rubber coating will protect the device from basic wear and tear in bad weather.

A professional rangefinder is completely waterproof and dustproof. However, to save money, you can buy a splash resistant rangefinder.

Also look for the manufacturer’s warranty for your product. Most popular brands offer a multi-year warranty like the Bushnell rangefinder warranty of 2 years.

Budget

Depending on the rangefinder you want to work with, the devices cost differently. In particular, most devices range between $100 and $1000. You can get a cheap laser range finder for as low as $50, but it is not recommended if you are serious about your hunting game. Any best cheap hunting rangefinder will cost higher with higher magnification. Expect a higher price for devices with ranges longer than 1000 yards.

Top 7 Rangefinder for Bow Hunting – Reviews

Though not everyone may use them, there’s no denying that rangefinders are useful in precisely measuring your target’s distance, so you need the best rangefinder for bow hunting to do so. To help you find that high-quality product, we came up with reviews of seven top-rated rangefinders that will surely help you on your next hunting trip.

Type 

Range Angle Compensation Mode Display Durable

Size & Weight

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

Laser

10-540yds None Continuous scan LCD/Black Rainproof

104x72x41mm & 0.41lbs

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder

Laser

6-550yds None Distant Target Priority LCD/Black Rainproof

91.4×73.7×38.1mm & 0.28lbs

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder

Laser

10-600yds None Single-button LCD/Black Weather-resistant housing

76.2x127x139.7mm & 0.48lbs

Bushnell 202442 Laser Rangefinder

Laser

7-850yds ARC up to 199yds Bow Mode LCD/Black Rainproof

35.6×96.5×73.7mm & 0.37lbs

Halo XL450-7 Hunting Rangefinder

Laser

3-450yds AI Technology Scan LCD/Black Rainproof and water-resistant

101.6×63.5×38.1mm & 0.6lbs

Bushnell Scout DX Laser Rangefinder

Laser

5-1000yds ARC Bow and ARC Rifle VSI Bullseye, Brush, and Scan LCD Waterproof

33×101.6×73.7 & 0.41lbs

Bushnell G-Force DX ARC Laser Rangefinder

Laser

5-1300yds ARC Bow and ARC Rifle VSI LED Red Rubber-armored metal housing

33×101.6×73.7mm & 0.5lbs

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder – Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder is a laser optical rangefinder that uses multilayer optics that are easy to read. The lens display shows distance as well as the battery meter and a continuous measurement mode. For easy carrying, it’s compact, fits in your pocket, and is designed water and dust resistant in addition to coming equipped with a pouch.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 10-540yds
  • Angle Compensation: None
  • Mode: Continuous scan
  • Display: LCD/Black
  • Durable: Rainproof
  • Size & Weight: 104x72x41mm & 0.41lbs

This laser rangefinder can measure up to 540yds out using continuous scanning, offering fast measurements at +/- 1yd accuracy, and it’s lightweight for portability.

Pros

  • Good accuracy
  • Compact
  • Water and mud resistant body

Cons

  • Could do with more eye relief
  • No backlight display
  • Hard to determine the laser dot location

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder is an accurate, compact laser rangefinder that holds well against weather and offers a continuous scan mode for quicker measurements.

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder – Nikon Archery Rangefinder

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder is another quality portable rangefinder you can take anywhere thanks to its ultra-compact frame. To help with light transmittance, it hasa  multilayer coating, which also minimizes the chance of losing light due to reflection. It has a high-eyepoint design for a clearer field of view, providing good eye relief for those who need it.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 6-550yds
  • Angle Compensation: None
  • Mode: Distant Target Priority
  • Display: LCD/Black
  • Durable: Rainproof
  • Size & Weight: 91.4×73.7×38.1mm & 0.28lbs

This features a laser design and it’s compact and lightweight enough to rival most Smartphones in addition to being resistant against rain.

Pros

  • Clear in low light
  • Ultra-compact
  • Good eye relief

Cons

  • Can be tough to hold steady
  • Display auto shuts off fast
  • Hard to lock in on small targets

Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder offers quality eye relief and a clear view of sight even in low light situations, all packaged in an ultra-compact frame.

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder – Best Rangefinder for Archery Hunting

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder is a basic, entry-level handheld laser rangefinder. It’s remarkably easy to use thanks to its single-button operation. With a vertical design, it tends to be simpler to carry as well. Also, it’s made in a weather-resistant housing and includes a case for extra protection.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 10-600yds
  • Angle Compensation: None
  • Mode: Single-button
  • Display: LCD/Black
  • Durable: Weather-resistant housing
  • Size & Weight: 76.2x127x139.7mm & 0.48lbs

In a laser design, this features a standard yet clear LCD screen, a simple single-button operation, and built in a weather-resistant housing to stand up against light rain.

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Clear glass

Cons

  • No eye relief
  • Hard to see in low light
  • Only best at close range

Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder is simple to carry and use for entry-level users in addition to offering fast measurements.

Bushnell 202442 Laser Rangefinder – Best Hunting Rangefinder with Angle Compensation

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, yet a quality product, the Bushnell 202442 Laser Rangefinder is the best rangefinder under 150 dollars. Not only does it feature ARC technology with Bow Mode, but it also offers ClearShot technology. This takes away the guesswork, the risk of hitting obstructions such as branches and allows you to calibrate it to correspond with the speed of your bow.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 7-850yds
  • Angle Compensation: ARC up to 199yds
  • Mode: Bow Mode
  • Display: LCD/Black
  • Durable: Rainproof
  • Size & Weight: 35.6×96.5×73.7mm & 0.37lbs

This utilizes a unique ARC feature to compensate angle as well as a Bow Mode to provide true horizontal distance, and it offers average protection against light rain.

Pros

  • ClearShot technology
  • Quick and accurate readings
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Needs to be brighter
  • Can work intermittently at times
  • Some quality control problems

Bushnell 202442 Laser Rangefinder provides ClearShot and ARC technology for easier, accurate targeting.

Halo XL450-7 Hunting Rangefinder – Best Bow Hunting Rangefinder

Halo XL450-7 Hunting Rangefinder is among the top of its class when it comes to bow hunting rangefinders. It’s powered by Opti-Logic Technology for precise, fast readings. With that, this has an ergonomic design and rubber grip points for easy handling, adjustable eye relief, and a water-resistant body.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 3-450yds
  • Angle Compensation: AI Technology
  • Mode: Scan
  • Display: LCD/Black
  • Durable: Rainproof and water-resistant
  • Size & Weight: 101.6×63.5×38.1mm & 0.6lbs

Using AI Technology, this compensates for an upward or downward slope, while it’s scan mode offers constant ranging abilities.

Pros

  • Good eye relief
  • Easy to hold
  • Fast readouts

Cons

  • Aiming box can be hard to see
  • Difficulty reading display at times
  • Material feels low-quality

Halo XL450-7 Hunting Rangefinder has quality angle compensation, an ergonomic design, and precise readouts with Opti-Logic Technology.

Bushnell Scout DX Laser Rangefinder – Best Hunting Rangefinder

Bushnell Scout DX Laser Rangefinder is one of the best rangefinders at 1000 meters that you can find. Not only does it feature multiple distance modes, but it also has a built-in inclinometer to determine ARC for both bow and rifle usage. There’s a diopter adjustment as well that helps provide crystal clear viewing, and with a waterproof design, it’s intended to hold up against harsh conditions.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 5-1000yds
  • Angle Compensation: ARC Bow and ARC Rifle
  • Mode: VSI Bullseye, Brush, and Scan
  • Display: LCD
  • Durable: Waterproof
  • Size & Weight: 33×101.6×73.7 & 0.41lbs

This features multiple distance modes, compatibility for either bow or rifle hunting, and a fully waterproof design.

Pros

  • Fully waterproof
  • Various distant modes
  • Ideal optical clarity

Cons

  • Poorly designed lanyard
  • Can be tough to read
  • Could perform better in low light

Bushnell Scout DX Laser Rangefinder offers a variety in terms of distant modes and use for bow or rifle hunting as well as 100% waterproof construction.

Bushnell G-Force DX ARC Laser Rangefinder – Best Archery Rangefinder

Bushnell G-Force DX ARC Laser Rangefinder is another quality 1000yd plus rangefinder that offers clear 6x magnification. There’s no worry about having fogged up lenses, and it’s protected against water as well. It reads out red, ideal for low light hours, and as a rangefinder with ARC, it is used in bow or rifle modes.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Type (laser, optical): Laser
  • Range: 5-1300yds
  • Angle Compensation: ARC Bow and ARC Rifle
  • Mode: VSI
  • Display: LED Red
  • Durable: Rubber-armored metal housing
  • Size & Weight: 33×101.6×73.7mm & 0.5lbs

Featuring rugged construction, this is also waterproof and fog-proof, designed with bow and rifle modes, and features readings illuminated in red.

Pros

  • Rifle and bow modes
  • Great for low light use
  • High-quality durability

Cons

  • Display could be brighter
  • Potential for quality control issues
  • Optics can blur

Bushnell G-Force DX ARC Laser Rangefinder is a rugged, lightweight product that features multiple modes and ideal low light visibility.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

For those interested in learning more about these rangefinders, take a look at the FAQ section below. We’ve answered some common questions such as how they work and what they do so that you fully understand them before you choose the rangefinder to best suit your needs.

How do rangefinders work?

Rangefinders are intended to help you measure out the distance of your target. A rangefinder for bow hunting can come in different types (e.g. laser, GPS) and once you point at a target, it uses its optics to measure the distance, typically in yards or meters. Some contain different features and displays from standard LCD to LED illuminated readouts.

Depending on its design, they can also help you account for angle compensation as well as adjust for rifle or bow use.

How to change a Simmons Rangefinder from meters to yards?

If you want one of the best long distance rangefinders, it helps to fully understand how it works. Changing the measurements is one of the most common things you need to know. In this case, you want to first shut off the unit. Look through the eyepiece and press and hold the power button for five seconds.

It’s during this time that icons will be displayed, and while you continue to hold the power button down, the display should toggle back and forth between yards and meters. Once you see the measurement you wish to use, simply release the power button. You can check out the manual to learn more.

What does a laser rangefinder do?

A handheld laser rangefinder is useful for shooting long distances. Unlike other rangefinders, a laser one utilizes a laser beam to detect the distance of an object. It offers good precision while also typically providing you with faster readouts in the event that time is a factor.

Best Bow Hunting Rangefinder – Summing Up

Our top pick for the best rangefinder for bow hunting goes to the TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder. It’s easy to carry, use with gloves, and it withstands weather such as rain and muddy conditions well. In addition, it offers fast and accurate measurements.

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