Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Dahitman44

Range finder

25 posts in this topic

Thinking about getting a range finder. I have never used one, but my brother in law swears by them

What types and brands do you guys use. What made you choose one over the other. Did you look at cost, magnification -- what?

Thanks, fellas.

Hitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a Bushnell, will have to dig it out and get you the particulars. The only reason I bought it was because we did an archery spot and stalk hunt 2 years ago in western N.Dakota. For many years, when treestand hunting, I would just pace off 20 yds from the base of my tree and tie a piece of orange surveyors tape at the 20 yd mark. Granted, I was on private property so I didn't have to worry too much about stand thiefs finding my stand by the ribbon. If you go the ribbon route, just make sure you pick it up at the end of season as it takes years for that stuff to deteriorate.

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally bought the Bushnell Scout a couple weeks ago. I have 1 bad eye and so my depth perception is terrible. Now that I know how far 40 yds really is I can only imagine the number of shots I've passed on in the past cause I thought they were too far with birds and deer.

I can't wait to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've owned a Leica LRF 800 for about 4 years. Didn't really look at other brands when I bought this one, buddy of mine owned one and he has really been happy with his so I bought the same.

I was looking at other brands last fall for someone interested in a range finder, I was happy I owned the one I have.

I like the redish display on the Leica's readout better than the black displays in others, much easier to read in lower light conditions or dark backgrounds.

Good clear 10x optic.

One thing to keep in mind, just because a range finder says it's an 400, 600, 800 or better yard range finder doesn't mean it's going to read all targets out to that range, they might only pick deer up to 150 to 300 yards depending on the quality of the unit. There is a pretty good difference in some of the units out there when it comes to reading certain sized targets at certain yardages.

Good luck, you'll enjoy having a range finder with when you go hunting.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a Bushnell scout 2 years ago for bow hunting.All I use it for is marking distances to the trails when I am up in the stand.I dont have to walk to different spots to check distance from my tree and leave scent all over the place.I have also used it for rifle hunting when I hunt a open meadow to check the distance to a certain spot or deer.They work pretty good.

I didnt purchase a real spendy one as I figured a less expensive one would work fine for my needs and it sure did.I dont know for what I use it for if it is that big a deal but it is nice to have.The more expensive ones are probably better but I personally figured I did not need one that good and spendy.

I would say that if you have every thing you need then it would be nice to have one.Its kind of like having a camera for fishing,they are nice but do you really need one?

I cannot say that I harvest more deer or make better kills because of it.For me no big deal but someone else might love it.You have to make that choice.

If I remember right I believe the Scout I bought was around 230.00.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot, guys.

What about the 5X, 8X or 10X magnification. Is that true magnification? Should a guy still use bicnocs?

I hear it is tough to focus on something a ways out there with 10x -- it is pretty "jumpy"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised there is no mention of Nikon. I purchased a lower end Nikon unit (440?) new on ebay last year and love it. Very good quality and comparable in price to the Bushnell. I use it for bowhunting and also for golfing.

Nels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the nikon. I also have the laser 440, very pleased with it. Its fun when your in the tree guessing how far it is to an object and you can actually find out if your judgement is on or sometimes way off. Also agree with harvey, its nice not getting your scent all over the place pacing here and there for yardage. I am ok at judging in the woods, but in the open fields I have a hard time so the rangefinder really helps in that case. gl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got the Bushnell, too. Works for me. One thing to remember, try to range things that are at the same level as your treestand so you get an accurate horizontal measurement of the distance. If you range things at an angle, like from your stand height to the ground, you get a straight line measurement which will be longer than the actual horizontal distance. When shooting from a treestand, the horizontal distance is what you want to shoot for for an accurate shot. Best of Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Nikon 440 and no complaints. Think it was around $200. It does all I need...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have the Nikon 440. It has been a very good unit, and I like it a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How accurate are these rangefinders at close - archery - distances like 20-40 yards?

How about tree angle? If you're 16 feet up and are scoping out a spot 30 yards from the base of the tree, does it read accurately?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Blackjack -- more info, please.

Thanks

Hitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Nikon is VERY accurate. IIRC, the specs are 1/2 yard accuracy. It will measure down to the half yard on the shorter ranges. From about 12 yards or so out to about 60, it was dead on the money, all the time.

I have not used mine from a tree stand much at all, but have sighted down some pretty steep hills. It measures the distance from the finder to the object, so that would jive with the distance your arrow or bullet would travel.

When I was shopping them in the store (Cabelas), the sales guy asked my price range, and the selected three units and placed them on the counter. He then asked which one looked clearest to me. The Nikon was notably clearer, and that was what he said was his personal choice in that price range.

I used it in the field late last summer while scouting for elk in Minnesota. Used it a ton during the hunt, and had the chance to put the finder on a lot of deer. Every measurement seemed to be spot on. Once you get out to about 300 yards or so, somemtimes it would not lock on, depending on the reflectivity/size of the target. Most deer size critters would be solid to 300 yards, however. Things like trees, big rocks, or road signs would lock on to 400 or a tad better.

When I first started using it, I would also step off the distance to what I was measuring. Eventually, I gained great confidance in what it was telling me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a new rangefinder that goes for around $300 and the cool thing is that it gives you the the yardage reading with the incline calculated. If you are in a stand the actual yardage is less than the distance you would walk off from the base of your tree. I don't own one yet, but I'm thinking about getting one:

Leupold RX-II Rangefinder

Inclinometer

True ballistic range

13 selectable reticles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds really cool. I will have to look into that one. Nikon or Leo those would be my number one choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Boomer on this one. I've got an older Bushnell and it's fine, but the new Leupold RX models look good. I would go with the III rather than the II because it's fully water proof. With some of the steep angled shots I've had out west, the "true shooting distance" reading would really be nice. I've heard some people have had some problems with them, but apparently Leupold got the problems ironed out. I think I'll own one by mid Sep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Leo had some troubles? What kind of trouble? Should I stay away from that kind?

I want it to work.

??

Nikon looks like a smarter buy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would never recommend anyone stay away from Leupold- excellent optics. The RX models are new and they're had to work out a few bugs. Like I said, I'll likely own one soon, so I'm not overly concerned about it. The "actual shooting distance" measurement is one sweet feature for anyone hunting in rugged terrain or from a tree stand.

The standard recommendation for optics is buy the best ones you can afford. If you're going to be using it pretty sparingly, the Nikon would probably be just fine. If you're going to use it an aweful lot, I'd go higher end. However, keep in mind this isn't like a spotting scope or binocs- you won't have your eyes up to it for hours in a day. It'll be more like seconds. So, a good product that doesn't cost anything like a Zeiss or Swarovski will probably do you just fine. Leupold would be a tweaner (but still pretty spendy in my book) and Nikon would be cheaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is what I have been thinking. Upgrade to the Leo or go safe and a little cheaper with the Nikon.

Question. If you are in a deer stand how far off will the range finder be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking about buying one also. Anyone thinking about upgrading and maybe getting rid of the old one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DHM,

There's a huge literature on this available on the internet. It's surprisingly in depth and somewhat complicated. Basically, shooting either uphill or downhill will require you to shoot low. As you consider steeper angled shots and longer shots, the amount you have to adjust increases. Also, the difference is slightly larger for uphill shots than downhill shots (particularly at longer distances).

In a nutshell though, if you're shooting a fairly fast bow, not shooting extreme angles, and not taking really long shots, you can just aim a little bit low (couple inches) and you'll be fine from a tree stand using exact yardages.

I don't care to get in a big discussion about this here, though. Some people simply don't get the physics of it and refuse to accept the fact that you can't shoot actual horizontal distances given vertical distances between shooter and target (I've heard "40 yards is 40 yards no matter what" a few dozen times and unfortunately the people who say this simply don't get it-- BTW 40 yards is 40 yards, but with elevation differences, you can't aim as if it is--- dang it, I said I didn't want to get into this!!! smirk.giftongue.gifsmile.gif).

Anyway, do a little reading about it online and you'll likely get it pretty quickly. And yeah, for hunting around here in particular, you likely don't need one that accounts for elevation differences and is cheaper too.

Good luck!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dahitman

All depends how high you are. If you had trig in school, the distance from the base of the tree to the target X 1.414 would be your shooting distance if you were shooting down on a 45 deg angle. If shooting down at a 22 1/2 deg angle you would multiply by .707

Now, how to find what angle your shooting at, is beyond me, good luck smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually not that simple either. You can't just consider the angle, because up vs. down shots of equal angle (and distances) aren't identicle in terms of how far off you'll be. The physics are fairly complicated, but the take home point isn't- aim a little low on steep angled shots, particularly longer ones.

Regarding the original topic- if you're going to take longer shots and at steep angles, you may want to seriously consider on of the RX models from Leupold. If not, I'd suggest you save yourself some money and get a less expensive model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All very good points. It is still a Leo vs Nikon issue. Might take the Nikon.

Thanks

Hitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • MedicineMan
      Went out Thursday for a few hours. Caught a 28" Walleye along with a handful of nice sized Bass.
    • knoppers
      thanks for the report.
    • JBMasterAngler
    • JBMasterAngler
      Just got back from our 34th annual Grand Marais trip. Weather, and how bad it was, was the theme. At one point or another, it rained every single day we were there! The wind was miserable he last couple days as well. Really affected our fishing plans, as we had to cancel out on some of our normal lakes, and fish some less than desirable backup lakes.   As per tradition, we left in the middle of the night and pulled up to the Lester River just a few minutes before sunrise. Didn't catch anything there. Also got skunked at the Talmadge and French rivers. I got free admission at Tom's logging camp on account it was Father's Day  and as always, kids had fun feeding the animals. I did catch a few little rainbows out of sucker, knife, and Stewart rivers. Had our traditional "fisherman's breakfast" at McDonalds in Two Harbors. We stopped at the silver creek tunnel, and that was the first time I've been at the overlook since it was actually part of the highway back in '94. We rolled into Grand Marais at about 3:30 and had to wait out a rain storm before putting the boat out on Kimball Lake. We lost several trout, and in the end, only my 6 year old son caught 2 rainbows.   Monday we fished Greenwood Lake, and as was the case with my 2 older kids, my 3 year old daughter caught her very first fish here...a smallmouth bass! Between all of us, we caught about 130 bass, all of which were pretty small. Unfortunately no lake trout. However, a big surprise occurred...while casting for bass, I caught a herring! Then a few minutes later, my son caught one also! Never would have guessed I'd ever catch one in the summer, let alone 2!   Fished a "secret lake" on Tuesday and caught quite a few northerns. They were all either 5 pounds, or 6 inches long, nothing in between. My son caught an 8 pound, 33 incher, which ended up being the biggest fish of the trip. We was screaming, and excited, and wanted me to take his fishing pole. But after about 10 minutes he finally got it in so I could net it. He's still bragging about it. My 3 year old also caught her 2nd ever fish, a perch, which ended up being the only one of the trip.   Went up to Saganaga on Wednesday. I spent I don't know how many hours trying to catch lake trout, but didn't find any!  Finally gave up and ventured deep into red rock bay for the first time ever. Really nice back there, wish I would've went there first. Fishing was ok, considering the weather was starting to get bad. Caught the biggest bass of the trip, a hair over 18 inches. On the drive back we seen a bear. Ironically it was walking down the road to black bear lodge at Poplar Lake.   Biggest disappointment came on Thursday. The plan was to fish both Hungry Jack and West Bearskin lakes. The wind was terrible, and coming straight from the west. Had hungry jack not had the reputation as a big bass producer, I wouldn't have went here. Unfortunately the big bass weren't around, nor any bass for that matter. Only caught 4 small bass. Kids caught about a dozen or so sunnies from the dock at the resort, some of which were decent size. We didn't even bother with bearskin. There's no way we would be able to launch our boats in that wind. We went to Loon Lake instead. In the limited time we were there, we caught about 30 tiny bass. My 9 year old daughter also caught her first rock bass. I tried for lakers, and marked a lot of them, but didn't catch any.    So since we didn't fish West Bearskin as planned, we penciled it in for Friday. Knowing the weather was going to be bad, we picked Poplar Lake as our backup. I drove up to Mayhew Lake to start, because I wanted to check out the launch. I was able to get my boat down the launch, but it was a real tight fit. Nice little lake. We saw a mommy moose with 2 babies laying right on the shoreline. I got sick of trolling, so I decided to cast cranks along the drop offs of the one small stretch of shoreline that was out of the wind (relatively speaking). Hooked into a big fish! Got excited because I thought I finally had a lake trout! It was a northern!  never thought I'd be disappointed in catching a 5.5 pound pike, but that's what I was. Didn't bother going to Bearskin, as I knew the wind was too bad again. Went to Poplar, which is a lake I do not like! As is typical, the fishing was no good! He weather was bi polar! It would be bright and sunny, then rain for 20 minutes. Did that the whole rest of the day! Only caught 1 little pike and  1 little bass. Got excited for a minute, as whitefish started surfacing around my boat in the evening. I was hoping I could catch 1 or 2, but nope!    Saturday we were supposed to fish Two Island for a few hours before going home. But it was pouring rain. We didn't even bother driving around to different boat launches. So the trip ended on a sour note, but we still had lots of fun, seen a moose, had our donuts (I highly recommend the bacon maple longjohn by the way), and went to Sven & Ole's. I was going to go camping in Ely in July, but I think we'll come back to Grand Marais instead, and try to make up for what we missed out on due to the weather. IMG_6122.MOV
    • CaptJohnWis
      I have not been on Rainy much as of late. On June 12, I got 75 walleyes in about 6-8 FOW. On. June 15 (Sanctuary opener) I hit Stangi for several hours and only got four fish. June 17, got 20 fish in about five hours - mostly walleyes on a weed edge in about 8 feet of water. Many on jig with Lunker CIty trailers. Also some good ones on a feather jig. Bass were few and far between. Plus some pike but nothing huge. Biggest walleyes 24-25". Bass 18", pike 29". View my fishing report to see videos of lures that were working.   I did mark lots of fish in deeper water but they were dink walleyes so I did not fish them for long.The dinks are actually harder to catch on lures than bigger ones. They respond better to live bait which I don't use.
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      We had a good bite on 1/2 crawlers today! Boated 45 walleyes and kept our limits of fish that were all between 15-1/2" and 19-3/4 "! Released at least 6 slot fish. Largest was a fat 25-1/2 inch fish. Best over all sized fish limit all summer! The walleyes were stuffed with either May fly nymphs or molted crayfish.  
    • Michael Felix
    • Michael Felix
      I've fished the hex hatch many times. In wisconsin.The hexs are out at my lakevplace in grand rapids Mn.  its usually a little later on the river. So this weekend into next week and the following week ought to be good. Late in the evening.. like  9:30 on...  I haven't been to the straight for years... I wish you'd let me know how it goes... 
    • Troy Smutka
      6/24/17     Got out on Washington this morning to target walleyes. Cold and windy! Busy today--a bass tournament going on. We fished several spots with leeches under a slip float for eyes. Only caught one small one, and missed a couple bites that might have been walleyes. Did catch several medium to large smallies and one largemouth. Got off the lake about 10:00 as we saw the first wave of rain approaching. Not interested in fishing cold, wind-driven rain. Guess mother nature doesn't always look at the calendar, which said summer started this week. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
    • ZachD
      wrap a bungee around it