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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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"

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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

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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

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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.

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

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

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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?

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

Thanks

Hitman

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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

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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!!!

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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

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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.

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

Thanks

Hitman

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