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The bow is your weapon of choice and it definitely takes skill to hit your target with the arrow.
When looking for a bow hunting rangefinder, you'll benefit greatly from angle compensation features that can allow you the flexibility to range in steep and rugged terrain or from a blind.
Ease of use is always a point of focus in bow hunting - you don't want to miss your prey because you're fumbling around with equipment when taking the bow outside of target practice to real life hunting.
Below we reveal 6 bow hunting rangefinders that we love for their user-friendliness and extra features.
Top Bow Hunting Rangefinders
|Maven RF.1 7x25||CHECK PRICE|
|Bushnell Bone Collector 850 LRF||CHECK PRICE|
|Vortex Impact 1000||CHECK PRICE|
|Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R||CHECK PRICE|
|AOFAR HX-700N||CHECK PRICE|
|TecTecTec ProWild||CHECK PRICE|
6 Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting in 2021
1. Maven RF.1 7x25
So, it has 4500-yard ranging performance? It’s beyond extreme for bow hunting but is in every way suited for bow hunting. Here us out on the Maven RF.1.
- Angle mode
- Multiple reticles
- Japanese glass
- Get used to the wheel
The RF.1 has more yardage than almost any other rangefinder in the current market. Yes, there are those that now provide up to 5000-yard performance. But when you have bow in hand, the extreme long-range performance is useless for your practical, short-range needs.
Where the RF.1 comes in as an essential rangefinder for your bow hunt is with its 0.5-yard accuracy as close as 5 yards in front of you to 300 yards out. It also compensates for steep angles up to 90-degrees on both inclines and declines.
It has excellent optical quality with glass sourced from Japan. You have both Forest and Field modes with a quick lever that allows you to bypass any button-pressing and wheel turning. Speaking of wheels, yes, the RF.1 has a menu navigation wheel for fast, intuitive operation – it’s different but effective.
When you’re hunting with your .308, the RF.1 is needed. When you’re following a herd and must know how far off they are, the RF.1 is needed. When you’re in a treestand nocking arrows, the RF.1 is needed. As a high-end rangefinder under $500, you won’t find better.
2. Bushnell Bone Collector 850 LRF Realtree Edge
Your pins are set for 15, 20, 25, 30, and 40 yards. That’s a whole lot of trajectory difference between each pin for the bow hunter and using the wrong pin will put you in a world of hurt if that was your trophy in your sights. 4000-yard rangefinders have lost their appeal in this situation when you’re only needing a small fraction of its ranging ability. Enter here, the Bone Collector.
- Still long-range
- One-button operation
- No included pouch
Many hunters dabble in both bow and rifle hunting. Come bow hunting season, most are using their go-to rangefinder that’s suitable for both applications. The nice thing about the Bone Collector is that it has great ranging performance for rifle hunting but also provides accuracy down to 5-yards when that’s needed with angle compensation.
Who needs that kind of close-range accuracy? The treestand hunter. If you’re a bow hunter perched up high, you know that using the right pin counts on having the right distance. This unit has both line of sight and ARC compensated distances displayed simultaneously on the display. The guesswork has been eliminated. The toggling between LOS and ARC has been eliminated. Room for error has been eliminated. Let the arrow fly and you’re officially a bone collector.
As any good hunting rangefinder should be, it’s IPX4 rated for weatherproof protection, it’s ultra-lightweight at 6.3 oz, and it has a finish that matches your gear. Unfortunately, you’ll need to get a separate pack for it as it doesn’t come with a pouch – not even a cheap, cheesy one.
But if that’s the biggest gripe about what is essentially an entry-level, basic rangefinder, then it’s not really a gripe at all. There are few units this budget that can perform with less complaints than the Bone Collector. If you’re buying cheap, this is the type of cheap that’s worth it – no cheese on the side.
3. Vortex Impact 1000
When you don’t need 4000-yard distances, speed updates on a moving target, or even photography-grade optics, you can save yourself a lot of money and turn to the Impact 1000.
- 1000-yard range
- No illumination
If you need long-range, and by that we mean 500 yards on deer and 1000 yards on steel, then the Impact is the unit for the job. Even then, these distances are far beyond what you want for a bow. However, the Impact is suitable for both applications!
When it’s bow hunting season, you have a minimum distance of 5 yards. HCD is already in play at five yards and well above. Use the corrected distance and you’ll know exactly what pin is right for the job.
If you just need to know the angle and can do the trajectory math yourself (impressive!) then stay in LOS mode as the angle is calculated and provided on the display.
Just so you know, since this is a no-frills unit, the display is in black as it is not illuminated. It’s exceptionally compact and lightweight, so it will not be an issue to stow away into a pocket unless you have noisy Velcro. In that case, use the included soft carry case with a belt loop. Yep – Vortex paired their unit with a field pouch!
Another nice touch by Vortex? Even though it’s a rangefinder under $300, it still comes with the VIP warranty. It’s hard to do better than this. In fact, it’s a Vortex for under $200 – you can’t do better than this.
4. Leica Rangemaster CRF 2400-R
If you had a 1600-R or even a 2700-B, you’ll know that both those have been put on the archived shelf. The new and improved version is actually the scaled-down and yet beefed-up CRF 24000-R. It’s a living contradiction that makes sense.
- 2400-yard range
- Ambient LED display
- Excellent optics
- No thread for tripod mounting
The Rangemaster CRF has beefed-up range and laser performance compared to the older 1600-R. It has less ranging than the 2700-B but makes things simpler and cleaner without the ballistics. If you use your own solvers, then the simplicity of the 2400-R is an appropriate unit for you.
Since the CRF features EHR (Equivalent Horizontal Range), you automatically have the angle compensated distance to choose the right pin. For extra precision, you have 0.1-yard decimal readings up to 200 yards.
Whether you’re in the dark shade of the canopies or hidden in the brush at dawn, the LED display will automatically adjust for brightness to cater to your conditions. Super cold out? Not a problem. The unit will reliably function in -4-degree weather.
Since the unit doesn’t come with threads for tripod mounting, it’s not a huge deal for the bow hunter since you’re not looking to range maximum distances. However, this may an issue if you it’s a must-have for the future. Fortunately for the bow hunter, it’s still a true pocket-size unit with its featherlight 6 oz (approx.) weight and 4.5” length. Just, no Velcro pockets please.
5. AOFAR HX-700N Laser Rangefinder
- 【HIGH PRECISION FUNCTIONAL RANGEFINDER】：Advanced pinsensor technology, 6x magnification, accuracy with ±1 yard.
This is one of the best budget rangefinders in the market for hunters. It’s waterproof, has a camo wrap, and most importantly, it’s accurate.
- 4 Range Modes
- 6x magnification
- 700-yard range
- Defective models
Let’s face it. Not every bow hunter is up in a tree stand using coverage as an advantage. You may be hunting from a blind, or you may have rigged up a hole in the ground, so you don’t cramp out your knees. If you’re hunting from the ground, you may not need fancy angle compensated distances, and if that’s the case, this may be the unit for you.
It’s a simple but sophisticated and well-built rangefinder that has four ranging modes: Range, Scan, Fog, and Speed. Range mode is self-explanatory as it works to acquire the distance of targets that are obscured by brush and the like. Scan mode can be used to pan the field, or it can pull distances off targets that are in front of brush like a pin-finder mode used in golf.
Don’t forget that Fog mode allows you to cut through fog and still acquire a reading, and Speed mode will measure the speed of your fast-moving target.
Most buyers get very accurate results having tested it out prior to taking the HX-700N out on the hunt. However, there have been defective models that don’t turn on or they provide very inaccurate readings that mean ethical issues for the bow hunter. If that’s the case, the rangefinder comes with a 2-year VIP warranty from AOFAR.
It has 6x magnification, 700-yard reading range, weighs 6.3 oz, and is 4.3 x 3 x 1.8” in size. It’s waterproof with an IPX4 rating, and it comes with a bunch of accessories that adds to portability and protection.
Low price. No frills. Performance quality where it should be. Sounds like a great deal.
6. TecTecTec ProWild Rangefinder
- HUNTING LASER RANGEFINDER; Tired of cheap rangefinders with short ranges of measurement? Our PROWILD Laser Rangefinder is a premium product, measuring up to 540 yards...
The ProWild Hunting Rangefinder is the solution when you have a tight budget but you still need something dependable. With a distance range of 5 to 540 yards, it's the perfect, all-purpose rangefinder for bow hunting and shooting.
It doesn't sport a bow mount, but that shouldn't stop you from wielding this fast and fancy gadget. While it has all the usual specs you'd want to see on a laser rangefinder, it also measures the speed of your target. We did already say that this rangefinder is fast right?
The ProWild is very easy to use. Don't be surprised if you end up ditching the manual to get started because you didn't need it. "It's so easy a caveman could it." With an entry level price tag, this TecTecTec rangefinder has fantastic value! Why get more complicated or expensive than this?
What to Look for in a Bow Hunting Rangefinder
When it comes to finding a rangefinder that's specific for bow hunting, there's a few custom features that you'll want to look out for. You mightn't need a rangefinder with extreme yardage distance, but you may want angle compensation. You mightn't need an LED display for illumination, but you may want a scan mode. In the same manner, you might also want a special bow mount to have your rangefinder in your sights every time you nock that arrow. Without further ado, let's narrow down on the bull's-eye to make every nocked arrow worth the shot!
- Coatings: Any coatings that improve light transmission and/or weather, scratch, and debris resistance is a bonus.
- Distance: For bow hunting only, you don't need extreme yardage distances. If you'll also be rifle shooting with the same unit, look for longer distance rangefinders.
- Durability: You definitely want to look for a fully armored body for ultimate protection. Accidental drops down rocky terrain and from tree blinds happen all the time.
- Angle Compensation: Addressing the angles takes geometry, incline/decline, and height into consideration. You only need basic math skills if you have an angle compensating rangefinder.
- Additional bow features: Look for features that specifically cater to bow hunters to negotiate obstacles. That twig, brush, or deflective vegetation can make or break an entire hunting season. Ex. Bushnell's ClearShot.
Stand, Kneel, Duck, or Pass!
Getting a precise measurement on the hide of your game can be a tricky maneuver, especially if you're in a tree stand. Instead, range your landmarks and use every appropriate feature to predict your target's movements. If you've gotta take a few steps back, kneel, or duck, to get that clean shot, do it.
Understanding your bow hunting rangefinders shortcomings and keeping your measuring skills sharp is what will have you filling your tag every hunting season. A quality rangefinder is only as useful as the hands who have mastered all its bow hunting features!
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