Do You Need a Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

Do You Need a Rangefinder for Bow Hunting?

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If you take a look at the variety of laser rangefinders on the market today, you’ll find that they’ve come a long way from their beginnings. Even with all the technological improvements, some hunters still like to go old school and hunt without a rangefinder. So, do you need a rangefinder for bow hunting, or is something you can get away without?

From our experience in the field, investing in a good rangefinder is just short of a necessity. The latest rangefinders are significantly faster and more rugged in their design than their predecessors. Despite advancements in features, they’re still as simple to use as in the past.

Do You Need a Rangefinder for Bow Hunting?

Not sure whether you need a rangefinder? If you’re skeptical, let’s dive into some of the top reasons why you should consider getting one.

  • Ability to Get Closer Without Actually Having To

It’s probably safe to say that almost every hunter has tried getting too close to the herd and accidentally snapped a twig. That small sound makes the entire herd run away. This flight can be frustrating, especially if you have spent several hours finding that herd.

With a rangefinder, you no longer need to worry about this scenario as it will help you get closer to the target without physically having the need to close in.

Rangefinders for bow hunting tend to have a range of about 800 yards. If you’re a hunter who likes hunting long distance, there is no way you can successfully do this without a good rangefinder. You can find a unit on the market that will range to a true one mile without spooking the prey.

  • No Need for Guesswork

The most important feature of the rangefinder is to provide you with the exact distance between you and your target. With just a push of a button, the laser gets shot from the rangefinder to the target and back to you. This laser will help accurately measure that exact distance.

The reason why knowing the exact distance is important is because every hunter wants to make a clean shot. If they end up missing, they will severely wound the animal. No good hunter wants to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on the prey.

  • Easy to Carry Around

Any hunter will tell you that the size of the equipment matters. Hunters have to carry around an arsenal of equipment. So, anything that lightens the load and still proves useful deserves a place on the outing.

Thankfully, rangefinders are a lot like cell phones. These units have become smaller over the last couple of years. Some rangefinders are so small that they can actually be compared to the size of a cell phone and weigh less than a pound.

To make things more convenient, rangefinders tend to have a vertical design. Its dimensions and intelligent design allow it to be easily stored and carried. If you prefer something that needs to be used with two hands, then you can also opt for rangefinder binoculars.

  • Affordability

Hunters tend to assume that since a rangefinder makes your job easier for you, it’s likely going to be expensive. However, the cost of any sports optics does not necessarily mean that it will drain your bank account.

While there are rangefinders that can be extremely expensive and come equipped with high-performance lasers, there are also budget-friendly ones that will cost you as little as $100. With a slightly higher budget, you will get a plethora of options to choose from.

If you can afford expensive rangefinders, the ones above $600 will get you a unit that will have superb performance, perfect distance readings, and pristine optics.

  • Ability to Take Abuse

Hunters tend to skip going for hunts if the weather outside is bad. But with the right rangefinder, you no longer need to worry about the weather damaging them. Certain rangefinders are equipped with lenses that are filled with nitrogen, which helps prevent fogging.

There are some rangefinders with waterproof capabilities that can withstand being up to five feet deep in the water. Rangefinders that have a rugged aluminum casing and magnesium housing sport an extended life. They will also be able to survive a fall from a tree and most other abuses you inflict in the field.

  • Can Help Improve Your Estimating Skills

You may have plenty of time to aim and shoot at your target, but it can still be difficult to hit a clean and successful shot. In an ideal scenario, a deer may just randomly sneak up on you, and you won’t have the time to handle your rangefinder.

Using a rangefinder for hunting on a regular basis will ensure that your instincts improve and sharpen. So if you need to shoot at a target quickly, the chance of you hitting it successfully could potentially be much higher since you practice with the rangefinder.

  • Steep Terrain No Longer an Issue

There are times when you will have to hunt on steep terrain. The angles on these landscapes can make it difficult to aim with your naked eye.

Shooting on a steep terrain usually means you need to calculate the accurate shot angle and apply correction values to ensure that gravity does not ruin your flight path. This creates a complicated math problem.

In these situations, a rangefinder becomes very helpful. Some models come with angle compensation features which will make hunting on steep terrains a piece of cake.

It doesn’t matter if the terrain is an incline or a decline.  A rangefinder still hands you the exact horizontal distance to the target. This ensures that you do not end up aiming too high or too low, which could lead to a missed shot or lost arrow.


Adding a rangefinder to your armamentarium might transform your experience. All it takes is one clean shot, after all. Removing all the unnecessary guesswork that you would do with your naked eye lowers frustration and fills the freezer.

With the ample features in today’s rangefinders, hunting might just become a walk in the park!

About the Author Pink Crossbow

Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!

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