Top 8 Best Range Finders For Bow Hunting – Tested & Reviewed

Best Range finders For Bow Hunting
Written by Kevin Fleeman

Hunting rangefinders were considered as a luxury purchase some days ago, especially because they were complicated and pricey. Well, not anymore. The world of rangefinders has experienced a development and now, you can get the best range finders for bow hunting at a fair and affordable price.

Hunting Rangefinders are used to measure the distance between you and an object or animal. As for bow hunting, a best rangefinder helps you to determine the distance and align your bow according to that.

Has it ever occurred to you that you missed a shot just because you couldn’t measure the distance correctly? Well, I won’t blame you if that happened. In fact, even seasoned hunters can face that every now and then. For the beginners, it is even more important because nobody wants to get back home with an empty truck. Adding a best hunting rangefinder makes your other works so easy, it will need the determination to miss a shot. (Forgive the pun).

Here, as hunting enthusiasts, we have reviewed the best hunting bows, arrows, and other hunting weapons for you. Each of them has a specific range, a range to which they work well and uphold their speed. The best hunting rangefinders will help you reach the full potential, for you and your weapons.

Best Range finders For Bow Hunting | Best Products

Rangefinders Image Key Features
Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 3.6x2.9x1.5
  • Weight (Ounces): 4.4
  • Distance Capacity: 550
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Angle Compensation: No
  • Others: Distant target priority mode
  • Rating: 8.4 out of 10
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Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition 4x Laser Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 5.5 x 5 x 3
  • Weight (Ounces): 8
  • Distance Capacity: 600
  • Magnification: 4X
  • Angle Compensation: No
  • Others: Camouflage design.
  • Rating: 8.6 out of 10
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Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 3.6 x 2.9 x 1.5
  • Weight (Ounces): 4.8
  • Distance Capacity: 550
  • Magnification: 4X
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
  • Others: Compact, Distant target priority mode, Incline Decline measurement.
  • Rating: 8.8 out of 10
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Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance
  • Size (Inches): 5 x 5 x 3
  • Weight (Ounces): 7
  • Distance Capacity: 1000
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
  • Others: O-ring seal, Adjustable brightness
  • Rating: 9.6 out of 10
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LEUPOLD RX-1200i TBR/W with DNA Laser Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 3.8 x 2.9 x 1.3
  • Weight (Ounces): 7.8
  • Distance Capacity: 1200
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
  • Others: Long range shooting.
  • Rating: 9.00 out of 10
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Wosports Hunting Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 5 x 3.14 x 1.7
  • Weight (Ounces): 8.25
  • Distance Capacity: 600
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
  • Others: Speed and Range accuracy.
  • Rating: 9.00 out of 10
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TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 4.09 x 2.3 x 1.61
  • Weight (Ounces): 6.5
  • Distance Capacity: 540
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Angle Compensation: No
  • Others: Adjustable eye relief.
  • Rating: 8.2 out of 10
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Halo XL450-7 Laser Rangefinder
  • Size (Inches): 8.5 x 6.5 x 2.5
  • Weight (Ounces): 5
  • Distance Capacity: 450
  • Magnification: 6X
  • Angle Compensation: Yes
  • Others: Flagstick laser reflector.
  • Rating: 8.4 out of 10
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Our Handpicked 8 Best Range Finders For Bow Hunting in 2017

#1 Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder | Best Rangefinder For The Money

As Nikon is a true leader in the optics world, the Nikon 8397 ACULON AL11 Laser Rangefinder speaks for itself. Being a versatile rangefinder, it can be used for golf, bow hunting, and rifle hunting. Made with easy operation, this one button rangefinder will take out extra worry from your head.

Features

Best Rangefinder For The MoneyThe product comes with 3.6″x2.9″x1.5″ size and can be used for 6-550 yards ranges. The weight is 4.4 ounces. This is a class 1 laser rangefinder, emitting only 0.0975 mW power output.

Sometimes bowhunters need to respond quickly. With only a few seconds to spare, you can use the rangefinder which will give you an accurate data within seconds. You can continue getting data constantly for 20 seconds.

The rangefinder comes with distant target priority mode. Which allows you to see beyond the first target. The rangefinder shuts down after 8 seconds of inactivity to save power.

The lens comes with NIKON’s multilayer coated optics, which increases the clearance of the image. The lens is a 20mm lens with a 6X magnifier to give you a pretty good idea about your target.

Pros

  • 16.7 mm long eye relief offer enhanced viewing. 6X magnification.
  • Comes with auto power off facility, so that you get it ready when you need it most.
  • Distant target priority mode helps you see an object within several others.
  • Lightweight, black color and rainproof.
  • Best rangefinder for the money.

Cons

  • Loses the precision in longer distances.

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#2 Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition | Best Laser Rangefinder

The Bushnell is one of the leading manufacturers of quality rangefinders. The Bushnell 202208 Bone Collector Edition comes with a medium price range with a beautiful camo design and outstanding quality.

Features

Best Laser RangefinderThe size this product comes in is 3 x 5 x 5.5 inches, weighing only 8 ounces. This product will not add extra bulkiness to your gears. An additional case comes with the product.

The product gives a clear view from 10 to 600 yards. Within this distance, the Bone Collector deliver +/- 1-yard accuracy. The rangefinder can be operated by a single button.

This is one of the best laser rangefinders. It can deliver 4 times magnification of the object. The housing is weatherproof, meaning rain, snow won’t put a dent to the rangefinder. This is a product with class 1 laser which emits less than 1mW power output.

Pros

  • Comes with external housing, durable and shockproof.
  • Can be operated with a single button while holding the weapon.
  • 4X magnification with +/- 1-yard accuracy.
  • Beautiful camouflage design. One of the best laser rangefinders.

Cons

  • Some users complained about not reaching full 600 yards with viewing.

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#3 Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder | Best Nikon Rangefinder

This is one of the newer models of Nikon. As Nikon try to come with something exceeding with every model, this one is rich with features. The Nikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 rangefinder will remind you of previously popular Nikon Aculon model, except this comes with more advanced features.

Features

Best Nikon RangefinderNikon 16224 Arrow ID 3000 Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder comes with a dimension of 3.6 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches. With a weight of 4.8 ounces, this rangefinder is easily portable. The housing is strong, gripping, and beautiful, which resembles the Aculon model.

The rangefinder allows the user 4X magnification. You can see up to 550 yards with the product. This rangefinder provides distant target priority mode, which allows you to see past one object and focus towards the further object. The objective lens is 20 mm in diameter.

The rangefinder comes with adjustable eyepiece and 20.3 mm eye relief. The whole operation is done by pressing two buttons. One button is for ON/OFF and another one is for setting modes. The laser rangefinder operates at continuous mode, which means you can ‘scan’ the area for 8 seconds constantly.

The product comes with Nikon ID (Incline/ Decline) technology, which shows you the horizontal and vertical distance. Which I guess is their version of angle compensation. The device automatically shuts down after 8 seconds of inactivity.

Pros

  • Very compact and beautiful design will fit into your palms.
  • One of the best Nikon Rangefinders. Provides 4X magnification up to 550 yards.
  • Interchangeable modes from first sight to second sight known as distant priority modes.
  • Built-in Incline and Decline (ID) to provide you single number reading.
  • Auto shut down for power saving.

Cons

  • The LCD display is not backlit.

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#4 Vortex Optics Ranger 1000 with Horizontal Component Distance Rangefinder | Best Hunting Rangefinder

Here we are again, with a high-end product with a higher price range. The only lacking on this product is, no negative review. Seriously, there has been no other product other than this which has got so many all-star reviews. That doesn’t mean this rangefinder is everything. It means it has been true to what it says about the features.

Features

Best Hunting RangefinderThe size this product comes at is 5 x 3 x 5 inches. The weight is 7 ounces. The product comes with an ergonomic, rugged design and non-slip grip. The internal structure comes with an O-ring seal to protect it from rain, dust, debris, and moisture.

The Vortex Optics Ranger provide magnification of 6X while covering an area of 10- 1000 yards. The user reviews tell us the product lives up to its reputation. The 22mm lens provides quite a clear view.

The rangefinder comes with two buttons. One is Menu, another one is for measurement. However, the measurement button needs to be pressure thrice to get the measurement. If you are not careful, you might press the menu button instead during a pressure moment.

The rangefinder delivers two types of reading. One is Horizontal Component Distance which gives the reading along with angle compensation, another mode is Line Of Sight which gives the straight measurement.

You can set the LCD screen to three bight modes according to your convenience. The rangefinder shuts down after 30 seconds of inactivity. You can adjust the diopter for accurate focus.

Pros

  • A durable and waterproof rangefinder, a customer favorite.
  • Comes with 6X magnification up to 1000 yards.
  • One of the best hunting rangefinders with 2 types of reading, direct distance, and angle compensation.
  • Bright adjustment for LCD display.
  • O-ring seal to protect from shock, rain, and dust.

Cons

  • Not a quality issue, the menu and measurement button might get mixed up by people during pressure moments.

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#5 LEUPOLD RX-1200i TBR/W with DNA Laser Rangefinder | Best Rangefinder For Long Range Shooting

While coming with a slightly higher price tag than the previous ones, the LEUPOLD RX-1200i Laser Rangefinder is all a bow hunter or a rifle hunter can want. Offering a view up to 1200 yards, the rangefinder comes with a slick design, aluminum housing and rubber layer for better grip.

Features

Best Rangefinder For Long Range ShootingThe rangefinder comes with a size of 3.8 x 1.3 x 2.9 inches while weighing only 7.8 ounces. The laser rangefinder comes with additional features like true ballistic range, angle compensation, and wind adjustment feature.

The rangefinder offers 6X magnification. This along with the range should give you a clear idea for rifle hunting. With an eye relief of 17 mm, this rangefinder offers a great view.

If you are an eyeglass user, the fold-down rubber eye caps will make the sighting easy for you. It gives you reading of both horizontal range and holdover adjustments.

Pros

  • A great rangefinder for long range shooting.
  • Slim design, aluminum casing and rubber layer for easy grip.
  • Provides vision to 1200 yards in 3 modes, line of sight, rifle, and bow.
  • Magnification of 6X with 17mm eye relief.
  • Best rangefinder for long range shooting.

Cons

  • The graphical user interface could be better.

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#6 Wosports Hunting Rangefinders | Best Slope Rangefinder

This one comes with a really cheap price, but the feature it contains is amazing. For the price, it delivers a good view up to 5-600 yards, with 5 yards speed accuracy within 400 yards. This is a lightweight, easy to grip rangefinder great for bow hunting.

Features

Best Slope RangefinderThe Wosports Hunting Rangefinders comes with 5 x 3.14 x 1.7 inches length, while the weight is 8.25 ounces. It delivers the data with range accuracy of +/-1 yards. The product comes with a non-slip, rainproof rubber layer.

The rangefinder is run by a 3v CR2 battery while emitting only 905 mW power. This class one laser product can give you a reading within seconds. The product delivers eye relief of 16mm.

The rangefinder delivers 6X magnification. Also, you can measure the angle from 60 degrees to -60 degree. The 22mm lens delivers quite a clear view of your game.

Pros

  • Speed accuracy of 5 yards and range accuracy of 1 yards (+/-)
  • A great bang for the bucks, cheap and multiple features
  • Provides 6X magnification up to 600 yards.
  • Best Slope rangefinder provides angle measurement for bow hunters.

Cons

  • Might not be completely weatherproof.

Check the latest price here

#7 TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder | Best Rangefinder Under 150$

If you are tired of rangefinders not living up to their expectations, you can go for TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder. This rangefinder provides 10- 540 yards of canvassing with progressive scan mode. The durable, waterproof body along with advanced speed technology gives the user a stable solution.

Features

Best Rangefinder Under 150$The length of this product is 4.09 x 2.3 x 1.61 inches, while the weight is 6.5 ounces. This rangefinder comes with class 1 laser and less than 0.5 mW power output.

The rangefinder provides a magnification of 6X and does so within seconds. The accuracy is +/- 1 yard so you should get a satisfactory performance. The good thing is, the eye relief is adjustable according to the user’s comfort level.

This rangefinder doesn’t provide angle compensation. However, the multilayer lens provides quite a clear view. The product comes with an additional pouch, battery and wrist strap.

The rangefinder shuts down after 30 seconds of inactivity for power saving. The product has a two button mechanism which is easy to use. One button is for ON/OFF, while another is for measuring distance. The button come rubber coated.

Pros

  • Adjustable eye relief for people with glasses.
  • The body is ergonomic, made of durable materials and waterproof.
  • Provides a magnification of 6X, accuracy +/- 1 yards.
  • Multilayer lens for clear canvassing of the area.
  • One of the best rangefinder under 150$.

Cons

  • Does not provide angle compensation.

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#8 Halo XL450-7 Laser Rangefinder | Cheap Hunting Rangefinder

If you are a little short on budget but do not compromise the quality, a great option can be Halo XL450-7 Laser Rangefinder. This rangefinder is extremely durable and easy to hold. Delivering distance up to 450 yards, the HALO XL450-7 Laser Rangefinders can be used by bow hunters, rifle hunters and golfers.

Features

Cheap Hunting RangefinderThe dimension this product comes in is 8.5 x 2.5 x 6.5 inches. It is quite lightweight at 5 ounces. This product offers flagstick laser reflectors for golfers, which should work well for hunters while spotting animals.

The rangefinder provides magnification up to 6 times. This one is capable of measuring angles, which is a great addition of ripple and bow hunter who aim from a tree stand, or a hill.

The rangefinder can be controlled by a single button. It shuts down after 20 seconds of inactivity. This saves the battery life so that it doesn’t run out of power suddenly.

The rangefinder runs on a CR2 battery. The distance is provided is +/- 1 yard accurate. This product has been known to be waterproof. The LCD display provides good user graphic interface.

Pros

  • A cheap hunting rangefinder with 6X magnification.
  • Can cover distance up to 450 yards. Can be used by hunters and golfers.
  • Power saver option and single button operation.
  • Waterproof and durable design. Can be gripped easily.

Cons

  • Does not provide ample eye clearance. People with glasses might feel uncomfortable.

Check the latest price here

Things to Consider Before Buying Best Hunting Rangefinders

Budget And Hunting Weapon

We generally discuss the matter of budget at the end, but best hunting rangefinders come in a vast range of price. Some are pricey and sophisticated, some are affordable with a good quality. It’s not that you will be needing the pricey ones always.

Determining the budget will help you narrow down the list and get the possibly best one from that range. Your budget will also determine the maximum length and additional features of the rangefinder.

Your weapon plays a significant role also. For example, if you are a bow hunter, you should go for a rangefinder that can measure the horizontal distance too. This way you can compensate for the gravity you are shooting from a stand.

If you are a rifle hunter, the thing you should look for is distance. Rangefinder for rifle shooting should cover up to 1200 yards or more. Not to mention, that will need some extra bucks but will increase your efficiency in a multiplied way.

Type

Rangefinders can be divided into three types, depending on what method they use to determine the distance.

Laser Rangefinders are the most used than its counterparts. The laser rangefinder sends an infrared light to the object you want to measure the distance from. The rangefinder then measures the time of the light hit and returned, and give you a clear data on a small screen. As they use light for their measurement, the process is impressively accurate and quick. However, the reading also depends on the type of the target/ object.

Ultrasonic rangefinders use sound for measuring distance. They send a sound wave to the object through a transducer and receive the sound back. By calculating the time of hitting and returning, the give an accurate data. The main problem is, external sound can hamper, and alter the process. Into the woods, where wind, rain, birds chirping, and other sounds are normal, the weapon will be deemed inappropriate. Also, they do not tend to give the best result for horizontal angles, so the bow hunters sitting on a tree stand might face a problem.

Optical rangefinders use mirror images to determine the distance. The mirrors replicate two images which are interchanged until one object is shown. They are good for use but slower than the other two. The reflection and merging take time, so does the distance calculation. Bow hunters often act quick as their target is always moving, if you have patience and the time, you can go for optical rangefinders. They tend to be cheaper too.

Optics Of Your Rangefinder

You don’t want the hunting rangefinder to be a costly error. But you will do the same if you go for poor quality to save some bucks. Yes, there are affordable ones with great quality. You can find them check the features below.

  • Range

If you are a close range shooter, any rangefinder with good magnification will do. If you are more of a long-range shooter or sometimes go for that, you should choose rangefinders with range capacity of 1000 yards or more. However, the measurement capacity of rangefinder might be obstructed by rainy or snowy weather.

  • Magnification

Magnification allows seeing your game more clearly, helping you to aim for the exact spot you want to hit. Most of the rangefinders come with a magnification of 4X and 8X, and that should be enough for sighting.

If you want to increase the magnification, the price will go up. Also, you will lose some field of sight. If you have that kind of budget and weapon to cover that distance, there’s no problem though.

  • Angle Compensation

This feature is important, especially if you are a bow hunter and have to shoot from an angle, ideally a tree stand. If you are a straight shooter and wish to remain so, then this option can be overlooked. You can measure these calculations by hand, but you wouldn’t want to lose your game while doing so.

  • Lens

Lenses allow you to see better by allowing light to insert through them. The types of the optical lens depend on the coating. There are coated ones, which are covered on one side. There are fully coated ones covering both sides. Likewise, there are multiple coated and fully coated lenses available.

Lens of hunting rangefinders

Now, the amount of coating allows how clear you can see. If you generally hunt in broad daylight, going for coated and fully coated should be enough. If are more of a night stalker, then having multi-coating will help you. Although they are costlier, for night hunting this is a necessary equipment.

The size of the lens plays a role in vision too. However, while larger lenses provide clearer vision, they will be heftier too. Unless you plan to sit on a stand all day, you can go with a smaller lens.

Target Priority

Rangefinders generally come in two priorities, first target priority and second target priority.

The first target priority is enough when you are using rangefinders for golfing of hunting is an open ground. As there are no big obstacles on the way, the rangefinder will catch the first object and help you measure the distance.

When you are hunting in the woods, second priority rangefinders come beneficial. As there might be tree branches and bushes on the way of the view. Second priority rangefinders help you to cover further objects beyond your first object.

Today, most of the laser rangefinders come with both settings and give you an option to switch between two.

Water And Shock Proof

Waterproof rangefinder

In a hunting trip, you and your gears might be subjected to many tough conditions. The equipment needs to have a minimum level of durability and shock absorbing capability. It’s not like you have to throw it on the ground and see what happens, but it should be able to withstand rain, snow and some accidental minor bumps.

Final Verdict

If you are going to take hunting seriously, you’ll need a hunting rangefinder. Because a hunting rangefinder will give you a clear idea about the distance between you and the prey, where your eyes might trick you sometimes.

Now, this is even more important for bow hunters. Bow hunting needs more precision than other weapons, a good understanding of angle and wind. That’s why you should not settle less than the best range finders for bow hunting.

However, although our title states bow hunting, the reviewed products can be used for rifle hunting, and golf. We have compiled the most versatile and quality rangefinders of different price range. Check the features and hopefully, you will find the desired one.  Let the next hunting season be your most prolific one. Happy Hunting!!

About the author

Kevin Fleeman

Selfpatron.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Selfpatron.com provides guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear.

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