Anyone who has ever been hunting will know that there are many essential pieces of equipment that need to be added to the hunting kit. From the basics, such as the right weapon to vital items like a quality skinning knife, choosing the right gear can make all the difference to the success of your hunt.
When it comes to choosing the most important tools to take along with you on the hunt, one item that you absolutely must not leave behind is a rangefinder. A good rangefinder can work wonders to improve your accuracy and to enhance your hunting experience. It provides a view of the accurate distance to your chosen target which would be impossible to achieve using your naked eye.
Rangefinders can tell you precisely how far away you are from your target, allowing you to plan your shot accordingly before you fire. While basic rangefinders use simple technology to calculate distance, there are now many highly technologically advanced devices on the market which boast impressive features and cutting edge technology to improve your hunting skills even more.
How Do Rangefinders Calculate Distance?
Rangefinders work by using laser beams. When the hunter presses a button on the device, a laser beam is emitted, and the user then aims that beam at their chosen target. When the beam finds the target, it bounces off it, allowing the device to accurately that distance using a high speed internal clock which shows precisely the amount of time it took the laser beam to reach the target. This time is then used to display a reading of the distance, a measurement which is usually recorded in yards.
How Can More Advanced Technology Improve Your Shot?
While you may never have heard of beam divergence, it is a key element at play in quality rangefinders. The latest technology has enabled manufacturers to greatly decrease beam divergence (i.e. how much the beam focuses on the specific target) to ensure that each reading is as accurate as it can be.
Modern rangefinders are capable of spotting targets at an incredible distance from the hunter, sometimes as far as 1600 yards. However, if a rangefinder states that its maximum distance is 1500 yards, this is only the distance at which you can get a reading in ideal conditions, and depending on other factors, such as lighting conditions or weather, the range may be shorter than this. Some new rangefinder models are capable of interpreting results in a variety of ways and they enable the user to choose a different mode to match the intended use of the device.
What To Consider When Buying A Rangefinder
When choosing the right rangefinder for you, there are numerous factors to bear in mind before you make your final purchasing decision. Here are some of the main things to consider:
- Quality and price
- Maximum range
- Overall size
- Angle compensation
- Simplicity of use
- Optical Quality
- Aperture size
- Analysis of data
Quality And Price
When it comes to choosing a rangefinder, you do tend to get what you pay for. A higher quality device will almost certainly come in at a higher price, however as price increases, quality evens out and therefore there is no guarantee that a $1000 rangefinder will be twice as good as a $500 one. Nevertheless, you should choose the best model you can afford.
Always check the maximum effective range of your chosen rangefinder before making a purchase. If you are going to be shooting long range, you will need a device which is capable of accurately ranging out to 1000 yards or more. Remember that the maximum range is not necessarily the distance you will be able to get depending on conditions, so reckon on around 75% of the device’s stated range to be safe.
When you hunt, it is very rare to shoot on a level to your game. If you are hunting from a tree stand, for example, your shot will come from an angle and this will have an effect on projectile drop. If you plan to be shooting downhill or uphill, adjustments will need to be made, and a mathematical equation exists to work this out. The best rangefinders can do all this for you so that you can get the best accuracy without having to go back to school.
Everyone needs a rangefinder that is compact and can easily be carried from place to place without getting in the way or being too heavy. Check the size of your chosen device to make sure that it won’t be too cumbersome or too small to be able to find the buttons easily.
Simplicity Of Use
The best rangefinders are extremely simple to operate, often by simply pressing a button and then taking the reading. If the instructions are too complicated, you run the risk of never getting to grips with your device, so don’t be taken in by all the extras and only invest in the ones you’re going to use.
A rangefinder’s optics are a key factor in choosing the right device. Good quality optics will help to improve the precision and accuracy of the device, and a magnification of at least 8 x will be necessary to find your target with ease.
It goes without saying that a larger aperture will usually indicate a more accurate reading, so check this element out before you buy.
Analysis Of Data
The latest technology used in rangefinders allows the unit to analyze data in different ways. While an older model could only show a reading for the first object found, a newer model is capable of reading and analyzing targets differently for better quality readings.
A rangefinder is a great tool for any hunter, especially if they are planning on doing any long range hunting. They are capable of reading far off distances and telling you precisely how far it is to your target in order for you to adjust your shot accordingly. Make sure, however, to research all of the factors before choosing which rangefinder to buy to make sure you get a great quality device. Check out this page to find the best rangefinders on the market today.