When hunting, accuracy is very important when estimating the distance to a target. Every hunter wants to make a shot, but even worse than a miss, is the potential of wounding the game and never recovering it. A responsible hunter always strives to avoid such a scenario, hence, the need for proper estimation of distance.
Most hunters make use of handheld laser range finder. However, handheld laser rangefinders have some drawbacks especially because of the potential ruckus associated with picking up the rangefinder, ranging the target. What worse, placing the rangefinder could alert the game animal hence spoiling the shot; a great solution is to use a bow mounted rangefinder.
About Bow Mounted Rangefinders
Unlike handheld laser rangefinders, bow mounted rangefinders are placed on top of the bow. As such, they are much silent. They can be either electronic or non-electronic.
Here is a review of the best bow mounted laser rangefinders
This rangefinder is cheap and simple but an effective solution. The rangefinder sells for under $20. Here are some of its features:
- It attaches to the bow sight directly using a concept called bracketing
- It features a series of fiber optic pins; the bottom pin is marked ‘belly line’ and the remaining are set at varying distances.
- The pins are configurable depending on the game being hunted e.g. the belly to back measurement of a deer is different than that of a turkey or an elk
- A configuration guide is included that assists you to determine what holes the designated pins should be placed on, depending on the game being hunted.
- It is legal to use for hunting purposes in all 50 states because it is non-electric
- It is very cost effective
- Trophies harvested with dead on range finders are eligible for the pope & Young record book based on fair chase rules
- Works very well with single pin adjustable bow sights
- A laser dot to align the sighting laser; this is to zero the laser dot with the pin of choice necessary for ranging quickly and accurately
- LED display on the rear of read-out unit
- Leupold’s angle compensating technology tuned to archery ballistics
- Pressure sensitive trigger switches the unit on and off, and is connected by wire to the unit. Therefore, the user can place the trigger wherever it is most instinctive and comfortable for his or her grip
The dead on range finder is not 100% accurate; because it is based on the bracketing idea, it comes very close to estimating the correct range to the target but it is not exact. The dead-on range finder also requires reconfiguration of the pins if it is going to be used for hunting varying species of game.
The Leupold vendetta is a high-tech option in the bow mounted rangefinder market. It uses a non-visible laser to accurately calculate the distance to any target up to 70 yards away. The Vendetta features:
- Excellent accuracy;
- Instant and precise digital readout of the target range
- The rangefinder continually adjusts angles, distance, and elevation as the target moves
- Easy to read display that provides accurate distance to the target automatically
- Weighs 9oz including the mounting gear and battery
- Easy to install in both left or right-hand bows
- Polycarbonate body; offers durability as it compact and waterproof ensuring legendary and rugged performance
- Long lasting, CR-2 battery guaranteeing thousands of reliable and accurate readings
- Alignment is quick and easy, all thanks to the visible sighting laser
- One-touch scan mode
- Multicoated lens system
The vendetta is quite costly which makes it restrictive to occasional hunters. However, it is a premium archery accessory that is used typically by avid bow hunter. Another drawback is that the vendetta is not legal for hunting in all 50 states as most of the western states do not allow it. In addition to this, trophy harvested by the Leupold Vendetta is not eligible for the Pope and Young (P&Y) record books since electronic devices on bow are not allowed as per the rules of fair chase.
The Bushnell yardage pro takes guesswork out of measuring distance, the rangefinder delivers superb ranging performance at the touch of a button. It is accurate within one yard even if measurement is done in the rain, snow or through foreground clutter such as branches and brush. The yardage pro features;
- Fully multicoated lens coating
- A 9 volt battery
- 10-700 yard range with a 1-yard accuracy
The Bottom Line
You should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both non-electronic and electronic models of bow mounted range finders so as to determine which is right for you, and also the best suited to your archery needs. However, the main decision boils down to what state you live and hunt in, in terms of whether it is legal to use the bow mounted rangefinders for hunting game or not.