What Should You Know About Archery Rangefinder?

I’ve been using them only for a relatively short period of time, having originally been one of the more bitter, old-fashioned types of archers who’d tell you “my eyes are just fine, thank you”; and let me tell you, there’s a couple things you need to keep in mind. If you will, these are 5 short guidelines for newbies, but for those who have been careless with the finders, as well.

  1. Know your rangefinder.

Yeah, this means reading the instructions that come with your archery rangefinder. Different models work in different ways, have different benefits, and carry different cons. You have to understand your rangefinder and all its features – otherwise, the time will come when you’ve missed your shot because you and your rangefinder weren’t even on a first-name basis.

  1. Keep your obstacles in mind.

If we’re talking about laser archery rangefinders here, a lot of people forget the basics of how they work  – often resulting in frustrations. Here’s an important fact – laser rangefinders send a beam of light at an object, and catch the speed at which the light is reflected back. This way, judging from how long it took the laser to reflect, they can gauge distance.


However, this means that if so much as a blade of grass gets hit by the laser, your distance can be off. It’s pretty difficult to target an animal that way, since many happen to remain in tall grass or foliage. The solution? Predict the animal, and look for easier surfaces. Then, wait. Once you’ve gauged the surface of, say, a nearby tree, wait for the animal to make a move and notch your arrow.

  1. Don’t rely on it too much.

This is an important bit of information right here – and a lot of archers neglect it. There are two shortcomings to spending too much time with your rangefinder – one is that you simply lose your natural ranging edge, and the other is that you miss opportunities to take the shot because you’re busy ranging. Oftentimes, going with your gut will earn you that moment you need to take the kill, whereas the grabbing the rangefinder to verify your guess can mean losing that moment – and oftentimes, you’ll misgauge because of a hard-to-see obstacle, and your shot will be wasted due to an inaccurate reading.

  1. Protect your rangefinder.

Archery rangefinders aren’t necessarily the most delicate objects, but they nonetheless require a good amount of care. Make sure you’ve got a dedicated, protected pouch for your rangefinder – and remember that a damaged rangefinder means inaccurate readings.


  1. Angles, angles, angles.

Not all archery rangefinders calculate trajectory for you – and arrows don’t travel in a straight horizontal line. Remember that depending on the angle of your bow, the location of your target, and the relative strength with which you notch your bow, your shot can be completely different. Rangefinders will often tell you how far away your target is – but you’re going to have to use both your head and your gut to translate that back into reality.

That’s it – a few simple, quick, yet important tips. As any other dedicated archer, there comes a time when we invest in rangefinders. It’s an inevitability – they’re simply a tool of the trade too important and helpful to ignore.

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