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rangefinder question

15 posts in this topic

I primarily bow hunt but I do also do some rifle and shotgun. I have yet to purchase a rangefinder. I have been looking at the nikon archery model but that only goes out to a hundred yards. Does anyone know if I go with the rifle model am I compromising any of the archery needs? Looks like the only difference is the range and the price. Let me know what you think. I would take other suggestions as well.

Thanks

paul

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For "work" I have two. I have a small Nikon 450 and a Bushnell 1500. Bushnell is HUGE but they are just as accurate at closer ranges and actually at the max of the Nikon's they were close. We were testing accuracy by going into fields and range finding each other and we were within a tenth of an yard each time. I would spend the money and get one with the ARC in it for bow hunting/rifle at larger distances. I would also get one that had a few more yards then you think you might need. If it says 1000 yds you probable can only range find a deer at 600 if your lucky. Take the number and cut it in half and that is about what a deer will be at for ranging. Spend the money get one with the ARC and get it with a few more yards then you think you will need because you never know when those yards will be nice to have.

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I have one that I suppose technically is a rifle one. I know I can range stuff a long ways out there, and it still seems accurate up close. I think the difference is the Archery one is supposed to take into consideration shot angle. It will shorten distance depending on how far down the shot angle is. When you range a target you are supposed to range level to compensate for arrow drop. I rarely range an animal, I range trees around me when I first get there, but at eye level, not the base of the tree, this pretty much does the same thing.

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I rarely ever range a deer also. I will use it to range to a tree or trail but I personally find from my expierence that I rarely ever use mine.

I now wonder why I even bought it but I did believe that I would use it more than I do. If I have a deer in the area, I try to concentrate on drawing back and I just don't find the added time to range the deer and get caught doing it.

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I have a Nikon 600 without the ARC for both bow and rifle hunting. I have not used it on a live animal from my tree but rather for ranging a new stand setup in the woods or on a field. I don't worry too much about ARC as I am typically not shooting over 30 yards from a tree and with the speed of my bow I have not seen a great impact from height. I would recommend getting a high quality pair of binoculars before getting a rage finder as I find I use them very heavily when in the tree and targeting game. Good luck.

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Thanks for the quick replies. I have wondered how much I would use it as well. I typicaly pace off of trails and trees and can get pretty close. My problem has been that I hunt state land (in and out with the stand each day) There has been a lot of pressure for some reason this year and I am forced some days to go to my 4th or 5th pick of trees and don't have the time to pace things off. Do you guys know of anyone who uses the Nikon riflehunter model for bow hunting. It says it has ARC.

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I agree with the previos posts, the archery range finder is probably going to help compensate for shot angle, where the rifle one won't. But both should be accurate.

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Fish:

I use the Prostaff model by Nikon. I had a 440, now have a 550. They're cheap (~$200), and do great for bow and gun. Just practice shooting from a platform or deck at extreme angles, ranging the target each time, and moving it between shot strings. That's helped me out a ton. I've found that only at the most extreme angles (with my bow and setup anyway), or at longer distances when very high up in a tree, do my arrows hit in dramatically different places. Depending on your setup, you situation might be different, but I wouldn't advise setting up a stand 5 yds from a trail or taking a straight below you shot anyway.

What sold me on the Nikon was that the laser is of better quality. It'll shoot through the camo netting on my DoubleBull. As of last year, it was the only laser which could effectively range through the mesh. If you hunt out of a ground blind at times, might be something to think about.

Joel

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The only thing I'd watch with the longer distance ones for bow hunting is the minimum distance it works at. Some of the older models (and mine is pretty ancient I'll admit) didn't work under 20-30 yards. This may not be a problem anymore but I know mine is pretty worthless for archery distances (and of course it doesn't have the angle compensator either).

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once had a rangefinder, but lost it. it was handy, but i don't want to replace it. Now if i lost my vexilar, i would have bought a new one the next day!

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If you place your bow stands really high, over 20 feet, I would buy a rangefinder that compensates for angle. Also if you do any western hunting at all, you need a rangefinder. Distances look a lot different in open country than they do in the woods. I made a long loop for mine and I keep it around my neck, it hangs near my waist, and I have it on at all times. I shot 3 deer bowhunting this year and ranged 2 of them, both 30 yards. I have found over the years that when I needed it most it was in my pack. You will eventually run into a deer walking to or from your stand that you want to shoot, if you guess 35 and it's actually 40, you just missed your chance. I don't want to leave any variables that I can control out of my control. Why guess when you can know? Don't buy the cheapest one you can find, they don't last or stand up to the conditions. Spend a couple hundred bucks and you'll be fine.

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Not trying to be disagreeable, but I'm pretty sure some of the previous info was incorrect- if I understand right, both the Nikon archery model and the rifle model come with angle compensation as an option. The difference is range and price. If I remember right, the rifle model might give you another mode or too also (I'm really not sure on that one).

If you're in relatively flat country and not shooting really steep shots, there's really no need for ARC. I've been hunting mulies, antelope, and elk for the past few years and it really makes a difference- lots of steep angled shots that are longer than 30 yards.

...just ask my buddy Slevy on that one- he missed a nice 5 x 5 on the first day of the trip this year when he ranged a bull at one distance, shot, skipped off it's back (did no damage other than a tuft of hair), and watched the nice bull run away. My brother ranged the same shot with his ARC enabled rangefinder and it should have been shot as if it was, if I remember right, 8 yards shorter than actual distance. That definitely cost Slevy that bull...

In my experience, in 90+ percent of whitetail hunting one does not gain much with ARC.

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I'm actually going to buying one in the next few weeks when I can make it down to Cabelas to use their in-store coupon mailer. I've read a lot on the subject recently and most of what I read says the ARC technology makes little to no difference for the average bowhunter in a tree. If you're 20 feet up in a tree and the deer is 30 yards away, you're going to be about a yard off if you ranged him with a finder without the ARC technology.

Just use the Pythagorean theorem. Hey, you're going to use math after all - in bowhunting. Square the height of your stand (don't forget to convert feet to yards), so 20 feet = about 6.66 yards or 44.44 yards when you square it. Add that to 30 yards, or the distance to the deer squared, or 900 yards. And you come up with 944.44 yards. Now take the square root of that, or 30.73 yards, and you have the actual distance of the angle of your shot from the treestand 20 feet up in the tree to the deer on the ground 30 yards from the base of your tree.

When guys say its totally different shooting at deer from a treestand then on the ground, I agree, but think its more about shot angle than distances. The arrow is going to be entering the animal at a much different angle than from on the ground, so that's where I think you benefit the most from when it comes to practicing out of a treestand - being able to know where to place the arrow on the target.

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