Archers have a different set of needs when it comes to optics.
You won’t need thousand-yard range capability for distant targets when bowhunting, but you will need a rangefinder that determines the angle-compensated distance from your treestand — not simply horizontal distance.
These are some of our top picks for bowhunting rangefinders.
Leupold RX Full Draw 4
As its name suggests, this high-quality hunting rangefinder was built with bowhunters in mind, featuring half-yard accuracy, Archer’s Advantage bow ballistics, and arrow Flightpath technology. An organic LED display offers adjustable brightness settings and superior light transmission in low-light conditions, and Line of Sight calculates target distance regardless of incline/decline. Users can choose from a variety of reticle options. The RX Full Draw 4 can also be used for gun hunting, with a maximum range of 900 yards on deer and similar-sized game.
Developed with extreme accuracy from 5 to 4,500 yards, the water-resistant RF.1 will carry you through archery season, rifle hunting, and long-range practice sessions. Line of sight/angle compensation and obstruction filter functionality guarantee the most accurate reading for an ethical shot when bowhunting. Maven’s Field/Forest Function also allows you to switch modes based on your environment to zero in on small objects in a busy field of view or rough weather conditions. The Maven RF.1 comes with a pre-installed CR2 battery and double-layered microfiber carrying case.
Vortex Fury HD 5000
Get two-for-one functionality with a set of fogproof rangefinding binos like the Fury XD 5000 from Vortex. Featuring HCD (Horizontal Component Distance) technology, these binos display the accurate distance to your target in the reticle at lightning-fast speeds. According to reviewers, the Fury HD 5000 performs incredibly well at short ranges, making it an ideal archery rangefinder/bino combo. Vortex Fury HD 5000 binos are backed by the company’s lifetime warranty and come with a harness, tethered objective lens covers, eyepiece cover, and CR2 battery.
Garmin Xero A1i
If toting around a laser rangefinder is weighing you down or you want to eliminate the guesswork of between-pin ranges, consider upgrading to a bowsight with rangefinding capability built right in. With the Garmin Xero A1i, bowhunters simply press the grip-mounted button trigger to continuously range their moving target then release to project an LED pin for the precise angle-compensated distance. It also incorporates a Laser Locate feature that can be paired with other Garmin devices to share waypoint data. I was initially skeptical of the new technology, but I’ve since shot several animals with the Xero and it’s become part of my favorite bowhunting setup.
Other reputable optics manufacturers such as Bushnell, Nikon, Leica, and Sig Sauer also produce some excellent single-button options that can easily transition from close-range hunting in the treestand to long-distance shooting. The right rangefinder for you will largely depend on your preferences, so do plenty of research and invest in a hunting rangefinder that will serve you for many years to come.
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