The hardest thing that stops you from getting the bison of your dreams in the next big hunt is the absence of the best archery rangefinder. Can you disagree? If you are someone who has been breaking bows and cursing at arrows for all those empty shots, it’s time you invest in something that can measure for you the right distance, distinguish and lock the blessed prey, and target for victory!
With the touch of built-in angle compensation, some scanning features, and switchable modes for the ever-changing prey positions, you will be able to knock it off and reclaim your throne to archery expertise. Or at least as an archery intermediate. So let’s start the recommendations already!
Top Picks :
Best Rangefinder for Beginners: AOFAR HX-700N Hunting Range Finder
“Delivers clarity of reading and accuracy of hunting for users who have just gotten into archery.”
Best Low Light Rangefinder with AI Technology: AOFAR HX-1200T Range Finder
“The 25 mm objective lens really helps in the low-light shooting and takes the guesswork out in distance calculation!”
Best laser rangefinder with angle compensation: Leupold Vendetta 2 Archery Rangefinder
“For precise and instant angle compensation between yourself and the target ensuring a successful hunt.”
Best Multimode Rangefinder: Visiocrest B-3280-BL Laser Range Finder
“Switch between five modes to hit targets whether it’s foggy or sunny, scan the premise beyond 100o yards, and hit the target even at speed.”
Best Compact Rangefinder: WOSPORTS Hunting Range Finder
“Just the right size to sit on your belt and just enough to take down prey!”
Product Reviews on the Best Archery Rangefinders
Here are the top 5 of our best picks you need to know.
1. AOFAR HX-700N Hunting Range Finder
The first one on the list is meant for enthusiasts and not overly professionals in the field of archery and bowhunting. If you have just gotten into archery or have the fascination of starting with it but don’t know where to begin or what rangefinder, to begin with, you can check this one out.
AOFAR’s HX-700N has coverage of up to 700 yards, a decent bet from most common rangefinders. If you don’t plan on long-range hunting, you should plan on checking its features.
- Mode Options: You can pick from 4 options on this rangefinder. They are range, speed, fog, and scan. Depending on which model you want to shoot in, it will deliver apt performance.
- Precision: With a magnification of 6X, it gives you clarity with an error mark of -/+1.
- Portable: This lightweight model is easy to carry when you are out there hunting. What further adds to it is the carabiner, ropes, and battery that you get along.
- Water and dust resistant so durable in most weather conditions.
- Continuous scanning feature to easily identify targets.
- Comes with an instruction manual for ease of use.
- The lens works great in all lighting conditions.
- No way to select first or last target priority.
2. WOSPORTS Hunting Range Finder
The second one that we aim to present is from WOSPORTS. Compared to the AOFAR HX-700N, this boasts the same 6X magnification and up to 700 yards of target distance coverage.
So what is the specialty here? As you find later, there are three models of a rangefinder. Two of these are individually called laser and optical rangefinders. WOSPORTS combines both. Also, this is much more compact in size. However, since this is a laser rangefinder, it will not work as properly in heavy rain or foggy weather as the HX-700N.
- Easy Lock Target: On the rangefinder, the flag lock option lets you lock the target when you choose to aim. This saves you from arbitrary hit and miss.
- Aim Moving Target: The speed measuring abilities on it and the addition of scan mode lets you pick up the range between yourself and the moving target for a timely shot.
- Daylight Hunting: If you are hunting in the woods in broad daylight, this gives you the clarity of accurate reading and measurements.
- Excellent option for 3D archery in the woods with its accuracy and range coverage.
- Compact while including a lot of features as a great value.
- Gives good clean shots based on accurate measurements.
- Loud carrying case sounds may alert prey if you are not cautious.
3. AOFAR HX-1200T Range Finder
What separated this from the previous AOFAR HX-700N? This model comes with AI technology that’s so much better! With the help of this technology, you can easily switch between rifle or bow hunting; go from archer to shooter!
Comparing it with other long-range shooters like the Sig Sauer 2200, it delivers reliable measurements while hunting in woods as opposed to reflective surfaces. With the angular and horizontal compensation, fast measurement, and coverage of 1200 yards, this is some great achievement!
- Accuracy: With the boastful pin sensor technology, you get an accurate measurement of +/- 1, which is a great plus and is the least error count in hunting, and has a 6X magnification compared to regular 4X options.
- Weatherproof: It can beat dust, wind, fog, and water so that the weather does not come in your way of hunting!
- Low light shooting: Great for shooting on dark nights and still gives precise reading even at that maximum yard measurement, whether you are at an elevated position or not!
- Fast distance and angle calculation with great accuracy.
- Bright readings that work in all lights.
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
- The carrying case is not easy to use in the field and needs improvements.
4. Visiocrest B-3280-BL Laser Range Finder
For some hunters, the option to switch easily between modes is a great factor when picking the rangefinder. What’s more, the availability of more modes draws them further into the radius f=of getting that particular rangefinder.
If you are one of those types, you’d be glad to know that this offers you the highest mode options on the list! A total of 5 modes, such as range, flagpole, scan, speed, and fog, is what makes Visiocrest stand out from the rest.
- Precision: As long as your prey falls within the 1093 yards mark, you can clearly see the target with an accurate measurement of more or less than 1. Now that’s something for long-range hunters!
- Construction: It is made of a durable premium, a multi-coated lens that is easy to see and hunt with and will last you a couple of seasons of hunting.
- Haze-proof: The biggest hunting setback is in foggy weather, if not any other. The fog mode is known for excellent visibility when your bare eyes can’t make things out.
- Can be used for golfing purposes as well.
- Let your work in any topography or mixed terrain without fail.
- Lets you scan multiple targets in a single area.
- Provides precision of the shot.
- Could provide better accessories with the rangefinder.
5. Leupold Vendetta 2 Archery Rangefinder
The last one on the list is from Leupold, the father of laser rangefinders if we could name it! You may ask us when the rest of them are offering 700-1200 yards of area coverage; why did we pick something that gives only 75 yards of coverage when there are other laser rangefinders that can give much more?
The reason is the TBR technology and the reasonable accessibility that it brings to the table. With the True Ballistic Range technology, it gives you the right inclination, range, and ballistics information.
- Versatile mount: You can use it with both compound and crossbows to get the readout without excessive noise, movement, or guesswork; so that you can focus on shots.
- Hand-friendly: It can be used by both left and right-hand archers easily and conveniently.
- Continuous scan: You can range animals it moves and not be left under the mercy of pre-ranged markers. This, with the laser dot alignment, lets you accurately hit targets.
- Gives instant and precise LED readout.
- Scan mode continuously adjusts distance for a right hit.
- Works and responds quickly during hunting.
- Needs better packaging and accessorizing.
What is Angle Compensation or Bow Mode?
An interchangeable term used by archers, the angle compensation or bow mode is a built-in function that you get on your rangefinder. Using the optics and the hardware in question, the rangefinder calculates the best angle at which you should prompt a shoot.
When you are gap shooting, you have to pay attention to the projection of the arrow, the gravity, the distance, and whatnot! Manually calculating the angle is a tough job we don’t want to be doing when on-field hunting, right? For a moving target, this calculation and fixation become increasingly difficult. So what’s the fix? An archery rangefinder with angle compensation that not only delivers during bow hunting but also during 3D archery!
So the next time hunters like you have to shoot from an elevated terrain or a high position (like grasping for life on a tree branch), you can switch easily to the built-in angle compensation feature.
How Rangefinders Work
If we had to summarize how quality rangefinders work, we would do it for you in three words:
What do you think happened before rangefinders existed? Prominent and beginner archers alike would calculate the distance between themselves and the target manually. Just imagine calculating or taking a guess on how far from you the target exists. A wrong calculation of the distance would result in an invariable miss! What’s more, shooters would have no idea of the size of the target without rangefinders. Not just these, you are also learning about the angular measurement of the target, in case you both don’t share a horizontal distance.
Do you know how far away a rangefinder can help you distinguish your target? Depending on the size of it, the lens coating, etc., the optimal range of a rangefinder may vary.
It is easy for you to securely identify a target within the coverage of at least 600-700 yards. However, it can go as far as 1200-1300 yards. So the right rangefinder can not only give you the distance in between but also tell you how distinct the target is, which saves you from random hits.
So you measured the distance with accurate reading, identified and distinguished the target from random objects, and now you’re ready. So what’s next? Good targeting. A good rangefinder always helps you in targeting. Without a rangefinder, you’d still be able to carry on, but your targeting will not be as good as Arjuna.
Importance of Angle Compensation in a Rangefinder
The chances for you to shoot on level ground is as good as the chances of that not happening. Suppose you locate a deer in a seemingly level field. You are thirty seconds into fixing your target when that deer suddenly hears your boots crunch, and off it goes! But you have little time to shoot it between the careful and steady steps vs. the fast treads it will take once it sees you. How do you fixate on a moving object and hit it?
Like this, your terrain will not always be smooth and clear. It will likely be angular, and you will need to shoot downhill, stumbling, grasping, hanging, and whatnot!
This is why you will need something that will be better able to calculate the angular distance between you and that deer. This is why angle compensations archery is the buzzword!
Choosing the Right Rangefinder
In order to choose the best rangefinder for bow hunting, here are some functions you will need to keep in mind:
Angle calculation is of prime importance to any archer. We understand that you would not like to do the calculations in your head and hence expect that you will have an angle calculator in your rangefinder. It will give you the angular placement of your prey; whether it is a sixty-degree angle or a plainly straight in front of you at 0 degrees, you will get to know it.
So getting a rangefinder that gives you proper readings in the form of accurate angular measurements is a plus to aim accordingly!
One of the things archers mess up on, is not selecting the range before purchase. As a result, they end up getting a range too high for themselves that they won’t even need and end up paying more as well. Don’t be one of them! Get a hold of what is your good range data for a smooth hunt. A coverage of 600-1300 yards of distance is pretty decent.
Far Target Priority
When there are multiple targets nearby, you usually don’t hit all of them. To lock on one target and to isolate it, you pick your first priority. In doing so, you pick the target located the most near you.
Also, remember, far target priority is not only used when you have multiple moving objects at a distance. All of them need not be moving objects for you to isolate your prize! Your target could be a live bison, and the rest of the multiple objects that your rangefinder picks up maybe tall trees that your hazy eyes identified as some random animal!
Another option you can pick is the last target priority, where you locate a bison situated beyond and not in front of the trees, aka most near you.
Close Target Sensitivity
In order to save yourself from potentially ferocious and unwanted animals or things approaching you, you will need this feature. Generally, hunters lock a target within 10 yards. However, if something were to approach you nearer than this or in smaller fractions, this option will be a great thing to have to save yourself from injuries.
The magnification will determine the visual clarity and details of the object or animal. Knowingly or unknowingly, hunters tend to go for high magnification. However, high magnification isn’t always so good. The ideal range if you want a decent to high-profile magnification is 4X-8X, beyond which you will lose a significant field of vision.
Always purchase a rangefinder that has a readable viewscreen. This helps especially on the horrid nights when you go out for a hunt or for days at a stretch that have different lighting situations.
Besides the brightness settings, check the eye relief measurement. This tells you how far your eyes need to be from the screen to read it. Getting a larger eye relief may help!
Water Resistance and Durability
Natural elements may ruin your rangefinder. So your rangefinder should be able to resist both water and moisture. So that when you make your hunting move on wet bodies, your rangefinder is safe and remains durable in the long run.
Tips for Rangefinder Use
- Knowing the different numbers and words on your viewscreen and what they mean.
- Aiming according to your understanding and adjustment on the LED display.
- Using the laser beam for hunting and not hurting other animals.
- Setting a decent close target sensitivity that doesn’t catch you by surprise or gives you buffer time.
- Choosing a magnification that doesn’t ruin your field of vision.
- Storing the bow and rangefinder rightly after practice and use.
Buying Guide for the Best Rangefinder for Archery
The right rangefinder for bowhunting needs the right guide! Here it is:
You want the best rangefinder for bowhunting. But do you know what it is? OR, what is a scan feature? Do you know of bowhunting, for that matter, or is it just a whim? Don’t believe just any marketing gimmick on eye relief, target sensitivity, etc. but know what they actually mean and what you really need to include in your ideal rangefinder.
You will need to pay the price for a good quality rangefinder. Getting water-resistant models with a multi-coated lens is definitely more expensive than regular options.
In general, you will find 3 models on rangefinders: Ultrasonic rangefinders which generate sound waves off the reflective target as a signal; optical rangefinders, which take down still targets by the superimposition of images; and laser rangefinders which use lasers to hit and give readings off the target.
Time of the Day/Season
Your hunting time, whether twilight or dusk, is important to recommend on the glare you will be hunting against. Again, the time of the season is important too. Laser sightings are great for night shooting, while more expensive options are suited to dizzy, sunny days.
Optics and Lens
Inferior optics will never let you hit your target well. Not just the optics, you will need to pay attention to the magnification, lens, and angle composition as well. So getting everything right and the optics wrong is going to hurt!
Again, optical lenses are common to all rangefinders. However, the coating that you get on them inherently differs. So you get different light transmissions and different clarity of distances.
This also determines the price, among other things, and needs attention.
Can I substitute my golf rangefinder for hunting?
You may substitute it. But it will change your field of vision and affect your target hitting to some extent.
What is considered to be the best archery rangefinder with angle compensation?
It has to be from the brands AOFAR, Vortex, Leupold, and Bushnell that you get the best angle compensation for bow hunting.
How can a Rangefinder help you in the hunting field?
By helping you measure, distinguish, and aim for the target!
What rangefinders do Militaries use?
For tactical performance, Military men usually use laser rangefinders.
How far can a bow shoot?
For typical archers, it is 30-60 yards that a bow can travel. If you’re a super ambitious one, yours can go further!
What is called the best laser rangefinder for hunting?
It is the Leupold Vendetta 2 Archery Rangefinder from our list.
And that brings us to the end of the best archery rangefinder hunt. A hunt it was for us too, right? If we were to pick one, we would go for the AOFAR HX-1200T Range Finder that gives you great accuracy, precision, and low-light, long-range shots at a decent price.
Otherwise, for a choice of lasers, it would definitely be the Leupold Vendetta 2 Archery Rangefinder being so quick, accurate, and featuring outstanding TBR technology. Let us know which one of the rangefinders you liked best!