With a variety of rangefinders in the market, it is easy to find two kinds – expensive ones with an extended feature set that the average bowhunter doesn’t need and cheap ones that are nothing more than ornaments for your bow.
If you’re just starting with bow hunting, you might not want to spend a fortune on a fancy rangefinder. You may even find that bowhunting isn’t for you after a few trips. In that instance, it helps if you haven’t spent a lot of money getting all geared up. However, you still want to invest in a good rangefinder that develops your interest in the sport rather than pushes you away.
Finding the Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting
The best budget rangefinder for bow hunting might not be the cheapest one on the market, but it will offer a balance between price and performance. Here are some of the things you should consider when assessing the value of a budget rangefinder.
Know Your Needs
Before you can start looking for a rangefinder, you should decide what you want it to do. Make a list of the features you think are most important for you and the ones you can live without. This way, you can avoid spending money on rangefinders that are expensive but don’t necessarily add value for you.
Type of Rangefinder
There are three types of rangefinders you will find in the market: laser, optical, and ultrasonic. Laser rangefinders are the most used because of their accuracy. They are light and compact, which is an added benefit when you are on the field.
Although you would want to stick to a laser rangefinder, you can consider an optical rangefinder if you are on a limited budget. Optical rangefinders use mirrors to measure distances. They are slow in the calculating distance but do work well with stationary targets.
Ultrasonic rangefinders are the most accurate but impractical for hunting as the slightest noise from the surroundings will compromise accuracy.
Ease of Use
When you are out looking for a game, you want things to be as simple as possible. The rangefinder you select should be easy to use. This way, you can spend less time setting it up or fidgeting with controls and more time on lining up the shot while you still have a chance. Determine how long the rangefinder takes to go from dormant to operational and consider that when making a final decision.
Several other factors should also be considered to select the perfect rangefinder, but they are specific to your hunting style. If you are new to the game, this is something you will figure out as you go along. Considering factors like the range and height, you usually take shots from will help you select a rangefinder that has a longer range and angle compensation features.
Unlike the famous saying, “You get what you pay for,” if you do your homework and take some time to find and select the right rangefinder, you can often get more than your money’s worth.