Is a range finder necessary?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by BowMaster5, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. BowMaster5

    BowMaster5 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Posts:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abbotsford B.C. Canada
    Hey guys,

    Im very new to bowhunting so I haven't memorized what 20 30 and 40 yards look like yet, so im wondering if a rangefinder is a good investment, because the last thing I want to do it guess the wrong range and miss or injure the deer not killing it.

    Just wondering what your guys opinion on this is, and whether you use a range finder or when you started using one, keep in mind im 15 have a job but spending most money on bow stuff, just trying to gets whats necessary.

    Thanks
     
  2. cdemarse

    cdemarse Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Posts:
    300
    Likes Received:
    157
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    IL
    It's not necessary. But... It is handy and makes things quick and easy.
     
  3. ROOPS

    ROOPS Newb

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Posts:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    I learned to pace things off to check yardage on things way before I needed to shoot from there. I practiced this technique in my back yard for the first 2 years of bow hunting. I just recently got a digital rangefinder, and to my surprise my paces are dead on.
     
  4. FEB

    FEB Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Posts:
    3,300
    Likes Received:
    3,366
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    That's reason enough right there to get one. It's a must have, for me.
     
  5. PSEREVENGEMAN

    PSEREVENGEMAN Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Posts:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Must have. I have 100 bowstands, hunt the west and rifle hunt. Besides, that followup shot @66 yards is always a possibility.
     
  6. Josh/OH

    Josh/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    483
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I've paced off steps and marked particular trees, for quick reference... but I think every hunter should have one. I used to take mine to 3D courses. I would take my guess, then my shot (if I was comfortable with it).. then shoot it with the laser for comparison. Do this enough times, and you'll be a pro at judging yardage in no time.
     
  7. seanmoe

    seanmoe Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Posts:
    972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    WISCONSIN, SAUK COUNTY
    Yes I think so, there's always a situation where you can't pace something off or for those of you that have shot 3-D ranges or have shot over uneven terrain you know eye estimation is not always reliable. so yes yes it is.
     
  8. PSEREVENGEMAN

    PSEREVENGEMAN Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Posts:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    I shoot 20 3d's a year and judging distance in a tree in low light is another ballgame.
     
  9. BACKSTRAPASSASSIN

    BACKSTRAPASSASSIN Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Posts:
    2,314
    Likes Received:
    80
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Range finder is a must for sure....especially just starting out...buy used if you dont want to shell out

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. Josh/OH

    Josh/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    483
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Okay??

    So..... a new bowhunter (whom has trouble judging yardage) investing a rangefinder is a horrible idea?
     
  11. PSEREVENGEMAN

    PSEREVENGEMAN Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Posts:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Both my posts made it clear it's a must have imo.
     
  12. Josh/OH

    Josh/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    483
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Gotcha. So taking the rangefinder to a 3D course during daylight is bad idea? Understood. I appreciate the clarification.
     
  13. PSEREVENGEMAN

    PSEREVENGEMAN Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Posts:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    I never said that. It's just not the same as judging from 20 feet up in low light imo. I've never shot a 3d where they allowed rangefinders anyway which is besides the point. Most whitetail shots are inside 30 yards and @300fps it doesn't matter anyway. Form and practice at 20 feet up matters.
     
  14. Josh/OH

    Josh/OH Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    2,696
    Likes Received:
    483
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Good deal, man ;)

    BowMaster, to simply answer your question; No, a rangefinder is not necessary. However, I would strongly recommend that you invest one and find a technique which allows you to guess & compare. It will greatly increase your odds of making good, snap judgments while on stand. As I stated earlier, guessing/shooting/ranging at different distances (and at different sized/shaped targets) worked wonders for my ability to naturally range and kill animals. Good luck this season!!!
     
  15. grnhd

    grnhd Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Posts:
    1,532
    Likes Received:
    23
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West,Ky
    I hunted for years without one. I don't even know if they made them in the 80's. If they did there wasn't many and they were probably way more expensive than they are now. So,I learned to judge everything by steps and sighted my bow in that way. I called it yards and it was always close. SO when hunting it was 20 "yards" to that bush,24 yards to that tree,19 steps to that rock etc. I had things ranged at every stand. So when hunting when you saw a deer you had a good idea of how far it was. Well,its two steps past the rock so that's 21 yards. So its not necessary but it sure is handy to have. What I'd recommend doing if you cant afford one is stepping off everything you see. You're in Wal-Mart,how many steps is it to that loaf of bread. Out in the parking lot how far is it to that ugly ford truck. At home how far is it to your mail box,how far is it to that tree in the yard. You get the idea. Judging yardage is a skill that's learned over time. Even if you do get a range finder I'd still do that same thing guessing yardage and then ranging it.(Maybe not in Wal-Mart) There WILL come a time when you'll get a shot and wont have time to range it or have the distance around you pre marked.
    Every day when I shoot in my yard I walk to the target from a different angle,stop at an unknown distance, judge the yardage and shoot it.
     
  16. MGH_PA

    MGH_PA Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Posts:
    10,447
    Likes Received:
    306
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cogan Station, PA
    People hunted with them for a LONG time before they were invented. That being said, it's a great tool to have. If you're still getting used to judging distances and you don't have confidence in yourself, that lack of confidence can lead to a bad shot, so yeah, I would recommend getting one.
     
  17. Coop

    Coop Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Posts:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    73
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Springtown TX
    I used to be in the camp of you don't not need one. But I have to admit now that I own one, knowing the exact yardage has greatly increased my confidence to make a good shot. No more "I think it's 30 yards", now I know. I doubt I will ever hunt without one again. Sure I can estimate range but knowing exactly is very nice.
     
  18. AIM

    AIM Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Posts:
    278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montpelier, Ohio
    I don't have one yet but it's on my list. Until then what I have done is use a rope. I have a rope that is 40 yards long. (i tied 2 together)
    I tie it to my stand and walk round stretching it out and tying bits of flagging tape to various trees etc. Then I pull it in to 25-30 yards and do the same with diff colored tape.
    40 yards is my max shot so if deer are beyond it's no shot. Just mark your ranges according to your pin settings.
    In short i believe they are a good idea but until you get one there are ways around it.
    The bad part of using a rope is if you do a mid hunt stand move. It's a bit to much messin around to do it quietly.
     
  19. Skywalker

    Skywalker Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    Posts:
    6,850
    Likes Received:
    806
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NW Missouri
    As a self taught bowhunter(not starting until I was 29 years old), I didn't have one the first couple years I hunted and can attribute, at least partly, to not killing any deer the first couple years. I misjudged distance on several occasion. I shot under deer, I shot over deer and I made a couple bad shots. One evening I shot under a really nice 10pt. That was when I decided I needed a range finder, so the next morning I went out and bought one. Now I range everything imaginable when I get in the stand so I have an idea of the distance. If I'm given the time, I will range the deer before the shot, but being able to range the distance ahead of time gives me a pretty good idea of the distance of a deer in relation to where they are standing
     
  20. MTSCMike

    MTSCMike Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Posts:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Rangefinder? Great idea if you can afford it.

    Can't afford it? Pace it off and mark it.

    Before I bought my first rangefinder, I used 4 pieces of wire coathanger about 6" long with a small loop bent in one end. I tied a bow to the loop with survey ribbon and carried these in my bag. When I found a tree I wanted to hunt from, I would pace 20 steps (yards) in 4 directions and stab the markers in the ground. Back then my "limit" for hunting distance was 30 yards so with 20 yards marked I could easily guess where 10 and 30 were. Killed a lot of deer with those markers and would not hesitate to use them today.

    In fact, sometimes I think those old markers were better because I didn't have to remember what the range was to various objects around me. I find myself re-ranging things with my rangefinder to see if I remembered correctly (getting older). Those old markers were instant visual feedback when a deer came in. Heck, I may make 4 new ones!
     

Share This Page