Is A Rangefinder Necessary for Hunting

Is A Rangefinder Necessary for Hunting

Some people are of the opinion that hunting is a sport from old and if people could hunt successfully then without the aid of technology then they certainly do not need one now.

I mean, it is hard to argue with such astute logic but why anyone would prefer to struggle to hunt as the early men did rather than embrace technology that makes life easier is beyond me. Others think rangefinders are a luxury they can cut off because they are good with eyeballing or distances. However, more often than not they are soon disappointed.    

Introducing rangefinders to hunting saves a lot of time, mistakes and improves accuracy in shots significantly. In this article, we would be looking at why rangefinders are necessary for hunting and how they’re applied to the different types of hunting.

And the interesting part is that this isn’t just precluded to hunters. This has been known to be utilized by field biologists, foresters, newbies and pro hunters, and even surveyors.        

How to use a rangefinder for hunting?

If you are familiar with rangefinders then must know what the primary function of a rangefinder is but if you are not familiar with rangefinders, I have written several other articles that properly explain what a rangefinder is all about but for the purpose of this article, the primary function of a rangefinder is to accurately measure the distance between the hunter and the prey or target object.

The precision of the rangefinder’s calculation is heavily relied on by hunters around the world because it singlehandedly determines if a hunter would return home with games or with his bag empty.  

Not to worry, rangefinders are quite easy to learn to use if you still struggle with that aspect. But before we get into learning how to use them, you have to understand how rangefinders work.  

There are different types of rangefinders and they all have different working principles. The type commonly used for hunting is the Laser Rangefinder. Laser rangefinders operate by shooting out laser beams at their target object and the beam diverges, engulfs the object oftentimes, and is bounced off back to the rangefinder.

The rangefinder is able to measure the time it takes for the beam to travel back and forth and determine the distance to the object. The speed of the beam is also taken into consideration, Usually, the standard speed of light is always used in this case.

Rangefinders also operate with range capacity. For example, if a brand rangefinder type says it can only operate within the range of up to 400 yards. Be certain that the beams would not reflect back for appropriate measurement if your target object is beyond the 400 yards stipulated measurement.

Usually, brands indicate the maximum range the rangefinder can operate within and it can be found on the body of the device. Every hunter that intends to work with rangefinders needs to understand the importance of operating ranges of rangefinders. It is also important to note that some target objects do not reflect, this is even more common with some game animals.     

Making use of a rangefinder is very easy and straightforward. It’s as easy as looking through a monocular lens to view your target object in a magnified version. The rangefinder affords you the magnified image of your target from a distance. Some offer up to 5-7x magnification ability, some even up to 8x magnification.

After peering through the lens and identifying your target, press down on the measure button, and a crosshair would appear on the view. Place or position the crosshair on the target object and click on the measure button for the second time. The rangefinder then proceeds to send out laser beams to the target object and measure the precise distance. This calculation helps in making a precise and accurate shot at the target.     

Know More: What is a Reflective Target for a Rangefinder

Using Rangefinders for Bow Hunting and Rifle Hunting

After the rangefinder calculates the distance, the result is displayed in less than a second in an internally inbuilt LCD.

Rifles are known to require about 600-1200 yards of operational capacity from a rangefinder while archery or bow hunting requires about 800 yards. Accuracy for bow hunting or archery is incredibly especially when the hunter or shooter is positioned at an inclining or declining position.

For example, if a bow hunter is situated on a tree or top of a hill and intends to shoot at an object below, the impact of the shoot has been known to be significantly less powerful than if he were shooting from a leveled plane. To understand this thing clearly, I recommend you to read my posts –

  1. What Is HCD On A Rangefinder
  2. What does LoS Mean on a Rangefinder

The best and most common types of rangefinders used for bow hunting and rifle hunting is laser rangefinder but really good optics rangefinders can also be used, just make sure they carry all the essentials a good rangefinder should have. Examples include; accuracy, magnification, slope calculation, durability, and size befitting of your peculiar specific situation.  

Related: Do you Need a Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

Reasons to use Rangefinders for Hunting

To get closer to your prey:

Every good hunter knows that absolute stillness and stealth is needed when trying to creep closer to the prey to get a good shot in order not to scare them away. Rangefinders allow hunters the luxury of getting closer to their prey without actually getting close – physically. With the aid of the magnification feature of the rangefinder, the hunter might as well be standing two feet away from the prey and it wouldn’t even know it’s being targeted.


The beauty of rangefinders is that it provides measurement calculations in real-time that save the hunter a whole lot of time and removes guesswork from his hunt which could lead to mistakes.

Many rangefinders are designed with the slope distance adjustment feature and I have talked about it in my other article before. With this feature, the rangefinder accounts for changes in uphill or downhill gradients of whatever terrain and still maintains a precise measurement calculation.


The compact design of rangefinders makes it very easy and convenient to carry around with you.

Improves your hunting skills:

There are so many hunters who have improved their game score since they invested in rangefinders. It is definitely an investment you would never regret as a hunter.    

The rangefinder is an amazing replacement for binoculars and they can also withstand a lot of environmental factors, some models are even waterproof.

Rangefinders are important for bow hunting or rifle hunting if you intend to improve your skills and results as a hunter. Rangefinders can also be used on snipers for either hunting or military purposes.