The Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting

Accurately tracking the distance to your target is crucial when hunting with a bow.  By understanding exactly how far it is to your prey, you can fine tune your trajectory and gain much more accuracy from your shots.  Without a doubt, the best way to accurately track distance is with a rangefinder.

There are many types of rangefinders on the market, generally divided into two categories — hunting rangefinders and golfing rangefinders.  Hunting rangefinders are generally more accurate and have additional features to help you see your prey.  This guide will help understand the benefits of using a rangefinder and highlight five of the best rangefinders for bow hunting.

Why use a rangefinder?

You can greatly improve your accuracy

Understanding the exact distance to the target will help you understand the strength that is required to hit the target, the ideal trajectory, and the feasibility of the target.  You won’t take shots that you can’t land and you won’t risk shots that don’t immediately kill your prey.

A range finder will also help you better understand the effect that the wind will have on your arrow.  That you will eventually understand how much the wind affects your projectile over specific ranges, allowing you to make adjustments.

It helps you to hunt in unfamiliar territory

When you are hunting in a familiar location, you can often gauge distances very accurately because you have walked the area many times.   However, when you go on a hunting trip or venture into a new location, it can sometimes be difficult to gauge distances.  The unfamiliar terrain and vegetation may cause you to misjudge how far it is to the target, reducing your accuracy and costing you a kill.  A rangefinder will help you understand the range to the target regardless of where you are.

You know when you are close enough for a clean kill

Once you have been hunting with a bow for a few months, you will understand how accurate you are at certain ranges.  A range finder will help you understand when you have reached a distance where you know you are accurate enough to secure the kill.  Guesswork will be eliminated.  

You can prepare for your hunt

A rangefinder can help you set up your camp and identify the ideal kill zones nearby.  You will be able to measure out the precise distances to landmarks and gain an understanding of the locations where your bow is effective.

It helps you understand the impact of steep terrain

Shooting a bow while on steep terrain can be difficult because the target looks further away than it actually is.  It can also be difficult to calculate the right shot angle when looking at targets up or down a hill.  A rangefinder will give you the exact distance to the target, helping you to make your shot.

A rangefinder helps you avoid shooting the wrong things!

Using a rangefinder gives you a crystal clear view of the target and any impediments that are in the way.  When using a rangefinder it is much easier to notice a branch or rock that is obstructing your shot.

Easy to carry around

Most hunters are carrying a lot of equipment when they go hunting.  That usually includes food, water, arrows, a GPS, additional clothing, a phone, binoculars, and emergency equipment.  Taking a rangefinder allows you to leave the bulky binoculars at home.  A rangefinder is much smaller and lighter than binoculars, which makes it ideal for a hunter on the move.

Rangefinders are tough

Most hunting rangefinders are designed with a high level of durability and will survive the rigors of hunting in the wilderness.  Many rangefinders are waterproof and shockproof.  Some models come with features like a hardened magnesium housing or special coatings to protect the lens from scratches.  A well made rangefinder will provide you with years of use.

Rangefinders are affordable!

A rangefinder is much more affordable than a pair of quality binoculars and it comes with more features.  It really is a no-brainer if you are on a budget.

Five of the Best Rangefinders for Bow Hunting

elow you will find the best rangefinder for bow hunting. These rangefinders are all durable, packed with features, designed for hunters, and affordable.

  • Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Range: 550 Yards
  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Features: Multilayer Coated Optics, LCD Display, Target Priority Mode, Rainproof and water resistant
  • Manufacturer: Nikon
  • Price: $$
  • Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Range: 850 Yards
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.4 x 2.9 inches
  • Features: ClearShot technology, bow hunting mode, rainproof, carry case, neck strap
  • Manufacturer: Bushnell
  • Price: $$
  • Visionking Rangefinder 6×25 Laser Range Finder
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Range: 600 Yards
  • Dimensions: 125 x 73 x 40mm
  • Features: Multilayer Coated Optics, Clear LCD Display, Golf and Hunting Modes
  • Manufacturer: Visionking
  • Price: $
  • TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder
  • Rating: 4.1/5
  • Range: 540 Yards
  • Dimensions: 104 x 72 x 41 mm
  • Features: Water and dust resistant body, Continuous measurement mode, Rangefinder, pouch, Free Battery, cleaning cloth and carry strap
  • Manufacturer: TecTecTec
  • Price: $$
  • Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition
  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Range: 600 Yards
  • Dimensions: 3 x 5 x 5.5 inches
  • Features: weather-resistant housing
  • Manufacturer: Bushnell
  • Price: $$
Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder
Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder Visionking Rangefinder 6×25 Laser Range Finder TecTecTec ProWild Hunting RangefinderBushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition
Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.3/5Rating: 4.1/5Rating: 4.2/5
Range: 550 YardsRange: 850 YardsRange: 600 YardsRange: 540 YardsRange: 600 Yards
Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.9 x 1.5 inchesDimensions: 3.8 x 1.4 x 2.9 inchesDimensions: 125 x 73 x 40mm Dimensions: 104 x 72 x 41 mmDimensions: 3 x 5 x 5.5 inches
Features: Multilayer Coated Optics, LCD Display, Target Priority Mode, Rainproof and water resistantFeatures: ClearShot technology, bow hunting mode, rainproof, carry case, neck strapFeatures: Multilayer Coated Optics, Clear LCD Display, Golf and Hunting ModesFeatures: Water and dust resistant body, Continuous measurement mode, Rangefinder, pouch, Free Battery, cleaning cloth and carry strapFeatures: weather-resistant housing
Manufacturer: NikonManufacturer: BushnellManufacturer: VisionkingManufacturer: TecTecTecManufacturer: Bushnell
Price: $$Price: $$Price: $Price: $$Price: $$

Nikon 8397 ACULON Laser Rangefinder

nikon-8397-aculon-laser-rangefinderRating: 4.3 / 5

Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches

Range: 550 Yards 

Features: Multilayer Coated Optics, LCD Display, Target Priority Mode, Rainproof and water resistant

Although it is not designed specifically for bow hunting, the Nikon 8397 Aculon is an excellent rangefinder for hunting.  It is a very compact rangefinder that measures  3.6 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches.  This compact size allows you to easily fit it into a pocket, place it on a belt or tie it around your neck.

Because it is a Nikon product, you know the lenses are very high quality and the product is well-made.  It is weather and rain resistant, so will tolerate the harsh conditions while hunting.  The 550 yard range is appropriate for bow hunting and it can easily be operated with one hand.

Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm Bowhunting Laser Rangefinder

bushnell-202442-the-truth-arc-4x20mm-bowhunting-laser-rangefinderRating: 4.3 / 5

Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.4 x 2.9 inches

Range: 850 Yards 

Features: ClearShot technology, bow hunting mode, rainproof, carry case, neck strap

The Truth by Bushnell is one of the most popular hunting rangefinders on the market.  Hunters love this rangefinder because of its incredible durability, intelligent design, and great features.  This rangefinder uses “ClearShot” technology to help hunters understand if they have a clear angle for their shot, free of branches and other obstructions.  It also includes a special “bow mode” which gives the true horizontal distance from 7-199 yards.

Visionking Rangefinder 6×25 Laser Range Finder

visionking-rangefinder-6x25-laser-range-finderRating: 4.3 / 5

Dimensions: 125 x 73 x 40mm 

Range: 600 Yards 

Features: Multilayer Coated Optics, Clear LCD Display, Golf and Hunting Modes

This is an excellent hunting rangefinder for anyone on a budget.  This product offers incredible value-for-money and is packed with features.  This vision king rangefinder uses infrared energy pulses to accurately measure the distance to the target.  It has a coated lens for incredible clarity, a wide field of view, a clear LCD indicator and a 6-times magnification.  This is a multi-purpose rangefinder which can switch between golf and hunting modes.

TecTecTec ProWild Hunting Rangefinder

tectectec-prowild-hunting-rangefinderRating: 4.1 / 5

Dimensions: 104 x 72 x 41 mm

Range: 540 Yards 

Features: Water and dust resistant body, Continuous measurement mode, Rangefinder, pouch, Free Battery, cleaning cloth and carry strap

This is a super-compact rangefinder that is built for handling the rough conditions associated with hunting in the wilderness.  With a 6 times magnification and range of up to 540 yards, it is an excellent choice for bow hunting.  it cane operated with one hand and is so compact you can comfortably keep it tied around your neck.

Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition

bushnell-michael-waddell-bone-collector-editionRating: 4.2 / 5

Dimensions: 3 x 5 x 5.5 inches

Range: 600 Yards 

Features: Weather-resistant housing, single tap rangefinder, rainproof, includes case

This is another excellent bow hunting rangefinder from Bushnell.  It is a collector’s edition model with an attractive camouflage design.  The optics are crystal clear and the LCD user interface is nice and simple.  You can find the distance to your prey with the tap of a single button!

We hope you enjoyed reading about the best rangefinders for bow hunting!  For more useful advice and how-to guides, subscribe to the blog or follow our social media channels.

There you have it, you now have the information to pick the best rangefinder for bowhunting that suits your needs. Make sure you check out the best bow hunting boots for cold weather.