The Best Hunting Rangefinders
I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons over the years about the importance of investing in quality gear. Once such lesson came on an archery mountain goat hunt on Kodiak Island several years ago. A buddy and I spent the better part of five hours busting through alder brush and making our way up into the alpine region of a set of mountains where many a delicious goat resided. After another few hours of intense glassing and finally stalking through the steep snow and ice covered mountain tops to within bow range of a fine goat, the moment of truth came. The goat gave me a perfect broadside shot, but due to the total white-out of the environment, I was not sure of the exact range. I fumbled through my pocket and struggled to take out my clumsy, oversized, cheap rangefinder that I bought many years ago at a department store. Upon trying to assess the yardage I quickly discovered that my rangefinder was not operating correctly and was totally useless at the moment. Relying on my best attempt at quickly judging the distance with my naked eye, I released an arrow for what I thought was a 30-yard shot. The arrow grazed right under the chest of the goat…even shaving off a few hairs. The goat just stood there, having no idea how close he had come to becoming a tasty winter stew for my family. I quickly tried to execute a follow-up shot, but the goat moved on, out of range, and up into the inaccessible terrain. The hunt was over. Hours upon hours of brutal hiking, meticulous glassing, careful stalking, and all the rest was in vain…due to a cheap, unreliable, piece of junk rangefinder that failed me when I needed it most.
Training one’s eyes to judge distance is a critical skill, but when one is in a situation that demands absolute accuracy for ultimate success, a rangefinder becomes an essential piece of gear. Rangefinders have come a long way in recent years. They are capable of ranging much longer distances, are smaller, faster, and pinpoint accurate as compared to their predecessors of just a few years ago. Below are my top picks for quality rangefinders. Click on the photos to learn more and order yours today through our Amazon affiliate service.