Hunting is not a game for the faint at heart. Historically, good hunting skills were associated with strength and vitality. However, with time there have been modifications in the game. Those who have embraced these changes as far as gearing up is concerned have always secured their positions at the top of the food chain. The same cannot be said about the purist in hunting game who still believe in their bare hands and crude hunting techniques.
It is evident that range finders have come a long way in their technological advancement and you can see some examples here. Long after hunters have tolerated dismal performance from the range finders of the early days, it is safe to assume that they can finally have a reason to smile.
A few considerations should be made before selecting a best golf rangefinder that best suits your needs. There are very many in the market, and you want to make sure you do not end up with one having a mediocre performance. Luckily for us, most of the common models in the market are not terrible per se. However, there is still a noticeable difference between a good rangefinder that delivers and any other average one.
Buyers guide to getting the best rangefinder and value for your money.
The range of the device is the most important factor that should be considered before making a purchase. That is because it is the sole reason why you even need the rangefinder in the first place- to determine the distance between your position and the target. Since different hunting types require the hunter to be at varying distances from the target, it means that you need to choose a model that can comfortably cover the anticipated hunting distance
Brand of the manufacturer
There are many products in the market with different offers. However, some established manufacturers incorporate particular technology in making their equipment. In some cases, these modifications are exclusive to their brands. To take advantage of these improvements, you need to stick to these brands.
Some of these special modifications include an auto-scan feature in which the device refreshes up to 4x to maintain focus even if the target is in motion. Some of the established brands that are known to release products that give value for your money include Nikon, Bushnell, and Halo, etc.
Optical magnification is a major component of any rangefinder. Contrary to popular belief, the highest magnification is not always the best. The reason for this is that some of the rangefinders which have a very high magnification capacity i.e. above 10X, the stability of this equipment are usually much lower. Consequently, maintaining focus with a high resolution becomes an uphill task. However, if you have a good exposure and experience in handling the equipment, you can go for one with the higher magnification.
Apart from that, models that are intended for very long ranges operate with large objective lenses and exit pupils to enable light transmission for a clear sighting of the target. These lenses are made of superior optical properties and are multi-layered to this effect.
Design considerations are necessary as they enable easy and comfortable handling. For example, a short distance range finder commonly used by a bow hunter has a vertical design and are light in weight. On the other side, the long- range devices utilized by a shooting rifle are horizontal by design to give the hunter a higher stability for an easy focus of the target.
Hunting is usually characterized by varying climatic conditions. It is, therefore, imperative that the equipment you purchase should be able to withstand these conditions. Rangefinders that come with a weatherproof casing makes them waterproof by default. That increases its usability in different environmental conditions. Apart from that, the housing can provide effective protection against mechanical damage, increasing the lifespan of the equipment.
The structural design of the equipment also affects the portability. A small, compact and light rangefinder is easy to handle as it can easily fit in an average pocket. On the other hand, having a large equipment can be cumbersome to carry and might even slow you down during your adventure.
Properties that you should look out for on the screen include the screen size and resolution, colour density and brightness. Working outdoors require screen whose brightness that is adjustable to a higher level to make the images in the screen visible despite having reflections from the sun.
Most rangefinders use LED, OLED and LCD screens for display and the associated reticulate information and data. OLED screen is the most preferred since it has a high colour density. LCD screens have their characters displayed in a black while for LED and OLED have their fonts shown in red.
Pro tip: Always go for one that has a manual adjustment of the lighting conditions. That gives you the best customizable choice that works with your sight; therefore you will not strain in setting the optimal brightness for easy visibility.
A summary of the classes of hunting ranges
1)Rifle hunting range finder
Hunting using a rifle involves large distance coverage than when any other equipment is used such as a bow. As a result, there is a complete set of different criteria that are used in the analysis of the required specifications.
Since the hunting will often involve long distances, magnification is one of the most essential parts of the unit. An approximated magnification of up to 10X will be perfect for proper sighting while maintaining a proper stability of the images.
In selecting the hunting range, the maximum distance indicated by the equipment should be much more than the distance you anticipate will be your maximum target distance during hunting. The reason for this is that you need to consider the correction factor for observations during harsh weather conditions such as the atmospheric refractive effect of the sun. Additionally, the optical clarity is important as the images are much smaller due to the long distances.
2)Archery/Bow hunting Rangefinders
The best rangefinder for bow hunting should have angle compensations. The most recent models have laser technology to help in the correction of the angles. That is because most of the bowhunters target game from much higher elevations and poor angle judgment can result in gross inaccuracies while focusing at the target.
3)Dual purpose models
These models can be used effectively for both bow and rifle hunting. They have a moderate to high sighting distance capability, which can serve in both archery and rifle hunting.
Final thought on rangefinders
There are many rangefinders that a hunter can find essential in his/ her endeavors. They vary in the usability and specific features, which makes them either simple or complex to use. It is important for one to make considerations on the type of measurement units that the device uses to determine the distances. Simpler units which are familiar makes using the rangefinder to be a pleasurable experience.