There really is no excuse not to have a laser rangefinder whether you’re into hunting, archery, or other long-range shooting sports. This piece of tech can fit in your pocket, it’s easy to use and will significantly increase the accuracy of your shots.
It’s always best to know what basic features you need and how you can make the most of your laser range finder. If you’ve already bought one for archery, or you’re still looking for the best hunting rangefinder for the money, here are tips you can use.
Choose a waterproof unit
You wouldn’t want to bring a non-waterproof phone when you go outdoors right? What if you accidentally drop it in a puddle? The same goes with your laser rangefinder.
It would be unwise to bring any gear that’s not waterproof in the field. Let’s just say it’s a hunter’s shopping rule of thumb that you really can’t compromise. Perhaps getting a rain or water-resistant unit will work fine with you, but it’s best to choose waterproof devices. There are hunting laser rangefinders that are waterproof upto a certain feet of water.
Bring Spare Batteries
Even if you’re not planning to go for an all-night trip, it’s always best to bring spare batteries. There is no argument here. What if you find a good spot and found your target, then when you turn on your laser rangefinder, you find that the battery indicator is already flashing. You probably have only an hour of juice left that’s good for couple readings.
Remember, your laser rangefinder can give you the right numbers to make that winning shot. Let’s not be overconfident especially if you’re not that skilled in estimating the distance of your target. One mishap shot and you could lose that opportunity to bring home the one that you’ve been tracking all season.
Use Angle Compensation or Inclinometer
Not all laser rangefinders for hunting have angle compensation features that allow the system to consider terrain factors like slopes or inclines. Some units have the ability to measure slope angle, azimuth, and vertical distance. Remember, the laser system in a rangefinder works by measuring the time it takes the bounced beam to be detected. In ideal situations, measurements should be perfect on flat clearings, however in hunting, there really is no such thing. A small incline uphill on where the target is can affect the readings significantly.
Watch Tutorials on How to Navigate Through the Display
How do you get to the Menu Settings? How do you toggle between Line of Sight (LOS) or Horizontal Component Distance (HCD)? To save you time and avoid getting yourself lost in the fancy display of your new gear, go ahead watch tutorial videos online on how to use your unit. If there is none from the supplier, then go ahead and read the manual. You’ll probably discover more about hidden modes and features that weren’t advertised in the box.
Also, be practical as there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Other hunters must have used the same model and made their own tutorial videos online. Go ahead watch them, listen to their tips and see if you can make use of them
Use the Right Mode
You’ll be tracking moving targets 90% of the time. This is where Scan Mode becomes very useful. Many hunting laser rangefinders have this feature and it will help you keep up with your target. If you also have GPS location recording, make use of that so that next time you’re on the lookout for that whitetail you’ve been tracking, you can analyze your data later and plan where to position yourself on stakeout.
Make Use of The Accessories
What accessories do laser rangefinders come with? Nothing fancy really, but the most useful ones are neck lanyards and protective cases. When you’re done reading you don’t really want to waste time to put back your laser rangefinder on your pocket on every instance. The neck or pocket will help you secure it where you can reach it easily. Plus no need to worry about it falling off your pocket and losing your unit in the woods.
You need to stay quiet as much as possible when you’re at your stakeout. Animals are sensitive to foreign noises and one unfamiliar scratch could alert them and you don’t really want to lose your target that way. Are rangefinders noisy when it’s running? Not really, but you can invest on noise reduction armor or a rubberized silicon grip. This will help reduce the sound you make from accidental bumps along side trees or when you put down an equipment.
Adjust the Brightness Setting
Your unit has a brightness setting. Keep it low but in a level that you can still read it even when the sun is up. It’s easy to get comfortable on the default display settings that you don’t realize that it’s set way high to what you exactly need. So before you complain how your unit is disrupting your night vision, make the adjustments first.
Utilize the Sight-in Scope
There are new models of hunting laser rangefinders that has the scope built-in with it. You’ve got to appreciate how effective they’ve streamlined the gears into a compact one, that all you need to do is aim-range-shoot. The magnifying scope is there, illuminated reticles, tracking and the distance reading all laid out to you. There’s no need to change between gears anymore, which makes aiming and shooting faster.
Practice and Explore
As mentioned previously, it’s easy to get comfortable with the default settings you have in your unit. However, it’s always advisable to take some time to explore and make use of other modes. Check if you can customize the display configuration to only show what you need such as simple calibration settings that will align all your equipment. Newer rangefinder models have additional features such as Fog Mode, or it can be as simple as setting the numbers in meters or yards!