Tips to get the most out of your rangefinders

Tips to get the most out of your rangefinders

So, how do you get the most out of your rangefinders? For a hunter especially, a rangefinder can help increase your chances of making clean shots which is a more humane way of hunting too. For archers in general or even golfers, being accurate with your shots would of course be the ideal aim of everyone. Since rangefinder are generally lightweight, it would be great for you to travel with as well.

So, how does a rangefinder work? Rangefinders will emit laser beams which bounces off target objects and the high-speed clock inside the unit will measure the length of time taken by the beam to leave and later return the unit.

Knowing how it works superficially would not be sufficient. You need to master the art of using it in order to derive maximum benefit from your unit. Here are some tips to help you achieve that goal! Here’s a video to further explain how and why you need to use a rangefinder while hunting.


Tip 1: Master the different modes of your rangefinder

To fully understand the available modes, you have to try to read the instruction manual until you understand how you can operate the different modes in your rangefinder. Also, you can try messing with the unit until you sufficiently understand how it works, but use it carefully of course!

For example, your rangefinder’s scan mode may give you a running measure of moving targets. At this mode, your rangefinder’s ability to sight moving objects might be more accurate than using a single laser pop.

Furthermore, you can try to watch different videos which shows you how you can use the rangefinder. Pick the video based on the amount of views and see what the comments are concerning the video. Ideally, the video you watch and the instructions you follow are based on your rangefinder’s model. One way you can do this is to go to the manufacturer’s site and dig for instruction manuals or how-to videos.


Tip 2: Understanding the technology which your rangefinder is made of

For golfing rangefinders, the popular modes are PinSeeker mode, PinHunter mode and First Target Priority Mode. The modes stated are terms used by huge golf rangefinder manufacturers to describe the technology which they use to build rangefinders. These technology helps you to easily determine the distance required to reach the flag.

Concerning rangefinders in general, you need to check the brightness setting as well. When the sun is shining bright, you do not want to  mess up your ranging abilities by turning on night-vision. You need to look at optic specs too where the more coating the lens has, you can usually get sharper visuals.


Understand the rangefinder’s limitation

Tip 3: Understand the rangefinder’s limitation

Rangefinder operates by ‘time-of-flight’ technology where it sends out laser beams and the time taken for the beam to reflect back into the unit is used to calculate the distance. You have to understand that any interruptions to the laser beam will disrupt the process, meaning it does not operate well in thick cover or rough surfaces.

Keeping this concept in mind, this means that if there’s a leaf or a branch which gets in the way of your range, you will get that reading as compared to your intended object’s reading. Usually, bowhunters have a hard time ranging their game because animals like to stand behind shrubs, causing the measurement to falter.

To prevent wrong measurements, always try to range at clear landmarks. You have to anticipate where you game will move and only range them when the place is clear of other things such as shrubs and leaves.

Further, you have to know the maximum distance your unit can range. The stated maximum ranging distance on your rangefinder is only true if your target has extremely good reflective capacity, which is not the case. By understanding your unit’s limitations, you can operate within those limitations and work from there.


Practice good optic-care habits

Tip 4: Practice good optic-care habits

It would be a waste if you are all prepared to make your shot but due to some components in your rangefinder being faulty, your shot became inaccurate.

Rangefinders are usually durable and sturdy, but you still need to take care of the equipment properly because it is really sensitive. If you have the monetary resources, you can invest in a proper carrying case which is waterproof and solid.

It would be useful to adopt helpful habits such as stopping yourself from touching the optical surface of your unit so that you do not damage the anti-reflection coating on its lens. Try to be more careful while handling your rangefinder and avoid dropping it! Adding batteries to your rangefinder and ensuring that there’s sufficient juice would help ensure that it functions accurately as well. If you want accurate readings, make sure your rangefinder is kept in a good condition!


Tip 5: Follow your gut feel

If you are experienced enough, you will know when your rangefinder reading is way off. Remember to do this only when you are sufficiently confident with your ranging ability. If it doesn’t feel right, remember to check the distance again with reference to a different aiming spot.

Keep in mind that your most powerful asset is still your instinct although your rangefinder can assist you a lot in ranging. Do not underestimate this ability and remember to train this ‘gut feel’ through a trial and error process.



Getting a good equipment would also require you to give regular maintenance and care for it. Hence, do not forget to properly maintain your rangefinder to get the best out of it!

As for using your rangefinder, you may want to avoid common mistakes which most hunters or golfers make. These are ranging a target that may be out of range, forgetting that the maximum range provided on the rangefinder is only for highly reflective surfaces.

Other mistakes include not taking into account the elevation angle of your target or getting inaccurate readings due to surrounding blockages. If you commit these common errors, using the tips would not do you any good as well.

If you have any ideas you would like to share about rangefinders in general, feel free to comment below!