The Best Rangefinders for Hunting

If you’re an avid hunter, you might be in the market for a new rangefinder.  If you’re new to hunting, or just need an extra boost, a rangefinder could be your new best friend.  Maybe you already have a rifle-mounted scope, but want to take your hunts to the next level and are looking for a scope with a built-in rangefinder.  With a number of models that will fit most budgets, you should be able to find the perfect rangefinder to meet your needs once you understand how they work and what separates one model from the next.

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Rangefinders generally have advertised ranges of 500 to 1,500 feet.  As you might expect, the longer range models typically cost more than the shorter range versions.  The range you’ll need will depend on what type of hunting you do.  No need to pay extra for a longer range if you don’t need that kind of distance.

When looking for a distance that suits you, don’t make the mistake of thinking that all models will work equally well at their max ranges.  Be sure to look at each model’s accuracy, too.  Some models, especially longer-range ones, are actually only guaranteed accurate to about 2/3 of their advertised distance.  This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to see a target at max distance, but it does mean that readings you get will be less accurate the farther away your target is.  It really doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay more for a longer range if lesser accuracy means you really don’t stand a better chance of hitting your target.

Another major factor to consider is a rangefinder clarity.  Some models offer a clearer view than others.  Being able to rely on your rangefinder to accurately tell you the distance between you and your target is great, but being able to see your target with the greatest clarity is even better.  

Next, be sure to find a rangefinder that will be able to adequately handle your lighting situations.  Some models work better in bright sunlight, whiteout-type conditions, low light (such as at dusk or dawn), or darkness.  Higher-quality versions will be able to handle multiple ambient light levels well.  Again, you’ll need to decide whether your hunting trips require a more expensive model that will work well in any light.

Rangefinders come in a number of different sizes and weights.  Some larger ones require a tripod, which isn’t convenient for many.  While other larger models might seem to be too bulky or cumbersome at first glance, a model that’s too small can be just as tedious.  If you do much hunting in cold weather, with or without gloves on, fishing a too-small rangefinder out of a pocket or gear bag can be difficult.  Some rangefinders are combined with scopes that can be mounted to your rifle.  Just be sure to look for a combo that will work with your gun.  Some rangefinder/scopes come with mounting kits, but others do not.  If you don’t feel comfortable mounting the scope yourself, you can find a local gunsmith who’ll do it for you.

Aside from the basic functions that all rangefinders have, there are some that offer additional features.  Since you’re often higher or lower than your intended target, you might consider a rangefinder that can calculate and compensate for the angle (also called slope) between you and your prey.  Additionally, some models are able to make adjustments based on wind direction and speed.  Another feature that many hunters find useful is ballistics compensation.  You input basic info about your ammo, and the rangefinder uses that info to adjust calculations, giving you an even better chance at lining up the perfect shot.  If you know you’ll be doing a good deal of hunting in rain or snow, be sure to look for a model that is waterproof, or at least water resistant.

Finding the right rangefinder can definitely help make your next hunting expedition the best one yet!

To help you find the best model to meet your needs, check out best rangefinder for hunting to see reviews, comparisons, and pros and cons of several top models.

Reasons You Should Join the NRA

American gun owners are a truly diverse bunch of people.  Few other groups boast male and female members of all ages, races, and social, economic, and cultural backgrounds.  In fact, some gun owners are so diverse in their respective beliefs that the only thing they really have in common with other gun owners is support of our Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Another thing many gun owners have in common, and something that all gun owners should consider, is membership in the National Rifle Association, or NRA.  Below, you’ll find some of the top reasons you should join the NRA.

Rifles hang on display in the Colt's Manufacturing Co. booth on the exhibition floor of the 144th National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Top Republican contenders for their party's 2016 presidential nomination are lining up to speak at the annual NRA event, except New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who were snubbed by the country's largest and most powerful gun lobby. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Stay connected

The NRA offers four magazine:  Shooting Illustrated (the newest official NRA journal), America’s First Freedom, American Hunter, and American Rifleman.  Membership in the NRA includes your choice of one of these titles.  They are designed to appeal to some of the different interests among NRA members, but all include shooting advice, detailed reviews of various firearms, and up-to-date and in-depth reports on current Second Amendment happenings and news.

Since the NRA was founded nearly 145 years ago, there has been no group more committed to teaching people about the effective and safe use of firearms.  The NRA offers courses in self defense, home safety, gun handling, marksmanship, and gun safety in locations across the United States.  The NRA also evaluates and certifies hunting outfitters and shooting schools around the world.

Twice a year, the NRA holds events for its members.  The Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) is held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania each February.  The other national member event is the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits (NRAAM), which is held in a different city each year.  Both events last multiple days and feature hundreds of concerts, celebrity appearances, seminars, and exhibitors.  These events attract between 50,000 and 100,000 visitors.

Earn discounts

NRA members have access to members-only discounts on a variety of services and products.  For instance, NRA members can receive seriously discounted (or even FREE) insurance for firearms and accessories.  Additionally, members are also entitled to various discounts on hotels, car rentals and purchases, and gun-storage devices.

Be heard

By being a member of the NRA, your voice will be added to so many others that support the Second Amendment.  The NRA boasts five million members and is known as one of the most highly effective organizations for advocating the right of American citizens to bear arms.  Becoming a member means that you never have to feel alone in your support for the Second Amendment.  Instead, your voice will become part of a much larger chorus–a chorus that cannot be ignored.

With membership fees no higher than $40 per year (discounts are offered for multi-year memberships), joining the NRA is an affordable way to stay connected to the latest news affecting gun owners, take advantage of free firearm insurance, earn discounts on other products and services, and gain access to events aimed at uniting gun owners from all backgrounds.

Hunting Safety Tips

Hunting can be a terrific way to spend quality time in the great outdoors and put food on the table.  It can also be dangerous if hunters and others in the area fail to follow some basic safety precautions.  Having the best rifle and rangefinder and all the patience in the world aren’t enough to protect you and others from accidents that can turn a weekend getaway into a nightmare.  Below, we’ll take a look at some essential safety precautions all hunters (and others who frequent hunting grounds) would do well to keep in mind.

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Whether you’re a hiker, biker, hunter, birdwatcher, camper, or anybody else who likes to spend time in the woods, it’s critical to know the posted hunting areas and seasons where you live.  Most folks understand that hunting out of season can result in major fines, or even getting arrested.  Non-hunters, though, should be aware of these seasons, too.  You want to be sure that you know when you might expect armed hunters to be perched in blinds or crouched in the bushes in your favorite hiking spots.  As always, being very aware of your surroundings is the best way to keep yourself and others safe.

Many hunters believe that camouflage clothing is essential hunting gear.  In actuality, most game animals (including deer, pigs, elk, antelope, sheep, and goats) don’t see colors the same way that humans do.  These animals really only see colors as blues and greens.  They can’t even distinguish between shades of these colors.  One of the reasons that bright orange has become a standard hunter-safety color is that most prey, including deer, can’t distinguish it from other colors.  In other words, blending in with the scenery has no affect on how your prey sees you, but can make it harder for other hunters to spot you.  Animals are much more likely to be alerted to your presence by your scent or by sudden movements.  So, in the interest of making yourself visible to fellow hunters and to make it easier for others to find you in the event you get lost or injured, be sure to wear at least one brightly-colored article of clothing.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to make sure your dog has his own splash of color.  You can opt for a bandana or even a hunting vest designed for dogs (yes, they make those).

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If you’re making your way through a hunting ground and hear or see a hunter nearby, it’s advisable to let your presence be known by either whistling or calling out.  You don’t want to make more noise than is necessary, but you also want to make sure hunters know that someone else is in the area.  If you hear a shot that seems to have come from very nearby, make sure you clearly announce yourself and wait for a response.

In addition to wearing brightly-colored clothing, carrying a whistle or air horn can be an excellent way to make sure you are rescued in the event you get lost or injured badly enough that you can’t walk.  A loud whistle or horn will be more likely to bring help than firing your rifle in a hunting area.

In addition to the above, all hunters should always remember basic safety rules taught in hunter and gun safety classes everywhere.  Staying safe really is too easy to not be priority number one.