Contributors to this thread:
I was recently told that I would be hard pressed to find any bow hunter that does not use a laser range finder.
I shoot a recurve and have no practical use for one, but, how common are they used by bow hunters? If you do, are you ranging spots at your hunting location, or, are you ranging the game?
I no longer hunt without one, Ive religiously used one since they came out ... every stand location gets ranged to specific spots/objects... might be a grass clump, a stump, dirt clod, tree, etc... multiple locations around every stand location .... while I have ranged specific animals prior to shooting, it is very seldom I have the time to do that ... that is why most pre-range .... for example, two years back I killed a big 8pt.. I had a tree that was exactly at 40 yds, the buck was on the back side of it about 2-3 yds past it... knowing that yardage helped me pinwheel him.... same for the big Doe last year.. she was at the 27 yd grass clump.. I drilled her ... when critters are in food plots, that gives more time to range the critter itself, maybe even on spot and stalk, but guys will range an object by where the critter is standing or bedded ..... the more accurate I am in range estimation, the less chance at wounding the critter..
I always use a range finder. Living out west it helps make those longer shots seem easy. Anything under 40yds I can usually guess it pretty accurately. I range the animals and some times a tree, rocks, or clump of grass etc.
I do the same as those above living in central nebraska. Makes it easy to know how far an animal is when I've ranged the area around it already.
I range whatever I need to, for my style most times that is the animal itself.
I use one, no matter what I shoot,,,,,, I usually am hunting deer from a tree, and shoot a long bow, and shoot 15 yards and in,,,,, I range all my spots,,,,, just something I do,,,
I use a Vortex Impact
Carry one and range trees, rocks, stumps, etc when setting up. Have yet to actually use one to range the animal prior to shooting.
Used one exclusively last year on my elk hunt, but that is because I forgot my binos at camp the morning I shot my bull : ^ p
I think you will find the guys using laser range finders in one way or another to be the vast majority on bowsite. I personally consider mine an indispensable tool for most any hunting situation. I never leave home without it.
I never use one when hunting with my recurves, knowing the yardage or even thinking about the yardage would screw me up for sure. Hunting with my compound anything i think is over 30 yards I range it. Shawn
I use one all the time. With the compound I range objects from the stand but usually range the actual animal before the shot when it's over 30 yards. I don't carry one when hunting with my stick bows but because I spend a lot of time guessing a range and then confirming with the rangefinder throughout the season, I'm pretty accurate at guessing. I shoot instinctively but my point on is 40 yards and if helps me shoot accurately at 30 yards which is about as far as I will shoot a deer.
My favorite type hunting is spot and stalk. I use a longbow and only a couple times have I needed a rangefinder to shoot.
What I find it most useful for is when I'm trying to go down a gulley/coulee and come over on an animal. Often it's just grass and sage so a marker for when to come over is not always there. I range the animal and then as I go along I range my original spot. Makes coming over on the animal much more accurate.
Yes, carry mine all the time. Hunting out west I have ranged more animals before shooting than not.