By Bob Robb, AmericanHunter.org contributor
Those of you that have followed my writing for a while have come to realize by now that I am something of a putz in the woods. Sure, I shoot my share of game, but often that is simply the result of going a lot and being in the right place at the right time. Which is one reason why, regardless of whether I am hunting with firearm or bow, I never head afield without a laser rangefinder.
In that regard, hunters have never had it so good. Laser rangefinders that work under all sorts of adverse conditions, give to-the-yard accurate readings, and also compensate for uphill/downhill shot angles are available at prices pretty much all of us can afford. Here’s a look at the top models for 2011:
Bushnell Sport 850: Lightweight and small enough for a shirt pocket, 4X magnification, rages targets from 5-850 yards, with built-in battery life indicator. About $180.
Leupold RX-1000 TBR: Features Leupold’s exclusive new DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) technology that provides super-fast target acquisition out to 850 yards with +/- half-yard accuracy. Also has a bow mode that gives 1/10-yard accuracy out to 125 yards. Weatherproof aluminum housing with rubberized grip. Incorporates Leupold’s TBR (True Ballistic Range) angle compensation system. About $400 (black) or $420 (camo).
Nikon Archer’s Choice Max: Accurate to 1/10 yard out to 100 yards, this unit also features an active brightness control viewfinder that automatically adjusts the display and reticle to target color for easy readability, 6X magnification, water resistant housing, and is fogproof. About $330.
Nikon Rifle Hunter 1000: Displays an accurate reading in 2/10-yard increments out to 999 yards, this unit features Nikon’s exclusive active brightness control viewfinder that automatically adjusts the display and reticle to target color for easy readability, 6X magnification, water resistant housing, and automatically powers off after 8 seconds to preserve battery life. About $350.
Redfield Raider 550: 6X magnification, with simple one-button operation, this is the lightest unit I’ve seen at a mere 5 ounces, it is simple and easy to use. About $170 (black) or $180 (camo).
Simmons Vertical Rangefinder: In-View LCD display that gives distance readings from 10-600 yards, 4X magnification, weather-resistant housing, available in both black & camo finishes. About $119 (black) and $129 (camo).
Wildgame Innovations R900X: Ranges an amazing range of between 5-500 yards (tree) or 5-2300 yards (deer), this unit features a scan mode that permits ranging multiple targets without reactivating the laser on each target. Also features 6X magnification, is water resistant, and has a battery level indicator. About $120.