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Bow Mounted Rangefinders Improve Archer Accuracy

Updated on January 29, 2013

The effects of gravity cause a hunter's arrow to fall as the range to the target increases. With the quick arrow velocity from hi-tech compound bows, arrows shot within 20 yards will typically see very little arrow drop.

Obtaining an accurate measurement of distance is so vital for longer shots, since an arrow will keep dropping at a faster pace as the distance extends. A hunter that incorrectly estimates the distance approximation by as little as 5 yards on a 40 yard distance could hurt a deer or over shoot it all together. Estimating distance accurately is by far the most significant variable for being successful in the hunt.

Know what your bow is capable of. Know how range will affect the flight of your arrow. Bow hunters will generally utilize sights with multiple pins. These pins are regularly adjusted for ranges of twenty, thirty, fourty, and fifty yards.

When your sight pins are correctly tuned for different ranges, it will be easy to get an idea of how a shot off the improper pin can lead you to blow your shooting opportunity. You can put a paper plate on to your target. This is about the size of the height of a whitetail deer's vitals. Range your target at 40 yards. Then place your 30 yard pin on the center of that target. Then look at your 40 yard pin. The 40 yard pin will probably not even be over that paper plate, and you can simply see how you will completely miss your shot. It is to be expected that you will be looking at best a clean miss, or at worst an injured deer.

Thinking back to all of the times where I have attempted shooting opportunities at deer within 25 yards, I have continually been successful. Missed shots or or badly placed arrows that resulted in an unsuccessful hunt all occurred on shots nearer to 30 yards and longer. I began experiencing a lack of confidence on shots between 30 and 40 yards. Shots past 40 yards were time and again not taken, in fear of just wounding the deer. I constantly shoot confidently on the range, where distance is measured. The approximation of distance in the treestand resulted in the uncertainty. I missed shots on a quantity of prime deer as a direct result of miscalculations in range estimation. This reduced my level of confidence for coming shots.


When I began employing a hand held laser rangefinder, my confidence was regained since I had a good idea of the true distance to my target. Distance was frequently changing on walking deer. So I was never abundantly confident at the time I could engage the trigger on my release.

There are a few range finders that attach directly to your bow that can clear these issues. They are the electronic Leupold Vendetta and the non-electronic Dead-on rangefinder. As you release your arrow, you can be assured that you have a precise measurement of the range to your target.

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