What Distance Is Rangefinder Useful Rifle Hunting? – Quick & Easy Guide with FAQs

You must be thinking about what distance the rangefinder is useful for rifle hunting.

Let’s find out!

What Distance Is Rangefinder Useful Rifle Hunting?

A good hunting rangefinder’s ability to detect targets the sizes and reflectivities of deer out to about 1000 yds. Even if you don’t plan to shoot anything at that distance, you need excellent precision at targets the sizes of coyotes within about 500 yds.

Picking a Rifle-Hunting Rangefinder

Most laser rangefinders will adequately detect highly reflective objects out to 1,500 meters. That’s great if your target is a road sign. The real test of a hunting rangefinder’s performance is how accurately it can detect small game such as rabbits and squirrels out to about 1,200 meters.

Even if you don’t plan to shoot those animals, you should expect good accuracy at distances between 300 and 600 meters.

Ballistic Software

The best units have ballistic software that you can match to your hunting rifles’ calibers and loads. That’s especially handy if you have a scope that features a custom turret or if your regular shot relies on the exact distance to the target.

However, note that most ballistics software includes groups of calibers with similar characteristics, such as muzzle velocity, projectile trajectories at various distances, and ballistic coefficients.

If you shoot an unusual cartridge or a round with an unusually high or lower BC, the standard ballistics may not work for what you’re firing.

What Should a Good Rangefinder Have?

To properly evaluate the performance of a rifle scope that could be used both for target shooting and for deer stalking, shoot at various objects, including reflective signs, bright rocks, and shaggy shrubs.

Check out

  • the magnification
  • the type of reticle (e.g., crosshair, holdover/holdback)
  • whether the unit has an adjustable power setting.

A good rifle scope should provide a magnification of about 7x, an angle-compensating feature, and a fast-scrolling mode to help you follow the moving game.

what distance is rangefinder useful rifle hunting

What Distance Is Rangefinder Useful Rifle Hunting?

Why Use a Hunting Rangefinder?

1. Eliminate Guesswork

The fundamental feature of any rangefinder is to allow the user to measure distances. A laser beam is emitted and bounces off the object being measured.

An internal clock measures how long it takes for the light to return. Why is accurate measurement so important?

Besides not wanting to shoot an injured animal, hunters who are concerned for their safety always take precautions to ensure they don’t hit anything else. If you don’t know where your target is, don’t guess.

2. Get Closer

Last season you got so close, and the crack of that branch betrayed you. Sadly and quickly, off went the herd in fear towards the edge. Every tracker knows this scenario, and they could take several hours later before getting another chance. With a compass, you can move closer without actually walking into the forest.

Long-distance riflescopes are useful for hunters who want to shoot at targets up to 1,000 yards away. However, if you’re a serious hunter, you probably won’t be able to live without a rangefinder. A good rangefinder can help you accurately hit targets from distances ranging from 600 to 1,000 yards.

3. Prep for the Hunt

You should start off by scouting out the areas where you think the deer might be feeding. Once you’ve found those places, mark them with something like decoys or make note of any particular features that would help you find them again later. Then, once you’re ready to go hunting, just head straight to those locations.

Before going hunting, set up a range for each location so you don’t waste any shots. Also, if you plan to be hunting by foot, mark out a good spot ahead of when you need to start hunting. By setting up ranges beforehand, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and frustration.

You immediately improve your accuracy rate by doing so. And, you’ve given yourself a chance to get used to your new rifle. Welcome!

4. Improve Your Estimating Skills

It may not always be possible to have exactly the right number of minutes to shoot at your target. Sometimes, an unexpected deer will sneak up on you, and you won’t have enough seconds to get off a shot.

If you practice estimating distance by using a rangefinder frequently, you’ll be able not only to accurately estimate distance but also to anticipate when that unexpected and lucky chance might come your way.

5. Steep Terrain a Non-issue

Regardless of whether you’re going after goats in a canyon or pigs on the Appalachian mountains, an angle compensating feature of a range finder will make shooting in these terrains easy.

On a slope or declivity, the animal can not only be farther away, but it is farther away than the actual distance at which you need to shoot.

Calculating the exact shot angle and the correct corrections to ensure that gravity doesn’t affect your flight and that drag doesn’t slow down your arrows can be a challenging mathematical problem.

A rangefinder will help you get the true horizontal distance from where you’re aiming to where your arrows land so that you don’t miss shots or lose arrows.

Match the rangefinders’ readings to your scope’s settings, and you’ve got yourself an accurate shot. For archers, you’ll also appreciate their shooting angles.

6. Avoid Shooting Something Else

Innovative rangefinder technology can now tell you whether or not you’ve successfully struck your target. If you’re aiming for a specific object, even though you’ve correctly identified where you want to go, you might not realize that there’s some sort of obstruction between you and your desired location.

If you’re an avid archer, look for features that help you see where your arrow hits when it lands. These types of features may help you avoid shooting into trees or other objects that might get in the way of your next shot.

7. Convenient to Carry Around

Cell phones have become smaller and lighter over the past decade. Some models are even comparable in size to cameras.

There’s no good reason not to always carry rangefinders on you. It’s easy to use, takes up minimal space, and fits into most pockets. If you want something bigger, then binoculars may be worth the cost and quality for you too.

Most modern and conventional digital cameras can be worn on a strap around the neck, kept in a bag attached to one’s belt loop, or simply tucked into a jacket pocket.

8. Affordable

There are many affordable choices available for sports optics. Many even start under $100. If you’re searching for something really nice though, you may want to spend a bit extra.

If you don’t mind spending more, you can get high-quality optical equipment for less than £500. However, if you’re willing to pay more, you can get even better-performing equipment for under £1,000.


A good hunting rangefinder is an electronic device that helps hunters find games such as deer and other small animals. It can help you see your target more clearly and precisely than without it.

We hope that you’ve gotten all the information you needed to enjoy your hunt.

Feel free to comment below for any queries.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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