Best Rangefinder for Bow Hunting (2023)

best rangefinder for bow hunting

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With so many options on the market, choosing the best rangefinder for bow hunting can feel like a huge challenge.

To alleviate some of the headache, I’ve whittled the (seemingly) endless list down to the top 7 to give you some clarity on the best brands and features that you should be looking at.

Best Rangefinder For Bow Hunting - Top Picks

(Full List Below)

Best Overall

Best Mid-Tier

Best On a Budget

  • Built for bowhunters
  • 1/2-yard, ballistically-compensated accuracy
  • Multiple reticle styles
  • Flightpath technology
  • Range based on your archery setup
  • Archer’s Advantage software

   Read more

  • Range From 5-1000 yds.
  • Angle compensation
  • Continuous range
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Enhanced low-light resolution
  • Added 6x magnification

   Read more

  • 7x magnification
  • Range max 450 yds.
  • 24mm lens
  • Waterproof
  • Scan mode for continuous ranging

   Read more

Best Rangefinder For Bow Hunting - Full List

  • Built for bowhunters
  • 1/2-yard, ballistically-compensated accuracy
  • Multiple reticle styles
  • Flightpath technology
  • Range based on your archery setup
  • Archer’s Advantage software

The Leupold RX-Fulldraw 5 is the absolute cream of the crop – the best archery rangefinder by far.

This rangefinder was built solely for the bowhunter. When calculating distances, with 6x magnification and a bright red OLED display, it takes into account your bow’s velocity, peep height, arrow weight, and shot angle.

Yes, you read that right. It takes into account your specific gear when ranging, so you know exactly where you’re going to put your arrow.

It’s provides 1/2-yard, ballistically-compensated accuracy out to 175 yards.

This amazing piece of equipment even has two modes for viewing arrow obstructions, such as tree limbs, out to 85 yards.

And bowhunting doesn’t always happen in perfect weather, so the RX-Fulldraw 5 has a setting for ranging in bad weather.

When there’s moisture in the air, Last Target mode punches through rain, fog, and snow to make sure you get an accurate reading.

All these amazing features make this my number one choice for the best rangefinder for bow hunting.

Check out their product video below.

  • Range From 5-1000 yds.
  • Angle compensation
  • Continuous range
  • Waterproof and shockproof
  • Enhanced low-light resolution
  • Added 6x magnification

If you’ve hunted even for a short time, you’re familiar with Vortex Optics.

Vortex is the preferred brand for many of the biggest names in the Hunting industry, including The Meater Eater’s Steven Rinella, as well as The Hunting Public.

The Vortex Optics Laser 1000 is one of their highest-rated rangefinders, generating a 5-Star Amazon rating with OVER 1,700 REVIEWS (at the time of this writing).

One of the best features of this rangefinder is its angle compensation, which means you won’t have to adjust your aiming point if you’re aiming down from a tree stand or up from the bottom of a ridge.

You’ll simply aim using the distance provided as if you were standing on flat ground.

The LOS mode allows for even greater precision with calculating distance on long-range or steep-angled shots.

Its Scan feature allows you to have a continuous range just by scanning, and its 6x magnification allows for more clarity and precise ranging.

And the Laser 1000’s fully-coated multi-optics enhance image quality in low-light conditions, which is a huge feature for deer hunters. As you can see, the features listed make it the top runner as the best Vortex rangefinder for bow hunting.

Vortex also makes a lot of great spotting scopes for those long-range glassing sessions.

  • Range deer at 600 yards
  • EXO Barrier
  • Updates range 4x per second
  • Angle Range Compensation technology
  • Selectable reticle
  • Two modes (Brush and Bullseye)
  • Scan mode for continuous ranging

Bushnell is another brand that has been making quality optics for decades, and the Prime 1300is a testament to their standards for quality and reliability.

This rangefinder can range a reflective target out to 1300 yards, a tree out to 800, and a deer out to 600, so you know it’ll accurately range anything you’d fling an arrow at.

Its ARC (Angle Range Compensation) technology allows for angle compensation when aiming up or down, and you can select between three different reticle profiles – circle/dot, dot only, or circle only.

The Prime 1300 was built with EXO Barrier, which is a coating that bonds to its exterior lens surfaces and repels water, oil, fog, dust and debris.

One of its coolest features is Brush mode, which ignores foreground objects – brush, tree branches, etc. – and provides distances to background objects only.

Bullseye mode, which bowhunters won’t normally need outside of ranging small game, acquires the distances of small targets without inadvertently measuring background object distances.

Its all-glass, 40% larger optical system allows for images to be 2x brighter.

All-in-all, this rangefinder offers a lot of features at a great price, putting it high on the Best Rangefinder For Bow Hunting list.

  • Range deer 10-900 yds.
  • 6x magnification
  • Up to 60° angle compensation
  • 300 ft. linear field of view
  • Left/Right side clip

The Ranger 1800 is another great option from Vortex Optics trying to stake its claim as the best rangefinder for bow hunting.

It gets its name from its ability to range a reflective target out to 1,800 yards. For bowhunters, however, its ability to range deer out to 900 is plenty enough for us.

It comes with 6x magnification for clarity of picture and precise ranging, and at 1000 yards, field of view, which is the amount of linear feet you see through the monocular, is 315 feet.

Not only is the Ranger 1800 capable of angle compensation, but it ranges accurately up to 60°, so hunting from a tree in hill country is no problem at all.

Its LOS mode allows for increased precision on long range and steep angled shots.

It includes a lanyard, but unlike most others, it also includes a utility clip that can be placed on either side of the rangefinder. 

It may not be the absolute best, but it rivals the Laser 1000 as the best Vortex rangefinder for bow hunting.

  • 7x magnification
  • Range max 450 yds.
  • 24mm lens
  • Waterproof
  • Scan mode for continuous ranging

The Muddy LR series of rangefinders comes in a variety of ranges from 450 yards to 1300 yards.

The reason the 450-model made the list is because it offers everything you need out of a rangefinder from a trusted brand, and at an affordable price. 

As you move up to the 650, 850, and 1300 models, the features increase, but so does the price.

With the LR450, you get a waterproof rangefinder with 7x magnification, which is a higher magnification than many of its more expensive competitors.

You also get Scan mode for continuous ranging as you pan across the landscape, and a maximum range of 450 yards, which is more than a bowhunter will ever need.

If you’re looking for the best budget rangefinder for bow hunting from a trusted brand, the LR450 is your rangefinder.

  • 6x magnification
  • +/- 1 yrd. accuracy
  • Very highly rated
  • Budget friendly 
  • Waterproof

The Aofar HX-700N is another option that is great for the bowhunter on a budget.

At well under $100, this rangefinder has all the basics that you need to hunt effectively.

It’s waterproof, has 6x magnification, and ranges out to 700 yards, which is plenty far enough for any bowhunter.

The exceptionally high reviews speak volumes for how well this rangefinder has performed for the hunting community.

It may not come with many features, but if you’re looking for a reliable rangefinder to take into the woods, without breaking the bank, this is a great option.

  • Waterproof
  • 6x magnification
  • Affordable and highly rated
  • Range up to 1000 yds.
  • Rechargeable
  • Includes lanyard and carry pouch

At well under $100, the Tidewe HR-F700 had to make the list because it’s a great option for those on a budget.

This Tidewe may not come with all the bells and whistles, but it certainly carries all the basic features you’d expect in a reliable rangefinder.

It accurately ranges up to 1000 yards (+/- 1 yard), it allows you to bring targets into clearer view via its focus knob, and it comes with a lanyard and carry pouch. 

It also compensates for angle and adjusts the distance on the fly, giving you the straight-line distance, vertical distance, and angle.

This rangefinder is equipped with a 750MAH rechargeable Li-ion battery, and can range a distance 20,000 times after being fully charged. 

It may not be the best budget rangefinder for bow hunting, but all-in-all, this it’s a great option if you’re looking for one under $100. 

Why Do I Need A Rangefinder?

A rangefinder is completely essential to be a successful bowhunter. 

In the field, it is impossible to accurately gauge your distance from an animal, especially when angles are introduced into the situation, such as hunting from an elevated position.

When guessing distance, simply being a few yards off can constitute a miss in many situations.

For a bowhunter, a rangefinder is as essential as his or her weapon.

How To Choose A Rangefinder

Several of the rangefinders on this list will suit most bowhunters.

However, there may be some features that you just can’t live without, given your local terrain, hunting style, or personal preferences. 

So, read through the specs and details of each rangefinder carefully, and group together the ones with the features you’d like to have. Then, choose based on your budget.

Which is the best vortex rangefinder?

For the Vortex purists, there is one rangefinder that reigns supreme, and it’s the Vortex Laser 1000 mentioned above. For bow hunting, you couldn’t ask for more.

6x magnification, ranging out to 1000 yards, great low-light capabilities, continuous range, and angle compensation packed in a durable, waterproof body. 

What else could you need? That’s what makes it the best Vortex rangefinder for bow hunting.

What's the overall best rangefinder for bow hunting?

The Leupold RX-Fulldraw 5 is the absolute best rangefinder for bow hunting because it was designed and built specifically for bow hunting by one of the best optics manufacturers on the planet.

The features they packed into the Fulldraw 5 are rivaled by no other rangefinder. Period. For a comprehensive breakdown of its features, click here.

MY BEST May Not Be YOUR Best Rangefinder For Bow Hunting

As you can see above, and as you’ll see below, I chose the Leupold RX-Fulldraw 5 as the best rangefinder for bow hunting.

However, that may not be what’s best for everyone’s wallet. It certainly isn’t for mine.

That’s why there are other options to choose from. If you’re a bow hunter on a budget, like many are, you may not be able to purchase the Fulldraw. But the Vortex options listed above will work for you just as well.

They may not have all the features of the Fulldraw, but they’re certainly capable of getting the job done. Maybe your best is the best Vortex rangefinder for bow hunting.

Or maybe the Muddy, or the Tidewe. Sometimes, we can’t justify the price. But we still deserve high quality, and you’ll find that in all the others listed.

What's the Best Archery Rangefinder

Any and all of the above would serve well for archery, even without the hunting aspect of shooting a bow. I’d still say the best archery rangefinder is the Fulldraw because it takes your bow setup into account, but honestly, any of the rangefinders above would work great for archery purposes.

So, simply need something for ranging your block or 3D targets? You don’t have to break the bank with the Fulldraw. The Muddy LR450 is all you need.

Southeastern Bowhunting's No. 1 Pick

The Flightpath technology and ballistically-compensated accuracy of the Leupold RX-Fulldraw 5 make it my number 1 pick for the best rangefinder for bow hunting and the best archery rangefinder in general.

Its ability to take your bow/arrow setup into account for precise ranging make it an unbeatable rangefinder.

It isn’t cheap, but if you can afford it, the features it brings to the table are worth every penny.

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