Best Rangefinder For Deer Hunting Reviews for 2018
So what do you need a rangefinder for? If you’re hunting big game (deer) at long distances, it can be tough to know exactly how far away your target actually is. If you don’t know how far it is, you can’t accurately aim and compensate for wind, elevation and other such effects. So you need a rangefinder.
How do they work? Essentially, they measure the amount of time it takes for an emitted beam of light to hit the target, and bounce back, as light always moves at an exact speed. By doing so it calculates the distance to target and displays in front of your eye, along with other vital readings – elevation, angle, etc.
Rangefinders cost anywhere from a hundred bucks to the price of a small car. But to make things bit simpler for you, we’ve put together a quick of the best you’ll find in the more affordable ranges. Read our reviews to see what we think is the best rangefinder for deer hunting of 2018.
Top 5 Rated Models Comparison Table
1. Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Rangefinder
2. Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W
3. Simmons Volt 600
4. Bushnell 202442 The Truth
5. Vortex Optics Ranger
Reviews of the Best Rangefinders for Deer Hunting of 2018
#1. Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 Yard Rangefinder
This is our choice for the best-in-class rangefinder. Sig Sauer is a premier name in rifles, and their Kilo 2000 is a premium rangefinder for a good price. It ranges over a mile away and uses LightWave DSP Technology for the best accuracy at the longest distances. In scan mode, it refreshes at 4x per second, which is wicked fast. It has the ability to range reflective targets up to 3400 yards, trees up to 1500 yards, and deer up to 1200 yards for easy, intuitive long-distance ranging. With a built-in inclinometer that helps it calculate AMR™ Angle Modified Range, angled shots are made very easy.
This is really a high-end rangefinder, and we find it outperforms all the others on the list. It can compete with rangefinders, 2x, 3x or even 5x as expensive as itself. The Lumatic OLED display is clear and bright, and automatically adjusts the display intensity to match the ambient light in your surroundings.
There’s nothing we don’t like about the rangefinder itself, but there are some quality-control issues, which is surprising considering the maker. Inspect carefully when it arrives.
Otherwise, this is an excellent rangefinder, worth the premium price tag. Or choice for the best rangefinder for deer hunting, and we think you’ll really like it.
- High-quality, premium build
- Lightwave DSP Tech
- Fast refresh rate
- Built-in inclinometer
- Bright, Clear OLED display
- Quality control issues
#2. Leupold RX-1200i TBR/W
Leupold knows a thing or two about rifle scopes and gear, and it shows in this rangefinder. It has 6x magnification and an OLED viewfinder that makes sighting easy, delivering 3x more light than a regular LCD. There’s a fast-focus eyepiece with micro-adjustable clicks, which makes for quick adjustments and precision in the field. It also runs off CR2 lithium batteries, commonly found in cameras.
The RX1200-I has what Leupold calls True Ballistic Range, which gives readings down to 1/10 of a yard at 125 yards and automatically calculates for windage, for getting the most accurate sighting possible. And as you can guess, max range is about 1200 yards.
The only drawback we can find is that it does not have a tripod adapter; you can’t mount it onto anything. And though max range is about 1200 yards, it works best around 900-100 yards.
Overall, it’s a fantastic quality rangefinder with clear optics, good range and a handy True Ballistic Range feature. If it worked properly at its full range and had a way to mount it on a tripod, we’d be all over it.
- OLED viewfinder. Clear optics. Lots of light
- 6x magnification
- Range of 1200 yards
- True Ballistic Range mode
- Hard to get full 1200-yard range
- No tripod option
#3. Simmons 801600 Volt 600 Laser Rangefinder
As simple and easy as rangefinders get. The Volt 600 has a range from as little as 10 yards to as many as 600, that can be set with a single tap of a button, with 4x magnification and a 4x20mm vertical rangefinder. The housing weather-resistant and the body shockproof for handling whatever you need to throw at it.
The Volt 600 really is easy to use and is very accurate at close-to-medium distances. Just press the button and size up your target in the in-view LCD display. Perfect for bowhunting and medium-range rifle hunting.
However, it’s not quite accurate at long distances, and doesn’t get quite the range it says it will. This means it’s not so good for long-distance rifle hunting and shooting, and you’re better off sticking with it from medium distances.
But for the price you’re paying it’s a good device; our choice for a budget buy.
- 10-600 yard range
- 4x Magnification
- Weather-resistant body
- In-view LCD
- Not accurate at longer ranges
#4. Bushnell 202442 The Truth ARC 4x20mm
This Bushnell rangefinder is a collaboration with Primos Hunting and is a decent rangefinder at a good price. It uses their ARC technology with Bow Mode, which determines compensated distance based on the angle of your shot. It works anywhere from 7-850 yards. Operation is super simple and takes only one hand, and magnification reaches 4x.
A cool feature of The Truth is ClearShot technology, which gives instantaneous feedback on shot clearance and makes shots even simpler and easier; no need to worry about branches or other objects in your way, as the rangefinder will alert you and tell when your shot is clear.
One con is that is it performs very poorly in low-light situations, and as usual, the further you get from your target, the less accurate it’s going to be. It’s just not very clear and accurate, especially compared to the Vortex and Simmons above. This is maybe to be expected from a rangefinder of this quality and price range though.
It’s an okay rangefinder if you can’t spend much more, as Bushnell is usually a reliable maker. But it’s worth spending more for an even better, more accurate device, especially for longer distances.
- ARC technology, Bow Mode
- Easy, one-handed operation
- Bad in low light
- Not accurate at longer distances
#5. Vortex Optics Ranger Laser Rangefinder
The Vortex Optics Ranger is a heavy-duty rangefinder with a max range of 1500 yards – enough for rifle-hunting of all distances. The HCD reticle displays an angle compensated distance that is more than enough for ideal for most shooting. Advanced LOS mode calculates long distance, high angle shots with increased precision, and the scan feature reads ranges continuously for tracking deer on the move.
The 1500 features three brightness settings for shooting in all kinds of conditions, while the fully-coated lenses ensure you get the brightest, clearest light and image no matter the light. The body is rugged and coated with a textured rubber, which provides non-slip grip in any weather conditions; waterproof and fogproof.
For the money, it’s not bad, but it doesn’t read very accurately at longer distances; it may be hard to properly range and size-up targets at the full 1500 yards. It will be off by a few yards; not a huge deal at shorter distances, but still not a good sign.
Overall, it’s a very nice, mid-priced rangefinder that is rugged and has great optics, but is limited in it’s own distance.
- 1500-yard range
- Three brightness settings
- Clear, bright optics
- Rugged body
- Not accurate at long distances
What To Look For In A Deer Hunting Rangefinder
This should be your first consideration. How far out do you plan on hunting, and how strong a rangefinder do you need? Many decent middle-of-the-road rangefinders will get out to 1500 yards no problem, while budget models will usually be in the 600-900 yard range. Cheaper models will also start to trail off in accuracy the further out you get on their range. If you’re rifle hunting, you’ll want a device with more range, while bow-hunting will not require as much.
Magnification is essential to getting a good, accurate shot and getting the proper range; most rangefinders will have 4x or 6x magnification, though some high-end premium models may go even higher. More than 4x-6x isn’t necessary for anything up to 1500 yards, however.
Rangefinders will often have lots of other features, such as a built-in inclinometer for calculating for elevation and angles, or Bushnell’s ARC technology, for example, which compensates for distance based on the angle of your shot. They may also have features such Clearshot, which tells you when objects such as trees or branches may be in your way, or windage adjustments.
Our pick for the best rangefinder for deer hunting is the Sig Sauer Kilo 2000. This bad boy is everything you would expect from Sig Sauer, has extremely clear, bright optics, ranges up to a mile for reflective targets, and 1200 yards for deer. There’s a whole host of handy features, too, such as a built-in inclinometer and Lightwave DSP. It’s an excellent rangefinder that will last you a long time and get you an accurate shot every time.
If you’d like something a bit cheaper, the Bushnell The Truth is also a fantastic option – at a third of the price. It doesn’t have all the fancy features and doesn’t perform as well at long distances, but is cheaper and still durably built.