I see you're from Mich. I bet conditions there, at least in the north, are similar to where I hunt. (Rangefinders really only usefull for bow hunt) Now as you suggest, out west is a bunch different, I'll be watching the replies too.
Checkout my elk hunting post a couple threads below. You'll see I used a Bushnell Pro 800. It works extremely well but it is one of the original models as I've had it for several years. I bought it when I drew a once in a lifetime Bighorn sheep tag. It paid for itself with the one shot I took (246 yards) to bag the sheep. I have used it continuously in all types of hunting. I have also compared it to other makes and the Bushnell 1000.
Seems they all work pretty darn well but you have to get used to some of their quirks, read the directions and practice with one if you get it. I wouldn't go hunting without one.
Have any of you used lazer rangefinders, and what would you recommend for an out west hunt.
I hunt mid michigan, shotgun country for deer, as well as bow hunt a ton. So my yardage is less then out west, but the a Bushnell range finder is the way to go.
My average shot at a deer with a shotgun is under 100 yards
so range is no biggie, but for bow hunting it is great and accurate to aprox 1 yard. The bow I shoot is fast enough that 1-2 yards is no problem.
I tend to hunt a stand more then once a season so the 1st time out I range trees or landmarks for refrence then hang the range finder with in reach just in case. Normally I use my rangefinder instead of my binos. They are dual purpose and 6 power. This year I used the rangefinder while watch turkeys feed across a field during deer season. Granted the were 117 yards away i could see the beard on the toms.
I bought 2 of the same models off the internet 3 years ago for unser $200 each and all the big stores had the same model for $245+
My dad uses one for hunting and I started using it out on the golf course to really just play with it, and it works great
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