My Guide For Choosing A Quality Rangefinder for Hunting

Whenever I’m looking for a new piece of gear to take hunting u make sure that I’m not wasting money on the item and that I’m not wasting space in pack that can be better utilized by some other piece of equipment. I don’t want my pack to be too heavy but I also don’t want it to have a bunch of stuff in there that never gets used. In short I want to carry with me exactly what I need and nothing more. This obviously gets tricky but I think I do ok when I’m out hunting.

One area that I’ve noticed can really take up a lot of space and not provide a lot of value is the wrong rangefinder. I’m not saying all rangefinders are bad and not worth the money – that’s not true at all. What I am saying is that if you buy the wrong rangefinder, it will just take up space and weigh you down. I spent a lot of time looking for the best rangefinder for hunting when I was looking for a new rangefinder. The answer isn’t as cut and dry as I would have liked because there are so many on the market and have so many different features depending on your needs. Maybe focusing on the best rangefinder isn’t as good of an idea as finding the one that best meets your needs.To do that, we need to sift through all the features that are common on different rangefinders and figure out what ones do meet our needs. First, you need to start with what type of hunting you do most often.

Archery vs Rifle Hunting Rangefinders

One of the biggest differences in terms of rangefinders has to do with the features that the unit come with. There are rangefinders with angle compensation systems (though each manufactured calls them something different). What the angle compensation tools do is help hunters try and determine the actual distance the animal is away from you, while accounting for you being above or below the target.

Example: Lets say you’ve found a group of elk and chased them over a ridge. You move to the top of the ridge and have a peek over, and you can see them about 40 yards down the ridge. If you were to put your bow in and pull back for a 40 yard shot – you’d miss and the arrow would go below your elk, who would then run off. This is because since the animal is at an angle below you, that changes the distance you actually need to be at to hit the elk. Now, an angle compensation tool will help you determine what pin to use in this situation (It should be about a 36 yard pin). That way, you can head back to the truck hauling elk quarters, instead of with a near miss story.

Now, these features aren’t really worthwhile if you dont hunt archery, as you wouldn’t use them much (if at all) if you were rifle hunting. However, they do cost quite a bit and could be a great thing to pass on if you’re not interested in bow hunting.

What Max Range Do You Need?

Another feature that needs to be considered to find the best rangefinder for hunting is the maximum range of the unit. If you typically do most of your hunting from a tree stand, you’re not really going to need a rangefinder with a 1,000 yard + maximum range – you wont be able to see that far through the trees even if the unit you bought had the capability to do so (and even then, you couldnt be sure you were ranging in your target and not a tree). I havent done much hunting in the trees like that, but a friend of mine that took me out had a rangefinder that had a max range around 600 yards, and said that it was more than he would ever need.

I live in the west and hunt a lot in Wyoming, so when I’m out hunting for antelope, there could be a couple hundred yards between me and the antelope when I first see them and when I can actually figure out a way to get on them close enough to get a shot off. A rangefinder with a maximum distance of 800-900 yards was something that I found a lot of value in when I was looking for a new rangefinder.

Glass

Good glass is what will make or break your rangefinder. Getting good glass with good coatings is crucial to helping you get the best picture you can while ranging in your targets in the field. Good glass will make the picture on your unit clear when you’re ranging in that white tail that’s 440 yards away. A clear picture will do a lot of good in helping you determine what shot you need to take and how to get close enough to take that shot.

As one of the guy’s I’ve hunted with before says “dont skimp on optics – you’ll pay for it in the end”. I agree with him wholeheartedly, and think that you should get the best rangefinder that suits your needs and that you can afford. They are expensive, but they arent worth the constant missing that having a low quality rangefinder could set you up for.

Other Things to Consider

We’ve gone over what we think are some of the more important things to consider when looking for a rangefinder. Those arent the only things that come with a rangefinder, so there are a few more things to consider when getting a new rangefinder.

Magnification Level

Personally, I think 6x a great magnification level and will suit about 90% of hunters. That level of magnification will help you easily see a target clearly at 500+ yards, and will help you get a good eye on the size of the animal as well as the sex of the animal. Keep in mind that a rangefinder doesnt make it easier to range in your target with more magnification – it just makes the target easier to see through the viewing window.

Size, Weight and Hand-Feel

One thing that doesnt often get considered when making a rangefinder purchase is the hand feel. What I’m talking about here is how the unit fits in your hands, and how easily that you can operate the unit with just one hand (as that is what you’ll probably be doing a lot). If the unit is uncomfortable or difficult to operate with just 1 hand, then you probably wont end up using it often as you’ll find that it’s more trouble than it’s worth and stop using it because of that.

While they are minor concerns, size and weight should also be noted. Most rangefinders weigh pretty close to the same amount, with the difference between the lightest one and the heaviest one not being more than 1/2 a pound. Not significant, but still something to consider. Every pound helps when you’re quartering out elk over 3+ miles.

Rangefinders come with a lot of bells and whistles, but typically they arent usually that heavily used when you’re actually out in the field. Get a rangefinder with the highest quality optics you can afford, and you should be fine. If you’re looking for the best, check out this hunting rangefiner reviews from Eric . This is a great suggestion Now, those are just some of the things we look at when we are thinking about the best rangefinder for hunting. What are you looking for in a new rangefinder?

How Does Thermal Imaging Scope Work?

You’ve heard about the alternative to daytime hunting. You’ve seen the consequences to seeking prey under the hot, bright sun. It’s easy to blow cover and it’s all too easy to ruin your entire strategy after just shifting your knee around once. After hours of mulling over new strategies, you’ve come to the conclusion that you’re better hidden in the dead of night.

Or perhaps this isn’t the case at all.

Perhaps you’ve simply decided that you’re more of a nocturnal predator.

And that’s totally fine, too.

But before you can fully integrate yourself into the swing of night hunting, you have to make sure you have adequate equipment. This means that you need some form of night vision device so you can see your prey in the dark. Luckily, there are two options you can choose from. You can choose your standard night vision scopes (generations one through four, each increasing in quality). Night vision scopes are good for attracting small light particles in the area and enhancing them to create a picture.

However, as useful as this can be, it’s not 100% foolproof in its execution.

Thankfully, there’s a second option that, I feel, is more reliable overall.

Thermal Imaging.

What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imagery, or thermography, is a form of science that specializes in infrared images. Like night vision, thermal imagery can pick up on energy particles in order to form an image. However, unlike standard night vision, thermal scopes pick up on body heat and radiation as opposed to light. Thermography is utilized in a variety of different fields, such as in medical practices, surveillance, construction, archaeology, and many other types of sciences.

Oh, and hunting.

Especially hunting!

In fact, I find thermography a better method to finding prey in the dark. Night vision won’t always promise you a target because it focuses on the surrounding area as opposed to the specific prey. At least with thermal imagery, you can basically lock onto a target and indefinitely increase your chances to getting a killshot. Of course, this is just my opinion.

How Does Thermal Imaging Work?

While we’ve already discussed the core difference between thermography and regular night vision devices, we haven’t quite gone over the schematics of how thermal scopes are able to pick up on radiation and heightened temperatures. In thermal imaging, a lens is specially made to focus on the infrared radiation emitted by everything within the scope’s view. The radiation is scanned by an array of infrared-detector elements. The detector elements create a very detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram.

In all, it really only takes about one-thirtieth of a second for the detector to thoroughly process the temperature information and make the thermogram. The information can be obtained from around several hundred to several thousand points in the field of view of the detector array! The thermogram created by the elements is then translated into electric impulses. Upon completion, the impulses are then sent to a signal-processing unit. This unit is a circuit board with a dedicated chip that translates the information from the elements into data for the display.

Once the signal-processing unit receives the information, it then sends it to the display. This is where it appears as various colors, depending on the intensity of the infrared emission. The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements ultimately forms a pretty image for your eager hunter eyes. Fun fact: in some fields of science, the colors that pop up on a thermography are thoroughly examined and recorded–especially in the case of radiation studies. In fact, scientists can study all forms of radioactive energy through the use of thermography. Whether it be UV waves, microwaves, or even radio waves, this tech can read it as fast as any machine can!

Another fun fact: in the medical field (for both humans and animals), thermographic examinations that reveal excessive body heat from patients can potentially reveal illnesses that might’ve not been able to track before!

Pretty neat, huh? That just goes to show, ladies and gentlemen, that thermal imagery is excessively useful for many people. If it can handle radiation like a champ, just wait until you see what it does with animals you’re hunting! See what I mean now about this arguably being better than standard night vision?

How to Hunt Bighorn Sheep? – Steps to Taking Down the Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn hunting is one of the most exciting outdoor adventures for anybody who is into hunting. From their massive sizes, powerful stance and huge curling horns, taking a bighorn sheep down will leave you filled with sheer excitement and pleasure.

The sheep inhabit some of the stunning places in the wild that make hunting so appealing. However, taking the bighorn sheep down is never an easy task. You need to prepare accordingly and get all your gears and weapons ready. The sheep inhabit mountains where the terrain is steep and difficult to maneuver.

A bighorn hunt is not something you want to take lightly. It is a once in a lifetime experience that requires proper planning. In this post, we will look at how to hunt a bighorn sheep by taking adequate preparation and planning. For the detail tactics & gear, you could see an awesome post here.

Step 1: Get in Shape

You have to be in the best physical shape to hunt a bighorn sheep. The hunt for a bighorn sheep will drain you physically as you have to trek the steep terrains in the mountains. Practice climbing on steep terrains to adapt to the same conditions you will be handling when hunting.

Walking through steep terrains requires more from you physically. You will need to strengthen the muscles of your legs as these are the ones that give you breaks on steep terrains. The only way to get into the best physical shape of climbing mountains where the bighorn sheep live is practicing.

Step 2: Join a Team or Recruit One

Bighorn sheep live in areas that you don’t want to go hunting alone. Do you have friends that would love to accompany you to the hunt? It even gets better when you meet someone that has hunted bighorn sheep in the past.

Make sure every person that wants to join you is committed towards the hunt. Hunting a bighorn sheep is something every member joining the hunt must take seriously. Planning for a bighorn sheep hunt will undoubtedly require the members to sacrifice some of their vacation time.

Step 3: Get a License/Apply for a Controlled Hunt

You need to have a license to be able to hunt bighorn sheep in most states. The rules for the controlled hunt usually vary from one state to another, but tags are usually obtained from controlled hunt draw, lottery/raffle and by auction. There are states where you must accumulate points to be in a position for a tug. In other states, every person starts from the same footing.

Game departments and State fish offer controlled hunt draw tugs while auction and raffle are offered by local chapters and the state of the game Department. Overall, the most difficult hunts have better odds of getting a tag as compared to easiest hunts.

Step 4: Get Information on the Physical Location of the Hunt

You will need to understand the area where you’re going to hunt. Get the topographic maps, and satellite imagery if possible. Study your maps and understand the terrain, routes, and access points. Bighorn sheep hunt units are in some of the remotest and wildest parts of the country that are difficult to access. By understanding the physical area and topography of the area; you will know the best ways to access the area.

Step 5: Taste Your Gear and Equipment on a Shakedown Trip

Hunting Gear

Gears and equipment sitting in the closet after a long time might not function properly. You need to test everything by going for a climb up the mountain and coming down. This is what we call a shakedown trip and one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the conditions of the hunt.

Step 6: Scout the Hunt Area

The map might appear simple but the real hunt area might so different. If possible, get a charter plane and have an aerial view of the hunt area.

Step 7: Know Your Weapon and Enjoy the Hunt

You’re not sure if you will get another opportunity to hunt a bighorn sheep. It is important to know your weapon well and be sure to hit the target when you see a bighorn sheep. You need to hunt smart and not hard. Don’t rush to get a kill but instead, take your time and enjoy the hunt. Take pictures and quality videos of the hunting trip. Set your binoculars on a tripod stand instead of just hiking hard.

The first step towards finding more bighorn sheep is spending more time on your optics as opposed to hiking.

You can check out this awesome video for more detail tips:

Choosing the Best Spotting Scope for Bighorn Sheep Hunting

Spotting scopes are one of the most expensive equipment for hunters, especially when involved in a type of hunting where enhanced visibility is a must. Scopes can cost twice the price of your best rifles or bows. You must choose carefully before investing in one.

So Are Spotting Scopes Worth the Cost?

Definitely yes! Spotting scopes allow you to make the right judgment on the field about the game you’re about to hunt. This is especially the case when hunting games that are at long distances like the bighorn sheep or coyotes. The scopes help you determine whether the animal is worth the chase, energy, time and effort.  Regulations on bighorn sheep hunting are also strict in most states with hunters given age limits of sheep to hunt. This means you have to count the horn configurations of the sheep from a long distance of 1-5 miles to see if the sheep qualifies for a hunt.

Scouting Bighorn Sheep Through Vortex Diamondback spotting scope

Considerations to Choosing the Best Spotting Scope for Bighorn Sheep Hunting

Choosing the right spotting scope for bighorn hunting is much easier than buying things like binoculars. This is because there are few models of the scopes. Almost all brands on the market have a scope that works for sheep hunting.

Here are some considerations to check before making a purchase

Size and Weight of the Spotter

Even without looking at the features, space and weight are prime considerations for bighorn hunters that have to walk steep terrains to spot a sheep. The typical sizes of scopes available on the market are 50mm, 65mm and 80mm with this size indicating the size of the objective lens.

A larger objective lens means you will be able to spot your game better in the morning and evening when the light is dim. However, this is a feature you don’t want to give much consideration when hunting a bighorn sheep. These sheep are not nocturnal animals, and most of the hunting will be done during the day. Ideally, a small size scope of 65mm or even 50mm is enough to spot your sheep from long distances.

Eyepiece

The eyepiece is another excellent feature to consider as it helps determine the scope of your magnification. They are sometimes included in the package, but most of the time you have to buy them separately.

Choose a scope that allows for multiple eyepieces so that you can choose one that best suits your needs.

Eye Relief

This is the distance from the eyepiece to the viewer’s eye. It is an excellent feature to consider if you wear glasses. Choosing a big eye relief distance allows individuals with glasses to see full images without any problems.

Magnification

Higher magnification scopes are designed to see at long distances where binocular will not see. For sheep hunting, you will need high magnification in the range of 30X and 40X. A high-quality lens will mean quality images, but we all know some of the quality gets lost with increased magnifications. Dust, wind, and humidity further lower the image quality. However, when hunting bighorn sheep in the mountains, the low humid conditions ensure you can still get quality images at high magnification.

Lens Coating

Lenses are usually coated fully, multi-coated or fully multi-coated to help improve light transmitting through at high magnifications. Since you will be spotting at long distances and using high magnifications, premium scopes with fully multi-coating are required.

Body Style

We have two body types of scopes which are the straight body and angled body. Each of this body works well in different situations. A straight body scope is ideal for bighorn sheep hunting since it allows for better viewing from high points. Remember most of your sheep hunting will be on the mountains. Angled scopes are ideal for viewing on flat grounds or from the window of your car.

Fogproofing and Waterproofing

These are also excellent features that protect your scopes from atmospheric conditions on the mountains.

In Conclusion

Bighorn sheep might take an entire day on the field which requires a lightweight scope that is packable. No single spotter does everything you need perfectly. While 50mm spotters are lightweight and highly portable, they do give up some optical clarity, light gathering ability, and zooming power. 80mm spotters are ideal for dusk and dawn while the 65mm spotter makes lie between these two and make an excellent choice for bighorn sheep hunting. They will help you spot sheep at long distances and are portable.


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How to Choosing the Best Hunting Rifle?

The starting point for determining the best rifle is to consider the game to be pursued. A rifle for rabbits or coyotes will be very different than a rifle for moose or mountain bighorn sheep. A rifle that is too powerful for a given animal will result in unnecessary recoil and loss of meat. A rifle that is not powerful enough to dispatch the animal quickly in normal hunting conditions and ranges is unethical and often illegal.

Rifle Calibers and What Those Numbers Mean

After deciding on the game to be pursued, the next step is to pick a caliber, which is the approximate diameter of the bullet expressed in inches or millimeters. There are numerous rifle calibers available, from “varmint” calibers like the .17 and .223 used for coyotes and prairie dogs, all the way up to the large rounds used for Africa’s dangerous game, such as the .375 and .458. Among the most popular calibers for whitetail deer are the .308, .270, 7mm and .30.

When there are two numbers in the cartridge name, such as .30-06, only the first number refers to the caliber. The second number can refer to several things. With some, like the .30-06, the second number refers to the year the cartridge was first available – 1906. Sometimes it means a new “wildcat” round was developed using the cartridge from existing round, as in the case of the .25-06 – a .25 caliber round based on the .30-06 cartridge. The second number can also refer to the grains of black powder used in the original round, as in the case of the venerable .30-30.

There can be several different specific types of ammunition for each caliber, and these will generally include the name of the manufacturer that developed them, such as the .300 Winchester Magnum and the .30-06 Springfield.

Choosing the Best Caliber for Shot Distance

Another important consideration in choosing a rifle is the terrain in which it will be used. If most shots will be taken at 100 yards or less, a slug gun or a rifle with a larger, slower bullet such as the .30-30 Winchester or .35 Remington works very well. If the rifle is to be used over longer distances, 200 to 300 yards, then fast, “flat-shooting” rounds such as the .243 Winchester for deer or the .22-250 Remington for varmints are good choices. Cartridges like the .30-06 and .308 are excellent all-purpose rounds for large game.

Other Considerations When Choosing a Rifle

Once a hunter has determined the type of game to be hunted, the appropriate caliber and round, and the typical shooting distance, the rest becomes largely a matter of personal preference.

Bolt action guns are the most popular, but other types such as lever action and pump action have their devotees as well.

A longer, heavier barrel is better for longer shots, whereas a short-barrelled “brush gun” like the .30-30 is great for getting off quick shots in the woods.

Some hunters prefer the look and feel of natural wood stocks, while others prefer synthetics, which are less affected by temperature and humidity.

If the hunter is sensitive to recoil, that should be a consideration when choosing a rifle. Caliber isn’t always an accurate indicator of how much a rifle “kicks”.

Price is often an issue, and there are usually several good choices at each price point.

A good hunting rifle, properly cared-for, will provide years of faithful service and enjoyment. In many cases, they become treasured family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation.