When using a rangefinder to hunt, how you use it will determine whether you will go home with a big animal harvest or you will go empty-handed. A rangefinder is small, fits into the pocket easily and if used correctly, it can help to eliminate errors when guessing yardage for a perfect shot. Here, we look at some of the techniques of using a best rangefinder for long range hunting correctly:

Range the Surroundings Before the Hunt

Range the Surroundings Before the Hunt

Before taking a shot, it is important to get to the treestand, set up, and start marking the ranging landmarks. It is also important to note any noticeable terrain features because it can take some time before seeing a deer pass within your range. While at your stand, look around for trees approximately within 20, 30 and 40 yards, then use your rangefinder to range them. If your approximations were correct, commit them to your memory.

If you have the yardage map in your mind, a rangefinder may not be that useful when the animal starts approaching. This boosts your chances of having a successful hunt. Having a mental yardage map is important, especially in the more aggressive stages of the rut where the deer can be very quick.

How to Use a Rangefinder When the Animal is Approaching

How to Use a Rangefinder When the Animal is Approaching

This is where you require your best skill sets. You have to move surgically so that the animal cannot detect your moves. Follow the sequence below:

  1. Spot the deer
  2. Predict the path that the deer is most likely to take.
  3. While holding your bow instead, take your rangefinder and anticipate your shooting area then return the rangefinder to your pocket.
  4. If you make a successful prediction and the deer takes your course, taking an accurate shot will give you a successful hunt.

It is important to note that this is an excellent method is no preranging was possible or retaining preranged yardages was not possible.

Premarking Yardages on Trees

Premarking Yardages on Trees

Depending on whether you have permission from the relevant authorities, you can create yardage markings on your region from your set treestand location. As compared to the other rangefinder hunting methods, this is the most convenient method of establishing yardages during your hunting process.

You are free to use things like colored ribbons, colored tacks or spray paint depending on which one blends with your environment well. For a successful hunt, you should make these markings a few months before the hunting season commences. You can use the tips below to mark your surroundings:

  1. Taking position at your treestand, look out for trees and other markable objects within your surroundings. Make sure that their yardages rhyme with your pins.
  2. Ask someone to help you mark the identified objects using the ribbons, tacks or paint.
  3. Take your time to repeat the above process in
  4. All the places that you think you can hunt for a deer successfully. While at it, it is also important to mark your shooting ranges.

If you are using conspicuous ribbons, make sure they match with their yardage color. The statement is also true when you use colored tacks.

However, if you opt to use black spray paint, the dot and line method is our best suggestion. The advantage of using this method is that it allows you to spray 2 dots on a high tree that are noticeable.

The dots vary depending on the distance of the trees. Make 3 dots for trees 30 yards away and 4 dots for trees 40 yards away. If you choose to mark a tree that is between these yardages, for example, 25 yards, spray the two dots and a line. The line will indicate that you there is +5 yards to consider.

The black paper spray technique is a good option because it blends well with the environment, making it easy for you to notice them when you go out hunting. Considering how well you execute the technique, you will not fumble with the rangefinder when the animal approaches. Instead, you will only focus on the shot and its execution.


It is our duty to the animal to take a properly ranged shot. The main aim is to harvest the animal without making it pass through unnecessary pain mainly by hitting its vitals. A rangefinder helps you to take a perfect shot because even the best 3D shooters might make mistakes, especially when on top of a tree.

When at elevated levels, you might think that the animal is further than it is. A rangefinder helps you to eliminate all the guesswork. Simply follow our suggestions and see your success rates skyrocket.