Rangefinders were once only used and known by such people as military professionals, cartographers, surveyors, engineers, builders, miners and more. Of course, I’ve always wanted to know exactly how far my mailbox is, and I am sure there may have been equal wonderment by country folk on how far their barn exactly is. Of course, I am never going to actually take a tape measure and measure it out exactly. I’ve always either prided my nautical judgment or alternatively been too lazy to invest such an effort. But the world has changed, and now I can do it at the click of a button and a gizmo worth less than $200.
Outdoorsy stores and Amazon are buzzing with this best rangefinder, flooding the market. The most popular new users of these laser rangefinders are hunters and golfers. Hunters needing rangefinders also come in two flavors – riflemen (or rifleperson to be gender neutral) and bow people. Perhaps the animal rights folk will not be too happy with this new gadget that allows the hunters in our community to multiply their effectiveness. Or perhaps society will gain from the increased productiveness in our hunter-gatherer economy. We’re not to judge.
Puritan hunters would probably make another sceptical group. Surely, the whole purpose of hunting is to leave the million gizmos that clutter our lives and get in touch with nature? Here is yet another proof how technology is creeping in and now assaulting one of the last vestiges of our hunting heritage.
Perhaps the shot that gets the buck is the case of the bow-hunter. Now, why the bow my man (or woman)? Surely, if you have no qualms about using a rangefinder, you cannot have any about using a rifle? This technological innovation will allow you to shoot farther and easier, and – might I add – help you with less muscular strain.
But then, that’s not how Robin Hood did it. Also, they make a rather unpleasant racket when you shoot. Yet more to consider – the new incline/decline calculators makes it even easier to get a shot in from the nearest tree-post. And last but not the least, the Joneses have them!
Golfers on the other hand, have no qualms about adopting technology, as long as it lowers their score. Yet, as with all things, they too face a challenge; they have to decide between two competing technologies: laser rangefinders and GPS golfing devices. On a good note, laser range finders don’t require an annual fee, you can measure the distance of anything rather than only the flag pole and you don’t need to download (and pay for) maps. They are also more accurate. However, one issue has been trying to aim at a tiny flag-post with a laser rangefinder. This problem has largely been solved by using pin-seeker technology, or simply pointing at something nearby, like a person on the green or the ground near it. However, you still see the odd flummoxed customer write a bad review of the rangefinder they purchased because they couldn’t point the rangefinder right.