Crossbow Nation banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve found it difficult to actively use my range finder on deer while crossbow hunting. With respect to my best stand setup, the deer step out of thick brushy cover into a mowed trail/cut line going slightly uphill directly away from me. They sometimes continue walking across almost without stopping but usually loiter for a few moments and step across into the brush or sometimes approach closer or walk directly away from me.

The issue I have is that there is usually not enough time to range the animal and often they’re looking my way. Not looking right at me of course but in my direction and the extra movement of using the range finder is easily noticed. I’ve tried tying fluorescent flagging tape at measured distances attached to a cut off sapling and jammed in the mud in the weeds just inside the edge of the cut line. I’ve specifically ranged and marked the trails they currently using as evidenced by observation and sign. Even that’s a bit tricky as my range finder doesn’t range off soft stuff like weeds and brush so I have to set down my pack at the various known crossings, get up in the stand and range em. Another issue with that is there are NO rocks or large trees along the edge of the brush to range off of.

I do have other stands where I can range medium to large trees and stumps ahead of time as a good accurate guide as to how far the deer is at any number of spots as it approaches.

Seems the yardage is quite important with crossbow and if range estimate is off even a couple yards I’m looking at. Miss or poor hit. I’m talking distances of 15 to 48 yards.
Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Excalibur Vortex 330, Centerpoint Sniper 370, Centerpoint Patriot 425
Joined
·
16,877 Posts
From my shooting lanes I use my rangefinder to "shoot" the tree at the height my climber will be hanging at during hunts and lay sticks/logs crossways at designated distances (25, 35, 45 yards). Naturally, this is done prior to any hunts. When a deer walks out I can see the deer is standing halfway between two of the sticks so I automatically know the distance he's at. Walla!

When that isnt an option I pre-select distances by shooting the trees with my rangefinder seeing what their distances are. I never wait and try ranging actual deer because like you have said there isn't enough time or the deer might catch your movement. Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,434 Posts
I rarely hunt the same location twice in a week or so and am really never sure where I am going to hunt until I get there and see what the wind is actually doing which is hardly ever what the weather channel says it will do. I range trees, rocks. etc around me as soon as I can see to do so. I don't remember ever ranging a deer first and then shooting it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
The issue ......... I’ve specifically ranged and marked the trails they currently using as evidenced by observation and sign. Even that’s a bit tricky as my range finder doesn’t range off soft stuff like weeds and brush so I have to set down my pack at the various known crossings, get up in the stand and range em. Another issue with that is there are NO rocks or large trees along the edge of the brush to range off of.

I do have other stands where I can range medium to large trees and stumps ahead of time as a good accurate guide as to how far the deer is at any number of spots as it approaches.

Seems the yardage is quite important with crossbow and if range estimate is off even a couple yards I’m looking at. Miss or poor hit. I’m talking distances of 15 to 48 yards.
Any ideas?
Hmmm, your range finder only works one direction? You can't kneel down at the spot you think the deer will be at and range back to your tree stand? Saves lots of walking and climbing. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
I also hunt a different place most every hunt and sit on the ground. No way that I would walk around where I expect or hope the deer are going to be even if it's hours before primetime. I range a few 'guard rails', meaning trees or objects that are at the edge of my shot range and put the rangefinder away. My maximum shot is going to be 35 yds so a few yards plus or minus is not going make too much difference. Like Robert, I don't think that I ever ranged a deer while hunting and keep my rangefinder stowed away so that I don't get tempted to do it. This season I forgot my rangefinder for almost a week of bow hunting and didn’t miss it one bit.

Key point is to only shoot at 'reasonable' distances and a rangefinder isn't needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
I haven't done it, but every year I say I am going too. I have 3 stands that I spend 90% of my hunting time in. I keep saying that I am going to grab some of those small survey flags and mark out a 30 yd circle around my stand. I am going to get that done this year....The circle of death....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
Like others, I range several structures and use them as a guide. I’ve also found that when I’ve been to my archery range recently, where I place targets at specific distances, my field judgements get better just from habit.

I play games of “guess the distance” when I get bored on hunts, guessing then checking to see how well I can do. After a little practice , I get pretty descent at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,659 Posts
I haven't done it, but every year I say I am going too. I have 3 stands that I spend 90% of my hunting time in. I keep saying that I am going to grab some of those small survey flags and mark out a 30 yd circle around my stand. I am going to get that done this year....The circle of death....
The deer always pull those flags out of the ground with their teeth
 
  • Like
Reactions: SEW

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
6,513 Posts
This is an excerpt from a Crossbow Magazine article concerning range factors.

“...........think on this, for an arrow being launched at 410’/sec, a 2 yard ranging error at 30 yards results in a hit slightly less than an inch off, by 60 yards, it is nearly 2” off, at 80 yards, it’s a full 2” off and by 100 yrds , its 3” off.
This is all best case since very few crossbows can actually launch hunting weight arrows at an actual 410’/sec.”

I think sometimes we think range error estimates are greater than they really are. Setting up practice situations in realistic hunting situations helps.
By setting up a target , especially a foam deer target, is as realistic a hunting environment as possible, and then practicing from 5-45 yards or so, can be very beneficial. Pre-ranging an area helps immensely and can normally reduce ranging errors when the deer presents to likely 2 yards or less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,178 Posts
This is an excerpt from a Crossbow Magazine article concerning range factors.
“....
Setting up practice situations in realistic hunting situations helps.
^^ THIS!^^
A buddy that belongs to the same Rod & Gun club as I do had a great suggestion when we were at the archery range with our xb's in early Fall, fine tuning before hunting season. We set up targets at 20, 30, 40 and a few other distances. We sat down in a chair (simulating a ground hunt), and took turns being the caller versus shooter.

The caller would call out "40!" and the shooter had 3 seconds to take a shot at the target that was 40 yards away. We did this for different yardages, obviously.

The main goal was to build confidence that if we saw a deer and had just a few seconds to take a shot (say it's walking between two trees, and there's a small shooting lane that'll only be viable for a few seconds as it walks), we'd be able to quickly choose the correct hash in the scope for that yardage and take a shot.

I found this a very useful exercise. In addition to building confidence and working my scope skills, I think practicing on different distances like this helped me to JUDGE distances a little better too.
 

·
Registered
Excalibur Vortex 330, Centerpoint Sniper 370, Centerpoint Patriot 425
Joined
·
16,877 Posts
I haven't done it, but every year I say I am going too. I have 3 stands that I spend 90% of my hunting time in. I keep saying that I am going to grab some of those small survey flags and mark out a 30 yd circle around my stand. I am going to get that done this year....The circle of death....
Great idea. I do it with horizontally laid sticks/logs.;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: ApexerER and SEW
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top