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2 VA LRHers in eastern WY

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Old 10-13-2011, 06:23 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Jackson, Wyoming
Posts: 281
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY


It doesn't look like you spent too much time being lost. Fantastic photo. Hurry back because there's lots more where those came from. On your next trip to be sure and buy some additional doe/fawn tags. Shooting a doe sometimes helps with "slowing the hunt down" just a bit. I would have had a hard time turning either of those bucks down though. Great shooting in some windy conditions.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

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Old 10-14-2011, 11:28 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern Wheat Field near Bennett, CO
Posts: 538
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY

Good shooting, guys. And thanks for the write-up and pix. You only had to compensate for

a 10 mph wind? That's what we call a calm day.

Saw that you are flying out of Denver, DIA. That airport is 10 miles west of our farm. If you

spot 2 white metal roofs, that's us. (gives you something to do right after you take off).

Have a restful trip home, and congrats on your hunt.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:48 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,254
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY

An update on our last day on the hunt.....

Both of us were using Swarovski range finders. While they are very well rated range finders, the one complaint we have heard about them is their broad beam divergence. Well, we discovered this first hand.

One our last day, we spotted a herd of 15+ antelope. We finally did it right and drove past them until we were out of sight, jumped out the truck and stalked over to where we thought we could get in position. After a short walk, we spotted the herd coming out of a draw at quite a distance. We dropped to the ground and started ranging. We were getting 650yards and 610 yards. We continued to range and more regularly got 650. Put the kestrel in the breeze, did a wind cacluation and doped our scopes. Because it was our last day and late in the day, we agreed that we would shoot simultaneously. We also agreed that given our previous experience with poor bullet performance, we decided we would go for high-shoulder shots. On the stalk into position, we went over the shooting sequence....3, 2, 1, shoot! and that's just what we did. We shot so simultaneously, that I wondered if Oliver had shot and he wondered the same thing about me. We both watched our respective antelope in our scopes and proceeded to watch them run away seemingly totally unscathed. both of us let out a WTF! I then worked the bolt on my rifle to confirm to Oliver (and myself) that I had actually shot. Oliver did the same.

The group of antelope then moved farther away and we closed the distance a bit. We got back on the ground and started ranging. 840.....810....840....810....then we started to regularly get 840. Dialed the scope, doped the wind, 3, 2, 1, shoot! and watched the doggone 'lopes run off again...clean miss...AGAIN...WTF!

The herd took off for a quick half mile jog. We ranged them again at 1500ish. So we got up and closed the distance to 1050. At Wyoming altitude, 1000 was right on the ragged edge of our effective range. but because the herd was potentially on private land and we were unsure if we could get the truck to where they were AND we had just missed twice, we decided not to shoot.

So we gathered our gear and proceeded to walk back to the truck. On the way, we continually wondered out loud how both of us missed. Given that we had hit at 670 earlier in the hunt, did seem logical that our dope was off. We were confident in our wind call. Both of us are experienced longrange shooters and felt good about our hold and trigger pull. As a result, we concluded that given the wide beam divergence of our range finders, we were doped for 650 and 840 when they were in reality at 610 and 810. As a result, we determined that with a point of aim on the high-shoulder, we clean missed riiiiiight over their backs'.

Determined to confirm our theory, we proceeded down the road to a prairie dog town where we could shoot ~500 yards. Apparently, the prairie dogs had gone to bed early. So Oliver glassed a rock waaaaaaaaaay over there! He ranged it and although he got multiple values, he regularly got 1268 yards. I also ranged the rock and came up multiple values including 1268 and 1515. Oliver doped his scope for 1268 and without telling Oliver, I doped my scope for 1515. He shot first and his bullet struck low. Then I took a shot and my elevation was correct, but struck just a bit to the right (forgot to compensate for spin drift and coreolis). Anyway, this is a long way to say that we confirmed the beam divergence issue. We would regularly get two different ranges for a target. It was just a matter of choosing the correct range. Rather pleased with ourselves, we proceeded to ping that rock at 1515 several times!

We then moved across the road where we dumped the rest of our ammo on rocks at 623, 640 and 740. Every first round shot was a hit. This further confirmed for us that our dope was right and that the cause of our misses was ranging error.

Not sure yet how we will resolve this issue in the future, but it is top of mind at this point.

Oliver - did I miss anything? mischaracterize?
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 10-14-2011, 08:13 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Eastern NC
Posts: 180
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY

Vectronics PLRF 10
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:15 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: McLean, Virginia
Posts: 985
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY


no, i think you portrayed everything very well! thanks for typing it all up.

as jett stated, vectronix is looking mighty tempting... specifically plrf05 terrapin. No point owning high performance chambering if your rangefinder isnt up to the job.
"Out of range" is a theoretical concept as far as I'm concerned. Send it!
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:53 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,254
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY

A few things I learned in Wyoming....

1. everything is at least a half mile hike away
2. knee pads and elbow pads are a good thing as the terrain is rough and full of stuff with prickers!
3. when antelope bust you, they will jog at least a half mile before they stop to look back
4. although the wind blows hard in Wyoming, it is consistent
5. the solution to our ranging troubles is to spend another few thousand dollars
6. nobody from Wyoming knows what a 'speed goat' is
7. folks from Wyoming are the nicest people
8. Wyoming mud sticks to everything like glue and will turn a truck sideways in a second!
9. it's the only place I've been where we could see other hunters a mile away and said "we need to go someplace else, it's too crowded here"

Oliver - anything else? I am sure I've forgotten something
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:41 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
Posts: 1,788
Re: 2 VA LRHers in eastern WY

Originally Posted by Oliveralan View Post

no, i think you portrayed everything very well! thanks for typing it all up.

as jett stated, vectronix is looking mighty tempting... specifically plrf05 terrapin. No point owning high performance chambering if your rangefinder isnt up to the job.
Just my opinion here guys, but I'd suggest the PLRF10 over the 05.

Here's why; It's been my experience through testing and using a few of the best that the horizontal beam divergence is just as likely to give a false reading as excessive vertical dispersion. This is on relatively flat ground, like you both got a chance to experience here recently, and Especially on small targets like a coyote or prarie dog or rock chuck. Perhaps not so much on a broadside deer or antelope. A lone sagebrush or dirt bank that's only a couple feet to the left or right of the intended target but as much as 50 yds behind it has given me a false reading many times.

The PLRF 10 is supposedly .3 vertical X 1.5 mil horizontal
The Leica 1600 is supposedly .5 X 2.5 mil
The PLRF 05 is supposedly only marginally better at .4 X 2.4 mil and over twice the money as the Leica.

Granted, the 05 is probably a stronger laser/or receiver so it may range further than the Leica.?

Even using the PLRF 10 just a couple weeks ago, it failed one of my tests and it failed while using it on a sandbag on the hood of the truck......as steady as I could be. I was trying to range a 10" diameter AR500 plate at 812 yds. There's a small dirt berm that is directly behind and extends horizontally a fair distance each side of the plate; the berm is 18 yds behind the plate. No matter where I held or how steady I held the PLRF 10, It gave readings off the berm rather than the plate.

Here's my hypothesis; At 810 yds, the vertical beam covers 8 3/4", surely small enough to hit only the plate. However, the horizontal beam covered 43 3/4"........in other words, the majority of the beam was going to both sides of the plate (over 1 1/2 times the size of the plate extended beyond each side). I am assuming that since over 75% of the beam was shooting outside the plate that it was much easier to bounce back from the berm than the plate, hell; makes sense right? I mean the majority of the beam was hitting the berm and not the plate.

Again, this was with the PLRF 10 which has the smallest divergence of them all and it was only 810 yds. But 20 yds at 810 is a miss with most cartridges. FWIW, my Leica 1600 has the same problem with this plate at 510 yds.

People who hunt steep country don't have this worry nearly as much as us "flat landers", but out here on the plains; a lone sagebrush will reflect back the laser quite a bit better than a deer or antelope or coyote will, and that lone brush just off to one side or the other, could easily be 20 yds or further beyond the game and still appear to be the same distance.

Just thought I'd pass this on.
Aim small = Miss small

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