Rangefinders for Antelope

Discussion in 'Antelope Hunting' started by Timber338, May 8, 2012.

  1. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    My rangefinder sucks when it comes to ranging pretty much anything in the Eastern Colorado plains when I am out Antelope hunting. It is a Nikon 550.

    It works great out to 500 yards when I am elk hunting in the mountains, but I can hardly get out to 150 yards when there is nothing but dry grass. I have used my scope in the past to get a ballpark for how far away the antelope are, but don't trust my experience level for ranging far.

    What gear/techniques do all of you use when you are antelope hunting, especially for long range shots?
     
  2. Canvsbk

    Canvsbk Well-Known Member

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    And what gps unit....? (we'll ask about the day packs later)
    :):):)
     

  3. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Antelope suck to range, no two ways about it!! The only way to defeat the little buggers is a small beam deliverance in a high end range finder, my leica 1200 will get me about 800 yards consistently but I have to watch it. A friends Vectronix will tap one as far as anyone on here can shoot but you pay to play!!!
     
  4. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I can and have many times ranged a coyote in 10" tall wheat stubble on flat ground to well past 1400 yards. I have ranged antelope in the same conditions to past 1 mile. There are two key things to make it happen.

    1: You need a good quality RF with a small beam divergence. The cheapest one that you can currently buy new in the $700 range is the Leica 1600 CRF

    The next better unit would be the Vectronix PLRF05 also known as the Terripin. These go for just under $2000

    The next up in price is what I use, the PLRF10 by Vectronix and sells for $3700


    Now most guys can get by with the $700 dollar Leica but you won't be ranging antelope at a mile with one. But in morning and evening light or with a little cloud cover you should be able to get a goat at 1000 on a flat field, maybe further. In midday bright sun probably 700 to 800. This is if you understand the RF and practice how to use it properly. Which brings us to number two

    2: Get down solid and get that RF on sand bags. These very precise units are sending a narrow but powerfull beam that may only be 2' x 6' at 1000 yards. Could you hit an antelope off hand or off your elbo's at 1000? I know I can not. So I stack up sand bags and push the RF down solid into them. Then I go in to scan mode on the RF. Start ranging over the goat, deer or what ever and slowly work down till you get a reading. Once you get a couple matching distances lift up again till you get no reading , then work back down to the goat. When you have got a few (i like 3) consecutive reading you have an accurate range.

    ps: with the leica watch that you don't block the laser with a figer or the sand bags. It is easily done.

    Hope this helps!!

    Jeff
     
  5. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

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    I have the Swaro laser guide that works awesome in some conditions not so good in other conditions, have ranged antelope to a mile with it before.
    Last year on my antelope hunt in tough conditions it was hard getting a range at 1000yards though.
    If I were buying a new rangefinder it would be the Vectronix Terripin
     
  6. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. You sure are right that you pay to play. Wish I had a money tree!

    Broz, great advice to get set up and steady when you range. Been looking at the Leica for a while but even those are spendy... puts it in perspective when you look at the cost of the Vectronix.
     
  7. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    If the 1600 CRF for around $700 is still over budget then look for a used Leica CRF 1200 -Y They go usedfor about $425 to $450 and are the best unit you can get for that price. But know that depending on conditions the max you will range a goat will be 1000 and that will not happen all the time on flat ground.

    Jeff
     
  8. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Even though I don't currently have the skill to shoot past 1000, I think there is still a lot of value in having the capability to range as far as possible... if I were to range an antelope or elk at 1250 I would know I only had to close 250 or 300 yards to be within range. Never bad to have as much info as possible.

    So I"ll try and save up for the 1600... It won't break the bank, just need to be save up and try and get one before hunting season rolls around.
     
  9. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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  10. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Trebark, looks like you had a great hunt last year. Thanks for the link.

    I will likely try and save up for the Leica 1600. It seems to be the best bang for the buck.
     
  11. kweidner

    kweidner Well-Known Member

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    I have a 1600 and it will consistently range to 1000 at a 12x12 piece of plate under all conditions i have tried except light rain. I live in the flattest part of the country you could imagine. Dirt roads for miles. The Leica will get it done. I have ranged past a mile with it on my rear bag off back of truck to a deer sized bush. It is wow for the cash. I have to look really hard to find places to shoot over 1000 over here so it fits my bill quite nicely. inside 1k on smallish targets with no prop more than your elbows will get it done most everytime. 100% of the time with a small rear bag and no rain.
     
  12. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

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    Last fall I was pegging cows, antelope and deer, (white tail, mule deer, doe and buck) beyond 1300 yds very consistently off hand with the Bushnell 1600 Fusion's
    Even if you consider the very real possibility of having the range finder pick up the grass in front or behind due to no rest...that's still a consistent reading at that range...get on a rest and its golden.
    I ranged a nonreflective grassy hill a coyote was sitting on at 1681 meters...beyond a mile.
    Don't overlook them.
    I know I will never again choose a LRF that isn't a combo unit. Binos and LRF in one package.
    Swaro's might be better, but the Leica Geovids were NOT. They had better glass for observing, but they didn't even come close to ranging as well as the Fusion.

    The vectors can't be beaten...but you'll pay for their awesomeness too. Ranging moving vehicles at over 6000 yds is always fun.
     
  13. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Well it looks like I've got a lead on getting a Zeiss Victory PRF for $488. I know the beam divergence is larger than the Leica.

    So although I want the Leica 1600, which gives you temp and pressure, has smaller beam divergence... I'm wondering if the price of this Zeiss is too good to pass up?

    I really am not planning on shooting past 1000 ... but also want a rangefinder that will work in flat country. I'm thinking I should wait and save up for the Leica.

    Thoughts?
     
  14. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I say wait till you can afford the 1600 or watch for a used Leica 1200 CRF-Y. One of the 1200 just sold on here for $425. That is as good as it gets for thatprice range. Big beams for antelope are a huge mistake in my opinion.

    Jeff