The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Should I use a range finder when deer stalking?

George Wallace
Generally speaking, if you try to use a range finder in woodland, and you don’t need to if your rifle is zeroed correctly, the quarry will have wandered off long before you are ready to fire.

It’s easy to become bamboozled by technology and end up forgetting what ‘stalking’ really means.

However, in the wide open spaces created by modern farming methods, where the next hedge can be half a day’s walk away, it may be a matter of taking a shot at 300 yards or even more, or not getting a shot at all.

The same applies on open moorland or a Scottish mountain.

With a modern rifle, 300 yards is no problem on a target the size of a Red Deer but beyond that bullet drop is a considerable factor and you absolutely must know the precise range and the precise holdover if you are to make a clean kill.

Under such circumstances there is usually plenty of time to take a measurement with a range finder but if you have to do it regularly it may be worth considering one of those posh riflescopes with a rangefinder built in.

They are expensive but it beats the hell out of shooting over or under your quarry or, worse, having it run off wounded.