Although you get laser rangefinders that are used for a wide variety of purposes, from hunting to golfing, the Bushnell BowHunter Chuck Adams Edition is, as the name suggests, tailored for a very specific purpose. As the name suggest, this is the rangefinder to take out in the field with you if you are a bow hunter and it comes packed with features to complement your hunting style. If you are not a bow hunter, you will still get some use out of this rangefinder, but obviously it is going to benefit bow hunters the most.
Bushnell has a reputation for solid, well built products and they did not disappoint with the Bushnell BowHunter. The design of the rangefinder makes it small enough to comfortably fit in your shirt pocket and light enough to carry around without incurring any fatigue. Let’s face it, if you are already lugging around your bow and equipment the last thing you want is another heavy gadget weighing you down. Some rangefinders have a lot of weight to them, so it is always a relief to find one that packs all the features while still keeping the weight down. Despite its weight, the rangefinder is quite sturdy too and I have heard about folks dropping theirs a considerable distance and finding that it still works fine. I haven’t had the opportunity to test how effective the rainproof housing is, but by all indications the rangefinder appears to function admirably out in the elements.
I don’t know how much input the legendary bow hunter Chuck Adams had in the design of this product, but from a purely aesthetic viewpoint it looks great. It uses a 3-volt CR2 battery, which surprisingly enough is included in the package along with a case and strap. It is not often that companies go the extra mile in including these extras, so I am impressed with Bushnell in this regard. Bushnell has been in the sports optics business for more than 50 years and it is great to see that they have not become lax due to their leadership position.
Bushnell knows that bow hunters are more often than not going to be taking their shots from the top of steep hills or from tree stands. This is why this rangefinder packs Angle Range Compensation (ARC) technology, which is able to calculate accurate distance based on the angle that you are shooting. Anyone that has had to do this calculation by eye when shooting from an up or downhill angle, will really appreciate how this feature takes out all the guesswork involved. When used in bow mode, the rangefinder simultaneously displays all the most important variables such as line-of-sight, angle and true horizontal distances. This information is shown for distances up to 99 yards, which is obviously tailed for bow hunters and not rifle hunters, but with line-of-sight distances up to 850 yards they are catered to as well.
If you need to measure angles from -90 to 90 degrees the built-in digital inclinometer will handle this with +/- 1-degree accuracy and the rangefinder also sports 4 x magnification. About my only complaint is that the range is not illuminated, so when the lighting is low, it can be tricky to see the information clearly. Some people get around this by pre ranging their target zones before low light, but a brighter readout or night mode would have really benefited this rangefinder. I have also seen reports from people stating that the rangefinder struggles to function accurately in foggy weather, but this is to be expected. Overall, this is a great piece of equipment that any bow hunter would be happy to own.
Pros & Cons
Although the Bushnell BowHunter Chuck Adams Edition is not cheap, it packs just about everything that a bow hunter would want out of a quality rangefinder. Rifle Hunters can probably get something cheaper or more suited to their choice in hunting equipment though. To help you make up your mind about the Bushnell, check out the pros and cons below for an overview of what makes this rangefinder so unique.
Bushnell BowHunter Chuck Adams Edition Rangefinder Pros
- Angle Range Compensation technology makes it great for archery-specific range finding
- Comes with a carrying case, battery as well as neck strap
- Integrated Bow Mode for displaying information relevant to bow hunters
- Built-in digital inclinometer
- 4 X magnification
- Rainproof housing
- Built-in battery indicator
- Great battery life
- Very easy to operate
- Very lightweight
- Very accurate
- Affordable compared to other rangefinders
Bushnell BowHunter Chuck Adams Edition Rangefinder Cons
- LED display can be hard to read in the dark
- Better suited to bow hunters than rifle hunters
- Struggles to work correctly in foggy weather
For bow hunters the Bushnell BowHunter Chuck Adams Edition is a great buy, but those who prefer rifles are probably better off with something else. The rangefinder is still a good investment if you use both bows and rifles as it provides impressive line-of-sight distances, but if bow hunting is not your thing, a lot of the features on this product will go to waste. If you use a bow with an adjustable yardage pin, you will really appreciate the accuracy that this rangefinder can provide you with. With bow or crossbow hunting the result of miscalculating your distance and angle could be a severely wounded animal, so I highly recommend this rangefinder to avoid the chance of something like that happening. If you are a bow hunter and you spend a lot of time in hilly terrain get yourself this rangefinder.