By Jason Reid
(New York) My first range finder was the size of a large brick of cheese. Seriously, this piece of equipment took both hands to work with. In today’s world of bowhunting, efficiency is king. Thinking back on the less efficient pieces of equipment we carried in the past makes me laugh as technology has provided much lighter and faster equipment.
In regard to range finders, most range finders on the market today can fit snugly in your hand. Four important points about range finder use comes down to the ergonomics, the quality of optics, the second priority efficiency and its ability to compensate for incline or decline.
In preparation for the upcoming whitetail season at home and a coming trip to the West for elk, having a range finder which meets these requirements is not negotiable
Then Nikon Arrow ID 3000 helps guys like me to get the most out this critical part of the puzzle.
First, the 3000 is small and takes up little room in your pack or on your person since it measures 3.6”x2.9”x1.5”. Weighing only 4oz it is of no concern when packing for a trip. From an ergonomic point of view, the 3000 sits comfortably in your hand and comes with a neoprene covering. This covering is a very small part of the 3000 but when you think of the abuse something like a range finder goes through in a given season being exposed to briars, stickers, and DUST, you’ll be thankful for this little cover protecting the lens and body. The lens protecting cover is not a bother, rather, it pops on and off with ease.
Second Priority Efficiency: According to opticsplannet.com, second priority efficiency is “A hunting rangefinder, or second priority rangefinder that would ignore the first object in its line of view like branches, and read the most distant object, which may be a deer.” The 3000 provides just this. Through TRU-TARGET Technology provides hunters two different ranging options for the hunt. First Target Priority (1st) mode is linear range to the closest target. If your deer is standing in an open field, this is the mode you want. Distant Target Priority (Dst) mode helps the laser find your end target without being caught up on tentacles of brush or leaves which may throw the range off.
The 3000 allows hunters and shooter the ability to choose which targets they want to pick through. But by holding down the range button, you can physically switch between targets without having to readjust and you will get each range. This will be very helpful when trying to pick out the right deer in a herd or differentiate between the distance of a tree and my target.
In some other angle compensating range finders, the view screen will give you multiple numbers. The 3000 has the Incline & Decline (ID) already built in to give you a single number in the viewfinder. This provides further simplicity for the product and the end user, which is what I like.
I am also a fan of the 4x lens since it does provide better detail when dialing in for your shot. With past range finders I felt like I was just ranging general blobs. With the 3000 I can pick my exact spot with confidence. The 4x optics also act as a short range optic I’ve used in tight spot situations to try and catch little glimpse of movement.
In low light conditions the 3000 I felt was able to continue to provide clarity.
A word of caution, since the product is so small, it can be a bit tough to steady when trying to range distant targets. In a tree stand use both hands for steady and accurate results.
onclusions: A quality product yet again put forth by the folks at Nikon. For the features and the price of $199.99, I can safely say I would recommend this to any bowhunter in the whitetail woods or in the mountains. The size, ranging capabilities and ergonomics make this a competitive choice when you are standing at the counter. This is a great investment for any hunter since it also comes with a two year warranty. Buy it online at www.basspro.com
About: Driven to tell the next great story, Jason Reid combines a passion for stories, gear, conservation and bowhunting with the written word. Follow his adventures on Twitter for honest reviews, information and unqiue stories from around the outdoor world.