The Laser RangeFinder Every Archer Needs

The Laser RangeFinder Every Archer Needs

Expert archers know exactly what to look for in a laser rangefinder that will help land the perfect shot. Find out what every bowhunter needs and check out the Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000.

Archers know that range estimation is key to either taking home a buck or going home empty-handed. Unlike hunting with a rifle, most archery takes place from a tree post and is done from an angle. This vantage point is incredibly misleading, and every archer has probably attempted these impossible shots thinking they can estimate the distance. These same bowhunters also now know that the human eye is terrible at ranging.

Luckily, we have moved past the days of guesswork and have the technology to run calculations for us at the touch of a button. Laser rangefinders are crucial for a successful hunt or long-distance target-practice. You can stop estimating and start improving your target acquisition by investing in a high-quality laser rangefinder today. If you’re still convinced, check out this review of one of our favorite tools, the Nikon Arrow ID VR 7000. You’ll want to add this to your pack for your next excursion.


What is a Laser Rangefinder?

Rangefinders have come a long way since their first generation. Previously, these tools were heavy, clunky, and could only range short distances. This might have been fine a couple of decades ago, but today’s archers are shooting more daring shots at even longer distances. Manufacturers today are designing laser rangefinders with today’s bowhunters in mind. As a result, they include advanced features that support hunting and target practice in a variety of environments and conditions.

The principle behind laser rangefinder technology is pretty simple but makes for some impressive results. A laser rangefinder emits small beams of infrared energy on to the object you’re working to sight. The object reflects the infrared wavelengths to the rangefinder, where a sensor absorbs them. The sensor and a built-in computer chip then work together to make sense of the data from the reflected infrared laser and calculate the distance of the object. All this happens on the backend so that you can quickly see the yardage on your screen.

What Qualities Are Important For Bowhunters?

Archers come up against challenges that might not apply to other hunters and need the right laser rangefinder to accommodate their needs. Many bowhunters enjoy their sport in the hills or the mountains or perhaps from a tree post. These angles, though, will impact the trajectory of your quiver and make it even more difficult to estimate your prey’s distance. Without a laser rangefinder as a guide, even other tools like pin bow sights are not much use. You won’t know which yardage to dial in or on which pin to focus before taking your shot.

To help with this issue, be sure you look for rangefinders that provide the horizontal distance of your target, even when you’re at an angle. For example, if you’re in a tree stand aiming downhill at a whitetail, the distance will appear to be farther than it actually is. Without a laser rangefinder that can calculate the math, you’ll overshoot from a defensive position every time. By the time you reload another quiver and get sighted in again, that deer will be another 10 yards ahead.

Another feature that appeals to bowhunters is the ability to range in a target at close and far distances. As a rule, larger and more dense objects will have a stronger signal than smaller objects. If your laser range finder doesn’t have multiple ranging modes, you might not be able to zero in on smaller prey at long distances. Conversely, if you’re tracking bigger prey, a lower-end rangefinder can also get distracted by nearby trees or bushes, if they’re near your target. Most elite rangefinders have a variety of targeting modes to overcome these challenges so that you get accurate ranges on your subject.

Why You Need the Nikon Arrow

The case for why the Nikon Arrow ID VR is the best choice for bowhunters is easy to make. This laser rangefinder is designed explicitly for bowhunters and features the technology you need for higher target acquisition. When the Nikon Arrow first premiered on the market, it received a ton of hype. As users reviewed the product, it became clear that this rangefinder deserves the acclaim. Although Nikon has archived this model, luckily, you can still get your hands on this rangefinder through third-party vendors.

The Nikon Brand

Before even diving into the specs, you can rest assured of this rangefinders quality because it’s a Nikon design. Best known for their cameras, Nikon has been making sporting optics since the early 20th century. They are consistently leading the way in developing innovations and advancements within the field. Nikon’s reputation for producing world-class optical tools already separates this laser rangefinder from the pack.

We know better, though, than to be fooled by brand names, so now let’s dive into what you can expect from the Nikon Arrow.

What’s Under The Hood?

The Arrow ID VR laser rangefinder demonstrates Nikon’s dedication to research and development, with first of its kind technology that contributed to its original hype. Before looking into its exclusive features, here’s a run-down of the nuts and bolts to help you compare it to other rangefinders in its class.

Every yard between you and your target means a wider margin of error. An off-kilter quiver at 100 yards, means an even worse shot at the 200-yard mark.  Nikon understands the need for precision in long-distance shooting and packs in the features you need to achieve your archery goals. With the Nikon Arrow, you’ll enjoy a ranging distance of 8 to 1000 yards, with only a +/- 0.5-yard discrepancy at up to 700 yards. The Nikon Arrow also features hyper-read technology, which means the screen displays an object’s range in .1 yard increments. For long-distance shooters, this ability to range at extreme distances with this level of precision is invaluable.

This extreme ranging distance is paired with a 6x fixed, magnification, and a 21mm objective lens. The magnification power on this rangefinder is more than enough for any hunter. The large objective lens provides greater light-gathering capacity, which leads to a brighter, move vivid image.

Most bowhunters typically stick to the 200-300 yard range. Therefore, they might find this kind of magnification power is unnecessary for their purposes. However, if you do enjoy long-distance shooting, tracking, or just like to know the terrain features ahead of you, you will enjoy this massive distance range. It may also be worth the money for short to mid-range shooters to get their hands on the vibration reduction technology – but more on that later.

This rangefinder is a monocular design, which makes it easier to hold and is super lightweight for hunters on the go. The eyepiece is rather large and has a spacious eye relief of 18mm. The eyecup isn’t adjustable, so if you need your glasses while you’re out in the field, this setup might not work well for you. There is a diopter adjustment ring, though, so you can focus the eyepiece to suit your preferences.

Nikon Arrows ID VR Laser Rangefinder Specs

Ranging Distance 8 – 1000 yards (+/- 0.5 accuracy at 700 yards)
Magnification 6x (fixed)
Objective Lens 21 mm
Eye Relief 18 mm
Weight 7.1 oz (without battery)
Battery 1 CR2 Lithium Battery
Durability Waterproof, fog proof & shockproof

What Do All The Letters Stand For?

What Do All The Letters Stand For?

As with most hunting gear, the model name “Nikon Arrow VR ID laser rangefinder” looks like alphabet soup. Let’s break down what each of those abbreviations stands for and the technology hiding behind this name.

Vibration Reduction

This version of Nikon Arrow made a big splash in the archery world because of the VR, or vibration reduction, technology. This exclusive feature is a huge leap forward in rangefinding for archers. For rangefinders to get accurate readings on objects and for a clear image, they need to be held completely steady. When you’re out in the field and feel the adrenaline of the hunt, or are handling multiple pieces of equipment, keeping your hands from shaking is nearly impossible. On older or less advanced rangefinders, hunters would typically need to use both hands to ensure their rangefinder is stable enough to be effective.

This is how the Nikon vibration reduction technology changed the game. With vibration reduction technology, Nikon guarantees that you can cut 80% of the vibrations in your viewfinder caused by shaking hands. Hunters can hold the monocular body with one hand and get a perfect view. Reducing vibration is also important if your game or target is also moving. Fewer vibrations mean one less distraction for the rangefinder’s inner workings so that you can achieve accuracy.

Incline/Decline Technology

Any decent rangefinder designed for bowhunters will have some built-in capacity for determining distance at an angle. This technology is vital for most bowhunting scenarios. Because bowhunters typically practice target shooting on flat land at a range, when it comes time to shoot game from an elevated position, many hunters will not have a firm handle on estimating angled distances. Even the most experienced archers will tell you that these estimations are imperfect, making it worth the splurge on a rangefinder that can give you an accurate read.

The Nikon Arrow solves the problems of angled shots with their ID or incline/decline technology. Whether shooting uphill or downhill, this rangefinder will provide you with the horizontal distance between you and your target up to +/- 89 degrees. For hunters who haven’t been in geometry for some time, that’s almost completely up or down vertically.

Some rangefinders will display both measurements on your display screen. However, to avoid any potential confusion, the Nikon Arrow splits these options into two modes so that the user can select which measurement is best for their given scenario. Hunters can easily switch back and forth between the horizontal distance and the actual distance with the touch of a button.

Ranging Modes

The Nikon Arrow also features two ranging modes to accommodate hunters in a variety of settings and conditions. These choices in ranging modes will help you get the most accurate readings on overlapping objects. Your choice of modes is Target Priority Mode and Distant Target Priority Mode. The Target Priority mode will give you the distance of the closer subject you’re trying to range while the Distant Target Priority shows the range of the farthest subject. These features are especially important when hunting in densely vegetated areas so that you can differentiate between trees and game.



You’ll be hard-pressed to find a rangefinder sturdier than the Nikon Arrow. Nikon guarantees that this product can withstand being submerged in 3.3 feet of water for up to 10 minutes. I certainly hope this kind of slip never happens to you, but Nikon has you covered if it does. The lens is also fog proof, but Nikon warns against using this product in extremely humid conditions as a precaution.

The Nikon Arrow uses and comes with a lithium battery for a long-lasting charge. Unfortunately, the battery is not rechargeable, but you will get about 3,300 uses out of a fresh battery.

A Bowhunters Best Friend

Every bowhunter ought to carry a laser rangefinder in their pack for superior tactics and effectiveness, whether on the range or out on a hunt. It’s time for bowhunters to stop with the guesswork and instead take advantage of the 21st-century technology available. By investing in a laser rangefinder, you’ll achieve better, more consistent groupings and dead-on accuracy.

The Nikon Arrow VR ID laser rangefinder is one of our favorites for sharp views and precise ranging. This model comes with exclusive vibration reduction and incline/decline technology that is guaranteed to improve your views and your shot. While this rangefinder might cost more than some other models on the market, it’s worth its weight in gold for its advanced features.

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