November 09, 2010
By Christian Berg
Most bowhunters have experienced the frustration of ranging an animal and coming to full draw only to have the target start walking as you're lining up the shot.
By Christian Berg
Most bowhunters have experienced the frustration of ranging an animal and coming to full draw only to have the target start walking as you're lining up the shot. At that point, you have two options; guesstimate and release or let down to take a new reading. Either way, your decision could cost you a trophy.
The new Vendetta bow-mounted rangefinder from Leupold eliminates that confusion by allowing you to range at full draw (from 10-70 yards), with no added movement, simply by pressing a button mounted on the front of the bow's grip. If the target is moving, just hold the button down for continuous, on-the-fly readings until you are ready to make the shot. I tested the Vendetta on my BowTech Destroyer 340, and despite some fairly lengthy instructions, setup was easier than I anticipated. I spent about 30 minutes mounting the Vendetta, positioning it and securing the power button on my riser. Then, I spent another hour on the range, using the Vendetta's built-in visible calibration laser to align the rangefinder with my top pin.
Using a handheld rangefinder to verify the Vendetta's readings, I quickly had the unit within two yards of the handheld and slowly made another half dozen minor adjustments to maximize accuracy. Once the Vendetta is aligned, all you do to use it is come to full draw, place your top pin on the target and press the button. The range is instantly displayed on a bright red LED screen. And thanks to Leupold's True Ballistic Range technology, the Vendetta automatically accounts for any uphill or downhill shooting angles.
After completing setup, I spent another hour shooting with the Vendetta. Based on my tests, the Vendetta is accurate and extremely easy to operate. The weatherproof unit is also compact (3.8 inches long, 2.8 inches high and 1.3 inches wide) and quiet. The only notable downside is the weight, at 10 ounces. Although my bow generally shot well with the Vendetta mounted, a few arrows drifted to the left -- the same side where the unit is mounted (for left-handed shooters). I was able to eliminate this problem by more consciously maintaining proper form and follow through on every shot. Installation of a counterbalancing weight is another option worth consideration.
One final note on the Vendetta: Because it is a bow-mounted electronic device, the unit is not legal for hunting in all states and is not permitted by the Pope and Young records program. A complete list of states where the Vendetta is legal for hunting can be found on the Leupold Web site. MSRP: $300
CONTACT: Leupold, 800-538-7653, www.leupold.com