By: Tink Jackson

Some of the technological advances we have witnessed over the last 20 years have proven to be a huge help to us in our hunting endeavors. One such advancement is the use of laser range finders to help us accurately judge distance. More recent advances that measure the angle of our shots have further refined the accuracy of these great tools. With a quality range finder in hand, we can pinpoint to within inches the exact “true” distance of any shot we will make with the single push of a button.

I have used a number of different range finders over the last few years on my hunts. As with any other tool we use pursuing our passion, there are certain traits that separate the really great ones from the other mostly useless gadgets we carry in our packs. In this review, I will discuss the specifications of the Bushnell Scout 1000, what benefits it truly provides to archers, and any concerns I had with its use in the field.

From an archery hunting point of view, I look at a few specific traits when reviewing a range finder.

These are the key components that we will be discussing in this review and they include:
• Magnification
• Angle Compensation
• Targeting
• Size/Weight
• Feel/Construction
• Ease of Use
The technical specifications of this range finder as advertised are as follows:
• Built-in digital inclinometer measures angles from -60 to + 60° with +/- 1° accuracy
• Pocket-size ergonomic design with textured rubber grip
• 5x Magnification
• Bow Mode – provides true horizontal distance from 5-99 yards
• Rifle Mode – provides bullet-drop/holdover in inches
• BullsEye, Brush and Scan Modes
• RainGuard® HD
• Range: 5 – 1000 yards
• Includes carrying case, battery and neck strap
• Posi-lock battery cover

Bushnell is well known for the quality products that they manufacture. The Scout 1000 is no exception. Overall, we found the unit easy to use, loaded with features and a top performer in its class. The Scout 1000 is loaded with benefits, and while we were focused on the use of it for the bowhunter, we found it to be an excellent hybrid for use with any other type of weapon as well.

Bushnell Scout 1000 - ARC Technology Makes It Great

Magnification – The first thing that we look at when looking for a rangefinder is the magnification. The typical archer in the east will be targeting objects at no farther than 50 yards, while out here in the west we push that distance out to 100+ yards on many of our hunts. The Scout 1000 comes with 5X magnification, which in my opinion is just right for those distances between 20 and 120 yards. The lower the magnification number, then the wider the field of view when using the range finder, allowing for quick acquisition of your target. Hours of use of the Scout 1000 proved the 5X magnification and concurrent field of view were ideal in all situations we tested the range finder in, with target acquisition and clarity of view always easy on the eyes.

Angle Compensation – All of the top end range finders now come with an angle compensation system. The idea has many different synonyms, but the concept is always the same. Laser range finders measure linear distance, or straight line. The original range finders did not take into account the amount of incline or decline between the range finder and the target. Many times archery hunters find themselves elevated in a tree way above a trail, or in any number of other types of ambush situations where there is a significant drop in elevation between themselves and their potential targets. The linear distance might be 40 yards, but the true compensated equivalent may only be 33 yards. Without some way to offset the effect of the drop in elevation between the shooter and the target, a lot of bad shots can be made. Bushnell calls their angle compensation system “ARC”, or Angle Range Compensation. We tested the Scout 1000 at every distance and angle we could find, and the ARC system worked without fail. We have nothing but confidence in the ability of this unit!

Linear Distance versus Compensated Distance

Targeting – We have all been here. We get that new range finder out of the box, run out to our shooting range in the back yard, throw the range finder up and range our 3D deer, then the shade tree, then the neighbor’s dog. Works great, or so we think. However, when we get out to our favorite hunting spot, all of a sudden it won’t range certain targets. Why? Well, we did not have a brush pile surrounding our 3D target at home, and Rascal, the neighbor’s dog, was not walking through a stand of trees when we zapped him at 55 yards. Archers well know that ranging their target sometimes is far more work than making the shot. Bushnell has helped make this simpler by allowing you to set the Scout 1000 to “prioritize” your targets.

The “Standard” mode allows you the option of holding down the power button and scanning targets within the view finder. Each new target acquired will automatically update the distance as long as you continue to hold the power button down. If you select the “Brush” mode, the range finder will ignore small close objects and range to the background target. In other words, it will look “past” the branch or leaf in the way, and get the deer behind it you are really trying to range. In “BullsEye” mode, the Scout 1000 does exactly the opposite, allowing you to pinpoint a smaller target in front of all of the stuff behind it.

Our testing of these modes found them to be very accurate and easy to us. Switching back and forth between modes is simple and requires only a simple push of a button. This is a tremendous tool with these features and makes the Scout 1000 stand out among the elite range finders in the industry.

BullsEye Mode for Accurate Distance to Objects With Trees in the Background

Size/Weight – The Scout 1000 is equivalent in size and slightly heavier (about half an ounce) than comparable range finders. The extra weight is hardly noticeable, and for those of us that may also step out with a rifle for a late season hunt, that weight is a non-issue knowing we can use this range finder out to a 1000 yards, while the comparable Nikon will only hit 550 yards.

Feel/Construction – The Scout 1000 is very comfortable to hold with rubberized top and bottom strips to keep it from slipping out of your hands on those wet days in the field. The power button is located right on the top and easily accessible for split second use. The mode button is located towards the front of the unit on the left side, making it very difficult to accidentally “bump” it and mess up your settings in the heat of the moment. The outer surface of both the objective and eye piece lenses are coated with Bushnell’s RainGuard HD, which prevents fogging and condensation buildup. The Scout 1000 is also waterproof.

Ease of Use – The Scout 1000 is simple to use. As with all of our other equipment in our hunting bags, we should not just be pulling it out on opening day. Once the unit is set between bow or rifle modes, the only changes you will need to make in the field is the targeting priority setting, either standard, brush or BullsEye. Then, it is just a quick push of the power button to range your target, and you are ready to fill that tag! Just remember in bow mode when you range a target, you will get three numbers in the display – linear distance, angle and compensated distance. The lower right yargade is the one you will “shoot as”.

Extras – For those that also hunt with a rifle from time to time, all you have to do is switch from “bow” mode to “rifle” mode, look up the caliber of your rifle and pick the ballistic number that matches your gun in the menu in the Scout 1000, and now you have a range finder that is good to 1000 yards that will not only tell you the distance to your target, but also how far you need to “hold over” to make a good shot.

Rifle mode gives hold over at lower left corner

Overall, we would highly recommend the Scout 1000 to anyone looking for a top end range finder. For the price range (around $300), I would say that this is the best all around range finder on the market. The unit functioned flawlessly, was deadly accurate, and from the start we had nothing but confidence in this quality Bushnell product!

For more go to: Bushnell Products