Leupold Vendetta Keeps You in the Kill Zone
I've recently went on the search for a bow mounted range finder. This has been on my mind every since I missed a shot on a quality buck last season. I thought he was about 32 yards out, where in reality he was closer to 39. I honestly think that the large body size of this buck threw me off and had me thinking he was closer in than he was. Either way, I should have ranged the deer with my hand held range finder before taking the shot, but was afraid the movement would get me busted. As I watched my arrow fall short, grazing his chest, I realized the importance of knowing the exact distance to your target.
So I recently picked up a Leupold Vendetta, and have been very impressed with how easy it is to use once you get used to it. Setting the Vendetta up on my Matthew Switchback was very easy. Using a couple of included brackets and screws, I had it mounted in a matter of minutes. This might not have been so easy, had it not been for the YouTube videos that Leupold posted, walking you through the installation process. I was happy to find out that this didn't interfere with the mounting bracket for my bow quiver either. I was able to mount that back onto the Vendetta's bracket.
After installing the Vendetta, there is a calibration process that you need to go through. They provide you an alignment sheet to use for this process. Again, there was a YouTube video showing you how to do this, and it was really helpful to see someone else walk through this process before attempting it myself. You essentially hang up this alignment sheet, and step back approximately 20 yards. Just for the setup process, there is a visible laser. You draw your bow, look through your peep and lay your 20 yard pin on the alignment sheet. Then you see where the laser is falling on the paper. You adjust the Vendetta (up /down and right / left) and repeat the process until the laser light falls in the center of the alignment sheet (i.e. in line with your 20 yard pin).
Then using the Vendetta is a breeze. At any distance, you can:
- Draw your bow.
- Look through the peep and lay your 20 yard pin on your target.
- Depress the activation pressure pad for the Vendetta with your finger (which will be on your bow grip)
- Then read the exact range to your target.
- Then switch to the proper distance sight pin, and let your arrow fly with confidence.
One thing I was definitely concerned about was adding unnecessary weight to my bow. At just 10 ounces though, it is a trade off that I was willing to make, and surprisingly the additional weight did not bother me.
You do need to be aware that the Leupold Vendetta is not legal in all states for hunting. It is legal for recreational shooting in all states. For a complete list of states that it is legal for hunting in, see the following: Leupold Vendetta Legal States. Some states do not allow electronic devices on bows for hunting purposes. Most of the eastern half of the country allows the Vendetta, and most of the western half of the country does not.
You should also be aware that the Pope and Young Rules of Fair Chase do not allow a buck harvested with an electronic device on a bow to be entered into the Pope and Young record books. So if you are after a record book buck, the Vendetta may not be for you. If this is the case, then you may want to take a look at the Dead On Rangefinder. This is a non-electronic device that attaches to your bow sight, and is simple to use. It is based on the typical body size of your game, and is adjustable for turkeys, whitetails, mule deer, elk, etc. You lay a fiber optic pin on the bottom of your target's body at the chest, and then see which of the top pins fall on top of your target's back. Each of the top pins indicates a specific yardage amount, and can be color coded to your actual bow sight pins. It is a pretty neat concept, but I have personally not tried it.
So armed with my Leupold Vendetta, I am ready to head to the woods this fall. I am thankful that I live in a state where this device is legal. I can't wait until September when the bow season returns. Until then, I'll keep burning up that Delta River Bottom Buck target in my back yard.
Have you tried the Leupold Vendetta or the Dead On Rangefinder? What do you think of them?