Knowing the distance of the shot you need to make can mean the difference in bagging a monster tom and going home empty-handed. You can use a rangefinder, but what if the batteries die, or you simply don’t have time to use it before setting up on a turkey? J. Wayne Fears explains how to judge distance without a rangefinder and offers tips on using a rangefinder if you so choose.

“Any type of open landscape can make judging range difficult. An open pasture in North Carolina, the grassy plains of South Dakota or the open meadow of Montana are just a few of the many areas that can make distance judging a tough task.

Many hunters cannot judge the distance to a gobbler in any setting, and this misjudgment alone accounts for a high percentage of misses. If you cannot tell whether a gobbler is 20 yards or 55 yards away, you will not bring home many trophies.

The easy answer is to purchase one of the excellent rangefinders available today. However, not every shooting situation permits you the time or opportunity to use one, and they are somewhat expensive. Practice distance judging to make sure you’re on target.”

Photo by: Bushnell

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Shannon Rikard
Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.