Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Hawke Laser Range Finder Hunter 600 Review

Hawke Optics Range Finder

As I get things ready for spring bear, turkey season, and all of my other spring hunting prep, I always evaluate my gear and determine if what I have works or if I need to make an upgrade... Well this year was the year I decided it was time to upgrade my range finder.  As I have been happy with all of my Hawke Optics products I thought I would give their new Laser Range Finder a shot to see how I liked it.

I picked up the LRF Hunter 600 which ranges out to 600 meters or around 650 yards.  Hawke has two models (Hunter and Professional) which come in a few different options/ranges.  The Hunter comes in either a 400 meter or 600 meter version, while the Professional model comes in 400, 600, or 900 meter version.  The Hunter, which is a smaller model, measures out at 3 inches tall, 1.65 inches wide, and 3.8 inches long.  Below is a graph with the details on the size and features of the Hunter LRF: 
Hawke Optics Range Finder

Hawke Optics Range Finder

I have been testing/using this rangefinder for 6 months now and have been very satisfied with it!  When using the LRF Hunter 600, I have loved how fast it recognizes and display's the distance.  A quick response is essential to me in a hunting situation as we all know a hunt can be determined in a mater of seconds.  One feature that I truly loved while using the LRF Hunter 600 is the Hunt mode which measures the distance between you and the target while ignoring interference with long grass or brush.  This is huge for us hunters as we know many of our targets are not standing in a clearing when a shot is presented.  This is great as I have had a lot of trouble with previous range finders (Leupold, Nikon, and Bushnell) with picking up various readings when my target is near brush or tall grass.  I am looking forward to this year's antelope hunt as I missed an opportunity last year because I couldn't get an accurate reading on a bedded antelope.
Hawke Optics Range Finder
The display also has a feature I want to explain which helps show the quality of the LRF Hunter 600.  The icon that looks like a wine glass is the Target Quality Indicator.  This shows you how certain the reading you are getting is accurate.  I have loved this as I have usually gotten in a habit of taking two or three readings to make sure my range finder was accurate.  Now with this indicator, I can trust the reading displayed and move forward.  

I created a survey on social media and asked many hunters what features they looked for when purchasing a rangefinder.  One of the items that came up often was a red display for low light situations.  With the LRF Hunter 600, as well as all of the other Hawke rangefinders, the display is a black digital display.  I must not have had as much problem as some hunters in regards to needing a red display, yet I can see how the red display could make it easier in those low light situations.  I have found a easy solution if you can't read your display which some may find dumb yet it works for me.  After I ranged my target, I flip my range finder around and breath softly on the front glass.  Once I look back to the display after doing that, the reading is displayed against a foggy screen and is as clear as black writing on white paper... I know that is not the best solution, yet it has worked for me. 
Hawke Optics Range Finder

I tested the LRF Hunter 600 in lots of environments, against various targets, and in many different weather conditions and have never had any issues with it.   For the six months that I have been using the LRF Hunter 600, it has been extremely consistent in its readings and has been very reliable.  I like having a range finder that I can use both while archery hunting in close yardage, which needs to be consistent and accurate, as well as in rifle hunting and shooting to reach out to the 600 yard range.  For me that is more than long enough with my rifle so if my rangefinder won't pick it up, then I know it is WAY out of my range for a shot.  

If I were to give this rangefinder a score out of 1-10, 10 being perfect, I would give it a 9 out of 10.  In the survey I previously mentioned, many hunters brought up items such as size, feel, consistency, price, weight, and warranty which I feel the Hawke LRF 600 would get a 10/10 on.  I like it's design, feel, consistency, magnification, clarity (which is consistent with all of my other Hawke products), size, weight, and the display.  The only change I would make, would be a red display for low light conditions, yet for me that is not even that big of a factor.  With the LRF Hunter 600 coming in at $189.99, Hawke has once again come in on the lower end of the pricing for their products of similar logistics, while providing such a product with exceptional quality! As I said earlier, I chose this range finder because I have been a fan of Hawke Optics products, and as expected, this one has once again met and exceeded my expectations.  If you are in the market for a rangefinder, be sure to check out Hawke Optics and give them a consideration! Whether you choose the LRF Hunter, or the LRF Professional, the quality of their optics is great, and their two year warranty on their range finder is amazing!
Hawke Optics Range Finder
Hawke Optics Range Finder

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Promoting Hunting, Not Yourself....

Everywhere you turn on social media you get bombarded with gear promotions.  People telling other people what camo to wear, what weapon to shoot, what caliber is the best, bla bla bla... Regardless of how helpful this information may be, the consistent feeling of being stuck in a commercial on the Outdoor Channel gets pretty old pretty fast.

Now we are seeing lots of pages, social media accounts, and even outdoor industry TV show producers putting out content condemning, mocking, or even humiliating people who promote hunting related products.  The semi-recent trend even addresses the culture of the "hunting industry" for belittling hunters who do not shoot big deer, who don't have the fancy gear, and the gym rat hunter phenomenon that has seemed to take over many of our social media feeds.  Topics such as these are being addressed and combated as being detrimental to the purpose and focus of what hunting truly is.  

In efforts to protecting "what hunting truly is" unfortunately many of these advocates are being hostile, confrontational, and belittling those who are doing a lot of good.  Now anyone who promotes any product is a "product pusher" or "part of the problem".  It is beginning to create a culture where if someone doesn't like something then automatically they are put down and talked bad about in attempts to establish a more elite group of hunters who all agree on the same thing 100% of the time.  If you don't agree with them or if you feel the product they promote is useless in your eyes then they are pathetic and shouldn't even be allowed on the internet!  haha come on people, how old are we? 

Hunting needs spokesmen and women... As much as we would love to hope and believe that Hunting is going to be around for ever just because it has always been part of our history, we have to accept the reality that Hunting is under attack and politicized for good and bad... Hunting celebrities play an important roll in advocating for hunting.  As much as you and I love it and depend on it for food, admit it...these hunting celebrities literally make a living, their whole career, through hunting.  I'm not talking about the few bad apples in the "hunting industry" who break hunting laws to shoot certain animals to get more views/likes/sponsors/etc. I'm talking about those who put their money where their mouth is.  They fight (in a professional way) with the anti-hunters, the politicians, the animal rights activists, and all of the other groups and people who are trying to take public land, gun rights, and hunting away from us.  So do you really think they are evil for having a commercial on an outdoor channel promoting a product they use? Yeah that person probably has a sponsorship... they get paid to use that products and say what that company wants them to say... but how else do you expect the hunting celebrities to create the status and career they need to advocate for the hunting community.

Now let me be clear here, there are A LOT of the hunting celebrities who have gotten into the habit of promoting themselves more than they are promoting hunting.  That is what Michael Waddell talks about on his social media rant he has posted.  This is the focus of my post... There is a HUGE difference between promoting a product and promoting yourself.  If the focus is to get likes, views, followers, or to push your views/standards onto someone else (such as size/age of the animal etc.) then it would be falling under the category of promoting yourself.  If the focus is to share a cool product, share information, share items that promote and support the hunting life style, then that would be the promotions that are conducive to the hunting community.  Check out Michael's video bellow:


Lets get a few things straight, if you promote a product and present it as it is the absolute best there is and EVERY OTHER PRODUCT SUCKS.... then what kind of standard/culture is being created?  I love my Game Gear camo but will be the first to admit it is what I choose to wear and use, but it isn't right for everyone.  As a hunting community we need to support, or at least tolerate, the fact that we are all different, we all have different needs and standards, as well as we all live differently.  I will never be able to afford SITKA gear nor do I have any desire to wear it.  Does that mean everyone who wears SITKA gear is stuck up, rich snob, egocentric d-bag? NO!!!! But this is what is happening on social media! To play the devils advocate, if you act like a stuck up, rich snob, or a egocentric d-bag, then people are going to be put off by you and how you act.  There are two sides to every situation and we have seen multiple examples of hunting celebrities who have let their ego get in the way of whats important.  Lets no pretend that everything is roses... Lets admit there are hunting celebrities and people on social media who are using certain products to promote themselves rather than promoting for the hunting community.  There are also ruthless keyboard warriors who belittle others who they don't agree with.

The facts are, you and I can't change what the hunting celebrities do or how they act.  What we do have control over is what you and I do on social media.  So, if your focus is to promote yourself, use products/companies to get YOUR name out there, or if you belittle others in attempts to make yourself look superior/better/or in some way better than the person you are making fun, then just know YOU are the one that is being a detriment in the hunting community.  It's not just one side or the other... It is both of you... You can promote gear without promoting yourself.  Yes you may gain followers through these promotional posts, but if it is your primary focus on social media to gain followers no matter the cost, then don't get upset when others call you out on it.  This includes the insta-famous accounts AND the meme pages... It is ALL for attention and regardless of how many followers you have on your side of the situation to back up your point, you know what you post and why you post it... Grow up, OWN YOUR ACTIONS past and present, and stop being so negative...