Halo X-Ray 600 Laser Rangefinder

   09.20.13

It was a rough night at Cape Hatteras, and most of us were wisely enjoying the comfort of the rental house. We’d had a great dinner and were enjoying a well-deserved rest after several days of hard fishing with little success. The lack of success and 20-knot winds had managed to convince me to not fish the late afternoon stretch until after sundown, as was my normal practice.

Gary, a guy who was fishing with our group, wasn’t discouraged, and had left at the normal time. Gary is as optimistic as any surf angler I know, and he simply wasn’t going to miss one afternoon of fishing due to some dark clouds. He returned later than normal evening and this, combined with the bad weather, made me suspect he had gotten into some fish. I heard his truck pull in and we waited for the news. He came in with a big smile and I knew I’d made a mistake. “I caught a big speckled trout,” he said with triumph in his eyes. “You guys should have fished instead of lying around the house.”

The instant response was, “How big?” Gary held up his hands indicating a trophy fish that would weigh about six pounds.

As a writer, I never give up an opportunity to shoot a photo of a nice fish. I grabbed my camera and followed him down to his cooler. I was thinking about where I’d have him stand so it looked like we were still on the beach instead of in the driveway of a rental house. There was a clump of pampas grass and I decided to use it as a background. He opened the cooler and there was a 14-inch speckled trout lying on the ice. It was barely legal and certainly no trophy. I waited for the laugh that would signal that he’d duped me and it was a joke. Instead, he proudly took the fish out of the cooler and held it up. “Where do you want me to stand for the picture?” he asked.

Anglers are known for lying about the size of fish, but hunters and shooters often delve into the practice when they’ve taken and made a shot that was beyond their comfort zone. Years ago, a guy came to my range to sight in his deer rifle. He looked down the meadow and exclaimed, “Wow, that must be 600 yards.” The actual measured distance to my far berm was 200 yards. I then realized why he had been so successful with 400- and 500-yard shots in a recent ground hog hunt: he was overestimating the distance.

Today, this is no longer a problem. I’m talking about the range determination, not the lying. The Halo X-Ray 600 Laser Rangefinder from Wildgame Innovations that I’ve been testing has 6x magnification and can measure a maximum of 600 yards to a reflective target. It features a scan mode, which can be used for constant ranging. This allows a user to range multiple targets with one touch of a button—a reasonable practice when precision is required for zone-ranging an area for minimum and maximum distances or on moving targets. The AIT feature, or Angle Indicating Technology, accounts for slope to the target, which can be a big factor in mountainous area hunts. It’s precise to plus or minus one yard.

This compact, ergonomically designed unit takes all of the guesswork out for accurate shots. The non-slip, rugged housing provides a sure grip in all weather conditions and the rubberized switches are large enough to locate when wearing gloves. The Halo X-Ray 600 is water-resistant, has a one year warranty, and uses a CR2 lithium ion battery. It comes with the nylon case and has an MSRP of $159.

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