About 10 years ago, Swarovski Optik brought forth upon this continent a new riflescope, equipped with a laser rangefinder, weighing almost as much as a rifle, and costing as much as a trip to Africa. But so appealing was the idea that the scopes actually sold. And those of us who were paying attention knew that it would be only a matter of time until someone developed a rangefinding scope that was light, simple to use, and affordable.

And now, by crackey, that time is here. At the 2006 SHOT Show, Bushnell announced its Yardage Pro 4X-12X riflescope, which will tell you not only how far off the animal is, but allow you to adjust the reticle for the yardage and hit the damned thing. The Yardage Pro is about the size of a 4X-12X by 42 riflescope, weighs only 25 ounces, and mounts pretty low on Weaver-type mounts. (Bushnell is working on getting it even lower.) It ranges from 30 yards to 800 yards, and comes equipped with 6 detachable elevation knobs, five calibrated to common trajectory profiles, and one left blank for you to fill in.

In use it works like this: Pick the knob that matches the trajectory of your cartridge and screw it on the scope. Next, sight the rifle in at 100 yards. When it comes time to shoot something, you first range it with the laser and crank the elevation knob for that distance. Then hold dead on, pull the trigger, and watch whatever it is you’re shooting at fall down. If you don’t want to take the time (about 5 seconds) to do all this, there is a series of mil dots on the crosshairs for Kentucky windage and elevation.

Now bear in mind I haven’t used the Yardage Pro, but I will, and I will let you know how it does. These are hard times to be an animal, believe me.