Re: Actual or Horizontal Range ? which do you use
Here is how you do it:
WITHOUT the angle compensating range finder--while sitting in your treestand--range straight out NOT down--straight out to a tree, or other object in a straight line. This is the actual distance. With most shots being close range you will not be off by much in your compensation.
NOW--with the angle compensation range finders--point, and shoot your range finder, and they will compensate.
Here in the east the angle compensation feature isn't such a big deal. If you will be stalking in places such as out west in hills, mountains, bluffs, and really steep angles is where the angle compensating range finders really shine especially longer range rifle shots.
For the most part here in the east I simply suggest what I stated above, or stand at the base of the tree that your stand is in--aim your range finder at various trees, and land marks--STRAIGHT LINE, and get your ranges. Make a mental note, and know or have a little area mapped out in your head. When a deer is at, or within that area--I do a little arc shaped area as far as ranges. When the animal is at, or within that pre-ranged area I know it's at--20, 30, or 40 yards.
I hope I have helped in some way.