Using a Spotting Scope While Hunting

Spotting Scopes and the Hunter

 

A Spotting Scope on a Tripod

 

Hunters who hunt for mule deer often consider a spotting scope to be their best friend.   Must you have  a spotting scope if you are hunting mule deer (or other large game)? No, but it makes the job a lot easier!

In a recent post, I mentioned that you do not want to carry a 10x pair of binoculars around your neck for any length of time.  Well, imagine dragging along something with 20x!

The Beauty of a Spotting Scope

There seems to be a direct relationship between the size of the game and the distance from which you need to spot them.  In other words, large game roams over larger areas and are weighed down with clever ways to out-fox the hunter.

If they can smell you or see you … they are GONE! How do you combat this problem?  With a spotting scope.

A spotting scope on a tripod will help you see over long distances while hunting in open country.  In fact, trophy hunters admit that a spotting scope is one of their most important pieces of gear!

Leave the “Sissy” Spotting Scopes on the Shelf

Your spotting scope will get plenty of wear.  Unless you only set-up your scope in your front parlor (to admire its looks), you need one that is durable and sturdy. Also, pay attention to the manufacturer’s warranty…things happen.

Spotting Scopes and Muleys

To get a shot at a mule deer, you will probably be shooting from a great distance — as much as 300 yards. Muleys tend to roam over large expanses of open territory. And this is where spotting scopes are at their best.

From the photo with this article, you can see that a scope is really a small telescope.  Because of its modest size, this tool is really versatile.

Other Things to Look For in a Scope

You’ll want all the clarity and brightness your scope can muster while hunting in the pre-dawn and sunset hours.  In the store, don’t be afraid of trying out several.

Compare the brightness and clarity of the image on one object (it’s easier to compare when the object is the same) — a trophy buck on the wall, a ceiling fixture, whatever.  Also compare the ‘field of view’ — you will want to see a large expanse at one time.

Another thing I’d want in a scope is a carrying case.  These are fine instruments and they deserve to be treated well.

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Full Disclosure: I sell binoculars and other optics. However, my mission in this article is to share information about using the proper equipment while hunting!

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This blog is a companion to my website, GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

 

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Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 9:30 am  Comments Off on Using a Spotting Scope While Hunting  
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More Info About Binocular Lenses

This is a continuation of last week’s article about binocular features needed by hunters.

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Magnification: Makes Objects Appear Closer than They Are!

But what does this mean? One x is what you can see with the naked eye.  Thus, a 7x binocular promises to magnify an image 7 times larger than with the naked eye. Another way of looking at this is: A magnification of 7 means that the image you are seeing through your binoculars seems 7 times  closer that it really is. Generally, the higher the magnification of a pair of binoculars, the narrower the field of vision. Thus, the closer the image appears, the less you see around that image. If you are focusing on a deer with a pair of 8x binoc’s, you will see much more of the scene around that deer than you would with 10x binoculars.

Binocular Lens Diameters

The diameter of your lens determines the binocular’s ability to gather light. When the lens is larger, it lets in more light so you can see things in greater detail. If you want more light during the hours when deer are most active (dawn and dusk), then 7 x 50 is a great choice. This is because , at lower power, your view will be brighter and you will have a wider range of vision than with stronger binoculars. Objective Diameter: This is the lens at the opposite end of the glasses from the eyepiece; its size is expressed in millimeters. Essentially, it tells you how much light this pair of binoculars can deliver. Understanding the Numbers: With a pair of binoc’s rated at 7 x 42, this is expressing – “7” is the magnification and “42” is the objective diameter (amount of light that can be gathered to see an image).

An Example of a Roof Prism

Prisms: In a nutshell, roof prisms are lighter but porro prisms provide a clearer, sharper image. The roof prism can be more compact. With the porro lenses, however, you get more depth perception.

An Example of a Double Porro Prism

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Full Disclosure: Although I sell binoculars and other optics, I will not mention them in this article.  My mission is to share information about using the proper equipment while hunting!

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The 2 images showing the two types of prisms in binoculars are from Wikipedia. I am using them through the “Fair Use” Clause. This article is educational.

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This blog is a companion to my website, GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on December 14, 2009 at 8:51 am  Comments Off on More Info About Binocular Lenses  
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Using Binoculars & Optics in Hunting

The suggestions included below will be of most value to beginning hunters.

Binocular Sizes

Binocular glasses are an important tool for hunters.  In order to be a successful hunter, you must  see the deer (or other game) before they see you!

A good range of power is between seven and eight power.  Typical optic choices are:  (7 x 35), (7 x 50), (8 x 30), (8 x 40), (8 x 42) and (8 x 56).  The most common choice for hunters is (8 x 40).

But what does this mean? One x = what you can see with the naked eye.  Thus, a 7x binocular promises to magnify an image 7 times larger than with the naked eye.

There is a direct relationship between power (size) and the brightness and view of an image. Remember that, in general, lower power optics offer brighter images and a wider field of vision.

Binocular Lens Diameters

(This will be an article on its own.  The facts a prospective owner needs to know cannot be covered in 200 words. Thus, I will cover this topic in detail in a future article …. with the exception of the next comment.)

The diameter of your lens determines the binocular’s ability to gather light. When the lens is larger, it lets in more light so you can see things in greater detail.

If you want more light during the hours when deer are most active (dawn and dusk), then 7 x 50 is a great choice.

Bigger Isn’t Better

If you are going to use these binoculars for deer hunting, don’t let anyone talk you into buying high-powered binoculars (10x). Most hunters wear the binoculars around their necks, so they are handy for quick use.

Ten power binoc’s are heavy and they become progressively more uncomfortable – the longer you wear them. ‘Neck strain’ sounds pretty goofy … until you experience it.  Ask me how I know!

Water Resistant vs. Waterproof

You will find yourself in too many humid and water-filled situations to trust “water-resistant” glasses. I wouldn’t trust any binoc’s that weren’t waterproof!

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Next Time: More info about Binocular Lens Diameters.

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Full Disclosure: Although I sell binoculars and other optics, I will not mention them in this article.  My mission is to share information about using the proper equipment while hunting!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on December 12, 2009 at 11:18 am  Comments Off on Using Binoculars & Optics in Hunting  
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Scopes & Turkey Hunting

Taking Aim at a Gobbler 

 

The "Kill Zone" on a Turkey is Very Small!

Although the wild turkey is North America’s largest game bird, the best “kill zone” is rather small.  The best place to kill a young turk is in the head-neck region. Why?

Because one well placed #4 or #6 pellet in the turkey’s brain or neck will kill him instantly. He will not suffer and there will be no loss in food-value.

Actually, you can shoot a young turk wherever you want. However, that doesn’t mean he will keel over.  Gobblers have some interesting ways to frustrate your plan — of taking a ‘wild one’ home to eat.

Obviously, a gobbler uses his wings to fly (for example: to and from his roost).  However, the wings and feathers are very dense and can repel or deflect pellets.  With turkeys, you rarely get a second shot.

Lots of hunters aim for the wattle; however, it is recommended that you shoot when you see the turkey’s head in the cross-hairs.  By aiming higher, you are less likely to spoil the meat. Remember that a breast shot does not necessarily kill your prey.

Using a Scope While Turkey Hunting

Until recently, I was unfamiliar with using a scope while hunting gobblers. Some hunters seem to value using a 1.5 to 2.0 power scope.  Why?

First, a scope helps hunters zero in on that vital head and neck region. Second, a low powered scope is a useful ally for those with poor eyesight.

Third, it allows a hunter to get a shot at a gobbler from a greater distance, which can be an important consideration in the waning weeks of turkey season.

Those turkeys that avoid a hunter’s aim in the opening days of the season are a whole bunch smarter by the end of the season. They are even more skittish than in the opening days and are harder to stalk.

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I’ll be back soon with more tips on hunting turkeys!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on April 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm  Comments (3)  
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