Originally Posted by Nvhunter
....After spotting a group of deer I use the higher power optics (unchambered) observe details on known potentials.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. I do this as well. Though I have a spotting scope now, when I'm "walk around hunting" I'm sure not carrying it with me. When I have one single buck tag to fill, I want to be able to scrutinize that rack in detail before deciding to take the shot if given time. I've been bit over the years too many times by whitetails whose racks shrink, points that should be there disappear, etc, after the shot. Better luck next year! :( This is one of the big reasons I got the 3-18...I've never needed 18X for a shot on a deer but sure wished for it to get a better look at what I'm shooting.
Though some misguided individuals (especially on other boards) will say one shouldn't even do this. That the scope is an "aiming device" and looking at points is "what your binoculars are for." Usually, these are the fixed 4X, 6X low powered variable Leupold users...and with such scopes, yes, a good set of binoculars will show you more detail. It also comes from thinking 300 or 400 yds is really "long range," they have no problem counting points with their hand held binoculars at the ranges they might ever shoot. Having never used a high powered high end scope, they don't realize you need a set of "big eyes" on a tripod to match what a good scope can see.
Originally Posted by dougedwards
Can someone clear this up for me?
Yes, the thing is if you're "scanning" it means you're looking for something, you don't know what's there already. You can "find" another hunter; which means you've just pointed your rifle at another person. Besides being felony assault with a deadly weapon most places, it makes you feel really lousy to realize you've just committed such a horrible safety violation.
That is what binoculars are for--scanning, looking for, finding game. Once you know it's a deer and you want to take a better look, a riflescope can work very well.
Anway, I was actually thinking about this thread the other day while shooting the 4-14 Falcon with "Leupold-ish" glass alongside the 3-18 IOR. The Falcon gave me a nice view of the target, I had no problem seeing the holes, etc. You couldn't really ask much more from an "aiming device." The optics were better than good enough for that. Though, had I paid $900 for it I would have been disappointed.
But every time I switched back to the 3-18, my jaw would drop all over again. "Aiming devices" are great and all, but..... ;)
Hey, a brand I forgot to mention: Meopta. They have offerings the same or cheaper than Leupold with much better glass. If you're really worried about low light, a 3-12X56 you should be able to see in the dark with but it doesn't have AO. There's a 4-16X44 with AO, turrets, mildot, for a good all around package. Given your description of how you want to use it, I think you'd be infinitely more happy with something like that, for even less money, than dropping $900 on a Leupold.
Oh, one more thing: Is there any thick stuff you hunt in, any chance of something jumping right out in front of you? If not, you might not need 3X or 4X on the low end and could look toward 6-24X type power range which opens more options.