Re: advice on optical set up for long range hunting
For simply spotting game the first rule is always use the best glass you CAN afford that also gets along with YOUR eyes. The second rule is mount them on a tripod. The tripod helps in several ways. One, you can spot way more stuff when the image is still versus minor movements caused by hands and arms. You WILL see many things you will miss 99% of the time. Also the motions cause headaches and eye strain. A still picture prevents this. Also because your eyes head and arms arent killing you, you will glass longer and more often. This also leads to spotting more game. The 3rd key is for you to be comfortable. Use a stool or foam pad for comfort. Again, the more comfortable you are, the longer you will sit there and glass. Once game is spotted, then the spotting scope can come out to size the critter up for legal status or trophy quality or not so quality.
Not everybody can or will spend mega bucks for binos and scopes. Just get the best you can afford. Remember, the best for somebody else may not be the best for you. Test various models and makes side by side in cloudy and sunny conditions as well as evening with and without a tripod. Let your eyes tell you.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.