Re: spotting scope stand?
I still haven't found an ideal spotting scope stand, am interested in the Ewing just mentioned. The "mickey-mouse" tripods I referred to are the ones that most optics companies sell with their spotting scopes - they are all made in the same place and have different brand names on them (I have identical stands from Bushnell, Redfield and Simmons). Three folding legs, one bolt holds the scope on to a very wiggly platform that is adjusted up and down with a little wheel situated under it.
Problem is finding something that is either small enough to leave on the scope when in your pack, or real quick to hook-up to.
If you want to see really costy camera/spotting scope tripods, check out the Gitzos, they make Bogen/Manfrotos seem low-cost but they are superb.
I have not found the perfect tripod so maybe Milanuk's topic will help us all. My needs are for prone shooting at steel for the spotter/shooter thing where we trade off shooting and spotting every twenty shots or so. What I am looking for is a small, rugged tripod that will hook to the scope really quick, and have precise adjustments for up and down. Height is the question - for low-prone we don't need much height, for hunting in rocks or vegetation you might need enough height so that you can sit behind the scope.
For some types of hunting we carry a big tripod that we can stand behind, depends on the terrain and critter. Hunting for caribou in the arctic or N. Quebec is an example of where we sometimes left the spotting scope on a fairly big camera tripod for hours and took turns standing or sitting behind it.