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what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

 
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2008, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sebastopol, ca.
Posts: 418
Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

My buddy just bought a Kowa scope from Scott at Liberty and the resolution is amazing.

His neighbor has a Llama in the field and we were watching the flies on his head at 264 yards.

The difference between a good scope like a Leupold and a great scope like the Kowa is amazing. It's like you are switched from a 17" TV to the 50 inch big screen in HD.

You are able to look into the shadows of the trees on the mountains and make sure the buck or bull you are looking at is worth making the hike to get him. We do a lot of glassing for deer here and a lot of times all you see is an ear or an antler tip so you need all the resolution you can get.

Give Scott a call at Liberty and he will take good care of you.
Steve
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2008, 09:58 AM
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Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
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Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

Reltor,

I've dealt with and looked through all the above except the US Optics. I could have bought any of them though I might have had to eat a few more "Cup of Soups" for lunch to buy a larger scope. They all have great glass. I think only the very discriminating user who spends days and days behind a spotter could tell the difference between them. What it boiled down to me for me was the ease of "fine" focusing. When you get down to that nth degree of focus, where you're trying to acertain that last 2" of horn of xyz animal, you'll find the scope you might pick is the one most easily focused.

I'm not going to tell you which brand I picked because I think you need to handle "all" the scopes if you can and determine for your self. I did choose a European model;). I do think an 80-85mm objective lens will be much better if all it were ever going to be used from is your truck; but where is the reality in that? A good 60-65mm scope will work for "boots on the ground" hunting.

Good luck!

Alan
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2008, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

I know what you are saying is true. At a distance with 10/42 binocs I could see elk butts and only knew what they were because they were moving, but some people with a good spotter could see the tines of some rag horns with the standing elk that were laying amongst the junipers. It amazed me.
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2008, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Elko, NV
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Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

For the same money you are planning to spend, I'd get BOTH of following:

1. Leupold HD 12-40 (for packing and general use)
2. Pentax PF-100 (for looooong range spotting)

Here's why.

1. The Leupold, while not the best optically of those you listed, is very very good. But most importantly it's THE most comfortable to use. Hands down. For long glassing sessions this is very important. This is why a lot of sheep hunters use them (as told to me by a guide in Montana) Both the exit pupil and eye relief is the largest that I know of - 5mm for the exit pupil and 30 mm of eye relief. For comparison the top of line Lieca has an exit pupil of 3.3mm and 18mm of eye relief. It is also the most portable of those mentioned.

2. The Pentax because it has the highest power you can get. Optics are rated as good as the best on your list. You can get a 90x eyepiece as well as many zooms. As opposed to 60x tops for most in the list. You can also use very high quality telescope eyepieces with it. This is ideal when glassing far distances from the truck. This isn't a very portable scope, but you'll have the Leupold if you need a portable option.

Again, you can get both of these, for about the same price one top of the line Lieca, Swaro, Kowa, etc...

This is the combo that I'm saving up for.

Last edited by WildcatB; 11-03-2008 at 05:07 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2008, 06:10 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

I have a pair of Leupold Mojove 10x42 and a pair of swarovski pocket 8x20's. The reason I have the leupold mojaves is that the image looked the best with my glasses on. With the Swarovski 10x42's I could not see the edges. I also looked at Pentax 10x42 DCF SP's, but liked the open bridge (swaro copied) design of the mojaves.

Thanks for the info about the leupold spotting scope, the eye relief is very important to me.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2008, 08:34 PM
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Location: sebastopol, ca.
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Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

I have the Leupold and it is a great scope for short range ie 1000 yards or so.

There is no comparison in image quality between the high end glass like the Kowa, Zeiss, or Swaro and the little Leupold.

You have said it is mainly for the truck so weight and size are not an issue. If you are ok with spending the money the high end scopes are definitely worth it. You will see things people with cheaper lower end scopes will not.

Find a good optics place and look through them all outside. Good luck with your decision.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2008, 10:50 PM
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Re: what is a good spotting scope for elk hunting

Scott,

I really like Kowa for glass at the range they are great for seeing bullet holes. As for the Leupold and the USO I like them for the size they can be put in a backpack and they have a ranging finding reticle in them.

Again I would prefer a Kowa for the range especially an angle eye and a Leupold or USO for field.


Mike @ CSGW
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