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Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?

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Old 05-12-2009, 11:56 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 5,863
Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?

I just received a pair of the new Vortex Kaibab model 15x56 binoculars that I am evaluating for Vortex Optics. Wow, great quality. More on this unit later.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about trying to go lighter this fall when hunting out west. Usually I carry 10x42 binocs plus 12-40 spotting scope plus tripod.

The 15x56 binocs may be enough...leave the other stuff in the car.

Anyone else do something like this?

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:02 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 901
Re: Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?


When hunting in the Newcastle, WY area, I generally only carry a pair of 10x42 Leupold binocs for most hunting. The spotting scope stays in the truck unless I am going to a specific "long range" look out point. That being said, I generally have a 15 or 20 power scope on the rifle if I need to evaulate an animal at long range.

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:34 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 252
Re: Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?

One of my friends I hunt with has 15X Swaro SLC"S. For me I can't hold them still enough to use them effectively while standing. I don't have this problem with my 10X binos.

One thing I have done with the 15X bino's is to sit and use my Stoney Point shooting stix between the lenses (both legs held together) and rest them on one hand and focus them with the other.

As 7mmSendaro said you can always take a better look with your scope if you like what you see through your bino's.

I have to say, lighter may not always be better, but it sure is nice.

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Old 05-12-2009, 03:35 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,466
Re: Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?

When I'm stand hunting I always carry a good set of binoculars and a spotting scope clamped
to the blind in the general direction to be hunted.

There is nothing better than a 30x to 40x spotting scope to score a deer/elks antlers on the
hoof also it helps pull the game out of the brush when he won't expose himself.

I personally don't like using my rifle scope to look/spot game because I have been on the
receiving end of this and it does not feel very good to look up and someone is scoping you
out with there rifle pointed directly at you.

When looking at a large area I will use the binoculars to catch movement and then use the
spotting scope for the last word.

When doing a lot of walking I rely on a set of 10x40 zeiss to do the job.

For short range (300 to 400yrds max) I use a set of 8x28 compacts that will fit in your shirt
pocket . this is mainly turkey,hogs, and varmints.

A lot of the hunting hear in texas has age, point and score requirements and in this environment
nothing can beat a good spotting scope. Because ground counting will get you in trouble most
of the time.

So I use what ever is best for the type of hunting I am going to be doing, ( Weight is not an
issue ) and carry all three with me and decide when I get to the hunting location what to carry.

Just my way of hunting

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Old 05-12-2009, 06:29 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 252
Re: Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?


I agree with you on using your/my scope as a spotter. I tought hard about how I worded my post, saying only to do it after seeing something I like through the bino's. I have been shot at 3 times in my years of hunting. All 3 times I was in fairly open terrain and wearing Blaze Orange. Thankfully they were all near misses. This in large part is why I haven't hunted in my home state of California in about 25 years. I would never use my scope as my primary optics, nor will I hunt with anyone who does!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only about 25% of my hunting is done from a stand, I agree with you that when hunting from a stand weight is not an object. I always have my options in the truck. Last year I bought a carbon fiber tripod with a quick change head so I can have my good camera and my spotter with me, I also made a rest for my tripod. I can switch from one to another in about 5 seconds.

Safety First, Always

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Old 05-12-2009, 06:52 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 161
Re: Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?

Len, we have never had much luck with the bino's that were over 10 power either and I can tell you for sure if you leave your spotting scope in the truck or camp you'll be kicking yourself for it.
Bud Martin
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:57 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 62
Re: Who chooses to hunt with only binocs - no spotting scope?

The less stuff I carry, the better off I am. Having said that, I just hunt Whitetails down south where the ranges don't get much over 400 yds.

Had I been blessed enough to live out West where the view can be 3 times that, I don't see how you could get along without a spotting scope, especially with 43 yr. old eyes like mine.

Besides the stories my Dad told me, I don't know squat about hunting out West, other than if I can't see it, I can't sneak up on it and shoot it.


God Bless The USA


Last edited by Seven Oaks; 05-12-2009 at 07:42 PM.
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