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Light weight spotting scope?

 
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  #1  
Old 10-20-2009, 10:28 PM
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Location: Chelan Co, Washington
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Light weight spotting scope?

What do you use/recommend for a lightweight spotting scope for a backpacking/hiking hunter?

I was a little frustrated at a half mile yesterday when I couldn't tell if this young buck was legal or not. Has to have three tines on one side to be legal. For optics I had my 8x Swaro rangefinder and the 6x scope on my rifle.


I stalked to 175 yards, and waited for an hour and a half for him to wake up and pull his head out of the brush where he was napping. Then saw that he was clearly a legal buck and put one through his shoulders.

Would have liked to have known when I saw him bedded down, but looking around and I was a half mile away.

Which scope/binos would you suggest - keeping in mind that I do a LOT of hiking as well as some backpack hunting and would like to keep the weight down...

Thanks, Guy
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2009, 11:07 PM
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Location: Wyoming
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Re: Light weight spotting scope?

Leupold has a compact spotting scope. My mountain spotting scope is the Leupold 12-40. Nice long eye relief and a great field of view. I bought one the first year they came out but updated to the HD version recently.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2009, 05:45 PM
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Re: Light weight spotting scope?

+1 on the Leupold 12-40 HD. Great optics. Weight is about average I think around 36-37 oz for the scope itself. The 12x has a nice field of view for close in and the 40x is good for longer ranges. Occasionally on those long days I wish it was a tad lighter but hate to sacrifice the quality of these optics.

For Binos, I use the Pentax HD 10x40 and they're pretty decent. I like them a little better than the comparably priced Leupolds but not too much difference. 10x works good for me and I hike a lot along with one handed glassing when on the move. Anything higher than that would move around too much. A lot of guys even prefer the 8x but I'm sold on the 10x.

One thing though, get the best quality you can afford. Clarity of the better glasses is a lot more important than magnification.
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  #4  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:10 PM
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Re: Light weight spotting scope?

Thats why i got the 15x56 Swaro binos and a doubler witch makes them 30x56. some may say there to big but i love them and no need for a spotter
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  #5  
Old 11-02-2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: Light weight spotting scope?

Bushnell - Elite 15-45 x 60 mm, Matte [781548P]

At 26.5 oz. with fully multicoated optics, bak-4 prisms and a very slim straight, easily stowable in a pack, profile--this spotter was hard to pass up for the price. Lightweight and small. Not sure you'll find anything that's more lightweight and/or smaller. Certainly not the optics of a Swarovski scope, but I had little trouble a couple of years ago counting the tines on one side of a muley buck to ensure his legal status during the high hunt at just under 1100 yds. And that was exactly the reason I bought it. Combined it with this Manfrotto tripod for a small, lightweight but quite versatile package:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 785B Modo Maxi Tripod | 785B | B&H
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2009, 12:24 AM
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Re: Light weight spotting scope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff 300 View Post
Thats why i got the 15x56 Swaro binos and a doubler witch makes them 30x56. some may say there to big but i love them and no need for a spotter

Agree, I do a lot of hiking over tough terrain while hunting and I like the idea of a multipurpose binocoular over a spotting scope for many situations. The way I look at it I will never leave my binos at home so I may as well make use of them for a multipurpose concept. Saves a lot on weight.

The switch style binos are a decent option as well. I happen to be a big fan of the higher end Alpen optics. Great price and very good glass. They have a new 8-16x42 that looks intersting. Obviously Leupold has their switch power options as well.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2009, 08:01 PM
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Location: Texas
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Re: Light weight spotting scope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy M View Post
What do you use/recommend for a lightweight spotting scope for a backpacking/hiking hunter?

I was a little frustrated at a half mile yesterday when I couldn't tell if this young buck was legal or not. Has to have three tines on one side to be legal. For optics I had my 8x Swaro rangefinder and the 6x scope on my rifle.


I stalked to 175 yards, and waited for an hour and a half for him to wake up and pull his head out of the brush where he was napping. Then saw that he was clearly a legal buck and put one through his shoulders.

Would have liked to have known when I saw him bedded down, but looking around and I was a half mile away.

Which scope/binos would you suggest - keeping in mind that I do a LOT of hiking as well as some backpack hunting and would like to keep the weight down...

Thanks, Guy
I like to have both binoculars and a spotting scope for these reasons;

8x40 binoculars have a good field of view and can be used for hours with out discomfort
and are great for covering large areas. also they don't weigh a lot.

Then if I am set up and stationary I use the spotter to take a closer look, I like the spotting
scope to be a compact variable model with around 14x40 power and a 50 to 60mm objective
lens for light gathering abilities at max power. I use the lower power to find the game after
spotting it with the binos and zoom up to get a really good look.

I never use the rifle scope as a spotter even though it would work because I don't like
pointing a loaded rifle at anything until I am sure what it is and I am ready to make the shot.

This combination works well for me and staring through a spotting scope all day is very tiring
to these old eyes and I want to save them for the shot.

If you look for a spotter that is compact and light weight with power from 10x to 14x on the
low end and 20x to 40x on the high end with large objective lens (50 to 60mm) you can find
Lot's of brands that will work.

J E CUSTOM
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