I usually backpack hunt by myself and my brother comes along about 1/4 of the time. Reading some of the gear people carry I 'm curious whether you are going solo or in a group. The thread on Spotting Scopes in particular got me wondering. When my brother is with me usually only one of us has a tag for the area we are in. It's easy for a non-shooter to carry the extra weight of a large spotter but otherwise in order to get my gear, rifle and a deer out all by myself I have to go as minimalist as possible. Even then I tend to think I'm insane halfway out with all that weight on my back.
Now it's time fore me to go. The Autumn moon lights my way.
I prefer binoculars over a spotting scope. They're usually lighter weight and easier to pack. When packing in groups, binoculars in every hunter's gear means more eyes on the terrain. A hand held scope is unsteady and often requires some sort of rest (more weight) to stabilize. Because it's inherently unsafe to use the rifle's scope to spot I would never consider that option.
I have a great woman, fantastic kids, a warm place to sleep and an accurate rifle. Life is good ..............
Hunter Safety Instructor - California Hunter Safety Meritorious Service 1971 - 1972. Rifle/Pistol Marksmanship Instructor - NRA Life Member
American rifleman's triad - God, guts and guns. It built America and it'll preserve America. Abandon one and you lose them all.
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I started staying out for 3-4 days (backpack hunting) in the mid 60's and in all these years have carried a spotting scope one trip and that was the last. A really quality pair if binos hanging around your neck is the way to go especially if your playground is high rough country and weight is a priority. If you can't judge a buck or bull even out to a 1000 yards with a good pair of binos you need to spend more time looking at them and learning to size them up. Spotting scopes have their place but it's not in my backpack.
Originally Posted by davkrat
I'm insane halfway out with all that weight on my back.
Haha ....I can't count the times coming out loaded I have thought to myself "what the heck am I doing here." Now I have horses.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
We use the binos for glassing more than the spotting scope, but always have one for long range shots. We use it to study the wind, mirage etc and follow the vapor trail/ spotting shots. I have tried to follow the vapor trail through binos and found it nearly impossible for me. Others may be able to to though?
If your by yourself , that part would be a non issue
I typically like to hunt with either 1 or 2 other guys. Sometimes our group gets more guys and it's just too many (in my opinion). I do hunt sometimes on my own as well, but I like the safety of at least one other guy plus sharing gear let's you extend your range and drop weight, spot shots, setup front/back to all in bulls, etc. Even when I'm on a trip with another couple guys, I an still slip out on my own if I want to be solo for a day.
Loner mostley whole life. Like hunting with a bud or son but hard to get schedules to match.Shot most alone.Younger packed a scope , then smaller scope for years. Use quality 10x bino now and verify with my 20 x rifle scope if it is something I want to go after. I aminly trophy hunt but with advent of wolf things have really changed for me in last 5 years. Hard to find a good one now.
Hi ..I am always by myself, and usually horseback.I needed a small spotting scope.Purchased a tiny Nikon to 13/30 nikon fieldscope, its good, small enough to fit in breast pocket in a vest.Can be handheld to.Carry top glasses to.I even looking into a take down rifle.Hope this helps