One binocular to rule the mountains

memtb

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Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
1,279
Location
Winchester, Wy.
Contrary to the apparent popular belief otherwise....not all “western” hunting involves unlimited visibility! There are many various terrains that a hunter may encounter, from literally feet to thousands of yards. Personally, I prefer a quality, lightweight pair of binoculars, 8x being my preferred..... not to exceed 10 power! Quality, big glass is usually bulky and an unnecessary weight around your neck....even at 8x, you’re “ over glassed” for some situations. Our 8x30 Swarovski have served us well for 27 years and counting! If you can’t get the job done with 10x or less.....it’s time time to use your spotting scope! As per my usual qualifier, this is JMO! memtb
 

TikkaT3Hunter

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
14
Location
Mount Vernon, Wa.
I have some Vortex Razor 12X50. Absolutely love them. For me the 10x just didn't cut it. In Wa. we have a 3pt min for deer and the 12x just gave that little bit extra. At times they can be a little hard to hold still but I have shooting sticks I can rest em on.
 

middleofnowhere

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Jun 26, 2016
Messages
302
Location
Yucca Valley, CA
Every magnification of glass can benefit from a tripod. A KDC tripod really helped me see more game with my old 8x42s. I now have the EL 12x50s, while I can get a quick look by hand holding if I need to, a tripod is a “must”.
With my 8X glass, I started having trouble discerning a mule deer buck from a doe at 600+ yards With the 12X I think I can tell at a mile. If not carrying a spotter, I would say a quality 10x42 or 12x50 would be the ultimate magnification/objective size. With the new NL pures coming out with the 12x42, could be a game changer.

I wish Leupold still made their “Switchpowers”, what a great idea. My hunting buddy has a set of gold ring binos that are still very good in my opinion.
 

Catskills

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2018
Messages
35
Location
USA
Most of my western hunting is long range spot and stalk. I have 8.5x42 EL(non-swarovision), 10x42SLC and 12x50 EL. After countless hours passing these binos back and forth in all light conditions, I’d personally go with the 12x. They are brighter than the others at last light, and the clarity is amazing. Also, I’m almost always sitting or standing leaning on something for additional stability. With this style of hunting, I don’t see a real benefit of the 10x. I’ll bet the new 8.5 EL swarovision binos are stunning at last light. Interestingly, I’ve always felt the SLC coatings provided better color than the ELs. I also use a spotter for all western hunting. For whitetails or where where not trying to glass deer miles away, the 8.5 ELs rock!
 

Troutslayer2

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Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
333
If I had to buy new ones today it would be the El Range 10x42. I do sort of need an upgrade and I am hoping the new line Swarovski is releasing right now will have a rangefinder option, and maybe I will buy that if they make it.
 

flyguy1

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Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Messages
239
Location
Montana
I have Swarovski EL 10x42, but didn't use them when we were horse packing into a remote comp (wall tent with wood stove, so really roughing it). Too much magnification while on horseback. Used an ancient pair of Leitz Wetzlar 7x35s. I know it shouldn't be, given the much better coatings, but they seem just as clear as newer Zeiss or my ELs. Just had them rebuilt with new gaskets, eyecups, etc by a guy specializing in Leica. Wonderful work BTW.
 

Tommytrees

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2020
Messages
153
Location
FloridaGeorgiaLine
I must agree with Plinker147 as I'm 60 now used 10X42 for most of my hunting years to date. However the wife heard me complaining about trying to judge a mule deer at 600yds. LOW AND BEHOLD we were out shopping she told me to pickup those bino's I'm always wishing for, bingo a pear of Swaro's 12X50's. Well last season again 400yds low morning light no problem the large 3x4 was easy to judge. There were other hunters on the same ridge-line. My decision was quick, one guy to the west of our position asked how did we judge the deer so fast as it had just stepped out with the Doe's leading. He was trying to decide, then bang, he stated he about jumped out of his skin. Again, if your long range judging that animal at 400 plus yards moving thru cedar trees. Granted your carrying them but with all the great bino harnesses today it did not seem to bother my neck or back. Yes the deer hit the ground on the first shot.
LIKE YOUR POST, LOVE YOUR WIFE. LOL !!!
 

TexasSportsman

Active Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
42
Location
Houston, Texas
You'll want to stay with a max of 10x, any more power and it won't be easy keeping the binoculars steady. I bought a Leupold BX-3 Mojave 12x50. Unless I'm steadying myself against a tree or something I can't hold the binoculars still enough.

When I worked at the gun store we never carried binoculars more than 10x. That's why 3-9x10 was the standard scope magnification for decades. You could easily shoot off hand because the max 9x made it easy to hold the rifle steady.

You can go with a higher power if you use a pro style tripod with binocular adapter. Then you have more equipment to carry. If you're hunting with another person it will be easier to bring additional equipment.
 

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dogz

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Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
316
Location
SWMT
If I was looking at buying one magnification of binocular to cover most Western style hunting what type and magnification does everyone recommend? Thanks

Real world tough to answer, as you can tell the responses are all over the board. When are you going West, where are you going and what will you be hunting? I've lived in Montana for 42 years and have tried and used most all. The glass I've used the most is my old 7x42 Swaro's, incredible glass but at 31 ounce they've become a bit tiring especially since I'm not guiding anymore. Other glass that I've used and like is my 6x30 Yo's, 7x30 Swaro's, 10x42 German Minnox (darn decent and reasonable price) and I've used my 15x Swaro's a lot but these are for a tripod only. Plus, I've got a light spotter and heavier one. It all depends on what my uses are for the day when I choose which to carry. My wife carries 9x36 Vortex and positively loves them!

Lots of fun ways to go.

What's your budget look like and how often will you actually be hunting out west?
 

FEENIX

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Joined
Dec 20, 2008
Messages
14,125
Location
Great Falls, MT
If I was looking at buying one magnification of binocular to cover most Western style hunting what type and magnification does everyone recommend? Thanks
"Your" budget is often the driver. Lots of great recommendations but "if" it is not within your budget, it does you no good.
 

Canhunter35

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Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
2,865
My personal Binos aren’t the most expensive but Steiner advertises how their glass will differentiate between browns and they’re pretty awesome to picking out game on hard to see surroundings. 10x42 is a good size
 

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