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The Advantages of Big Binoculars

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January 04, 2013

The Advantages of Big Binoculars

By David E. Petzal

Back in the 1970s, Uncle Robert Brister told me that one of the most useful things any big-game hunter could own was a binocular in the 15x60 range. He said he never went elk hunting without one, and because I always did everything he said, I rushed right out and bought a Zeiss porro prism glass in 15x60 and it was exactly as he said, a highly specialized but invaluable tool if the circumstances were right.  Of course, like a jerk, I sold them some years later, but recently I traded a lot of stuff and coughed up some cash and got another big glass in the same power range.

What a major binocular will do is let you see when it is very dark, and let you see in detail at long range, or in great detail at medium range. On my recent trip to Kansas, the hunter who shared the blind with me had a 10x40 binocular of the first caliber, and I had a 15x60. In practical terms, what it would do was this:

At last light, when it was too dark to shoot, if we could see a deer I could tell if it was a buck or a doe. Fifteen minutes earlier, when he could see if it was a buck or a doe I could see if it was a big buck or a little buck. Fifteen minutes before that, if he could see whether it was a big buck or a little buck, I could count the points and evaluate the rack in excruciating detail.

In some cases, a spotting scope is better. If you’re glassing miles of country, there is nothing that can take the place of 40X. However, at the intermediate ranges, say, 300 to 1,000 yards, a big binocular lets you spot things faster, lets you use both eyes, and is a lot smaller and lighter than most spotting scopes. They’re not cheap, but under the right conditions, big glasses are more than worth it.

Comments (25)

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The key there is "under the right conditions." I never had the good fortune to have to hunt under those conditions. Or at least rarely so. I have always been primarily a tracker. Dave, you forgot one other advantage to big glass. They will build up your neck muscles, whether you desire that or not. I never carried binoculars of any sort with me when I was big game hunting. Just a waste of weight. And in the conditions I hunted, apportioning the weight carefully was more than critical. It could be life threatening or life saving. I always had a three or four power scope on my gun and one piece of glass along for the ride was enough. Having said that, I can certainly appreciate how a big pair of binocs or spotting scope could probably be beneficial for hunting from an elevated platform in the prairies and shooting at animals a very long distance away. However, getting up close and personal when hunting big game has always been my forte.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I've been blind in one eye all my life. I carry a monocular with me everywhere. As I get older I am really unhappy with my vision. The good news is, that I get to see bald eagles everywhere these days. In the old days, 40 years ago, if you weren't in Ak or in other wilderness areas, bald eagles were extinct. Today so many critters that were in such bad shape are in much better shape in most of the country.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I own a handful of mini binoculars of quality make I find utterly useless. They are hard to pass up in the store because they look so convenient and light but the optics part of them are terrible.

I agree, the larger the glass, the better the optics. Go as big as you can. You will not regret it.

I spend a lot of time glassing for game. I will guess over 50% of my hunting time is spent behind a spotting scope or binos. From certain hilltops I can cover over a square mile, easy. My buddies using trail cameras only see a very small fraction of the deer I spot. Save your money and buy good glass and a soft seat for the field. It opens up a whole new world.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Many years ago I too bought a used pair of Zeiss 15X60s. I have been spoiled ever since. Even though the glasses were made 20 years before I found them in a pawn shop, they were better than anything I had looked through before. I have used them for at least 20 years since and they have been in many a saddle bag back of the beyond. As you said, for most stuff, they're as good as a decent spotting scope.
However, when I was on my sheep hunt my guide said, "There's some sheep!". Couldn't see them with my naked eyes. With my average pair of 8Xs I could see that there were some animals up in the basin. With my 15X60s I could tell that they were rams and one was a dandy. However with my guide's German made spotting scope I could not only see the ram chewing his cud, I could count the first 3-4 annual rings on his horns. Time, tide and technology wait for no man.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from capt.seagull wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

wow!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

A good pair of binoculars is next to a good rifle in the hunting gear category. As previously stated, a good pair opens up your vision, and viewing time, considerably.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Especially useful if you have someone else to carry them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Perhaps most importantly, a binocular may show that animal you are about to reduce to possession is another hunter!

It will also allow you to enjoy much more of you're surroundings while waiting for that trophy to show up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Yes, Harold, I can't imagine trying to hunt sheep, goats, or pronghorns without binocs. Would save a lot of time sneaking up on animals that might not be what one wants. But I have never had the good fortune to be able to hunt for either sheep or goats nor the desire to shoot antelope. Over the years I received a couple of pairs of binocs as gifts. The first pair eventually succumbed to rough treatment in the field. The last pair are still in my cabin cruiser. They are quite useful for spying on other fishermen (see what they are pulling in and what they're using for tackle). A pair of those big glass binocs wouldn't work very well for that though. Too much motion from the boat.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

In recent years have seen a marked increase of ultra high power, heavy huge bodied binocs being used by professional guides in place of spotting scopes, especially in the southwest while searching for huge mule deer bucks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smokey0347 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Many years ago I carried a nice pair of 10 X 40 binos of better quality. I had the good fortune to pick up a great pair of 8 x 30 Swarovski (sp?) at an estate sale when an elderly lady's hunter husband passed away. She was asking $25 for them and thought it was too much. I didn't even hesitate paying full price to her and bought a bunch of other things just to ease my conscience and help her out. I will NEVER even think about replacing these great binos. Light weight and great quality of clarity and brightness. You can have the extra weight. I'll take my smaller binos and stalk closer if necessary. Besides, that's part of the hunt. To get as close as you can without being seen before you take the shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The downside? Big 15x bino's are heavy and have a smaller field of view, so use in thick timber or finding animals in them under 200 yards can be tough.

Myles has a good point though, I see lots of guides using big bino's on tripods in place of their spotting scope or at least the primary tool since it's much easier on the eye(s).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tenderfoot wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Dave, I think you may be comparing apples to oranges and a fairer comparison should be made based on some basic physics. (Oh darn, you've may have figured out I'm an engineer.)

The interesting part is their performance you eluded to was at low light levels. With all things being equal, such as quality of the lenses, let's look at the details.

One set of glasses is 10X40, meaning 10X magnification with a 40 mm objective lens. The other is a 15X60.

The magnification increase is 50% on the 15X over the 10X.

On the brightness, the effect is factored by the square of the diameter of the lens. A 60mm lens has (1.5)^2 the area, or 225% of the 40 mm lenses.

Thus, the magnification is increased up by 50%, but the light gathering ability is up by 125%, this makes the image at least twice as bright.

If an 10X50 lens was the comparison, it may give the equivalent brightness (1.2)^2, which is 144%.

Thus the magnification is up 50% and the light gathering is only up by 44%; just a little less then the magnification. Using this combination would have been a fairer comparison.

I am planning to purchase a mid range binocular recently covered in the latest "NRA Rifleman" magazine, but in the larger 10X50 range. I'll be taking advantage of some Christmas Gift certificates too.

Oh, by the way, the weight of the binoculars also increases proportionality with the square of the objective lens as well. The glass is the heaviest part of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Well, the way I mule deer and elk hunt I never felt I needed binos. Some of this was due to the fact that I didn't have a good light pair. I picked up a pair of $20 bushnells that did the trick for a few seasons. Mainly to scan distant slopes and I really enjoy glassing when I'm sitting there waiting for animals. This past season I hunted with a new partner who had a 17X scope and said he didn't use binos because he had such a good scope. Didn't want to carry the extra weight. By the way you break a fundamental rule of gun safety by using your scope to survey surroundings. I noticed that he kept asking me to look at things for him. When the big horn sheep I was watching on a nearby peak turned out to be a mountain lion, I realized that I needed better glass. I was impressed with the Nikon Monarch 7 you reviewed but wasn't sure if the difference between it and the Vortex Diamonbacks was $200 + worth. My Dad, who can't go into Cabela's w/out using his credit card and doesn't know the difference between looking and buying, decided for me. I'm glad to have the monarchs and can't wait to used them next season. Good glass definitely makes a difference in general, and is pretty much the way you explained in your comparison. It's all about light and detail. Everyone needs to decide how much detail they need to see and under what conditions. It's nice to have buddies. I have the binos and he has the rangefinder. Works out well. If we change the way we hunt we might need a buddy with a spotting scope.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marion Johnson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

When I try to hold something still, my left hand shakes like a bird dog passing a peach seed. I can usually brace up well enough to use 10X but can't free hand,even holding the visor of my cap. I nevertheless crave those 15 X 60's something awful. Maybe I could hold them on a bipod. Dave, could you send me your glasses to try? I,and my wife, have grown tired of buying things I can't use.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I read a column by Brister back then in which he praised a Swarovski binocular 10X50 which as I recall listed for about $900, way out of my price range at that time. I have waited and watched while subject binocular price has exited the stratosphere and any price range of mine in which a purchase might be contemplated. Wonder what Dave gave for those 15X60 glasses?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I'll take your word for it Dave, although field glasses of that size might be better suited to western hunts or places where a mini spotting scope is needed. I have a set of 8x50 Steiner's that seem to hit the right balance between lightness/portability and quality/clarity.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

A very successful well known local Wyoming elk guide has subscribed to the great big binocular theory for many years. He has been seen on TV and in magazines using them so i figured it might be a stunt until I ran into him near timber line a few years ago sitting on a stump staring throught the mega-binocs. My back ached thinking about hauling them although I recognized the advantages of this tool especially for all day watching. He never packs a rifle so I suppose that offsets the bulk and weight of the binoculars.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cb bob wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I hope to have a need for big binoculars some day. I always wanted to take a hunting trip out west, where they would be worth having, but in the Catskills in NY a pair 10X40's seems plenty big. In 30 years of hunting here, I don't think I've taken a shot over 125 yards.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

from a mountaintop here in colorado you can see a rea
lly long way. good optics save a lot of shoe leather.

encouraging a person who won't spend over five hundred dollars on a rifle to spend more than a thousand dollars on a pair of binoculars is an effort in futility.

on the other side of the coin, this year i saw a man who engineered a bracket to hold two swaro spottings scopes together to use like binos. seems pricey until you see the price of a pair of 20x zeiss.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

as an aside, all the wildlife officers here in colorado use swaro. there is no substitute for good glass.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

ugly,

As do the WDFW officers in Washington. What you meant to say is that there is no substitute for us the taxpayers financing good glass....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

i am certain on the right trip, in the right country, they could be very helpful. the majority of us will never know though. lets face it, they cost as much as a decent down payment on a new car or truck. and for the average hunter, if he needed them once in a lifetime, he would be lucky. the vast majority of your readers will never glass 60,000 acres all day long, for a week straight. many of us are lucky to get the first few days of our local season off from work. and a trip that would require glass like those would be a dream trip of a lifetime. while i have looked thru much better glass, my 9 year old tried and true 8 power Tasco compacts have done everything i could ever ask them to do. you see, i live in Michigan, and a LONG shot here is 300 yards. i have taken one shot at that distance in 44 years of hunting. all the rest have been inside of 200 yards. and most less than 100 yards. i realize that those who live in much more open country would laugh at my old Tasco's. go ahead. but for me, here, where the distances are short, and the vegetation is thick, throwing thousands of dollars into bino's would be a HUGE waste of money. money that would be much better used elsewhere.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock23 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I have Canon Image Stabilized 20X40 binoculars that are 5 years old. As long as you have 4 AA batteries to run the stabilization they are next to impossible to beat. Great without the stabilization but with..... unbelievable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bbs wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

Well said Mr. Petzal. Enjoyed your insights on the subject. No pun intended... :)

I've been putting off getting a great binocular mostly cause of price and limited time actually in the field.
I think I'll reconsider as I have more free time now to hunt.

PS: I really enjoy the "gun nuts" segment and I'm here on this website because I watched you guys on the Dish network. Your observatons and remarks always resonate with me and I find myself looking forward to your comments and reviews. Great work!

Thanks. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I own a handful of mini binoculars of quality make I find utterly useless. They are hard to pass up in the store because they look so convenient and light but the optics part of them are terrible.

I agree, the larger the glass, the better the optics. Go as big as you can. You will not regret it.

I spend a lot of time glassing for game. I will guess over 50% of my hunting time is spent behind a spotting scope or binos. From certain hilltops I can cover over a square mile, easy. My buddies using trail cameras only see a very small fraction of the deer I spot. Save your money and buy good glass and a soft seat for the field. It opens up a whole new world.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Many years ago I too bought a used pair of Zeiss 15X60s. I have been spoiled ever since. Even though the glasses were made 20 years before I found them in a pawn shop, they were better than anything I had looked through before. I have used them for at least 20 years since and they have been in many a saddle bag back of the beyond. As you said, for most stuff, they're as good as a decent spotting scope.
However, when I was on my sheep hunt my guide said, "There's some sheep!". Couldn't see them with my naked eyes. With my average pair of 8Xs I could see that there were some animals up in the basin. With my 15X60s I could tell that they were rams and one was a dandy. However with my guide's German made spotting scope I could not only see the ram chewing his cud, I could count the first 3-4 annual rings on his horns. Time, tide and technology wait for no man.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

A good pair of binoculars is next to a good rifle in the hunting gear category. As previously stated, a good pair opens up your vision, and viewing time, considerably.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

ugly,

As do the WDFW officers in Washington. What you meant to say is that there is no substitute for us the taxpayers financing good glass....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I've been blind in one eye all my life. I carry a monocular with me everywhere. As I get older I am really unhappy with my vision. The good news is, that I get to see bald eagles everywhere these days. In the old days, 40 years ago, if you weren't in Ak or in other wilderness areas, bald eagles were extinct. Today so many critters that were in such bad shape are in much better shape in most of the country.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from capt.seagull wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

wow!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Especially useful if you have someone else to carry them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kudukid wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Perhaps most importantly, a binocular may show that animal you are about to reduce to possession is another hunter!

It will also allow you to enjoy much more of you're surroundings while waiting for that trophy to show up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

In recent years have seen a marked increase of ultra high power, heavy huge bodied binocs being used by professional guides in place of spotting scopes, especially in the southwest while searching for huge mule deer bucks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smokey0347 wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Many years ago I carried a nice pair of 10 X 40 binos of better quality. I had the good fortune to pick up a great pair of 8 x 30 Swarovski (sp?) at an estate sale when an elderly lady's hunter husband passed away. She was asking $25 for them and thought it was too much. I didn't even hesitate paying full price to her and bought a bunch of other things just to ease my conscience and help her out. I will NEVER even think about replacing these great binos. Light weight and great quality of clarity and brightness. You can have the extra weight. I'll take my smaller binos and stalk closer if necessary. Besides, that's part of the hunt. To get as close as you can without being seen before you take the shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MaxPower wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The downside? Big 15x bino's are heavy and have a smaller field of view, so use in thick timber or finding animals in them under 200 yards can be tough.

Myles has a good point though, I see lots of guides using big bino's on tripods in place of their spotting scope or at least the primary tool since it's much easier on the eye(s).

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tenderfoot wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Dave, I think you may be comparing apples to oranges and a fairer comparison should be made based on some basic physics. (Oh darn, you've may have figured out I'm an engineer.)

The interesting part is their performance you eluded to was at low light levels. With all things being equal, such as quality of the lenses, let's look at the details.

One set of glasses is 10X40, meaning 10X magnification with a 40 mm objective lens. The other is a 15X60.

The magnification increase is 50% on the 15X over the 10X.

On the brightness, the effect is factored by the square of the diameter of the lens. A 60mm lens has (1.5)^2 the area, or 225% of the 40 mm lenses.

Thus, the magnification is increased up by 50%, but the light gathering ability is up by 125%, this makes the image at least twice as bright.

If an 10X50 lens was the comparison, it may give the equivalent brightness (1.2)^2, which is 144%.

Thus the magnification is up 50% and the light gathering is only up by 44%; just a little less then the magnification. Using this combination would have been a fairer comparison.

I am planning to purchase a mid range binocular recently covered in the latest "NRA Rifleman" magazine, but in the larger 10X50 range. I'll be taking advantage of some Christmas Gift certificates too.

Oh, by the way, the weight of the binoculars also increases proportionality with the square of the objective lens as well. The glass is the heaviest part of them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spuddog wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Well, the way I mule deer and elk hunt I never felt I needed binos. Some of this was due to the fact that I didn't have a good light pair. I picked up a pair of $20 bushnells that did the trick for a few seasons. Mainly to scan distant slopes and I really enjoy glassing when I'm sitting there waiting for animals. This past season I hunted with a new partner who had a 17X scope and said he didn't use binos because he had such a good scope. Didn't want to carry the extra weight. By the way you break a fundamental rule of gun safety by using your scope to survey surroundings. I noticed that he kept asking me to look at things for him. When the big horn sheep I was watching on a nearby peak turned out to be a mountain lion, I realized that I needed better glass. I was impressed with the Nikon Monarch 7 you reviewed but wasn't sure if the difference between it and the Vortex Diamonbacks was $200 + worth. My Dad, who can't go into Cabela's w/out using his credit card and doesn't know the difference between looking and buying, decided for me. I'm glad to have the monarchs and can't wait to used them next season. Good glass definitely makes a difference in general, and is pretty much the way you explained in your comparison. It's all about light and detail. Everyone needs to decide how much detail they need to see and under what conditions. It's nice to have buddies. I have the binos and he has the rangefinder. Works out well. If we change the way we hunt we might need a buddy with a spotting scope.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marion Johnson wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

When I try to hold something still, my left hand shakes like a bird dog passing a peach seed. I can usually brace up well enough to use 10X but can't free hand,even holding the visor of my cap. I nevertheless crave those 15 X 60's something awful. Maybe I could hold them on a bipod. Dave, could you send me your glasses to try? I,and my wife, have grown tired of buying things I can't use.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from etexan wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I read a column by Brister back then in which he praised a Swarovski binocular 10X50 which as I recall listed for about $900, way out of my price range at that time. I have waited and watched while subject binocular price has exited the stratosphere and any price range of mine in which a purchase might be contemplated. Wonder what Dave gave for those 15X60 glasses?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve in Virginia wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I'll take your word for it Dave, although field glasses of that size might be better suited to western hunts or places where a mini spotting scope is needed. I have a set of 8x50 Steiner's that seem to hit the right balance between lightness/portability and quality/clarity.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

A very successful well known local Wyoming elk guide has subscribed to the great big binocular theory for many years. He has been seen on TV and in magazines using them so i figured it might be a stunt until I ran into him near timber line a few years ago sitting on a stump staring throught the mega-binocs. My back ached thinking about hauling them although I recognized the advantages of this tool especially for all day watching. He never packs a rifle so I suppose that offsets the bulk and weight of the binoculars.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cb bob wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

I hope to have a need for big binoculars some day. I always wanted to take a hunting trip out west, where they would be worth having, but in the Catskills in NY a pair 10X40's seems plenty big. In 30 years of hunting here, I don't think I've taken a shot over 125 yards.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

from a mountaintop here in colorado you can see a rea
lly long way. good optics save a lot of shoe leather.

encouraging a person who won't spend over five hundred dollars on a rifle to spend more than a thousand dollars on a pair of binoculars is an effort in futility.

on the other side of the coin, this year i saw a man who engineered a bracket to hold two swaro spottings scopes together to use like binos. seems pricey until you see the price of a pair of 20x zeiss.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 1uglymutha wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

as an aside, all the wildlife officers here in colorado use swaro. there is no substitute for good glass.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elmer f. wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

i am certain on the right trip, in the right country, they could be very helpful. the majority of us will never know though. lets face it, they cost as much as a decent down payment on a new car or truck. and for the average hunter, if he needed them once in a lifetime, he would be lucky. the vast majority of your readers will never glass 60,000 acres all day long, for a week straight. many of us are lucky to get the first few days of our local season off from work. and a trip that would require glass like those would be a dream trip of a lifetime. while i have looked thru much better glass, my 9 year old tried and true 8 power Tasco compacts have done everything i could ever ask them to do. you see, i live in Michigan, and a LONG shot here is 300 yards. i have taken one shot at that distance in 44 years of hunting. all the rest have been inside of 200 yards. and most less than 100 yards. i realize that those who live in much more open country would laugh at my old Tasco's. go ahead. but for me, here, where the distances are short, and the vegetation is thick, throwing thousands of dollars into bino's would be a HUGE waste of money. money that would be much better used elsewhere.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from murdock23 wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

I have Canon Image Stabilized 20X40 binoculars that are 5 years old. As long as you have 4 AA batteries to run the stabilization they are next to impossible to beat. Great without the stabilization but with..... unbelievable.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bbs wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

Well said Mr. Petzal. Enjoyed your insights on the subject. No pun intended... :)

I've been putting off getting a great binocular mostly cause of price and limited time actually in the field.
I think I'll reconsider as I have more free time now to hunt.

PS: I really enjoy the "gun nuts" segment and I'm here on this website because I watched you guys on the Dish network. Your observatons and remarks always resonate with me and I find myself looking forward to your comments and reviews. Great work!

Thanks. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

Yes, Harold, I can't imagine trying to hunt sheep, goats, or pronghorns without binocs. Would save a lot of time sneaking up on animals that might not be what one wants. But I have never had the good fortune to be able to hunt for either sheep or goats nor the desire to shoot antelope. Over the years I received a couple of pairs of binocs as gifts. The first pair eventually succumbed to rough treatment in the field. The last pair are still in my cabin cruiser. They are quite useful for spying on other fishermen (see what they are pulling in and what they're using for tackle). A pair of those big glass binocs wouldn't work very well for that though. Too much motion from the boat.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

The key there is "under the right conditions." I never had the good fortune to have to hunt under those conditions. Or at least rarely so. I have always been primarily a tracker. Dave, you forgot one other advantage to big glass. They will build up your neck muscles, whether you desire that or not. I never carried binoculars of any sort with me when I was big game hunting. Just a waste of weight. And in the conditions I hunted, apportioning the weight carefully was more than critical. It could be life threatening or life saving. I always had a three or four power scope on my gun and one piece of glass along for the ride was enough. Having said that, I can certainly appreciate how a big pair of binocs or spotting scope could probably be beneficial for hunting from an elevated platform in the prairies and shooting at animals a very long distance away. However, getting up close and personal when hunting big game has always been my forte.

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