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Spotting Scopes

Old 11-20-2007, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 38
Default Spotting Scopes

I am looking to get a different spotting scope. I was wondering what you western big game hunters prefer for power on your scopes. I was hoping to get something fairly small and packable. What do you think of a 15-30. I am going to be moving to Colorado and will be out ALOT so i want a nice spotting scope. I cannot afford a Swarovski right now, I have their binoculars and love them just dont have the Jack right now for their Spotting Scope.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:59 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Rocky Mountian High, Colorado
Posts: 569
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

Personally i dont have a spotting scope i mean it's not 100% necessary i do fine every year with my decent pair of binoculars
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Loveland CO.
Posts: 129
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

Nope don't have one either. . . .have an OK pair on Binos and will be upgrading this season but not sure I want the add weight of a spotting scope. Must be getting old but after humping it up and down mountiansall day long I start to look real close at how muich all these goodies weigh. By time time I lung my 10 LB traditional smoke pole, lunch, drinks, GPS, Binos, more layers for cold, skinin supplies, first aid, head lamp, TP, Camera, have more than I would like to carry anyway. So now you bag your elk 3+ miles from your ride, skin and hump that bad boy home you will be happy for every once you chose to leave behind.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Utah
Posts: 53
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

I use a pair of 10x42 Kahles Binos. That covers most of my hunting. But this year I spent 18 days hunting Desert Bighorns and gained a new appreciation for a quality spotting scope as the binos just didn't have the power to do the job. Granted this is a different kind of hunting, But I think I learned some lessons from doing it. I will use a spotting scope some of the time. Probably won't carry it with Binos, Rifle etc. But would use it to scout and find game or when I can pack it on a Horse or ATV.

Evening looking for sheep I rarely went beyond 30x power. I had borrowed a 20-60 Swarovski. When I'd try to use the 60x to zoom in on a distant ram, 'd find too much heat rising to distort the image. So i would suggest that a 15-30 power would be just fine. The Nikon fieldscope 13-30 ED is very compact, lightweightand highly rated in reviews.

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Old 11-20-2007, 06:39 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: durango Colorado USA
Posts: 567
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

I had a Redfield 20x45. I used it on my sheep hunts here in Colorado. I agree on going up to 60X is a waste----with the heat mirage. 45x worked great. I'd still be using it but someone broke into my truck & stole it. You'll use a spotting scope on antelope , sheep, mtn goats hunts. On my mule deer & elk hunts---I use my bico's. But for scouting----you'll use it. I would stick with Nikon or Leupold. Checkout pawn shops--you'll be surprized what you can find. CB
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 411
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

I also have good bino's. I use some Zeiss Classics' and some Sightrons', which are both 10x40-42. However, I also am big on the use of spotting scopes. I have found/judged more game using spotting scopes than I ever have with binos.

My first scope was a Bausche and Laumb (hopefully I spelled that correctly), which I purchased used at a gun show. After realizing the potential, and hunting with guys who had better scopes I upgraded to a Leupold. It's the stacked version you see in Cabela's for about $800 or so. I like it for it's clarity and the ability to pack it. I finally broke down and bought an 80mm scope this Spring though. I chose the Nikon ED for about $1,300. A friend of mine has a Swarovski 80mil that is about 12 years old, and we both agreed (albeit, him grudgingly) that my scope out-performs it at longer distances for clarity and longer veiwing in low-light conditions. The newer Swarovskis' are better, but carry a $2,600 plus price tag. If I was in the business, meaning outfitting/guide, etc. I would have coughed up the money for the best.

My Nikon is excellent and carries a great warantee similar to Swarovski. I use scopes while spring bear hunting, antelope, mule deer, and even to locate or judge whitetail and elk from a distance on summer range. It is also great to take digital pics and video through. Use the zoom on the cameras and leave the scope set to the minimum setting though. You don't necessarily need the camera attachements either. I take fine pics by simply holding my dig. camera right up to the lense. This is great for winter range and scouting pics.

While binos are the bread and butter of hunting, particularly Western big game hunting, a spotting scope will give you a clear advantage. Purchase good glass. If you buy a cheap scope you will get a headache looking through it, and it will be pretty worthless at the higher magnifications. I personally feel that for the money, Leupold's Gold Ring Compact is a great budget option. You can get them for about $400 through Cabelas. This scope is small enough to pack, yet large enough to offer clarity that your average bino will not. Get a good tripod - one that will resist vibration under windy conditions, and that you can sit behind and be comfortable glassing for hours.

Another system I find works great is to glass up critters with my 10x40's, and then field judge or pick apart surrounding terrain with my rifle scope which is 14 power. This system works well if you are in terrain that doesn't allow for a 2-3 mile spot. The big scopes (60-80mil) will allow you to locate, and even judge under most circumstances at longer ranges.
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Old 11-27-2007, 11:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,395
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

My father has the compact Leupold gold ring, IMHO this is a great little spotting scope.
I have a Swarovski spotting scope, I love it. I know you say it is out of your price range. My advise, save your coins & buythe swarovskiwhen you can afford it.
I also have a Tasco that is like brand new in the box. I would sell it toyou for 50% of the retail value.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:30 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 2,072
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

Have you looked into getting a doubler for you bino's?
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:50 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: PUEBLO, CO, USA
Posts: 636
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

I have the paint wore off a elcheapo 15-45x spotting scope. I use it 99% of the time on mid setting, guessing that's about 30x. The main prob with 100% of the spotters I have seen is the tripod is too light. I took my tripod and lined the legs with lead solder( non flux core) and duct taped over them then. Now my scope is 100% solid under all shooting conditions.

Another thing Ibought, which I wouldnt trade for all the tea in China is a Cabela's window mount for the spottign scope. This thing is invaluable when cruising dirt roads and pre season scouting. And I still dont ned to go over 30x.
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 113
Default RE: Spotting Scopes

This is always a good topic with lots of opinions and I like reading every post concerning spotters. As every post will advise to buy the best you can afford, I have to agree. Buying a cheap spotter is just that. If you are concerned about weight then just start stalking.

I too am in the market for a spotting scope. As previously stated they have their place in hunting. I upgraded to a good pair of binos this year and it does make a huge difference!! I bought a pair of Minox 10x42. Good glass by far. I have a Burris Compact 12-24x50 spotter. This year antelope hunting my binos were much more clearer than the spotter. So I made up my mind to upgrade the spotter. I have made a choice of either a PentaxPF65ED / PF80ED or if funds are available a Zeiss Diascope 65 / 85mm T FL.
The only thing I don’t know is if the bigger objective is worth the extra$$$$. I will have to make that decision when I buy.
Has anyone actually compared the same spotter in 65 and 80 side by side.
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