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Author Topic: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.  (Read 814 times)

Offline lamrith

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Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« on: September 12, 2018, 02:28:03 PM »
OK, background 1st I guess.  Been hunting a few years.  Mostly scaring elk/deer here in WA and Idaho with my bow.  Areas I hunt have been jungle terrain.  Typical dense forest with some clear cuts, not very conducive to much glassing.  My primary binos are a set of Diamondback 10x43 on a chest harness, they are about perfect for what I need here, especially since I am primarily an archery hunter.

A few years back I went to AZ to stare at endless amounts of cactus and rock looking for Coues Deer.  This is a rifle hunt with family and they have a few spots they normally go to and sit and wait.  These are narrower draws, they lie in wait for the deer to be up and moving thru the area.  They glass some but not hard like I know many Coues addicts do, taking apart the hills and looking for bedded deer to move in on.  They use solely binos on a tripod and do not even bring spotting scopes as the distances are usually so short that with the deer up and moving the binos are plenty for ID, etc.  I bought a set of Diamondback 12x50 binos for that hunt and they were ok for how they hunt, but did not quite cut it for the terrain and demands I had in some areas.

I was drawn again for the same Coues hunt with family this year.  However I would like to be able to try some different areas, glass larger draws and be able to really look for bedded deer so I am interested in a spotting scope.  My rifle has a 4-14x scope on it for when it is time to drop the hammer.

I completely understand and know higher end glass is better and have seen the difference, however the challenge for me is twofold.  I am very tight budget, and it is an item I will really only use for a week every few years.  It is just not a tool very high on my priority/need list and I am not needing top tier glass that I will spend 3-4 months a year behind looking for game 2000ft away.  If I was hunting E WA, or desert hunts all the time

My goal is to find a decent what I consider midrange spotter, though in grand scheme I think many would call them "upper-end of lowrange". 
  • My budget range is $400-600.
  • I think 15-45x will be the best as they tend to be smaller and lighter to pack in and I do not have need of super long distance viewing.
  • I think I want angled as it will be easier to look into since I am tall and also having to set tripod on slope.

I know some of your around here have done similar hunts, hopefully can offer some guidance.  I was thinking of the Vortex Viper.  But recently I have been hearing allot of good things about the Athalon Ares which is the same price as the Viper but I am reading it's glass quality is more comparable to the Vortex Razor.  It is also lighter and more compact than the Vortex so should be easier to pack around.  Thoughts on those two, any others in that price range people recommend?

Offline knighttime25

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 02:44:37 PM »
Cabelas has the viper HD 20-60x80 on sale right now. Good glass for the money and Vortex's warranty is an added bonus. This one is definitely on the heavier side though at 67 oz.

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Vortex-Viper-HD-Spotting-Scopes/1278878.uts?slotId=1

Offline full choke

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 03:11:02 PM »
Sounds like you could be a perfect candidate to rent a spotting scope.

http://www.optics4rent.com/productdetail2.html

I have never used this service but have heard good things about them.
Winter is coming.

Offline blackpowderhunter

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 06:41:17 AM »
Sounds like you could be a perfect candidate to rent a spotting scope.

http://www.optics4rent.com/productdetail2.html

I have never used this service but have heard good things about them.
i was going to say the same thing..
or i was going to say go on rokslide and watch the classifieds there.
for a compact spotter, people love the nikon ed50 13-30 i think it is..you can find them used in your price range.
i had a minox md50...didnt love it for what it was and just upgraded my binos instead of taking that along.

Offline M_ray

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 07:58:47 AM »
Put what you have on a tripod and you’ll see 5x more than you will by just holding them.
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Offline lamrith

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 08:18:29 AM »
Yeah I contacted them for rental and may in fact do that for the trip.  Just torn as the rental fee is 1/2 my budget for glass and once gone I have nothing to show for it (well maybe a down deer, but nothing for me to use on future hunts.)


Put what you have on a tripod and you’ll see 5x more than you will by just holding them.
Yeah I have a Vanguard tripod I use with the 12x50's, it definitely helped.

Lot of people on the Coues forums are recommending a set of 15x binos.  They say selling my 12x and going 15X would be a good idea, turns out that is all many of them carry, no spotter at all.  Sounds like it sort of hits the sweet spot for down there.  I really should have started this months ago, not 8 weeks before my hunt.  :-p

Offline blackpowderhunter

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2018, 08:37:29 AM »
you're probably right as i think a set of good 15's on a tripod would probably out perform a cheap compact spotter to be honest.

Offline mburrows

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 09:08:27 AM »
Sounds like you could be a perfect candidate to rent a spotting scope.

http://www.optics4rent.com/productdetail2.html

I have never used this service but have heard good things about them.

Im renting a swaro spotter from these guys for my quality deer tag this year.

Offline thinkingman

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2018, 10:49:18 AM »
Yeah I contacted them for rental and may in fact do that for the trip.  Just torn as the rental fee is 1/2 my budget for glass and once gone I have nothing to show for it (well maybe a down deer, but nothing for me to use on future hunts.)


Put what you have on a tripod and you’ll see 5x more than you will by just holding them.
Yeah I have a Vanguard tripod I use with the 12x50's, it definitely helped.

Lot of people on the Coues forums are recommending a set of 15x binos.  They say selling my 12x and going 15X would be a good idea, turns out that is all many of them carry, no spotter at all.  Sounds like it sort of hits the sweet spot for down there.  I really should have started this months ago, not 8 weeks before my hunt.  :-p
I was going to suggest selling your existing Diamondbacks and upgrading to a better pair of 12x binos on a tripod.
12X is really too much mag for that quality glass.
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Offline Bob33

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 10:56:33 AM »
The Coues deer hunters I know all prefer 15x binoculars on a tripod over just about anything else.

You might consider looking for a high quality (Swarovski for example) pair of used 15x binoculars, buying them for the trip, and selling them afterwards. You'd have the best glass possible, and likely would pay less than renting a pair.
Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline lamrith

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2018, 12:03:25 PM »
Thanks for the info folks.   Yeah lot of the Coues guys really swear by 15x binos for the hours of glassing to be done.  The popeye thing gets old fast and being comfortable behind  binos on a tripod leads to more opportunity to see the grey ghosts.

I think I have narrowed down to a pair of Vortex Vulture 15x56 and selling my 12x50's.  The vultures seem to have replaced the viper 15x50 (no longer available) and are getting very good reviews.
https://www.rokslide.com/kaibab-vs-vulture-the-definitive-review/

Offline Bob33

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Nature. It's cheaper than therapy.

Offline lamrith

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2018, 09:10:30 PM »
Sorry, I have not had a chance to get back on the forum and update the thread.  A member on the Coues clued me into a source for Vortex factory refurbs yesterday.  Yes I kept it quiet while I was debating options because the pricing was very good and supplies are limited.  🤣  It's a darn good thing to!

I picked up a pair of Vortex factory refurb Vulture 15x56's for a complete steal (cheaper than renting a spotter), so cheap in fact that I added a refurb Viper 15-45x65 spotter as well and all for $675 shipped.  The Vultures were the last set they had.  I will sell my 12x50's to offset the extra $ once I get the new glass in my hands.

Thanks to those that shared and offered information and ideas, it all helped.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Guidance on glass for upcoming hunt.
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 02:53:27 PM »
I don't think you could go wrong with a pair of quality 15x binos on a good tripod.  Good luck!

 

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