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Author Topic: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...  (Read 382 times)

Offline Dadsaster

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New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« on: January 10, 2019, 01:55:52 PM »
I'm starting to prepare now for my first (next) bow hunting season (blacktail).  I'd like to buy some light binoculars for still hunting and scouting.  I'm trying to figure out if there is a sweet spot in terms of magnification to weight.  I'm hoping to find something that does decent in low light.  I'd also like to get a strap that keeps them on me without them flopping around.

Any help greatly appreciated.  I'm also not looking to break the bank where possible.

Offline mburrows

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2019, 02:21:54 PM »
Buy the best glass you can afford in the 8-10 power range if you're primarily hunting the westside. 8-10 power is powerful enough if you're just looking for animals and not necessarily interested in the detailed size of a critter. I honestly wouldnt consider weight as a factor at all unless your packing in and carrying multiple sets of optics.

Swaro is the best. Zeiss, Leica, Leupold, Maven, Vortex, etc. all make good optics.  All models by the manufacturers are not created equal though.

My first few years of hunting I had very mediocre glass that were 12x42 (Nikon Monarch 3) and they gave me a headache to look through for any extended period of time. Wish I would have listened to others advice and bought good glass much earlier than I did.  I now use 9x45's but they are much higher end glass and its so much more effective for me than my 12x42's were.

As for bino harnesses, Alaska Guide Creations, FHF and others all make good harnesses depending on your needs.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 02:52:53 PM by mburrows »

Online Rainier10

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2019, 02:30:08 PM »
I use 10x42's in a S4 lockdown harness.  I would buy the best glass that you can afford, it really makes a difference.  I got mine from the Cabela's bargain cave 8 years ago.  $600 I think is what I paid but man have they been worth it.  All binoculars look great in the well lit store.  Where you will really notice the difference in the higher end glass is low light conditions, it's almost like little arrows point to the deer with good glass.
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Offline smithkl42

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2019, 02:58:46 PM »
If you're looking for cheap optics that are nevertheless reasonable, these aren't bad:

http://store.birdwatching.net/eagle-optics-shrike-8x42-binocular.html

That said, I'm looking to upgrade as soon as I can convince my wife how much better our lives will be if I have a $1000 pair of binoculars. So far she's skeptical.
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Offline theleo

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 03:29:43 PM »
I'm starting to prepare now for my first (next) bow hunting season (blacktail).  I'd like to buy some light binoculars for still hunting and scouting.  I'm trying to figure out if there is a sweet spot in terms of magnification to weight.  I'm hoping to find something that does decent in low light.  I'd also like to get a strap that keeps them on me without them flopping around.

Any help greatly appreciated.  I'm also not looking to break the bank where possible.
It's not a matter of magnification to weight, it's a matter of weight to light transmission. You can get really lite weight 8's or 10's but they'll have small objective lenses that aren't much help in low light conditions. Most guys, me included, settle around having binos with 40mm objective lenses and the magnification is determined by the country we hunt in. Going with bigger objective lenses is great for low light situations and field of view, but 52mm binos are more than I'm willing to pack around in my bino harness.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 03:36:29 PM »
I'm not a blacktail hunter so correct me if I'm wrong...

Aren't blacktail in the thick stuff?  Not sure you need bino's really, when I'm hunting the thicker stuff I just use the range finder and it has enough magnification. 

If you were in MT hunting mules I'd suggest the kaibab, for blacktail not so much?




Offline smithkl42

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2019, 04:11:18 PM »
Most guys, me included, settle around having binos with 40mm objective lenses and the magnification is determined by the country we hunt in. Going with bigger objective lenses is great for low light situations and field of view, but 52mm binos are more than I'm willing to pack around in my bino harness.

Same here. I started with a pair of 52mm binos because of the "light gathering" that they promised. But they were bulky and wouldn't fit in the bino harness that I settled on, and their quality was pretty marginal, so I ended up replacing them with a pair of 42mm. Much better.
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Offline MIKEXRAY

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2019, 05:48:46 PM »
I have a nice pair of 10x43and 7x 36. The 7s are way smaller and lighter than the 10s and my choice when bowhunting . Depends on your hunting style , obviously I'm not spot and stalking from across a canyon.  I'm only looking a couple of hundred yards at most in the timber . Love my 7s .
« Last Edit: January 10, 2019, 06:00:37 PM by MIKEXRAY »

Offline hughjorgan

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 07:55:00 PM »
I use a pair of 8x32 zeiss conquests. They weigh nothing, have a great field of view, gather light well with an exit pupil of 4mm and was still able to pay less than 1k. Great for hunting the timber IMO.

Offline scotsman

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2019, 08:21:56 PM »
For Blackies, the majority of the time you will be using glass relatively close to pick out noses, ears, etc in tight cover. In these circumstances wide field of view is more important than power. You need to be able to whip out the binocs and zero in on the branch in question. I have two sets of glass: I love my 10x42 Swarovski for wide open country but without hesitation grab my lightweight, wide field 8x30ís for Blacktails.

Offline pianoman9701

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2019, 01:25:11 PM »
You don't need the best bow on the market. You don't need Sitka gear. You don't need underwear impregnated with silver. You DO need the best glass and boots you can afford. Sacrificing an optical advantage for a few ounces of weight is not a good trade. If you're not comfortable looking through glass for extended periods of time, you've under-bought. My  :twocents:
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Offline Randonee

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2019, 08:52:22 PM »
I use these 8x25 Cabelas binoculars for what you are describing. They arenít my main optics for really glassing, but I really like them if I want something light and Iím just pausing to look at something or scan a clear cut. I also use them when Iím driving in my truck for quick looks.  They are light and small enough that I donít notice them around my neck. 

https://www.cabelas.com/product/CABELAS-INTENSITY-COMPACT-BINOCULARS/2317805.uts

Offline shallowforks

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2019, 09:47:12 PM »
If you're looking for cheap optics that are nevertheless reasonable, these aren't bad:

http://store.birdwatching.net/eagle-optics-shrike-8x42-binocular.html

That said, I'm looking to upgrade as soon as I can convince my wife how much better our lives will be if I have a $1000 pair of binoculars. So far she's skeptical.


@smithkl42, tell your wife shes being completely unreasonable!

Offline hollymaster

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2019, 10:20:13 PM »
If you're looking for cheap optics that are nevertheless reasonable, these aren't bad:

http://store.birdwatching.net/eagle-optics-shrike-8x42-binocular.html

That said, I'm looking to upgrade as soon as I can convince my wife how much better our lives will be if I have a $1000 pair of binoculars. So far she's skeptical.


@smithkl42, tell your wife shes being completely unreasonable!
Need at least $2000  :chuckle:

Offline smithkl42

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Re: New to bow hunting - looking for light optics...
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2019, 10:34:30 PM »
@smithkl42, tell your wife shes being completely unreasonable!

Me: I could bring home so much more meat!

Her: I'm still waiting for you to bring home *any* meat.

Me: Right! That's because I don't have good enough binoculars!

Her:
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