Most hunters I know, after forty years of stomping through the thick nasty brush, glassing game across a canyon or sitting high up in a tree stand during the hunting season, have come to depend upon exceptional hunting optics for a successful hunt.
So before rushing out to spending your hard earned cash on new optics, what should you look for? Were talking about best rifle scopes, binoculars, rangefinders, spotting scopes, trail cameras, plus shotgun and crossbow scopes and we’ll also touch on digital cameras both still and video.
Yep that’s a lot of optics to consider for your next hunt! How many do you own and use (and like)?
Manufactures in today’s competitive hunting optic market offer a wide assortment of optics in high and low end models. This is one department you don’t want to go for the cheapest model available. Ask any other professional that depends on optics choices and they will agree. Ask any big game hunter that opted for a high end guided hunt or remote hunting trip and what they valued most – “Their own hunting optics”. Depending what your budget is and how essential that optic product is for your hunt may decide on whether purchasing that model best suited to your wallet or your hunt. Optics is all about quality and performance, so choose wisely.
I’m on my 4th set of binoculars after 40 plus hunting years. Not bad except the first two pair fogged up, weren’t 100% waterproof and quite heavy. They lasted six years. My third pair of binos now travel along with me everywhere in my vehicle, while the 4th pair are always in my pack for hunting.
What do I look for in a good quality set? Again great fog proof clear sharp glass. Easily adjustable wearing gloves and a comfortable adjustable neck strap harness. Typically as a deer turkey hunter I prefer 10×42 optics. A high mountain sheep hunter would prefer something with much longer range for a spot n stalk hunt plus a spotting scope and tripod to glass a mountain valley or peak.
Some hunters prefer high-end optics with built in rangefinder and compass. They are fog proof, waterproof, and have crystal clear view during those low light situations. Expect to pay accordingly of course. If you drop it there goes three expensive items to replace.
Consider the manufactures warranty on any optic investment. Most are good, others not so good. Mine have a lifetime replacement. Some other brands have numerous restrictions so make sure your send in the card after reading and understanding the warranty.
Shop around for the best deals and try to look through them before purchasing. Often viewing at distant objects during lower lighting conditions will give you a better idea on quality. Are the lens adjustable? Do they come with lens cover caps? Do they fit a gloved hand? Are they heavy to hold up to your eyes?
When it comes to rifle scopes or shotgun scopes apply the same tips. Know what you are hunting also is a major factor. You don’t want to be over or under-powered for the hunt. Always purchase best rifle scope mounts for the firearm whenever possible. Shooting a high powered rifle compared to plinking with a 22 plinking rifles recoil is a major factor to consider.
If you apply the style and type of hunting situation before considering your budget, then buy the best you can afford you’ll enjoy years of shooting. Going on a once in a lifetime hunt? Consider the best optic you can afford. Just flinging lead downrange in the middle of the day then any adjustable scope might be a good start. But be forewarned…..once you use a quality premium optic you won’t go back. A good rifle scope will turn the average hunter into an excellent hunter.
Now apply those above tactics to all your other hunting optics. Clear fog proof quality glass, dependable warranty (prefer lifelong). Solid construction, gas filled and easily adjustable. Don’t settle for average, become an above average hunter that knows the value of quality optics.
When it comes to choosing the best rifle scopes and you don’t know what to choose? Add a comment or question before and we’ll try to help you out…