10x42s and a Spotter, or new 15x binos?

joshmarzula

Newbie
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
3
So, I have my first backcountry deer hunt next October and I’m trying to get all my gear over time. I’m gonna get my optics for christmas. I have a nice set of 10x Nikon’s that I was thinking I would run, and just buy a new spotter for the trip. But with the LEO discount through vortex I’m really liking the deal I can get on the 15xs.

My question is, for you experienced guys, do y’all spend more time looking through a spotter, or your Binos on a tripod?

I would get way more use out of the binoculars hunting clear cuts and such down here in GA. I would honestly only use the spotter one time a year when I get out west.


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NoWiser

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
578
10x and spotter, assuming the spotter is of good quality. I run 8x, 15x, and spotter. The 15x and spotter are not, in my opinion, interchangeable. They each have their own uses. Binos are for finding game, the spotter is for saving miles on your legs. The less time I can look through a spotter the better. I hate them. But I hate hiking 3 hours for no reason even more. For your average deer hunt the 10x on a tripod will be nearly as good as the 15x for finding individual animals. The 15x will not show you near the details of those animals as a GOOD spotting scope.
 

Hoodie

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
367
Location
Oregon Cascades
I´ve gone through this over and over and though I love the idea of 15x56s (or 18x56) replacing a spotter, they just don´t for me.

I hear a lot of people say that the only use for a spotter is evaluating what you find with your binos. Another thing you tend to hear frequently is that a spotter doesn´t matter if you aren´t a trophy hunter.

I definitely use my spotter for both of those things, but when Iḿ scouting or hunting big country the primary reason I´m willing to pack the extra weight is locating bedded animals at a distance.

If you´re going to use the mid-day hours to glass, you will significantly extend the range at which you can potentially pick up a bedded deer with a spotter.

Plenty of caveats to that. A good heat mirage will render the higher magnification of a spotter useless. If you can´t manage to actually glass with your spotter you´re definitely better off with the binos. I´d also reconsider if you´re hunting an area where you´re highly unlikely to glass more than 3/4 of a mile or so.

I used to think I couldn´t glass with a spotter. An eye patch made a huge difference for me eye fatigue wise. Highly recommend it. I don´t have a top tier spotter either. Iḿ using a first generation Razor HD.

For deer, if Iḿ scouting or hunting an area where weight isn´t a huge concern I do 6.5x32s on my chest, 12x50 in my pack for tripod use, and a spotter.

If weight is critical, I think it´s hard to go wrong with 10x42 and a spotter. 10x42s aren´t the best at anything. They´re too much for most people to hand-hold well. They don´t compete with 12x50 off a tripod in my experience.

But there´s very little you can´t do with a good 10x42 and a spotter. It´s the classic set-up for a reason.
 

roosiebull

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
1,214
Location
oregon coast
So, I have my first backcountry deer hunt next October and I’m trying to get all my gear over time. I’m gonna get my optics for christmas. I have a nice set of 10x Nikon’s that I was thinking I would run, and just buy a new spotter for the trip. But with the LEO discount through vortex I’m really liking the deal I can get on the 15xs.

My question is, for you experienced guys, do y’all spend more time looking through a spotter, or your Binos on a tripod?

I would get way more use out of the binoculars hunting clear cuts and such down here in GA. I would honestly only use the spotter one time a year when I get out west.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
what 15's are you considering? what spotter? what are you looking for in a buck? are you content shooting a good buck? are you looking for a legit 180" or better?

style dictates optics, and the actual optics do too.
 

Hatchet Jack

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
565
Location
Arizona
None of the 15x that Vortex offers are that great so i'd go binos/spotter combo with a good tripod. Binos are for finding, spotters are for evaluating, with very few exceptions. A spotter is useless if you can't find anything to look at. If your 10x are the Monarch HG then get a spotter and a good tripod/head and learn how to glass off it. If your binos are the lower tier Nikon then upgrade to the Monarch HG or similar quality and put them on a tripod and save the spotter for next year.
 

TomJoad

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
254
Location
Denver, CO
10X binos plus a spotter as well for me... but much depends on the glassing spots you have. Plenty of hunts I only run 10x binos and leave the spotter at home but if I know I have some excellent glassing spots and can manage the weight/space gain I run a spotter as well. Leica HDB300 10x42 for the binos and Kowa TSN-554 for the spotter is my backpack set-up. If I had a budget crunch I'd run the Lieca Bino's only as I find the ranging combo really convenient.

@Hoodie is right on with heat and weather rendering your spotter useless. I'm a lot more willing to take the weight penalty on a late season hunt than an early one for that reason.

Also a decent tripod and head are a real game changer for the binos. Even without the spotter I always pack my tripod and adapter.
 

roosiebull

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
1,214
Location
oregon coast
None of the 15x that Vortex offers are that great so i'd go binos/spotter combo with a good tripod. Binos are for finding, spotters are for evaluating, with very few exceptions. A spotter is useless if you can't find anything to look at. If your 10x are the Monarch HG then get a spotter and a good tripod/head and learn how to glass off it. If your binos are the lower tier Nikon then upgrade to the Monarch HG or similar quality and put them on a tripod and save the spotter for next year.
i agree with you on their 15x's... i like the idea of the 18X UHD's though, in place of a spotter unless i was looking for a VERY specific type of deer. i'm more like "it has a good frame, it's mature, i'm gonna make a move" rather than "it's a nice buck, but not great rear forks, and i think it's only about a 170" buck" haha
 

SteveW1473

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
24
I have the 18x56 vortex Kaibab they are very good from a tripod. i have used these for many years with no regrets.
 

Fatcamp

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
3,092
Location
Sodak
I currently have 8 and 15 Meopta. Pretty sure for where and how we hunt this will work well. I also have a 20X60 Leupold, but not sure where it fits in.

For all year, day in day out binoculars I really like the 8's. Specific to general western hunting for a guy who puts them in a box the other 11 1/2 months of the year 10's are probably a better choice.
 

CullenMS

Newbie
Joined
Mar 2, 2021
Messages
8
I´ve gone through this over and over and though I love the idea of 15x56s (or 18x56) replacing a spotter, they just don´t for me.

I hear a lot of people say that the only use for a spotter is evaluating what you find with your binos. Another thing you tend to hear frequently is that a spotter doesn´t matter if you aren´t a trophy hunter.

I definitely use my spotter for both of those things, but when Iḿ scouting or hunting big country the primary reason I´m willing to pack the extra weight is locating bedded animals at a distance.

If you´re going to use the mid-day hours to glass, you will significantly extend the range at which you can potentially pick up a bedded deer with a spotter.

Plenty of caveats to that. A good heat mirage will render the higher magnification of a spotter useless. If you can´t manage to actually glass with your spotter you´re definitely better off with the binos. I´d also reconsider if you´re hunting an area where you´re highly unlikely to glass more than 3/4 of a mile or so.

I used to think I couldn´t glass with a spotter. An eye patch made a huge difference for me eye fatigue wise. Highly recommend it. I don´t have a top tier spotter either. Iḿ using a first generation Razor HD.

For deer, if Iḿ scouting or hunting an area where weight isn´t a huge concern I do 6.5x32s on my chest, 12x50 in my pack for tripod use, and a spotter.

If weight is critical, I think it´s hard to go wrong with 10x42 and a spotter. 10x42s aren´t the best at anything. They´re too much for most people to hand-hold well. They don´t compete with 12x50 off a tripod in my experience.

But there´s very little you can´t do with a good 10x42 and a spotter. It´s the classic set-up for a reason.
Appreciate the POV Hoodie. Gearing up to head west for the first time and stuck between 10’s and 12’s but I think the answer is clear for me. Commit to the 10’s and then commit to coughing up the $ for a good spotter. Coming from the MW the 10’s will be most practical back home and ideally need a good spotter to do the heavy lifting out west...and not stretch the role of binos too far.
 

Dd61999

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
165
Location
Long Island, ny
I find 15x are excellent for 1.5 miles and in

which pretty much covers my needs

I said goodbye to one eyed viewing.....it’s not fun
 

sektr

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
53
Is your western hunt guided? In that case they should have a spotter you can use, get the 15x so you can make use of the purchase year round.
 
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