12x Binoculars: The Perfect Optic For Western Hunting, By Jake Potter

Justin Crossley

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Jake (@Jpott3) is very fortunate to be married to an understanding wife Kalie who supports his hunting and fishing habits. They have two young children Cal (3) and Hayden (1). They live in western Washington where he's lived most of his life. Jake grew up with a love for the outdoors, fishing as often as he could. While he still fishes for salmon/steelhead he's developed a true passion for hunting and now spends his fall months chasing Blacktail deer, and Roosevelt elk. He also enjoys going out of state as often as he can to chase mule deer and elk. One of his favorite things is being able to share his love for the outdoors with his son and daughter, whether it's looking for frogs/bugs in the yard or looking for the elusive blacktail buck on the state land near their home, he enjoys their sense of wonder with each new creature we discover.

Give Jake a warm Rokslide welcome and enjoy his first Rokslide article.

12x Binoculars: The Perfect Optic For Western Hunting
 
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Jpott3

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Thanks Ryan! I agree that would be a deadly combination.


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68Plexi

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Thanks for the write up! This debate always seems to be bouncing around in my head. As my knees get older the pounds:pain ratio is becoming more and more evident.

I carry 8x on my chest and 15x in my pack. I absolutely love glassing with the 15’s on a tripod (the 8’s aren’t bad either) and thought I may be able to replace my spotter with them since I’m mainly looking for meat and not concerned with score. That works up to a certain distance, say a mile and a half or so and after that the spotter is still necessary.

So now I’m looking at carrying all 3! Sounds like I might need to consider replacing the 15’s with 12’s and keep the spotter in my pack. Why am I always finding a reason to buy more gear?!?


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Jpott3

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I carry 8x on my chest and 15x in my pack. I absolutely love glassing with the 15’s on a tripod (the 8’s aren’t bad either) and thought I may be able to replace my spotter with them since I’m mainly looking for meat and not concerned with score. That works up to a certain distance, say a mile and a half or so and after that the spotter is still necessary.

So now I’m looking at carrying all 3! Sounds like I might need to consider replacing the 15’s with 12’s and keep the spotter. Why am I always finding a reason to buy more gear?!?


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Yup I would sell the 8’s and 15’s buy a set of 12’s and just carry them and your spotter and you would be set!


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Malenurseevans

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I just bought a pair of 12x and have seriously been questioning my decision. I can't afford to buy 2 quality pair of optics for a 15x and a 10x or 8x. Plus I don't want to carry all that and a spotter.

This article was awesome. I purchased the 12x (actually 12.5x50 tract toric), put it on a tripod, and wear it in my chest. I love it but I always second guess myself when I see articles and posts of people using 15x or 18x. I've never used a 15x so it's just tough to know.

Thanks for the insight. It's reassuring to know that other hunters have found it effective to do what I am doing. Keep up the good work dude.
 

Jpott3

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I just bought a pair of 12x and have seriously been questioning my decision. I can't afford to buy 2 quality pair of optics for a 15x and a 10x or 8x. Plus I don't want to carry all that and a spotter.

This article was awesome. I purchased the 12x (actually 12.5x50 tract toric), put it on a tripod, and wear it in my chest. I love it but I always second guess myself when I see articles and posts of people using 15x or 18x. I've never used a 15x so it's just tough to know.

Thanks for the insight. It's reassuring to know that other hunters have found it effective to do what I am doing. Keep up the good work dude.
Thanks for the kind words! I have no regrets selling my 15s and using my 12s exclusively. If you are pairing them with a spotter you are set!


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Vaultman

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Started using 12's in 2012. I have only gone back when brush hunting., And no shot opportunities / glassing positions where going to be less than 200 yds.
A great write up, on a great subject. Thanks.
 

Jpott3

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Started using 12's in 2012. I have only gone back when brush hunting., And no shot opportunities / glassing positions where going to be less than 200 yds.
A great write up, on a great subject. Thanks.
Thanks glad you liked it!


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Darrindlh

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I am in the very moment considering upgrading my optics! I currently use the Leupold bx4 pro guide hd 8x42. I wish I could afford the Swarovski, I can’t out of my budget. However the
Meopta b1.1 12x50 HD’s are in my budget as well as the maven b2 11x45.im leaning towards the Meopta l.Thank you for the write up. I feel a solid pair of 12’s will Cut down on weight and I will be able to still judge bucks in ten alpine basin’s.
 

Vaultman

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@Darrindlh
I have the Leupold bx4 12x50's. Though I would always recommend stretching and saving for higher end glass they have served me very well.
 

bjfoxhoven

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I just talked to Robby denning about this. Great write up indeed. Definitely seems to be a lean towards just the 12x lately with some of the western hunters. I’ve also been contemplating upgrading my glassing before next fall (we will see how the current job situation plays out with the virus though first). I mainly tree stand hunt timber and river breaks for white tails. Some still hunting through national forest also. I also hunt marsh areas and river bottoms. I use cheaper 10x binos now and they work okay, especially on the tripod I have. I wish they were a better glass for glassing. However, I do hunt west river SD a couple times a year and hunt black hills of SD too where I have glassing points were I could see ridges 1-3 miles away. I’m not a huge trophy guy so I was going to delay the spotter purchase until down the road a ways and just go with bigger binos. I was thinking 15x, but feel like the FOV is almost a better quality than the extra 3x (with more weight). Keep ip the good work!
 

Jpott3

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I just talked to Robby denning about this. Great write up indeed. Definitely seems to be a lean towards just the 12x lately with some of the western hunters. I’ve also been contemplating upgrading my glassing before next fall (we will see how the current job situation plays out with the virus though first). I mainly tree stand hunt timber and river breaks for white tails. Some still hunting through national forest also. I also hunt marsh areas and river bottoms. I use cheaper 10x binos now and they work okay, especially on the tripod I have. I wish they were a better glass for glassing. However, I do hunt west river SD a couple times a year and hunt black hills of SD too where I have glassing points were I could see ridges 1-3 miles away. I’m not a huge trophy guy so I was going to delay the spotter purchase until down the road a ways and just go with bigger binos. I was thinking 15x, but feel like the FOV is almost a better quality than the extra 3x (with more weight). Keep ip the good work!
Thank you! I agree the larger FOV to me is a more useful quality than the extra 3x magnification.


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Pelagic

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I switched over to 12s from 10s last year and one of the bigger concerns for me was how much shakier the 12s would be when hand holding. Many times, especially in archery season, it's just necessary to throw them up to your eyes to check something out. So, I went to a cabelas with my 10s, and brought a pair of 12s out to their parking lot and compared. I was surprised I honestly did not see a noticeable difference in shakiness between the 2.

Made my decision that much easier. I was not aware of the favorable FOV numbers compared to the 10s and 15s - nice write up!
 

COwineguy

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I primarily use 12X50 Els for my western hunting. Carry them on my chest and always have a tripod. Last year I picked up some 8X50 Ultravids for hunting in the midwest. I hated glassing with my 12s from a tree stand. The eights are great. They also typically ride in the truck with me for quick access for checking stuff out.

This year I picked up a pair of Maven 18s for hunting AZ. While I really hoped to not like them because I typically prefer the big three. They proved to be an awesome tool. I loved the extra power for long distance as well as looking "through" brush. 15s didn't seem to be enough of an upgrade over my 12s.

If I had to go down to one pari it would be the twelves for sure. The 18s are probably the easiest pair to leave out if I had to but they do fit a niche for me.

I am a big proponent of having the right tool for the job if I can afford it.
 

wannabemtnguy

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This was a great article as I’m newer to the western scene and looking to add a spotter or bigger glass to my arsenal. Running a set of Leica 10’s today and would love a set of Swaro’s but need to add a few other items to the toolkit this year. Any recommendations between the Razor UHD, Maven B4, or the MeoStar B1.1, all in 12’s. Looking for best 12’s under $2k. Open to others as well. TIA
 

Tahoe1305

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Really like the meostar 12x50. Didn’t directly compare but I had the UHD 12x too and guessing they’d be real close. I think these compare best to maven 11x45, but I ended up with the Meostar if that helps...got a great deal to push me that way.
 

wannabemtnguy

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Really like the meostar 12x50. Didn’t directly compare but I had the UHD 12x too and guessing they’d be real close. I think these compare best to maven 11x45, but I ended up with the Meostar if that helps...got a great deal to push me that way.
Thanks - definitely helpful, also depends if I find a killer deal on any of the 3, don't think I'd be upset across the board. Are the Maven 11x45 that big of a jump from 10x42's? I find it hard to drop the money for the small increase in magnification, but the weight on the B4 12's is also a holding me back.
 

Jpott3

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This was a great article as I’m newer to the western scene and looking to add a spotter or bigger glass to my arsenal. Running a set of Leica 10’s today and would love a set of Swaro’s but need to add a few other items to the toolkit this year. Any recommendations between the Razor UHD, Maven B4, or the MeoStar B1.1, all in 12’s. Looking for best 12’s under $2k. Open to others as well. TIA
If you are patient you can find Swaro ELs in the classifieds right around that 2k mark, of the three you listed tho I would probably lean toward the Meopta as they seem to get really good reviews although I’ve never used them personally.


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