More time glassing with Binos or Spotting Scope

WVELK

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Jul 2, 2020
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When you are elk hunting, whether bow, rifle or muzzleloader, do you spend more time glassing with your binos or spotting scope? Personally, I spend far more time looking with the binos on a tripod, but wondering if there is a better mouse trap. I use to hunt more in the thick timber of Idaho and Colorado. These days, I bow hunt in more open areas where glassing at great distances is the norm
when things are slow. And, I have never been on a hunt where there wasn’t a fair share of slow or down time.
 

Jimss

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I hunt open country for elk. I probably spend about 1/2 of my time glassing through binos and 50% through spotting scope. I always amaze myself at how many elk I find through my spotting scope that I miss with 10x binos! It also saves me miles upon miles of hiking when I can size of antlers from a mile + away. Often with binos I can merely tell it's a bull and nothing else! I would rather use my eyes than legs any day of the week! I spook a lot fewer elk glassing rather than hiking and spooking them over the next hill.
 
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WVELK

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Jul 2, 2020
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I usually have someone with me who has a scope, but for reasons noted above if you find more elk with a scope it seems to suggest two scopes glassing is better than one.
I am not looking for just any bull so I like being able to judge before walking.
 

SLM

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Spend way more time glassing with binoculars. Don’t care to spend a lot of time through a spotter.
 

justinspicher

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No spotter for this guy either. Cost, weight and how hard they are for me to use has kept me from having one. Binos, specifically a 12x has been my medicine. I use a single trekking pole to stabilize them, so that’s two less things to bring.
 

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StopMakingSense

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I don't know how anyone can glass through a spotter. It just isn't meant for that. I use it for verifying what I dig up at morning or night or checking out some timber patches that I consider elky if the morning rush has begun to slow down. Even then I'm still using 10's and swapping the spotter quick to check those dark timber patches.

If you aren't seeing what you need to see with 10's my first question would be what binoculars and tripod setup are you using?
 

fatrascal

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Spring Creek, Nevada
I use both pretty much equally. Both are just too important to do without. Recently I got the Swarovski BTX system and with the 95 objective lens it gives me 35x binocular power. There are still times that when I find an animal waaaaay out there that I find myself switching to the single eyepiece for more magnification. I still feel that the bottom line go to system for backpack hunting is still the 10x bino paired with the 20x60x65 spotting scope. It's a tried and true system that is hard to beat. Fatrascal.
 

canuckhunter

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Aug 23, 2019
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It doesn’t matter whether i’m hunting the wide open prairie, or into the Rocky mountains the strategy is the same. Glass with the binos in a grid pattern until it appears nothing is there then repeat. Always seems, something is missed on initial scan. Then pull out the spotting scope to confirm whether the animal is what your after. As others have stated saves miles on the boot treads!!
 

Wapiti1

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Depends on the terrain. Some areas I hunt are binos only. Others, it's split between the two. I doubt I sit behind the scope more than 25-30% of the time.

Jeremy
 
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Apr 8, 2019
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I know this was about elk but I'm curious on this topic for mule deer.

I listened to a Jay Scott Outdoors podcast with Randy Ulmer and he said he only uses his 95mm Swaro for glassing.

Maybe he's an exception when it comes to glassing but he must be doing something right. I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has glassed primarily with a spotter and favors over high power binos.
 

BBob

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Most of the time and in most country I use 15x binoculars but in places like sheep country the spotter gets used far more. There are many places 15x are almost useless and you need something more. When I glass with a spotter I wear an eye patch over the unused eye, that takes away pretty much all eyestrain. It still takes a little bit of time to get used to. If you spend any time around sheep guides tons of them glass all day with a just a spotter so it's something people can get used to. These days I have a different setup so I spend less time behind a single spotter.
 

bird35

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It doesn’t matter whether i’m hunting the wide open prairie, or into the Rocky mountains the strategy is the same. Glass with the binos in a grid pattern until it appears nothing is there then repeat. Always seems, something is missed on initial scan. Then pull out the spotting scope to confirm whether the animal is what your after. As others have stated saves miles on the boot treads!!
I do the samething. I try to find with binoculars and study with the spotter.
 

Browninglover1

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Jul 1, 2015
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Northern Utah
I would much rather glass with binos but can spend hours behind my spotting scope. A wide angle lens on a top tier spotter makes long glassing sessions much easier, but having stereovision in a binocular is definitely easier on your eyes and mind.
 

WCB

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Jun 12, 2019
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Vast majority with 12x binos on a tripd...spotter comes out if I want a better look or if I'm really picking apart a shaded hills side looking for a antler tip or something. But I would say easily 80% through binos.
 

Epi610

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Feb 27, 2020
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Very interesting experiences. I don’t particularly like looking through a spotter for extended periods of time, eye fatigue etc. Not counting the BTX set up primarily due to the affordability on my part. Distance was still a major take away here, thx to all for sharing
 
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