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Old 01-27-2017, 08:54 AM   #1
RedLynn
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Optics for watching whitetail?

Right now, I can think of two options.

The first is using a bino. I can't think of any particular model, though. A Zeiss binocular sounds like a good idea but there are too many, and I haven't found a comprehensive review.

The second one is a spotting scope. I have my eyes on the Celestron 52252 100mm Ultima Zoom, which is one of the best spotting scopes anyway. But I'm not sure if I need a spotting scope in the first place. I'm not getting one to hunt, after all. but, on the other hand, they are best used with tripods, and while using binos is not impossible in the same manner, long-term watching might be somewhat inconvenient.

In short, I'm quite confused. Any advice?
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:59 AM   #2
gnatcatcher
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I suggest you call the good folks at Eagle Optics. Very knowledgeable, and will ask all the right questions to determine what you need. 100mm scopes are monsters, possible overkill for your purposes.

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Old 01-27-2017, 11:51 AM   #3
Fly Rodder
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I'd recommend big 15x binos and a tripod. It can be more comfortable to spend significant time behind binos than it is a spotting scope. Spotting scopes for wildlife in hunting situations are usually only used when they're trying to determine minor details in trophy potential and estimates of antler size.

ETA: I guess it depends on how close you want to get to them and where you're watching. If it's only the ADKs, it can be tough because of the dense forest limits visibility and a spotting scope would be impractical. I've watched whitetails in CNY from over a mile away with my 8x42 binos. I couldn't pick out much detail, but it was a doe and two very young fawns in an open field on the other side of the valley.

Last edited by Fly Rodder; 01-27-2017 at 01:07 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:33 PM   #4
Buckladd
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Depends on when and where you are watching them. I just use average binos but I'd like to get something that lets in more light for very early morning and very last light, which is when the bucks tend to come out.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:13 PM   #5
dpc34
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I am using a Nikon Action 8x40 8.2 love them...best $100 (I think) I ever spent.....I have used the cheap ones($35 range) just don't have the lens that these do.....great in low light...When you do decide to buy, go outside the store and try them out..actually put them in your hand and try them.....then go buy them on line if you have to....I have also found that a harness works much better than a neck strap..always there but not hanging loose around your neck..enjoy

Last edited by dpc34; 01-28-2017 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:57 AM   #6
EagleCrag
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I think how you plan on using your optics should dictate your choice. If you want something that you can walk through the woods with and hike with on the trail, then weight/size is an important consideration. If they are going to be used from a vehicle or cabin and not carried into the woods, then weight and size are not an important issue. Even a medium weight binocular around your neck all day will become uncomfortable. The more magnification in the binocular the more difficult they are to hold steady, eventually requiring a tripod or other means of stability. If you are going to be observing them in hours of failing or low light, a larger exit pupil will provide greater brightness but adds size & weight too. There is much truth in the adage that when shopping for binoculars, the quality of the glass is directly proportional to the price you are willing to pay. I have found this to be generally true but sometimes you can also pay a LOT more money for a marginal amount of quality improvement. Whatever you decide to choose, I would want to look through a variety of them to get a first hand comparison. If there is a Bass Pro Shop or Cabela's near you, they will have a fair selection to look at, even if you decide to purchase elsewhere. While you are not planning on using them for hunting, this subject has been thoroughly discussed in a number of hunting forums and magazines. While some of the information regarding models may have changed, the features you should take into consideration when purchasing a pair will not have changed. I own a pair of binoculars and a spotting scope. I hardly ever use the spotting scope. If you were out west where observation will often be in hundreds and thousands of yards, then perhaps you might want to consider a spotting scope but in the east, IMO, binoculars are by far the preferred choice.
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