Hunting Spotting Scopes
Designed for low-level terrestrial use, spotting scopes make an ideal tool for hunting and are rapidly gaining in popularity amongst America’s vast sport hunting community. Spotting scopes are compact, portable, and rugged and normally feature significantly more magnification power than the average pair of binoculars. Binoculars normally feature 7x – 10x magnification ratings, while most spotting scopes come with 15x-45x magnification as a minimum standard, and often feature zoom capacity..
A spotting scope is generally classified into one of two broad categories, straight or angled, dependent on how the eyepiece fits to the main body of the scope. Each of the two types has its own advantages, often dependent on the situation in which they are to be used. For example, a straight spotting scope is best suited for observation at or below eye level, making them generally a better choice for ground-floor hunting. Angled scopes tend to lend themselves better to bird hunting, or for hunting animals in trees. They are far less practical for ground animals.
Spotting scopes are ideal for hunting game such as deer or buck, as they allow for up-close observation from a distance less likely to alert, scare and distress the animal. They can also help with identification, reducing the risk of bringing down a pregnant or immature creature. Many also come with attachments for modern SLR cameras, allowing for a totally different kind of hunting. Capturing an image of a baby deer and its mother, or a lion bringing down a gazelle, is made much easier for someone with a little patience and a decent camera and scope – digiscoping, as the practice is known, has become increasingly popular as high-grade digital cameras and scopes drop in price.
When choosing a spotting scope, a new buyer should take two things into account – the size of the objective lens, and the magnification. The larger the lens, the more light will be collected and the sharper the final image will be. However, large lenses also tend to lead to bulky telescopes, and as a result are often less manageable. This particularly applies to straight scopes being used freehand.
The second priority is magnification and zoom – the higher the magnification, the better the distance, but the field of view also becomes more restricted and the image may not be quite as clear as a lower magnification could provide. A high magnification is therefore not necessarily a better option.