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Glassing Distance Help

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2010 at 13:10
FullCurlHunter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: June/15/2010
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I am scouting an area in CO using Google Earth. I have found a ridge that overlooks a huge valley and can see numerous high basins that are 3 to 4 miles away.

Will I be able to see Deer from this vantage point with:

A. 10x42 binoculars
B. 15x50 binoculars
C. 20 power spotting scope
D. 60 power spotting scope

I am just trying to get a feel for how close my scouting vantage point needs to be to find game with my binoculars and then focusing further with my spotter. Or if I need to get a lot closer than 3 to 4 miles away.

Thanks

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2010 at 20:15
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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Depending on your eyesight, you can probably spot muleys at those distances under good atmospheric conditions with premium 15x binoculars and a tripod, but I would prefer a top-quality 20-60x spotter.  Do not expect to do good trophy evaluation at 4 miles with even the best glass under the best conditions.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2010 at 20:48
FullCurlHunter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: June/15/2010
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What is a good distance to use 10x binoculars for preliminary glassing and then be able to really scope them out once found?

Is it preferable to hunt/glass from across a canyon or get up on the mountain ridge above them and glass down potentially being seen/smelled?
 
Here is a picture of what I am talking about... The basin on the right is 3 miles away and the basin all the way on the left is 4 miles away.  Would I be better off coming up the other side of the mountain and glassing down in?
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/16/2010 at 23:23
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
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I glass for mountain mule deer with 10x glass and a spotting scope.  Most of my spotting is within 2 miles, and in country like that I would like to be on a ridge dividing two basins and glass them both.  I would find a spot where I could see the most country, above or below, and work it hard.  When it's time to stalk, it is almost always better to come down from above.
 
If you are serious about mule deer, you must read David Long's Public Land Mulies - The Bottom Line.  David goes into high country glassing techniques, in detail.  He knows his stuff, and has the trophies to prove it.
 
Good luck!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2010 at 07:23
tpcollins View Drop Down
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In the beginning you mention binoc/spotting scope sizes, and not brands. I'm not a fan of anything higher than 8x but you are glassing some extreme distances so 10x will work if you can steady the shake.
 
I assume you're aware that viewing all day long with a $2000 pair of Zeiss, Leica, or Swarovski's is much more pleasant than looking thru a $50 pair of Barska's . . .
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2010 at 07:33
silver View Drop Down
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It's not "just" the magnification, you have to have clear glass to go with the magnification.  That's why when people ask this question they do not always get the answers they expect.  I'd want to get you more like 2 miles away, then we could talk about if a "good" (premium) lower power glass could do the job verses a poor to medium power optic.  Resolution is the ablity to see small detail.  That's what you want, and it is not dependant on magnification. On some of the cheap stuff magnification gets in the way of resolution. Short version: Its as much about quality as it is magnification.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2010 at 12:05
FullCurlHunter View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
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Here is the glass I am planning on purchasing:
 
Zen Ray ED2 10x43 or Vortex Razor 10x42
 
Vortex Skyline ED 20-60x80 Spotting Scope.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2010 at 13:44
tpcollins View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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The binocs you want get favorable reviews although I wasn't fond of a pair of 8x28 Vortex Fury's and returned them. Do you plan on hiring a Sherpa to haul that 80mm spotter around for you? I would think the 15-30x50mm Leupold Gold Ring would be better suited and alot easier to tote for your trip?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2010 at 15:18
JGRaider View Drop Down
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If portability is not an issue, that vortex will suffice.  Like tpcollins said, if it is an issue I'd offer up the Nikon 50ed, which to me is the class of the 50mm spotters.  Those Zen Ed2s are super good, and I would whole heartedly recommend the 10x43 for that style hunting.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/17/2010 at 19:05
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Optics Jedi Knight
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for glassing 2 mi hill sides in early morning or late evening, if you need to determine trophy size use the spotter after this. Many things can change. The animals may break towards cover or the fastest route off the mt. 10x56 zeiss and then 6s for the stalk.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2010 at 08:56
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Full Curl Hunter,

I sent you a PM.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/18/2010 at 14:16
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First off, you are going to have to split up that country into several sections.  It may well not be your intent in the first place, but there is no optical battery that will glass all of what is in the picture.  It is an intriguing setup, but like many places with wide open spaces there is just too much there.
 
You may be able to spot some game with the 10x at pretty extreme distances, but they will have to be out in the open and easily seen for that to happen.  For a 10x to pick out bedded animals a mile is stretching it.  Big eyes, in my experience will get detail about twice as far away as a 10x.
 
Spotters are really a compromise.  To look long with any chance of detail an 80mm glass will be a good choice, but they are big and won't be much fun to lug around through the scenery you pictured.  Mirage and sheer distance may well limit the performance of the spotter to about a maximum of a 2.0mm exit pupil, or 40x with an 80mm scope, or 25x with a 50mm scope.
 
From your list, I'd do a good 10x. the Zen Ray ZEN ED is outstanding, so is the Razor.  I'd probably back up with a good 50mm spotter with an eyepiece that tops at 30x, particularly if I will be lugging it in my pack.  It is another deal if the spotter will be at camp or in the truck.
 
Personally I hunt country like that with 8x binoculars and if more is needed, I like a Big Eye style binocular, as they are worth an extra 5-10x to me over a spotter, and they are a lot easier for me to use.  I really don't like spotters personally.
 
 
Chew up the scenery into 10x chunks.  Use the binocular to spot and the spotter to get detail.  If 30x won't do it, you probably need to get closer anyway.
 
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