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If light is not the key...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/16/2007 at 23:21
outdoorAg View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/16/2007
Location: United States
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Points: 65

I hunt in Texas where we can't shoot until sun up and can't shoot after sundown. Even with low light conditions in the early mornings and late afternoons, our feeders are timed to go off at 7:15am and 5:30pm. So per the hunting laws and movement of deer, light transmission is not on the top of my list. We manage a high fenced property, so there is no pressure to shoot late. The deer (in theory) will always be there. No need to take a late shot when you can't be sure of age, point totals, etc.

With that said, I will be putting together a rifle with a budget that will allow me around 800 max for a scope. Like I mentioned above - light transmission is really not the selling point for me. My money would be much better spent on quality glass, craftsmenship and higher power because of the long shot opportunities that present themselves. There are some late afternoon, LOWER light conditions, but not any of the post sunset, low low light shots that many people here are looking to take.

 

For my hunting conditions and budget, what scopes do you propose? I would like to stay above a 3-9 power. Some say I would be over scoped by going 4.5-14 or 6-20, but when you are stretching out to 300 and 400 yards in those wheat fields and you need to age the deer on the hoof correctly, it sure helps to have that extra power. We have an extended season to help for population managment, so when those nubbing 1/2 year old bucks are running around, you need to be able to see those nubs clear as day from a long way out.

 

Simply from reading on here over the past months, I have battled between Nikon UCC/Gold (what is the diff?) and Zeiss Conquest. I feel like stepping into the Kahles or Swars line would start to push my budget. I know that many of you are fond of the Bushnell 4200 Elite series, but something about the writing and look of the objective turn's me off. I like the simple and clean looking tubes and objectives. So there I am. No need to shoot in the dark, but still looking for a high quality scope near my budget price. And if it helps, this will be going on a Browning A-Bolt White Gold Medallion chambered in a .270WSM. Thanks for the help fellas. Hope to return the favor.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 08:24
silver View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/04/2005
Location: United States
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Points: 2291

 

If your goal is resolution, then the answers will look very much the same.  The same qualities that make for a low light scope, are the qualities for good resolution...

 

Parts of the things you describe need to be done with a spoting scope, and a darn good one at that.  

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 09:03
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/16/2007
Location: United States
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Points: 65
Thanks silver. I assumed as much. Quite often we hunt in pairs with one person as the spotter and the other being the shooter. This way the person pulling the trigger does not have go back and forth between spotting and getting ready to shoot. However, there are many times when I'm hunting alone and need great resolution at a long distance from my scope. No time and too much movement to be had between setting the gun down and picking the spotter up.  I usually hunt alone when I am on the ground, laying in the prone postion with a bipod glassing across wheat fields. Maybe this opens up the doors for some other scope options? Thanks for your advice guys.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 09:28
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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I think I'd pick the new Nikon but I threw in some others as well that would all work for you.

 

8425 New Nikon 5-20x44 Monarch Riflescope                        New Nikon 5-20x44 Monarch Riflescope
  • Matte
  • BDC
  • 1"
  • Side Focus
  • Free SWFA Lens Pen w/ Purchase
SWFA: $529.95
More Info... Buy Now

 

 

200958 Burris 4-16x50 Black Diamond 30mm Rifle Scope               Burris 4-16x50 Black Diamond 30mm Rifle Scope
  • Matte
  • Ballistic Mil-Dot
  • 30mm
  • Hunter/Comp. Knobs
  • Posi-Lock
  • Side Focus
SWFA: $686.95
More Info... Buy Now

LEU57170 Leupold 4.5-14x50 VX-III 30mm Riflescope                    Leupold 4.5-14x50 VX-III 30mm Riflescope
  • Matte
  • Varmint Hunters
  • 30mm
  • Long Range
  • Side Focus
  • Index Matched Lens System
SWFA: $769.95
More Info...

 

 

426242M Bushnell 6-24x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope                     Bushnell 6-24x40 Elite 4200 Rifle Scope
  • Matte
  • Mil-Dot
  • 1"
  • Rainguard
  • Adjustable Objective
  • Free 5" Sun Shade w/ Purchase
SWFA: $418.95
More Info... Buy Now

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 10:43
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Optics Master
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Of the two scopes listed above the Nikon and Bushnell really stand out, especially the later for value and you will not give up anything in lens quality.  The added extra power of the Bushnell, will not really translate into any significant useful value, only a small marginal benefit.  I think if you want to make these call at the distances you mention, you are going to need this much power.  Save the extra money for a good set of mounts and rings and other things to go along with your new rig.  Let us know what you choose.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 10:43
ceylonc View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
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Joined: September/13/2005
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Points: 514

I don't know the average distance of your shots but I'd suggest a scope with glass that provides great clarity & resolution.  You mentioned that you frequently hunt with a spotter so I'll assume that your average shot is over 100yds.  With this in mind, here are a few I'd consider:

--Meopta Meostar 4x16 44mm: the glass in this scope is absolutely fantastic and it's a bargain @ $600;

--IOR 30mm variables: check them out on this site.  Under $800, glass is outstanding and mechanics are as well;

--Kahles CL line: also within your budget, consider buying from samplelist.com. IMHO, best hunting scope for under $1,000 period;

--Zeiss Conquest: can't go wrong here either for your uses. Lots of models from which to choose;

--Nikon Monarch: incredible sale going on here with the "old" models. Great glass, great for your needs

 

Hope this points you in a clear direction.  As a side note, I've omitted Leupold from consideration NOT because they're bad scopes.  However, ALL the scope makes/models listed above use higher quality glass than the VX III and are priced the same or less. 

 

Good luck & let us know what you decide...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 11:31
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/16/2007
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Great info guys. Just for the record, the majority of my shots range in between 200-350 yards. There are a select few above that range and a handfull around the 100 mark. Because we hunt to control a large population (and in theory aid antler growth) we try to hunt areas where we can make multiple kills in a single hunt. This past season we wer given 280 doe tags from the management program. We shoot A LOT of deer. (No worries, all of the meat goes to hunters for the hungry or local families that need food).

 

 So a usual set up on a wheat field would be making a shot or two inside 200, and then as the late afternoon wears on, the deer coming back out are weary of coming in close to the dead ones, so your distances start to increase. These are the 300 to 400 yard shots where that extra magnification and clarity are very important. We strive to stay away from making silly mistakes  (age, sex, points) - so the ability to make correct in-field judgments is crucial. Mistakes happen, but it is never fun to bring a 2 and 1/2 year old 8 point back to camp just because you assumed he was older. Quality and magnification is a must.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 18:04
silver View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/04/2005
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Points: 2291

 

 

The Kahles K line has some interesting stuff at the top of your budget line.

 

Since you have a commercial operation, what do you guy feed the deer? Purina deer and elk chow? Mineral supplements?



Edited by silver
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/17/2007 at 19:35
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/16/2007
Location: United States
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Points: 65
Silver - I'm headed to Bass Pro in the morning, so I will add the Kahles K line to the scopes I play with.

I wouldn't really call our operations commercial. We don't sell hunts or have any hired employees outside of the ranch foreman who looks after the land when we are not around. We manage just over 6000 acres, high fenced on 3 sides, open to the river on the fourth side. The deer are fed from protein feeders year around, corn feeders year around, and the wheat fields that rise in the late fall and stay abundant into the spring. As you can imagine, keeping the feeders full 24/7 comes at quite a price tag. However, it does us no good to do that unless we control the population. We get an pre-season count during a full day of helicopter surveys. Those numbers plus taking weather and seasonal conditions into account helps us arrive at the number of deer we need to harvest.

Every year we are seeing bigger and bigger dear. It is nice to take 130 class 8's and 9's as cull bucks and let the guys with those 10,11, and 12 point genes continue to mate and grow.

There is a chance that I can fudge on that scope budget a little, but no doubt I need something good. Like I have stated above - clarity and seeing detail at long distance is a must.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2007 at 17:49
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Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper


Joined: February/16/2007
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Points: 65
Update- Took a look through the Zeiss Conquest line today. Beautiful scopes, great glass. The plastic caps on the adjustment knobs don't bother me too much. I think I'm hooked. Will be looking on the sample list during the next few months for a few deals.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/18/2007 at 19:27
ceylonc View Drop Down
Optics Journeyman
Optics Journeyman


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Originally posted by outdoorAg outdoorAg wrote:

Update- Took a look through the Zeiss Conquest line today. Beautiful scopes, great glass. The plastic caps on the adjustment knobs don't bother me too much. I think I'm hooked. Will be looking on the sample list during the next few months for a few deals.

 

Great!  Thanks for the update.

 

Don't let the plastic caps bother you one bit!  The Conquest is very well engineered and you should have no functional issues with the caps.

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