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Spotter for mountain goat hunt???

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 13:15
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I managed to draw on a Mountain Goat hunt for northern Idaho this coming fall.  I've never hunted for sheep or goats before, but believe I'm pretty well equipped with the exception of a spotting scope. I know little about spotters, but suspect this is going to be all about compromises (a desire to minimize the size/weight of the spotter due to backpacking in this terrain -- vs -- price -- vs -- mag range, objective size, and optical quality).  What would you gentlemen recommend in the $1k or less range?  For what it's worth, I'll also be carrying a pair of 8x30 Maven binos and a Leica ERi 2.5-10x42 scope to compliment whichever spotter I go with.  Thanks.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 13:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 13:48
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Guided or solo hunt?

I would bet you spend much more time on your binos than on a spotter, but a light-weight spotter would be nice.

Be advised that good glass and light weight can be tricky in any price range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 13:59
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Originally posted by Sparky Sparky wrote:

This would be my first choice.

http://swfa.com/Vortex-11-33x50-Razor-HD-Spotting-Scope-P61033.aspx


That has high appeal -- any likely weaknesses for this spotter in my application?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 14:05
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Guided or solo hunt?

I would bet you spend much more time on your binos than on a spotter, but a light-weight spotter would be nice.

Be advised that good glass and light weight can be tricky in any price range.

Solo -- hunt is in my backyard (relatively) so it's easy for me to spend a lot of time out there.  I also tend to think I'll have more time behind my binos than the spotter, but am guessing I'll want something that will allow me to differentiate between small, medium, and large billies from afar w/o having to invest in 1/2 day of hiking to get close enough to make that distinction with binos? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 15:00
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The best 50mm spotter I have seen to date is the Razor HD linked above.  Hands down.

The most compact decent spotter is Athlon Ares 7.5-22.5x50ED.  I am currently testing the Ares and it is excellent for the money and crazy small.  That having been said, the Razor is definitely better at high mag and is within your price range.

Now, aside from price, you sorta need to work out how heavy/large of a spotter are you willing to carry.  As nice as the 50mm Razor is, at high mag, a similar quality 60mm or 65mm spotter will be better.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 18:18
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I also recommend the Razor 50 for your use and price range.  I have that model and use it for backpack hunts often.  It is so small, that I take it even when I don't plan on using a spotter.  It has come in handy in that way more than once.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 18:48
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Both are opinions you can take to the bank!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 20:10
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

Now, aside from price, you sorta need to work out how heavy/large of a spotter are you willing to carry.  As nice as the 50mm Razor is, at high mag, a similar quality 60mm or 65mm spotter will be better.
ILya


Not having hunted for goats before (or really in this fashion at all where there's a tangible weight penalty to moving up in class) that's the question I'm looking to answer with input from experienced sheep and goat hunters.  Is the 50 mm Razor likely to do what I want out there, or am I going to be left "wanting" a larger objective and higher mag range, even at the expense of more weight to pack around.  Input so far would indicate the Razor is a pretty good fit.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 22:23
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The Razor 50 is the best 50mm spotter I have used.  However, the best 65mm spotters are a notable optical performance improvement over it at higher magnifications, and the best 85mm spotters similarly out perform the 65mm models.  These performance gains come at the cost of size and weight.  Then of course bigger spotters also need bigger tripods.  Another thing to consider is most bigger quality spotters are well over your price range.

The Razor 50 is certainly good enough to be a valuable tool on a goat hunt.  The bigger spotters may be better in some situations, especially low light and really long distances.

The question for you is how important is weight?  Are you backpacking in camp and space and weight are at a premium?  Do you have a partner for your hunt that can share the load?

Personally, if it were a solo backpack hunt, I would take the Razor 50 and save the weight and pack space for that big old billy's cape and backstraps.

Good luck on your hunt!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2016 at 22:57
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

The Razor 50 is the best 50mm spotter I have used.  However, the best 65mm spotters are a notable optical performance improvement over it at higher magnifications, and the best 85mm spotters similarly out perform the 65mm models.  These performance gains come at the cost of size and weight.  Then of course bigger spotters also need bigger tripods.  Another thing to consider is most bigger quality spotters are well over your price range.

The Razor 50 is certainly good enough to be a valuable tool on a goat hunt.  The bigger spotters may be better in some situations, especially low light and really long distances.

The question for you is how important is weight?  Are you backpacking in camp and space and weight are at a premium?  Do you have a partner for your hunt that can share the load?

Personally, if it were a solo backpack hunt, I would take the Razor 50 and save the weight and pack space for that big old billy's cape and backstraps.

Good luck on your hunt!

Thanks for the info.  Hunting so close to where we live, I expect I'll do a lot of hunting on 2, 3, or 4 day excursions centered around weekends, mixing in day trips with overnighters (the latter will require me to backpack a camp in).  It's all going to depend on how far from civilization I find the goats...  There's likely a rotating cast of characters that will tag along at times, but I also expect there will be trips out there where I'm solo, so for planning, I'm inclined to err on the side of less weight which makes the Razor 50 an attractive option. 
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