The U.S. Marines have a saying, “If you can see it, you can hit it. If you can hit it, you can kill it.” Let’s look at the “seeing” part.
If you’re in a tree stand or ground blind, chances are you already know the area of operations. You’ve determined the approach avenues and just need to wait for dinner to walk into your kill zone. You don’t need to see more than 50 – 100 yards most times (pronghorn hunters are laughing themselves to death right now).
If you are a spot and stalk or long-range hunter, you face a much different environment. You are in constant observation mode and need the best optics to see great distances. Sure, binoculars can do this job–up to a point. When you have to glass a ridge or valley a mile or two away, hand-held binos won’t cut it. They don’t have enough magnification and you can’t hold them up for endless hours. Enter the spotting scope.
Spotting scopes have the necessary magnification, and they are mounted on a tripod which holds them steady for as long as needed. Okay, but which scope is the best given the hundreds on the market? How should you choose one?
We found this nifty video from Optics Planet which runs down the basics on spotting scopes. With their advice in mind, it’s easy to narrow the field and concentrate on a specific brand and model.