View Full Version : Spotting

Nebraska Outlander
12-28-2011, 03:30 PM
I've never gotten to go hunting out west and it's looking like I am getting to go this next year. My question is when you start spotting game how far are you generally spotting game from (ex. 400 yards 800 yards, or farther)??

Nebraska Outlander

12-28-2011, 03:44 PM
The last buck I killed I spotted right at the 2 mile mark as the crow flies. It all depends on where you are hunting, terrain etc.

Bitterroot Bulls
12-28-2011, 05:17 PM
I would say anywhere from right in front of you to say 5 miles. Two miles is certainly not unusual in the areas I hunt.

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Nebraska Outlander
12-28-2011, 05:33 PM
I've been reading some of the post about spotting scopes and I've read where Bitterroot bulls recommended some spotters. I already have a spotter but was curious on what power maginifcation people use when spotting those longer ranges. If you pack in a ways you can't have one of the bigger spotters so what power maginifcation will work (what would be the min)??

Nebraska Outlander

12-28-2011, 07:38 PM
I use a swaro and rarely do i go above 30-40 power. It goes to 60 but I don't ever need it. The only time I really crank it up, is if they are bedded and I want to start really fine tuning my judgement. And usually it just confirms what I already knew. And yes, 2 miles is probably pretty average. If you have spotted one at 800 yards, you're busted, because he already knows you're there :)

Bitterroot Bulls
12-28-2011, 08:20 PM
I spend most of time at around 20x magnification, and only use the higher powers when judging a trophy. The 40x high end of my Nikon ED50 is plenty for judging trophy quality in almost all situations, but I really like having the 60x of my Vortex Razor HD when I am looking closely at those antlers. I was able to discern 1 inch kickers on a buck at about 1500 yards with it a couple seasons ago... and at first light to boot.

12-28-2011, 08:32 PM
Nebraska, Keep in mind that the atmospheric conditions must be correct for glassing & spotting at long range (miles), when it's cold and clear you can crank up the magnification, however during the warmer months (archery or early deer) your range will decrease quite a bit and so should your magnification to keep the image clean.

Bitterroot Bulls
12-28-2011, 08:38 PM
Good point packer58, atmospheric conditions are often the limiting factor. The best advantage of a zoom spotting scope eyepiece over a fixed eyepiece is being able to dial it down when mirage is bad or light is low.

However, there should be good glassing times at points throughout each day during the warmer seasons where air is stable and mirage is low (pre-dawn and dawn are usually good). Of course, the best glass out there doesn't help during some weather conditions like fog, low clouds, blizzards, etc.

12-29-2011, 12:09 AM
And also it varys by scope, I usually glass around 20x with my leupy(for sale). Going up to 40x can be a double edged sword especially on a hot day. Some spotters have that "sweet spot" trick is is finding it with yours. and using what you are comfortable with is the biggest thing.

Nebraska Outlander
12-30-2011, 03:14 PM
Thanks guys, that makes a lot of sense. I really like my new spotter just that I have noticed that the higher maginication tends to loose brightness. I really don't want to get a different spotter because I can't afford much more than what I got. (The Redfield Rampage)

I am looking at going Antelope hunting this next fall here in Nebraska and I am really looking forward to going. I want to do some pre scoutting in the spring to get an idea of terran and try to find some water holes on the public ground. I want to get to some spots that would be hard to get to for other hunters so I can have a spot to myself (if there is such a thing on public in Nebraska). Either way I wanted to get an idea on what I was getting myself into with spotting and what to expect when spotting longer ranges.

Hopefully very soon I will be elk hunting in Colorado or another state if my wife will let me go. Right now I am excited to go hunting for antelope and been doing a lot of research and trying to plan a scoutting trip for the spring.

Again thanks for the input and I am always looking for new ideas or knowledge to make myself a better hunter.

Nebraska Outlander

12-30-2011, 05:06 PM
Your very welcome, remember..............all of us at some point in our lives have had to watch our budgets. Buy the best gear you can afford and go huntin :)

12-30-2011, 09:57 PM
My buck this year was first spotted at 2 miles...then moved a bit closer to put the spotting scope on him...heat waves were bad by then....had to use lower mag to judge him from about a mile out...plan a stalk...all worked out! Good luck!

01-04-2012, 01:18 PM
I have been using a buddies Nikon ED 50 for a few years. Great clarity,compact and light weight. We also take it with us on
vacation frequently. Because of it's compact size it easily fits into a carry on bag.
In Texas we frequently spot deer in the 1-2 mile range usually on sidehills or across wheat fields.