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Thread: Sheep Hunt Binocs

  1. #1

    Default Sheep Hunt Binocs

    I have heard advice on everything from 12X heavy binocs for a sheep hunt, to don't pack the extra weight and use your rifle scope and spotting scope for spotting. What do you take on a sheep hunt, and what was your experience that made you choose? I will have a 45X spotting scope along.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default optics

    I used to carry a pair of light weight leupold binos (they would fit in most any pocket) and my 12-40 leupold spotter. Then I spent a week out with a friend that had a pair of leica binos. They are heavy but I quickly learned the advantage of the higher quality binos. I bought a pair and will not go hunting without them again. The reduced strain on the eyes allows you to glass for hours upon hours upon hours. Well worth the extra weight in my opinion. The spotter also goes with me.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Spokane, Washington

    Default Sheep Binocs

    I've only been on a couple sheep hunts, so I'm far from an expert, but I feel optics are one, if not the most important piece of equipment for sheep hunts. My favorite combo is 8X40 binos 15-45X spotting scope and a 3.5-10X riflescope. A lot of guys like the 10, or even 12 power binos, but I develope eye strain with 10 power binos, especially when not set up just right for glassing. I don't feel I miss any animals with the 8X glass, but I do end up relying on the spotting scope more than somebody with 10X or 12X power glass. I would rather give up some magnification and keep glassing longer.

    Optics is one place where I feel you get what you pay for. I'm always amazed when I see somebody with a really nice rifle and a cheepy scope. I was told by an old sage hunter that it's better to buy a middle of the road rifle and top it with a top of the line scope than the reverse. I believe he was right, especially with the accuracy of rifles we can buy today.

    My current ensemble:

    This isn't the only way to go or the best, but it works for me.


  4. #4
    Member shphtr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default optics for sheep

    1. good binocs: 8-10 x 30-40: best you can afford
    2. good spotting scope: x30 minimum to x60 max, preferably with variable eye piece and up to 60mm objective - best you can afford
    3. good quality rifle scope from 2.5 x 8 up to 3.5 x 10 - best you can afford

    all should be water proof - not just "resistant"

    these are general guidelines...except the "best" part

    Good Luck

  5. #5

    Default Binos

    I agree that you should take the best 8x or 10x binoculars that you can afford, as they are well worth the weight. you want good binoculars to scan the slopes before dialing in with a spotting scope, since the binoculars give you a better field of vision and you can cover more area with them without a lot of body movement.

    In my humble opinion a rifle scope should NEVER be used as binoculars for spotting. First there is the safety issue. There is nothing that irks me more than looking through my binoculars at another hunter in the distance only to see them looking back at me through their riflescope. Second, using a riflescope for spotting purposes creates a ton of movement that can spook game or at least expose your location to game. Instead of a pair of binoculars that may be six inches long and held close to your face you're now using a scope that is twice that length and attached to a two foot barrel. Use your binoculars to initially spot game, your spotting scope to confirm that the sheep is legal and then, when you are within your comfortable shooting range of the sheep, use your rifle scope for taking your shot.

  6. #6

    Default 2nd that

    Totally agree with henleun. If your using your rifle scope to check out objects, you are breaking one of the basic rules of gun safety. Never point your muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy. Rifle scopes are for shooting, not looking.

    All the other advice you've been given is good as well.

  7. #7


    I agree with everything said, and want to emphasize that binocs are essential, a MUST. From glassing the sheep movement for your stalk, looking for your partner(s), glassing your route down for bears, best route to take, all much easier on the eyes. I carry 8X40. You can always check out the size of the curl with your spotting scope.

  8. #8


    Leica 10X42 Ultravids
    Leica 62 Televid w/ 16x-48x eyepiece
    Leica LRF 900 rangefinder

    In my humble opinion, buy the best glass you can afford and start with the binos first.
    "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

  9. #9
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default I'll third that!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcurl View Post
    Totally agree with henleun. If your using your rifle scope to check out objects, you are breaking one of the basic rules of gun safety. Never point your muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy. Rifle scopes are for shooting, not looking.

    All the other advice you've been given is good as well.

    Last year I had a guy on the same broomed ram I eventually shot--but not before I looked over the mountain and saw this moron glassing me through his rifle scope! He did this for about ten minutes.
    I was livid!
    Anyway, my lightweight pack includes: Leica Geovids (10X42 with build in 1300 rangefinder) mother's milk to a Dall hunter.
    My spotter is a lightweight Nikon XL II.

    DON'T skimp on optics!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Southwest Alaska


    I will add there have been several court cases that affirmed the self-defense shooting of hunters seeing other hunters looking at them through the scope. Don't do it.

  11. #11
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    Swarovski ELs 10x 42
    Carl Zeiss 65T Diascope spotting scope
    Nikon Laser 800 waterproof rangefinder

    That should do it, I'll post the pictures of the hunting results at the end of the season....K

  12. #12


    I recomend Swarvoski EL 10 x 42.

    I use Swarovski 10 x 42 SLC

    For spotting scope I like Swarovski 20-60x80mm ST80 or the Leica 77mm. Yes, it is big and heavy, but i can see in great detail what I am after when i finally get the Hubel up the mtn.

    Cold Zero
    Member: S.C.I., N.R.A. Life Endowment Member & L.E. Tactical Firearms Instr.


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