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Thread: Optics for bear hunt ???

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Optics for bear hunt ???

    In my preperation for an upcoming black bear hunt in '07 i am trying to decide on an effective yet economical optic. Would a descent set of binos be better then a spotting scope for this type of hunt? Here in West virginia one can get away with a cheap set of binos as glassing is not of the utmost importance in my area. A good rangefinder is my most valued tool when archery hunting anway. So what is your opinion, should i get a good set of binoculars or spotting scope ? And what type ? one that is economical considering the cost of the hunt etc. The hunt is self guided rifle in SE. Thanks

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    Spend some time in sporting good's store's checking out their bino's and if your friends own a quality pair of bino's ask to borrow them for an evening. You should'nt scrimp on your optics. Leupold, Pentax, Minox, Nikon, Fujinon ect, are brand's that have Good to excellent optic's for the cash outlay. B&L Discovery(er) is an alright spotting scope for about $200.00, heavy though.

    One could make a case for leaving the spotting scope home for bear hunting, I've thought about it, but can't seem to go on a hunt without it.

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    Member northriver21's Avatar
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    Pentax 10X42 dcf. In my opinion these are great binocs for the money.
    I think you can get them for under 300.00

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Leave the scope home

    I have a pair of Leupold gold ring compacts (8x28) which work quite well for compacts. A lot of people don't like compacts because they aren't the easiest on the eyes after a couple of hours of spotting. My experience bear hunting has been after about an hour of glassing a particular area I have learned most every stump and dark spot in the trees well enough that I then start scanning with the naked eye. It is amazing how out of place a big ol blackie looks when he pops up. Most of my bear hunting is off the ocean though and a spotting scope doesn't work well from a boat.

    My $.02
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    Default A great purchase on optics

    One of the best purchases I ever made in the optics department was John Barsness's great book, "Optics for the Hunter". This book will not only educate you on the terminology, but you'll learn things that will make you more effective in the field and make good decisions on optical gear. John reviews the following items and more:

    1. Monoculars.

    2. Binoculars

    3. Spotting Scopes

    4. Range Finders

    Get this book! It will save you a lot of headaches.

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    Moderator JDM's Avatar
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    I think some 10X42 good quality binocs are hard to beat...Luepold, Zeiss, Leica..but spendy. Have you ever tried calling for bears? Works good in Southeast...and you dont need optics! I recommend practicing with your 44 mag or better sidearm, you may not need the rifle either if you are a good caller. Predator type calls, wounded rabbit and deer fawn bleat do just fine. Sure is a whole lot more exciting than a 100 yard shot. I like my bears close and riled up.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    One thing I hate about optics discussions is the overwhelming number of responses one usually gets that suggest you shouldn't bother buying binoculars if you're not laying down a thousand dollars for swarovski, zeiss, or leica. The truth is that you can get great glass for $300 or less. Yeah, the above brands are the cream of the crop, but I've spent a LOT of time comparing my Nikon Monarch 10x42 binoculars side by side with my brother's Swarovskis, and I swear I can't tell a difference. I'm amazed at the clarity and quality of the Nikons, and I got mine on eBay for about $250 brand new. I'd go check out the brands that people suggested above, but personally I can't say enough good things about the Nikon Monarchs. Great glass for any price, and they won't break the bank.

    -Brian

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Question Calling bears

    Quote Originally Posted by JDM
    I think some 10X42 good quality binocs are hard to beat...Luepold, Zeiss, Leica..but spendy. Have you ever tried calling for bears? Works good in Southeast...and you dont need optics! I recommend practicing with your 44 mag or better sidearm, you may not need the rifle either if you are a good caller. Predator type calls, wounded rabbit and deer fawn bleat do just fine. Sure is a whole lot more exciting than a 100 yard shot. I like my bears close and riled up.
    Does this techinque work on the coast? I got a video about bear calling for Christmas, it was pretty exciting! Just wondering though if this would work when hunting PWS? I don't remember ever seeing a rabbit in the area but maybe the bears would act on a primal instinct or something? We are heading out of Valdez over Memorial day and were talking about bringing the calls.

    Any experience?
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you're calling, maybe use a fawn bleat or something that sounds like a deer in distress. I don't think I've seen a rabbit out there either, but there's plenty of deer. That might get the bear's attention.

    -Brian

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    Moderator JDM's Avatar
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    I have not hunted PWS for blackbears, but think it would be effective just the same. The fawn bleat to start with, and if you spot a bear, try going off on the rabbit if you want to experiment. I also think they go on instinct, but usually don't see the bear until it's almost time to shoot to know if I'm scaring off more than I'm calling in. According to several posts regarding Valdez recently, visibility should be pretty good down there as they still have lot's of snow on the mountians...Montegue and Hitchenbrook were still under heavy snow yesterday and we saw 1 brownbear on the beach. They come to the call as well.

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    Default Ebay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    What ever it is , check out warranties and get one off ebay. I got xom crystal clear nkon attaches for next to nothin off there. Been using them for year, popular birdwatcher model. - catch = not waterproof. 2 cents complete

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    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Optics

    Leave the spotting scope at home, you will not need them and they add unneccesary weight to your gear.

    I used Leupold 12x50's on my recent bear hunt and they worked great.

    On another note I would suggest a good gun coating, mine was the only gun that did not show signs of rust after a week on the boat. I had my gun coated by IonBond prior to the trip with their Black Diamond coating and it worked great. You might also look for a knife (s) that are coated as well unless you want to have to look after them during and after the trip. I have to pull out the steel wool tomorrow for all but one of my knives, the other was a coated kershaw. I know I neglected them, we stayed so busy I forgot about them.

    Doug

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    Pentax DCF SP - can't beat the optics for the money. Check out www.cameralandny.com for the best deals.

  14. #14
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    Default Glass For Hunts

    I Am From North Carolina Originaly And Can Appreciate You Saying That You Dont Need Expensive Glass Back Home. The Land Up Here Is Quite Different Though And A Good Pair Of Binoculars Or Spotting Scope Is A Must. If I Were You, I Would Pick Out What You Want, Then Get On Ebay And Search For It. If You Are Not Familiar With Ebay, Go To Ebay.com Then Sporting Goods, Then Hunting Optics/scopes Or Something Like That. Then You Can Choose Binoculars, Spotting Scopes, Rifle Scopes, Etc... Then You Can Just Type In The Brand You Are Looking For. I Have Been Looking There Lately For A Spotting Scope For Some Wildlife Viewing/photographing This Summer Here In Nome. I Have Seen Some Real Deals There. I Personally Am Impressed With The Power Of The Spotting Scopes. Many Of Which You Can Buy An Adapter For That Will Allow You To Attach A Digital Camera. That Makes For One Heck Of A Zoom Lens. The Practice As A Whole Is Called Digiscoping And Is Getting Quite Popular. A Google Search Of Digiscoping Will Provide Lots Of Info. My Thought Is, That If You Got A Spotting Scope That Would Accomodate A Digital Camera, Not Only Could You Take Some Awesome Photos Up Here During Your Hunt And Have More Than Enough Power To Locate/view The Bears, But You Would Also Have A Powerful Photography Tool When You Get Back To West Virginia. Swarovski,leica, And Zeiss Are The Best. More Affordable And Of Great Quality Are Leupold 12-40 Gold Ring, Nikon, Pentax, And Burris Landmark Series. Be Advised That A Tripod Is A Must Or Atleast A Monopod. Under High Magnification It Would Be Difficult To View Anything, And Impossible To Photograph. Lots Of High Quality Spotting Scopes Out There. To Me, It Is A Better Investment Than Binoculars. Just My 2 Cents.

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    Folks thanks so much for all the info. I had already been looking on Ebay a while back but will get out and look at some of the models mentioned and choose accordingly.

    Shayne

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