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Thread: Sheep Hunt w/o a spotting scope?

  1. #1

    Default Sheep Hunt w/o a spotting scope?

    Has anyone done a sheep hunt WITHOUT a spotting scope? I heard that somewhere and want to be sure I heard that right. Would a pair of good quality 10x binoculars be satisfactory or are the extra couple pounds on your back for a spotting scope essential for success?

  2. #2
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    The thought of sheep hunting without a spotting scope would be like fishing without waders. Sure you could do it, but man it would be miserable. To stick with the analogy, while you are fishing you'd get wet and tired, while you were sheep hunting without a spotting scope you would get tired having to walk the extra mile(s) to determine the legality of a sheep.

    I use my 'nocs to locate animals and then use my spotting scope to get a better view and judge their size (as I believe most do). You could have a successful hunt without one for sure, but your legs and back will appreciate the extra couple pounds in your pack that save them from having to travel further.

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    Default spotting scope

    A spotting scope will help no question about it, but they are not cheap. If you have one by all means take it if you dont and can afford it buy one, it you cant afford one dont hesitate to go without one. I have guided many sheep hunters to sheep and never took the scope out of my pack.

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    First year I hunted sheep, my cheap scope fell in the creek filling with water. It was shot before the hunt began.

    I tried hunting without one and quickly realized it was a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME--especially in distant open country.


    If I had to choose between binos and spotter for sheep, I'd take the spotter. It would be slow but doable.
    I wouldn't even bother with just binos.
    Last edited by fullkurl; 04-02-2008 at 08:47.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I agree with fullkurl that I would rather go without binocs than without a spotting scope. Although they can be prohibitively expensive, there is decent glass to be found without breaking the bank. I use the Nikon Spotter II which I picked up on eBay for less than $250. I would never go sheep hunting without it.

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    Default I won't do it again - if i can help it

    I thought I could get by with 10x42 Swaros. We couldn't tell rams from ewes and we weren't that far away. A spotter could save you a ton of climbing.

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    Red face

    A rich guy let me look through his Zeiss 10x on a sheep hunt and the resolution was dang near as good as my Nikon XL Spotter on 45 power. (They gather a lot more light) And they were much more pleasant to look through, especially glassing. In rugged terrain you arent going to see sheep that far off anyway. On the other hand, I have also gone scouting many times with just the spotter.....
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Wow solly that is the first time I have ever seen a TRIPLE post! Folks we may have a new record...

    I would take some kind of a spotter regardless of quality better to have a low to mid range scope than none at all! If you plan to hunt a ridge line and just creep along for miles blind stalking from above then you may be able to get away with just the bino's but when you see those white specs on the other side of the valley you are gonna be kicking your self cause you can't see if they are 40" hawgs or ewes!

    *edit* Sollybug Good work with the "edit" feature

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    *edit* Sollybug Good work with the "edit" feature
    Hey, hey, hey...a little credit where it's due, eh? I saved Solly from the embarrasment of the dreaded triple post.

  10. #10

    Default take a spotter!

    You can leave the binocs, but make sure you have a spotter. I spent over 2 hours within 600 yards of a ram with a nikon xl trying to figure out if it was legal or not. It ended up being so, but man was it hard to tell. Mainly was the angle of the sheep. I split up from my partner on that hunt and had 2 rams that I had to judge with my rifle scope at 150 yards. One was legal, the other close. I didn't shoot either. Just didn't want another 33" ram. I NEVER bring binocs on a sheep hunt. To me (JMO) they are weight I don't need to pack. There are times when it would be neat to sit up on the mountain with them and just spot for anything, but I can use the spotter for that. We usually put the spotter on anything white we see while walking, so at least we know if it is ram or ewe. I am looking at upgrading to one of those "rich" guys spotters this summer!

  11. #11

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    I love to glass. That's what makes it hunting.

    Some folks grow up deer hunting back east and they just want to shoot the first thing they see. Pretty much out of the question for most big game in Alaska. Nowadays, the brow tine limit on moose brings the spotting scope out. Rubbed brown bears are a waste of a unique big game animal - spot them first and glass them over. That Billy, 8 inches, or 10 inches? Not much difference, but a world of difference. Those rams at the head of the glacier 5 miles away - mature rams or dinks?

    Amazing how much wildlife you can pick out of the distance from a vantage point with a spotting scope and patience.

    Sleeping beside a small stream surrounded by wildflowers and spending the day glassing behind a spotting scope and binos is what makes sheep hunting so enjoyable. You will never get to watch the rams smacking heads together or that big ram pawing out a smooth spot to sit down on a mountain peak (from a mile away), just like you right there with them. It might be hours later that you actually climb to that spot and smell the urine and fresh sheep dung in their mountain hangout. But you were their already via the spotting scope. And, you never would have experienced spending the day watching your trophy in his natural setting, or nailed that ram because he sat down facing away from you, giving you the opportunity to dash across the open basin and get into that gulley on the side of the mountain where you climbed up tucked in close to the rock.

    Spotting scope - don't leave home without it. Binos go around your neck and stay there.

    Tommy

  12. #12
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default binocs and spotting scope

    Tommy is sooooooo right. Sheep hunters obsess about weight, but almost without exception all carry both - they are complimentary. Your binocs should go 'round your neck the first time you crawl out of your tent in the morning and come off when you crawl into your sleeping bag at day's end. Your binocs during the day belong two places: around your neck or up to your eyes. In addition your rifle (if you are a rifle hunter) should be within arms reach and your spotting scope packed so that it is easily extractable and can be set up as expeditiously and hassle free as you can make it....IMHO. If you elect to go sheep hunting without a spotting scope...when you return let me know if you still have any question about the need for a spotting scope.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd rather have a spotting scope than a tent.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14

    Default You can't be serious

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'd rather have a spotting scope than a tent.
    Please tell me you're joking AKPM. A tent can save your life, my Zeiss 65 mm spotting scope when in a survival situation is as useful a 50 oz rock in my pack. I carry both bincos and a spotting scope. I simply love to glass and try to see things that just seem to magically appear as they come out of cover or over a ridge. To me you can cut weight elsewhere in order to both bincos and a spotting scope, but a tent not the place to start.

  15. #15

    Default Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I'd rather have a spotting scope than a tent.
    Many things can be used for a temporary shelter (Bivy bag and Ponchos and such); Especially on short hunts. BUT, nothing will replace a spotting scope !!
    GLASS, GLASS, and GLASS some more.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default Spotter

    It depends how and where your hunting, I bowhunted sheep off the haul road, and just spotted the sheep from the truck, then left the spotter in the truck for a two hour ascent with just my binos. and thats really all I needed for that type of situation. Didn't really need my spotter once I got on top. I could size up rams real good with my 10x42 bino's.

  17. #17

    Default Take both!

    I take bino's and a spotter, I don't know how many countless treks it has saved me over the years, wondering if that ram is legal or not. I don't obsess about weight like a lot of the others here do, I take what I need and no more and if my pack is 60lbs then thats just the way it is.........but most of the time it's around 45lbs!

  18. #18

    Default that would be cool

    you could spot sheep for sure with just binos. no problem. then you can hike to and stalk to within about 4oo meters and see if they are lambs, ewes, or rams. then stalk another 200 yds closer to make sure he's legal. great way to hunt if you like to climb, stalk, and be disappointed after pulling 3000ft just to get close to a ewe and lamb. fun.

  19. #19

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    Cant imagine sheep hunting without a spotting scope, seriously! Somtimes the spotting scope isn't even enough, always wishing I could see just a little more.

  20. #20

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    Most of the time you can tell a ram from a ewe just from the size of the body. If a ram is legal he'll be bigger than any ewe. Usually it's easy to tell rams and ewes apart with just binos but the spotter comes in handy to judge horn size for sure. So take both.

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