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Thread: sheep hunting spotting scope

  1. #1

    Default sheep hunting spotting scope

    has anyone used the following spotting scopes:

    Leupold 15-30x50 compact (weighs 21.5 oz)

    Nikon Prostaff 16-48x65 (weighs 32 oz)

    I have an upcoming backpack sheep hunt, so being that the price is the same for both, is the extra 10 oz worth the larger objective and extra magnification?

    I'm leaning towards the Nikon, anybody have any negative experiences with Nikon spotting scopes or this model in particular?

    Thanks...29 days

  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    IMHO either is way too much glass. Leupold Ultralight Riflescope is one of the more popular sheep scopes. 3x9x33 9.5 oz,
    I like Zeiss myself 3.5x10x44 with rapidZ600 reticle 15.87 oz.

    Good Luck

    Steve

  3. #3
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    Stid, I think he meant spotting scope, not rifle scope. Anyway, my answer is yes. the larger objective is worth it. Providin of course the optics are as good or better. That is, a 50mm high quality scope will be better than a 65mm low quality scope. But, all else being equal, the 65 should give a better image since it can gather more light. Especially at higher magnification or low light.

  4. #4
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Okay I messed that up. That being said buy the best you can afford. You only have so much energy to expend on a sheep hunt and if you waste it climbling up to get a better look at a sublegal sheep yours chances of success or greatly reduced. Good scopes sell well used, you can always sell it after your hunt. Both Synd and I both use Pentax spotters, I would be happy to let you look through mine.

    Steve

  5. #5

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    Go with the Leupy out of those two. Might not have the eye relief as the 60 mm but those leupys are bomb proof and tend not to have as many problems with mirage.

    Best,
    Thomas

  6. #6
    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    I have a leica televid 77 20x-60x it is a bit heavy but is priceless on a sheep or goat hunt.Sure is nice to be able to tell if it is a legal ram or a nannie from a couple of miles away.You have to remember,you pay for what you get!

  7. #7
    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    I don't remember if that was the exact model of Nikon scope I used, but whatever model it was, I liked it. It provided a very clear image. I've seen some bad reviews on some of the cheaper Leupold scopes. So out of those two, I'd go with the Nikon. I think I'd want a bit more upper range than 30X also. It may not be needed, but that would be my preference.

    Just my $.02...

  8. #8
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    You guys ain't helping much..........1 vote for leupy and 1 for Nikon.
    I haven't used either but I remember the Leupy warranty is also pretty bombproof. That won't help your hunt if the scope fails you, but it will help recoup the cost.
    You sure you can't afford a higher end scope? Remember, they sell good if you want to re sell after the hunt.
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  9. #9
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    Okay, I'll vote for Leupold. Rationale? although you trade off the bigger objective, 50 is not bad in the price range. It's lighter and for my money 48x is rarely a big plus. Most of the time heat waves, snow flakes, rain drops and trembling in the wind render that power to be of marginal use. I find that I rarely use much over 30x, in fact the scope I pack most is a fixed 30 x 60 Leupold. I have a 12 -36 in the truck and I traded off a 15x45 years ago.

    Having said that, there are some truly amazing optics available in higher price ranges.

    I think I could tell a ram from a nannie with binoculars, goats usually look whiter to me for one thing.

  10. #10
    New member Targetman's Avatar
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    I respectfully disagree with YT, I think the 48X is a plus. Many times I have spotted sheep at 2+miles with my binos, then set up our 60X spotter to get a closer look. With a good tripod/rest I get zoom in on a ram and get get a real close look at him. Sometimes it takes some patience for the ram to turn the right way or the light to shine just right, but we carry a 60X for the simple fact that we like the extra reach. You can sure get by with less, but if I can see that a ram 3 miles away is a dandy, then Im on my way!

  11. #11
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    10 ounces on a sheep hunt is a lot. I'm in the same boat, need a lighter, more compact spotting scope. Leaning toward the Leupy too, but I'd like to hear what others have to say...

    Tim

  12. #12

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    I havent looked through the leupy mentioned, but did get a chance to put a Nikon like mentioned above to work on a mountain side a while back. Was impressed. Granted it was not near like my zeiss or swaro spotters that I have and use, it was pretty good. But optics are worth their weight in gold in the mountains IMO. 10 ounces isnt going to set ya back a whole day due to weight, but you could piss a day away stalking a sub legal sheep cause you couldn't tell it wasnt legal from further away. Weight is important, but determining what is legal and what is not is even more important. Hit the gym a few more times and grab the better optics.

    There are a lot of good optics out there outside of what you are looking at which I am sure you are aware of. Don't get your heart set on any piece of glass until you have had a chance to compare and contrast them in person....unless you get a line on a smoking deal of course

  13. #13
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Like Alaska_Lamche said get a few optics out there and compare them side by side before spending your money on any one of them. I fully agree those extra ounces are worth their weight in gold when it comes to deciding on making a stalk or not to make a stalk.

    Between the two you have chosen I would go with the Leupold just because I have used their products for years and years and never had any issues and they have one of the best warranties out there just in case you ever needed it.
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    Well, I had my vote:that's my story and I'm sticking with it. No chopping and squawking for me.
    but...
    If I could afford a Kowa right now, I might change my story.

  15. #15
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    I currently use the Leupold Compact spotting scope. It was the first spotting I purchased when I moved to Alaska and I have not had a reason to upgrade it yet. I have used it mainly for deer hunting and pre-goat season scouting with no complaints and I will take it on my upcoming sheep hunt in a few weeks. I purchased all high-end gear to use in the field that will keep me safe, such as clothing, tent, sleeping bag etc. When it came down to the spotting scope I just could not justify the $2000+ high end optics when my $350 compact Leupold gets the job done. It's alot smaller than it looked on the website when I bought it, which I like and alot lighter than my buddy's Swarowski. While scouting for goats last season both mine and my buddy's Swarowski were side by side, and while his is very nice and definitely better quality than mine, I get by just fine with the Leupold. So to sum it up, if you have extra money to spend definitely get a higher end scope, but if you are on a budget you will be fine the the Leupold Compact.

  16. #16

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    Thanks for all the replies, it sounds like I need to find one of each and look through them.

  17. #17

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    I am a total Swarovski guy, but the Burris XTS-2575 is hand's down the best lightweight scope out of all of them. It kills my Leupold all day long. Do not let the price bother you at all. While filming in BC, the outfitter I was with had every Mtn. guide packing one of these. These were serious sheep guys, so I bought one to check it out and love it. I have no reason to plug Burris. I was really surprised.

  18. #18
    Member OHTroy's Avatar
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    I have looked at that Burris model because of the extreme light weight. My concern was in the durability of that type of scope. I went with a used Bausch and Lomb and love it.

  19. #19
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    There are many times when "Less is More!" However, selecting a spotting scope is not one of those times, IMO. Nearly everyone has budget constraints of some sort, but spending less money on a spotting scope is not providing any savings to a hunter. Rather than buy a lightweight spotting scope to save on weight, I'd rather have one top shelf binocular and forget the spotter altogether saving a bunch of ounces (and aggravation) in the bargain. I am not suggesting the small scopes are worthless, but their value is very limited IME.
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