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Thread: Alpine Deer Optics

  1. #1

    Default Alpine Deer Optics

    Last year while alpine deer hunting with my $100 Minolta 10X25s binocs I felt very "underpowered optically" for lack of a better term. "Is that a buck or a doe ?I swear I see a rack but am not sure..."

    I would love to upgrade but am not sure as to what brand/model and power/lens diameter would work best for alpine deer hunting. I am pretty sure that Leica/Zeiss/Swar are out of my price range and I'm not sure if they are neccesarry for my needs any ways. The Minox HG 10X43s look to be reasonably priced and get decent enough reviews.

    What binocs are you guys using and would recommend for alpine deer hunts?

  2. #2
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    Minox are very good for the price. there's lot out there these days so it really depends how much you want to pay. call cameraland & talk to doug about whats in your price range, they have some good deals right now on "pre-owned"...narrow it down to a couple you like, he'll let you try them out & send back the one you dont want. I've done several "pre-owned" thru them & couldn't tell the diff from new.
    don't rule out vortex either. you might want to think 8x for the thicker s.e. terrain but it's up to you...good luck

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    I`ve had several different pairs of binoculars but could never quite get myself to drop the big bucks for the Leicas,etc. I currently have Nikon Monarchs and they serve me well. I read long ago that you should always be able to divide the power of your binocs into the objective lens size and come out with at least FOUR I always followed this "rule of thumb" and it`s proven good by me. If I was a guide and depended on them to make my living I would probably have to bite the bullet and get the best(most expensive???)!!

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    If your looking to carry a single piece than I'd go with a variable power spotter rather than a bino for alpine hunting. I carry both binos and a spotter on most trips. 12x binos and a 15-50 power spotter Nikon and Swift, its nothing expensive just what I can afford for now. I've borrowed a Swaro spotter from a friend a few times so I know what they are capable of too.

  5. #5

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    I've owned a pair Minox 8.5-10 HG's. Not too impressed. The twist up eye cups were great for trapping dirt and debris, that you'd get in them when hunting SE Alpine. The coatings scratched very easily to.

    You've got plenty of time till Aug. Start saving a buck here and there, and by late July you'll be able to afford a good pair of binos that will serve you well.

    A good pair of binos is the best investment a mountain hunter can make.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bighorse View Post
    If your looking to carry a single piece than I'd go with a variable power spotter rather than a bino for alpine hunting. I carry both binos and a spotter on most trips. 12x binos and a 15-50 power spotter Nikon and Swift, its nothing expensive just what I can afford for now. I've borrowed a Swaro spotter from a friend a few times so I know what they are capable of too.
    Pretty substantial weight difference between a spotter and a pair of binos. I rarely pack my spotter with me, although I'd like to. My style of hunting requires lots and lots of glassing, via 10x binos. The downside of a premium 10x40 bino is that it's tough to see horn particulars beyond 300yds. You can see "big", but you can't see if that buck is sporting G1's, with often determines if an animal makes book or not.

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Interesting to see discussion of 10X or larger binos in this thread given the weight and difficulty in steadying such large glass. My approach is typically to go with a very high quality 8X32 bino (Leica Ultravid) and a spotter. I'm in the binoculars constantly so want them to be the best and only pull out the spotter when I see something interesting or want to glass way out there.

  8. #8

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    I use 10x binos to spot the deer then use my 12X scope to judge them.

  9. #9
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mallardman View Post
    I use 10x binos to spot the deer then use my 12X scope to judge them.
    Your spotter only has 2X more than your binos? Why bother with such a small difference?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chisana View Post
    Interesting to see discussion of 10X or larger binos in this thread given the weight and difficulty in steadying such large glass. My approach is typically to go with a very high quality 8X32 bino (Leica Ultravid) and a spotter. I'm in the binoculars constantly so want them to be the best and only pull out the spotter when I see something interesting or want to glass way out there.
    I have zero issues in steadying my 10x40 Zeiss Classics. Most of my hunting buddies drive 10x's too, and we find a few bucks. I can drive the boat, drink a cup of coffee, and hold my classics steady to glass up deer on the beaches while in a chop, all at the same time. (grin) A few members here have seen me do it!

    Spotters tend to be a little heavier than I like. They are cumbersome to set up, and they have a limited FOV compared to binos. I'll often toss my Diascope in my pack and use my pack as a rest when looking an animal over, but I moved away from it last year because I got sick of hauling it up the mountain.

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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    I have zero issues in steadying my 10x40 Zeiss Classics. Most of my hunting buddies drive 10x's too, and we find a few bucks. I can drive the boat, drink a cup of coffee, and hold my classics steady to glass up deer on the beaches while in a chop, all at the same time. (grin) A few members here have seen me do it!

    Spotters tend to be a little heavier than I like. They are cumbersome to set up, and they have a limited FOV compared to binos. I'll often toss my Diascope in my pack and use my pack as a rest when looking an animal over, but I moved away from it last year because I got sick of hauling it up the mountain.
    I've seen your pics and know that you must have a set up that works for you and frankly, based on what I've seen of southeast so far I can see how a spotting scope could be of limited utility for deer hunting compared to say sheep hunting. I just found it interesting that so many southeast hunters on this thread mention using 10X or 12X binos as that runs somewhat contrary to a typical optics set up that I see elsewhere. Maybe at the end of the 2011 season I'll be buying 10x40s. We'll see.

  12. #12
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    I have always carried 10x42 binos for SE alpine and would never consider leaving my 15-45 spotter at home either. It doesn't matter if I am alpine hunting or glassing clearcuts out logging roads, I would never leave either one for sacrifice of a few pounds. Go slow, push your glass, be patient and good things can happen.

  13. #13

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    If you want to chase big bucks you got to bring good optics. Unless they are skylining or against some snow, it is hard to see anything more than a nice big mainframe past 400-yards with just 8-10x binocs. Deer in velvet are even harder to see the extra points if it is brushy than when they are hard horned. A spotter means you don't have to stalk everything a lot closer to see what it is. Most would do just fine with a 15-45 power scope and a pair of 8-10x binocs. A rifle scope is obviously no substitute for some binocs. I use 8x's and a 20-60x80. It is a burden to lug a scope and tripod that weighs an extra 7 pounds around, but that is absolutely irrelevant if you are set on chasing monsters. What I do a lot is scan everywhere near and far with my binocs then zoom in on a deer I think is nice. Then I just keep the scope on him and keep on spotting with my binocs until I see something that I think might be better. Also lone deer that are way up and off on their own, sometimes even in goat kinda country are as often as not the big old bruisers. I have upgraded recently from some nikon monarchs and a leupold gold ring 12-40x60. Now I got gold ring binocs in 8x40 and the swaro that took me the last 5 years to summon up the willpower and money to buy. I would not buy any outsourced crap if I were you. Leupold,esp anything gold ring is very good glass and worth the money. The only reason I got rid of that spotter was because I found that there were a few instances where more zoom and more light gathering ability would actually help me find a really nice animal. As for my nikons they came apart with whole eye pieces coming unglued. Yeah , I threw those POS into the ocean. Save some serious money and headache and don't get anything nikon. A lot of people say that you really don't need much past 40x on a spotting scope, it all has to do with how much heat waves and distortion there are. I have had many high cloudy days with low heat distortion where I could actually use my scope to the 60th power and have outstanding visibility on a critter that was upwards 1.5-2 miles away. That is why you bring a spotter, so that you can find anything awesome within miles of you not hundreds of yards. Although, when all I had was some crappy binocs, I did get pretty good at finding bucks based on their location/behavior and got pretty decent at stalking critters too because I had to stalk almost everything I saw to just see what it was. Hope this helps

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