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  • Sheep spotting scope?

    Just wondering what everyone is using/recommending for sheep hunt ? Make and size. If you dont have the money for a Swarovski what would be the next best thing?
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  • #2
    If I were buying new, I'd look pretty hard at Vortex scopes. That's what I have for binoculars, and while they're not quite Swaros, they make some pretty excellent glass - especially for the money.

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    • #3
      Depending on what you can afford, Kowa is supposed to make very good optics. Check out Cameraland on this forum or call Doug there. He has some amazing deals.
      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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      • #4
        Swarovski
        Leica
        Zeiss
        Pentax
        Kowa

        Apparently maven makes good stuff...

        Vortex just sent me brand new Razor Binos after I was dumb with my other ones so canít knock them at all, awesome Bino glass. Spotter could be a tad better.


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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        • #5
          Before I bought a swarovski 65HD, I was pretty happy with a few different Nikon scopes that I owned. I think my first Nikon spotter was off eBay for about $200. I later sold it for a little more to a newer used Nikon, and eventually sold that and moved onto swarovski. Under most conditions, those Nikon scopes did just fine. It's the low light conditions that really set them apart. The good glass is just a little crisper and they are a LOT better early in the morning or late at night. For me, it was always bang for the buck. I could get a cheaper scope for $200 or a nice one for 2-3 grand. Granted, they were nicer scopes, but 10-15x the price? So I used a cheaper one and saved my money for a few years.

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          • #6
            Vortex for sure. Best bang for the buck out there. Incredible quality in build and optics for a very reasonable price. Customer service and warranty can't be beat. Very happy with my Razor HD spotter as are the handful of people I've recommended them to. Get the big one for sheep.

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            • #7
              I use an Athlon Cronus 12-36. I like it and it is budget friendly with comparable quality and warranty to Vortex. Obviously not high powered enough for super long range glassing, but it's compact and relatively light.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tboehm View Post
                Just wondering what everyone is using/recommending for sheep hunt ? Make and size. If you dont have the money for a Swarovski what would be the next best thing?
                Btw, another forum search would probably benefit you here as we've pretty much beaten this horse to death as well.....LOTS of info about this topic.

                One thing to consider though is weight. Although I love Swarovski, I have their binos and and have looked through their spotting scopes, they are huge! For me sheep and goat hunting means going in as light as possible. You need to consider this if there are two of you and you are both hoping to score rams, which means hauling out a whole ram AND your gear on your back. Been there, done that! If you are flying in, and may not have to hunt far, then that may not be too much of a problem, but a lot of sheep hunters I know, myself included, hike in many MANY miles to get to the sheep, so believe me....weight is everything, ie, if you don't need that top button on your shirt then cut it off! Saying that, if you can possibly skimp on other things in your pack and take a full sized scope then fine, go for it. But if you think you've narrowed down all that you can in the "other stuff" department, then a more compact scope might be something to think about. Like oakman said above, I also carried a fairly compact Nikon for many years guiding (still have it) and it suited me just fine. I do believe there are better scopes out there but at what price? I recently picked up a Leupold on a deal and I have to say it's pretty darn nice. But here again it's way bigger than my Nikon. So it's kind of a give and take when it comes to scopes.....weight, quality, and $$$. As always, I suggest buying the best as you can afford, but it doesn't mean you can't kill a ram without spending a fortune on a scope. They've come a long ways in optics in the last few years, so just because the name may not be one of the top 3, it still can be quality glass. Again, Kowa is one. They do have a real spendy model, but there are others that are tamed down a bit and are still real good. Like hunters, bird watchers are pretty finicky about their glass, and from what I've heard Kowa is really popular among them. Again, Doug at Camerland is very knowledgeable about optics and has some fantastic deals. Give him a call.
                Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                • #9
                  Binoculars for spotting them. Use the Leupold 6.5x20 on the rifle to scrutinize them.
                  Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SmokeRoss View Post
                    Binoculars for spotting them. Use the Leupold 6.5x20 on the rifle to scrutinize them.
                    Not quite imo. From great distances unless you want to put on a lot of miles to get closer, 20 power is not gonna tell you if those white spots have horns or not, much less something with horns that you want to take a closer look at. And that to me is the whole reason for a good spotter.....no needless hiking.
                    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                    • #11
                      I appreciate the response so far guys but could you please include the magnification and objectives you want or require. If you know the weight of scopes your carrying that would be nice and helpful.
                      Semper Fi and God Bless

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                      • #12
                        10 years ago, based on lots of recommendations on this site, I bought the Pentax PF-65ED. It has been great glass for everything I've done in Alaska including a handful of sheep and mt. goat hunts. I got it from Doug at Cameraland NY.
                        In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
                        _________________________________________________

                        If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 4merguide View Post

                          Not quite imo. From great distances unless you want to put on a lot of miles to get closer, 20 power is not gonna tell you if those white spots have horns or not, much less something with horns that you want to take a closer look at. And that to me is the whole reason for a good spotter.....no needless hiking.
                          Agreed. A higher power spotter is going to save you many, many miles of hiking and elevation gain and loss, which of course equal time and energy. Two things that always seem to be in high demand and low supply on longer mountain hunts. I am more than happy to carry a little more weight and bulk over fewer miles and less relief . I am all about going as light as possible and subscribe to the "ounces equal pounds, and pounds equal pain" mentality, but a good spotter is one piece of gear that is worth every ounce on a sheep hunt.

                          Vortex Razor HD specs from their web site:
                          Included in the Box
                          • Eyepiece cap
                          • Objective lens cover
                          • Custom fitted neoprene case
                          • Magnification 27-60x
                          • Objective Lens Diameter 85 mm
                          • Linear Field of View 117-68 ft/1000 yds
                          • Angular Field of View 2.2-1.3 degrees
                          • Close Focus 16.4 feet
                          • Eye Relief 16.7-17 mm
                          • Length 15.5 inches
                          • Weight 65.6 oz

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                          • #14
                            After using a full size swaro and other full size scopes on my first 3 sheephunts we switched to a Leopold gold ring mini. It only goes to 30 power but is a good tradeoff of weight, quality, and price. Used to be 400 bucks and has helped us harvest 7 sheep over the years

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                            • #15
                              So what objective would everyone say 65, 77 or the 85 ? Powers seem to range in the 20-60.

                              Vortex razor 85mm is about $1500 & wt is 4.1lbs
                              Kowa 88mm is about $2700 and 3.3 lbs
                              Swarovski 80mm is about $2900 and 3.5 lbs

                              At those price points I’m wondering if the vortex might not be the way to go.
                              Last edited by tboehm; 05-05-2020, 19:55.
                              Semper Fi and God Bless

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