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Bring My Own Spotting Scope?
I will be hunting with Nahanni Butte in 2017 (my first sheep hunt). Do I bring my own spotting scope, or just rely on the guides? (Yes, I know that's 2 years away, but I'm excited as hell and starting to plan for my gear needs)
Bringing your own probably won't help your success but if you don't bring your own you'll be hating waiting to look through the guides scope when he's got a ram in it. Also, having your own you'll be able to have a digiscope setup so you can take video and pictures of sheep and other wildlife. I left mine at home on my first Dall's hunt but I packed my big Leica everyday on my Stone's hunt and was happy I did.
For me, the extra weight isn't worth it. I took mine on my first Alpine hunt and 7 alpine hunts later, I don't miss lugging it around.
I like to have my own glass on hunts and would take it.
you are probably going to get dropped off my helicopter with nahanni so I definitely would
if you want to take kuiu gear go ahead and order it now, it might take that long to get it in lol
I am with kota on the subject
I've not been on that many guided hunts, but on those hunts, I spotted the animals I took before the guide did. I'd go nuts without my own stuff to look thru.
I'm with Kota... Your guide will have one. Less is more. I would only bring good binoculars.. Have fun
Obviously it's personal preference.... But here's my two cents: On a pure back-pack hunt (like I've done with Gana River), it's probably not worth the weight. On a helicopter hunt (like you'll have with Lancaster), it's a bit of a toss-up. The hikes out of spike camp are not as far, so it's a little more doable. From a time breakdown, I would say it's 95% binoculars, and 5% spotting scope. The spotting scope is there to confirm size, age, and decide whether to go after. For some, it's not just size, but a particular size (i.e., it needs to be a certain number of inches/score etc.) Or, in areas where finding a "legal" ram is challenging, it's needed to really study whether it meets the definition of legal. So in those cases, you may want your own to sit and study the sheep. I just got back from Nahanni Butte a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, they don't want to go after "borderline" sheep anyway, which will be younger rams that may or may not be legal. There are plenty of older rams so studying for legality won't be a big issue. Here's the picture we took through the guide's spotting scope. We used the spotting scope about 5 seconds. There were clearly 2 mature shooters in the group. The one I eventually took is laying down on the right. Turns out he was 40 inches, but I was so mesmerized by his dark color that I honestly never studied the horns (until I picked them up.) All that to say again, it's totally personal preference. Do you "need" it? No, you don't. Should you bring it? That's totally up to you, and whether it's personally worth the weight for you to carry it. (My extra weight was a good camera, rather than scope.) But, with the helicopter, it's certainly doable.
Bring it. If you don't need oh well. There is nothing worse than getting a play by play from your guide while he uses his spotting scope to watch everything going on and you are sitting asking what are they doing now. Plus it is big open country and extra people looking always help.
Quick Draw 1 x 2.
I like to have one of at all possible.
Good luck and keep us posted on your hunt in 2017!
With a guide to split up camp gear, etc with... I can't imagine NOT taking my own scope. What do you do while he is glassing for game? I'd go mad not glassing along side someone. The weight penalty isn't much, ESPECIALLY considering you are already carrying a lot less gear than a DIY hunt requires.
I am in the "leave it at home crowd" for a guided hunt. I'm kinda a puss about packing weight though. I definately see both sides, but I don't use it enough to justify the weight if my guide has one too. Sometimes I wish I had one while he is on it, but not often enough to bring one on the next trip..
To each his own I guess.
"What do you do while he is glassing for game?" I glass for game, with my binos. I just don't see a ton of guides "glassing" with a scope. If they want to look over a specific area, sure, but general glassing? No.
I don't want to change the subject, but this is more of a add on or continuation.
For those of you who wouldn't carry the spotter, would you carry a set of 15's or 20's in your pack to glass?
I can see not using the scope very often, but I'd think a set of 15's on a tripod could get a ton of work on a mountain hunt.
Again, my personal preference, but no.... i wouldn't take the 15's or 20's. I glass with 10's, and honestly don't have trouble "finding" the animals. (The glass needs to be high quality, obviously.) To me, that's what the glassing is for. The scope is to figure out what exactly it is. My binoculars never leave my neck, come rain or shine. I am looking through them constantly, near and far. So I personally need something light enough (and not too bulky) to hang around my neck for the entire hunt. (The only hunt where I've longed for a little more magnification, because of the size of the animal, was a spot and stalk coues deer.)
A very good archery sheep hunter told me once he much prefers glassing with a tripod even with his 10x binos. The steadiness makes them much more effective, plus there's a more systematic pattern using a tripod and helps keep some discipline to the glassing pattern.
I'd think if taking a tripod a smaller, like a 65 wouldn't be much more?
Bring good binos instead.
As noted above, your guide will have great glass and will be far more experienced in spotting and evaluating sheep. Good binos on your part might help spot sheep he doesn't.
I would ask what kind of scope the guide will be carrying. On my goat hunt last year, the guide had a tiny scope and Id wish Id brought mine. If he has a decent scope, you should be able to share without a problem.
The best glassing you can do is from binos on a tripod. I would make sure you have that set up before packing a spotting scope. You'll wear out within a day if youre only glassing from a scope or trying to balance binos on your knees. A scope is best for verifying after spotting with binos in my opinion.
Great stuff, guys. I do appreciate all of the input. Appears to be a 50/50 split overall.
Take it! Guides are only human and like Shrewski said it's not uncommon for a client to spot the game. Two sets of eyes are better than one for sure. To me there's no question that a sheep hunt is THE place to have a scope... a good one.
take it and if it is better quality than the guides let him use yours, many guides got crap for spotters
I wouldn't if my guide had a quality scope, and frankly any guide worth his salt will have a quality scope.
Just got back from MMO two days ago. Just one spotter needed per camp. I brought mine and left it in base camp. If yours is better than the guide's, then just bring yours. It's all about weight and there is no need for two spotters in one camp.
Here is my sheep from the hunt. Those offended by non bow harvest pics should look away now. The caribou was almost harder than the sheep hunt. Maybe I was already beat when I started that hunt though.
I would go nuts waiting to view sheep through a guides spotter. There is always the outside chance that you might glass a monster ram that your guide misses. If you've been around sheep much you know how quick they can appear and disappear. You are likely going to be twiddling your thumbs for hours and hours looking only through binocs if you don't bring your scope...I would go totally nuts without one....TAKE IT!
MQQSE, for what these hunts cost, taking the gun is fine with me...Nice ram! Hunted with MMO in 89' It's beautiful country and a great adventure, but the best part is packing some sheep horns in your duffle bag for the trip home.
Matt is spot on.
I've never had a guide who did not carry top-of-the line glass.
Anything less is unacceptable.
Kota come on with all that hitech lightweight gear u cant hump a scope
That would defeat the purpose City! :) Seriously, every guide I've ever had uses a Swaro Spotter and I'm in the same camp as the guys that say, we don't need two. For those that want to carry theirs, more power to them. I'll use my binos and look through the guides scope for detail. Seems like for me, I'm removing something from my pack everyday to make it lighter the way it is when I'm in sheep country! An extra spotter was the FIRST thing to go on my first Alpine hunt.
Maybe I should just lose 10 lbs. and carry the spotter! :0)
Geoffp......you can always throw it in and make the call at base camp once you see what your guide has. I once had a guide (on a high end hunt) who had an old beat up Nikon that we could hardly see through. In that case, we used mine:)
I like to try and be in control of my own destiny as much as reasonably possible.
I do agree with Kota there is no reason for the two of you IMHO to each carry a spotter up the mountain. You will be glassing with your binos (10 power) almost all of the time.
Last year on a Stone Sheep hunt I took mine primarliy for the purpose of digiscoping and every time I look through all the pictures I took of sheep I know it was well worth packing it around. On my Dall's hunt I didn't have my own spotter and I regret not getting better pictures of live sheep.
That said I don't believe having your own scope is going to help you in filling your tag but it may help with your overall experience depending on what you want to get out of the hunt.
Dall Sheep 2010, 800 yards, through the guide's Swaro HD with my hand held camera.
Tilzbow, You took long distance picture taking to a whole new level on last years hunt! Those pics were amazing!
You need to give us a little tutorial on digiscoping!!!
Stone Sheep 2014, 700 yards, through my Leica with a 2 oz homemade ABS plastic adapter and a Sony RX100. One of probably 100+ pictures of live sheep.
This was about 400 yards if I remember correctly.
I envy you guys that go on a Stone Sheep hunt and actually see Stone sheep ;)
Here's one I took through my guides spotter on a Desert Sheep hunt.
I will say if I was more into Digiscoping, I would be more inclined to carry a spotter.
I am with the leave it at home crowd. Just take a good set of binoculars. For me the added weight and space that a spotter takes up in my pack was not worth it.
Opening this back up for anyone who cares to respond. I have a pair of 8X30 Swarovski's and just purchased a Vortex tripod. My question is....should I:
a) buy a set of higher magnification bino's? If so, 10X42 or 12X42?
b) buy a spotting scope?
c) neither.....just go with my current bino's and rely on the guide
Previously - it was a 50/50 split on bring a spotting scope....or not.
I would want something more than 8x30's on a sheep hunt. Make the lifetime investment (again) and buy the 10x43 Swaros. If you plan on always taking the tri-pod, the 12's would work as well.
My Two Cents is to let the guide carry the spotter. If you want to help the guide glass and find sheep, you don't really want or need a spotter, you want a great set of Binos on a tripod! If you already have a decent set of binos for around the neck like your 8x30, I would recommend some 10x50 and definitely a good tripod and adapter. Good Luck!
10 /42 for my everyday bino. If I had the money I would own a pair of 15 also. I would take the scope also. Best of luck. Hunt
I hunt sheep a fair bit (19 days for stone sheep this year) and glass California bighorns frequently that I can't hunt that live up the mountain above the house. I like my Swarovision 10x42EL's better than my Leica 8x32 Ultravid binos when stone sheep hunting by a large margin over my 8x32s. I carry a Swaro 20-60x65 ATM HD spotting scope as well, but only one scope for two of us when we hunt. If I were you, I'd talk to your outfitter and find out what your guide will have for optics and go from there. You could get by with the Swaro 8x30 and the guides scope and binos if he has decent stuff. However if you like good optics like do, you will appreciate some 10x42s if they fit the budget. We used them so much at the house that we bought a second pair so my wife had them at her disposal when I have the other pair with me hunting. They are great for sitting fields whitetail hunting too,,,,,,or anyplace you are glassing more than a few hundred yards.
I had my one and only Dall hunt with Nahanni Butte in 2005 and it was terrific! First class all the way. Rifle is easy do but the bow will be up to you. Good luck! C
I sold my 10x42 and got some 12x50's
I am finding that I am locating more game with them. They are kind of the sweet spot between 10's and 15's.