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Spotting scope ?
I have never owned a spotting scope and am thinking about buying one. I'm looking at the Vortex Diamondback 20-60x60. I would use it here in WI to watch deer and turkeys and also on my yearly trip out west.
My questions are: is this a decent spotter and as someone who has never used a spotter, do you think it will be a tool that is used more than expected?
I never carried binos before in my tree stand but now that I do, I use them all the time.
Just trying to determine if it is a needed item or if the money would be better spend on something else.
If you’re not used to carrying a scope and won’t use it that much, then get one of the smaller ones. And get an angled one.
Small, because of its light weight and compactness, you’re much more apt to have it with you. And angled for two reasons. With the angled scope you can use a shorter, lighter tripod and in that case the angled is easier on the neck. And when you’re laying in the prairie grass watching a nice buck, you want to keep a low profile. Most angled scopes can be turned so they can even use them like a periscope.
I have a Nikon ED 50 with an optional 15X45 eyepiece. The big scopes stay home now.
IMO....they are nice to look at animals from your porch....lol. They are good for looking at a specific animal if you are really nitpicking a rack. I hate "glassing" with them.
Personally I would spend the cash on a better set of binos.
Good advice from Ambush. I would also add that it depends a lot on what your trips out west involve. I do 95% of my glassing with binoculars and then only break out the spotter when I want to further examine an animal I've found. Even though the spotter doesn't get used that often, it could save a long tough hike after an animal I'm not interested in. The spotter also allows me to look closer at the animals and study their habits, another part of the hunt I really enjoy.
So although I don't spend a ton of time using the spotter, I wouldn't leave home without it. However, if you are just looking for something to help find deer/elk, you might be better served investing in a bino/tripod setup.
I have never carried mine with in my pack. I currently have a vortex razor HD 80mm. I previously had a 60mm viper hd. But sold that and upgraded cause I wanted a bigger objective and since I never packed my spotter in, I was ok with something larger. I mainly use it when glassing from a road or camp before I hike in anywhere. But it is a valuable tool I just don't find it necessary when I get back into drainages and in dark timber to have. Once I'm where I want to be, I use my 10x42 binos, which I use a lot. I usually use the binos to spot a group of animals then break out the spotter to see details
If cost is an issue then remember that you need a tripod, which will probably cost $100+. Also, if you want to use your binos on the tripod, which is highly recommended, then you'll also have to buy a bino adapter and extra adapter plate for the tripod head.
Then, if you like that system then you'll probably want to upgrade the tripod head, which will cost you more adapter plates. This is just to warn you of the costs.
tkjwonta put it perfectly. I use my bino's for glassing and then inspect closer with the scope. I've had smaller cheaper scopes and all they did were make me more curious because they "almost" showed me what I needed. I would recommend getting what you can afford and start to work it into your tools for successful hunting. It may take a bit to learn how to best utilize it but they are worth it. You can't go wrong with Vortex. Have fun.
Scope is "nice" here in WI but definitely not needed. I use it for summer scouting a little bit and it is nice for that. Some may disagree, but I would either go small or big with a mid level scope. The 60 and 65mm are too big for easy packing and in mid level quality, lack brightness imo. Especially at higher powers. I have the little Razor 50mm and have been pretty happy with it since it's mainly for backpacking trips. It loses a lot on higher power though.
As has been said, binos and tripod might be a better investment depending on what you have now.
As a long time guide/outfitter up in Canada... I own several spotting scopes of all shapes sizes & qualities... and have used them all hard - in the mountains. But, living in Saskatchewan, and hunting/guiding here, on the flat land and/or in the timber, I never carry a scope with me. Nothing wrong with that scope, but I would spend my money on better binoculars, unless you're doing a lot of mountain hunting.