HuntStand Hunting App
Binos or spotter??
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
mn_archer 02-Mar-21
wildwilderness 02-Mar-21
Drnaln 02-Mar-21
DanaC 02-Mar-21
Treeline 02-Mar-21
Bowboy 02-Mar-21
drmike 02-Mar-21
BGbasbhat 02-Mar-21
SBH 02-Mar-21
Mule Power 02-Mar-21
BGbasbhat 02-Mar-21
Treeline 02-Mar-21
Heat 02-Mar-21
Sandbrew 02-Mar-21
jdee 02-Mar-21
KHunter 04-Mar-21
Treeline 04-Mar-21
Tilzbow 04-Mar-21
Jims 05-Mar-21
Mike Ukrainetz 05-Mar-21
Kurt 05-Mar-21
KHunter 06-Mar-21
Sandbrew 06-Mar-21
Jims 10-Mar-21
IdyllwildArcher 10-Mar-21
From: mn_archer
02-Mar-21
For those that have experience with the Swaro 15 x 56 binos, are they good enough to replace a 20 x 60 swaro spotter?

02-Mar-21
Depends on what you are trying to do? What is your specific application?

From: Drnaln
02-Mar-21
No...I use my 15's a lot to locate critters. I still use a spotter to size up the animal. If I'm trying to save weight I don't take the 15's & put my 10's on a tripod but always have a spotter.

From: DanaC
02-Mar-21
Less power, more bulk, what could go wrong?

From: Treeline
02-Mar-21
I have Swarovski 10’s, 15’s and a 65mm spotter. Also have a doubler for the 15’s.

For a sheep or high country mule deer hunt, the 15’s stay home. The 10’s and the spotter are necessary.

From: Bowboy
02-Mar-21
X2 Treeline

From: drmike
02-Mar-21
In a perfect world....that the 10's, 15's and 65mm spotter. Due to the weight of all three, like treeline said, take the 10's and 65 mm spotter.

From: BGbasbhat
02-Mar-21
Treeline, have you ever used the doubler for anything? I know it is not a substitute for a spotter by any means, but what is it good for?

From: SBH
02-Mar-21
Depends how picky you need to be. Are you trying to age a ram from distance? The 15s will fall short. Trying to pick out deer in the dessert country....15s on tripod are hard to beat. Maybe not as good for detail scoring the animal but for long distant long time glassing those 15s are money.

From: Mule Power
02-Mar-21
X3 Treeline.

The doubler SUCKS. I sold mine. It’s a narrow field of view and extremely dim.

From: BGbasbhat
02-Mar-21
I've heard the same Mule POwer. I've only thought of getting one for use with my 15s at the rifle range.

Sorry to get off topic. Spotter has it's place, and is as said above, a requirement for judgement of rams, etc.

From: Treeline
02-Mar-21
The doubler cuts the field of view, loses light gathering and is not a very good substitute to the spotting scope. I’m probably selling mine as well.

I just sent my EL 10’s in to get a stud installed so I can use them from the tripod. 10’s on a good tripod are amazing...

From: Heat
02-Mar-21
Get a BTX and have the best of both worlds, binocular vision and high magnification!

From: Sandbrew
02-Mar-21
For me in order of importance- 1- 10x42 EL range always with me and always in use. 2- 20-60X STS65 with me 95% of the time in my pack or truck at all times. Used when long range glassing and long sits are required. 3- 15x56 with 2 doublers (yes 2- makes a 30x set of binos but not as good as the BTX) can be used with or without doublers on a tripod but rarely go everywhere when hiking. To be clear the 15x56s is not a sub for scope and to big for carrying with their size and weight in my mind.

Just my 2 cents.....your mileage may vary......

Sandbrew

From: jdee
02-Mar-21
I don’t know about the 15x56 I have a set of12x50 EL’s on a tripod and when glassing a long distance trying to judge an animal I definitely need my 65 Swarovski spotter...

From: KHunter
04-Mar-21
TL, you will like that stud install. Did same on my ELs.

From: Treeline
04-Mar-21
Kirby, I am pretty sure I will love it.

I have spent many hours over many days glassing sheep, mule and Coues deer. I can usually find deer or sheep as well with the 10’s as with the 15’s. Even at very long range.

I can usually get a good idea of the frame on an animal at long range with the 15’s but need the scope to even be in the ballpark to estimate score or age on a ram.

If this works out as good as I anticipate for the 10’s, I may be putting my 15’s on the block.

From: Tilzbow
04-Mar-21
Dang Treeline, you’re making me think of putting my 15x56 Sworos up for sale. Especially after taking delivery of 10x Pures yesterday that’ll replace my 15 year old Leicas.

From: Jims
05-Mar-21
I agree with Treeline. If you are limited with space and weight I would definitely recommend 10x binos plus spotter. I was on a sheep hunt 2 seasons ago where 15x would have been ideal. I was across a 2 mile long gigantic canyon with cliffs on the entire opposite side. The sheep were the same exact color as the rocks so they blended in unbelievably well. I could glass the entire area pretty well with my 10x binos but they didn't have quite the power to really pick out sheep laying in rocks. My spotting scope worked well but took for ever to glass the entire area. At 20 power it was a little tight. In that one case 15x binos would have been nice to have.

On the same hunt I actually zoomed my camera down to 15x and used it to check out cliffs I knew rams were hanging out in. Once I found sheep I could tell at 15x that the sheep were rams but there was no way to tell exactly how big they were. Once I zoomed in on them with my spotting scope and could actually count rings!

There is no way I would go on an Alaska sheep hunt without a spotter. Rams must have 8 rings or full curl which is usually impossible unless at point-blank range with 15x binos. If there isn't snow it's pretty easy to spot white sheep against a dark background.

There actually aren't that many times where 15x would be that big of an advantage in many sheep situations. As Treeline mentioned, you should be able to pick apart country pretty well with 10x plus spotter combo. I usually go back and forth between the 2 all day long. I know I wouldn't want to pack all 3 of them along unless sitting in a spot like I was for sheep all day long. If all the country looks similar and rams blend in super well with their color there may be an advantage for 15x.

05-Mar-21
It depends on where and how you are using them? A half mile hike from your truck in Arizona to glass Coues deer 5 miles away or a 14 day, 100 mile Alaska Dall sheep hunt where you have to age a ram can be completely different choices in optics. Even just mule deer hunting in different habitats can be totally different optic choices.

Mn archer what’s your hunt?

From: Kurt
05-Mar-21
I have Leica Ultravid 8x32 non-HD binos, Swarovision 10x42 EL binos, Leica Geovid 15x56 HD binos, Nikon ED50 13-30x50 HD spotter and a Swaro 20-60x65 HD ATM spotter.

I never carry the 8x32 or 15x56 binos or small Nikon spotter on sheep hunts. 10x42s and 20-60x65 spotting scope work the best for me where there are antler point, age and/or horn curl requirements.

That said the smaller optics get a lot of use in certain terrain nd species over the year.

Last comment...get a phone scope adaptor for your spotter/iPhone. You can photograph the animal, study a critter in a still photo that is magnified several times more than your spotter magnification. Helps determine legality where I hunt, plus you end up with cool photos to look at years down the road.

From: KHunter
06-Mar-21
+1 on the phone scope digiscoping. Great improvement on sizing up critters. And you can share cool pics to your buds. And have great album of pics to remember the hunt by.

From: Sandbrew
06-Mar-21
+2 on phone scoping. Run short videos and pull of single frame images vs trying to time a picture for the right angle.

From: Jims
10-Mar-21
I have 2 super zoom cameras that are amazing. If you don't mind carrying a camera you'll get way better photos and video than with an Iphone on even the best spotting scope. My Nikon has an 83x optical zoom that is pretty amazing for sizing up animals. In fact, there are times that I've zoomed in my Nikon on a tripod and used it for field judging rather than my 60x Swarovski spotter! My Nikon isn't waterproof so I'm super careful to keep it padded in a waterproof drybag. I'm sure some day someone will come up with a waterproof super zoom that can take a pounding in the field.

10-Mar-21
This is under the sheep forum, so without more details, I'm going to say that you need 10s and a spotter - both for sure.

I once spotted 3 Dall rams on a green mountain with sun shining on it that were 6 miles away as the crow flies - with my 10s. They were only white dots, but the spotter confirmed they were sheep.

If you want to find animals, 10s are the way to go. But for sheep, you need to size them up once you've found them. I still use the spotter at 150 yards.

  • Sitka Gear