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12x binoculars or spotting scope?

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
Help me out guys. I am currently using Nikon Monarch ATB 8x42 binoculars for hunting and scouting. I really like them but when scouting from the road they are just not quite enough all the time. I thought about getting some 10x42 but I don't think they will be enough. I am afraid if I go with a 12x50 they will be tough to hold steady without a tripod or window mount. If I am going to do this, I am thinking maybe a spotting scope would be better. Help me out with a decision on this one. I have a cheap spotting scope that came with a riflescope as a package a few years ago. I think Bushnell 20x60 or something along those lines. I have a window mount as well and might try it just to see if I like the spotting scope idea. Hoping maybe some of you guys have some first hand experience to help me out.
 

Jackalope

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For road scouting a spotting scope is the best way to go IMO... I have a 20-60 power Simmons i bought from Eric. zoom right in on them. leaves nothing to speculation.
 

swantucky

The Crew
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Swanton, Ohio
I think I have the same binos you do, I love them. Long range scouting, nothing beats a spotting scope......but if you think you will need a tripod for 12's, try a spotting scope. It HAS to be steady, a truck running is enough to fuck you up at long range(800ydsplus). I don't need to count their dick hairs, shooter or not is all I really need.

But if you do buy some sweet glass I'd like to check it out.
 

jagermeister

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The zoom of a spotting scope just can't be beaten by binocs... But for me, I fuggin hate spotting scopes. I can't stand keeping one eye shut the whole time and I have a hard time seeing through them. That's just me, though.
 

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
I think I have the same binos you do, I love them. Long range scouting, nothing beats a spotting scope......but if you think you will need a tripod for 12's, try a spotting scope. It HAS to be steady, a truck running is enough to fuck you up at long range(800ydsplus). I don't need to count their dick hairs, shooter or not is all I really need.

But if you do buy some sweet glass I'd like to check it out.

I will give the el cheapo spotting scope I have a try first. When reading up on the 12x power binos the only reviews I could find were from bird watchers. They were bitching about how hard it was to hold them steady. Maybe it is because they are all 80yrs old? I dunno. If 12x binos work, then maybe that would be the way to go. The thing I have hated the most about the spotting scope I have is the narrow field of view. It cannot be adjusted. It is simply 20x. I can see deer with my naked eye, but sometimes hard to find in the spotting scope. I did not have the window mount at that time though. Vehicle movement seriously affects it as well. Turning off the truck is a must. I am with you Tucky. I am not worried about analyzing some 1/4" nub at the base of the antlers or a mole on their scrotum. I just want to see approximate width, tine length, and how decent the mass is.
 

Beentown

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Sunbury, OH
Two eyes open makes it alot easier to find your "target" with a narrow field of view. Just make sure you are using your dominant eye. I like having a spotting scope with the window attachment. Then I also bring along my collapsable shooting/walking stick that has the bolt to mount the scope on. Binos are a must for quick peeks. So yeah, both. I carry Leupold WindRiver 10x42 binos and a Simmons 15-45x spotting scope when doing some serious scouting. I hardly bring the spotting scope out of the truck. I can tell shooter or not and that is all I generally care about.

Beentown
 

JD Boyd

*Supporting Member*
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Urbana
I have a hard time seeing the need for a spotting scope in ohio. Out west, yes. 150 inch buck can be easily spotted from a road. They are to big of a hassle to mess with...JMO
 

swantucky

The Crew
1,577
90
Swanton, Ohio
I had my spotting scope out last night at dusk. Had to shut off the milf wagon and still had a hard time focusing. I say you are nuts getting 12x binos.

JD wait till you get older, 700 yards and a spotting scope and it still took me 25 minutes to get even a rough score...
 

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
I had my spotting scope out last night at dusk. Had to shut off the milf wagon and still had a hard time focusing. I say you are nuts getting 12x binos.

JD wait till you get older, 700 yards and a spotting scope and it still took me 25 minutes to get even a rough score...

Tucky at 1223am? Something tells me you are enjoying your holiday weekend. Nuts to get 12x binos but rough time focusing a spotting scope with wagon shut off? Not sure which direction you are steering me bud. lol
 

swantucky

The Crew
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Swanton, Ohio
Tucky at 1223am? Something tells me you are enjoying your holiday weekend. Nuts to get 12x binos but rough time focusing a spotting scope with wagon shut off? Not sure which direction you are steering me bud. lol

What I am saying is with the tripod and the truck shut off I still had a hell of a time keeping the scope steady. I just don't see the benifit to 12x binos unless you are going to carry a tripod or something. JMO
 

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
I see the benefit. The higher the power, the more sensitive they are to any handshaking or vibrations from the vehicle. 12x with a steady handheld rest will be better than 20x with a steady hand held rest. I have a window mount I will try with my el cheapo spotting scope before I spend any money. I realize I will still need to turn the truck off or use a tripod. I am just not sure I will benefit much more from 12x than I am from the 8x. Maybe they will help, I am just not sure if they will help enough to justify the extra money spent. I am with you in that I really just want to rough score them. I am not great at it anyway, but I want to know if it is a "shooter to me" or not. Schu and Cotty's bucks last year would be shooters but did not score well. Who cares? Awesome bucks. If I can see them with reasonable detail from 300-500yds then I think I would be satisfied. Not sure I will be getting many further spotting opportunities than this due to the roll of the land and crops planted anyway.
 

Buckmaster

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If you exceed 10 power than you will ultimately need a tripod device to hold them steady. Also the higher you go the lower your field of view.

If you already have a decent set of 8 power binos I'd stick with those for hunting and I'd buy a tripod scouting scope for the truck and field. They also work good for long range target practicing when gauging the target/ bullet holes.
 

hickslawns

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Okay, here is where I am. I have been using my window mount with my cheapy spotting scope. It is difficult to get dialed into the deer with such a narrow field of view. No big deal. I can work with this. However, it is such a piece of garbage, I can actually see better details with my 8x Nikon binos. Better focus, better colors, and better details. Keep in mind this is a 20x60 spotting scope. Now comes the next dilemma, 12x binos or a better spotting scope? This last week or so has me leaning toward 12x binos.
 

Rutin

Senior Member
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Ina Duck Blind
Either way you go, spend the $12 on ebay and buy a window clip to mount the binos or scope to.... takes all the vibration out and you can film and take pic through a scope.
I would get a spotting scope IMO just for the versatility and distance without disturbing deer.
 

JD Boyd

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Get the 12x's... If you can't see good enough with them get outta the truck and move in closer. I spent some evenings last year doing that watching that big non-typ and it was a lot more enjoyable than having every car that goes by look to see what the hell your looking at. That is what I don't like doing. Binos you can pull up real quick and look. Why would you need a window mount with 12x binos in the first place? I have 12x's and darn good ones and I don't need a window mount. I drive a diesel as well...
 

hickslawns

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NW Ohio
I bought a Bog Pod tripod off Tree Monkey and it would serve the purpose well if I can't hold them still. Let's just say the game "Operation" was never my strong suit. I don't have the stable hands of a surgeon.


Took my buddy home after he finished working the fields on the tractor tonight. He has a cheap spotting scope too, but it is better than the one I have. Going to give it a try this week and see if I can find any more advantages to the spotting scope route. Just like binoculars, cameras, scopes, and such, you kinda get what you pay for. Buy as much as you can afford is what I have always heard.
 
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