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View Full Version : Cheap spotting scope??????? is there such a thing



fatkid
11-28-2011, 02:41 PM
hey going to be headed out west some were hopefully for mule deer 2012 . I am from ohio and alot of friends that have came out there said they cant justify spending a ton of money on a spotting scope . well i think that it would be a great asset to have . we are planning a DIY stay out under the stars public land hunt . so here is the real question is there a spotting scope that doesnt cost a arm and a leg and is still worth hauling around . we all have good optic binos and great scopes . so one of our dads said why do you need a spotting scope. I kinda agree but when it comes to looking all day i feel a spotting scope would help. any input would be great guys . also any info on Mt south east area would also be great

Bitterroot Bulls
11-28-2011, 03:17 PM
Welcome to Eastman's Forums.

I couldn't imagine hunting the West without a spotter. It is my opinion that the spotting scope is where you want your maximum optical performance. You can spot the "dots" of game through OK binos, but you are going to want a good spotter to see what they are.

What is your price range?
What species will you be hunting?
Will you be backpacking, horseback hunting, hiking from a vehicle?

fatkid
11-28-2011, 06:25 PM
Well we are not 100% sure what were or when . our plan is to hunt south east Mt for mule deer . we are planning on maybe staying at a hotel till we get our bearings strait . But our main goal is to find a area that we can pack in set up a camp and work from there . we are young and in good shape so we dont mind long hikes But i feel with a spotting scope we could save ourselves alot of just walking around. Like I said before we are from ohio so we have no clue what we are getting into . Price wise i would say 400 is my max and yes that is really cheap but ones agian we are young and dont have the coin at this time . Plus there is already so much gear we are buying.thanks for the reply and good hunting to ya

Bitterroot Bulls
11-28-2011, 06:41 PM
$400 can get you a decent spotter.

One option is the Minox MD50, which is pretty tiny, but also pretty nice. The demo deal is pretty good.

http://www.cameralandny.com/optics/minox.pl?page=62226

Another option is the Celestron Regal ED. The 65mm model is in your price range. This spotter tops anything else under $400 in image quality, but it is a little heavier than other 65mm spotters.

http://www.adorama.com/CNR65.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping%20Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

MT Muley
11-28-2011, 07:23 PM
I would definitely listen to Bitterroot, he knows his optics! That being said, I love my Vortex Nomad, and you could get a tripod with it and still be in your price range. Just my input!

Mitch

Jon Boy
11-28-2011, 07:52 PM
I couldnt imagine hunting SE MT with out a spotting scope. I took bitterroots advice and got the MD50 its a great scope for the price. Before I had that I had a cheap wind river sequoia. Even that proved to be useful it just weighed too much for what it was considering the MD50 is optically better and way lighter. The biggest thing I use a spotting scope for is judging a buck. Out here you can spot deer from a longggg ways off and not even know if its a buck through your binos.

6mm Remington
11-29-2011, 05:42 AM
I really like my Leupold fixed 25 power Gold Ring spotting scope. It's compact and very clear. I have not not one issue with it. Leupold did not have the 15x30 power Gold Ring compact spotting scope when I purchased mine, but today I would seriously look at the 15x30 compact. It can be had for right around $400.00. Leupold also stands behind their stuff with great warranty. Now I love Leupold, but I"m not a fan of their cheaper stuff like the Sequoia which is not made here in the USA.

Colorado Cowboy
11-30-2011, 08:15 AM
You definately get what you pay for when it comes to optics...scopes, binos, spotters, etc. I too bought a Sequoia (gave it to my son). I have been relying on an old B & L 20x that is over 50 years old (still have it), while crystal clear it is defiantely not compact! When I was in Cody on a recent elk hunt, I was in a large sporting goods store. There was a used Leupold 15x30 HD on consignment for about 1/2 price. I scooped it up in a heartbeat!! It is a really great piece.

All the higher end optics (Sworo, Leica, etc) are really fine pieces of gear, it all depend on you preference and budget.

enysse
11-30-2011, 11:00 AM
I would save my money and maybe buy a spotting scope for the next trip. Buy nice or buy twice. It takes time to learn how to glass for animals effectively. If you are young, you will have more energy to do more hiking. I would avoid buying a cheap spotting scope.

The Vortex Nomad and Minox MD50 are not a bad choice, if you are unwilling to buy nice glass.

The difference between nice glass and cheap glass...it you will not be able to see fine details as well and that is why you buy a spotter in the first place.

T43
12-01-2011, 12:18 PM
Buy what you can afford. I listened to the "save up and buy the best" bit for a while then I realized having a $400 spotter is better than having no spotter. I've hunted my entire life in Idaho and from the time I was a kid until my late 20's I didn't have anything but a cheap pair of binos. They were better than nothing but If I had known then what I know now I would have had a dirt cheap spotter to go with them. If you get one and decide later that you want something better down the road sell it or give it to your kid (that's what I did). I still haven't spent the big money for a spotter and unless something major changes I probably never will. Granted sometimes I do have to get up and move to see something better but oh well I have a hard time sitting still very long anyway.

NDHunter
12-01-2011, 01:17 PM
I'd say that AT LEAST one of you should get a spotter. I went on my first trip to WY this year and there's no way I'd go without one. It sounds like you are in the same boat as I was with accumulating gear. When you have to buy a pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, clothing, etc., it starts to get expensive. I bought the Nikon Prostaff 16-48 and am very happy with it. Is it a Swarovski? No. Do I need to need to count the number of hair's on a deer's ass at 1,000 yards? No. Camofire.com usually has one on sale every couple of months or so for around $300. Or else wait for a good Cabelas coupon. Bottom line though, I'd agree with bitterroot bulls that you definitely need a spotter.

fatkid
12-01-2011, 07:53 PM
thanks guys for all the advise I agree I feel it will be a good tool to have. My freind feel cause he has a 8x32x56 night force on his 40xb we dont need a spotter and like NDHUNTER said right now buying all this stuff is getting alittle to much the wife is not going for it lol. I have a good pair of leupold 10x42 ans a 6x20x40 on my 7mm . I have my boots and clothes but i still need a pack and sleeping stuff. so maybe for this year we will hold off . do you guys feel have those scopes are good enough or would you still get a spotter ?

Bitterroot Bulls
12-01-2011, 08:44 PM
Again, I would definitely get a spotter, and the best you can afford. The "wait and save" method of buying optics sounds reasonable, but there is a big loss in that you don't have the optic in the field for that 3-5 years you are saving up. Then there are the other things you need to purchase for a DIY Western hunt.

The spotters I referenced earlier are remarkably high performing for their price range. They are more than useable and are definitely better than using a riflescope for glassing duty. I gaurantee they would be invaluable on your Western hunt. I would informally estimate the Celestron has at least 90% of the performance of a Swarovski 65HD. Sound too good to be true? You should look through one.

Another problem with glassing with a riflescope is you are pointing a firearm everywhere you are glassing, which is a violation of basic gun safety. I would prefer not to have some guy pointing his rifle at me to see how big the buck I'm field dressing is.

One thing you could do is have your buddy sell the hubble telescope he has on his rifle. Then you could add some money to your spotter fund and put a reasonable 2-7X32, 3-9X40, or 4-12X44/50 riflescope on his rifle.;)

jay
12-01-2011, 10:06 PM
fatkid, i recently purchased the Minox MD50 that Bitteroots turned me onto through cameraland. For less than 200 it is a great piece of equipment, I'm really happy with it. Like the others said, its no Swaro, but works for me at this time. I know for me, theres always something else coming up in life to use my $ on than to be saving for a Swaro or Leica and i'm sure i'm not the only one, maybe one of these days but for the $, you won't be disappointed in the MD50. Take Bitteroots advice to the bank, the guy knows his sh*t! It is a valuable piece of equipment to have...

Jon Boy
12-02-2011, 01:17 AM
fatkid, i recently purchased the Minox MD50 that Bitteroots turned me onto through cameraland. For less than 200 it is a great piece of equipment, I'm really happy with it. Like the others said, its no Swaro, but works for me at this time. I know for me, theres always something else coming up in life to use my $ on than to be saving for a Swaro or Leica and i'm sure i'm not the only one, maybe one of these days but for the $, you won't be disappointed in the MD50. Take Bitteroots advice to the bank, the guy knows his sh*t! It is a valuable piece of equipment to have...

I think quite a few took bitters advice on the MD50 :D As far as I can tell we all really like it. I think its great and from what ive read its one of the best compact spotters only second to the nike ED50. I never find myself wanting more power, but then again im not glassing miles off, most guys arent in the first place.

fatkid
12-02-2011, 06:27 AM
thanks guys I feel it will be what i do . I also agree about the scope being so big lol. his dad is a long range nut and built the gun and then put that monster on top. they shoot over 1000 with it . I myself wouldnt want to carry that big monster all over the country but being in his 20 and a work out nut he will be fine . I myself hope in a perfect world to spot something at 1000 and get to within 300 yrds . Know Mind you this is my first trip out west so I have no idea what we will do

T43
12-02-2011, 10:31 AM
One thing you could do is have your buddy sell the hubble telescope he has on his rifle. Then you could add some money to your spotter fund and put a reasonable 2-7X32, 3-9X40, or 4-12X44/50 riflescope on his rifle.;)

Possibly one of the best quotes on this site to date ;)

Umpqua Hunter
12-27-2011, 01:04 PM
One idea. Buy a used Swarovski or equivalent high end spotting scope off of eBay. Their warranty is remarkable, so if you have troubles send it in for repair. If you don't need it after a hunt or two, resell it on eBay. I did this with a pair of 10x32 Swarovski EL binos for a backpack sheep hunt in Wyoming in 2009 (my avitar). I hunted with those binoculars for 3 seasons and just resold them on eBay for the same amount I paid for them.

Bigsky
07-30-2013, 02:44 PM
Leupold Ventana is a decent scope for not much money

llp2
07-30-2013, 04:14 PM
I wouldn't advise getting a spotting scope unless you can afford good quality. The cheaper scopes are worth the hassle of hauling around. You don't have to buy a swarovski (my choice) but a Leupold Gold ring 12x40 is about the bottom of the useable spectrum. You won't find these for $400. Since it is your first trip, save the money, and go on the hunt.
llp2

NVBird'n'Big
07-30-2013, 04:29 PM
I wouldn't advise getting a spotting scope unless you can afford good quality. The cheaper scopes are worth the hassle of hauling around. You don't have to buy a swarovski (my choice) but a Leupold Gold ring 12x40 is about the bottom of the useable spectrum. You won't find these for $400. Since it is your first trip, save the money, and go on the hunt.
llp2

I would have to disagree, a few people here have already mentioned it but hunting the west without a scope is tough, other than putting miles under your boots, one of the biggest payoffs is the time you spend behind the glass. It's not like he was going to buy a $100 Barska from WalMart. I have been hunting behind a $400 scope for years and would take that any day over having to walk all over the hills to get in bino range while possibly missing out on something my cheap scope could have helped me find.

frogman43
09-01-2013, 09:04 AM
I have a Minox spotter myself, albeit a larger model. Pretty decent glass for the money......