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View Full Version : Best All-around Spotter for Mulies, Antelope



hoshour
12-12-2012, 11:57 AM
I need to upgrade from my Bushnell Elite spotting scope. I can only afford to buy one scope. My binos are Minox 10x42. I mainly hunt mulies, sometimes antelope.

I am looking at a Razor HD 20-60x85 spotter, which gets great reviews. But, I am hesitant to add all that weight (+ the tripod) while I hunt.

I am also considering the Nikon ED50 which is obviously much easier to carry, but it tops out at 30x and optics are not as good.

What spotter would you recommend? I usually buy used or demos and I need to keep it under $1,250.

Bitterroot Bulls
12-12-2012, 12:31 PM
I have the ED50, and until recently had the Razor HD. The ED50 is the best compact spotter available. I like to have it when I wouldn't normally be taking a spotter. Mostly though, I take a big 85mm spotter. It is worth hauling it around. I thought I would use the ED50 more, but I grab the big eye 90% of the time. If you can get a Razor for 1250, I would say go for it.

Another option would be a good 65mm spotter. They are good at everything, but not exceptional at everything. They kind of fill a niche like yours well, though.

I am excited to see the 50mm and 65mm Razor HD spotters coming this spring.

buckbull
12-12-2012, 12:36 PM
I've been researching big (80mm+) spotters for a long time and have wanted to stay around the $1000 range. The two I have been most impressed with have been the Bushnell Elite and Pentax. I never thought I would recommend bushnell glass but their high end spotter is really nice. I'd like to check out Zen-Ray but can't find anyone local who actually has the glass.

Bitterroot Bulls - what did you replace your razor HD with?

Bitterroot Bulls
12-12-2012, 01:07 PM
I am running the 20-75 Zeiss Diascope 85tFL right now. Should be getting my hands on a Swaro ATX for eval soon, I hope.

The Razor is still a great spotter. My hunting partner took it off my hands, so it didn't make it too far!

Umpqua Hunter
12-12-2012, 05:57 PM
There is a reason top guides an outfitters pack around big optics and stable tripods, because they really do do a job you can't do with other products. Great optics are a bit of a pain to pack around, but its part of what it really takes to do things right.

mcseal2
12-13-2012, 03:09 PM
I got an ED50 this year and my hunting partner got a 85mm Razor HD. We got them to compliment each other, and they do it pretty well. I've been shocked at how well my ED50 keeps up with his Razor in the field. The ED50 amazes me in low light with what it can do with a 50mm objective. Around home in the midwest and on our antelope hunt this fall we never seem to encounter conditions clear enough for his optics to really outshine mine. At least not this year with the drought and all the dust. I'd bet that up in the mountains without all the dust in the air his optics would really start to shine. He seems to think I have 8x eyes also because of what I see through my spotter compared to what he sees through it. The only problem with his 85mm scope is it's size/weight. I look at it kinda like my CC pistol. The pocket 9 I have with me is alot more useful than the big 357 I left in the truck. Anyway I'd really evaluate how you intend to use your spotter and go from there. How far are you needing to look, etc. When I go to upgrade optics I go through all the hunts in my head I can see myself using the optic for, and then get all the reviews I can like you are doing here. Then get out pen and paper and write the pros and cons for each, see where I end up.

slim jim
12-13-2012, 07:02 PM
I need to upgrade from my Bushnell Elite spotting scope. I can only afford to buy one scope. My binos are Minox 10x42. I mainly hunt mulies, sometimes antelope.

I am looking at a Razor HD 20-60x85 spotter, which gets great reviews. But, I am hesitant to add all that weight (+ the tripod) while I hunt.

I am also considering the Nikon ED50 which is obviously much easier to carry, but it tops out at 30x and optics are not as good.

What spotter would you recommend? I usually buy used or demos and I need to keep it under $1,250.

I'm in the same boat , I can't decide either because I like to backpack hunt. I think I'm taking bitterroot bulls advise and waiting for the razor hd 65mm to come out. The weight will probably be inbetween and stronger than the 50mm

IdahoDave
12-14-2012, 08:32 PM
If you want to save some money check out the Alpens. I have their bino and love'em. Great reviews, numerous awards, excellent warranty. It breaks they fix it or replace no questions. They have 15x45 - 60 mm up to 20x60 - 80's... A friend who also has their binos just bought the 80 mm online for $279... $449 at Sportsmans Whse. Might not be the best, but a great optics for the money.

hoshour
12-18-2012, 03:49 PM
Bittterroot, have you heard any advance news about the new 65 Razor HD spotter? It sounds like it might be worth the wait to consider it, especially since it will probably be cheaper and lighter than the 85.

Bitterroot Bulls
12-18-2012, 04:14 PM
Bittterroot, have you heard any advance news about the new 65 Razor HD spotter? It sounds like it might be worth the wait to consider it, especially since it will probably be cheaper and lighter than the 85.

Just that it ... and also a 50mm Razor ... are coming. I hope to see them both soon.

Montana
12-19-2012, 04:49 AM
Pretty much par for the course.. You really have to have a big spotter and a small depending on your hunt. EHD50 i borrow and I own a Swaro 65mm. As far as costs??? I really couldn't afford to not have one. I hunt with people who are always saying they can't afford one. I tell them to hold on a minute because I just spotted a buck that I have to go shoot:) And if they had this spotter then they wouldn't have to waste their money on all the additional trips it takes to get a deer/elk/bear/whatever.