Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    50
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Spotting Scope Expectations

    I am trying to better understand what spotters actual abilities are and whether or not my expectations are realistic.

    I took a angled eyepiece KOWA spotter to Wyoming last fall and was not impressed with its abilities at distance.
    At say 800-1000 yards I could see antelope bucks and could tell one was bigger than another, but not exactly how much bigger. Now granted, we were rookie antelope hunters and I understand antelope are somewhat tough to judge.

    At what distances do you all judge for mass, length, score etc for various game species such as antelope, deer, sheep elk etc? Are we talking 500, 1000, a mile?

    Am I realistic in saying that I want to be able to judge lengths and score at 1000+ yards with a spotting scope?
    For example "That's a 40 inch dall, not a 37incher" or "That mule deer has 16inch G2s and this other one only has 14 inch" or "That's a 78 inch pronghorn not a 75 inch pronghorn".

    If the above statement is plausible, what level of scopes does it take to do that kind of judging?
    A 16-48x65mm Razor HD? Larger magnification Meopta, Leica, Swaro etc? What about the lesser price Minox versions?

    As someone who doesn't get out west to hunt on a regular basis, its somewhat difficult to justify large $ on a piece of optical equipment that will not get used more than a couple times a year. Here in the midwest a good pair of binos is really all one needs. Luckily I do shoot competitive highpower, so a spotter with the ability to dual purpose as a shot spotter during matches helps justify somewhat, however the optical demands of match shooting and game judging are dramatically different.

    Thanks for any and all opinions.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Reno Nv
    Posts
    4,186
    Thanks
    887
    Thanked 549 Times in 389 Posts
    Congratulations
    65
    Congratulated 6 Times in 5 Posts
    Stand by for a few guys here to give you the details. Great question
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

  3. #3
    Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    959
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 517 Times in 203 Posts
    Congratulations
    1
    Congratulated 10 Times in 6 Posts
    Calling Bitterroot Bulls.......

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    vegas
    Posts
    1,202
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 158 Times in 104 Posts
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 1 Time in 1 Post
    Temps & weather, will play a factor in performance of optics. Judging a mule deer and an antelope @ 1000 yards are in my opinion very different scenarios. On a mule deer hunt my average temps vary from 25 degrees to 60/65 degrees. On my typical antelope hunts the temps will differ from 40 degrees to around 95 degrees. And the reflective surface of the ground is an entirely different ball game as well. (Heatwaves) as far as a vague question stated " what spotting scope is the clearest and best bang for the buck in all yardage ranges and environmental conditions on the market?"
    I think thats the million dollar question!

    What model and year kowa did you have experience with? Im curious to know the technology level of the spotter you considered to be subpar. If its a top of the line brand new technology kowa spotting scope that you were unsatisfied with we may be dealing with too high of expectations. This is where optics gurus are born. (No offense bb )
    http://www.solooutdoor.com/ Contact me for used optic specials!

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to hardstalk For This Useful Post:


  6. #5
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Reno Nv
    Posts
    4,186
    Thanks
    887
    Thanked 549 Times in 389 Posts
    Congratulations
    65
    Congratulated 6 Times in 5 Posts
    D.turvey? BB where you fellas at?
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kingwood, TX
    Posts
    1,605
    Thanks
    49
    Thanked 194 Times in 152 Posts
    Congratulations
    5
    Congratulated 1 Time in 1 Post
    A lot has to do with the contrast between animals and the background. A deer that is blending in real well with the naked eye will be harder to judge 9/10 than one that's sticking out like a sore thumb. (EX: one that's blending with off colored sage vs one standing in front of a green bush)

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kingwood, TX
    Posts
    1,605
    Thanks
    49
    Thanked 194 Times in 152 Posts
    Congratulations
    5
    Congratulated 1 Time in 1 Post
    Here's a Swarovski STM-80 on 60x at 1060-1080yds (actual view is much clearer than pics indicate)




  9. The Following User Says Thank You to packmule For This Useful Post:


  10. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    N.E. LA
    Posts
    117
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts
    Congratulations
    1
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I have a Vortex Razor HD 65 mm spotter. I used it this past October in WY mule deer hunting. At 1,000 yards I was easily able pick apart the antlers of some young forked horn deer. It was 25-30 degrees and the sun was setting at my back, so the conditions were good, but the background was rock and sage on a hillside. I watched them until dark and was impressed with the spotter's performance.
    On another day, I had a nice mature buck at about a mile. Temp was about 25-30 but the sun was at about the 10:00 or 11:00 oclock position in mid-late afternoon, so this made for not great lighting conditions, but I could still evaluate the frame of the buck but could not pick out all points very well. The background was rock and sage.
    At home, when its warm and the mirage is really wavy, I sometimes can't see my bullet holes in paper targets at 400 yards, so conditions make a huge impact on what I am able to see with my spotter.

    Good Luck

  11. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,168
    Thanks
    56
    Thanked 309 Times in 237 Posts
    Congratulations
    2
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I guess I will put in my .02.

    No offense taken, hardstalk.

    This is an interesting discussion, and hardstalk got to the heart of it.

    When you are glassing you are looking through the atmosphere. So the image you see is dependent not only on the optical system, but the quality of the atmosphere. Atmospheric disturbance can greatly affect the image. The more atmosphere you look through (longer distances), the greater the disturbance will affect the image. Guys refer to this as "heat waves" or "mirage," etc.

    When we compare spotters we often do it at closer distances where we can really see the differences without atmospheric disturbance affecting the image. Now some designs seem to handle these disturbances better than others. This could be due to a number of optical qualities like Depth of Field (focus), but it is hard to be sure.

    So with that basis, when we get to the OP's original scenario, I have glassed antelope at well over a mile with quality spotters, and been able to effectively judge them.

    However, antelope live in flat areas that get a lot of sun, so as the ground warms or cools, the air near the ground gets disturbed. Because the terrain is flat, you end up trying to glass through a lot of disturbed air near the ground, so you see more disturbance.

    On the flip side of the coin, high mountain areas before sunrise often have super stable air, and you are looking through air suspended far above the ground, so you end up with a less disturbed image, and can make the most of the optical performance of your scope.

    I once glassed a muley buck before sunrise at around a mile and could resolve a couple small stickers on the buck. We later killed the buck and found the stickers were less than an inch long. The spotter was a Vortex Razor HD85. That is the kind of performance a good spotter with good air can provide.
    Last edited by Bitterroot Bulls; 03-06-2014 at 10:11 AM.

  12. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Bitterroot Bulls For This Useful Post:


  13. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    vegas
    Posts
    1,202
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 158 Times in 104 Posts
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 1 Time in 1 Post
    Also, ive often thought of comparisons where I could take images at say 100 yards, 400, yards and 1,000 yards so people could evaluate vortex products from their computer. But there are far too many variables for a quality comparison on computer screens. Some guys may be using a 27" mac with retina display and others may be using a 15" 1992 hp screen and the images would look terrible regardless of quality optics. The only way to evaluate optics is first hand. In the field. In varying environments. Unfortunately.
    http://www.solooutdoor.com/ Contact me for used optic specials!

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to hardstalk For This Useful Post:


 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-11-2014, 04:25 PM
  2. Spotting Scope
    By jzfrench in forum General Hunting
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-18-2013, 10:05 AM
  3. Spotting Scope
    By Fish in forum Optics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-17-2013, 04:36 PM
  4. Spotting Scope
    By Nebraska Outlander in forum Optics
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-24-2011, 06:13 PM
  5. Bog Pod for Spotting Scope
    By MOHunter in forum Optics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-15-2011, 07:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •