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  1. #1
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    Backcountry optics?

    The question was brought up on what people use for binos on backcountry hunt, let's hear your spotting scope/bino setup for extended deep backcountry hunts.

    Good idea bitterroot bulls.

  2. #2
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    Hey, the question was all yours, Drhorsepower, and it's a good one.

    I use ultralight backpacking gear when backcountry hunting, but my optics are a bit big. It is worth it to me, because there is a noticeable difference in low light performance. Right now, I backpack with my Swaro SLCneu 10X42s, A bushy Elite 1500 rangefinder, and a Vortex Razor 85HD spotting scope. I like to digiscope and videoscope animals through my spotter while hunting and the Razor's large objective is definitely a benefit. It is about a pound heavier than most 65mm spotters, and I make up that weight in savings on other backpacking gear.

    However, I am considering adding a nice 50mm spotter to my collection for fast and light hunts. The Nikon ED50 is the best I have used, but it doesn't have great eye relief. I also like the Minox MD50, and it can be found for a bargain, but no ED glass. I noticed that the Vortex Viper HD scopes have eyepieces that are labelled for magnification for not only the 80mm and 65mm Viper HD spotters, but also a 50mm version! While I haven't heard an announcement, it sounds like a 50mm Viper HD is in the works, and I am anxious to see it. It might make a nice compliment to my Razor HD.

    I will stick with full-size binoculars, because the weight is worth the performance, given how much time I use them. A good bino-harness really makes the weight bearable. I hardly notice the SLCs, and they certainly aren't lightweights.

    I am interested to hear some other replies.

  3. #3
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    10X42 EL's and a 20X65mm Straight Swaro spotter... Everything I need to make it happen... We use the Swaro 15X56's from the truck but that's about it.
    "This is A Way of Life"

  4. #4
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    I have a few different spotting scopes......including the Swarovski 20x65mm. But when I backpack into the high-country, I use the Nikon ED50.......VERY lightweight and compact and clear glass. I don't think it can be beat in it's class for compact spotting scopes. When i get older and have horses take me in.......I wouldn't mind taking my Swarovski in the wilderness.

    My binos are the same that they've been for the last 7-8 years.......Leica Geovids 10x42BRF. Exceptional glass with a built in rangefinder.
    BOHNTR )))----------->

    B&C / P&Y Official Measurer

  5. #5
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    Vortex Razor 10x42
    Nikon ED50

  6. #6
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    Swaro 10x42 ELs and 65mm spotter if the hike isn't too far. Otherwise, I'll pack the Nikon ED50 with my lightweight tripod.

  7. #7
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    I have not bought a spotter as of yet. I dont hunt in areas that really offer the kind of open space that the extra magnification would be really useful enough to justify packing one around. The idea is there, but until I have taken the plunge on a nice digital camera to enjoy taking pics with, I don't have the need or desire strong enough to go and buy a spotter to go with it.

    Now Binos I do believe in and wish I had more money sometimes. I usually spend my hunting money on one expensive item a year. This year went to a nice tent. I did also however get a decent bino that was waterproof.
    I bought the Leupold Cascade 10x42's in the advantage timber camo when Cabelas put them on sale. $250 ish this spring.
    I saved $100 on them.

    I have made due with a Barska pair of 10x50's that I paid $15.00 for four years ago. They are so NOT waterproof, that one spring bear hunt even under a bino harness cover, they were FULL of water when I got back to camp. Was the first time I had actually gone on a hunt when the weather was bad. Last time I ever want to use cheap optics on purpose.

    I like to save money when I can. These offered really good clear images, but being they were not sealed they did not stay that way.

    My Leupolds were a step up, and for a mid range compact/mid size set of glass.....I have put them to use this year many many times. A great set to get me going for a while. I do plan on an upgrade to some nicer ones down the road....but only when I think I have enough guns! hahaha.
    I hunt because........

  8. #8
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    I use 10x25 Leica Ultravid compact binoculars and for a spotting scope I carry a 25x50mm Leupold fixed power scope. I love the compact binoculars and sure they might not be quite as bright really early or really late, but I am completely satisfied with them.
    NRA Life Member
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    "One loves to possess arms though they hope never to."
    Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6mm Remington View Post
    I use 10x25 Leica Ultravid compact binoculars and for a spotting scope I carry a 25x50mm Leupold fixed power scope. I love the compact binoculars and sure they might not be quite as bright really early or really late, but I am completely satisfied with them.
    I am kinda leaning that direction.
    I am using 10x42 leupold golden ring binos an a 20x40x60 spotter.
    I have been looking at some compact binos and I also want to purchase leupold compact spotter

  10. #10
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    Swarovski 10x42 EL and 80mm STM with 25x50 eyepiece...and I'm loving every minute behind my optics

 

 

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