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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm looking at getting a spotting scope and I'm trying to decide if I should get one that has a power at about 10-30 or 15-45. I don't want one any bigger than that because I don't think I would take it along much as I'm wanting to take it into the backcountry. An example of how I will be using it is this past Saturday I hiked about three miles out and spotted a group of deer. But they were so far away that I couldn't tell if they were bucks or not with my 10x42 Binos. Basically I would just like to be able to tell if a group of deer has bucks or not because I don't want to hike after them and find out they're all does. I'm not really looking for a trophy so I don't need to count points or estimate a score. I just want a decent buck. Thanks guys!
 

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About 30 years ago or so, I read a book written by Dewight Schuh where he describes deer hunting using spotting scopes. It was a fascinating read and inspired me to pickup a spotting scope. I found that over the years, I have seldom used it. I never did really adapt to the method he described in his book. I bought a 20 power fixed scope. I have since wished it was a variable scope, but I learned back then that if the power is too high, you get heat waves showing up in the scope and it can be difficult to see anything. I am not saying don't go in the direction you are thinking, I am just saying that after purchasing a scope, I have found that taking it back packing has not worked well for me. Just another heavy object to have to carry. I do take it with me on all my hunts as long as I can drive to the destination, but find I seldom use it. So, back to your question... I would not go with anything less than 20 power and a variable would be useful.
 

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Good binos are first and foremost, but having a decent spotter makes a huge difference. I have never regretted having my spotter with me when I go out. But the times I decide not to take it, I almost always wish I did. 15-45 power would be my recommendation if you are worried about weight. Being able to not only tell if the deer you are seeing are bucks, but how big they are is a definite bonus as well. Throw in digi scoping and it just adds another layer to scouting and hunting. I use mine most of the time on 15x and zoom from there if I need to. Throwing your binos on a tripod is also something I'd recommend giving a try whether you pick up a spotter or not. Amazing the difference in stability and what you can pick up when stabilized by a tripod as opposed to shaky hands.
 

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I have a 15-30x50mm Leupold compact that I use for hunting and backpacking and it has served me well. I can spot and see points on bucks out to 2 miles with it.
 

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I have a 15-30x50mm Leupold compact that I use for hunting and backpacking and it has served me well. I can spot and see points on bucks out to 2 miles with it.
Luepold makes a great compact scope for back packing, or just leaving it in your truck. The Gold Ring is pricey but it's worth the money as it's very light weight and compact. Vortex has one that is for backpacking and is a little less expensive yet very comparable to the Luepold. The Razor HD in the 11-33 X 50 is a great scope. I have the Razor HD 16-48 X 65 and really like it. It's not as compact as I'd like, but the clarity is remarkable. I still backpack with it and the tripod. It's not too heavy and very much worth having on me.

Good luck on your hunt for a scope
 

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Listen to kwalk and get a tripod first to put your binos on.
That being said I have the Vortex Nomad 20x60x60 scope. I really like it and take it most of the time but am currently wishing I had a high end 80mm scope and I am not a trophy hunter by any means but first and last light is where the big difference is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey guys thanks for all the advice!

Ridgetop and BigT the 10-30x model I was looking at was actually the leupold golden ring. It's good to hear that you can see specific points out to two miles away. I guess I would definitely be able to tell if they were bucks then. Is that maxed out to 30x?

And kwalk, I think I have a decent pair of binos. I have leupold mojaves that seem to have worked well for me. I'm usually on of the first guys to spot game in the groups that I've hunted with. I wonder if I had some nice swaro's I would be able to tell if those deer were bucks. I know they're more clear and bright than mine.
And as for a tripod, I've been thinking that I need to get one for a bit. I've read some articles talking about the benefits of one including a book by dwight schuh (bowhunting open country mule deer).
 

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Hey guys thanks for all the advice!

Ridgetop and BigT the 10-30x model I was looking at was actually the leupold golden ring. It's good to hear that you can see specific points out to two miles away. I guess I would definitely be able to tell if they were bucks then. Is that maxed out to 30x?

And kwalk, I think I have a decent pair of binos. I have leupold mojaves that seem to have worked well for me. I'm usually on of the first guys to spot game in the groups that I've hunted with. I wonder if I had some nice swaro's I would be able to tell if those deer were bucks. I know they're more clear and bright than mine.
And as for a tripod, I've been thinking that I need to get one for a bit. I've read some articles talking about the benefits of one including a book by dwight schuh (bowhunting open country mule deer).
You should for sure be good with your binos you have already. Let us know what spotter you end up picking up and how you like it. I'd give that Vortex Compact posted above a good look too.
 

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I'd recommend buying a used (or new) Leupold gold ring. I have the 12-40 x 60 and it has served me well. The larger lens gathers more light for early and late glassing. I've compared it side by side to the 10-20x40 and the 15-30x50 and like the 12-40x60 a bit better. Buy one used and you can always sell it for about the same price so you really are not out the money. Leupold's warranty is great too. 80mm lenses are great, but I don't like the extra bulk for hiking. Just my opinion of course.
 

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I have the razor 15-46x65 I really like it. I got a really light tripod to pack in and save weight. It's a really nice do it all size. Not to big to pack and big enough to use it from the road without sacrificing to much either way. I personally use my scope more than my binos. I think the extra weight is worth having the more capable scope. If money isn't to much of a concern the leica 65mm only weighs mid 30s in ounces I believe the are the lightest. Keep in mind cheaper scopes generally are heavier
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys sorry for the delay. So I made a trip to cabelas and looked through the 10-33x razor HD and the leupold 10-30x golden ring. I have to say that to me the clarity of the optics is the same. However, I did like the adjustments on the razor better and the eye relief was way better on the razor as well. I also liked the angled eye piece better too. The only thing is that the razor is 300 bucks more. So I'm trying to decide if it's worth the extra money. Also the viper HD 15-45x is about the same price as the razor 10-33x. So I'm thinking of that as an option as well.

If I got one of the more expensive scopes I would have to get a lesser quality rain jacket. I would trade the kuiu chugach that I have on back order for a kryptek Poseidon that I found on sale. I have the Poseidon pants and I like them just fine. So I don't think I would mind too much.

I'm interested in hearing yalls thoughts and opinions!
 

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I dont know where you are getting your pricing from, but for Vortex Optics you need to look at the demo list here: http://www.cameralandny.com/

They really are as new. They just take spotters to various outdoor shows as floor demo models then sell them after a short time. With vortex's lifetime warranty there just isn't a compelling reason to pay full price for a truly "new" scope.

PS: 80mm Razor is amazing!

-DallanC
 

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I think that once you start to use it you will want to use it a lot! That being said do not skimp on it. it sounds like you have answered your question if you liked the razor more get it! When I forked out the money for my razor it hurt a little but honestly its a long term investment and the extra money is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah and I think I'll use the scope a lot more than rain gear.
 
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