November 04, 2010
Get The Right Binocular
A bowhunter accustomed to using binoculars feels naked without them. A magnified view, even from a treestand in the woods, always helps you spot game and size-up trophy quality.
Here are three tips on choosing a bowhunting binocular: First, buy the best you can afford. Compared to cheap binoculars, high-end optics yield a sharper image, a brighter image in low light, and greater durability in rough-and-tumble conditions. In binoculars, you get what you pay for, and you will never regret a high-dollar expenditure. A good binocular is a lifetime investment.
Second, choose a binocular of practical size and weight. For most purposes, a hunting binocular should weigh between 20 and 32 ounces, and measure 5 to 6 inches high. Small, light, "shirt pocket" models under 20 ounces give up a lot in light-gathering ability and clarity. They also increase eye-straining hand jiggle. Glasses over 32 ounces might offer superb viewing, but they can be genuine "neck breakers" to carry.
Third, choose a practical level of magnification. In my experience, more is better than less. I believe an 8X glass is the bare minimum for short-range viewing, and 10X is more versatile for all types of hunting, especially in open terrain. For maximum light-gathering capability, the objective lenses should be at least 40mm wide.