When it comes to a hunter’s arsenal, binoculars can be one of the most important pieces of equipment. In fact, most hunters consider the best hunting binoculars as an essential piece of gear they won’t go hunting without. Hunters need excellent optics if they’re trying to spot game that’s thousands of yards away. To big woods hunters, binoculars are vital when there’s less than a hundred yards of visibility. Our guide to binocular basics is designed to give you some great tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your binoculars, so they can be a real asset to you on your next hunt.
On the Hunt
If you’ve never used binoculars on a hunt, then you really don’t know what you’ve been missing.
When you’re out hunting, it’s time to really put your binoculars to use, whether you’re looking at a hundred yards of deep swamp or vast amounts of prairie. The best way you can spot a deer is to slowly scan chunks of the territory. Most hunters like to use long sweeping motions when scanning the horizon. If there are deer standing out in the open or walking by, they’ll easily be spotted with this technique. But wise, older deer will not spend much time walking around in the daytime in the open. Instead, you’ll want to study smaller areas for approximately thirty seconds while keeping an eye out for flicked tails, glassy eyes, ear movement, or antler flashes. After you’ve looked closely, pick out another small area to start your search.
Using your binoculars, look for horizontal lines. This is one of the best ways to spot a bedded deer. Grass, brush, and trees grow vertically. The belly or back of a deer will glaringly stand out against vertical lines. Using this technique, you’ll soon be able to easily pick out a deer.
Most bowhunters don’t see much value in using hunting binoculars since they’re engaging in close quarters hunting. What’s the point of being able to spot a deer that’s three hundred yards away if you’re not about to take a shot until you’re about twenty-five yards away? Large bucks will usually follow a smaller buck through the woods. A pair of binoculars can help you get a view of what’s beyond the deer that’s approaching your stand. This is why it’s still a good idea for bowhunters to use binoculars.
A Closer Look
Compared to being up close, game tends to tolerate you longer at a distance. Most animals that are far away will not even be aware of your presence. So, using binoculars will give you more time to look and ready yourself for a shot.
Binoculars Should be Lightweight
Don’t make the common mistake many beginners do and opt for a pair of brand new full-sized binoculars because you think they offer the best optics. Binoculars have to be compact and light, so you can tolerate wearing them around your neck all day. The Victory hunting binoculars by Zeiss is a perfect choice.
Most hunters prefer models that are around fifty to sixty ounces at the most. Make sure the binoculars you use have a nice, supple, durable strap so the ocular housing clears your chin when you lift it.
Move Only Your Eyes
When you use binoculars, you don’t want to move your entire head or the binoculars, especially if you’re trying to spot close game. Instead, move only your eyes.
Mean and Clean
Before you take your binoculars on the next hunt, check out the lenses. Are they smudged? Caked with grime? Coated with dust? If you’ve spent a few hundred dollars on a pair of premium grade optics, you need to take care of them. Plus, you need to be prepared and ready when you’re on the hunt.
Proper binocular care will also help to keep your binoculars in top shape.
It can also be important to check the focus often. It can be pretty easy to accidentally bump a dial during a hunt. Try out your binoculars periodically and focus when needed so you’re always ready.
Changing the Way You Hunt
Using hunting binoculars will give you a whole new hunting experience. You’ll see animals in action, the lay of the land and you’ll be able to change your approach based on activity and terrain that you won’t be able to see with your naked eye. You’ll be able to spot game trails you didn’t even know existed.
They’ll give you the type of advantage you need in densely wooded areas where you would otherwise pass right by wildlife, or spend hours searching an area that’s no longer inhabited by your game of choice.
The key here is going to be quality. You may be able to get by with a pair of fifty-dollar binoculars, but you won’t have much to work with in terms of range or clarity. If you’re into western hunting, top of the line binoculars will be essential to your hunting success.