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My two main hunting rifles have scopes on them that cost almost double what I have in the rifles. They shoot lights out and I never have to worry about SEEING the aiming point! If I miss ,it was definitely my fault ,period, I have no excuses now, but I guess I COULD blame the wind, LOL.
Wind? ... I like that, my miss wasn't me it was "an act of God"...lol ✝🕍
 
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I think I ... put my Zeiss 3-9x on my Benelli SBE2 in 2003. It hasn't been off the gun and hasn't been adjusted in 18 years. Killed hundreds of deer, withstood tons of recoil. Rain, snow, sleet, ice, hot, cold, air flights, ATV rides, spends most of it's travel time in a gun sock rather than a hard case, used to carry the gun using the scope as a carry handle. Two decades ago it was unheard of to put a high quality, high magnification optic on a short range shotgun. Still giving the same yeoman service and performance as the day I bought it. Amortize the cost over two decades and the optic cost peanuts. And, it's still going strong, and it's given world class, "you can count on it service" the whole time. Trust ... is a priceless commodity. ;)
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2004 kill
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2011 Kill

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2020 right before two kills.
 

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I am not so picky about my binos. Spotting scope, for when I want a good look at something are another story though. I accept no slackers with them. When it comes to deer hunting scopes The standards get tighter. Low light performance has to be as good as I can get and the clarity likewise if I am going to kill dinner with it. I didn't spend a lifetime learning how to killthem well, and when I decide a particular deer is going on the menu, I will not tolerate my equipment telling me "no it isn't"!
The rifle and the ammo will do what I need because I made sure of that.

There are scopes that will not allow you to shoot less than 2 minutes of angle. They are scopes that surprisingly are better than the majority of what is sold on crossbows. There are scopes that won't hold zero indefinitely. There are scopes that won't adjust accurately. There are scopes that drift when shot. There are scopes that will not adjust and then return to zero. There are scopes that will not provide me a bright enough sight picture in any circumstance during legal shooting hours. There are scopes lacking the clarity and depth of field needed for me to know the angle of the target within the animal. Those are all scopes that other people use because I will not!
 

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I have a pair of swaro 8.5 els that I got for a steal, and I emphasize STEAL at 600 bucks from a family friend. I love them, and throughly enjoy using them. But, I say this as an eastern hunter, western hunters need not comment. They're very few if any situations were having this top level glass brings you any closer to harvesting an animal. I've never known personally nor ever watched a top level whitetail hunter attribute their success to their binoculars. Never. The "well it'll let you see later in to dusk" always cracks me up. If you need this level of binos to identify a deer, shooting time has long past. What Im getting at is theres nothing wrong with spending this much if you enjoy the optics that much. Just understand it won't help you bag more deer than say a 500$ pair would. Only woodsmanship and understanding of the animal youre hunting will do that
 

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Different strokes....... Zeiss & higher end leupold are my favorites, but that’s just the enthusiast in me. Hawke and even Excalibur’s tactzone Leave little to be desired for general hunting purposes even in low light.
 

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I have a pair of swaro 8.5 els that I got for a steal, and I emphasize STEAL at 600 bucks from a family friend. I love them, and throughly enjoy using them. But, I say this as an eastern hunter, western hunters need not comment. They're very few if any situations were having this top level glass brings you any closer to harvesting an animal. I've never known personally nor ever watched a top level whitetail hunter attribute their success to their binoculars. Never. The "well it'll let you see later in to dusk" always cracks me up. If you need this level of binos to identify a deer, shooting time has long past. What Im getting at is theres nothing wrong with spending this much if you enjoy the optics that much. Just understand it won't help you bag more deer than say a 500$ pair would. Only woodsmanship and understanding of the animal youre hunting will do that
I hearya ... but have to disagree a little. Low light, is it a button buck or a doe? Last light, are those little antlers 3" or less ruling it a legal "antlerless" kill? Or, are those little antlers 3" or more making it a legal freezer stuffer to burn my buck tag on? Or, is that rack over 150" and a legal trophy in my club or is it under 150" and going to cost me a $2,000.00 fine? Even something as simple as: "is that a deer rack in that brush out there or just branches and twigs?" Late season, late in the day "is that deer the 160" shed from the fall we want to let grow, or is it a killable scrub buck shed?" Clarity in optics brings clarity to those answers. ;)
 

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Different strokes....... Zeiss & higher end leupold are my favorites, but that’s just the enthusiast in me. Hawke and even Excalibur’s tactzone Leave little to be desired for general hunting purposes even in low light.
^^^This! When you get into the Leupold VX-5HD and VX-6HD (same glass) they are great. The VX-6HD come with extras...Alumina scope covers, electronic internal level, and throw lever. I bought a VX-5HD 3-15x 56 mm for my Mark V, and a VX-5HD 3-15x 44 mm for my new Super Grade both with the Fire Dot Duplex reticles, and can't wait to hunt with them this season!
 

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Back in my out West video days, it was all about Muleys. We would glass for hours on end. Most optics look great at first. The biggest thing I found is getting a headache looking through interior optics for longs glassing sits. Eye strain happens quickly with cheap optics. I would suggest a window mount for the 10x42 and up
 

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Different strokes....... Zeiss & higher end leupold are my favorites, but that’s just the enthusiast in me. Hawke and even Excalibur’s tactzone Leave little to be desired for general hunting purposes even in low light.
Sorry, but I have a TactZone and it's a POS and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I am not at all sure whether the Hawkes are a step up or down, but they are not something that I would ever hunt with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Most optics look great at first. The biggest thing I found is getting a headache looking through interior optics for longs glassing sits. Eye strain happens quickly with cheap optics.
Exactly. People don’t realize what looking thru poor glass does.
 

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^^^This! When you get into the Leupold VX-5HD and VX-6HD (same glass) they are great. The VX-6HD come with extras...Alumina scope covers, electronic internal level, and throw lever. I bought a VX-5HD 3-15x 56 mm for my Mark V, and a VX-5HD 3-15x 44 mm for my new Super Grade both with the Fire Dot Duplex reticles, and can't wait to hunt with them this season!
I was ... shooting a few years back down in Virginia with a guy who owned a successful Nuisance Wildlife control company. He was expanding into professional deer management and working with us to learn the ropes. He had money and had a high end Leupold 3?-18x Firedot on his .223Rem bolt action that was really sweet. Much, much better picture quality than the common entry levels of Leupolds. I was surprised how nice it was.
 

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Back in my out West video days, it was all about Muleys. We would glass for hours on end. Most optics look great at first. The biggest thing I found is getting a headache looking through interior optics for longs glassing sits. Eye strain happens quickly with cheap optics. I would suggest a window mount for the 10x42 and up
That brought the coffee up through my nostrils, thanks for the morning chuckle!
😎 😁
 

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I hearya ... but have to disagree a little. Low light, is it a button buck or a doe? Last light, are those little antlers 3" or less ruling it a legal "antlerless" kill? Or, are those little antlers 3" or more making it a legal freezer stuffer to burn my buck tag on? Or, is that rack over 150" and a legal trophy in my club or is it under 150" and going to cost me a $2,000.00 fine? Even something as simple as: "is that a deer rack in that brush out there or just branches and twigs?" Late season, late in the day "is that deer the 160" shed from the fall we want to let grow, or is it a killable scrub buck shed?" Clarity in optics brings clarity to those answers. ;)
I sort of thought that maybe Mike23 hunts open fields because he apparently doesn't have to check out a buck at the crack of dawn to see if it has a minimum on 4 points on a side and an inside spread of at least 15 inches, etc. and he must be a meat hunter that shoots whatever walks by.
Almost every buck I have shot in the last 40 years or so has been checked out first with my binocular to make certain that he meets my expectations. I always pick up my binocular before my gun or bow on every deer I see to look them over unless they just pop up close to me.
 

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I hearya ... but have to disagree a little. Low light, is it a button buck or a doe? Last light, are those little antlers 3" or less ruling it a legal "antlerless" kill? Or, are those little antlers 3" or more making it a legal freezer stuffer on my buck tag? Or, is that rack over 150" and a legal trophy in my club or is it under 150" and going to cost me a $2,000.00 fine? Even something a simple as: "is that a deer rack in that brush out there or just branches and twigs?" Late season, late in the day "is that deer the 160" shed from the fall we want to let grow, or is it a killable scrub buck shed?" Clarity in optics brings clarity to those answers. ;)
This. In SPADES! If you have to do the work in low light conditions and cannot tell if it's a buck or doe fawn the likelihood of being able to tell it's exact angle to you and where those leg bones are is even slimmer.

Where I hunt is under red oaks with an understory of buckthorn AND it faces west into the setting sun. The shadows under the oaks, even when not under the buckthorn, can be so deep that even before sunset with the typical OEM scope sold with most crossbows you may not be able to shoot at all, much less see the deer well enough to put the arrow through the heart for instance. If you cannot see well enough to take that heart shot you cannot see well enough to be certain of the angle and thus you can't be certain of leg bone position and getting both lungs. I get very few opportunities during sunrise to sunset hours. More than 90% of my shots are 15 minutes or more after sunset. <5% are more than 15 minutes before sunrise. Those numbers are not all that far from being accurate for all the deer I have ever shot in my lifetime.

I would be willing to bet money on a substantial number of the "bad shots", "I shot it right in the shoulder" shots are in actuality shots where the angle and not infrequently the range too because of the misperceived angle occur because the optics just aren't up to telling the shooter what it is that he is shooting at. There is a hell of a lot of difference in where the internal targets are on a quartering to and a quartering away deer. When you are killing with an arrow, that is easily capable of turning a shot into a 24 hour or longer rodeo.

Just because most of my shots are ~20 yards or less does not so much as one iota diminish my need for quality optics on my bows.
 

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Again explain to me how identifying an animal makes any conceivable difference when you cannot legally shoot him? And two if you can legally shoot him then it's bright enough any binocular will do.
 

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Back in my out West video days, it was all about Muleys. We would glass for hours on end. Most optics look great at first. The biggest thing I found is getting a headache looking through interior optics for longs glassing sits. Eye strain happens quickly with cheap optics. I would suggest a window mount for the 10x42 and up
That is exactly right. I do all my hunting spot and stalk using 15+ power optics. I glass for hrs. The higher magnification cheap binos. bring that headache on much faster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Again explain to me how identifying an animal makes any conceivable difference when you cannot legally shoot him? And two if you can legally shoot him then it's bright enough any binocular will do.
In a lot of states the legal shooting light is “First Light” which usually is about a half hour before sunrise. I’ve had mornings at first light where I could hardly see a few feet away. I do the same as Robert.

Are we seeing some members with pseudo user names? Seems like we have a lot newbies that are real experts.
 
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Again explain to me how identifying an animal makes any conceivable difference when you cannot legally shoot him? And two if you can legally shoot him then it's bright enough any binocular will do.
If you actually believe that I don't think you have yet owned any "good glass".
 
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