The naked eye might be great for viewing a lot of things, but picking out a deer in dense cover isn’t one of them. For that, smart hunters carry top quality binoculars to their deer stands.
“Really good, clear, and powerful binoculars are a must, for peering into thickets, swamps, and such,” said Charlie Garretson of Ellisville. “They help you pick out white-tailed deer details in those thick areas.
“Sometimes all you get to see is the tip of an antler, or maybe an ear twitching, a wet nose, or a glossy eyeball; maybe even the white outline of a tail. You have to carry a high quality set of binoculars to do this critical observational hunting.”
I can present a perfect example from one day last season, as I was climbing up my ladder stand with a dense woodland thicket behind it. I glanced at a bush not 75 yards behind the stand and something symmetrical stood out, but I was not sure what it was. Once in the seat, I turned around quietly several more times to look, but it wasn’t until I put my Pentax 9×63 binoculars on the spot that the antlers stuck out like a red flag.
As my luck usually has it, before I could get my rifle up and around, the buck panicked, stood up and bolted across the creek drainage. Without those binoculars I would never have picked that deer out of the thicket.
Riflescopes don’t work as well, though we’ve all tried.
If you cannot afford a decent, good quality binocular then save up until you can. Forget the cheap glass; it’s a waste of time and money.
What constitutes good glass? First, buy a well-known top brand with a quality reputation, such as Leupold, Nikon, Bushnell, Pentax, Alpen, or even a good store brand like Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s.
Buy the mid-range priced units or higher, but there is no need to spend $1000.
For hunting a power range of at least 7×35 is recommended but the 10×40 or 12×40 binoculars are better. You’ll want coated lenses, and a protective rubberized exterior with waterproofing. Check any model you inspect to be certain it focuses clearly with your eyes especially if you wear eyeglasses or contacts. Again, buy the best ones you can afford.
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