If you are a hunter you know that being able to find your target is as important as actually being able to shoot.
Particularly if you are targeting animals like wild boar or stags which can move faster than most people would realize and are creatures you don’t want to stumble across accidentally. So, what makes a really good get of hunting binoculars?
Binocular Build Quality
Whether you are out in the bush, in the swamp or in the desert, you will be looking for a set of binoculars that are built to last. Most modern binoculars have a casing built from aluminum, although the type of coating may vary. However, you will also find cheaper options made from molded plastics, although these are generally very low end and not really suitable for hunting – it can be a great option for children who won’t leave your specialized ones alone. http://www.madehow.com/Volume-7/Binocular.html
When you are looking at binoculars you will need to know where you are going to be looking – if you are bird watching you will likely require a different field of view than if you are hunting wild deer. Many specs will talk about the magnification in terms of 8×50. What this means is that your binoculars will make what you are looking at appears 8x larger than when you see it without using binoculars (or 5x, 6x etc). This is the magnification range – and some hunting binoculars will have an adjustable focus that allows you to change the magnification.
Often when people first start looking for the best hunting binoculars, they feel that the larger magnification the better the glasses, unfortunately this isn’t always true. Although technically a 15x or greater magnification would provide an excellent close up of your quarry, unless you are using a tripod (which isn’t normally a standard item when hunting), you will likely find that the view becomes blurry and susceptible to any shaking or movement while you are looking through.
The number on the other side of the x is how large the objective lenses are. So, an 8×50 pair of binoculars will make an object appear 8x larger, through an aperture of 50mm. A smaller objective lens is better for a sunny or high light situation, whereas the higher the second number the more suitable for situations with lower light conditions (for example a star gazer is more likely to be after a 50mm)
Field of View
This is how much of the area you can see when you look through your binoculars. Generally, the measurement relates to how many feet of area you can see at a distance of 1000 yards – although you may also see this represented as a viewing angle. If you are going to be hunting something fast moving or requiring a constant scan of you will likely want a larger field of view than if you are watching the stars.
Whether your hunting trip is a four-day march into rocky terrain or a 30min air drop, you want your gear to be as easy to move and as light as possible, particularly binoculars – which may be carried at the ready and need to be moved quickly to get into a firing position. The old fashioned glasses may have been made with heavier steel, the modern aluminum versions are usually quite light, however different coatings, different lens qualities and focus options can add unexpected weight.
The last thing to check is that your binoculars are going to be suitable for your hunting conditions. Sand is a killer for all lenses, if you are in the swap, in humid forests, or out in the rain you not only want to ensure that your binoculars are going to be able to withstand a little dampness externally, but also check to make sure that they are not going to fog up just when you need them the most.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below and never miss the latest outdoor news, gear reviews, or an exclusive offer from our partners. Just add your email address in the form below and click subscribe.