Binocs vs. Spotting Scope; $230 budget - Utah Wildlife Network

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Old 06-15-2016, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Binocs vs. Spotting Scope; $230 budget

I've been hunting the past couple seasons with a pair of older 12x50 Bushnell binocs mounted on a tripod. Since I started scouting this year, I've noticed that the left side is fuzzy no matter how you much you turn the focus wheel. The right side is fine. I think they got bumped one too many times. So, I need to buy new optics...

I can come up with $230 bucks after selling some stuff I haven't been using (PM me if you want a used MEC 20 ga shotshell reloader and you're willing to meet in Logan/Ogden/maybe SLC). I was going to just replace the old binocs with a pair of the new 2016 vortex diamondback 10 x 42's. However, I've never used a spotting scope and was wondering if I should make the switch. The Vortex diamondback scope is about twice as much as the binoculars though, and out of my budget. So, I'd have to go with a scope in the $230 range. Can anyone recommend one? At this budget, am I better off sticking with the better quality binos, than a $230 spotting scope? Also, is a spotting scope only really useful when supported by binos to cover more ground first before using spotter (I can only afford one or the other)? This is for big game in the Cache and Rich areas.

Oh, and I'm a novice archery hunter and am targeting any legal animal for my first kill. So, optics are to find animals and confirm that they have (or do not have) antlers, NOT judging trophies. Thanks!
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its going to come down to preference and hunting style. If you walk alot, binos are probably better. If you move and sit for a while Spotters are great. For me personally I love spotters, never go hunting without one. You can put antlers on a deer from miles away... vs Bino's where you have to walk over a mile to see if its a buck or not. Somewhere here I posted pictures of Mt Goats through my Razor at 2.5 miles... you could make out billys from nannys.

With your budget, I think you can get a better pair of binos than you can buy a spotter... so bino's might be your best bet. Diamondbacks are pretty good glass for the money, we bought my boy a pair for Christmas this year. They are very good value for the money.

For spotters, me and several people here will recommend you keep saving until you can get into that 1k range. Glass at that price point really is amazing. I have a Vortex Razor 85mm and its incredible value for the cost. Virtually every comparison I've seen in magazines always put the razor line at "just fractionally lower than Swarovski". So a scope at half to 1/3 the cost of Swarovski is only barely noticable below the king of scopes... its crazy. If you have wads of cash to blow sure why not get one... but on a budget, IMO... Razor line of scopes is hands down the best buy for the buck.

-DallanC
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Invest in some binocs with your 230 and pick up a spotting scope later. I love my spotter, and always have it with me, but in your price range having a decent pair of binos will make a much bigger difference than having a $200 spotter.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Found my spotter thread. I was holding up a cell phone to the spotter by hand... lol.

https://utahwildlife.net/forum/1258697-post3.html


-DallanC
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallanC View Post
Found my spotter thread. I was holding up a cell phone to the spotter by hand... lol.

https://utahwildlife.net/forum/1258697-post3.html


-DallanC
Just checked out your pics... WOW.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, so it seems you guys agree I was on the right track in getting binos.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would go with the Bino's for now.
I have a cheap spotter I will let you have if you want to come get it. Ogden area during the day.
Send me a PM to make arrangements
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree binos for now. To really make a spotter worth packing you have to spend more than your budget in my opinion.

As a side note, it sounds like your diopter is off if only one eye is out of focus. I don't know your particular binos but most have a diopter adjustment. It's worth looking at anyway.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you adjusted the diopter? It may be as simple as that to fix those binos and you could invest that money on a spotter and you would have both.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you make the purchase, I would highly recommend Vortex. You get into a pair of Diamondback 12X50 binocs for a decent deal still. Try Kents Market in Tremonton. They are traditionally cheaper and sell a bunch of stuff. I bought some Viper HD 15X50 binocs there last year. They were 100 bucks cheaper than Sportsmans, and even Amazon.

Also can't beat the unconditional lifetime warranty on those Vortex optics!

You might slip into that 230 range on a pair of 12X50s with them.
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