Best Spotting Scopes for Target Shooting

When we are choosing a spotting scope for our next hunt we will find a few numbers that give us the information similar to those on our rifle scope or binoculars. However, a spotter’s magnification power and the size of the objective lens are usually much larger than on our shooting optics.
Spotting scopes are monoculars with a very high magnification factor, so they are sometimes classified as the medium-range telescopes. Known also as spotters, field scopes or digiscopes, the spotting scopes are in the middle of the road between binoculars and telescopes, offering higher magnification than a riflescope or binoculars but much more portability than a telescope.

But how do you choose the best spotting scope for your needs? This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the aspects of how to select a spotting scope, particularly for hunting.

Difference Between A Spotting Scope And Binoculars

Spotting Scope vs. Binoculars

In comparison, spotters have a higher magnification allowing you to observe stationary objects at a long distance, whereas binoculars make it easier to track a moving object at mid-range distance.

Finally the most important difference between the spotting scopes, and binoculars or riflescopes is a better image quality and edge-to-edge clarity. That feature is especially appreciated by the wildlife photographers, but there is a catch. For an awesome picture clarity at high levels of magnification you will need a quality tripod, another expensive and heavy addition to your luggage and back.

Although these sighting tools are powerful enough to see cosmic objects, spotting scopes are primarily designed for terrestrial use including professional shooters, game hunters, ornithologists and wildlife enthusiasts. Spotting scopes are also popular among nature and wildlife researchers and photographers and even stargazers.

Choosing A Hunting Spotting Scope

Understanding Spotting Scopes

When we are looking for the best spotting scope for hunting purposes, the requested features should be the same as for riflescopes. As you probably know, for diverse terrains and hunting situations you will need different riflescopes.

That also can be said for spotting scopes.
It means you have to properly choose these vision-enhancing tools to suit your specific terrain and type of hunting. In other words, spotting scopes should be designed to accomplish every single task of your intended hunting scenarios.

Types Of Spotting Scopes

There are different types of spotting scopes designed for hunting in varied terrains.

You should consider the weight of the spotting scope so that it does not become a hassle, particularly if you are trying to keep the weight down.

Types of Spotting Scopes

Full Size Or Compact

If you know you have a bit of a trek ahead of you, purchasing a compact spotting scopes with 50-to-65mm objective lenses and magnification ranges in 15-45x powers will run the bill though it may result in some sacrifice in total range and clarity.

If your hunting involves movement from one location to the other driving right up to the spot and looking for the specific game at fairly long ranges, such as 500m or more, you should look for a high-performance full size spotter scope.

Spotting scopes with a 80mm or larger objective lenses and magnification ranges anywhere from 20-70-power provide maximum range and viewing capabilities but be ready to spend some serious cash.

Angled Or Straight

Most spotting scopes come in two body designs, angled and straight.

An angled eyepiece requires you to peer down into the eyepiece from an upright position. It is more comfortable to use when lying down or sitting as it reduces neck and eye fatigue during prolonged hunting sessions.

The angled design option is found in either 45 degrees or 90 degrees eyepiece making it ideal for viewing something that does not move often and at things above you.

Scope with an angled configurations allows you to look at targets upwards whether towards a bird on a tree or steep slopes for the agile mountain-dwelling ungulates such as chamois.

With straight body spotting scopes, the body and eyepiece lie on the same optical plane, which allows you to look straight ahead into the eyepiece at your target.

A straight tube design is appropriate for watching game that move often and quickly, or if you are using the scope from a moving vehicle. It also makes it easy for one to pursue targets at a downhill angle, such as looking down from a tree stand.

Final Thoughts

Similarly to rifle scopes you should choose the right spotter model for your individual hunting needs and terrains. Whether you opt for one that will fit in a backpack and weigh in the 2-pound range, or another bigger, heavier, and full size spotter, these expensive instruments must offer a nice crisp image, a good low light performance, an easy, comfortable use and a good warranty.

Spotting scopes are no small investment, and just like with other optics, what you pay for is what you get. Along with that old adage, there is a rule of thumb to purchase the most expensive spotter you can afford because the higher the price of the spotting scope the better the quality of performance.

Happy hunting!