Welcome back fellow hunters this week I want to discuss optics as it pertains to hunting mores specifically 10×42 Binoculars. I will approach the subject in the following format……
- Binocular Mechanics
- Outdoor / Field Features
- Binocular Accessories
- Conclusion Looking Back
I hope that this post will add some value when researching binoculars specifically for hunting use.
My history with binoculars for use when hunting reached back some 15 to 20 years ago ….since the place where we hunt has a lot of thick underbrush and down here in East Texas the vegetation never really dies since it does not get cold enough during our hunting season which starts the first weekend in November and ends the first full weekend of the New Year.
That stated it can be hard to pick up any kind of whitetail deer movement whether stalking on the ground or up in a tree climbing stand. For our example we will use the type of binoculars I use for hunting Bushnell 10×42 ……the first number “10” is the “magnification” meaning the objects being observed look 10 times closer than the naked eye. The second number “42” is the size of the object lens in millimeters. As for the “field of view” which means the “width of the area you can see” the higher the magnification number in this instance “10” the less area you can see at once.
In simple terms what I have found is that any 10×42 binoculars have been excellent for spotting deer in thick brush when you only have a view of about 100 to 150 yards (where we hunt in the Piney Woods in east Texas there are not a lot of open fields but mainly tall pine forests.
Below is a picture of the anatomy of a set of binocular similar to the ones I use every hunting season I will not list out all the features as they are labeled for easy reference.
Outdoor / Field Features
There are many variations of binoculars you can choose from but if you are looking for a set that is tough in the field and will work as expected I would recommend the following features ……
- Rubber Coated Body = this will allow you to grip the binoculars in wet or humid weather and will protect the pair of binoculars from scratches / nicks etc from moving thru the forest
- Optical Coatings = this will help improve the amount of light they gather as well as enhance sharpness and clarity to what you are viewing
- Lens cap covers = once again another protective feature to keep your lens from getting scratched and dinged up
- Eye relief = is basically the amount in mm your can be from the eyepiece and see the whole field of view afforded by your binoculars. Clearly this is an issue for spectacle wearers as their eyes will be further back. When using binoculars with an eye relief of less than 10mm you’re only seeing the center of the image! A bit like masking off the outer part of your TV set.
- Fog Proof = basically what it means the lens will not fog up when in use
- Waterproof = yet another self explained feature but a very important one if you are in the field and it rains on you.
The more expensive the pair you purchase the better quality the above mentioned features will be in the end you will need to decide what works best for your type of hunting or binocular use you have in mind such as sporting events / concerts etc.
Once again there are many types of accessories that can accompany a set of binoculars but I prefer the following items in no particular order….
- Binocular Harness = this will most definitely ease the fatigue of lugging around a pair of binoculars especially when you are taking along other gear with you in the field like backpacks / tree stand / obvious your firearm and water / snacks etc….
- Binocular Case = I just recently purchase a case that attaches to my harness so that I can cover my optics when walking or climbing a tree with my stand just another extra layer of protection
- Tethered Binocular Caps = these caps stay connected to the binocular lens via a rubber ring and the cap can easily be flipped on and off for quick viewing
Heck there are even binocular bino-pod harnesses which allow you to use a chest mounted stand so that you will have solid stability when using your binoculars.
Conclusion Looking Back……..
I will say as an avid user of field optics I have seen so much more than the naked eye could ever reveal and it has allowed me to be better prepared for a shot on a whitetail deer long before they even come into shooting-range. Binoculars can also help you should you get turned around in the woods by locating objects and other geographical features to help you get your bearings and lead you back whence you came.
In closing I trust this article was helpful and not more confusing should you be considering a pair of binoculars for yourself?
Good luck / be safe and get to “glassing”!