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#6411125 - 08/16/16 03:21 PM West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics
Mickey Moose Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
I'm planning a possible spot-and-stalk west Texas Aoudad hunt in Presidio County, moutain-y area. Shots, I'm told, are expected to be in the 300 - 400 yard range. I expect glassing could be quite a bit further.

I already have a decent rifle scope but I need help with binoculars and/or a spotting scope. I have cheap binoculars already - Pursuit X1 10x42. It'a a Bass Pro brand, I think a re-branded Redfield. Since I've never done a hunt like this I don't know how viable my current $100 Bass Pro model will be. Maybe fine, maybe marginal, maybe useless?? I'm sure better binoculars could increase the possibility for success.

Now onto a spotting scope. How optional is a spotting scope? Maybe to a small degree that depends on binoculars?

So...

1) Do I roll with the binoculars I have and buy only a spotting scope? I could even use money that I don't spend on binoculars to put towards a spotting scope.
2) Buy binoculars? Recommendations?
3) Forgo or buy a spotting scope? If buy, recommendations?

This will be a fully guided hunt so I expect the guide to have both. That may be a factor to some but I don't necessarily want to cheap out on a hunt that's several thousand dollars round trip. I guess that's the answer to my questions and I just need gear recommendations!

Thanks for your feedback.
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#6411180 - 08/16/16 03:59 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
Rob M Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 601
Loc: Denton, TX
I went on an aoudad hunt in Palo Duro last year and all I used was a pair of vortex 10x binos. I had no problem spotting aoudad that were close to 1000 yards away.
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#6411183 - 08/16/16 04:02 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Rob M]
Mickey Moose Offline
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Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
Originally Posted By: Rob M
...vortex 10x binos. I had no problem spotting aoudad that were close to 1000 yards away.

What model?
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#6411190 - 08/16/16 04:07 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
nyalubwe Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 238
Loc: Montana
Yep. 10X Binos....the best you can possibly afford. Lots of good stuff in the $600 range now. You will get a lot of use out of them on other hunts as well. You wont need a spotting scope, guide will have one.

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#6411203 - 08/16/16 04:16 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
cblackall Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 05/12/16
Posts: 114
Loc: Lewisville, TX
You'll get way more mileage out of a good pair of bino's. A spotting scope has it's place, but it's specialized. If I'm glassing, my bino's are used to scan the terrain first. The field of view, stability, light gathering ability and typically the clarity will all be better with your binoculars. Not to mention reduced eye fatigue. I purchased a spotting scope for an antelope hunt in Wyoming, and have taken it elk hunting as well. I can count on one hand the number of times it got used in the field. It just took too long to set up, and wind and mirage made it nearly worthless at max power. If I have my spotting scope, it won't come out until I've found something of interest a long way off, or I need to pick apart a patch of brush or judge a distant animal. The spotting scope and tripod is cumbersome, and not really suited to a run and gun style hunt. If you will be seated on a hillside or bluff overlooking a lot of country for hours, it might be worth it to you, but I wouldn't sacrifice binocular quality just to have the spotter. If you choose to get a spotting scope, make sure it's a good one. The lower quality ones tend to get pretty grainy at high power, which is nearly useless if you're trying to count points or judge length. I've gone to using a pair of good 10x42's with a tripod and adapter for all my long range glassing, and I love it. Mounting your binoculars on a tripod really makes a difference for extended sits. I would suggest 10x42's for general work, or 12x50's for mounting on a tripod or hunting from a box blind. The 12x50's are nice, they're just a little heavier, and harder to steady off hand.

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#6411255 - 08/16/16 04:39 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
Rob M Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/13/11
Posts: 601
Loc: Denton, TX
Here is what I used and still carry on all my hunts.

http://www.vortexoptics.com/product/vortex-diamondback-10x50-binocular
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#6411306 - 08/16/16 05:03 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4879
Loc: Central Texas
Don't forget the rangefinder. Seeing the critter is the first step, but when hunting unfamiliar territory, distances are tough to estimate.

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#6411328 - 08/16/16 05:16 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: 603Country]
Mickey Moose Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
Originally Posted By: 603Country
Don't forget the rangefinder. Seeing the critter is the first step, but when hunting unfamiliar territory, distances are tough to estimate.

Yes, I have a rangefinder too. Good to 500 yards so it's more than what I need.
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#6411339 - 08/16/16 05:23 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
NTO Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 315
www.optics4rent.com you can rent quality glass for cheap. Good glass looking thru them all day it's worth the price.
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#6411486 - 08/16/16 07:11 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
Big Fitz Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 2008
Loc: McKinney, TX
You can borrow my Leupold Gold Ring Spotter 12-40x60 on a nice tripod if you like. My binocs were just simple Burris 10X. I did that hunt a few years ago and my guide had both very high quality scope and binocs but I liked using my own as well.


Edited by Big Fitz (08/16/16 07:12 PM)
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#6411552 - 08/16/16 07:40 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Big Fitz]
Mickey Moose Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/12
Posts: 2575
Originally Posted By: Big Fitz
You can borrow my Leupold Gold Ring Spotter 12-40x60 on a nice tripod if you like. My binocs were just simple Burris 10X. I did that hunt a few years ago and my guide had both very high quality scope and binocs but I liked using my own as well.

That's very generous of you to offer, thank you.

I was just looking at the same model spotter. Sure is nice.
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#6411626 - 08/16/16 08:17 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: cblackall]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: cblackall
You'll get way more mileage out of a good pair of bino's. A spotting scope has it's place, but it's specialized. If I'm glassing, my bino's are used to scan the terrain first. The field of view, stability, light gathering ability and typically the clarity will all be better with your binoculars. Not to mention reduced eye fatigue. I purchased a spotting scope for an antelope hunt in Wyoming, and have taken it elk hunting as well. I can count on one hand the number of times it got used in the field. It just took too long to set up, and wind and mirage made it nearly worthless at max power. If I have my spotting scope, it won't come out until I've found something of interest a long way off, or I need to pick apart a patch of brush or judge a distant animal. The spotting scope and tripod is cumbersome, and not really suited to a run and gun style hunt. If you will be seated on a hillside or bluff overlooking a lot of country for hours, it might be worth it to you, but I wouldn't sacrifice binocular quality just to have the spotter. If you choose to get a spotting scope, make sure it's a good one. The lower quality ones tend to get pretty grainy at high power, which is nearly useless if you're trying to count points or judge length. I've gone to using a pair of good 10x42's with a tripod and adapter for all my long range glassing, and I love it. Mounting your binoculars on a tripod really makes a difference for extended sits. I would suggest 10x42's for general work, or 12x50's for mounting on a tripod or hunting from a box blind. The 12x50's are nice, they're just a little heavier, and harder to steady off hand.


^^Very good post.

I don't own spotting scope (yet) or high end binocs. If I were going on that hunt, I'd borrow a friend's 10X Swarovski binocs, because I know they'd get used many times per hour. I currently scan with an 8X Swarovski Laser Guide. Sure it's one eye, but it's Swaro glass, so it's pure clarity. That being said, glass clarity trumps everything, buy the clearest glass you can afford.

Running a spotter can work, but you need to do some practicing first. Have a pouch for it on your pack, try getting it out, and back in while wearing the pack. Try getting it steady seated on the ground, and using your knees. Then try taking the pack off and using the pack to get the spotter steady. Binocs, on that hunt, will require less effort to get into service.
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#6411704 - 08/16/16 09:01 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
DStroud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1160
Loc: Waco
This is a pet peeve of mine. Get some nice bino's as they can be a lifetime investment.
On a hunt like this you will be using them constantly and while a Spotter is handy quality bino's IMO are a must have.

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#6411718 - 08/16/16 09:16 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: Mickey Moose]
RHutch Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 05/25/13
Posts: 317
Loc: Frisco
I use binos for locating and generally watching game.
I break out the spotter when 1. I need more detail to determine if the quarry spotted at distance is worthy of pursuit or 2. I think I found something waaaaaay out there with the binos and need to verify.

Been on the aoudad hunt in west Texas and did fine with 10x binos. Took the spotter but didn't need it. Broke it out once to play with it cause I felt obligated since I was packing it around.

When hunting mule deer in big mule deer country, I do pack and use the spotter although the binos do most of the work. It is not unusual to be scanning out 800 yards to 1.5 miles where I hunt.
Headed out in November to pursue big muleys and will be packing the 10x BRF and the 15-45x spotter.

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#6411724 - 08/16/16 09:21 PM Re: West Texas Aoudad Hunt - Optics [Re: DStroud]
Tff caribou Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 3002
Loc: Watauga, TX
Originally Posted By: DStroud
This is a pet peeve of mine. Get some nice bino's as they can be a lifetime investment.
On a hunt like this you will be using them constantly and while a Spotter is handy quality bino's IMO are a must have.


What is the pet peeve?
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