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Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion #6784365 06/05/17 07:05 PM
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It has been argued that using a rifle scope is perfectly OK for scanning/glassing for game, rather than using binoculars, so.....

Do you consider it safe to use a rifle scope, on a loaded rifle, instead of binoculars or a spotting scope when glassing for game animals?

Why or why not?

Edited.....You guys mentioned thermal. My question pertains to daytime hunting ONLY.

Rifle/Hunting Safety Quiz
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Votes accepted starting: 06/05/17 07:03 PM
Last edited by Jgraider; 06/05/17 07:35 PM.
Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784367 06/05/17 07:07 PM
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I do it all the time with a thermal scope at night in our hunting area. AR-15 fully loaded, round in the chamber, and safety on. With proper weapon handling and good finger control, I see no problem with it. But this is me, not someone else.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784371 06/05/17 07:10 PM
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I see no problem with it as long as you aren't an idiot or jacka$$. I do it all the time with the safety on and my finger off the trigger.



Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784375 06/05/17 07:15 PM
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I don't do it at all but, would if I had thermal....


Originally Posted by Chunky Monkey
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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: rickym] #6784377 06/05/17 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: rickym
I see no problem with it as long as you aren't an idiot or jacka$$. I do it all the time with the safety on and my finger off the trigger.

yep ... hunted my first 30+ years without binoculars (well, that were worth a flip), scope was all the magnification available. Just have to remember safety first.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784382 06/05/17 07:19 PM
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Since it potentially violates the first rule of gun safety, no. It's stupid to do it in the daytime for sure. If I see a guy scanning with his rifle in the daytime, pretty much tells me all I need to know about his level of competence/know how.

And, yeah, we all did it 30 years ago too. It was still stupid.

I can see where guys with night vision scopes would not agree, since many of them basically have no other choice.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784389 06/05/17 07:30 PM
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As a general rule I do not condone the use of the rifles scope to scan for game...having said that...Yes I've done this in the past, but have always known for dead solid and certain that I was the only person on the property...after a close call many years ago.

I also have been busted by game critters I hadn't previously seen until after they'd taken a high speed exit after my high polish blue steel barrel reflected a rising or setting sun, when scanning with the rifle's scope. Sooo I use my binoculars 98% of the time, even at under 50 yrds to see into the brush mo bettah and can see a larger field of view and use 10x glasses, same power as the top end of most of my rifle scopes.

Stopped using glossy high polish/high reflective guns too about 30 years ago....even if the BH goes out of her way to complement somebody elses really purty shooter and put up with her usual "don't you think that's a pretty gun", followed by the ..."you want one of those for Christmas/Father Day/Birthday ... it sure is pretty." She still doesn't belive my standard answer.."guns being pretty don't make 'em shoot straight..." JMHO & YMMV
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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784400 06/05/17 07:41 PM
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Binoculars are so much better for scanning for game than a riflescope it's silly not to use them.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784406 06/05/17 07:46 PM
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I'll clarify a little more- If I'm in the deer stand, and just simply hunting, I have a pair of binocs I'll use. I can stay more secluded inside the stand while scanning with binocs. I don't stick the rifle out the window to look around, no.

At night, we are normally set up in a blind or on top of a truck calling and/or scanning. We know our surrounding, and where we are. You can't be quiet when loading up an AR.

We have also caught someone coming on to our property at night without permission when we were scanning. We saw them drive in, and they had no clue we were there. We followed them in a Polaris, lights out looking through a thermal to follow them. They turned around, and then we turned our lights on when they were approaching us. Yeah, they were shocked. Long story short, they had no business being there.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784407 06/05/17 07:46 PM
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I don't for a couple of different reasons. First, I carry good binos, and second I spend so much time glassing for animals that I'd be completely worn out after the first hour of two if I had to hold up a rifle. If I spot an animal way off and want to get a better look at it (more magnification), then I'll put the binos down and pick up my rifle.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784409 06/05/17 07:48 PM
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I did it for a long time until I purchased some decent binoculars.

I purchased bino's in part because I once used my rifle to determine what animal was walking across a tank dam on my place. As it approached the end of the dam, it kept going into to pasture. It was my neighbor taking a short cut. I was watching their head bob along as they walked behind the dam.

It pizzed me off and rattled me both...

Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784412 06/05/17 07:51 PM
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Have before when I forgot binoculars, but for the most part binoculars are easier, better, and more concealed.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784422 06/05/17 08:00 PM
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Not a good idea. And not very efficient comfort/movement wise.

This is why the more research I did for night hunting with thermal, I realized I needed to save enough for a hand held to scan terrain and scope for hunting what I find with the hand held unit.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784430 06/05/17 08:11 PM
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One tool does not fit every job. General scanning, yes a handheld optic. Rifle on the sling, or on the ground.

What generated this was 800-1000 yard talk. Who carries a 20X-25X pair of binoculars? Many people have rifle scopes with equivalent (or better) glass than their handheld optic, whatever it may be, and have more magnification in the rifle scope. I'm not suggesting everyone needs to be taking a shot on a mule deer 800 yards away, but if a guy is hunting a mature buck, and not a two year old, having the glass clarity and magnification to identify something that far away will let him know if he wants to close the distance, stay put, or go the other way.

As I mentioned before, from the third week of January all the way to November, my bolt is open. It's open on UTV, ATV, truck, and on foot. The rifle can't shot with an open bolt. And despite what you think, I do hunt 52 weeks a year. Hogs and coyotes always need killing, and they are all around my place.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784431 06/05/17 08:11 PM
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I wouldn't pick up my deer rifle and scan back and forth with it but if I seen a buck with my naked eye and wanted a better look I wouldn't hesitate to pick up the rifle and get a better look. While actively scanning I use naked eye and binos looking for movement.

Like others when hunting at night I do scan with rifle and NV being very cautious to keep safety on and finger off the trigger until I have a target identified and I am ready to fire.

Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784453 06/05/17 08:35 PM
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I am simply amazed at the folks who will point a loaded weapon at something they do not intend to shoot, or don't even know what it is, or are just looking around. Flat out amazing and puzzling.

Once again.....NOT TALKING ABOUT THERMALS OR NIGHT HUNTING

Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784475 06/05/17 08:59 PM
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Also not talking about getting more details to make a decision on whether it's an animal to take or not on an animal that's already been located. Which everyone does I'm sure.

The question is about scanning/glassing to locate game.


Originally Posted by Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.


Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: ChadTRG42] #6784515 06/05/17 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
fully loaded, round in the chamber, and safety on. With proper weapon handling and good finger control, I see no problem with it. But this is me, not someone else.



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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784541 06/05/17 10:24 PM
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I do think that there's a profound difference between doing this on private vs public land. I don't think the practice has any place on public land.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784548 06/05/17 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: Jgraider
I am simply amazed at the folks who will point a loaded weapon at something they do not intend to shoot, or don't even know what it is, or are just looking around. Flat out amazing and puzzling.

Once again.....NOT TALKING ABOUT THERMALS OR NIGHT HUNTING


Lol. How does the sun not being up make it ok. roflmao

Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: swmays] #6784572 06/05/17 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: swmays
Originally Posted By: Jgraider
I am simply amazed at the folks who will point a loaded weapon at something they do not intend to shoot, or don't even know what it is, or are just looking around. Flat out amazing and puzzling.

Once again.....NOT TALKING ABOUT THERMALS OR NIGHT HUNTING


Lol. How does the sun not being up make it ok. roflmao


Technically it's worse, if you're the safety Police.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784611 06/05/17 11:42 PM
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The first rule most of us were taught about gun safety is the keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, that being either up or down. If you consider it unsafe to walk around with a gun that's not pointed in a safe direction, why would you use a scope to identify a potential target? It contradicts Rule #1.

The question brings to mind how people make mistakes when they incorrectly identify the target. Now stop and think for a minute. Short of a criminal act, no sane person is going to knowingly shoot another person. Still, there are plenty of examples where a hunter willfully pulled the trigger on what they later learned was another person. And in some of those cases, that person was a family member. I use the term "willfully" because in their mind at that time, they believed they were shooting at animal, otherwise they wouldn't have pulled the trigger.

IMO, the only way to keep Rule #1 is to clearly identify the target first with the naked eye. At that point, the scope is used not for target identification, but for shot placement.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: J.G.] #6784680 06/06/17 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Originally Posted By: swmays
Originally Posted By: Jgraider
I am simply amazed at the folks who will point a loaded weapon at something they do not intend to shoot, or don't even know what it is, or are just looking around. Flat out amazing and puzzling.

Once again.....NOT TALKING ABOUT THERMALS OR NIGHT HUNTING


Lol. How does the sun not being up make it ok. roflmao


Technically it's worse, if you're the safety Police.


Yeah, you're right. Why even bring up safety when using a loaded weapon. You probably don't have any rules on your rifle range, since you light heartedly mention safety. I had one of my best friend's teenage son killed at point blank range from a stupid "I didn't know it was loaded" stunt pulled by his best friend. I take it very seriously. Shame you don't.

swmays, it doesn't make it alright. The guys who answered first started bringing it up. It's never a good idea.

Last edited by Jgraider; 06/06/17 12:54 AM.
Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784708 06/06/17 01:16 AM
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You were doing so good, then went back to being a punk.

Zero times have I had an accidental discharge. And that's thousands of rounds each year, as well as lots of rifle movement. Throw in hosting two matches per year, with 30 rifles, and 30 shooters at once, and 15 at another all THF members. Zero accidents. Why? Because safety is priority one. And again, you're not absorbing, an open bolt rifle cannot fire, period. Couple that with keeping your finger off the trigger, and I don't ever move my safety off of the fire position. If I am alone, and hunting, I may chamber and safety, but it is rare. If anyone is with me, back to an open bolt, for everyone around.


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Re: Rifle/Hunting Safety Qeustion [Re: Jgraider] #6784719 06/06/17 01:26 AM
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I read your open bolt excuse a page or two ago. It's still a stupid idea, and I wasn't talking about that necessarily, you were. I was stating pointing a loaded weapon at an unknown, or glassing with it, is stupid.

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