It all comes down to you
It may seem cliche to say, but in the end choosing the right pair of binoculars comes down to you! Binoculars are one of those products that come in a variety of different specifications that could confuse any newcomer. The truth however is that with a little bit of knowledge and some guided understanding, you can make use of the large variety of binoculars to find the right pair suited to your exact hunting needs. How do you do that? Well lets get started!
Everybody has a preference for what sort of game they want to hunt. Some prefer large prey such as deer while many like hunting rabbits or other smaller varmint. The truth is that your choice of magnification for binoculars will be influenced very much by what sort of game you wish to hunt regularly.
If you are hunting animals at close distances (wild boar for example) you will want to look for something that has a low level of magnification. This low level of magnification allows you to have a a wider field of view which is crucial when you’re hunting in closer proximity. Targets at closer proximity can move quickly and you don’t want to be lost in the image of a high magnification pair of binoculars where all you see is the leaf on a tree, not the actual target.
If you are hunting from longer distances you may want to go for a higher magnification binocular. Most long range shooting involves one shot kill, so the likelihood is that you will hit the target once and it should not continue to move around. In this instance a high magnification binocular is ideal because you can get a good look at a target from long range then take proper aim using your rifle scope.
What time of Day are you hunting?
Now this seems like a silly questions because everyone hunts at the same time of day right? Wrong! In North America hunters usually venture out for a hunt during the day. This is in contrast to Australia where hunters usually go out for a hunt at night.
So how does this affect what binocular I buy? Well the size of your binocular determines how much light you capture to illuminate your view. The larger the binocular the more light you capture. If you hunt during bright light conditions you can get away with a smaller pair of binoculars while at night you need something large enough to capture any light to brighten your image.
Day hunters can go for something along the lines of 8×32 or 8×40, while night time hunters may need to consider 8×42 through to even 8×50 binoculars to ensure a decent image for hunting.
Now that you know what sort of magnification you’re after and the size of your binoculars, the next step is to choose what sort of optic quality you want. Spend a bit of time in a binocular store and you quickly wonder why an 8×42 binocular can range from $300 to $1500. The different primarily lies in the quality of the lenses used.
Higher quality lenses provide 2 main benefits for hunters. The first is a sharper image. You will find with high quality lenses a much sharper image where there is less blur around the edges of objects. This allows for greater clarity when spotting a target and generally gives hunters a lot more confidence when going after a target.
The second benefit of higher quality lenses is the increased colour quality in your image. Higher quality lenses such as the ED lens give the viewer a much richer colour experience. The contrasts are more distinct and the level of detail improves significantly. These are all great for hunters who want to see details on their target and make sure they are well prepared for their shot!
Finally we come to all the extra features you can add on to your dream pair of hunting binoculars. These include things such as rubber armouring, shockproof capabilities and more. My recommendation for hunting binoculars is to go with something Fog Proof, Water Proof (or at least water resistant) and also rugged (shock proof or robust armour).
All these features make sense for hunters because lets face it, hunting isn’t for the faint hearted. You will need a tough pair of binoculars that will move with you and keep you going!
So what now?
If you’re ready to purchase a pair of binoculars I highly recommend that you go to someone who gives you good advice. Optics is not everyone’s cup of tea so it can be quite confusing. Good sellers not only know the product they carry, but they are approachable and give easy to understand recommendations. Whether you like physical stores or online stores, I’ve found they both can give great service. One that I particularly like is OZScopes. They sold me a binocular at a great price last time around and they were nice too. If you’re looking for specific brands consider zeiss binoculars or even leica binoculars.