3 Tips on Choosing Binoculars for a Western Hunt

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Whether it’s desert Coues deer hunting, a high country elk hunt, or open country mule deer, we spend a great deal of time each season looking through the glass. When hunting in the vast landscapes of Arizona or elsewhere in the west, having quality binoculars provides a clear advantage. 

Here are three tips and important things to consider when looking at binoculars for your next western hunt:

1. Consider The Overall Quality 

Binoculars can be a confusing item to shop for. Everyone has a different opinion and you’ll find options that range from a couple hundred dollars to thousands. However, don’t let it make your head spin. It doesn’t have to be complicated. 

Higher quality glass allows more light, which is particularly noticeable at dawn and dusk and can extend your glassing time at both ends of the day. High quality glass will also improve upon sharpness, distortion and color, reducing eye fatigue on hunts that require long hours of glassing. 

You don’t have to purchase the most expensive option to find good quality. But there is a noticeable difference at each price point. Like anything, you get what you pay for. When looking at binoculars, set your budget first. Then, compare the options you have available at the top of your range.

2. Consider The Magnification and Size

When selecting optics for western hunting, you want options that are going to be versatile enough for multiple adventures. You’ll also need a balance between lightweight portability and sufficient power, depending on the style of hunt. For example, a heavy pair of 12x binoculars on a tripod might be great for Coues deer hunts. But that same setup might not be ideal for a high elevation, backpack elk hunt.

Most western hunters looking for their first set of quality binoculars should probably consider 8×42 or 10×42. These are versatile enough to take you from open plains to timber. Both will give you enough power to find game in open country, and a wide field of view for glassing in tight spots. Set on a tripod, you can glass steadily for hours. But they’re also light enough to carry on a backcountry hunt. 

Down the road, you can always add more specialized glass to your arsenal, based on the style of hunting you end up doing most often. 

3. Consider The Durability and Warranty 

Finally, you should expect that binoculars are going to get rattled, wet, stuffed in packs and totally abused. With that in mind, durability is an essential quality. Be sure and select quality binoculars that are waterproof and tough. Alongside durability, make sure you ask about the warranty. When all other things seem equal, sometimes it’s the warranty that will tip your decision one way or another. 

For more information on hunting in Arizona with Antler Canyon Outfitters, please explore the rest of our website. For details or availability, you can call Toby at (928) 205-8911 or send us a message.

Ryan McSparran
Ryan McSparran
Ryan McSparran is an outdoor writer, a hunting and fly fishing guide, and very proud to be a part of the Antler Canyon Outfitters team.

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