Spotting scopes are one of the most expensive equipment for hunters, especially when involved in a type of hunting where enhanced visibility is a must. Scopes can cost twice the price of your best rifles or bows. You must choose carefully before investing in one.
So Are Spotting Scopes Worth the Cost?
Definitely yes! Spotting scopes allow you to make the right judgment on the field about the game you’re about to hunt. This is especially the case when hunting games that are at long distances like the bighorn sheep or coyotes. The scopes help you determine whether the animal is worth the chase, energy, time and effort. Regulations on bighorn sheep hunting are also strict in most states with hunters given age limits of sheep to hunt. This means you have to count the horn configurations of the sheep from a long distance of 1-5 miles to see if the sheep qualifies for a hunt.
Scouting Bighorn Sheep Through Vortex Diamondback spotting scope
Considerations to Choosing the Best Spotting Scope for Bighorn Sheep Hunting
Choosing the right spotting scope for bighorn hunting is much easier than buying things like binoculars. This is because there are few models of the scopes. Almost all brands on the market have a scope that works for sheep hunting.
Here are some considerations to check before making a purchase
Size and Weight of the Spotter
Even without looking at the features, space and weight are prime considerations for bighorn hunters that have to walk steep terrains to spot a sheep. The typical sizes of scopes available on the market are 50mm, 65mm and 80mm with this size indicating the size of the objective lens.
A larger objective lens means you will be able to spot your game better in the morning and evening when the light is dim. However, this is a feature you don’t want to give much consideration when hunting a bighorn sheep. These sheep are not nocturnal animals, and most of the hunting will be done during the day. Ideally, a compact size spotting scope of 65mm or even 50mm is enough to spot your sheep from long distances.
The eyepiece is another excellent feature to consider as it helps determine the scope of your magnification. They are sometimes included in the package, but most of the time you have to buy them separately.
Choose a scope that allows for multiple eyepieces so that you can choose one that best suits your needs.
This is the distance from the eyepiece to the viewer’s eye. It is an excellent feature to consider if you wear glasses. Choosing a big eye relief distance allows individuals with glasses to see full images without any problems.
Higher magnification scopes are designed to see at long distances where binocular will not see. For sheep hunting, you will need high magnification in the range of 30X and 40X. A high-quality lens will mean quality images, but we all know some of the quality gets lost with increased magnifications. Dust, wind, and humidity further lower the image quality. However, when hunting bighorn sheep in the mountains, the low humid conditions ensure you can still get quality images at high magnification.
Lenses are usually coated fully, multi-coated or fully multi-coated to help improve light transmitting through at high magnifications. Since you will be spotting at long distances and using high magnifications, premium scopes with fully multi-coating are required.
We have two body types of scopes which are the straight body and angled body. Each of this body works well in different situations. A straight body scope is ideal for bighorn sheep hunting since it allows for better viewing from high points. Remember most of your sheep hunting will be on the mountains. Angled scopes are ideal for viewing on flat grounds or from the window of your car.
Fogproofing and Waterproofing
These are also excellent features that protect your scopes from atmospheric conditions on the mountains.
Bighorn sheep might take an entire day on the field which requires a lightweight scope that is packable. No single spotter does everything you need perfectly. While 50mm spotters are lightweight and highly portable, they do give up some optical clarity, light gathering ability, and zooming power. 80mm spotters are ideal for dusk and dawn while the 65mm spotter makes lie between these two and make an excellent choice for bighorn sheep hunting. They will help you spot sheep at long distances and are portable.