Nikon LensPen Pro Kit - 8228

The Ultimate Guide to Field Optic Care

Optic Field Care |Spotting Scope, Binocular, Riflescope, and Rangefinder Maintenance

Optics have changed the game for outdoorsmen.  They give us the ability to be on an equal playing field with wildlife, which not only possesses better speed, strength, and stamina but in most cases better senses. This includes eyesight. That’s why it’s no wonder we are willing to pay out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to own optics that we know and love. These often make or break our ability to properly execute that hunt and bring home dinner. However, significant investments come with significant risks.  Whether you own a spotting scope, rangefinder, riflescope, or all of them, it’s important that they are properly cared for to assure they don’t need replacement, or worse, fail when they are needed the most.

That’s why we have compiled a list of “optic best practices” to help prolong the life, and dependability, of the most common optics carried with hunters. However, to appreciate these optics, it’s important to understand the elements they are exposed to. That’s why we have also listed 5 major field concerns every optic owner needs to be aware of, and specific measures that can be taken to assure each keep working to their highest potential.

Field Concerns for Every Sportsman’s Optics

  • Damage to Body and Lens

The obvious damage most of us think of when it comes to optics is bodily and lens damage.  This happens most when we drop or scratch, the unit.  Perhaps we didn’t carry it properly, became lazy and didn’t cover it, or simply used the wrong cleaning kit. All of these things wear on the unit and result in an early replacement.

  • Dust/Dirt

Nothing is worse than pulling up the scope and finding it’s too dirty to see out of. Dust and dirt can also be the culprit behind an optic’s poor performance and a missed opportunity in the field. Not only is it annoying seeing dust particles behind the lens, but it’s even more frustrating not being able to focus on the subject.  It’s important to avoid getting dust and debris on the optic at all costs.

  • Moisture

Moisture is a concern for every optic. Rain, snow, and humidity all play a role in the condition of the unit.  Moisture that gets within the lens can may be impossible to get out.  This clouds vision, or worse, eliminates its ability to function, such as with a rangefinder.   Pulling that rangefinder up to the eye, and then proceeding to dry the moisture off with the nearest piece of cloth (aka a jacket), is another disaster.

  • Sunlight

Don’t leave optics in the sun for extended periods of time. Sunlight can cause internal heat buildup, wrecking the device. It can often soften the lens coating, causing them to separate from the lens itself.

Binoculars

Binoculars are arguably the most popular optic that outdoors enthusiasts use in the field.  This is why they are carried on nearly every adventure. It doesn’t matter if we are scouting from a vehicle or climbing a mountain, our binoculars are always with us.

Since they are our most commonly used optic, they are also the most commonly abused.  They are easy to shove in a pack, across a shoulder, or simply set in the elements when sitting in a stand.  All of these compromise their condition, often requiring them to be replaced well before our intentions. That’s why proper care is the utmost essential for keeping binoculars in proper working condition.

Proper Care

Use a Case and a Strap 

It’s important to always carry binoculars in a case and with a strap.  This way the optics are protected from the elements while still being easily accessible.  The strap also keeps the binoculars from bouncing or grinding against any object, helping protect it from physical damage. Strapping it across the chest is a great way to eliminate bounce while keeping the unit easily accessible. This helps reduce that wear and tear we mentioned in the beginning of the article.

Bring Proper Cleaning Kits 

As we discussed, moisture and dust can be a problem for any optic. However, the only thing worse than dust and moisture (other than breaking it) is using a sleeve and some saliva to scratch that lens. Always use the manufacturer’s cloth and cleaning kit. This can help eliminate scratches and stains, keeping the binoculars in excellent working condition for years to come.

Keep Out of the Sun 

The sun can cause intense heat and damage the lens coating.  Keeping the binoculars off the dash and in a cool and dry place can prolong the life, and quality, of the unit.

Rangefinders

Rangefinders have become essential for every hunter.  This distance device is small enough to fit anywhere, meaning it is often the most carelessly stored.   It can fall out of pockets, become damaged in bags, and be frequently susceptible to moisture.  Just like binoculars, rangefinders tend to experience most of our abuse.  That’s why it’s important to understand proper care techniques to assure it’s accurately reading distance when it’s needed the most.

Proper Care

Keep it in a Case 

Keep the rangefinder out of the elements and away from any dust and debris as frequently as possible. This means keeping it in a designated case whenever it’s not being used to determine distance.  Avoid throwing it in a bag or pocket.

Keep it Secure 

Keep it clipped or strapped to the chest as much as possible.  This not only helps keep it from getting lost, but also help reduces that every day wear and tear.

Use a Designated Cloth and Cleaning Kit 

Just like binoculars, using the right fabric and cleaning supplies can mean the difference between a scratch or perfect lens.  Always keep the manufacturers cloth along to assure the lens is being cleaned the responsible way.

Check Components 

The battery cover can easily become loose and fall out. This means losing battery and losing power.  It’s important to periodically check the rangefinder’s components when in the field to help assure all parts are secure and in proper working order.

Remove Battery When Possible  

This is most important when dealing with long-term storage.  However, it’s not a bad idea for long periods in the field, either. Removing the battery helps prolong its lifespan.

Riflescopes

Riflescope field care differs from binoculars and rangefinders. This is because most rifles have to be kept in the elements so it’s ready for that big moment. This means there are times when carrying it in a protective case isn’t an option. Instead, it’s important to focus on the components that can be easily protected.

Proper Care

Use the Caps 

It’s not always the most convenient to keep the scope lenses covered up.  However, it can save the life of the lens.  When walking through brush or heavily wooded areas, the lens becomes susceptible to scratches.  Not to mention, any rain, snow, or condensation can make or break that next shot.  Just one more reason to keep them covered in the field.

Clean the Right Way 

It’s easy to forget that a riflescope needs to be cleaned in a similar matter as other optics: frequently and with care.  It’s essential to use the right cloth to wipe away access moisture and to clean lens after long days in the woods. Absolutely avoid getting any solvent, oil, or spit for that matter, on the lens.  Instead, use a cleaning brush and water to wipe the lens clean.

Transport in a Protected Case when Possible 

Most of the time, being in the field means the rifle is on a sling mounted on the back. However, during those time when hunting calls for an off-road machine, a horseback ride, or navigating with a truck, it’s important that the entire unit is protected within a padded case.  This will assure the scope doesn’t move and the lenses are protected.  If the firearm is dropped, there will still be a chance the rifle and scope are properly aligned.

Spotting Scopes

Spotting scopes are large, expensive, and relatively fragile optics than no one wants to mistreat.  They can easily run over $1,000, therefore replacing them for most people isn’t an option.  That’s why proper care is crucial to getting the most out of the investment.

Leica spotting scope

Proper Care

Keep it Padded 

Just like a rifle scope, padded packing is essential.  One major drop and the unit, as well as it’s lenses, will be damaged.  Keeping the scope in its padded case as frequently as possible.

Keep the Eyepiece Attached 

Taking the eyepiece off the body can make it more vulnerable to dust, debris, moisture and damage.  Therefore, always keep the eyepiece attached when using and transporting it in the field.

Keep it in a Dry Bag  

When possible, it’s wise to keep a spotting scope in a dry bag.  Due to their size, spotting scopes don’t fit in waterproof pockets or can be easily covered in case of adverse weather.  Therefore, to avoid water wreaking havoc on the lens, it’s best to keep that expensive investment in a dry bag.

Only Use the Designated Cloth 

Just like all optics, it’s essential to only use designated cleaning and drying supplies provided by the manufacturers to avoid damage to the lens.

Field Care Recap 

Quality optics are an important part of finding success in the field.  However, they don’t come cheap.  That is why it’s important to properly care for your optics both off and in the field.  All optics should be protected from dust and debris as much as possible, kept in a padded case, and only cleaned with a designated cloth and cleanser (or simply water).  Putting the time and effort into properly caring for our optics and make or break the success of the next month (and our budget).

Picking the correct scope

Top tips for picking a suitable rifle scope for hunting

Nowadays, firearm fanatics utilize certain kinds of optical sighting device on their gun equipment. This is plainly for the reason of simplicity. Having a rifle scope gives you the realization of power, of being able to reach out your target from a distance.

A rifle scope’s main mission is to hold zero for you to plaster the rectangle on your target and you can expect the bullet to land approximately to that spot. The important thing is to understand what you really need the scope for and select appropriately.

Most rifle scopes for hunting is simple with very few additional features. They require to be easy to operate without being affected by harsh occasions. Therefore, here are a few important tips for you to consider before selecting a rifle scope.

1. Types of rifle scopes
Rifle scopes can be separated into 3 main categories, which covers practically most hunting situations. A low-magnification scope are more flexible than what most hunters visualize. Mid-range scopes are usually more favored by professionals when hunting larger targets. Lastly, a high-magnification precision scope are popular for long-range shooting.

Therefore, it is important to think about where are you hunting and what are you hunting for. If you are a small game hunter, you would not require a a zoom above 10x. However if you are going big, you will require a further visual for precision.

2. Types of reticles
There are many different types of reticles for you to choose from. Reticles can be divided into 3 different categories. First, the simplest reticle is a simple cross with no extra markings. This is the classic type of crosshair and can be used effectively when matched accordingly. Next are scopes that have semi distance markings. There may be a few lines under the center of the cross or numerical lines. Normally these are only for bullet drop.

Lastly, the most advanced scopes have fully marked crosshair in a specific style. However, styles ranging from this category are usually used in the U.S military field.

3. The numbers
Scopes comes with 2 numbers for example “3-9×40”. The number 3 in front represents the power of magnification for your target. This means that the target you
see through your device will be 3 times bigger compare to what your naked eye sees. The number 9 means your target will be 9 times closer than actual sighting and 40 represents the objective lens diameter. Scopes comes with a series of magnifications according to what you need.

However, most hunting scopes require less than 20 power with a simple reticle. There are no beneficial outcomes hunting with a scope more than 20 power as it often leads to missed shots.

4. Light transmission
Scopes do not gather light instead it transmit feasible light through the lenses and then to your eye. However,  there is a tendency of losing a bit during the process. A good lens would be multi-coated or have a larger purpose to be able to clear out target from its environment.

The top scope can transmit theoretically 95% of light. Therefore, if you have a scope that is able to transmit above 90% of light is consider great. The more magnification your lens offers, the less light will be transmitted into your scope.

5. Eye-relief
Eye-relief means how far of a distance your eye can be away from the rifle scope and still be able to have a proper visual through the scope without parallax. This is crucial to measure to prevent your rifle from knocking the scope of your face during recoil. Basic eye relief for rifles are around 4 inches. However, if you are wearing glasses, you will require a distance of at least 14mm of eye relief to use the eye scope accordingly. Your eye should be able see the whole view through the scope to know whether you have enough eye relief.

6. Field of view
The field of view is a concept describe as yards or feet at a fixed distance for example 9’ at 100 yards. This means that you will be able to see around 9 feet at 100 yards from one edge to another. The more a scope magnifies, the less field of view you will achieve.

The main purpose of field of view is for you to be able to locate your target when looked through the device. It is important to understand the variation of effects it can have on your scopes. A larger field of view will allow you to locate your target faster than a tighter field of view.

7. Main Tube
Rifle scope main tube comes in 3 measurement which is 1” , 30-mm and 34-mm in diameter. The larger-diameter main tubes have a wider variation of adjustment which is crucial for long distance targeting. However, bear in mind that the extra material used in their manufacturing increases the weight and tends to be pricier. So do you really need that extra weight on your rifle when steadily holding your rifle on your target? A good quality 1” rifle scope is sufficient for hunters out there. Even if you are looking for something more advance, an optic with 30-mm diameter main tube already offer all the require variation of adjustment a hunter needs.

8. Parallax
Parallax is a feature least considered by users but it is important to know about. External parallax adjustments are usually offer on scopes with more than 10 power or short distance shootings. They are built at the objective lens with a rotating dial marked in graditional distances.

Having a parallax adjustment is beneficial as it reduces the need to check on whether your eyes is in a lesser ideal alignment with the rifle scope when in a hurry.
However, acquiring it may complicate the use of your rifle scope so train up before bringing it to the real field.

9. Adjustment and consistency
A rifle scope should be solid and well aligned to your rifle. From one shot, the impact from the recoil may shift the reticle tube against the spring. This may not give you the same aiming precision for the next shot, which is a common mistake most hunters make.

To tell whether you have a good scope, the scope should have minimal movement of  the reticle tube and adjustments will remain consistent regardless of the recoil. However, this situation rarely happens with the scopes we have today but it is still best to test it out beforehand.

Conclusion
There you have it, top tips to consider before committing to an expensive scope. Rifle equipment may be hard to understand and to choose from but understand each of their unique features and you just might find the perfect one for you.

Optics to Enjoying Birdwatching

Bird watching has become an exciting and relaxing hobby that many people are getting into and .  It’s a hobby that anyone can enjoy.  For some, it has become a sport and obsession to try and observe as many different types of birds in their nature environment.  When is comes to beginners, there are basically two pieces of equipment that you need to get started, the best pair of binoculars for bird watching that you can afford and a bird identification book.  This article will try to help you out with purchasing the correct pair of binoculars for the beginner to the avid birdwatcher.

Binoculars Configurations

First off lets talk about the two basic styles of binoculars; porro vs roof prism.  The difference between the two are the roof prism style have their prisms configured in a straight line with each other, where the porro prism style have their prisms in an offset configuration where the eyepieces are offset to the objective.  The below figure shows the different styles.

Porro vs Roof Binoculars

 

Porro prism binoculars are easier to manufacture so the price is typically cheaper than their counter part Roof prism type.  Roof prisms binoculars are more expensive due to prisms need to be in exact line with each other to produce a clear, quality image.   The cheaper price of the porro prism binoculars do not always mean an inferior product.  If you look at comparable budget binoculars, the porro prism binoculars will give you the best bang for your money.  As you move up in price, the roof prism binoculars are going to give you the top of the line image quality, contract and color for more detail imagery.

Now let’s talk about magnification and objective size.  Magnification is the number that represent how many time larger the image will be compared to the human eye.  Example, an 8x magnification binocular will display the image 8 times closer than what you can see the image without the binoculars. One disadvantage for a higher magnification is they are harder to hold the binoculars steady for a stable image.  Typically when you move up to a 12x or high, a tripod is recommended.

Binocular magnification

 

Now the objective size refers to the diameter of the front lens in millimeters.  Example, an 8×42 binocular has an objective size that is 42 millimeters in diameter.  In basic, the larger the objective size the more light is allow to pass through the binoculars to your eye.  The larger the objective size, the larger the over size and weight of the binocular.

Now that we have discussed the basic fundamentals of the binoculars. Below are some binoculars we recommend in each category.

Porro Prism Binoculars

Vortex Raptor 10×32 Porro Prism Binoculars are a great binocular for the beginner as a reasonable price!

Vortex Raptor 10x32 Binoculars

Nikon Aculon 8×42 provides a little larger objective to the Vortex for more light gathering ability.

 

Nikon Aculon 8x42 Binoculars

 

Nikon Action Extreme 12×50 Binoculars offer slightly better optical quality than the Nikon Aculon, but a tripod would be recommended.

 

Nikon Action Extreme 12x50 Binoculars

 

Roof Prism Binoculars

The Vortex Crossfire 10×42 Binoculars would be the entry point for the roof prism binoculars.

 

Vortex Crossfire 10x42 Binoculars

 

The Athlon Cronus 8.5×42 is a great mind price binoculars with increase performance and image quality.

 

Athlon Cronus 8.5x42 Binoculars

 

On the upper end of price, the Leica Trinovid HD 10×42 Binoculars are the best binocular for the money in the price range.

Leica Trinovid HD 10x42 Binoculars

 

Best of the Best.  The Zeiss Victory HT 8×42 binoculars are one of the best binoculars on the marked.

 

Zeiss Victory HT 8x42 Binoculars

 

In the end, bird watching is a great family activity that can get the whole family outdoors and to learn about nature!

Customers can learn more about other binocular or products we carry, just checkout our website TheOpticZone.com.

Nikon’s new Long-Distance Rangefinder, the Black RangeX 4K!

Have you ever wanted to range something long distance?  Well Nikon has just came out with the rangefinder that takes long range to the extreme.  The Nikon BlackX 4K Rangefinder!  Featuring Nikon’s HYPER READ technology for shockingly fast, accurate measurements out to 4,000 yards, Black RangeX 4K’s integral 6x monocular offers the bright, sharp view required for acquiring targets at extended ranges.

Extremely fast and accurate measurements, paired with precision, consistency, and a durable lightweight design, the new BLACK RANGEX 4K redefines pocketsized rangefinders. Delivering over two miles of ranging capability in the palm of your hand, this rangefinder will be at home in any long-range shooting kit.

The rangefinder offers a new high-visibility, crisp red OLED display provides ideal contrast on all types of targets and provides either automatic or five stages of selectable brightness.  BLACK RANGEX 4K’s uncluttered reticle display is designed with a small “gap” in the center of the crosshair to enable acquisition of smaller targets at extreme ranges.  The optic’s 3.5mm exit pupil provides the light gathering needed for varying light conditions. The unit’s 18mm of eye relief makes the RANGEX 4K functional both with or without shooting glasses.

The Nikon Black RangeX 4K integrates Nikon’s ID (incline/decline) Technology to take the angle out of your shooting equation, providing you with the true number needed to make your shot.

It also offers the ability to switch between First Target Priority Mode (provides reading of the closest target) or Distant Target Priority Mode (provides range to the furthest target through clutter, branches etc.)

Not only is the Nikon Black RangeX 4K very compact and lightweight for a 4,000-yard rangefinder, (4.3” x2.9” x1.6” and 6.3 ounces), it is also waterproof* and fogproof and backed by Nikon’s 5 Year Warranty.  Battery chamber is rainproof.

Nikon Black RangeX 4K Rangefinder Specifications:

6 Christmas Gift Ideas for Hunters

6 Inexpensive Christmas Gifts for the Hunter

Tis’ the season for Christmas, if you are like my wife she always has a hard time coming up with a few Christmas gifts that the kids can get for me.  So I came up with a small list of 6 items that should be on every hunters Christmas list that will not cost you an arm and a leg.  And will make Dad a happy hunter Christmas morning.

butler creek flip up cover

 

  1. Butler Creek Flip Up Covers

The Butler Creek Flip Up Covers are great for protecting your scope lenses from getting scratched or getting debris on the lenses.  Made from a plastic material, these covers can be sized to exactly fit their scope and will created a watertight, airtight sell and open with a touch of your finger or thumb.  At $8.95 each, these are a great item to protect that scope.

Vortex Lens Pen

  1. Vortex Lens Pen

The Vortex Lens Pen uses a revolutionary non-liquid compound that outperforms other cleaners.  There are no chemicals to spill and will not dry out.  This is a small item that can be put in your pocket on those hunting trip when you need that extra light cleaning of your lenses.  Retails for $9.99.

 

Leupold Mounting Tool

  1. Leupold Mounting Tool

As practical in the field as on the bench, the Leupold Mounting Tool is great for making windage and elevation adjustment or just installing rings and bases.  The useful tool features one slotted screwdriver, two Torx drivers and five Hex-head drivers.  A great gift for just $15.99

Wheeler Level Level      4. Wheeler Level-Level-Level

The Wheeler Level-Level-Level is the most accurate scope leveling system ever devised.  Level your scope as you mount it on your rifle.  The magnetic base in the rifle level bridges the bolt raceway, allowing you to position your rifle perfectly level.  Then you can level the scope, tighten the rings and the job is done.  Works with practically any bolt-action rifle and is adaptable to other designs.  Retails for $17.99

Leupold Binocular Strap      5. Leupold Binocular Strap

Carrying binoculars all day can put a strain on your shoulders and back.  The Leupold Binocular strap takes that weight of your neck resulting in a more pleasant day in the field.  The X-shaped design of the strap distributes the weight across your back keeping the binoculars close to you to prevent swinging yet ready at the moment’s notice.  Retails for $24.99.  Your significant other will love you at the end of the day with this Christmas gift.

Bushnell laser boresighter      6. Bushnell Laser Boresighter

The Bushnell laser boresighter is a bright, battery-powered laser that makes rapid, ultra-precise work for sighting in your rifle.  Created to meet the demands of gunsmiths, serious shooters or just the every day hunter and shooter.  Can be used to sight in .22 through .50 caliber rifles.  At a price of $33.99, this is a great piece of insurance that your firearm is always sighted in when needed.

 

To learn about more great gifts, check out our complete selection at TheOpticZone.com

Hunting Optics

Selecting the Best Shotgun Scope for Your Slug Gun

Shotgun Scopes

Shotguns aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about deer hunting. Centerfire rifles, archery equipment, and muzzleloaders are popular in today’s deer hunting culture, but there is no doubt that slug guns have their place. Mount an optical scope on your deer shotgun and suddenly you find more confidence in the shot and in the hunt versus the standard beads it was outfitted with. There is a wide selection of slug gun and shotgun scopes on the market for deer hunters who are taking their shotgun to the deer woods and stand. Whether you hunt deer with a shotgun due to regulations, preference, or tradition; there is a scope that is the right fit for your slug gun. Some factors to consider when selecting the best shotgun scopes include: toughness, accuracy, budget, and innovation. Let’s take a look at some popular models and considerations for each.

Why a Slug Gun?

Slug guns were previously thought to not be accurate or efficient at harvesting game animals past 50 yards. However, new slug loads with proper practice can deliver accurate shots at and even past 100 yards. With these advances shotguns are perfectly suitable for taking deer out to 100 yards. That distance that is more than sufficient for most deer hunts, especially for those hunting in the east. Pursuing whitetails along hardwood bottoms, creeks, and farmsteads is an ideal fit for 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. The distance even covers most Midwest deer hunters. Modern slugs are more accurate than ever, and with some time behind the trigger you can master the deer slug gun. Mounting a quality scope with robust rings and bases that can handle the shotgun’s recoil provides slug hunters with accuracy, increased effective range, and peace of mind.

Slug Gun Regulations for Deer Season

Many states in the Midwest and East have low velocity only firearm seasons including shotguns and muzzleloaders. Some states that have recently allowed centerfire cartridges still have areas designated as shotgun only. If you are interested in taking a giant Iowa bruiser, or an Illinois monarch whitetail with a firearm, you should consider setting up a shotgun for the hunt. States like Kansas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota that are known worldwide for the quality of their trophy deer have wildlife areas and units that are open only to shotguns and muzzleloaders during firearm season. Hunters who are versatile and open to multiple weapon choices and hunting styles will find additional opportunities when it comes to seasons and areas that are available for them to hunt with shotgun only firearm regulations.

12 or 20 Gauge?

Both 12 gauge and 20 gauge shotguns are well suited to firing and hunting with slugs. Chances are the duck gun or upland shotgun you have at home will work just fine for hunting deer. A few modifications like choke selection, or adding a rifled barrel, and the addition of the right shotgun scope will improve your accuracy and your hunt. Optics manufacturers have not forgotten the shotgun hunter, and there are fantastic options when it comes to choosing a scope for your big game shotgun!

What to Look For in a Shotgun Scope

  • Toughness

Shotgun scopes must be rugged and built with quality components. One thing is for sure, shotguns produce plenty of kinetic energy, energy that translates to effectiveness when hunting, but also to felt recoil on the gun and shooter. Using a quality scope from a manufacturer who stands behind their product is a must when it comes to a deer hunting shotgun.

Leupold has a fantastic offering at an amazing price point with their Leupold Ultimate 3-9X40 SABR Shotgun Scope! 

Leupold has a famous lifetime guarantee on their optics line, and their SABR scope designed specifically for shotguns and muzzleloaders is no different. You can rest easy with confidence knowing that you’ve got a quality scope designed for shotgun hunting and shotgun recoil when you step into the deer woods with the Leupold SABR scope on your slug gun.

  • Accuracy

Firing a 70 caliber projectile from a 12 gauge shotgun does not diminish the need for accuracy in hunting in any way. Shotgun hunters still work to squeak out every bit of accuracy they can get from their scope, gun, and ammunition system. There is no substitute for practice when it comes to accuracy, but the use of quality tools and proven methods both in practice and application lends itself to accuracy and success in the field.

One development in tools when it comes to accuracy and ballistics is the Bullet Drop Compensator or BDC reticle in modern scopes. The BDC reticle system is a tool for shooters to use at varying ranges designated to a firearms specific ballistics. Built directly into the scope and reticle system.

Nikon has a terrific offering at an incredible price point with the Nikon Prostaff Shotgun Hunter 2-7X32 BDC 200. 

Nikon incorporates their Nikon Spot On Ballistics Match Technology into the BDC reticle. This advancement takes the guesswork out of hold over and compensating for sabot or slug drop at varying ranges. With practice at the range, shooters can identify exactly where their loads are hitting at varying distances compared to the BDC reticle in the lens.

  • Affordability

Budget, price point, and return on investment are all considerations to account for when you are investing in the best shotgun scope for your situation. Making your budget work for you and finding great deals on quality gear is almost a hunt on its own. With dollars in mind, there are some great options for slug gun hunters searching for the right scope on their shotgun.

Take a look at this incredible value on a Bushnell Trophy 3-9X40 DOA 200 Shotgun Scope.  

The Bushnell Trophy 3-9X40 DOA Shotgun Scope combines amazing features at an affordable price. With unbeatable clarity and light transmission, Bushnell optics are a terrific option at a great price. With features like 100% waterproofed one-piece tube, and rigorous recoil testing it’s hard to go wrong on such a great deal.

  • Innovation

Occasionally, technology comes along that is a game changer, a disruptor in an established market. That is the case with red dot sights. While not a new idea or design by any means, red dots are gaining in popularity in the hunting community where tubular type scopes have ruled for decades. If you are considering putting an optical sight on your slug gun, be sure and consider the red dot option.

Designed for fast target acquisition, small form factor, and the ease of shooting with both eyes open; red dot sights offer shooters a terrific alternative to traditional scopes.

Trijicon is a leader in the red dot sector with many options to choose from. This Trijicon MRO 1X25 2MOA Red Dot Reflex sight is the perfect option for a deer shotgun red dot. 

Trijicon is known for their rugged and reliable product line making them a strong choice for shotgun optics. Designed with ambidextrous controls, multiple brightness levels, and 5+ years of battery life, it’s hard to beat the Trijicon MRO 1X25 2MOA Red Dot Reflex as an option for your deer hunting shotgun.

Finally Deciding on a Shotgun Scope

Shotguns are a tool for deer hunters that should not be overlooked. Powerful and reliable, hunters have used shotguns in the deer woods for generations and their effectiveness cannot be discounted. Whatever reason you choose to pursue North American Whitetail with a shotgun, take careful consideration when it comes to the right optic for your slug gun. Multiple factors come into play and will help you decide which optic is right for you.

6 Most Common Mistakes Hunters Make While Using a Laser Rangefinder.

INTRO

A laser rangefinder is known to be one of the hunter’s best companion, where it significantly increases our chances of making a clean shot. You need a rangefinder especially if you love to hunt on a tree-stand or any form of long-range hunting.
The laser rangefinder would send a laser beam to your intended object, and the object would reflect the beam. It would later determine the time traveled for the light to calculate the distance between you and your target.
Although having a laser rangefinder would be one of your best hunting asset, the efficiency of a laser rangefinder can be affected if you make some fundamental mistakes. Here are 6 common mistakes you must avoid when you are hunting!

Mistake 1: Your target may be out of range

Do not believe the maximum range estimate that is stated for your rangefinder! Usually, the stated estimate concerns the yards that it can measure when the rangefinder is used on highly reflective surface.
The reflective capacity of your target may not be good and this would affect the reading of the rangefinder. The greater the distance, the more the reading would be affected.
Sometimes, the manufacturers for rangefinders would provide estimates on a variety of targets. Hence, do note that the maximum range if it involves a highly reflective surface may be 775 yards, but if you want to target a deer, it may only be 320 yards.
Remember that your laser rangefinder would not be capable of giving accurate results if the intended target is outside of the range. Therefore, knowing the limits of your rangefinder can give you a rough estimation of how accurate your rangefinder can be with different distance and surface. To know this, you can take time to range your surroundings before taking your shot.

Mistake 2: Keeping your rangefinder in a bad condition

It may be frustrating where, at the point of time you are all setup to shoot but because some part of the component in the rangefinder spoiled, your shot became inaccurate.
Although a rangefinder is generally a sturdy piece of equipment, it still needs to be taken care of properly like a vehicle. Your rangefinder should be properly used, and then properly kept. You have to invest some time and money on optic care, such as investing in a proper carrying case. Helpful habits such as avoiding from touching the optical surfaces on your laser rangefinder should be adopted to prevent damaging the anti-reflection coating.
For example, dropping your rangefinder would be enough to make it inaccurate or malfunction. Also, if the battery in the rangefinder is weak, it may affect the accuracy and effectiveness of the rangefinder. Hence, you should keep your rangefinder in a good condition to have an accurate reading.

Mistake 3: You have focused on the wrong target

Often, hunters who use laser rangefinders would zoom into their target. However, after zooming to a certain extent, you may find that the laser beam would be pointing some other place.
The function of magnification of a laser rangefinder allows you to ensure that the reticle is actually focused on your intended target. However, most hunters are not aware of the possibility that the laser beam would point elsewhere after a certain power of magnification.
To reduce the possibility of committing this mistake, you must make sure that the rangefinder you purchased has good-quality glass and appropriate magnification.
Furthermore, places with low light such as when you are outdoors in the night, your rangefinder may not be able to focus on the intended target effectively. Only rangefinders which are made to deal with these situations would reduce the possibility of focusing on a wrong target. One suggestion is that you can bring a bright torchlight along to mitigate this problem.

Mistake 4: Inaccurate reading because of surrounding blockages

Despite using a rangefinder would mean that you would have a great advantage in shooting a target accurately, you must still be aware of your surroundings. After being familiar with your surroundings, you will be capable of realizing that your laser beam is hitting another target, such as a surrounding rocks or tree branch.
This is particularly tricky when you face situations such as raining, where there is a possibility that the beam would hit the rain drops instead of the target. Being in a surrounding that is filled with fog would jeopardize the reading as well. Therefore, remember to be careful whenever you are in a terrain with falling snow or pouring rain.

Mistake 5: Not accounting for the elevation angle of your target

It is important to note that a laser rangefinder give you only the line of sight distance and does not compensate for different angles. When you shoot arrows or shots over a certain height, the gravity would act unevenly on different parts of the arrows or shot, making you to tend to shoot over your target.
Bowhunters who usually shoot from elevated positions would involve high angle shots, which would cause them to shoot over targets. To overcome this problem, you can use simple trigonometry to calculate the compensation in angle required. Alternatively, some of the rangefinders come with angle compensators and your readings would be more accurate than one without.

Mistake 6: Disregarding the “Gut Feel”

You can develop the skill where you can guess the distance accurately by simply looking at an object. Despite having a rangefinder, you should not disregard your most powerful asset, which is your instinct. Although you may not be able to pinpoint your targets accurately from the start, do not feel overwhelmed. Remember to persist in training this ability through trial and error, because the ‘gut feel’ can give you the edge in determining whether your shot would be accurate.

Conclusion

A laser rangefinder is one of the most popular hunting tool which increases your potential in making a clean shot. Do remember to only select functions that you require for your rangefinder. This can help you to cut unnecessary cost, while making sure that it can be most efficient for your individual use!
By overcoming these common mistakes while using a rangefinder, you would be more capable of accurately hitting your target. If there are any suggestions you would like to share, please comment in the box below!
About the Author.
I am John Lewis, a blogger, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow me over at Epic Wilderness.

Buying the Right Trail Camera for the Right Situation

A Situational Buying Guide for Trail Cameras

Love it or hate it, technology continues to advance with no signs of slowing down. Even in an industry as primal as hunting, technology continues to seep in. Since as recent as the Y2K it could be argued that trail cameras have been the single largest technological advancement in the entire realm of hunting. Think about it, it wasn’t too long ago when we dropped off a roll of Fuji Film at Walgreens and patiently waited (and paid extra) for the film to be developed at the one hour photo center. Now, we’re getting photos sent in real time from our wireless trail camera that’s stationed four hours away overlooking your favorite food plot! The important takeaway here is that hunter’s use of trail cameras opened up a huge commercial opportunity for camera manufacturers to innovate beyond what was thought possible.

When it comes to choosing a trail camera for scouting or surveillance, most of us are faced with the dilemma of quantity vs. quality. Do I spend more money on fewer, but higher quality trail cameras? Or do I buy more, lesser quality trail cameras? Hopefully you can have the best of both worlds and place 10 Bushnell Wireless Cams out, but for most of us, we have to settle and look to get the most bang for our buck. Lucky for us, the trail camera market is ripe with competition, which has ultimately created higher quality at a better price. Trail cameras with features that used to cost well over $400 are now available for under $200. That’s great, so how do you decide what’s best? This buying guide for trail cameras should help!

Best Trail Cameras and Features for Deer Hunters

Deer hunters rely on ultra-fast trigger speeds and large detection zones to capture deer or other game as they move past the camera. Trail camera placement plays a big role in how the camera will ultimately perform. For instance, you’ll want a faster firing trail camera like the Browning Strike Force HD when placing it over a trail or field edge where animals are typically on the move. Likewise, you can get by with a slower trigger speed if you plan to use them over bait where animals can be expected to hang around for a bit.

Battery life is another important consideration for hunters since we often rely on trail cameras to be our eyes in the woods while we are away. BrowningBushnell, and Minox all have great battery life by today’s standards, but the Browning’s do have a slight edge in this category. Nonetheless, it’s recommended you use lithium ion batteries for best performance. If you’re unable to check trail cameras for long period of time, powering them up with a solar panel or extra external battery will ensure the camera stays functioning far longer than standard batteries would allow.

Wireless and wifi enabled trail cameras like the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD

Wireless and Browning Defender come with an obvious uptick in price and may require a monthly cellular data plan, but who’s to put a price on real-time information delivered straight to your smartphone during the rut? For a hunter, you can’t deny the power of receiving this type of intel as it happens without having to step foot in the woods. Quite plainly, wireless trail cameras are game changers.

Next thing you’ll want to consider is if you plan on running the camera on video mode or just picture mode? Videos are great, especially when you hang a camera over an active scrape. Nothing gets your blood pumping like watching that monster buck you’ve been after rake his antlers and paw the dirt. Video mode will chew through battery life much quicker, but a lot of times it’s worth it.  Also, be sure you have the right type of SD card if you plan to run the trail camera on video mode, as some can’t process HD video.  For pictures, many hunters prefer a camera with burst mode functionality. Burst mode allows you to set the camera to take anywhere from 1-10 pictures every time the camera sensor is triggered, which really helps when trying to identify individual bucks.

Lastly, if you’re a public land hunter or simply don’t want your trail cameras taken by trespassers, spend a little extra to get the steel security boxes for your trail cameras. Both Bushnell and Browning have steel lock boxes designed specifically to fit their trail cameras.  Security boxes are also a smart idea if you hunt in bear country!

Regardless of how high tech your trail cameras are, the initial breakthrough of this device has become a total game changer for hunters when trying to pattern and target mature whitetails.

Key Features to Consider

  • Trigger speed
  • Battery life
  • Flash/illumination type
  • Image Quality
  • Concealment
  • Detection Zone
  • Wifi/Cellular Enabled

Best Trail Cameras for Turkey Hunters

Trail cameras provide all sorts of great information that can help you bag a bird. Typically you’ll want to set them up in strutting locations to determine when and where you need to be sitting with a shotgun in hand.  Strutting zones include open fields, food plots, pastures, ridge tops, and logging roads, to name a few. Since you’ll often be scouting open areas, you’ll want a trail camera that has the time-lapse feature.

This is one of the most underutilized features on trail cameras, and arguably one of the most useful – for deer and turkey.  Set your trail cameras up facing either north or south to prevent sun interference and set them to take a picture every 5-10 minutes during daylight.  Since it’s not deer season you’re not worried about identifying an individual buck, more so just trying to figure if and when turkeys are using a particular area. If they are, hopefully you can coax them in with your calling and decoys.

Pair this feature with a wireless cellular cam and you’ve got yourself a game changer. As we mentioned in the deer hunting portion, there’s nothing more valuable to a hunter than real time information on an elusive a target animal’s whereabouts.

Key Features to Consider

  • Time Lapse/Field Scan Mode
  • Trigger speed
  • Battery life
  • Image Quality
  • Detection Zone

Best Trail Cameras and Features for Property Surveillance

Since trail cameras found their niche in the hunting industry, they often find themselves hanging in the middle of the woods or along a field edge surveilling for deer and other wildlife. It’s important to remember, the same features that make trail cameras valuable to the hunter also make them perfect for the everyday homeowner or cabin owner. For the price and versatility, trail cameras offer tremendous value to homeowners and absentee property owners as surveillance devices. Nowadays, between cellular and Wi-Fi enabled trail cameras like the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Wireless or Browning Defender 850 it’s easy to keep a real-time watchful eye on your property when you’re not around.

When it comes to selecting a game camera for outdoor surveillance, image quality and trigger speed are two features that should be at the top of your list.  Trigger speed is simply the amount of time it takes for the sensor to detect movement and the shutter going off.  Nothing is more irritating than going through the work to buy and setup a trail camera only to get blurry or missed pictures of unwanted trespassers. This is where a trail camera that has lightning fast trigger speeds and detection circuits like the Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor excels (0.2s trigger speed, 0.5s recovery time).  Of course, a fast trail camera is only as good as the pictures or video it captures and in order to identify a license plate or a face, you’ll want to employ the help of a trail camera that boasts great picture and video quality like the aforementioned Bushnell or the Browning Strike Force HD PRO. Both options record in HD as well, which is a popular choice for those keeping an eye on property.

Be sure to lock your surveillance trail cameras in metal security boxes and opt for a camera that doesn’t emit light when triggered like the No Glow Bushnell Trophy Cam. The No-Glow models feature black LEDs that are invisible to both game and humans.

Key Features to Consider

  • Image/Video Quality
  • No Glow/Hidden Flash
  • Wifi/Cellular Enabled
  • Trigger speed
  • Battery life
  • Concealment
  • Detection Zone
  • Security Lock Box

In the end, today’s trail cameras are loaded with features – from wireless game cameras that text you HD video and solar powered trail cameras. Whether you’re simply looking for a quality trail camera at a good price point or perhaps something a little more advanced, hopefully this buying guide helped you decide which trail camera is right for the job, whether it’s chasing big bucks or property surveillance.

Pairing a Riflescope with a Rangefinder for Big Game Hunting

Pairing Up a Riflescope and Rangefinder

In modern shooting, the pairing of a quality rangefinder with a scoped rifle makes up the foundation of a big game hunting rifle. The technological advances and value pricing of rangefinders in the last decade has made them as common in the hunting field as binoculars. Couple the advances and popularity of rangefinders with the amazing strides in riflescopes, and increased ballistic performance of modern bullets, and shooters find themselves able to stretch their effective ranges.
Using a rangefinder is no excuse for taking unethical shots, or not practicing with your rifle, but rangefinders are tools that can lead to increased accuracy and longer ranges when shooting. Whether you’re adding a rangefinder to your rifle hunting setup for the first time, or you’re a seasoned veteran utilizing a rangefinder for many seasons, there are some things to consider when it comes to your big game hunting rifle, riflescope, and rangefinder setup.

Running a Setup Through its Paces

Adding a piece of gear to your equipment list and pack is not enough to make it reliable. Make sure you put in time with your rangefinder, scope, and rifle to test your setup before the hunt. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your rangefinder, and plan on hunting with the same rangefinder you practice with before the hunt.

Check out this great deal on the Bushnell Elite 1 Mile Conx Rangefinder

Putting in range time with your complete hunting setup, both off of a shooting bench and practicing realistic field shooting positions will build your comfort and confidence in your system. Put your setup through its paces by practicing in all kinds of weather, at varying distances, and at known distances. Utilizing known distances to check and test your rangefinder and rifle zero is the first critical step in testing your rifle, scope, and rangefinder setup. Knowing that you can trust your rangefinder, and that your rifles zero is based on your rangefinder’s trusted data goes a long way when it’s time to start testing at greater distances and varying situations.

Accounting for Steep Angle Shooting

Shooting up or down steep angles in mountain country and around canyons is tricky. The practice of shooting upward or downward at drastic angles has often had a type of confusion involved in most hunting circles. As gravity only acts on a bullet on its path along the horizontal access, shooters for decades have developed strategies and rules to compensate. Thankfully modern rangefinders are built to calculate the True Ballistic Range (TBR) of a shot. It doesn’t matter if the shot angle is abruptly up or down, the use of a rangefinder with TBR technology reveals the correct range every time. It may seem too simple, but utilizing TBR in a quality rangefinder takes all the guesswork out of shooting steep angles. Know your rifles zero and bullet drop paired with your scopes reticle, and shooting angles will no longer be an issue.

Leupold’s RX-1600i with TBR is an excellent choice when shooting steep angles.

Consider Bullet Drop Compensation Scope Reticles

Ballistics study the impact of a projectile as it travels through the air. Bullets fired either at the range or in a hunting situation are affected by gravity, wind, elevation, temperature, distance, and velocity just to name a few impacts. By measuring as many factors as possible and knowing the circumstances before a shot is fired, the shooter has the ability to compensate for many of the known factors.
One of the largest factors in rifle shooting and accuracy is distance. Knowing the true distance to a target is invaluable when firing a rifle. Rangefinders provide that critical variable data of the distance to target in an efficient and reliable manner.
With reliable ballistic information known, such as the true distance to the target, you’re able to repeat shots at known distances and improve accuracy. One of the latest trends that is made possible by quality rangefinders and quality scopes is Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) reticles.
Whether you choose a Nikon BDC, Vortex Deadhold reticle system, or another brands compensation reticle; shooters have found that the ability to quickly compensate for bullet drop at a known distance is paramount at the range and when hunting. Utilizing a series of cross hatch elevation marks, circles, or dots on the vertical reticle mark to allow for holdover points for known distances, shooters can quickly hold for a true zero when knowing the exact distance to the target is no longer an issue.

The Nikon Monarch 5 with BDC reticle is an easy choice when you are utilizing Ballistic Drop Compensation.

Custom Dial Systems

Having the ability to accurately and consistently measure the exact distance to a target has changed the face of optical scopes more than any other factor in recent years. Optics manufacturers have hit the ground running with reliable range data to develop custom turret dials for most quality scopes at reasonable prices.
In order to achieve effectiveness with a custom dial turret on a scope, a few items must be known. These items include bullet weight, muzzle velocity, and accurate distance to the target. With a rangefinder in a shooters toolkit, they can quickly and effectively measure the distance to the target at the range or in the field. With the use of a chronograph and bullet load information from the handload or manufacturer, all the information needed to create a custom turret is available to most shooters.
Many riflescope manufacturers make the process for getting a custom dial made for their scopes simple and cost-effective. Some optics companies even offer a free turret coupon in the box with a new scope purchase. With a custom dial on your hunting rifle, there is no need for hold over or distance compensation. Simply range the distance to the target, adjust the turret to the known distance, hold right on the desired point of impact and squeeze the trigger.
Custom Dial Systems available on rifle scopes today are the perfect example of using a quality rangefinder coupled with a scope in synergy to create an amazing rifle platform. Pairing a rangefinder with a rifle scoped with a custom turret offers shooters a world that past hunters and riflemen only dreamed of.

Leupold offers a free coupon for a custom turret on man of their VX3 series rifle scopes!

Increased Accuracy and Customization

Combining a quality rifle with ammunition, a riflescope, and a rangefinder allows shooters to perform an optimal level of precision. With products on the market like custom scope dials and true ballistic ranging, little is left to chance when it comes to equipment. Hunters are more now than ever equipped to make those tricky shots when big game hunting.

Great All Around Binoculars on a Budget

Best Binoculars for the Money

All around binoculars are an important piece of gear you should have along for all kinds of occasions. If you don’t have binoculars in your vacationing or sporting bag, you don’t know what you’re missing. From the outdoors to the football stadium, binoculars make the experience more enjoyable. Binoculars are fantastic tools for enjoying sporting or entertainment events, but they are equally important at providing enjoyment during outdoor activities and family outings.
Making room for exceptional optics on your vacation to a national park, wildlife park, or just a weekend at the lake is essential for wildlife watching, bird watching, and taking in the beauty of distant landscapes. Packing binoculars in your daypack on a family outing, or in the glove box on a road trip, or even on the boat for the weekend provides an additional aspect to your adventuring and travel. The right pair of binoculars can act as an all-purpose tool for many situations. The right binocular for you may not have a specific situation in mind, so it’s in your best interest to find a great binocular for an even better deal. So what are the best binoculars for the money? What do you need to know about binoculars before the buy? This article should help you out!

Binocular Basics

Binoculars come in two different technical types, Porro Prism and Roof Prism designs. Both types of binoculars effectively accomplish the same goal, however there are pros and cons to both types.
Porro Prism Binoculars – With porro prism construction, the eyepiece is offset from the lens. This design generally allows for better depth perception and a wider field of view than roof prism binoculars. Porro prism binoculars are worth a look if your primary purpose is viewing sporting events or landscapes.
Roof Prism Binoculars – Roof prism binoculars are designed with the objective lens and eyepiece in line. This design allows for more compact and lightweight binoculars. The sleek and slim form factor of roof prism binoculars makes them ideal for slipping into a daypack, glove box, or even hanging around your neck.

Best Porro Prism Binoculars on a Budget

Leupold Yosemite – Leupold optics are legendary. Built with the utmost quality and guaranteed for your lifetime. The Leupold Yosemite line of binoculars are the perfect fit for an all around binocular option, and they are easy on your budget! The Leupold BX-1 Yosemite 8X30 porro prism binoculars are an amazing deal on quality optics. With 8 power magnification and a 30mm light gathering objective lens, these binoculars are as all purpose as duct tape!

Nikon Action – The Nikon Action series of binoculars is known for quality lenses and prisms at an affordable price. Utilizing BaK4 high index prisms and Nikon’s Eco-Glass these binoculars offer amazing clarity for the money. Consider the Nikon Action Extreme 12X50 binoculars for that extra reach in magnification. The 12 power magnification is optimal to pull in distant action at the racetrack, football stadium, or baseball park. A perfect choice for sporting events and a great deal makes for a team win!

Vortex Raptor – Vortex Optic’s Raptor line offers great optics at an amazing price point to fit any budget. Built rugged, waterproof, and fogproof; this binocular line offers versatility for all around use. The Vortex Raptor 8.5X32 binoculars are a terrific choice for an all around binocular on a budget. These porro prism binoculars have a compact design that rivals roof prism binoculars. An excellent choice for bird watching, the zoo, or a vacation to a wildlife park, the binoculars are easy to hold and not too heavy while still offering clarity, magnification, and a wide field of view.

Best Roof Prism Binoculars on a Budget

Bushnell H2O – The H2O line of optics by Bushnell is designed with ruggedness and dependability at the forefront. Designed with a ruggedized soft texture grip, these binoculars offer a steady grip in wet and challenging conditions. O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, the H2O binoculars offer reliability and ruggedness paired with economy. The Bushnell H2O 10X42 model is the perfect choice for a weekend at the lake, a canoe trip, or your fishing boat. With multi coated lenses for optimal clarity, 100% waterproof construction, and non-slip rubberized grip; these binoculars are a match for any aquatic sporting activity.

Redfield Rebel – Redfield is a long time trusted name in optics, offering a quality line of budget minded options that are both reliable and ergonomic in the Rebel offering. Designed to be compact and lightweight, the Rebel binoculars design reduces weight and bulk making them more comfortable to use and pack along on your adventures. The 8X32 Redfield Rebel Binoculars are just the ticket for adventuring. Sporting a limited lifetime guarantee, lightweight yet durable aluminum construction, and an advanced compact design; the binoculars won’t get left behind because of bulk or weight.
Minox BF– Check out the Minox BF line of quality binoculars. Designed for universal application, the binoculars are a jack of all trades and fit a variety of uses and needs. Engineered with phase corrected coated lenses, these binoculars provide amazing clarity and contrast even in low light conditions. The Minox BF 10X42 binoculars are an ideal choice for wildlife viewing at 10 power magnification. Take in all the detail of deer, elk, or moose in a remote meadow from behind these exceptional optics. The higher power magnification brings the farthest objects into focus for an optimal viewing experience at an amazing price point.

Other Considerations When Buying Budget Friendly Binoculars

Have More Than One Pair of Binoculars
Unless you’re traveling solo on your adventures, having at least one spare set of binoculars is a must. Sharing the action in between your turns with the binoculars is no way to spend your leisure time. Consider a set of binoculars for everyone in your group and make sure you all get to see the sporting action or wildlife without compromise.
Caring for Your Investment
Quality optics are a long term investment and will last a lifetime if cared for properly. Shirt tails and Kleenex are not the appropriate tools to clean your binoculars lenses. A small investment in the right tools to clean your binoculars can ensure their usefulness for years to come. Read the detailed Optic Field Care Guide to take care of your investment.

Leupold Lens Pen – A lens pen is a small investment that will pay big dividends when caring for your binoculars. Compact and easy to use, the microfiber coupled with the dust and lint free brush in one tool is ideal for cleaning your optics on the go.

Include a Pair of All Purpose Binoculars in Your Next Outing

Whether you are an outdoor adventurer out discovering new places, a bird watcher hoping to get a glimpse of a rare feathered friend, or an avid sports fan not wanting to miss any of the action; consider an exceptional pair of binoculars for your kit. Quality optics can be had at budget prices, and the investment will last for years to come.