It’s hard to track game if you can’t see it. Therefore, one of the most important accessories for hunters is a good pair of binoculars.
While there are literally thousands of different models of binoculars on the market, not all are suitable for hunting. Most are not rugged enough for the woods, marsh or field. Many are not suitable for low-light conditions. Some are too powerful, and others not powerful enough.
Here are some factors you should consider when choosing hunting binoculars.
Hunting is a rugged sport that puts demands on your equipment, including your binoculars. Hunting binoculars should feature some sort of rubberized exterior armoring to protect them from being damaged if dropped or bumped against trees, brush, rocks and so on.
Because you’ll likely be hunting in extreme weather conditions, you’ll want a pair of binoculars that can withstand such conditions. They should be waterproof, and the lenses should be fog-proof. Another feature to consider are the lens caps. Binoculars with attached caps will protect the lenses, but not require you to fumble in your pockets looking for lens caps if it starts to rain or snow.
Roof prism binoculars are popular with hunters. Light enters the front (objective) lenses, and is then redirected through the roof prism to the rear (ocular) lenses. The roof prism design allows the binoculars to be more compact than binoculars that transmit the light directly from the objective lenses to the ocular lenses.
The general rule of thumb is, unless your a private investigator, to avoid purchasing a pair of binoculars with a magnification greater than 10X’s. Magnification over ten tends to cause the binoculars to loose some of the image’s crispness. The image is also duller when the magnification is greater then ten. Binoculars that are designed with a roof prism make the best use of natural lighting.
Know the marketplace. Spend some time learning if there are any retail stores that sell binoculars. Scan the Internet, there are hundreds of binocular dealers on-line, these dealers typically offer the lowest prices. Another perk to on-line binocular dealers is that you are typically corresponding via e-mail, this makes the dealer seem less pushy then one you may encounter in a retail store that is working for a commission.
The best plan is to get to know an on-line binocular dealer. Start asking questions, start researching binoculars, keep a list of pros and cons of different binoculars that are in your price range. After you have selected a few pairs that sound promising, drive to a binocular dealer and try out each of the pairs you have selected. Test their range of vision, and the clarity of the lenses. Make sure the binoculars are comfortable and you understand how they function. If you wear glasses, make sure they are on when you are trying out binoculars.