Whether you’re scouting for summer velvet bucks, or simply planning your next move during the hunting season, your optics can be the greatest tool in your arsenal. Low-impact scouting is a must if you want to keep human pressure and scent to a minimum. Nothing can replace a strategically placed trail camera for taking intel, but when it comes to keeping the human intrusion light, you better keep your distance.
What are the best tools to make it happen?
Use your optics. Scout like a sniper. Keep your distance, and never let the deer know you even exist.
Here’s a look at the best optics for long distance deer scouting this season.
Vortex Razor HD 10x42
Vortex Optics has built their reputation around quality optics that can handle the abuse you dish out, in the woods or on the mountain. They have a great lineup of optics for scouting game from a distance. Their Razor HD binoculars raise the bar in binocular performance in a lightweight package, with strong and bright performance.
The binoculars feature a best-in-class HD optical system that delivers the sharpest images possible for your deer scouting efforts, before and during the hunting season. Vortex also offers excellent customer service and a lifetime warranty.
Weight 24.8 oz. / Price $1249.99
Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 10x42
The BX-5 Santiam HD 10x42mm binocular has carved out its place among the best optics in the business. These binos were designed to perform flawlessly in the harshest environments.
It’s a great option for the hunter who demands performance. It’s built with a generous eye box for long glassing sessions without eye-strain. And like all Leupold binoculars, the binos are fogproof, waterproof, and guaranteed to perform for life.
Weight 24.3 oz. / Price $999
Maven is one of the newer players in the optics game, but they’ve quickly built a reputation for delivering a great line of award-winning optics for the hunter. The B.6 binos in 10×50 or 12×50 are great options when it comes to brightness and light transmission. The B.6 is one of the brightest mid-sized binoculars in the company’s lineup. It was built to maximize optical light-gathering properties, a vital feature for enhanced glassing during those low-light periods when bucks step out late. The B.6 is the go-to option if you’re wanting to minimize size and weight but want to enhance brightness and field of view. Weight 30.7 oz. / Price $1099
ZEISS SFL 40
The newest glass in the lineup from Zeiss is the SFL line of binoculars. The SFL (SmartFocus, Lightweight) line was built to provide exceptional optical performance combined with a compact design and low weight.
You’ll find them available in two models, the ZEISS SFL 8×40 and the ZEISS SFL 10×40. These binos give hunters the performance they’re looking for in a light and compact option to fit a wide array of hunting scenarios across the country.
Weight 22.6 oz. / Price $1799
German Precision Optics Passion HD 10x42
The Passion 10×42 HD binoculars bring award-winning performance to their most popular balance of size, weight, and magnification to a midsized, bino option. Top features you’ll find here include the double-laminated HD objective lenses, GPObright high-transmission coatings, magnesium framing system, and locking diopter.
The Passion HD line includes high-resolution, high-transmission optics that are waterproof, fogproof and carry a lifetime warranty.
Weight 26 oz. / Price $1099
Hawke Frontier APO 10x42
The Hawke optics team has built a reputation for offering quality optics at a great price for the budget conscious hunter. You’ll find it across their line, even in these high performance glasses delivering the best of the best in their stable of optics. Their all-new Frontier APO delivers great clarity and performance. APO models benefit from Extra-low Dispersion glass for controlled chromatic aberration and the elimination of color fringing. Weight 26.1 oz. / Price $799
Swarovski EL 10x42
Swarovski binoculars have long been known as the premier binocular for big game hunters. Their EL binoculars are the choice of hunters across the country that will sacrifice nothing when it comes to having the best binos out front. The line is renowned for providing superior brightness, and clarity; and for standing up to rugged outdoor use. The EL binoculars feature Swarovision technology prism and lens coatings that include Swarotop to enhance color fidelity over the entire spectrum. Swarodur which provides scratch resistance, and Swaroclean on the outer lens surface to provide a non-stick element that reduces water marks.
Weight 29 oz. / Price $2400
Vortex Viper HD 20-60x85 Spotter
If you’re looking for a high-end spotter, without the high-end price tag, the Viper HD spotting scope is one to check out this season. It’s built to deliver incredible optical performance and greater detail, even at the longest distances you’ll encounter in the field while scouting. Designed to withstand the harshest rain, snow, heat, or rugged abuse you can dish out, the Viper HD spotter is a perfect fit no matter where your hunt takes you this season. Weight 76.6 oz. / Price $1349
Leupold SX-5 Santiam HD 27-55x80mm Spotter
The same great quality you’ll find in Leupold’s binos and riflescopes is carried over to their spotting scope line as well. The SX-5 Santiam HD 27-55x80mm is designed for rugged performance. It can handle the beating dished out while in the field, or bouncing around in the back of your truck. The versatile 27-55 magnification range hits the sweet spot between performance and weight, while the straight eyepiece matches up with your line of sight making it intuitive to use when acquiring and tracking targets. Like all Leupold spotting scopes, it’s fogproof, waterproof, and guaranteed to perform for life. Weight 68.7 oz. / Price $1799
Maven CS.1 Spotter
The CS.1 spotter is built with the same award-winning glass found in Maven’s award-winning C Series binoculars. It’s a great addition to your arsenal when you need a little more reach in your scouting efforts.
The lightweight magnesium/aluminum frame design offers a compact option that won’t take up a lot of space, yet provides all the performance your scouting efforts demand.
Weight – 40 oz. / Price $800
What about you? What optics will you be using for scouting deer this season? Comment below, and let us know about your favorite optics.