Almost every professional hunter will tell you that you really need a decent pair of binoculars for hunting and yet it’s normal to see hunters either not having binoculars with them or probably just carrying them along for fun. So, are binoculars important to a hunter?
Yes! Although some may say rifle scopes provide images that are clear enough (assuming you are hunting with rifles), it’s not entirely true. Binoculars have a higher magnification power to show you images that are much more precise, sharp and accurate.
In fact, binoculars are one of the need-to-have items in our survival gear checklist. Today I am going to share with you five reasons why it’s important to carry a great pair of binoculars along before going out to hunt.
Note: Just in case you are already looking forward to purchasing a pair of binoculars that suits you, we put forward the ultimate buying guide + best binoculars review.
Identify Prey Easily
The most important reason of all is that binoculars help you identify your prey easily. This is especially true for beginners when you are lacking the so-called ‘natural instinct’ that will become stronger as your experience improves over time.
When you are looking from a far distance, it’s hard to identify prey (especially whitetail deer and elk) as they are pretty good at blending in with nature. And the sad part is, by the time you move closer to them, they will flee and you will be left with nothing but sweat.
However, with binoculars around 8x-12x magnification, you should have an extremely magnified view even if you are hundreds of yards away. Meaning to say, the object you are viewing at a few hundred yards away will appear as if you are looking at it from much closer.
In addition, binoculars will do a great job in identifying trails, which will ultimately open up a wider range of hunting opportunities. By following these trails and recognized footprints, you will be able to locate your prey more easily.
Also, the trails tell you exactly what type of pre they are so you can plan your hunting strategy. Planning is a vital step to success.
Buys you extra time for strategic planning
One of the main reasons why most hunting attempts fail is due to the fact that there isn’t any proper planning/strategy in place. It’s like shooting a shotgun, either you hit or miss. While planning can’t assure you that you will be able to hunt down something every time, it’s definitely going to increase your chances of success.
So you might be wondering, how can a binocular buys you time for strategic planning? The answer is pretty simple actually. You already know where your preys are by scouting through a binocular. And because you are pretty far away, they probably wouldn’t sense your existence. This means that there is no need to rush since they aren’t probably running away yet.
You can then use your binoculars to scout around, analyzing terrains and routes and determine the movements of your preys as you approach closer. Unless you are pretty experienced, this step will help you learn about the area pretty quickly.
Talking about planning, if you are using a rangefinder binocular, it’s much more superior than normal ones. Basically, it will show you the exact distance (accuracy depends on quality of rangefinder binocular) of a targeted object (in this case is the prey) from you.
This gives you an idea as to how much closer you have to be in order to take down your prey based on the range of your hunting equipment. Normally, bow hunting needs much closer range (which is why it’s hard, challenging and fun) as compared to rifles and sniper guns.
Stay away from harmful predators
Most beginners are often over excited during a hunting trip, especially if that’s their first time. The only thing in their mind is about hunting down preys. Hey, don’t forget that you might be hunted as well (assuming you are going on a solo trip). I know that because I acted the same when I first started out with bow hunting.
Of course most pure hunting spots are safe and you would hardly encounter harmful animals such as lion, bear, tiger, leopard, etc. However, since you in the woods, it’s always better to be safe than sorry as the chances of meeting them is there.
Tip: Never go hunting alone if you are an absolute beginner. Even if you are somewhat experienced, it’s always better to go with a friend or two just to play safe.
So, let’s get back to the point. Binocular allows you to scout around and check if there are any harmful predators around. Most of the time, these predators are pretty smart and it’s not easy to spot them even if you are using a binocular.
Therefore, it’s equally important to scan through terrains if there are any trails of these predators around. Also, if you noticed that the preys flee suddenly, it means there is a high chance that it’s being hunted down by another hunter, assuming that you are still pretty far from them. And yeah, this hunter can be a human or a lion 😀
Looking at wildlife from a distance
I am not sure about you, but another reason why I like to go for hunting trips is because it’s fun to look at animals, especially big sized and dangerous ones such as elephant, lions, bear, etc that I would otherwise only have the chance to see them in the zoo.
Also, the ones kept in the zoo is very, very different than those living naturally in the wilds. Aside from hunting, I do spend quite some time looking at these animals if I had the chance.
A good pair of binocular will allow me to do exactly that. You will be able to view every inch of them pretty clearly even with an average binocular. In this case, I prefer a 10x magnification binocular because the image seen is much more magnified and clear.
Due to the fact that most of these animals that I am really eager to look at are pretty dangerous, using a binocular is perfect fit for me as I am not willing to risk my life by approaching closer. For example, a bear can sense your existence within a radius of 20 miles through smell.
Note: This is something dangerous that I wouldn’t encourage anyone to try out unless you have the ability and experience to do so. Also, I did proper research about these animals to learn about their characteristics and behaviors beforehand.
Wouldn’t harm the wrong ‘prey’
As you probably realized, you will never be the only one in the hunting zone especially if you are hunting during popular seasons at popular hunting spots. At times, it’s somewhat dangerous because hunters might accidentally hunt down hunters. If you think it’s ridiculous, check this out.
There will be times when you are so frustrated because you can’t hunt down anything and you will be so eager to take a shot when you notice any movements in the bush. Due to the fact that the targeted object is at a quite a distance, you might shoot a human instead.
Therefore, before you take any shot, it’s important to make sure that it’s really a prey. And by having a binocular help you do just that.
If you haven’t really tried using binoculars before, I highly recommend that you give it a try. You will be really surprised how much more value you will get by incorporating it in during your hunting trips.
Sure, you might not need it and it’s still possible to go out for hunting. However, I believe that this piece of tool will make things extremely convenient (especially those I mentioned above).
If you are interested in getting yourself a pair of binoculars, then check out the top 8 binoculars here. Also, if you feel like starting off with something cheap, then it’s best to check out these binoculars (under $100).
Do you normally bring along a binocular with you? Do you have specific reasons that are not mentioned above? Let us know below.