8 Tips for using a Spotting Scope Like an Expert

How To

In this guide, I would be sharing tips on how best to use a spotting scope.

As a hunter, the western lands I hunt require a lot of glassing, but that’s only one reason. In truth, I really love watching the game out there from the spotting scope.

You would not think it could get complicated. Look at the scope and see the animal, right? It is not quite that simple and becoming good at using one requires some time. However, to save you a little of that time, these tips should provide you a leg up on being a spotting scope expert.

Here are 8 quality tips on how best to use a spotting scope. I hope these tips can help you take advantage of the time you’re spending behind your scope.

1. Locate the Perfect Spot

The first thing that you might want to do is to find the perfect spot by hunting out a location that lets you see all around the terrain from a single pivot point. From here, look for a flat place that is without stones. This will offer stability for the scope when you set this up.

The flat space is also great when you put out the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Pad. This is a must have a thing in my book. It’s extremely light, easy to handle, and it does wonder towards making your hours of spotting more comfortable.

2. Establish Your Scope

When the pad and pack are set up, the next thing that I do is to set up my Dolica 62-inch tripod. I pull out my Bushnell 20-60×80 and put it securely on the tripod. Before I get to glassing, I make certain to adjust all of the legs and place the scope in a position that is the most comfortable for me to use. It’s sound advice to take a while to learn your alterations on your tripod so that you can alter them quickly when you’re watching wildlife.

I personally always start glassing in a kneeling position. So I make sure all of the adjustments I’ve made work for this particular position. If you’re straining or uncomfortable, consider re-adjusting the settings to get a bit more comfort.

If you’re straining too much, it will not take long for your body to allow you to know. There’s no quicker way to finish a fantastic glassing session than with a pounding headache. So make certain that you have taken the time to correctly adjust all of the settings for your comfort and ease of use.

Stretch the tripod legs until you’ve got the desired height. You might want to adjust the height for each leg appropriately if you’re on uneven terrain.

In the event you need additional weight to hold down the tripod, then attach a scope bag beneath the tripod to add more weight. Thread this adapter or the plate into your spotting scope

Slide the mounting plate to the mounting platform until the quick release mechanism locks it in place

3. Scan the Area

So you have got the scope setup and you are comfortable. Now what? Next, you need to scan the area with your binoculars. These may not have the juice that your scope does, but they’re easy to use and can quickly scan the entire area for animals.

Once I’ve identified the animal or animals I need to watch, I move my spotting scope towards them.

I ensure that my scope is zoomed out all of the ways once I am positioning it in their general direction. This will offer you the largest field of view, and make it easier for you to get the specific position that you need to be in.

Once I’ve located the animal, I center it in my field of view and then start slowly zooming in with the focus wheel.

It’s important to not instantly go from the lowest to highest energy settings since this will often lead to a horrible blur that could enable you to move the scope from its position. Then you would have to begin all over again.

Make sure that as you’re zooming in, you’ve got one hand on the focus wheel and another of the scope and tripod completely. The slightest shaking of this scope can cause you to lose the animal. After you have reached the perfect magnification and clarity, remove the hand you had on the focus wheel also.

4. Take Your Time

There are times when your binoculars are not likely to spot anything when you scan. Don’t panic about this. It is possible to break up the whole terrain into a grid with 30-40 acre sections and use your scope for a more comprehensive look at it all – one section at a time.

Usually, I run the scope at about 30x and slowly move from left to right from the section I’m scanning.

This all sounds great, but does that really work? Well, I’d say it does because only last season I have seen four different bucks. These dollars were bedded down in a thick sage brush. I doubt I’d have even seen them on the 30x magnification. However, with this technique I just told you, I managed to catch the ends of the ebony horns poking out of the brush.

5. Be conscious of the air

You have to know about the atmosphere. Try to avoid a humid day. It is difficult to see detail at even 30× whereas in the other calmer day you’ll get a clear image at even 60×.

6. Beat the Heat

The heat waves will distort your perspective and make the subject you’re tracking very tricky to keep your eye on.

Step one to beat the heat is to zoom out. Zooming out prevents the distortion almost entirely, and you can slowly zoom in it till you still have a very clear look at the animal minus the heat waves that are annoying.

I have discovered that passing clouds can truly be a fantastic friend as you are glassing. Clouds immediately reduce heat waves and provide you an opportunity to zoom back in on the creature as close as you wanted to be.

7. Rest your eyes

The constant view for a long time may hazard your eyes. To save your eyes from any kinds of hazards, you have to keep your eyes in rest.

8. Enjoy your target

Finally, if you’re a serious nature lover or shooter, pick a Spotting Scope instantly that will suit for you and start enjoying the beauty of nature.


I hope you find these tips on how best to use a spotting scope useful.

With our tips and some practice, it is easy to learn the craft of using spotting scopes efficiently.

Pro Tip: If you’re using your spotting scope for the first time, then do not begin with live animals. Stationary objects will provide you the opportunity to master your scope entirely, and you’ll have the ability to practice the process of zooming in without shaking your scope.

If you have some hints on how best to use a spotting scope that has worked for you, then you can share your tips through the comments section.

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