Choosing Hunting Binoculars
No matter what game you hunt and under what conditions, a good quality binocular will aid in your hunting success. With the many different styles, sizes, magnifications and manufacturers of binoculars in the market place today, choosing the correct binocular can be overwhelming. If you can define your needs in a binocular then you will help to ensure you get both what you want and what you pay for.
One of the biggest mistakes hunters make when choosing a new pair of binoculars is underestimating the need to match the binocular size and weight to your style of hunting. If you live in the North East or anywhere like it, where a 200 yard shot is a long distance and rarely encountered, and most are well within a hundred yards, your needs are totally different than someone who hunts large farms or the plains of the mid-west.
If you do happen to live in an area in which the majority of your hunting is done in wood lots, where visibility is limited and only occasionally hunt areas where longer shots are necessary, then you would be well served with a good set of compact binoculars. Compact binoculars are relatively small, weigh less but offer enough magnification for identifying game under such conditions.
If however you are a spot and stalk hunter in the mid-west, where shots are long and you have the ability to glass for long distances and game, you will be better served by a larger binocular, which offer greater magnification, the trade off being increased weight.
Again, depending on your hunting conditions, you will either require high magnification or low. Easter hunters and those in tree stands in close cover, need only a set of binoculars with low magnification. Those that hunt large open areas will need a more powerful set of binoculars for hunting. One thing to remember is that with the higher magnification comes the increased problem of holding the binoculars steady, much like a rifle scope set on 9 power really seems to bounce around the target more than the same scope set on 3 power.
Binoculars are designated by numbers such as 7x44, the first number is always the magnification, while the second is the objective size. The larger the objective the clearer and brighter the image will be, but as the objective increases so does the size and weight of the binoculars.
Field of View (FOV)
Field of view refers to the amount of viewing area that is available at a set distance, usually 1,000 yards. The higher the field of view the more area that can be seen at one time. This sounds like an unimportant measure, but in reality for the hunter it is one of the most. If you purchase a good set of hunting binoculars that offer a wide field of view you are more likely to spot game, especially if the animal is moving. As the magnification increases the field of view decreases, there is a fine balance between selecting the correct magnification and getting the field of view you require for your hunting conditions, each person require a different relationship, depending on his/her hunting style.
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