Just like a gun, having a good pair of binoculars is essential when taking part in any kind of hunting. Having hunting binoculars with you in the field will allow you to view your surroundings in more detail, and ultimately locate the animals that you are there to hunt. Binoculars will also help you get closer to your target, confirm that you are hunting the correct species and determine more specific information such as the sex and size of your prey. Like most pieces of outdoor gear, there is a wide range of binoculars on the market – all of different quality and features.
Also called ‘power’, magnification is the first number in a binocular model. It is one of the most important choices you’ll make when buying hunting binoculars. For example, an 8 x 42 binocular model has a magnification of 8x. This means that the object you are looking at will appear 8 times larger or closer than if you did with bare eyes.
When purchasing your new binoculars, you may be tempted to choose a model with the highest magnification. However, that doesn’t have to necessarily mean that that’s the ideal model for you. Actually, the best binoculars for hunting are generally models with a lower magnification of 8x or 10x.
- They provide a more stable and clearer image as they are less affected by slight hand movements;
- They provide a wide field of view – this makes it easier to scope out targets;
- They provide a brighter image – vital when hunting at dusk or dawn;
- They provide an optimal amount of eye relief – there is a large enough distance between your eye and the eyepiece to wear spectacles if necessary.
Considering thefact that the best times to hunt are usually dawn and dusk when light levels are low, it is essential to have a pair of binoculars that are good in low light conditions. As a rule of thumb, the larger the lenses on a binocular, the better their ability to gather light and the brighter the images that you can see will be. However, there are other factors that can affect the lenses’ ability to capture and transmit light such as the quality of the lenses, the coating applied to them and the prisms used in the binocular construction. Lenses that are 42mm will provide a great balance between light capturing ability and weight.
Other Important Features
Your binoculars should be durable and able to withstand the harsh weather conditions that you might end up hunting in. So, when buying, make sure that your binoculars are waterproof and fog proof to prevent damage to the equipment from downpours and internal frogging in damp and humid conditions. A rubber coating will help protect the binocular from bumps and scraps in case you accidentally drop them.