By Robert J. Kaleta
(Vanguard Product Marketing Manager – Sporting Optics)
If anyone has ever ventured into extensively vast and rugged mountains or spent time scouring over the wide-open grassland prairies and desert terrain of the West, the real appreciation of a premium spotting scope and its benefits will never be forgotten or go unnoticed. Let’s face it, when the longing to push for days on end in the pursuit of elk, mule deer or sheep suddenly turn into the reality of finding yourself in the arena with heavy legs of lead and burning oxygen deprived lungs, a premium spotting scope is a welcome friend to have in your backpack. Good optics allow you to clearly and comfortably judge antler size or legal curl, while sparing valuable time and preventing unnecessary miles.
A quality spotting scope like the VANGUARD HD or XF models in your arsenal will greatly increase your chances of success. Try to choose something with a variable magnification range that offers a wide range of magnification and an ease of focus. For those back country trekkers who wish to lighten the load choose a smaller objective size in the 65mm configuration. Such smaller objective sizes will also slide in and out of a backpack much easier and help to keep unwanted weight to a minimum. Look for something with a durable rubber armoring or finish for those slick and rocky spots. The combined benefits of exceptional lens designs and optical coatings to increase light transmission are critical with high magnification observation. A quality hydrophobic lens coating to repel the usual nasty inclement weather and grime that wilderness hunting conditions throw at you will make your quest for a trophy more enjoyable and help keep those lenses maintenance free. Most importantly with frequent or rapid elevation change and daily operation in damp conditions – the unit must be fog and waterproof.
If you are heading into the back country for the potential hunt and trophy of a lifetime, try to remember that a quality and value driven spotting scope like the sport optics offered by VANGUARD will not only allow you to clearly observe and judge distant game, it will save you the valuable hours of shooting light (that we cherish so much during limited days afield) and also do your legs and lungs a favor by preventing unnecessary stalks. Before “go-time” make certain that “maybe” buck, bull or ram is in fact a shooter. Be safe, shoot straight and get out there!