The 37th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show opened its doors Jan. 20, giving many industry insiders and the media a first-look at the new hunting, target shooting and law enforcement gear available this year.
By Darren Warner
Standing among literally thousands of vendors, I need to focus on the task at hand: checking out the latest spotting scopes available this year. With so many models on the market, what should deer hunters be looking for?
“Start with a durable scope with high quality, HD glass and that’s easy to use,” explained Swarovski Optik PR rep Rob Lancellotti (swarovskioptik.com). “Your goal should always be having a scope with good optical quality and that feels good in your hands.”
If you’re a mobile hunter, go with a lighter model with a 60-65mm objective. It’ll fit better in a backpack than a larger model and won’t weigh you down on all-day hunts. Select a scope with higher objective (80-85mm) if mounting it to a truck and glassing fields for booner bucks.
Remember that today’s spotting scopes aren’t just for glassing long-range. Manufacturers like Swarovski offer adaptors to turn your iPhone 5/5s and spotting scope into a high-tech camera that’ll enable you to count the stickers on the deer of your dreams. This also lets you collect valuable scouting intel for the upcoming hunting season. There’s even a way to ensure crisp, clear images time after time.
“Plug the headphones that came with your iPhone into your phone and take photos by pressing the volume button on the headphones,” Lancellotti said. “This eliminates blurry images.”
Finally, if you want a scope that’ll outperform all others, get one with a magnesium housing. It’ll cost a bit more, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Swarovski STR 80 (mm) Spotting Scope
- 20×60 or 25×50 magnification
- Illuminated MOA or MRAD reticle
- HD Optical System
- Fits Swarovski Optik 20×60 or 25×50 wide-angle eye pieces (sold separately)
- Powered by 1 CR123 battery