From supporting naturalist activities to hunting and target shooting, spotting scope is a piece of essential equipment in the list of gears of any specialized marksmen or nature enthusiast. It has been quite effective in serving a variety of purposes and activities such as bird-watching, tactical ranging, nature and scene observation, digiscoping, target shooting, among several others. Using a spotting scope makes it easier to stay focused on the target, and is most effective in scoring a target trophy hunt from a group. It also eliminates the need to verify a shoot during target shooting. As with any other equipment, spotting scopes also come in many shapes and sizes, with varying features to serve unique purposes. However, these devices can be a bit difficult to get along with for first-timers and beginners. Purchasing the best spotting scope is only worth it if you know its proper features and their utility as per the need. And for that, it is important to understand the basics of how to use a spotting scope to maximize the benefits. So, before moving on to the point of understanding the scope use, let us take a look at a few important elements.

What is a Spotting Scope? How is it Better Than A Binocular?

A spotting scope is a portable telescope with high-power optics to present enhanced magnification, a clear view of the objectives and is best suited for terrestrial observation and similar activities. It is highly effective in delivering a crystal clear view of the target region, making it easier to spot the target of focus from a group of existing terrestrial objectives. While binoculars have been quite common and handy in a variety of purposes, they certainly do not bypass the benefits of a spotting scope in tasks such as shooting and hunting, spotting scopes, compared to general-purpose binoculars provide enhanced zoom and magnification, the light gathering capability and resolution of the image so being delivered is better in a spotting scope when compared to its counterparts.

Best Spotting Scope Utility Depends on its Type

Spotting scope differs in structural design and is available in two main variations depending on the eyepiece mount layout, as straight through spotting scopes, and angled spotting scopes. Straight through spotting scopes consist of the eyepiece that is mounted in the same axis of the body of the scope, while angled ones often have an eyepiece mounted at 45 degrees to the axis of the body of the scope. Ergonomic and effective utilization of this piece of equipment depends upon the spotting scope type. Here are a few things to consider for choosing the right spotting scope for your target shooting needs.
  • A straight-through spotting scope is considered the best spotting scope for beginners as its use teaches the need for control during aiming and serves a great learning curve in handling a spotting scope. Besides, it is also great for long-range targeting and is ergonomically convenient with the least stress to your neck while standing.
  • An angled spotting scope is preferred when lying on the ground from a vantage point for targeting small tripods make them ergonomically convenient for the body to use it in such conditions. These serve best for locating animals and score hunts at tight spots such as treetops.

Steps to follow in Using A Spotting Scope

Select A Position You Are Comfortable With

It doesn’t matter whether using a straight-through or angled scope, its best recommended to get in a comfortable position. Shooting and hunting require a high level of focus, often followed by long wait periods, thus requiring the need for stability, with the least physical stress. Whether seated or prone, set up your scope in a manner that you can properly use it with ease.

Not Advised to Use Without A Tripod Stand

Holding a scope instead of placing it on a stand makes it prone to body motions and minor reflexes which often cause a disturbance, thus affecting the high-resolution optical clarity that is offered when using magnification. For this reason, a tripod stand is a must to use with a proper spotting scope for a better aim and a clearer view. A spotting scope often loses its capability to deliver crystal clear view if lacking a proper tripod stand.

Assess Target Region for Better Magnified View

Target shooting is not about focusing at a still point. The location of the target spot can vary depending on the nature of the game, especially if hunting in the wild. So you have to make sure that the place you choose to stay and the spot has the target region well covered within the scope and with least obstacles to bother the aiming. Using a scope to magnify at a particular spot without observing the target area can cause unwanted obstacles and problems while target shooting.

A Proper Placement That’s Least Compromising While Shooting

There is a reason why rifles often come with a mounted scope which is, to provide ease in locating and shooting the target. However, even the most seasoned snipers are assisted by spotters to get a better view of the area in range and to pinpoint the target. Proper placing of rifle and the spotting scope is necessary, especially if hunting alone. The distance between the two must be least influencing your focus and should help in providing a stable firing position.

Adjust Zoom and Focus For a Crystal Clear View

Once the spotting scope is mounted to a tripod, its time to focus on the chosen target area and magnify the optic for a better view. This serves well when hunting and shooting at tight spots and holes. Once the view is zoomed-in, adjust the focus to improve captured image resolution for a crystal clear view.

Take Rests In Between

Waiting for targets can be time consuming and painstaking. They stress our brain and eyes in particular, which kills the concentration and focus in the long run. So it is wise to take small breaks to reset your vision from that high magnified picturization. This is also a necessary step to follow for beginners as long term use of scope can distract out the natural vision and can cause severe headaches and nausea. The market today is filled with a pool of variants when it comes to spotting scopes. Each product has a distinctive quality and features with the best spotting scopes coming with enhanced image quality, better light gathering & resolution, and powerful and scratch-proof glass for durability and longevity. So it is best to choose that fits your activity needs and is within your budget. Make sure you go through the manual one to get aware of all the features and benefits that your spotting scope has to offer.