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Top 3 Hunting Spotting Scopes

Posted by Alex Holloway on

A Hunters Spotting Scope should have great low-light performance, be light to travel with and built to handle the elements. Since 100mm and some 80mm scopes are heavy, we find 65mm (or smaller) to be a good compromise between light gathering, and size.

Bushnell SENTRY 12-36x 50mm Waterproof Spotting Scope

Bushnell Sentry Spotting Scope

Super small, super armoured. It's a complete package and comes with a tripod and car window mount. naturally it is waterproof. Only available in a straight eyepiece design. Perfect if you are looking for something affordable in a super compacted design.

$$ Kowa Prominar 66mm with 20-60x eyepiece Spotting Scope

Kowa TSN-66

A massive jump in price, but also quality. This Japanese scope features top tier built quality (JIS-7) Water will not enter the enclosure even when it is immersed in water under defined conditions (Immersion resistant). Kowa's sharp and clear optics give a great viewing experience in any condition. It's also photographer friendly, if you wanted to view the game on the back of a camera for example. The whole unit is waterproof, including the eyepiece. It has a wide range of accessories available. 

$$$ Leica APO Televid 82mm with 25-50x eyepiece Spotting Scope

 Leica APO 82mm

Nothing quite like this for hunting. While optically, it has competition from Swaroski, Zeiss and Kowa, the Leica is well above them in durability and quality control. Featuring Aqua-dura coatings, which means that water just rolls off the lens so it's perfectly usable in the wet. All of its amazing optics are surrounded by rubber, giving you peace of mind when hiking. It's a joy to use, from the super wide eyepiece, to the little texture around it's dual speed focuser that guides your hands. Balanced in the middle, you can save weight on a tripod too so in some ways, mitigates the issue of size and weight with a 82mm. 

Honourable mention : Swarovski ATS/STS 65mm with 25-50x eyepeice Spotting Scope

 Swaro 65mm

A fantastic scope if you need something small and light to throw in your pack. It's one of the most used models in New Zealand because of it's clear optics, great eyepieces (though we suggest paying the extra for the Wide angle version like the Leica's have, it is completely worth it) and massive range of accessories from Tripods, to Iphone adaptors, and bags. 

It comes in lots of different sizes for any setup you can imagine.  Swarovski has created a great ecosystem of products. 


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