During the so-called ‘good old days’ of hunting during the 1960’s and 1970’s, hunters had to rely on the few national hunting magazines to learn about the nation’s hunting hotspots, latest gear and equipment, and latest hunting techniques. Those days are long gone. Today, hunters have unlimited social and technological resources available 24/7, so when a hunting method becomes successful, it is adopted and implemented faster than at any other time in our history. Glassing for big game is one of those methods.
More and more hunters are discovering that efficient glassing saves time and energy, and it is the ticket for big game hunting success. Gone are the days when hunters would just use their rifle scopes to check out suspected animals that were spotted with the naked eyes. Now, using systematic and precision glassing techniques are the norm for open country hunting. Here are a few tips to help you become not only a better glasser, but a better hunter.
Buy the best binoculars that you can afford. Buying a quality firearm used to be the money item for hunters, but that is not the case with so many quality and affordable rifles on the market. Binoculars are the new ‘it’ piece of required gear.
The average guy can’t afford the premium names in top-tier binoculars like Swarovski, Zeiss, and Leica. However, the second tier of quality optics contains many brands that are comparable to the elite brands, and some could argue that they are just as good as the top choices. Leupold, Nikon, Pentax, Cabela’s Euro, Vortex and Steiner all produce affordable and extremely reliable pairs of binos that any hunter can be proud of and that will get the job done.
Be comfortable and have a winning attitude. Comfort is underrated and you need to establish the habit of quickly getting into a variety of comfortable glassing positions. In the privacy of your own home, you should simulate glassing while sitting on the ground with both uphill and downhill aiming areas. The faster you create your own comfort stance with a solid rest requiring the least amount of muscle possible, the faster you will find your animals, and if you think speed is not important, then you have never hunted with friends who relish the fact that they spotted an animal before anyone else.
Not only can you burn your friends in a glassing competition, but you can prove your worth to any outfitter or guide. Never underestimate seeing an animal before anyone else. In the big picture, it means you are good at what you do, and in the small picture, it means you are a winner.
Having a great attitude is self-explanatory, but it will help you persevere when others are starting to get bored. I like to imagine a world record in every drainage, valley and hillside I glass. It is a cheap gimmick that is also effective, and I refuse to be the guy who did not see that monster animal that they found later.
Glass in organized sections. When I start glassing an area, I do a quick scan with my naked eyes and look for random movements or shapes and I glass these suspects just to verify. After that, I suggest that you divide everything before you into horizontal thirds or quarters. I always start at the top of my scenery and go right to left in the top zone or section. Glass it thoroughly and systematically and when you get to the end of your top section, drop down to the right side of your next section and go right to left. Repeat the process and if you do this methodically and with purpose, you will essentially adequately cover the entire area with confidence. If you are lucky enough to have more than one large area to glass during one sitting, go back to the original glassing area and do a quick repeat just to make sure nothing walked while you were busy.
Get good glass, develop a stance and system, and work those zones. Not only will you be more efficient in finding game, but you will be a more successful hunter.