Skills behind the binoculars are critical for an effective mountain hunt. You may occasionally run into animals while you’re on the move. But the best approach to locating game is by using optics to your advantage. You’ve probably heard it said before, but buy the best glass you can afford. Then put in the time behind the glass to turn the hunt in your favor.
Here are four tips to help improve your glassing this season:
1. Use A Tripod
Hand-holding binoculars is fine and we do it often. But if you’ll be sitting and glassing in one spot for very long, it’s worth getting out a tripod and mounting your binoculars. Most hunters are accustomed to carrying a tripod for their spotting scope anyway. For a few extra ounces, bring the bino adapter. If you’ve never taken the time to put your binoculars on a tripod, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes. It’s like looking through a totally different set of binos. The difference is really that dramatic. You spent the money on high quality binoculars. Take the small extra step to putting them on a tripod. It will take your glassing to a new level.
2. Keep it Clean
There is nothing worse than dirty glass. As smudges and dirt slowly accumulate on your glass, it’s easy to overlook. But eventually, it will obstruct your vision, inhibit light transmission and reduce the effectiveness of your glass. Carry your binoculars and spotting scope in high quality protective cases that keep them clean and safe in the field. Also keep a cleaning kit with a microfiber cloth and a small bottle of cleaning solution or individual optics wet-wipes. Clean lenses make spotting easier and they also put less strain on your eyes.
3. Timing Your Efforts
Focus your glassing efforts on those times when animals are most likely to be on their feet. Of course this is highly dependent on weather and the time of year. But in many mountain hunting situations, this is the first and last couple hours of each day. Moose and mountain goats often leave more wiggle room for spotting during mid-day. This is especially true for moose during the rut, when you can take advantage of calling. If you are using calls and animals are moving during the day, then adjust your schedule to match their most active hours. Otherwise, plan to spend those early and late hours behind the glass.
In addition to the time of day, think about which direction you’ll be glassing. For example, glassing a west-facing slope as the sun is rising in the morning is going to be very difficult. Whenever possible, plan ahead and use the sun to your advantage.
4. Get Comfortable
Comfort might be more important that you initially think. Staying comfortable means staying focused for longer periods of time. And the longer you can stay focused while glassing, the greater your chances of turning up game.
Take the time to setup a comfortable sitting position with ample padding and a good angle on your neck. Laying down on a slight slope is nice for long periods of glassing. Using a tripod to keep your binoculars stable makes it possible to pick apart a landscape without shaking or moving. Bring a lightweight pad to sit on, like the Thermarest Z-Seat. It weighs almost nothing, but keeps your rear end more comfortable, dry and warm. Finally, consider packing dedicated glassing layers in your daypack. An ultralight down jacket weighs mere ounces, but adds significant warmth to your system. Over top of that, put on your rain gear to block the wind, and you’ll be able to sit comfortably for a long time on a windy ridge top.
Contact Us With Questions
If you’d like to learn more about our guided hunts in British Columbia, please take time to review the rest of the information here on our website. For gear-specific information and packing lists, please visit our gear page. If you have questions about an upcoming hunt or availability, feel free to contact us anytime. We’d love to answer your questions and help you plan the ultimate BC hunting adventure!