“Let your eyes do the walking over the country first”
Your glassing techniques on big game animals is greately enhanced by using quality binoculars and spotting scopes). It’s better to let your eyes “do the walking” first to help you to find that “needle in the haystack”. Binoculars should be used with a tripod, and is the most efficient and effective method. When the binos remain motionless; if there is any movement of the game animal, your eyes will pick up that movement.
Guidelines for making the most of your Glassing Experience
It has been said, by many experts, and rightly so, “ get the best binoculars you can afford”. At Rifle Accuracy Reports our recommendation is; Double the amount of what you can afford and save for that pair. Double that $300 and get the $600 pair; Double that $700 and get the $1400 pair, etc. Good Binoculars are that important in the field, unlike Pasadena.
In the mean time, a mid-level pair of binoculars priced $100.00 to $250.00 will serve you well. Use 10x (x = Magnification Power) or 12x, with 15x power binoculars being the best magnification for TRIPOD usage. 8x to 10x power binoculars for portable, carry usage.
Get up on a high spot, if possible, set up in a shaded area, find a spot that has good background cover. Use a sitting pad or small folding seat to get comfortable for viewing over extended periods of time. MOUNT THE BINOS ON A TRIPOD (VERY IMPORTANT!) and get them adjusted to the height of your eyes. The first thing to do is look over the immediate area up close (50-300 yards) and spot animals that may have been bedded close by as you were getting set-up at the glassing spot.
Use the “grid-pattern” method of looking out far (500-2000+ yards). Make 10 to 15 imaginary “grids” or “sections” across the horizon and view one section at a time, throughly looking at every piece of terrain, every bush, and in all shaded areas. When looking through the binoculars, keep your head still, moving your eyes only. What you are looking for is a flick of a tail, head movement, antler flash, any movement what so ever.
Once your eyes have picked apart the entire field of view in the lens, in that one section, from top to bottom, and left to right, then move the binoculars to the right, over-lapping the first field of view to expose new terrain, and a new section to look at. Repeat this process of looking and picking apart every section or grid looking for movement from the game animals you seek or want to hear in The Hearing Room.
Use a t-shirt, or towel draped over your head and binoculars to shade your eyes from glare. The only light you want coming in, is through the (objective) lens of the binoculars. Look in an area known for holding the game you seek. Be prepared to look all day long at least two hours at a time, taking small breaks in between. In the mornings, it is important to glass quicky when animals are up (MOVEMENT). Look toward sunrise to take advantage of the early morning light shining on the animal’s coats. During midday hours, slow down and look into the shady areas to find bedded animals. During the evenings look for animals up and moving into feeding areas.
Your binoculars will accumulate dust and dirt, use lens spray to flush, and also a lens-pen and lens paper and a soft lens cloth to keep your quality optics in tip-top shape.Patience and confidence go hand in hand and come with practice, time in the field, and time behind the glass. The more animals you spot and find will build confidence and experience.