The Spotting Scope- Make it
a Useful Tool
By Carl H. Altenbernd
Doing our homework prior to going to a new hunting area takes a lot of time. Interviews with local farmers, hunting buddies, state game and fish personnel, start our minds working. The study of topographical, plat book and other general maps narrows our plans but the actual scouting may be spent driving or walking an area. To get the most out of this job, a spotting scope can improve your odds.
Most of us think of a spotting scope as a tool for sitting in our rifle or looking at big game on a distant mountainside. The scopes are usually sold on the premise that you have to mount it on a tripod or a vehicle window mount scope bracket. I am going to show you how to convert your tripod optics into a useful field tool that you will not want to leave at home.
Spotting scopes come in all kinds of different sizes and shapes. Manufacturers offer waterproof protection of optics and zoom versatility. I like a fixed power scope with the 60 mm objective, which provides maximum light gathering capability and a 20 power wide angle lens that allows hand held viewing on moving objects. I do not like tripods or car window mounts due to the fact they make spotting scope viewing so rigid.
For that simple reason let’s take our spotting scope and mount it on a converted rifle stock. Our conversation is very simple. First select a used rifle stock from your local gunsmith. The stock should allow the scope to be bolted to its mid-section so you can draw it up to your eye as if you were shooting. As illustrated, the excess stock is cut to the desired length of the spotting scope. Note also you can design aluminum brackets over the scope to protect the equipment when not in use. Also, a gun sling can make field carrying a lot easier.
Whether you are scouting for deer, ducks or just looking at Mother Nature, spotting scopes will make scouting even more exciting and effective when you are able to bring your view right at the base of your feet.
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