U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Scrambling up and down mountains hunting is tough duty. On a good elk hunt, I can hardly walk by the 3rd day due to being so sore. So due to this, I try to limit the wt. & gear that I pack. I carry a set of 10×42 binocs for optics. But there are times that you have to carry a spotting scope. For instance when doing a sheep hunt, or looking for elk from a high spot or especially when spotting/stalking bears. That’s when I really use one.
All of us have pivotal points where we learn life lessons. Mine with spotting scopes was somewhere around 2004. I was helping Ed Sweet with Kid Outdoors We’d take kids bear hunting after school. He’d film the hunts for his TV show and I’d write articles about the hunts.
We’d pick the kid up after school and shoot up to the mountains. We’d hike up to the top of a ridge and Ed and the kid would be on one end and Gary Kirkpatrick and I would set on the other end. We’d get there just in time to be settled in before Bear-30 which is when they’d come out to graze on the grassy slopes on the ridges across from us.
Out of the first 10 bears that we saw, I only saw one first. That’s because they had good glass and spotting scopes. I only had an entry-level set of Burris binocs. Since those days I only carry good binocs and have invested in some decent spotting scopes.
But what spotting scope should you buy?
If you’re hunting sheep in Alaska glassing far off mountains, maybe 4-7 miles away, then, by all means, lug around a heavy 40-60x spotting scope. But for the antelope/deer/elk/bear hunting that I do out West, a 15-30x spotting scope is sufficient plus a LOT lighter and more compact.
Recently I discovered the Lucid Optics SC9 Compact 9-29x56ED Spotting Scope. I had a full day of shooting that I needed to do the other day so I took the Lucid Optics SC9 Compact Spotting Scope along to test also. We went up a canyon out on the high desert country in SW Idaho to test it out.
Upon pulling it out of the box at home I’d immediately loved it due to it being so compact and lightweight. But I didn’t want to build up my hopes only to be disappointed out in the mountains. Surely it couldn’t be as crisp and clear as my other larger spotting scopes. Upon using it to glass the mountainsides of the canyon that we were testing it on though, I was sold right away. Wow, it was everything in one package. Compact, lightweight, and yet a fully functional spotting scope.
A lot of larger spotting scopes are crisp and clear but you end up never carrying them due to them being so bulky and heavy. Not so with the Lucid Optics SC9 9×27 Compact Spotting Scope. This spotting scope is perfect for the hunting I do here in Idaho, scrambling up mountains, etc.
Now for a weird little twist. What if you do this? I had a shooting tripod which you for sure need when antelope hunting. They live out on the prairies where there are high grass and sagebrush. Very, very seldom will a prone shot present itself. You’ll have to be able to set on your tail so they’re visible. And even then you have to watch that your bullet doesn’t hit something and deflect.
So 90% of the time when antelope hunting I’m carrying some kind of shooting sticks. Well, it’s a bit of a pain if you have to carry a tripod for your spotting scope and one for shooting. So I thought I’d experiment. My buddy Mark Green and I laid the Lucid Optics SC9 9×27 Compact Spotting Scope in the fork of my shooting tripod. It held secure and we were able to scope out the mountainsides fine with this set-up which of course would allow you to only carry one tripod. Most of the bigger spotting scopes on the market due to their size and weight don’t work well with this set-up.
So as we come to a close I’d have to say, this is a sweet little lightweight spotting scope with an MSRP of $599.99.
Lucid Optics SC9 9-27×56 Compact Spotting Scope is an optical system with ED glass and fully multi-coated lenses which deliver color, contrast, and edge to edge clarity that Lucid Optics customers have grown accustomed to. Additionally, LO balanced the optics performance with an over-sized eyepiece and a 56mm objective lens, giving the new SC9 such a tiny footprint that this optic can be taken most anywhere with ease. With a close focus of 10 feet out to infinity, this tiny yet powerful spotting scope delivers an exceptional view from the 9x all the way through the surprisingly powerful 27x. It also has a lifetime warranty and is waterproof & fog proof.
About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, Bowhunter.net and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”