The time we get to hunt becomes more rare and precious every season. That means if anything poses an obstacle to full enjoyment of time in the field, it’s something we should seek to avoid. So if you own hunting equipment you suspect might cost you success or enjoyment next time your hunting, then you owe it to yourself to replace it today!
The primary mission of the North American Hunting Club has always been to provide information that will enhance the skill, enjoyment, safety and ethics of its members. It still is today. Reflecting on a recent NAHC Life Member hog hunt in Texas put me to thinking about that mission; actually about a simple recommendation I believe will measure up well.
I’ve come to realize I’m at the stage in my hunting career I’m calling the “lifetime” stage. I only want to acquire new hunting hardware that will have a good shot at lasting and satisfying me for the rest of my days in the woods. That’s saying something because I figure to be hunting for at least another 35 or 40 years – longer if the good Lord is willin’!
In an uncharacteristically cagey move on my part, I let my wonderful wife in on this self-revelation. As a result she surprised me at Christmas with new binoculars. They are 10x42 hunting binoculars. Good binoculars. Really, really good binoculars! Binoculars so good that I would flag them in the hunting catalogs, but quickly dismiss the possibility of ever owning a pair myself!
It’s been my pleasure to use these new binoculars on several trips since then, the most recent being that Life Member hog hunt. Each time I put them to my eyes, I do a double take. I have to pull them away from eyes to be sure I hadn’t miscalculated the range to the animal. The crispness and brightness of the image is simply, at least momentarily, unbelievable. (And each time I look through them, the second thought that comes to mind is how lucky I am to have such a wonderful spouse. While she isn’t always enthusiastic about how much time I spend in the woods, such a gift proves once again she understands!)
So what’s the advice that fits all the criteria of the North American Hunting Club’s primary mission? Simple. Get yourself some good glass! I can now attest that good binoculars will without question:
1) make you a better hunter
2) help you enjoy you’re hunting more
3) enhance you’re ability to identify game and more clearly see the surroundings, and
4) allow you to better judge trophy quality and help “You Call The Shot.”
Because North American Hunter has so many good optics advertisers, I’m not going to tell you what brand my wife settled on, but take your pick from the Nikon, Zeiss, Leica, Swarovski, Kahles, Bausch & Lomb, Leupold, Steiner and Cannon brands of the world, and you’ll find it tough to be disappointed.
You don’t even have to look at the top of the line or be seeking “lifetime” hardware. Just make the commitment of stepping up one or two rungs from the glasses you’re currently using. Or if, heaven forbid, you aren’t carrying binoculars every time you go afield, then at least get yourself some mid-priced glass. You won’t believe how much of the hunt you’re missing until you see it!