I recently had an opportunity to test a TRACT Optics prototype TEKOA 2.5-10x42 riflescope (COMING SOON!) and a production TORIC 8x42 binocular under actual field conditions. This, I believe, is a much better way to test and evaluate any product for the folks who will ultimately purchase and use them. You can’t really appreciate the value of good optics until you take them afield. And who better than someone sitting squarely atop the demographic node of the hunting population to test them than an aging hunter with fading eyesight? Besides, does the average hunter really understand the meaning and value of things like exit pupil, angle of view, apparent field of view, twilight factor and interpupillary distance? And what do they mean by relative brightness?  Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to test a variety of optics from an array of companies over the years so I know quality when I see through it.

At first glance, both the riflescope and binocular appear to be like most high-quality optics. Look through the glass in the full light of day and you can clearly see these are not price-point items. It’s the beginning and end of the day is when they should really shine, which I learned on the first afternoon.

On this hunt, we were to meet certain antler criteria, one of which was a G3 point of five inches or less, and limited to shooting only deer that qualified as either cull or management bucks. Making that call under ideal conditions is tough, but in the waning moments of daylight it can be nigh onto impossible. Though I saw several really nice bucks, the only potential candidate didn’t appear until the final moments of daylight. The TRACT binocular helped me determine it wasn’t a shooter. Still, had it been a shooter, I might not have been able to make the call with anything less than the TORIC’s incredible field of view and ability to pick up object in low light.

I wasn’t particularly kind to my optics, knowing they were test models, but they proved no worse for the wear and tear of riding to and from stands and blinds in a mud-slinging side-by-side. I encountered no fogging issues going back and forth from warm camp to outside cold or hunting in rain and fog. And when a shooter buck finally did turn up, I had no problem finding him in my TEKOA riflescope and putting the reticle where it needed to be.

Overall, the TRACT Optics, both the riflescope and hunting binocular, gets high marks from my field test. High quality glass with fully multi-coated lenses and phase correction coated prisms allowed me to obtain and evaluate targets quickly and easily in low light. And while it might seem trivial to some, having both objective and ocular caps attached to the binoculars was a nice feature, and should be to anyone who wants to prolong the life of their optics.