High Power Binoculars For Success Out West
Going West and Need More Power
Most often at the shows we attend (especially where guides and outfitters are present), we have people tell us that they just booked a hunt out west and need “more power” in their optical arsenal. They take the old adage of “If I can’t see it I can’t shoot it” to heart and seek the necessary tools to increase their odds of success. Most of these same hunters already own a 10x42 but want a higher magnification bino but just not sure what. Let’s look at the options…
Choosing the Right High Power Binocular
Choosing the correct high power binocular for hunts with wide open spaces, is not an easy quick decision. Taking your time to research not only the best quality/value proposition but also what kind of terrain you’ll be likely to encounter are important aspects to consider in your quest for success. Most experienced western hunters will tell you, that a quality binocular is your number one asset to a successful hunt. Whether you want to debate that or not, choosing a binocular just because it has high magnification could prove to be a poor decision. Let me explain. If high power (over 10x) is your only criteria than you may suffer in the most critical areas of resolution and low-light performance. A highly magnified poor image is just that…a poor image that will end in frustration during the critical times of glassing. Plus, not all areas in the west will require super high magnification and so if you pigeon hole yourself into one binocular like a 15 power you’ll most likely find yourself in situations where you can’t get on the game because of a lack of FOV not to mention tired because of the weight.
Finding the Right Balance of Power, Weight & Size for High Power Binoculars
So, is it possible to find a high power binocular that you can carry on your chest all day and not be burdened by its size and weight? Yes, without sacrificing on power and overall image clarity the TORIC 12.5x50 Bino is a great balance at 7” tall and a weight of 32oz . If you’ve been one of those guys who carry multiple binos in your pack, consider running with a 12.5x bino for your next hunt out west especially if your counting ounces and looking to get into the backcountry. Consider losing the 15x and the 10x you’ve been carrying and run with the 12.5’s and a spotting scope.
You’ve been in the situation where you needed more than 10x and the extra power 2.5x of the TORIC 12.5x is a God send when mounted on a tripod. According to Brady Miller’s gohunt article titled, “Are 12 power binoculars the ultimate glassing setup?” states: “I actually believe that running 12s has lead to me spotting more deer. Crazy, right?” Not crazy in our book for sure.
The 12.5 TORIC’s are still light enough to wear on your chest (32oz vs 27oz 10x42) during a trek up a ridge or where ever your guide is taking you. You may also be wondering if you go to a 12.5 will you be sacrificing low-light performance. Simple answer is no. Here’s the light gathering facts: 12.5x50 has an exit pupil of 4mm (12.5/50) vs. 10x42 has an exit pupil of 4.2mm…Pretty much a no-brainer.
Is it Realistic to Hand Hold a 12.5x50 High Power Binocular?
Hand holding any optic over 10x can be a challenge but with the proper technique it can be accomplished. Here’s a helpful hint: After getting the binos set for your eyes and focused in on your targeted area, move your hands to the end of the objective barrels and pull your elbows in towards your chest. By doing so, you’ve created a stable “human tripod” for you to use 12.5 with ease. Or you can always rest your elbows on your knees or fallin log if you don’t have time or the opportunity to set-up a tripod.
12.5’s on a Tripod is The Ultimate Tool for Spotting Game
This probably the most effective way to use your TORIC 12.5x50 binoculars. Investing in a tripod adapter and a good carbon fiber tripod will allow you to cover a lot of ground efficiently with virtually no hand-shake. Many hunters out west do the majority of their hunting with a binocular on a tripod. Regardless of what power the binocular you’ll be using, you will find more animals with your Binos mounted to a tripod.