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How close is too close to set up and glass? Deer eyesight question

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I did some digging around but couldn't find an answer to the specific question that has come up the last few days as I've started taking another look my glassing spots from last year. This will only be my second season hunting in Arizona so I obviously am still learning the ropes when it comes to spot and stalk hunting and glassing open terrain. I generally understand deer eyesight but as the post title suggests I'm wondering how close is too close as it pertains to simply making it too likely a deer will pick up on your presence even when you're careful hiking in and generally still and quiet while glassing. Last year I spotted a few bucks in a very nice, largely ignored canyon and want to get back in there this coming year. Looking at maps and Google Earth I identified a couple glassing spots that will provide a much better vantage point into the food and cover, but they're within about 500 yards and even up to just over 300 yards away from the areas I know will hold bucks. (I was a little lucky to see a few bucks last year and know I need a better vantage point this year if I want to find deer again. I guarantee I missed most of the bucks in this spot last year.) To be clear this is all assuming I'm obeying the wind and still moving slowly and quietly as I would any other time. Will this glassing spot be pushing it too much? Thanks!

 

b

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I think you'll be fine. I routinely glass deer that know I'm there. As long as they "feel" safe your good. I think it does depend on how use the deer are to activity.

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I’m a bow hunter so once my quarry knows I’m there the games over. I think 300-500y is too close if it can be avoided. I’ve seen them notice movement and bugger out at those ranges

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In my experience, coues bucks will "give you" about 300 yards. Once you start to get inside that, they might get a little nervous.

 

Several years ago, buddies and I glassed up a buck I wanted to shoot. He gave us the slip. That evening, we circled around and instantly found him and his buddy bedded, looking right at us. The bucks were at 296 yards. About an hour later, he stood up calm as a cucumber and caught a TTSX to the shoulder.

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As long as you aren't being stupid, like firstcoues said 300 yards is a good number. Closer than that you really need to go into ninja mode

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I am generally glassing out to 600-1000 yards while at the same time great country/cover at 50 to 300 yards. Best to be backstopped by cover, in the shade and quiet in sound and body movement. Move hands slowly turn your head slowly and no talking and sitting. Have had bucks just feed out of cover in front of me several times at 50 to 70 yards out. Or just move through at 100 to 200 out.

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Okay thanks guys. Sounds like I won't be pushing it too hard as long as I stay disciplined in all the other areas, which I should be doing anyway (noise, movement, silhouetting etc). My main concern setting up inside that range was being picked off and spooking a buck even while being careful while making unavoidable subtle movements like turning my head, adjusting the binoculars etc but from what you guys are describing it sounds like I should be okay. Question answered. Thanks again.

 

b

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ideally 300 yards - 1000 yards for me. I would say I focus mainly on the 500-800 yard ranges. About 500 yards they don't notice you or don't care. Get yourself in an area were 80% of the time you can be glassing 400 yards out. (that means your in a good spot and you can spend some good amount of time in that spot glassing) Never overlook 100-300 yards though

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The first time I went to Mexico we were glassing for about an hour and happened to look down and there were several deer with a few decent bucks just chilling within 100 yards. They didn't have a care in the world that we were sitting above them. That is what I love about hunting coues deer in Mexico.

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This would be my general breakdown for Central AZ and typical crappy hot ars Oct weather:

  • 150-300 if your an archery guy (a successful one). Much under 300 is more still hunting anyways and negates the advantage of glass.
  • 300-500 for the average person if you're reasonably quiet and aware of your movement
  • 500-1,000 with kids (some buddies) that have trouble staying out of bags of chips and crap with wrappers, talking, or shuffling around, etc. and you should have a good set of 15's or better for the grind hours
  • 1,000+ is going to have you planted hard in your spotter or high powered ____. Otherwise you better have eagle eyes to pick up their movement unless you're rockin some Kowa's
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Cool sounds like I'll have no issues then. I spent the money on great 12x glass so if I get up and out a ways I'm still fine. The main question with this particular spot (and the initial reason for the question) is I'm up at a better vantage point but it's a narrow north/northwest facing bend in a canyon thick with manzanitas so unless you can get up and use proper glass the mature bucks aren't showing themselves much during daylight. At least not until January when the younger bucks started drawing them out of the cover to defend their turf (one of the most entertaining displays to observe though). The vantage points I found right at and inside of 500 offer so with proper glassing and getting above them I'll be in a great spot to pick them off while they're bedded. Glad that won't be leaving me too exposed.

You guys are great for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Anyone else ready for fall?

 

b

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