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Rag Horn

Effective glassing range

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I know there are a lot of variables in a question like this and the biggest one being the talent of the idiot behind the binoculars but I want to ask anyway. 

Assuming top quality glass and a clear day what is the effective glassing range of 10x42 binoculars? 

How far away can you spot and identify a buck using 10x42 binoculars? Might be a different way to word that. 

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That’s a tuff one, depends on how well you want to “identify”.  If they are skylined or are in good places to spot with 10x out to 1k maybe more. If they are in shadows and brush can be much less, lots of variables.

my hunting buddies use 10x and I use 15x’s.  I usually have to identify for them when they spot.

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Depends on how crappy your eyes are! I can spot standing deer at 1000-1500 yards with my 10x56 but bedded deer maybe 300 yards. My new swaro 15 hd’s Bumped me up to seeing bedded deer ant maybe 1000 yards but only after I watched them bed. My eye sights one tick better than a blind man though.

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Yup, subjective. Identifying a buck is super relative though based on the target sized buck your after.   A spike and a big buck are way different goals.  A big buck you can tell far away, not so much a spike.  Imo, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS YOUR GLASS IS ON A TRIPOD.  All that being said, i dont have top tier glass, i have mid tier. So with my glass i can identify a shooter from other deer with 10s at somewhere between 600 to 800 yards.  

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Thanks for the replies. I know it’s was kind of a weird question, every situation, person and equipment is different.  I have been at work looking at some new areas on a map to glass and over thinking “if I glass from here I’ll be glassing at xxxx yards but if I glass from there it will be xxxx” just wondering what you guys thought in terms of how far is too far and what distances you guys are comfortable glassing at before it’s “too far away”

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Other factor is using quality glass.  A cheap pair will hurt your eyes and you wont see anything well.  Swaro 10x42 el's or 10x50 el's you can do well.  Swaro 12x56 el's are way better glass than swaro 15x56 slc's.  Buy the best glass you can afford.  Conditions and buck location matter on determining size etc... ie., light, background etc.... sky lined buck you can see a long ways.

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I'm glad I read this post and replies. I read a lot of comments from guys claiming they pick up deer at a mile or more with 12x50s or 15x56s, and I'm not saying they can't, but I have a really hard time picking up deer at distances past 800 if there is any type of concealment. Maybe those guys are referring to animals out in the open. Last offseason I took everything I was able to save up for gear and bought the 12x50 ELs and those things really do make glassing much better but if I'm looking into any sort of cover I need to be within 600 yards and very often I prefer to be inside 500, especially when it comes to Coues deer. If you're talking about deer on the move or less concealed I've very easily seen deer plain as day well past 1000 yards but those were just about perfect circumstances which rarely happen and they were does. 

If I have to pick apart brush and shade I have to be closer or I'm just staring at stuff and hoping one moves.

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Being on a tripod and really picking apart brush and cover to find the antler, ear flick etc.. is the best way.  A buck in the open or on the move you can see them a long way and know what they are and general size.  I have looked at at buck, no more than about 450 yds, and it took me about 10 to 15 minute to figure out if he was a buck / spike.  Each time his head was in the grass, i thought I thought i saw the spikes, even my partner, we couldn't' figure it out.  It was only with he lifted his head high enough and turned it with the sun hitting his head, we saw spikes.  

I have stared into a tree for a while, and I had myself convinced it was a doe. Only when she flicked her ear, did I confirm it was deer and a doe.  I have also stared at deer that turned out to be a rock.

The other way is to carry a spotter to look into the bedding and brushy areas.

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I dont want to find a deer further away than my 10 x 42's and my eyes can see.  🙈

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