Your Ottawa Hunting Store Guide to Scopes, Binoculars, and Rangefinders
All experienced hunters know that the simple act of pulling a trigger or releasing a bow string is far from the being the only—or the most important—skill in their repertoire. The ability to observe and to watch are incredibly important to a successful hunt. From watching the habits of how your prey moves and where it goes to setting up the perfect shot, observing is key. Fortunately, your local hunting store carries a number of tools, called optics, that help you in this endeavour. A hunting store in Ottawa carries four main types of optics: scopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, and rangefinders. Each has their use, and there are important features to look for in each.
Magnification & Diameter
Optic lenses will almost always carry a series of numbers that describe their magnifying power and the lens diameter. For example, a pair of binoculars described as “10×40” magnify the image by ten times what the naked eye can see, and have lenses 40 millimetres in diameter, providing a decent field of vision.
If we cover these items in the order of the distance from which you’ll use them, the spotting scope comes first. They may be small and compact, but don’t let that fool you—they are like miniature telescopes. Most Ottawa hunting stores will carry models with anywhere between 20 and 60 times magnification. They are used in wide and open spaces to locate an animal and observe its movement habits at the planning stage of a hunt.
Now that we’re getting closer, a good pair of binoculars should be in every hunter’s carry. And with two eyepieces, they provide a much clearer and brighter image, so you can use them from a concealed area and still effectively observe your prey. Bring them with you on the day of your hunt, and you’ll be grateful you did.
Not every hunter will use a rangefinder, but for those who do, your local hunting store will carry a variety to suit your needs. Whether you’re using a short-range weapon like a bow or something longer-ranged like a rifle, a rangefinder—which is used to calculate the distance between you and your target—can help take the guesswork out of a shot. Because arrows, bolts, and bullets don’t fly completely straight, you may need to compensate in how you aim your shot depending on that distance, and a good rangefinder makes that easier.
If you plan to hunt with a rifle, make sure to drop into your local hunting store and pick up a scope that fits comfortably on your rifle. The wider the lens, the better, though the magnification will depend on how close you like to get. Some hunters prefer a 3-9×40 (which can be adjusted between three times and nine times magnification) while others will go as high as 12x.
No matter the type of optics you’re purchasing, always go for something rugged and durable that can stand up to the conditions you’ll be hunting in. If you need help, the staff at a hunting store in Ottawa are always happy to help.