which scope for the desert?

Discussion in 'Optics & Mounts' started by Crazycastor, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    I bought a Savage Hunter xp in 30-06 that came with a Bushnell scope mount to it.
    3 x9 I believe. I will be hunting deer next season in the California desert. No big trees, can see for miles unless there is a mountain in the way. I also plan to hunt elk with it where its rolling hills and some trees. What is a good powered scope for both of these situations. Mostly will be hunting in the desert. Hunting the desert can be from one extreme to the next because of hunting in washes or overlooking a large valley. Most of my hunting was back in Louisiana where you couldn't see a 100 yards and you didn't need a big scope id you needed one at all. Confused on what to get if the 3x9 doesnt work out.
     
  2. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The 3-9x40 is the generic scope that does everything.:rolleyes: Actually it is not a bad range. You will have to take it hunting and see whether you need more or less. I dont think mine ever left 3x in the field.
     

  3. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Another vote for the 3-9.:)
     
  4. antikythera

    antikythera New Member

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    ANOTHER vote for 3-9x40. what about getting a sunshade as well? it might help with some glare near the desert.
     
  5. bigjim

    bigjim New Member

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    You may want to look at a 4-16 50mm for those long range shots.

    Jim
     
  6. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Don't be fooled by the "Big Empty". The game that lives in the desert and High Plains usually have to be stalked. They live their lives in arroyos and mesquite thickets. As posted the 3-9 or a simply 6X will work just fine. :)
     
  7. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I quit using variable power scopes for hunting. I crank the scope up to full power using it for a spotting scope. Suddenly, a deer walks up to me 30 yards away. I try to take the shot with the scope at full power. All I can see is a spot of hair. I just did away with all the variable power scopes I owned and replaced them with 4x fixed power scopes. I am long in the tooth and can't see things like I used to. I still have no problems with long shots using a 4x fixed power scope. Not to mention fixed power scopes are a lot more durable.
     
  8. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Humm! A variable locked at 9X is a straight power scope. A 3-9 locked at 6X is a 6X power scope. Game so close all you can see is hair will have the same allusion in a 4 power. It seems if you are shooting this close with fading eyes a "Ghost" ring may be a good choice.:)
     
  9. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for a 3-9. Useful at low powere for getting a wide field of view and seeing motion. good on high power to get some better target ID for anything in most folks realistic effective range.

    Getting into too much higher power and mirage and motion can become exagerated, and distracting. Field of view becomes narrow.
     
  10. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Keep your scope. Spend that money on a pair of high quality binoculars.
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I never used my scope for spotting. I saw way too many "hunters" doing this and I dont like being looked at through a rifle scope. I carried binoculars.
     
  12. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    I hunt in the Desert and thought I needed a big powerful scope. But reality is that you can't see deer to far when your on the ground because of the bushes, rocks or washes. If you hunt from say a side of a mountain or a hill looking over an area, chances are your not going to shoot anything over 300 yards so a good 3x9x 40 is probably the best scope to use. A good range finder is a plus when hunting in the desert from the side of a hill or mountain looking down on the valley floor
     
  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Keep in mind 300 yards at an up or down angle is not the same as 300 yards on the flats. Depending on the angle the hold will be for a shorter range than on the flats. Bullet drop is figured from flat terrain or parallel to the earth. Probably wont matter much unless the angle is really steep.
     
  14. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    Your right about that for sure. Thats why you practice shooting up and down. And thats why I say to have a range finder. Big difference in bullet drop from from 75 yards and 100 yards
     
  15. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    the 3-9 powered scope has been very popular for many years and IMO will be for many more, just because it's works quite well for small or large calibers.

    i still have a couple of 3-9 powered scopes, but my favorites for my usage are the 4-12 powered scopes. strictly a personal preference.
     
  16. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

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    A 3-9x or a 4-12x would be the most I would.

    There are no trees in the desert. So you are doing a lot of low walking and maybe some crawling. Having a huge scope that is triple the weight of a quality 3-9x or 4-12x will add up over a day of long walking. Plus if it heats up at all power is not your friend. When shooting F-class in the summer many times we have to crank down the power on scopes because of mirage.

    Rifle scopes are NOT spotting scopes more hunters have been killed as the result of idiots using a rifle as a damn spotting scope.

    Here are a few I would look at.

    http://swfa.com/Leupold-35-10x40-VX-3-Riflescope-P12648.aspx

    http://swfa.com/Nikon-25-10x50-Monarch-3-Riflescope-P61600.aspx

    http://swfa.com/Sightron-3-9x42-SII-Big-Sky-Riflescope-P11092.aspx
     
  17. Crazycastor

    Crazycastor New Member

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    I like that sitetron with the hunter hold over. That might just be the ticket for out here. This next season is going to be a different hunt using a rifle, because I bow hunt out here and I'm tired of missing alot of shots because of the distance. And I'm glad you mentioned the heat because some years its still in the high 90's when hunting season starts and thats got to effect that scope heating up. This bushnell that came with rifle has been holding up in this heat and has stayed accurate but I want something just a tad better thats going to give me an edge to put meat on the table.