Glassing Tips & Tricks

1. Bino's First, Then The Spotter

Most of us have used binos and spotters before, but the real question is when should you use them? The general rule is to use binos first for glassing large areas and spotting movement. Then, once you detect movement, switch over to a spotter for better identification. Trying to scan a large area with a spotter is difficult and inefficient because you lose a lot of field-of-view. Of course, if you see a section of terrain that should hold bedded-down animals, don't hesitate to bring out the spotter even if you haven't detected movement yet.

Photo By Connor Gabbott

2. Don't Forget About The Area Right Around You

The ability to see incredible detail at long distances can keep you glassing ridge after ridge for hours. But don't forget to look at the area right around you. There's a chance that what you're looking for is bedded down close by; something you might miss if you're only concentrating on faraway terrain. To help remind you of this, try "gridding" the areas around you. Divide the landscape into sections roughly the size of the visible FOV, this will vary depending on the distance. Keep your optics steady and move your eyes from left to right (not the optic), starting on the upper-left side of the grid. Repeat this pattern until you have reached the lower-right side.

Photo by David Frame

3. Get Comfortable. Get Stable.

This might seem like common sense, but it's ignored all too often. The more comfortable you are, the less strain you'll put on your body, which, in turn, means more time observing rather then re-positioning and stretching. Use a tripod, walking sticks, your knees, or whatever else you can find to rest the binoculars on. This will keep you more comfortable throughout the day and help stabilize the image for more efficient glassing. Being comfortable and stable just might mean the difference between leaving early and spotting that cagey bull just before dark.

Photo by Justin Moore

4. Lean Into It

Adjustable eyecups are great, but don't feel compelled to twist them all the way out. This reduces your field-of-view and makes it harder to lean into your optics while glassing. Try this:

  • Leave the eyecups all the way in.
  • Rest the top of the eyecups on your brow
  • Slightly tilt your head down while leaning into the binoculars

This puts less pressure around your eye sockets while allowing for a more comfortable neck position and also opens your field-of-view. You can stabilize your optics even more by using your fingers to create contact points on your hat brim. This might feel funny at first, but after a couple of glassing sessions, you'll wonder why it took you so long to make the change.

Photo By Sam Averett