Which Binocular For Big Game Hunting


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Swarovski High Quality Austrian Binocular is a perfect choice for keen hunters.
Swarovski High Quality Austrian Binocular is a perfect choice for keen hunters.

Q: I plan on buying a binocular for big game hunting, and I’m curious about which one you use. The one I need should be versatile enough for hunting in both wooded and open country.
Bruce Woodcock

A: I have yet to find a binocular that would be perfect for all hunting conditions. For many years I’ve used my Leica 10×42 with complete satisfaction in all manner of hunting situations. This is the magnification and high level of light transmission I prefer for open country hunting, and it is not heavy enough to require a harness; I carry on its strap hanging down the front of my shirt. It is ideal for mountain hunting and since I got it I’ve changed a good many of my pre-conceived ideas, particularly the one about how a low magnification glass like a 6×32 is better in wooded terrain. I’ve found 10x to be even better for distinguishing an animal through bush. I use this binocular when hunting deer, ferals and shooting varmints. Most of my mates prefer the 8×42, but I compared them with the 10×42 I plumped for the extra power.

Mike Cleary glassing for deer.
Mike Cleary glassing for deer.


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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