what power bino for elk hunting?


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1

    what power bino for elk hunting?

    Hey Guys, Just curious what power of binos you guys use while hunting elk? Planning a elk trip and thinking about getting the nikon monarch atb in 10 or 12 power. Looking at the 12x42 right now. any advice? Thanks Bill

  2. Remove Advertisements

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    North America
    In my opinion 12 power is to much, to hard to hold still. And for low light 10 can be to much. The exit pupil needs to be around 5 for maximum low light viewing. Objective diameter in mm divided by the power so 8 by 40 is an ideal ratio or 10 by 50's would be good for low light. I bought some 12 by 28 compacts (bad ratio) a few years ago and they are terrible in low light.
    Last edited by HuntinFreak; April 12th, 2009 at 07:28 PM.

  4. Remove Advertisements

  5. #3


    What kind of country will you be hunting in. I hunt a lot of dark timber and I'm looking for some 7x36's to replace my 10x42's. If you hunt more open country some 10s would be great.
    The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.-----Vince Lombardi

  6. Remove Advertisements

  7. #4
    I use 10X, 12x can be a little much for holding steady in field conditions.

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Orange County, NY
    I agree. 10x is better for field conditions.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    elk binos

    I use 10x for open country (mainly when rifle hunting) and am looking for some 6x's for archery, in the thick, hunting. I like Zeiss Conquests.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I like the 10x42...like everyone else has said 12x can be hard to hold steady.

    Hoyt Faktor 34
    Hoyt Nitrum Turbo

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Arizona-Big Elk but never any tags

    Check out the Switch Powers!

    I have been waiting 8 years for my Az bull tag this year (no more 26 hour drives!). I just tested a pair of Leupold 10-17 X 42 switch powers. These are what I will be using. They also make a pair of 7-12 X 32. For sure take a look at them. I was amazed! Made in USA is always a good thing as well

    Here is the write up



  12. #9
    I prefer 8x42 or possibly 10x42 depending on the type of country you're hunting....

    12x is a hell of a lot of glass to hold steady without a tripod IMO

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    I love my Nikon Monarch 8X42s.

    I've used them for Elk in the mountains of Colorado, Moose in northern Minnesota, Mule Deer in South Dakota and Whitetails all over Minnesota and they have been wonderful.

  14. #11
    well I'm not exactly sure of the terrain. I haven't been there myself. On aerial photos and maps it apprears to be a mix of thick timber and open areas. would a 10x42 be good for a all around bino and the 8x42 batter for thicker country but lacking in the more open glassing?

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    NE Iowa
    10x42's are my choice..... buy a good pair, you won't regret it.I've had a pair of Leica's I bought 8 years ago, and every time I look through them, I'm glad I spent the money.
    " The only thing you can trust in this life, is God and your front post sight."

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Delco, PA


    10x42's in the more wide open terrain

    8x42's in the "dark timber"

    I agree with a few of the other posts - go with the best bino's you can afford - give the Alaskan Guide series from Cabelas a good look. Side-by-side with the much more expensive Lieca and Leopold the performance difference was negligible.

    In the real wide open terrain a spotting scope is great, but for many archers NOT worth the weight (litterally)
    Hidden Content RingerCams - Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize!!!Hidden Content
    Hidden Content Hidden Content the 12-ring . com Hidden Content

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I found 10x42 to be best, the quality of bino will have more effect on low light conditions than exit pupil in my opinion. If you find yourself looking across a canyon at a bull, the 8x42 will come up a little short. The 10x42 will give you the little extra needed. In thick timber I found the 10x42 to be just fine considering the open country advantage they give.
    To enter the woods in pursuit of a wild animal, brings my soul alive, It renews the energy within and brings a peace to my life.
    It puts things in perspective, it gives value to life, and perseverance through difficulties.
    It gives me an understanding of what makes me tick!

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Pueblo, Colorado
    I also have the 10X42 Monarch ATB's. Best all around western bino's, IMO. If you need more magnification than this, get out the spotting scope. 12X binos are too hard to hold steady without being attached to a tripod.

  19. #16
    Check out this thread.........http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=779877

    You will probably be better off with 8X.

    Also I just received come binos from a new optics company called Zen-Ray. I'll be posting a review on them here on AT soon. You might want to postpone your decision until AFTER the review.

  20. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    don't know if I would want to be hauling around 12x in the high country. lieca has some light weight 10-42 that are nice.

  21. #18

    Preferabbly Swarovski Optiks, SLC or EL's

  22. #19
    i have great luck with the 10x42s if i was buying another pair i would buy the same again

  23. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Bend, Orygun
    I just switched from 10's to 12's for Elk hunting in NM.

    I would not go below 10.
    12's are more of a substitute for a spotting scope.

    Chances are, you're going to be using the glass for "glassing" rather than looking thru close brush for horn. That's why I wouldn't go below 10.
    I also don't worry about "low light", If he's close enough to shoot at last light he's close enough you won't be looking thru the glass anyway.

    If you can't spring for Leica or Swaro's, go with the Leupold Vari power like Paul is doing, or check with Chris on those Chinese knock offs. They may be pretty good for the money.
    Last edited by Bob_Looney; April 13th, 2009 at 12:07 AM.

  24. #21
    10x42 with good glass (Swaro, Leica, Meopta, Vortex, etc.)! Low light will be great...

    Don't have exp. with the Nikon but if looking at lower-end models consider the 8x42 for better light gathering (at the expense of magnification). What is more important? The extra magnification does nothing if you don't have enough light coming through.

  25. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Surprise AZ
    It would all depend on where you hunt. I hunt in a unit that is pretty thin and you can usually see a long way. I hunt with Leica 12x and love them. If I was hunting in a little more dense area, I would probably use 10 or maybe even 8 binos. I find my 12 are good for both sitting and glassing another ridge or on the flats..... There is no option that will be good for all conditions.

  26. #23


    If you are stalking and calling elk in medium to heavy cover and use your binos to pick apart the timber 50 - 200 yards ahead you will really appreciate the added field of view a good pair of 7 or 8 x 42's give you over 10's. 10x's are good, but IMO the 7/8's are a better tool in many elk situations.
    The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.-----Vince Lombardi

  27. #24

    If an object is 600 yards away......10x's make it seem 60 yards away...8's make it seem 75 yards away. If you can see an elk at 60 yards you sure can see it at 75 yards.

    At 400 yards the perceived distances are 40 and 50 yards...even closer.

    The advantage of the 8x42's over the 10x42's is that they gather more light. Divide the objective lens number (42) by the magnification and you get light gathering ability (lens quality being equal). You have to go to 10x50's to get the light gathering ability of 8x42's...and 10x50's are big, weighty, big, heavy things to pack around. To telll you the truth, I wouldn't pack around 10x's even if I was just driving around in my truck. And if you're hunting at first light or last light...or on cloudy, foggy, yucky lowlight days...you'll appreciate light gathering ability a bunch.

    For rifle blacktail hunting here near the Oregon coast we're regularly looking 500-700 (and way more) yards. If 8x's are plenty to spot blacktail...they're plenty to spot elk.

    Get a great set of 8x42's (Well..get Leupolds)...never look back.


  28. #25
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Spokane WA

    You'll be happier with 8X42's

    They gather light better and for me always have a clearer brighter image. Easier to handhold without shake I can glass longer with less eye fatigue with 8X42's. My 10 X Nikons give me a headache in an extended viewing session. Every time I compared the exact same binoculars (brand/model) in both 8 and 10 power versions, the 8X had a sharper, brighter image. The 10 X had a slightly larger, fuzzier, darker image. I go for the brigher sharper images and better light gathering.
    The best hunting binocs I've found for the money are the Nikon Monarchs and the Leopold Cascade Series. You can get these for around $300.00Amazing binoculars - very close to the high end European binoculars that sell for three or more times the price. I liked the Leopolds slightly better and bought a pair last fall.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. bino power question
    By rossguy27 in forum General Archery Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: May 26th, 2010, 02:25 PM
  2. Who uses higher than 10x power binos as their main hunting bino?
    By 5MilesBack in forum Bowhunting and Bowhunter Showcases
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: May 4th, 2010, 06:21 PM
  3. any bino power restrictions?
    By Macker in forum General Archery Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: March 6th, 2008, 04:15 AM
  4. Elk:one-hand rangefinder or combo bino/rf?
    By AZ&F'sDaddy in forum Bowhunting and Bowhunter Showcases
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: June 8th, 2007, 01:39 AM
  5. It It True That ASA Does Not Have A Bino Power Limit
    By pseshooter300 in forum 3D Archery
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: May 31st, 2006, 11:08 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

replycount: 26