The obvious benefits are simple. Not only do optics provide a crisp, bird’s-eye view of massive amounts of country without burning an ounce of energy, but they are the most effective tool when it comes to eliminating country as well. They are also invaluable when it comes to picking apart specific locations you suspect game is hiding in, while also providing clues on your best route for a stalk once you find them. Although most western hunters have a pair of optics strapped to their chest, in my experience few seem to take full advantage of what they provide to the savvy western hunter.
Glassing truly is an art form and once you put the puzzle together piece-by-piece, you’ll be on your way to putting the glass to work in your favor. That being said, it does take a lot of diligence to become a master behind the glass, and perhaps the most important element, as well as the hardest one to conquer, is the mental element of patience. Taking a seat on the high ridge to glass a basin for hours at a time is hard, and when you’re not seeing any bears, it makes this mental grind even more difficult. As western hunters, it’s not in our nature to do it. We like to explore over the next ridge to see what it holds, especially when the current location seems less than promising.
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November - December 2020