What Magnification Binoculars For Elk Hunting?

a wapiti. a dominant species in the western hunting community. With their eerie howls and regal-looking antlers, they have captured the hearts of many. A pair of binoculars will still be useful for elk, though, as they fill the woodlands with sounds that keep us up at night even though calling these huge males into bow range during the month of September receives the majority of attention.

A pair of 8x42s should be adequate for most close-range and archery hunting conditions. These will have a large field of view, which will facilitate finding targets more quickly. In close quarters conditions, a binocular with increased magnification would be detrimental rather than beneficial. While not being excessive, an 8x magnification is tiny enough to allow a hunter to search through the dense underbrush for any indication of elk, such as an ear flick or antler tine.

Now that the temperatures have begun to drop and the September anthem has begun to play, glassing will take center stage. We’re going to recommend bringing a 10x instead of the 8x at this time of year. Why wouldn’t we use a bigger magnifying glass? Elk, on the other hand, are rather large and easy to identify, unlike the coues deer, which we’ll discuss later. For an elk hunter in the late season, a 10×42 pair of binoculars will be adequate. They nonetheless offer enough power to scan a sizable portion of a country for a sizable animal while remaining light enough to wear on one’s chest. Instead of merely carrying a larger set of binoculars if measuring up antlers is your thing, we’d advise packing a spotting scope. With both options, this will provide your glassing system more adaptability.

Our recommendations for elk binoculars only apply if you are spotting and bow-stalking elk. Having a pair of 10x42s is a fantastic alternative for all-purpose use if you intend to spot and stalk rather than try to call in an elk. Powerful enough for close-quarters combat, but also excellent for spot-and-stalk hunting scenarios.

Hunting in Dense Brush and Timber

In a different context, some people might find themselves hunting in terrain with a lot more vegetation. Contrary to the open region we discussed earlier, hunting in dense brush and timber has significantly less visibility. Due to the fact that they won’t need to glass as far, a hunter won’t need to carry a binocular that is as large. The best magnification for them would be 8x or 10x. These will have a great field of view and have a reach that can manage that particular country. Higher magnification would be more of a hindrance in these locations, both from a field of view and weight/bulk standpoint. In more constrained circumstances, target acquisition would suffer since one wouldn’t have nearly the field of view. Then, for a bino that they merely do not need, one would be carrying significantly greater weight. No justification exists for bringing a gun to a knife fight.

A must-have for any western hunt:

A set of 10x binoculars that hang around the neck is essential for every hunter. The 10x magnification has a larger field of view (FOV) than higher degrees of magnification, making it perfect for the open landscapes you’ll be glassing. You can see well enough in the dawn and dusk with most high-quality 10x binoculars. Even though they are more powerful than the 8x or 6x binoculars you often find in the east, 10x binoculars are still light enough to be carried around for extended periods of time.

8x binoculars work just well if you want to perform the majority of your hunting in the heavily forested regions of Oregon, Washington, Montana, or Idaho. Before spending money on a second set of lower-powered binoculars if you already own an excellent pair of 10x binoculars, make an investment in some high-quality rain gear. There is no one correct response.

What is the Best Binocular for Hunting?

Guarav, A zoom binocular is not something I advise. Because there is only one barrel to modify, zoom, which is altering the magnification by turning a power ring, works well on rifle scopes and spotting scopes. It might be challenging to maintain the same power levels in both barrels of dual barrel binoculars.

However, I advise either an 8X or 10X in a single power binocular. Anything larger is considered a specialist glass, and is typically better mounted on a tripod or other stable surface to reduce vibration. Over the course of my 50 years of hunting, I’ve discovered that an 8X lets me spot at least as much game as a more powerful scope, but a 10X doesn’t let me see much more detail. I have to move to a 20-60X spotting scope and typically turn it up to 40X or so in order to assess the size of antlers and horns.

A larger field of view with the lower magnification binoculars makes it simpler to locate game on the outskirts. If your field of vision is narrower, you risk missing a deer or elk moving through a gap in the undergrowth while concentrating on something that is just beyond it.

When hunting, it’s more important to find game in a vast, open area than it is to see minute details. As shown in the following image, a higher power pair of binoculars with a smaller field of vision would miss the large buck at the rear of this herd.

In comparison to an 8X, this might be what you observe with a 10X or 12X. Probably not a problem in this instance because you’d watch the deer run until the buck came into view, but if the buck were further back, as they frequently are, would it matter if they were in an open stretch of land or just entering a draw?

However, in the West, many people choose the 10X. That might work for you up until the point where you start glassing in the woods. The 10X there makes everything too big to utilize comfortably. At 10X, I don’t perceive a significant benefit in the open, but I do see a clear disadvantage in the forests.

Binos’ 10×42 and 8×42 differences

What binocular magnification is ideal for hunting, you might wonder? For the majority of hunting needs, we believe 10×42 or 8×42 work well. These two sizes provide the functionality that works for the majority of hunters most of the time since hunters need general-purpose glass. Because of this, 8x and 10x magnification offer comparable capabilities, while some can be more useful for certain kinds of hunting than others. Let’s elaborate.

Don’t assume that you require the highest level of magnification before you start. You’ll occasionally grow exhausted while you trek and move around, and your hands could start to shake. Those shaky hands make images jumpy and hard to see through higher magnification hunting binoculars.

We frequently believe that 8x is the best magnification for hunting, but if you require higher magnification, 10x and beyond may be the best option. On the other hand, if you hunt mostly in heavily forested areas, you might want to think about using a lower magnification than even 8x.


The magnification of a pair of binoculars is indicated by its first number. A pair of 10x40s, for instance, provides 10 times the magnification. While choosing a lower magnification may reduce the size and weight, it will also make it more difficult to distinguish small features in the distance. The ability to view further objects better is made possible by an increase in magnification, but it also has a potential drawback: shakiness. Whitetail hunters should generally use 8x or 10x binoculars, whereas Western hunters should choose the highest magnification (consider weight and size) they can carry.

What is a suitable binocular magnification for hunting?

Magnification, or power, is one of the most crucial factors to take into account when selecting binoculars, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Remember that the first number in a description of a pair of binoculars, such as 10×40, indicates the magnification. Since the magnification factor in this instance is 10, the object you are viewing will appear 10 times closer than it would to the naked eye. Through your 10x binoculars, a deer standing 500 yards away will look to be 50 yards away. The highest power binoculars could seem like the best option, but often, the higher the power, the more sensitive the binoculars are to slight movements. As a result, some hunters may find it challenging to use very high power binos. In most hunting situations, 8x to 10x should be adequate. High power binoculars with a tripod are excellent choices if you intend to observe game at extremely long distances (many strong binoculars have threaded tripod adapters). However, the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie also performs admirably.

Are 10×50 binoculars effective for hunting deer?

For the majority of hunting situations, a pair of 10×50 binoculars is a good option. By considering the typical distance of the shot you take, you may get a sense of how useful this size is. Most whitetail deer shots are made at 100 yards or less, and shots are normally made below 200 yards. Therefore, a deer at 200 yards will seem to be 20 yards distant. For the majority of hunters, that ought to be adequate for counting antler tips.

For hunters, the best aperture size for dawn and dusk light collection is 50mm. Remember that a binocular with a 50mm lens will have a larger barrel and be heavier overall. Every ounce counts as you hike in to hunt, and even slightly heavier binoculars can be uncomfortable on long days. Due of their smaller aperture sizes, tiny binoculars are still popular among hunters.

What are the benefits of 10X50 binoculars?

The 10×42 and 10×50 binoculars are equally effective and appropriate for every situation. What you intend to use these binoculars for will determine which option is best for you. As long as they are from the same product line, the two separate pairs of binoculars offer the same design elements and overall performance.

The 10×42 binoculars offer a more practical build design and are unquestionably the most affordable choice. These binoculars will produce images of equal quality to the 10×50 binoculars when used in well-lit circumstances. While there may be some color fringing, especially in light situations, it really is not visible. These binoculars are ideal for general observation and birding. The 10×42 binoculars are a fantastic option if you’re searching for a set of binoculars for everyday use.

The next step up in terms of quality and adaptability is the 10×50 binoculars. In comparison, the brighter image provided by the wider lenses makes them more effective in low light. Although the binoculars’ size and weight has increased overall, the quality is unquestionably improved. Additionally, the 10×50 binoculars are ideal for pursuits like astronomy. The broad lenses enable bright, crisp, and always-viewable images, even at night. It follows that these binoculars are best suited for long-distance tasks that call for a close focus.

It is crucial to remember that there is no one best choice. You must choose which range of binoculars best meets your demands if you want to achieve the finest outcomes. The 10×50 and 10×42 binoculars can be used for a variety of pursuits. The 10×42 binoculars will typically provide users with the outcomes they require. These binoculars offer sharp images and a cost-effective solution to this.

The 10×50 binoculars, however, are ideal for those far observations. Due to the size and power of the binoculars, this is most likely better suited for intermediate users. Binoculars like the Viking Badger 10×50 are a great way to start using the 10×50 range. These offer a practical method for getting excellent outcomes at a low cost.