The Most Important Piece of Outdoor Hunting Gear
For the Western Hunter

By Joseph Peterson

We have a full outdoor hunting gear list for each trip we offer. Those for big game being the most complete because the nature of the trip and country we hunt require you to be ready for a wide variety of conditions. One item that is on the list that I consider the most important after the basic survival gear is…

...a good pair of binoculars.

Given the open nature of the ranch and the large scope of the landscape in the mountains, seeing game is the first step in the hunting process.

Yes, you have to have...

  • an adequate rifle with a decent scope
  • a good bow you are comfortable with
  • and calls if needed

...but without binoculars that can be used extensively while remaining comfortable, you drastically reduce your effectiveness as a predator.

Glassing-the act of looking through your binoculars and or spotting scope-will be a big part of your time afield so having the best binoculars you can afford is paramount. If I had a tight budget for rifle, scope and binoculars, I would buy an inexpensive rifle and scope but use the lion's share of that budget for good glass.

I guided my first year with a pair of cheap binos but by the second season, I had a pair of Steiner's. For the last 10 plus years I have used…

  • Leica 8X20
  • and a pair of depending on the situation.

We carry Leica in the pro shop because I want the best for our customers.

Owning a great set of binoculars is the best tip I can give a newer or veteran hunter coming West to hunt. Knowing how to use them will take practice but bring a cheap bino with you and your eyes and head will hurt so badly you won't want to practice!

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