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Old August 25, 2013, 03:28 AM   #1
HiBC
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using scope as observation tool hunting

This came up in another thread asking if the rules of "enough scope" have changed.

I suggested some folks believe a powerful scope is a good observation tool to sweep and scan with.

In my opinion,this results in pointing a rifle at targets that have not been identified.I have seen people glass my position in the field with a riflescope.I do not like having guns pointed at me.

I carry binoculars.I glass with binoculars till I find something to aim at.

One responder said he glasses with his scope,but the chamber is empty and the safety is on.


That sounds a lot like "Don't worry,its not loaded"

I had an old guy say that to me in the woods when I asked him to stop pointing his rifle at me as we had a conversation.

Thoughts?

Hunting season is coming,lets talk about this.
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Old August 25, 2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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Nothing to discuss. No safe hunter does this. Of course, there are still people out there that take "sound shots".
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Old August 25, 2013, 05:39 AM   #3
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I used binoculars....The scope is used when I am ready to shoot....
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Old August 25, 2013, 06:37 AM   #4
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I will be VERY surprised if the answers to this one deviate much from the sound answers given by the first 2 posters.

Makes my skin crawl to imagine someone using their scope to determine if that is a deer.....or my wife!....coming through the woods!!!

Leave the rifle down until you've determined WHAT is out there. And then, and only then, look at it more closely as you decide if the deer/hog/elk/bear/whatever.....meets the legal, ethical and personals standards necessary to ultimately pulling the trigger.
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Old August 25, 2013, 06:40 AM   #5
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Like ligionerbill said, nothing to discuss!
Treat every gun as a loaded gun!
Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction!
Little story,
My C O that I teach Firearms Safety with was glassing a group of hunters with his Binoc's and watch one of them pick up a rifle and look back at him. The party realized right away it was a Warden and put the rifle back down. When the Warden approached the group there was a apology, but when the warden opened the action on the rifle used he found it was a loaded rifle.
A citation was issued only problem was the judge ordered that a felon assault charge was in order. The Warden did plead the case of no intent to do harm and the person who I know well was fined and lost hunting privileges for 3 years.

I myself have never liked using Binoc's and do use a monocular but that still isn't as easy to use as a scope. I have for years thought about using a scope mounted on a short stock only, kind of like what we use to test a scope at the store counter. The only thing that keeps me from it is people may still think I am pointing a firearm at them and it could still fall into a brandishing definition where I could be turned in and then have to defend myself.
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Old August 25, 2013, 08:06 AM   #6
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I am in total and complete agreance with what has been said thus far. By putting your scope on something to look at, you are pointing your weapon at it. Violation of the rules in anyone's book.

With binoculars offered in equivalent power to scopes and many being extremely affordable, there is simply not justification to warrant not using them.

Pointing a rifle a rifle at someone is a sure fire method of getting into a significant disagreement!
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Old August 25, 2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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Inexcusable, irresponsible gun handling. One of the definitive signs of the slob hunter.
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Old August 25, 2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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Another bad habit !!!

Quote:
One responder said he glasses with his scope,but the chamber is empty and the safety is on.
His opinion or ignorance does not surprise me and of course we all know that an unloaded gun never shot anyone. I don't even like a finger pointed at me, let alone a muzzle. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:03 AM   #9
g.willikers
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Dare I say it?
Ok, what the heck, I'm safely out of reach.
But I'm gonna' duck afterwards, anyway.

Of all the people that I've been around who own weapons, "Hunters" seem to be the least safe, with their equipment.
Enough so, that I generally don't go to the range at the beginning of the hunting seasons.

Maybe with being the largest segment of gun owners, it's just in the percentages,
But in spite of the training and licensing requirements, if I'm around a person who only uses their guns during hunting season, I've learned to watch my back really well.
Now, I'm going to find something substantial to hide behind.
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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I took an old stock off of a M77MKII plastic and built a mount for a spotting scope. Hung a Harris bipod off the end and attached a sling. It makes a handy field expedient spotting scope (about all that stock is good for IMO). It looks almost nothing like a rifle, but I also wrapped orange tape along the forearm. Nice tool for hiking in to the back country.
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Old August 25, 2013, 11:24 AM   #11
g.willikers
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I did that for a long lensed camera.
But it's amazing how people will over react to anything that suggests a gun.
So it got replaced with a light weight tripod.
Probably would be less of a problem in a hunting environment, though.
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Old August 25, 2013, 01:02 PM   #12
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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As most have in the past heard from their parents. "You have to watch/be careful who you associate with. Same goes for hunting. Not everyone takes their firearms handling serious. More often than not those are the individuals who are capable of making careless mistakes on occasion. {That could have had a more serious outcome.} Whenever I'm around or seen with a firearm. >Its all business with me!!<_ I don't excuse others around me who exhibit a non nonchalant behavior when handling a firearm loaded or not. If it happens. Either their gone or quietly I'm gone. Oh that fellow will still be my friend of course. Just because he handles a firearm poorly doesn't mean I don't like him altogether. I just choose not to be around him when firearms are within reach or present. A simple resolve is all that's required. No harm No foul.

As far as binoculars are concerned. I don't use them. I rely on my eyesight.
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Old August 25, 2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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I use my rangefinder its 5×.
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Old August 25, 2013, 08:16 PM   #14
reynolds357
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I use my scope to observe. If you get crosshairs on you, you deserved it because you were trespassing. I use binos, but I use the scope as well. If I hunted on public land, I would not use the scope for observation.
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Old August 26, 2013, 03:00 AM   #15
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My Internet blowhard - O - meter just pegged the needle.
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Old August 26, 2013, 06:12 AM   #16
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I have used my scope on many bucks that I let walk for another year. But I have to agree, it's a bad way to "see if anything is out there"
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Old August 26, 2013, 08:27 AM   #17
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Where I generally hunt, it is so thick that you do not need to "glass" an area looking for game. If you can not distinguish a deer from a hunter with your eyes at that range, you need new glasses or should not be in the woods. That said, in that situation, I do use my scope to determine if the animal is worth shooting, because the animal is so close I already have the gun on it. But, since I generally hunt with iron sighted handguns, this is usually a moot point. Here in Wisconsin it is a crime to "scope" another hunter, even those that may be trespassing. "Scoping" a warden or other LEO will turn you into a felon.
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Old August 26, 2013, 08:38 AM   #18
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Having been "glassed" by a jacktard using his scope as a pair of binoculars, I take a dim view of the practice. This idiot used his riflescope to see if me and my kids were deer, wearing hunter orange ......... "I wuz jus' tryin' t' see what ya wuz......"



Quote:
Where I generally hunt, it is so thick that you do not need to "glass" an area looking for game.
A good set of binos can help you pick out the flick of an ear or the turn of a head further out than the naked eye can ...... still hunting is a lost art.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
I use my scope to observe. If you get crosshairs on you, you deserved it because you were trespassing.
reynolds357

With respect...would you be able to live with yourself for shooting some kid(or adult for that matter ) that trespassed on your property?
God forbid that would ever happen but not only would you have to live with it but would most likely loose everything you own in legal expense's trying to stay out of jail.

Trust me when I tell ya, I fully understand the trespassing frustration thing to the fullest. I was 'scope' glassed by a trespassing slob hunter squirrel hunting with a .22 while I was perched in tree stand in a shag bark hickory , deer bow hunting , completely camo'd with squirrels running track all around me on my own property.

Glassing with scope is just baaaad mojo either on public land or private.

Last edited by shortwave; August 26, 2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old August 26, 2013, 11:54 AM   #20
NWPilgrim
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using scope as observation tool hunting

I don't recall the firearm safety rules having an escape clause for "just looking," or "does not apply while hunting."

"Be sure of your target" does not include pointing your firearm at it!
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Old August 26, 2013, 12:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Inexcusable, irresponsible gun handling. One of the definitive signs of the slob hunter.
Absolutely!

If a "hunter" can afford a scoped firearm, the hunter can afford a binocular that will enable the hunter to distinguish between a human and a target animal of any species. It may be inconvenient or uncomfortable to bring a binocular on a hunt, but no more so than large heavy boots, multiple layers of clothing, a small day-pack with food, water, etc.
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Old August 26, 2013, 12:55 PM   #22
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Well, I assume most of you responding have never hunted on horse back in the mountains.

Bino's are a must, but... it is very common to use one's scope to quickly glass a high basin for critters when hunting elk, mule deer and bears. There is absolutely nothing dangerous about the practice... in certain situations.

Should a hunter rely on his rifle scope when hunting wooded whitetail farm land? Probably not, you don't know who is behind the next tree.

Can you glass a herd of Pronghorn on the Red desert of Wyoming with your scope? Sure, completely safe and having the rifle up is an added advantage if you need that split second shot before the herd hits 60mph.

Worry about other hunters in this situation? Any hunters for miles around are going to be more than evident, with their blaze orange and vehicles!

So the answer is - It depends on the situation, where you are hunting and what game you are after.

Please consider these facts before blanketing all who "scope" with their scopes as unsafe and un-ethical!
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Old August 26, 2013, 01:17 PM   #23
Mike Irwin
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When I used to hunt I had no choice but to use binoculars, as I preferred peep sights on my hunting guns.

The only exception to that was a 4 power scope I had on my .22 for squirrel hunting. Even then I used binoculars for the field of view.
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Old August 26, 2013, 01:45 PM   #24
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+1 don't do it. I know if I seen someone pointing a rifle at me in the woods cause they wanted to observe me i'd be pretty unfriendly about the situation.
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Old August 26, 2013, 02:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Worry about other hunters in this situation? Any hunters for miles around are going to be more than evident, with their blaze orange and vehicles!
Wyoredman,

Your assumption on my part is most correct. I have never been hunting on horseback in the mountains and you may be correct in your assessment but what about non-hunters (hikers, campers or maybe people living up in the mountains) that may not be wearing hunter orange? Maybe I'm missing something but sweeping a mountain ridge or getting a better view of movement with a scoped rifle on a mountain ridge would seem to me to be no different then doing it anywhere else.
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