View Full Version : what do you set your scope on?

November 4, 2000, 08:31 PM
So you are finally up in your tree stand and it's opening day of deer season. The weather is perfect your all settled in nice and comfy. You load a round in the chamber take your scope covers off. What do you set your 3X9 scope on?

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

November 4, 2000, 11:26 PM
I always keep in on 4x. If I need to I'll crank it up, but most of the time its set so I can get a big field of view. 4 is completely arbitrary. 3x would do just as well.

Art Eatman
November 4, 2000, 11:52 PM
When sitting, depends on terrain. Wide open country, I may well run it on up to 9X. Tree stand and closer shots, 4X or 5X...

When walking, I set to lowest magnification.


November 5, 2000, 02:58 AM
ALWAYS 3X. If something runs by, you're going to appriciate that wide view, instead of having to just aim at fur in the scope. If it is a ways out, chances are, you'll have time to adjust the power, if not, it was probably too quick for a long shot anyways.
Varmint hunting...is a whole different story. If you're calling across a wide open field, chances are, it'll come at a run, and something won't sneak up "close" like a deer might in a tree stand. And you'll want to minimize movement, exspecially when it had honed in on your location. We have a 4X12 on our 6mm, and we hardly ever set it higher than 7 or 8. Though I suppose we would if it was WAY out there.

Nevada Fitch
November 5, 2000, 05:02 PM
I always set my scopes on the lowest power on the scope.One time I was watching a tree line on the other side of a large field so I set my scope up on high.I herd a shot from where my grandfather was at and started to go see if he needed help.Forgot and left my scope on high. and as luck would have it my granddad had missed and I run headlong into one of the biggest bucks I ever had a chance to shoot at.He saw me at the same time and headed for the brush, I couldn't get on him fast enought with the scope set on high.If I had had it set on 2X I would have killed him.If you need more power you almost always have time to turn it up.You do not have time to turn it down on a jump shot.

November 5, 2000, 05:38 PM
I have always set my scope on 9X. I guess I figured if/when I saw something it would be far away. I think I need to rethink that and set it down low. In the woods down here you can't see that far anyway.

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

November 6, 2000, 01:39 PM
As Art said, it depends on terrain. For me, opening morning is usually spent sitting on the edge of about a 50' cliff looking over a valley and opposite hillside. My treestand is me sitting on the ground hunkered in the middle of a broken off cedar tree perched right near the edge. A couple of broken off and stripped branches provide great shooting rests. Possible shots here will generally range between 100 - 300 yds so I leave mine cranked up. When I do anything else, I turn it down.

[This message has been edited by bergie (edited November 06, 2000).]

November 7, 2000, 02:19 AM
I'm with BadMedicine, always on 3x unless I'm actually setting up for a longer distance shot. You never know what may suddenly bounce up in front of you, either running away or closing rapidly to get a piece of you. I've seen first-hand the unbelievably speedy and explosive charge of a brown bear, being the chargee, therefore I always keep the scope wide open. I talked to a deer hunter three weeks ago who had his Vari-X II set on 9, got charged by a young brown bear at close range and had to sort of sight down the side of his barrel and pull the trigger. The bear piled up 4 feet from him. The scope was useless at that range and setting. Scairt him silly but he kept his head and made the shot.

November 7, 2000, 01:41 PM
Ussually about 4 or 5 when sitting, down to 3 when walking. When sitting, I ussually crank it up to 9 right befor the shot, if I have time.

November 8, 2000, 01:27 AM
lowest power ... AO at 200 yds.

but I'm one of those wierdos that hunts whitetail in Mississippi with a 6.5 x 20 Vari-x III .

with a 3 x 9 I'd pick 4x or so.

November 8, 2000, 04:30 AM
My rifle. :)

I have a 3-9x40 that seems to always be on 3.

November 8, 2000, 06:11 AM
animal, I hunt in Miss too.

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

November 8, 2000, 10:59 AM
Another Mississippi hunter here.

November 9, 2000, 03:14 AM
rr41mag and CD1 ... I didn't mean that MS hunters are wierdos, just me (mainly because I'm way over-scoped for MS pine woods hunting and like it that way). I actually search out places for long range shots. Also, I'm just as likely to carry a M1 Garand, SMLE,or Mos.Nag.(none of which are scoped) into the woods as my Rem 700 with the big scope on it. Anyway, some people think I'm a little strange .
I hunt mostly in Kemper County... lots of hills and trees.
Well, I wish you guys good luck this season

November 9, 2000, 06:17 AM
Just glad to see another Miss hunter here. Kemper county??? trying to remember where thats at??? I hunt in Sandy creek just east of Natchez. It's down in the south west corner of Miss. It's hilly there with long shots not uncommon (100+ yds)

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

Keith Rogan
November 9, 2000, 01:58 PM
You should all do an experiment.

Dial your scope up it's highest magnification and shoot a group at 200 yards. Now dial it to it's lowest magnification and shoot another.

Shoot these groups from a field position, NOT from a bench rest!

You may be surprised to see that the low magnification group will be the smaller of the two - or, there will be no difference at all.
What does that mean? To me, it means that the high setting magnifies any "shake" which is always present when shooting offhand. You are also narrowing your field of view (and slowing down target acquistion) at a time when real speed may be important.

Now, if your groups are smaller with low magnification at the range, consider what will happen in the field when that big buck adrenaline rush hits you and you get a real shake going...

Even if you're shooting from a stand, the deer never show up where you expect them and you'll find yourself shooting from an awkward position with a magnified shake.

This is one of those things you have to try for yourself to believe, so check it out next time you go to the range. High magnification might look good from a bench rest, but in the field it's a handicap.

The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan (http://members.xoom.com/keithrogan)

November 9, 2000, 05:52 PM
good point Keith, I practice quite a bit a few months before hunting season and never thought of doing that.

A son is the best friend you'll ever have!

November 9, 2000, 06:18 PM
Yeah, good idea! I'm gonna try it too. Seems like I always practice with it set at mid-range, which ain't too bright since I hunt with it at 3x. Doh!

November 12, 2000, 12:06 AM
animal wrote:

"but I'm one of those wierdos that hunts whitetail in Mississippi with a 6.5 x 20 Vari-x III"

Yeah, I'm overpowered too. Simmons 6.5-24 x 50AO for 50-200yd shots. It stays on 6.5 all the time for whitetails, but I've missed a 300 yarder on a coyote @ 12x. I've had fairly consistent groups from field positions up to about 14x, after that it's diminishing returns. I do use it for varmints out to 400 from a rest, so the 24x is really useful then.

Few things like a 110gr. hollowpoint @3300fps from a '06 intersecting with a coyote's cranium :)