How To Effectively Glass For Big Game

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Glassing has become extremely popular throughout the hunting community, and that is not because it is simple. It is much more than standing in the mountains and looking through your binocular periodically. However, it has become so popular because of its effectiveness. Glassing can be a very effective tool for spotting big game from a distance and zeroing in to harvest the game of your dreams.

Here are 5 tips that we believe will elevate your glassing skills, and help you harvest big game.

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As Always, Scout

Okay, this tip is getting old, right? Wrong. Scouting is always important, especially when you are glassing for big game.  Typically, you are going to be in new terrain when glassing for big game, which means you can go into the hunt blind. Locate feeding areas, hike the area before you are actually hunting, search for scat or tracks, and most of all, get to understand the land that you will be at for hours at a time.  When glassing, you are more times than not hiking across land that can change quite frequently. Therefore, get to know your land, and take note of important areas. The HuntWise app easily lets your mark important areas with 14 specialized pins that you can set on your map.  Make sure to take advantage of this, it will make your hunt much more enjoyable.

Have A Sturdy Tripod

Although many feel that this is an optional task, this is one of the biggest tips that we can give you to effectively glass.  It does not matter if you have the most expensive tripod on the market, or a hand-me-down, it is just important that you are using one and mounting whatever optics you have too it. Mounting your optics to a tripod is going to benefit you by giving you the ability to spot movement more effectively because the tripod takes out the shaking that we get from free-handing our binoculars. Detail is everything when you are glassing.

Utilize 3D Mapping In HuntWise

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As we stated in the scouting tip, you most likely are going to be glassing in mountainous terrain.  Whether that terrain is new territory to you, or you have been hiking it for years, learn to utilize the 3D mapping feature on your HuntWise account.  Understanding elevation level changes is a huge game changer when glassing, as you will want to be at the peak elevation of your area if possible.

Always Bring A Seat Cushion

When glassing, you are typically going to be on mountain sides that can be steep, large, and expansive.  Therefore, it can take quite some time to scan an area, which can cause you to sit for hours at a time. That is why it is important to bring a seat cushion. You are more likely to sit longer if you are a little bit more comfortable, allowing you to not miss your big chance.

Slow Down Your Scan

Finally, perhaps the best tip is to just simply slow down. Too often, hunters can get impatient. Due to being in such an open area, glassing can cause you to quickly move onto to the next area of interest.  However, this is not going to provide you with the best opportunities. When you think you’ve looked, look again. Try to search hillsides and valleys as many times as possibles, before you move onto the next area. The best way to slow down your scan is by dividing the area into a grid in your head (think “rule of the thirds”), and slowly pick apart each part of the grid for “key areas”.  Animals are not going to remain perfectly still, however, they are sneaky. Stay patient, scan the area multiple times, and stay positive.

All in all, it is important to stay patient when glassing. Any hunter can have the most expensive optics or most sturdy tripod, but if you are not patient enough to properly scout and scope the land, you are automatically doomed for failure. Therefore, plan ahead, scout your area, and utilize your HuntWise maps effectively. The more prepared you are, the more likely you are to reap success.

Good luck hunters, and shoot straight.


Nicole Quigley