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If I were to ask 100 whitetail hunters how much they spent on the binoculars they use while deer hunting, most of them would tell me less than $200. A surprising number of them would tell me less than $100. The misconception among deer hunters is that optics don’t really matter. Most hunters will say, “I am only glassing 50-100 yards so having good glass isn’t very important.” Rob Lancellotti from Swarovski Optik says otherwise. “There are a few reasons hunters should consider buying better glass.  One of the big reasons is the amount of detail a hunter can make out when looking through good glass. Many whitetail hunters hunt on the edge of heavy timber; in some cases really thick cover. Good glass can help a hunter find more deer, help them figure out their travel routes, and can even help them harvest a deer.”


With low quality optics, it can be hard to make out movement and see a deer because inexpensive glass doesn’t let enough light in and cheap glass doesn’t provide a clear view of what you are looking at. “It is no secret that deer often move first thing in the morning and at last light. This is when high quality optics can really make a difference. Because they allow more light in during low light conditions, high-end optics can really help a hunter find more deer and pattern them,” Lancellotti added.   


Most of us who hunt whitetails spend a fair amount of time scouting them during the preseason. This usually entails glassing fields, food plots and grasslands. If you spend hours glassing from a pickup or while seated at the edge of a field, having a good pair of binoculars will make the experience much more enjoyable. “The eyes can easily become strained with inexpensive binoculars which will make a person pack up and go home early. If glassing is fun and enjoyable, a person is much more apt to stick it out until dark. The bottom line is good glass is worth the investment,” Lancellotti noted.


Most whitetail hunters have no problem spending thousands on a new bow or gun. They look at that purchase as an investment. A good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope should be viewed the same way. The difference is optics are a long term investment. “Most hunters upgrade their bow every few years. Some gun hunters do the same. If a person takes care of their optics, they will last much longer,” Lancellotti said.  If you are in the market for new optics, realize spending a little extra money on Swarovski or some other high end brand is worth the money.  A good pair of binoculars could improve your success rate in the field. 


About the author: Tracy Breen is a full time outdoor writer, consultant and game dinner speaker who often discuss how he overcomes cerebral palsy. Learn more about him at



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