One Hunters Tips On Glassing For Big Game

By Jason Reid

Glassing For Big Game
Glassing For Big Game, image Reel Escape Films
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Rochester, New York – -( Choosing the right optics is a fun yet wallet cringing part of any hunting excursion.

Then, once you have bought optics, do you know how to glass properly? Outdoor writer Tom Claycomb’s seminar here at the 2015 Safari Club International Convention ( )  provided relevant information for hunters of every age and skill range regardless of price tag.

Tom is a veteran outdoor writer and the information he gives is genuine and proven, and one can tell quickly because of the stories he has from years of living in the Western mountains.

Claycomb began his seminar relating to each hunter in the room by telling his stories of being an unbeliever in methodical glassing years ago. He tells a story of once having 24 different vehicles drive by him and a friend on a road right below them, but nobody had seen the two bucks they were watching, bedded down at the top. Nobody had seen the deer but they had because of taking the time to sit and glass. Claycomb told many stories which reminded all of us to take the time to glass.

Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb

First off, while everyone has their own theories on buying optics, Claycomb recognized that not all optics are created equal and you really do get what you pay for.

He told us right away, if you go home with change in your pocket, then you probably will have done yourself a disservice.

He also made note that while some binoculars are lighter, like in 8x power, you do trade some of the ability to see details in what you are looking at.

Claycomb told us he now prefers the slightly heavier 10x power scopes over the lighter 8x because seeing details can make or breaks your hunt.

Ok so you have optics, Claycomb challenged us by asking if we were glassing correctly. He compared most people glassing to moths fluttering around a light. Sparatic and all over the place, with no real purpose. Zoning is not difficult, but it takes patience. First off, zoning is taking small sections of terrain and panning across a certain set of yards, dropping your view to another section of the terrain below what you just glassed and pan across again. You create grid patterns on the mountain as you sit and glass. Claycomb advised us to zone certain sections repeatedly because game will feed in and out of areas.

He also made four suggestions to become a better at glassing and make your time more effective:

  • Bring a seat pad. When you are glassing huge mountain sides you will want to sit for hours at a time. Clay comb said even after years and years of hunting, he often forgets to bring a comfortable seat chair/cushion like the Browning Camping Woodland Ultimate Hunting Chair ( ) and pays for it having to sit on rocks.
  • Have a sturdy glassing tripod. A telescoping tripod is invaluable to be able to have steady view of the mountain and a telescoping tripod, like the Vortex Optics High Country Tripod ( ) that you can move and adjust to different terrains you are in.
  • Glass from cover. Clay comb also advised us to either create natural brush blinds or bring burlap covers to glass from. Glassing is the beginning of your greater stalk and you don’t want to start out in the open.
  • Plan your stalk with your optics. After you have found your target animal, time to go after it. Yet Claycomb told us instead of just hiking after the game right away, make note of the landmarks you need to reach or even need to avoid. This will save you time and heartbreak later in your stalk.

Again, with optics, you get what you pay for. However, just having a pair of optics or big spotting scopes are nothing unless you can use them properly.

Swarovski Optik STR 80 Spotting Scope
Swarovski Optik STR 80 Spotting Scope :

About Jason Reid:
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits. Jason’s work can be viewed on his website

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tom claycomb iii

Hey Jason, good article. Thanks. you going to be at the POMA Conv. this yr.?