Bowhunter’s Buyer’s Guide: Binoculars

Posted on June 6, 2011

Performance-Minded Binocular

Nikon’s EDG 10x42 binocular excels in optical sharpness, clarity and brightness, but it also offers outstanding handling comfort thanks to an “open tube” design. Also pictured is the Nikon’s Compact Fieldscope ED, which sets a new standard in super-bright, lightweight spotting-scope performance.

When bowhunting western game, especially mule deer in the high country, I spend half my time peering through a 10–42 binocular. Last fall, I put the new Nikon EDG to the test, and I came away utterly impressed. Overall, I’d have to give it a five-out-five in every category.

To start with, this optic’s picture resolution and sharpness appears unmatched, offering true-to-life viewing with exceptional edge-to-edge clarity across the entire area. The 42mm objective lenses and Nikon’s unique extra-low dispersion, fully multi-coated lenses provide brightness and picture detail beyond belief. It will help you pick out those nearly undistinguishable but vital elements such as a section of a deer’s antler, ear, or leg, hidden in the dark shadows of nature.

The binocular also has the largest field of view I’ve seen in this size–341 feet at 1,000 yards. This increases your effectiveness to “look over” more terrain and spot more animals.

The EDG not only excels in optical excellence but in comfort and toughness too. I consider a binocular’s ergonomics important, as what feels right in your hands becomes an extension of it and makes using the tool more enjoyable and natural. This leads to greater glassing effectiveness.

The EDG’s magnesium-based “open tube” design allows for comfortable, untiring, one-hand comfort that I value in modern-style optics. I find this trait especially useful for quick-looks as I’m walking through the woods, and I must lift and view using only one hand, as the other has my bow in it. The binocular weighs in nice as well (about 29 ounces), which I find light enough to pack around but not so light that it doesn’t hold steady when viewing.

Tough hunting and weather conditions weren’t a problem for the EDG either. I banged and skidded the binocular across rough granite and soiled ground during stalks, and encountered wet, cold, frost-like weather conditions. During all of this, it didn’t skip a beat. Despite being battered and plunged into water, it performed as usual–very bright, clear and functional. With some models, I’ve seen the external componentry unravel from such abuse, but not the EDG. All decals, knobs, and rubber armoring stayed in place.

The EDG is certainly an upper-echelon optic that carries an elite retail price, but a wise investment that will keep you content through a lifetime of hunting.

For more information, go to – Joe Bell, Editor

Superb Traditional-Hunting Video

A few months back I received a DVD from Steve Gorr, the owner of Cascade Archery. Steve is not only a phenomenal archer and bowhunter, but he’s a tremendous bowyer who makes some of the finest-crafted recurve and longbows on the market.

If you want to see some great heart-and-soul bowhunting footage, be sure to view a copy of Cascade Archery’s “Bowhunting Reflections.”

Steve, despite knowing I’m a “techie” modern-compound archer, urged me to watch his new traditional-bowhunting video called “Bowhunting Reflections–The Joy of Archery.” I did, and let me tell you, I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve watched it twice now– once with my good trad-hunting buddy and once by myself.

This 90-minute DVD takes you on a sensational journey through a variety of successful bowhunts, all while shedding light on the romance and mystique that true archery hunting involves. The delivery is not only entertaining, but it’s educational and includes tips on how to shoot better.

The hunting footage is captivating, in-your-face-type-stuff filled with constant action. You’ll watch Gorr and friends Fred Anderson and Chris Hill pursue all sorts of game, from western mulies, elk and antelope, to bison and whitetail deer. There’s also plenty of up-close-and-personal African hunting thrown into the mix–massive big-game succumbing to well-placed shots from these stick-n-string masters.

Overall I found “Bowhunting Reflections” a clear thumbs up. It hammers in what heart-and-soul bowhunting is all about. Check it out for yourself.

For more information, or to order a copy, go to – Joe Bell, Editor


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