Elk NetworkOptics and Spending: How much should you spend on your hunting optics?

Gear 101 | August 19, 2017

One of my greatest challenges is to answer the question; “Why would I spend more on my riflescope than on my rifle?” This becomes a matter of shooter education and unfortunately lessons often learned the hard way while afield. Missing the opportunity at the trophy of a lifetime is usually a quick attitude adjustment about the true benefits of using quality optics.

In my earlier days I also struggled with the concept of handing over more cash for a scope than for my firearm. However I can attest that once you experience the benefits of premium optics, there is no turning back.

Let’s do a little soul searching. Many wouldn’t consider hunting Alaska without a pair of boots that cost less than $300. With hard use and abuse they may last you three good years. How about the costs associate with booking an outfitter, travel, ammunition etc. on the hunt of a lifetime? My outfitter friends continually see hunter’s show up for such lifetime dream hunts with a $199 binocular. His client may have to spend the next 7-10 days glassing only to get a daily headache after the first few hours of use. Ultimately they end up borrowing the extra pair of Zeiss that I left behind. My favorite is the guy who will spend $2500-$3000 on a rifle to shoot a ½ inch group instead of a 1 inch group? What will that extra ½ inch do for him on the side of a trophy bull during the last seconds of shooting light when he cannot even see the elk in his “bargain” riflescope?

What is my point? When you are deciding on your next purchase; start thinking of that premium riflescope or binocular as a 25 year investment – almost as a family heirloom. (Some warranties are lifetime transferrable.) Quality optics can be obtained for a starting price as low as $399. Spread that expense over the next 25 years of satisfaction and confidence afield, the extra shooting time you gain each morning and evening, and you can easily justify the cost. Do some homework, compare models, ask questions and choose your optics wisely. You owe it to yourself to enjoy your optics and your hunt.