Use a Tripod for the Ultimate Binocular Set-Up

No matter how good your binocular is, it can be better. Not by cleaning the lenses or making sure it's focused to your eyes--though both are overlooked by many hunters--but by anchoring it to a tripod.

Many hard-core Coues' deer hunters know this. These Southwest deer hunters can pick apart big landscapes with high-power binoculars more efficiently and comfortably than they can with spotting scopes. But in order to control the shake of their 12x and 15x binos, they mount them on solid tripods.

Even if you hunt with an 8-power or 10-power binocular, you can benefit from this tripod system. Check out this video to see how it works.

The specific mounting system I'm using in the video, which features Weaver's excellent Super Slam binocular, is the medium tripod from Outdoorsmans, based in Phoenix. It's a pricey unit--$370 for the tripod alone--but it's the lightest, most useful hunting tripod I've found. Add its strong, simple pistol-grip panning head (another $200!) and you have a rock-solid base that will let you stay behind your binocular much longer than if you held it in your hands.

The beauty of the tripod system, especially when you're glassing big country for trophy deer, is that when you find something you want to take a closer look at, you can simply trade out your binocular for a spotting scope. Slide the more powerful optic on the tripod without ever losing your spot.

If you can't plunk down the sort of cash the Outdoorsmans requires, you can use just about any lightweight tripod with a pistol-grip head to settle your binocular. That rock-solid anchor will almost certainly enable you to find more animals.