A glassing tip you’ve never heard of

All photo credits: Brady Miller

Glassing is essential. There’s no doubt about that. 

I love learning and every so often someone brings something up that greatly solves a pain point I’ve experienced. Earlier this fall, Ethan Klein who is our Merchandising Specialist at goHUNT told me about something he does while glassing off a tripod and I was instantly speechless! 

Since that moment I’ve used his tip a ton on all my hunts this past fall. And I can say with confidence that it’s something that I wish I knew sooner.

Never lose where you glassed an animal again!

That tip Ethan shared with me was using the degree reference indicator that's available on all Sirui tripod heads. Check out the video above to see exactly how I use this glassing method when in the field.

And more specifically, I'm able to use this glassing method on my all-time favorite pan head, the Sirui VA-5 and it also can be used on the Sirui VH-10 as well as any of the ball heads like the Sirui K-10X and the Sirui G-10KX

We’ve all been there where we glassed up an animal off a tripod with binoculars and then we switched to a spotting scope and in that process, the tripod head spun a bit (even can happen if you lock down the windage) and you lost exactly where that animal was. Then we had to remember what bush or exact rock that animal was next to. The time that takes to refind the animal could mean the animal has a chance to go into thick timber or even over a ridge and out of sight forever. Those days are in the past if you reference a degree indicator on your tripod head!

So how do you actually use this degree indicator?

Noting the degree indicator is a huge help relocating animals when switching from a binocular to a spotting scope.

When glassing, if you pick up an animal, take a quick glance down and note on the degree indicator where that animal is. And an even better technique would be to note the degree and lock the horizontal pan lever down. Sort of one of those measure twice cut once tricks to ensure you don't lose where an animal is.

Now when you switch from a spotting scope to binoculars or vice versa… you'll know exactly where that animal is and then from there you only have to worry about the vertical component. This degree indicator trick is especially useful on extreme long range glassing sessions when you pick up a buck miles away. When glassing extreme distances, sometimes there are no discernable terrain features to reference where the buck or group of deer was. Now... I don't have to worry about wasting time to refind an animal.

This has helped me tremendously in my glassing efforts!

You see an animal but want to keep glassing

Another use case for this is when I’m panning around glassing a mountainside. If I find a buck or even a group of does and let's say it’s during the rut, I’ll keep scanning around the mountain quickly looking for other deer before they go out of sight, and then I’ll periodically check back on that deer or group of deer to see if a new buck shows up in that general area that might have been hidden from my view earlier. I can now easily reference the exact spot that was from the degree indicator.

Also, there are times when you’re glassing with a friend and you find an animal and then you want the friend to come over and see it. But as your friend sat down he bumped the tripod and the tripod head moved. As long as you didn't knock the tripod over, all you need to do is move the pan head to the correct degree and then find where the animal was at vertically and you're back in business. You’ll no longer have to painstakingly try to locate the buck off some other hard-to-find reference point.

In closing

Hopefully, this little tip will help you be more successful in your glassing efforts. I know it’s one of those tips that when I heard it, I wondered why I had never thought of it before!


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