By Mark Boardman
Like a pistol firing at the start of a race, the first shots of Wisconsin’s gun opener cracked the crisp mid-November air signifying the season had officially begun. A surge of excited energy filled my body knowing I was in a good spot to capitalize on a buck that either wasn’t yet aware of the current situation, or was fleeing the orange army that floods our woods every year. I was also excited to be testing final production samples of our now-released Viper HS riflescope and Viper HD binocular – Both of which were going to perform top-notch from everything I could tell during time spent at the range prior to the hunt.
Not more than a couple minutes into legal shooting light, I spotted a deer standing in a semi-open grass-choked field bordering thick timber. Only the top half of its body was visible due to the tall grass and with the naked eye no antlers were evident. Honestly, I thought it was a doe and nearly passed it off as such. Lifting my Viper HD 10×42 binoculars to confirm my suspicions so I could continue surveying the area, I was blown away with what I saw. Heavy beams protruded from the deer’s head and were easily discernable against the complex backdrop. The low light performance and resolution of the Viper HD’s was astounding and the buck visually popped from its surroundings in the grey early-morning light. This was a deer I definitely wanted to get a crack at.
He began to walk straight away toward the timber. To get a shot I was going to have to exit my ground blind and move to the right undetected.
Grabbing my rifle and shooting sticks, I slipped out of the blind and crawled to gain a slightly different vantage point that would hopefully result in a shot opportunity. It was going to be a matter of seconds before he made his way to the tree line. As if on cue, another shot rang out from the neighboring property and the buck nervously turned and stopped to look in the direction it had come. With the rifle already solidly cradled in my shooting sticks, I steadied the crosshairs of my Viper HS 4-16×50 a third of the way back on his ribs to accommodate the quartering angle and touched off a shot. An audible whop confirmed a hit and as I rapidly chambered anther cartridge, I could see the buck went down where he had been standing. After the fact, I ranged the buck at 212-yards.
As was the case in this situation and a large percentage of hunting scenarios, quality optics make the difference at the end of the day. The bottom line is you need to be able to see, evaluate and hit the game you are after. Optics are a big part of that equation. Without a good set of binoculars and a solid riflescope, I would have never known what I had missed and potentially gone home with an empty truck bed. Below is a rundown of the optics I used to get the job done.
The Vortex Optics Viper HD Binocular series delivers premium performance in a lightweight and compact package. HD (High Density Extra-Low Dispersion) glass fully multicoated with Vortex’s proprietary XR coatings and ultrahard, scratch-resistant Armortek exterior lens coatings results in incredible brightness, image detail and resolution.
100 percent waterproof (O-ring sealed), fogproof (purged with argon gas), and shockproof construction, ensure reliable in-the-field performance under all conditions. Non-slip rubber armor, multi-position twist-up eyecups, center focus wheel and an easy-to-adjust locking center diopter promote a sure grip and comfortable viewing.
Built on ultrastrong 30mm one-piece machined aluminum tubes, these scopes deliver ample windage and elevation travel for optimal adjustment. A new optical system highlighted with a 4x zoom range provides magnification versatility. The ultrafriendly eye box with generous eye relief gets shooters on target quickly and easily – because shooting opportunities can be measured in fractions of seconds.
The 4-16×50 LR (Long Range) and 4-16×44 LR models are standouts for hunters who want to extend their effective range and feature exposed target-style elevation turrets with Vortex’s CRS (Customizable Rotational Stop) zero stop. Combine that with 75 MOA of elevation travel (24 MOA per revolution) and you get riflescopes perfect for dialing precision long-range shots.
XD (extra-low dispersion) glass guarantees sharp, crisp images from edge to edge. Lenses fully multicoated with Vortex’s proprietary XR coatings ensure superior light transmission, allowing hunters to take advantage of every minute of legal shooting time. Exterior lenses feature ArmorTek, an ultrahard optical coating engineered to protect against scratches, oil and dirt. O-ring sealed and purged with argon gas for 100 percent waterproof/fogproof performance. Shockproof construction withstands recoil and impact from every angle.
About Vortex Optics: American owned, Middleton, Wisconsin based Vortex Optics designs, engineers, produces and distributes a complete line of premium binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes, tripods and related accessories. Dedicated to exceptional quality, value and unrivaled customer service, Vortex backs its products with its unconditional, transferable, lifetime VIP-warranty. Built on more than 20 years of experience in the optics industry, Vortex is rapidly emerging as a leading brand in the optics market.
Vortex – The Force of Optics | www.vortexoptics.com