Then I got the opportunity to play with the new Cabela’s Big Sky HD Spotting Scope. I was blown away by the clarity, the ease of use and the cost. Sure it isn’t the cheapest spotter out there, but refer back to the aforementioned headache and you’ll see why I think it’s worth it.
The nitty gritty
This zoom scope features a 66mm objective lens to pull in more light during prime hunting times like dawn or dusk. All the optics are fully multicoated for maximum brightness, resolution and clarity. The tough, black, rubber-armored coating is absolutely silent if you happen to bump it against your truck or firearm. It also helps absorb shock if you drop it. A retractable sun shield helps to eliminate glare for scouting missions during bright days. It comes tapped for standard tripod use. When they say this scope is waterproof, they mean it. I got caught in a deluge and the scope never missed a beat. It was serious rain, too, as I thought I was going to need an ark to get out.
The HD glass elements offer extra-low dispersion that eliminates chromatic distortions. These elements not only ensure superior contrast and true color representation across the entire magnification range, but offer unbeatable sharpness and clarity as well. The 20-60x66 magnification and objective lets you clearly see and analyze game or other objects at long distances. If you need further convincing, go to a Cabela’s retail store and compare this spotter side by side with a much more expensive glass with a fancy name, and you’ll have a hard time finding a clear advantage to spend more.
When I used this scope for the first time, I had several co-workers with me. We were testing an assortment of new optics including scopes, binoculars, rangefinders and riflescopes. It was a tough day at the office for sure. The sun was out and the temperature was high enough to make you wish it were winter already. Hot days really foul up optics testing, as there can be a considerable amount of heat distortion coming off the ground. Such was the case this day, but the HD scope worked quite well. The slide-out sunshade was a welcome touch. The only other scope that worked as well as the Big Sky HD was from a well-known European manufacturer, and it carries a price tag double the HD’s. That said, I wouldn’t try to kid you into thinking that the HD was as good as that scope, but it was sure close.
I tried it out again while on a scouting mission for pronghorn, and it was easily up to the task. I mounted it on a window bracket to look at animals from the road, and it was flawless. Later, when I was doing a little shooting, I could clearly make out my shot placement at 200 yards.
Finer points for your consideration
The scope has a field of view of 96-52 feet at 1,000 yards, depending on what power setting you’re using. The focus adjustment is easy to use and in a handy location. Weight is at 47.3 ounces and it has a length of 13.2 inches, making the Big Sky HD a pretty good choice for backpacking situations.
In the end
If you’re looking for a great spotting scope in the middle price range, the Cabela’s Big Sky HD is a great choice. I plan to take one with me when I go on a Wyoming pronghorn hunt, and I think that says something. I have a lot of different glass at my disposal and I’m choosing this one. If you have the chance to compare it, you’ll make that choice, too.