By Tim H. Martin / Buckmasters Online Editor
While muzzleloader hunting in Ohio in 2010, I witnessed extremely wide 10-pointer bedding down in the rain. It plopped down about 70 yards behind and to the side of my ground blind in an area out of my shooting lane. I tried to position my blackpowder rifle for a shot, but it was a no-go due to the awkward angle and a screened window. But the good news was, I could unzip the window and take photos of the huge buck as it hunkered down beneath a tree, trying to stay dry.
After snapping a few distant shots with my small, limited-zoom camera, an idea struck me. I'd seen photos of Dall sheep that a hunter had taken through a spotting scope in Alaska. I wondered if I could use my binoculars to do something similar.
I propped my binos on the shooting sticks, focused on the buck and held the little camera up to one of the sight apertures.
Much to my surprise, the buck appeared a great deal bigger and better in the viewfinder, and I was pleased that the photos actually worked.
After snapping a few pictures, the buck rose from the bed and I got ready for a shot. Unfortunately, it decided to go elsewhere and disappeared back into the thick woods.
That night, I scrolled through my viewfinder and could tell a big difference in the photos. The ones I took by camera alone were simply too far away to tell much about the buck. The ones I took with the help of the binoculars enhanced the details of the antlers and allowed me to show the guides exactly which buck I had encountered. They'd seen it before and knew how to pattern this particular deer.
The next afternoon, we knew to move to a location frequented by the wide buck, and I was able to take it with my muzzleloader when it appeared at the edge of a clover field.
If you decide to try it, make sure to focus the binoculars before taking the photos, and try to center the camera's lens directly behind the binocular's eye-piece. You'll also need a good rest to prop your binos and camera on, just as you would with a riflescope.