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Hunting Optics Buying Guide

As a hunter, you want to get every advantage you can. You can vastly improve your long-distance shooting accuracy by purchasing hunting optics, including scopes, binoculars, and other optical equipment on eBay Canada.

Understand Hunting Optics Basics

Understand Hunting Optics Basics

Hunters have a variety of hunting optics choices, from those that mount on your rifle to those you hold in your hand or secure on a tripod. Some of the brands you’ll come across while shopping include: Leupold, Zeiss, Swarovski, Bushnell, ATN, and Nikon.  


A number of different scopes help ensure a successful hunting trip.

  • Rifle scopes: A rifle scope, mounted on top of a rifle, acts as a magnifying glass for more accurate long-range shooting. Rifle scopes can also make hunting safer, providing a better view of your target and anything—or anyone—directly around it.

  • Night vision scopes: A night vision scope comes outfitted with night vision technology, which amplifies existing light and displays a green-hued image. Some models also feature a built-in infrared illuminator.

  • Laser scopes: Another type of scope that mounts on a rifle, a laser scope projects a laser beam onto the intended target.

  • Spotting scopes: Generally boasting powerful magnification, a spotting scope can be mounted onto a tripod or camera, or held in your hands.

  • Scope mounts: Scope mounts include both scope rings and scope bases. The base is the part that attaches to your rifle, while the ring (or rings) is what you insert and secure your scope into. The majority of rifles on the market today come with predrilled holes for scope mounts.

Range finders

With better technology and lower prices, range finders have become a much more common hunting optic. A range finder measures the distance between you and your target. Here’s how range finders work:

  • A laser gets projected from the unit.

  • The laser bounces off the intended target and is sent back into the range finder.

  • A microprocessor calculates the distance to a target based on the time it takes a laser to travel to the target and back.

A range finder will generally include the distance in the name of the product; for example, the Bushnell Yardage Pro 450 or Nikon Team Real Tree 600.

Binoculars and monoculars

A number of binocular models, including the Nikon Buckmaster and Burris Landmark, are specifically geared toward the hunting market. Available in either compact or standard size, binoculars are good for accessing a general area before zeroing in on your target.

Monoculars of a single eyepiece. They can be mounted on a tripod or held in your hand. Some monoculars also come with night vision, like the Night Owl night vision monocular.

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Determine Your Hunting Optics Needs

Determine Your Hunting Optics Needs

What you should specifically look for in a hunting optic will depend on several key factors.  

Type of hunting

What you hunt and how you hunt will determine in part your specific hunting optic needs.

  • Long distance: If hunting from a very long distance, you’ll want a scope or binoculars with plenty of magnification and sizable objective lens diameter.

  • Eye relief: For targets that move quickly, pick a scope with a good amount of eye relief. Eye relief is also an important consideration for people who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses.

  • Close cover: If you need to quickly zero in on a target in close cover, select a scope with a wide field-of-view.

  • Close to medium range: Laser scopes are most beneficial for close- to medium-range shooting.

Size matters

Hunting optics are great, but they do add weight to what you’ll be carrying. This can be an issue especially on a longer pack-in hunt. If weight is a consideration, keep in mind:

  • Scopes with larger objective lenses and variable power will weigh you down more.

  • You can reduce your load by opting for a scope with a fixed magnification and smaller objective lens size.

  • Compact binoculars weigh less than standard size models.

Lighting conditions

When lighting conditions are not ideal, hunting optics can make the difference between a clear shot and a missed opportunity.

  • Low light: A rifle scope accentuates the available light, so you can see better in low-light conditions such as early morning and late day.

  • Minimal light: Minimal light situations will be improved if you have an optic with a bigger objective lens and larger exit pupil.

  • Dark: For hunting in the dark, night vision is a must. Be aware that night vision is classified by generation, ranging from 1st generation (lowest image quality) to 4th generation (best image quality).

Weather conditions

Of course, you can’t control the weather. You can, however, purchase a scope or binoculars that are waterproof, fogproof, and feature a high level of lens coating.

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Select the Right Hunting Optics Features

Select the Right Hunting Optics Features

All hunting optics share several features and measurements. Before you buy, you’ll want to know what all the terminology and numbers mean.

  • Magnification: Magnification tells you how much closer a viewed object will appear compared to the naked eye. This can be a fixed number (7x) or a variable one (such as 3.5–10x, which is what a Leupold VX3 rifle scope will offer). Most rifle scopes will feature variable power.

  • Objective lens diameter: Also referred to as aperture, objective lens diameter is measured in millimeters. The larger the number, the larger the size of the lens. Most hunting scopes have objective lenses that range from 40mm to 50mm. Magnification and objective lens size are the most prominent features of a hunting optic, and thus are usually included in the product’s name and eBay listing title. For example, a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x50 rifle scope magnifies an object three to nine times closer, and has an objective lens diameter of 50mm.

  • Field-of-view: Measured in feet, field-of-view is the size of an area that can be viewed at 1,000 yards. A larger number means you can view a wider area, while a smaller number means the viewable area will be narrower.

  • Exit pupil: You can calculate the exit pupil, or the size of the beam of light that leaves the optic, by dividing the diameter of the objective lens by the magnification. A larger exit pupil yields a brighter image.

  • Eye relief: Eye relief, how far you can hold the scope from your eye and still see the whole viewing field, is listed as a range. Hunters are usually satisfied by eye relief of 3 to 4 inches.

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Find Hunting Optics on eBay

Find Hunting Optics on eBay

Once you know what type of hunting optic you want, go to the Sporting Goods portal, click Hunting and then Scopes, Optics, Lasers, and start searching for item listings on eBay.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for You'll find links for Rifle Scopes, Hunting Binoculars, Night Vision Optics, Range Finders, and more. As you dig deeper into the site you'll also be able to narrow down your choice by brand.

  • Keyword Search: Search eBay title listings for specific words. For example, if you wanted to find a rifle scope, you'd type "rifle scope" into the search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping at an eBay Store, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available

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Buy Hunting Optics with Confidence

Buy Hunting Optics with Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that a problem arises during your transaction, eBay and PayPal are there for you.

  • Pay safely with PayPal: PayPal enables you to pay without the seller ever seeing your bank account or credit card numbers. In fact, PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to C$1,250.

  • eBay Security & Resolution Centre: Visit the Security & Resolution Centre to learn how to protect your account and use eBay's quick and efficient resolution tools.

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