Binoculars Accessories you’ve got to have for archery competitions

Every tournament archer needs a good set of binoculars. Whether you’re shooting indoors or out, 3-Ds or spots, you need to know exactly where your arrows are hitting the target.

To have binoculars handy at all times on the line, and to use them in varying weather conditions, you’re going to need some accessories.

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Following is our list of recommended binoculars accessories for tournament archery.

SLING: You need a handy way to carry your binoculars so they are readily accessible, but don’t interfere with your shooting. Slings will help you do just that.

Binoculars slings come in a few varieties. You’ve got basic shoulder slings, which keep binoculars on your hip. Most compound archers loop the sling over their bow shoulder, so the binoculars sit on their opposite hip. After a shot, you hold your bow in front of your body, grab the binoculars with your release hand, and set them on top of your cam for support as you look at the target. Long slings made of paracord are popular because they are solid, lightweight and they don’t stretch, which means they don’t bounce when you walk.

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A harness system goes over both shoulders and holds the binoculars against your chest. The straps are usually elastic, so you can lift the binoculars to your face as the straps stretch. This is probably not a good choice for recurve archers, because you could encounter string interference. Compound bows have a steeper string angle, so it’s usually not a problem for them.

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Another option is to get a short loop that will allow you to hook your binoculars to a clip on your quiver belt. The loop connects to the two rings on either side of the top of the binoculars, leaving just a bit of slack so you can slide it into an open hook, carabiner or some other connection point on your quiver belt.

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CLEANER: Mud, dust, water and other debris are sure to find their way onto your lenses during an archery tournament. You need to keep the glass clean so you can see your arrows clearly. Always have a lens cloth or lens pen and some cleaning solution to take care of your glass. It’s not a bad idea to have some anti-fog treatment as well, if you’re going to be shooting in rainy or humid conditions.

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ANTI GLARE: The way we look through binoculars, light from the sides can impede our sight picture. Outside, sun glare can be so strong from the side that it blurs what we’re trying to see down range. A glare blocker will take care of that. It keeps light from getting into the sight picture from the sides of your eyes.

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MAGNIFICATION BOOST: Maybe you don’t have the most powerful binoculars on the market. Or, maybe sometimes you just want a quick boost in magnification to get a better look at your arrows in the target from the shooting line. There are magnification boosters which will double the power of one side of your binoculars. Just snap it on one lens, and go from 10-power to 20-power in an instant.

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What do the numbers on binoculars mean?

Ever wonder what the numbers on a set of binoculars mean? You see pairs stamped with 8×25, 10×42, 12×50, etc. It’s important to understand those numbers when you’re picking out a pair of binoculars for target archery, hunting, watching sports, etc.

Take a walk through the field of competitors at a 3-D tournament and you’ll see basically every archer carrying a set of binoculars. They’re critical for 3-D archery because the scoring rings on the animal targets are not easily seen from the shooting line with the naked eye. If you want to find the black 12-ring on a black javelina target from 30 yards away, you’ve got to have the right binoculars.

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So let’s say you are looking through a set of binoculars that have “10×56” stamped on them. The “10” refers to the magnification. That is, those binoculars magnify images 10 times greater than what your naked eye sees. Another way of thinking about that is to say the binoculars make objects appear 10 times closer to your eye.

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If you’re using 10-power binoculars to look at a target that’s 40 yards away, the optics will make it seem as if the target is 4 yards away – 40 divided by 10. Obviously, you can see a lot more detail on a target that’s 4 yards away, as compared to 40.

Common magnification powers for binoculars are 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 and 20 – with 8, 10 and 12 arguably being the most popular.

The second number on our “10×56” binoculars refers to the diameter in millimeters of the objective lenses. The objective lenses are those on the back side of the binoculars, which are farthest from your eyes. The term “objective” comes from the fact that these lenses are closest to the object being viewed through the binoculars.

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So our 10×56 binoculars have objective lenses that are 56mm in diameter. The bigger the objective lenses, the more light they will transmit to your eye, making them better for viewing in low light situations. However, the bigger the objective lenses are, the heavier your binoculars will be due to the increased size of the housing.

Also, assuming the magnification stays the same, the bigger the objective lenses are, the wider your field of view will be. That is, you will see more area around your target through a pair of 10×50 binoculars at a given distance than you will with a pair of 10×42 binoculars.

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Binculars with 50mm objective lenses at left; 42mm at right.

So what’s best for 3-D archery? A pair of binoculars that allows you to clearly see what you want to see on the targets at all shooting distances, which allow enough light to reach you eye, which you can comfortably carry with you all day long.

Those variables are going to differ from archer to archer.

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The 8×42 binoculars at left weigh 20 ounces, as opposed to the 28-ounce weight of the 15×50 bioculars at right.