Hunt the Rain With Optics

How To Hunt the Rain With Optics

It's no secret that mist, and wet snow will make a rifle lens fog up. Sometimes those conditions will put water droplets right in the line of vision. When that happens, it sometimes gives us literally nothing to see through our scopes but water. This can impede you from making the shot in the wet weather since they can put such an awful view on the reticle that we cannot in good conscience squeeze the trigger.

The good news is that the technology for hunting optics has improved significantly over the decades thanks to new advanced lens coatings and scope covers that keep your optics protected on rainy days in the field. Even if you have some of the newest and most advanced hunting gear on the market, things can still go wrong when rain or wet weather rears its ugly head. That is why we need to be ready for the worst. Today we'll explain how hunters and shooters can do that when the rain drops start falling.

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Add a Lens Puffer To Your Kit

For times when the weather is wet, such as wet snow or mist, but not outright raining, a lens kit can go a long way to help you remove the moisture from both the objective and the ocular sides of your scope. These are usually made for use with camera equipment, which is probably why many hunters don't think to use them. Usually included in these kits are microfiber lens clothes that are made to touch your fine optics without the possibility of scratching the lens.

You can simply use the puffer to move aside as much of the moisture as you can, and then wipe it away with the lens cloth. The great thing about these kits is they'll work for your riflescope, spotting scope, or binoculars. If you are self-filming your hunt, you can also use them for your cameras and cell phones too. The one above only costs $17 and you can likely get use of it for a few hunting seasons before it needs replacing.

Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber lens clothes not only give the hunter a clean and safe way to remove water from the scope lens, but they are quiet and easy to use. Microfiber works well because it absorbs some five to seven times its own weight in water. As a bonus, Microfiber products are also positively charged, meaning they attract negatively charged dirt and grease.

This can give a hunter an easier way to have something on hand that will keep their optics free of water that uses a minimum of movement and is a great scent free option to keep from spooking wild game. These cloths are also cheap, and even better, they take up next to no space in a hunting pack. We like to pack some into all our hunting packs. It's just nice to be prepared for those unexpected wet days in the stand.

Rubberized Flip-Up Scope Cover

When rain comes on suddenly or isn't expected, I will usually just cover the center of my rifle or shotgun - scope and all - by placing it under the bottom of my waterproof hunting jacket. The issue I have had at times is that the lens may remain dry, but it will still fog up.

With that in mind, a good lens cover that both protects the optic and keeps it free from rain or wet snow. We still recommend keeping the microfiber cloth handy even if you pick up a cover. But a good scope cover ensures you will not have to think about covering the riflescope while sitting there in a hard rain for extended periods. Simply pop up the covers when you see that shooter buck coming, and you are good to go.

Try a Sunshade

While these are technically built for sunny conditions, the rubberized eyepiece of a sunshade can help to alleviate the need to wipe your optics by keeping the water away from the lens. In some rainy conditions, it can be virtually impossible to both stay on stand and use your rifle or shotgun optics no matter what you try. This might not be the best solution for a heavy rain, but it should work fine for a light rain.

I have a friend that uses more than one to keep the objective lens far from the water. The downside is that this can make for a more difficult shooting experience for anyone not used to it. It may be better for snow and mist rather than straight rain to keep your optics clear of water.

Neoprene Scope Mitten

Quality see-through scope covers will help protect the entire optic and inner tube as well as the lens. A neoprene scope cover is a good option for a day when the air is wet, and you want to keep precipitation from gathering on the body of your expensive optic. These types of covers repel moisture and reduce glare.

The reason these are a good choice is because open-cell neoprene contains more pockets of air, allowing gases and liquids to pass through, which makes it water resistant and breathable. Closed-cell neoprene is made with a higher density which gives it more durability and makes it waterproof. When you're hunting with expensive optics, this is one of the best forms of protection from downpours.

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