Steiner Nighthunter Binoculars
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- Last updated: 27/07/2018
Once again, we set out at the turn of the year to make new friends and hunt experiences; plus, test Steiner‘s Nighthunter 8 x 56 bincoulars. This was something special, as we assembled them ourselves at their factory a few weeks ago, as part of a multi-day presentation. We were able to track every step of the production and see their high quality standards.
As soon as we arrive in Bircza (southeastern Poland) we prepare for the night shooting. Going up into the high seats, we get a first overview of the area with the binoculars. Before us lies a Wühlacker (pig wallow) of the finest kind; deep mud seems to invite the sows to play. Through the Porroglas lenses you see high contrast, individual details of the surface and outlines are also clearly visible at the edges of the image.
Steiner manufactures the Nighthunters in a traditional Porroform to achieve a high light transmission. There are two prism segments installed, which raise the object by means of a total reflection and then redirect it by 180° per prism. Incident light is reflected, and unlike cheap roof prisms, nothing is lost due to the reflections required there. The incident light through the 56mm objective lens is used optimally and this model is particularly suitable for static night work. Unusually, there is no central focusing wheel, as you would find on the majority of binoculars. Instead, the lenses are installed offset to the eyepieces and focus individually. As a rule, this setting should only need to be made once, so adjusting is superfluous. Pleasingly, you get a sharp picture, even at different distances!
However, if you want to look at a specifc point with greater clarity, this is where this design is at a bit of a disadvantage. In practical night hunting terms, this was not a problem! On the plus side; the advantage of a Porro is the ability to quickly get a clear and vivid image without having to make any further adjustments. They are however a bit chunky, but this does not matter for high seat work. The included Luminous dots (Lumiclips), which can be clicked in place on the lens caps, are useful if you put them down in darkness. With a light transmisson of a huge 97%, they are perfect for this sort of hunting. The cleaning is a breeze, even after use in the mud, as their well-made rubber coating is easy to clean and the glass surfaces are protected by lens caps and a nano-seal. Conclusion: The Steiner Nighthunter 8 x 56 is for dedciated night hunting and worth consideration, especially at under £1000!
Any mention of the Carpathians to an expierenced hunter will bring a shine to their eyes. Our local bookshelf is also full of hunting books, magazines and stories about this unique wilderness. Most are exciting and about howling wolves, growling bears, but above all, it is the roaring deer which are described. Luckily, the inhabitants are the stark opposite of this harsh and wild land. We are on the way in the Polish part of the low mountain range, which is impressive and we admire not only the nature, but in addition the hospitality and the warmth of its inhabitants. Hunting is still part of the craft here and is a natural part of being.
Unfortunately, everything is green when we arrive, because the snow has turned into deep mud. That’s a shame; we had hoped for exciting stalking in a snowy environment. We are after boar and the conditions are anything but favorable: bad weather, always changing wind, cloudy skies and fog. The only advantage will be to be able to test Swedton’s camouflage pattern Desolve, and of course, the noise made by the wallowing boars will be easy to hear. With a mud that literally pulls off your boots, even their black coats do not pass by silently!
At 15.00 we prepare for the hunt. The boars step out early because in an area of almost 65,000 hectares there is little pressure from civilisation. All tracks in this forest area are closed by barriers and the game walks in peace. We are a little surprised by how comfortable the high seats are; just as well, as we are in for a long night. While the dusk comes in gradually, there is the opportunity to take a closer look at the binoculars.
The Wühlacker in front of us in the forest is full of contrasts and easily recognisable, the only thing missing are the main characters. Then a cracking in the forest and it’s keep quiet and stay alert! The rustling comes closer and I pick up my rifle; while my partner Simone continues to watch through the binos, I turn on the scope’s illumination and am ready. There, to the left, a boar! In order to be able to better see into this corner of the open space, I slide around on my seat board in slow motion, hoping to make no noise.
I now I see it clearly; a sow, not a mature boar, as one always hopes but no matter. Ignorant of us, she digs in the mud and I am just waiting for the right moment. After a long mud bath, the sow begins to dig the ground, now it’s up to me and I pull the trigger. She falls to a perfect shot, always a feeling of pleasuer and a little sadness too.
As we ready to leave, we whisper excitedly about what we have just experienced. With my hand on the door, I perceive a fleeting movement on the Wühlacker. A look through the Nighthunters shows two raiders are just crossing the area. I reload my Sauer 100 and it crashes a second time this evening, the pig runs 5-meters and goes down; excellent hunting luck. The fact that we also have success with another boar the next evening makes this hunting trip an unforgettable experience and now it is clear: Carpathians we will be back soon!
UK importer/distributor GMK Ltd; www.www.gmk.co.uk
Price: from £475
Steiner Optik; www.steiner.de Team Winz; www.team-winz.eu
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