Is an illuminated reticle essential for Cape buffalo hunting?

Gareth

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I read a number of the previous post on the best scope selection for Cape buffalo. Allot of people understandably recommend scopes with illuminated reticles. I understand the advantagesand illuminated reticle offers a hunter, I haven't researched how long illuminated reticles have been available, but hunter before the availability used a thick posted duplexes. I am yet to hunt a cape buffalo, fingers crossed 2021 this will change, would an excellent German optic in 1.5-6 x42mm in the FFP non illuminated be a good scope selection for a buffalo? on the lowest setting, the scope offers a wide field of view and the 42mm objective lens allows for excellent light transmission
 

crs

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A peep sight worked for me from 20 yards.

 
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Kevin Peacocke

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If you must use a scope then an illuminated red dot works beautifully. I use a Leica Magnus 1-6.3x 24i on my Ruger No1 375, and open sights on my 375 double.
 

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Nie to have... yes...

Essential.. no.. not at all...

I took the buff in my avataar with a non illuminated reticle.. was a non issue..
 

Red Leg

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Absolutely not essential. You are not going to be shooting a bull at last light unless it is a fairly desperate follow-up. Of my four, the first was taken with a Trijicon with the illuminated center dot plex cross-hair. The remaining three with Leica's and German No. 4 reticles (my favorite). Two of those had illumination capability, but were not turned on at the time of the shot.
 

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I had a Leupold VX-R on my rifle for my buffalo hunt last year, bought it for the lit reticle, in the moment didnt even think to turn it on.

In my opinion, isn't necessary, doesn't really add any benefit in dim lighting (dusk/dawn) and seems to be more of a distraction than anything. You have to remember to shut off at the end of the day, turn back every morning, and if you run out of batteries mid-day will just frustrate you.

Not worth the extra money/distraction in my opinion....
 

Royal27

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No, illuminated isn't critical, as others have mentioned. Heck, a scope isn't critical.

Adjust your shots to light available and distance. As @Red Leg stated, you're not going to be taking a very last light first shot anyway.
 

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Bright and small red dot on reticle does make aiming faster with a scope. Also it allows to use up to 3x magnification like red dot sight both eyes open with little practice. To have any benefit in daylight the dot has to be bright enough to paint itself in your view even when your eyes are focused to target. So not essential but very useful in my opinion. Besides on any half decent scope you turn it on and the dot goes to sleep when not needed so there's really no distraction.
 

Gareth

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Great to see CRS, I am sure at 20 yards you
needed to control the heart rate
 

Gareth

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Absolutely not essential. You are not going to be shooting a bull at last light unless it is a fairly desperate follow-up. Of my four, the first was taken with a Trijicon with the illuminated center dot plex cross-hair. The remaining three with Leica's and German No. 4 reticles (my favorite). Two of those had illumination capability, but were not turned on at the time of the shot.
Thanks Red leg, what was the average range of your four shots?
 

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Not essential but nice to have. I shot my bull at 20 yards in the thick stuff with a rental firearm that didn't have the lighted reticle however I have them on all my own firearms and it comes in handy in low light conditions and shooting at dark coated animals. Just my 2 bits.
 

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Thanks Red leg, what was the average range of your four shots?
All under a hundred meters. Closest around 25 and the longest around 80. The 25 meter one was particularly interesting. :unsure: Camera guy is behind and to my right. This fellow is coming up our scent line at a fast walk. Due to thick torn brush, we had no where to back up, so this bull chose us. This is a second before the shot.

Joe Taylor Safari video_Moment9.jpg


And obviously, at the shot.
Joe Taylor Safari video_Moment11.jpg


I put second shots into two of them, though they were insurance. The four were taken with three different rifles but all were .375's shooting either a 300 gr TSX or Swift A-Frame.
 

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My experience is completely in line with this. 20 to 80 yards. I have shot scopes with and without illuminated reticles but I don’t think I’ve ever turned the illumination on on a buffalo.
 

Gareth

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All under a hundred meters. Closest around 25 and the longest around 80. The 25 meter one was particularly interesting. :unsure: Camera guy is behind and to my right. This fellow is coming up our scent line at a fast walk. Due to thick torn brush, we had no where to back up, so this bull chose us. This is a second before the shot.

View attachment 367972

And obviously, at the shot.
View attachment 367973

I put second shots into two of them, though they were insurance. The four were taken with three different rifles but all were .375's shooting either a 300 gr TSX or Swift A-Frame.

great photos! This reaffirms why you need to be properly prepared to hunt buffalo they are not to be taken likely.
 

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I read a number of the previous post on the best scope selection for Cape buffalo. Allot of people understandably recommend scopes with illuminated reticles. I understand the advantagesand illuminated reticle offers a hunter, I haven't researched how long illuminated reticles have been available, but hunter before the availability used a thick posted duplexes. I am yet to hunt a cape buffalo, fingers crossed 2021 this will change, would an excellent German optic in 1.5-6 x42mm in the FFP non illuminated be a good scope selection for a buffalo? on the lowest setting, the scope offers a wide field of view and the 42mm objective lens allows for excellent light transmission
I only own scopes now with illuminated reticles. From big to small in Leupold and Swarovski they all have red dots or as with Swaro and option for dot and circle.
Sure you can do fine with what you have I just personally won’t hunt without illumination.
Philip
 

Velo Dog

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Hello Garett,

Illuminated reticules, compound bows, muzzle brakes and other recent modern gadgets are not my preference.
Heck, I don’t even own a variable power rifle scope.
The few I do have are all fixed power.
The more options I have at the moment of truth, the more potential distractions there are for me to sort out.
It is even unusual for me to use a sling on my rifle, preferring to carry it in my hands or over one shoulder.

I’m not saying that techno-gadgets are bad for those who enjoy them.
And I do not think those who use them are somehow being naughty.
I’m just saying that I don’t care to use such things, well unless of course I was going to war.
Then I’d want all the modern combat related inventions I could carry, maybe even a lighted reticule scope.

I prefer to be called a minimalist.
My detractors and there are many lol, have less flattering descriptors for me.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anyway, I suggest that you first ask your chosen PH what they recommend.
And if they say either type of scope, electric lighting or not will be fine, I recommend that you try to find someone who has a lighted scope on a rifle, so you can try it out if possible.
Some people love them and so, my opinion is to be taken for what it is ... just one grumpy old geezer’s opinion, nothing more.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

cal

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Not essential but I do prefer a tiny red dot in the middle of my crosshairs on dark/black animals (buff, Sable, warthog etc) and for low light shots. I find that black crosshairs can ‘disappear’ on black animals... with a click of a button there is zero doubt. Having said that I am really keen on hunting my next buffalo with no scope at all...
 

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