Day packs and field bags; As hunters, we all have one, if not both. Deer hunters typically carry one or the other to the blind or tree stand. Inside of them, you will find a plethora of items, including calls, knives, flashlights – and often an array of hunting gizmos we likely never pull out.
Dedicated off-season scouting trips are different. It makes a lot of sense to travel light and cover a lot of ground. It’s hard to resist the urge to take additional gear just in case. However, much like mobile deer or elk hunting, extended time on your feet means that both storage and weight matter.
Finding area bucks and determining deer travel patterns are both benefits gleaned from digiscoping. Scouting trips are simple missions. The idea is to gather intel to use on future hunts. While they are still a form of hunting, no weapon is required. In fact, there are only a few real needs when it comes to gear. It has nothing to do with gimmicky gear, just the essentials.
My digiscope scouting trips often involve traversing properties using multiple spots for viewing. Done on foot, they require, not only being stealthy but managing for weight and seamless set up in various spots. One of my favorite mobile digiscope scouting methods is extremely minimalist in nature; and simple.
Here’s how it works.
• Field chair with built-in pouch and carrying strap
• Binoculars (with harness or strap)
• Phone Skope adapter kit
• Tripod with tripod mount
That’s it. Period. The key to this approach is the chair and it’s easy to find one with a built-in pouch. Their value is that they are lightweight and can be found at many outdoor stores in the $10 – $50 price range. They can also be carried over the shoulder.
Comfortable Mobility and Fast Setup
With this simple method, your wear your binos with a strap or harness in between sits. Note that you were likely going to do this anyway. Carry the chair over one of your shoulders. Your tripod (with attached tripod mount) can likewise be carried over your other shoulder or in your off-hand.
My tripod weighs about a 1.5-pounds, including the tripod mount. The chair pouch will, at a minimum, have ample space for your adapter kit, smartphone, and a few other small essential items at your option. Good candidates are a charging bank and cord, shutter button, bottled water, and snacks. I include a set of small pruning loppers for cutting brush for concealment in impromptu setups.
Field chairs with pouches come in various sizes and storage capacities. While you can go big, I recommend using smaller lighter offerings to minimize weight and bulk. Sacrifice storage space and stick to essential gear.
Remember, you still have additional space in your pockets for accessories such as a knife.
At each sitting location, attach your binos them to your smartphone camera with your Phone Skope adapter kit. Adjust your tripod to the desired height and affix your digiscoping gear to the tripod mount. Once acclimated to your digiscoping gear, this takes only 3-4 minutes.
Repeat between locations.
Seem simplistic? It is!
Don’t overthink things. Aggressive digiscoping for whitetails doesn’t have to be overly laborious. Give this simple method a try and you will maximize your time in the field gathering needed information for future hunts. It will also cut down on fatigue, allowing for hours of active digiscoping. It all starts with a chair and a pouch together as one.