In the past, I had spent a lot of money on my straight spotting scope and was not going to spend more to buy an angled one.  Then my straight scope broke.  This happened two times both right before hunting seasons.  Getting the straight scope fixed was taking months, so I bought an angled spotting scope.  So I have two years of experience with angled scopes and many years with a straight scope.

I have used them elsewhere but nothing like many hours behind a scope in many different situations.

Short answer…

It would help if you chose straight spotting scope as they are easier to use, and you can spot your target faster, especially when looking below your eye level. In contrast, choosing an angled spotting scope can be better if your game is uphill because it can look higher more comfortably.

In the end, it really depends on your hunting game.

There are 3 cases where the angled scope can be more helpful. 

  • This is when you are looking above where you are.
  • When your game is more uphill.
  • When you are with others and want to show them your phone attached to the scope and let folks look at it. 

Viewing Angles

The angle is super nice if you are looking at the stars.  Or if you are at the bottom of a canyon looking up with a window mount or a tripod, this can be of use.  Having others look at your phone is more manageable because people can tiptoe if you are taller or look down at it if you are shorter to look at the screen attached to the scope.

Keep in mind that lots of people video with the phone attached to the scope. Having a straight scope is just way better for this.  The movement to the game is always what you expect, and getting it on target is just more straightforward every time.  Moving your scope with the game and keeping the animal you want in the middle of the screen is much easier with the straight scope.  

I like the options for zooming in on a straight scope, as changing the zoom on a straight scope makes it easier to stay on the animal.

Uses on weather

Weather issues are an argument that can go both ways. Depending on where the wind, snow, and rain is coming from each type of scope has its benefits.  I still think the straight scope catches slightly less water, but I could be wrong here. The eyepiece needs to not get rain on it either way.  So however you protect the eyepiece from the weather should be the same for both types of scopes.

Other uses

If you wear glasses, then that is an issue I have no experience with.  So I give no opinion on using straight or angled spotting scopes with glasses.

Suppose you are like me and like to get in high places and scout from them, then the straight scope makes tons of sense.  The angled scope looking down is a pain in every case.  I know you can adjust the angle to bow to the side, but then things get weird in knowing where you are looking.  The straight scope flat outlets you look where you are looking and move how you think it should.  Looking into places from above helps you find games.  It seems to me a game looks down the hill more than up the hill.  So getting the altitude advantage makes sense as well.

Window mounts and angled scopes work slick again for looking uphill.  But do not make sense looking downhill.  Even a straight scope when looking almost straight down is an issue but nothing like an angled scope.

Scopes and Tripods

Tripods need to be adjusted to the user’s height, whether using a straight or angled spotting scope. Sometimes, it is easier to bend over and take a quick peek on an angled scope, but that is the small amount of time spent behind a scope. Just set the tripod for the right height and not have lengthy amounts of time-bending or creaking of the neck.  When sitting or standing, the straight scope fits right in my mind.

Having the right kind of tripod helps with either kind of scope, but the straight scope and a simple height adjustment for tiny amounts make things pleasant.  Plus, adjustments right and left in small increments are cool when getting a nice tripod.

If time is of the essence when spotting the straight cope, it is easier to find your game, especially at great distances.

Packing an angled scope in your backpack is harder than a straight scope most of the time.

Whats the verdict

Last but not least is the time behind the scope.  I have heard that if you spend a lot of time, the angled scope is easier on your neck and back.  I have found this to be the exact opposite.  Set your window mount height correctly, and a straight scope lets you look longer. 

Put for my kind of hunting needs with years of trying both I am a straight guy through and through.  Pictures, filming, time behind the glass, simple use makes this an easy answer.  The only way the angled scope wins is in a few particular cases. I get looking at the stars might change your mind If you were raised with an angled spotting scope then maybe that makes a difference. Others definitely would tell you the exact opposite of me.  I have been told this many times.  I use a straight scope and will continue to do that for a very long time.

Good luck on your hunts.  Good spotting.  Oh yeah, and get a straight scope.  You will use it more over the years.