Most rifle hunters that have spent any amount of time in rainy conditions know the experience of raising their rifle stock to their cheek, only to look into a scope that is blurred with raindrops. Hopefully, this only happened as you checked your site picture, not as you brought up on a trophy animal. But whether it was just a frustrating nuisance or caused the agony of a missed opportunity, it is time to invest in some Butler Creek Scope Covers.
I discovered Butler Creek Scope Covers several years ago when I broke a pair of old-school Uncle Mike’s bikini-style scope covers and needed something new to cover my lenses while in adverse conditions. Luckily, I found the Butler Creek products. They make lens covers for both ends of the scope, in a variety of sizes that fit most major scope manufacturers’ products. The products I have used are their Blizzard flip open cover, and the push button flip-open cover. The Blizzard covers are best-suited for the objective end of the scope, and have a clear lens in them, so if it is not raining, it is possible to look through the scope with the cover in place. However, if it has become wet or dirty, a simple push forward of the side tab and the cover flips up and out of the way. The rear scope covers are solid plastic, and have a red button on the side that you simply push to pop the cover up and off. Assuming you use your thumb to release the cover, you are then only inches away from switching off the safety if you are using a bolt action rifle.
Truly, many high end rifle scopes today have lens technology that makes it possible to see through the scope even if it becomes wet. My Bushnell 3200 Elite scope comes equipped with patented “Rainguard” technology, and allows me to acquire a reasonably clear site picture even if the objective lens is covered with drops. However, no amount of rain protection will help you if a leaf or a pine needle has found its way onto the glass, which is another good reason to have caps on your scope.
The downsides of the scope covers are they are not very heavy duty, and I have had one break after not much use. Looking back, I am guessing it was a faulty unit, as my other covers have been in service for hundreds of hours without issue. Some of the covers have a tendency to pop open on their own if the cap is not evenly slid onto the end of the scope. If this happens, you can bring the scope up and end up at square one with the blurry site picture. Finally, the covers make a small amount of noise when you open them- nothing substantial, but I would be surprised if it has not cost someone somewhere an animal and some point.
Overall, the positives of the product far outweigh the negatives, and they are a must-have in my opinion. Visit their website at butler-creek.com to find a list of places to buy covers online, and a guide to what size covers you need for your scope or scopes. Happy hunting!