ORIGINAL: Fan Club
I've heard a lot of reasons justifying the use of a scope, but avoiding extremely close range misses is a new one.
I want to see everything that is going on around me, including other turkeys and their body language and posturing. Not easy to do that when peering at a single bird's head through a tube. Give me some metal fiber optics sights and I'll be good 'til the end of my days.
I shoot with both eyes open and keep my scope on 1.5X. It has an illuminated reticle, but the reticle works fine w/out the illumination. Keeping both eyes open allows me to see what is going on around me, and also allows me to see what the other turkeys are doing. I can also follow the bird if he takes a step. Using the scope with both eyes open give the visual impression of a turkey with reticle superimposed on his head. I wish the low end was 1X...then it'd be perfect.
I haven't noticed the scope missing branches or other clutter in the way. The scope picks it up, but the branches that are very close are blurry. All the other branches and obstructions are crystal clear. In ten years of turkey hunting I've yet to hunt when it did NOT rain on me! Yet, rain and mud have never been an issue. Additionally, to answer the question before it's asked, I don't sit in a blind and hunt. I'm out in the rain using my vest seat to set up against trees. I move often, crawling over and under fallen trees, pushing through undergrowth and in general getting a good dose of the elements. Again, rain and mud have never been a problem.