Maven S1A Angled spotting scope review
More, now than ever, there is a plethora of choices when it comes to suitable optics. These options in optics are extremely effective at what they are designed to do. Most people would agree that the price is directly correlated with the overall quality and build in a piece of equipment. This is especially true when it comes to optics. When it comes down to it, these companies need to make a profit on the items that they are selling, or they would cease to exist. However, traditionally there are multiple people taking a piece of the pie which in turn drastically increases the price to the consumer. This is what Maven does completely differently, absolutely no middle men to make the price jump higher than it needs to be.
The Maven S. 1A (Angled) Spotter, like all the Maven products, is very easy on the eyes. The balance and texture of the scope does not disappoint, and it met my initial expectation of how I thought the scope would feel. The scope feels extremely rugged and sturdy, very similar to the way it looks. The grip and aesthetics are easy to hold on to and it feels very balanced when mounted to a tripod. The other thing that should be mentioned is how the scope is packaged and presented at first impression. The box it came in is well-crafted and even more impressively designed. The material feels unique and sturdy and really adds to the overall experience of purchasing one of these scopes. Maven has put in the time on the finer details and the results are game changing. You can really see this in the ability to customize a number of features on the scope, they are designing an overall experience.
Just the Facts:
Maven S. 1A (Angled) Spotter
Ob. Lens Diameter: 80mm
Field of View: 115.2ft-83.8ft (@1000yds)
Eye Relief: 17mm-18mm
Near Focus: 5m
Dimensions WxHxD: 14.9”x6.3”x3.9”
Weight: 64.5 oz
Prisms Type: Schmidt-Pechan
Prism Coatings: Die-Electric Mirror Coating
Lens Coating: Oilphobic
Frame/Material: Magnesium / Polymer
Internal Gas Purged: Nitrogen
Objective Thread: 82mm
Origin: Japanese Components & Assembled in the U.S.
Editor: Tanner Christensen
I had the opportunity to use Maven’s S.1A spotter for an entire hunting season and it went everywhere with me. I put some serious hours behind that glass and was able to compare it to a few different scopes that are currently on the market. I had the spotter in the high country on a mule deer archery hunt, in the desert on a muzzle loader mule deer hunt and was even able to use it on an extended archery (winter) hunt a few times. The unique story that I want to focus on was the first hunt of the season, right after I had taken the scope out of the packaging for the first time.
For a lot of years, I have taken archery hunting quite seriously and I do put a lot of time and energy into it. Before the season begins and after it starts I am constantly looking for a buck that is mature and meets my classification of “pursuable”, the infamous SHOOTER buck some would say. This last year, the season of 2017, preseason scouting efforts had proved to be fruitless. After scouting multiple areas without finding a SHOOTER, the season came around that same week in August and I still had not found any bucks that were even close to that pursuable mark.
A week before the hunt I decided to go back to what I know and focus my attention on a mountain range that I have been hunting since I was young. During the archery hunt in past years, I was always able to turn up a number of mature bucks. It came to the Friday evening before the Saturday opening and we arrived in camp a little after lunch time. My longtime friend Tanner Giles and I set up camp as fast as we could and headed up the mountain to spend time behind the glass scanning the hill sides and draws for any sign of that elusive mule deer.
THE EVE OF OPENING DAY
We were not glassing for more than a half an hour and turned up a very exciting buck. He was down in the bottom of a really nasty valley surrounded by sparse timber that was framed in by slow rolling cliffs on every side. The buck was 4×4 with a solid frame, probably around 26 inches in width. Giles and I were energized by the sight of this buck and we moved over to the next ridge, so we could stay hot on our good luck. Right after we got the scopes up, once again, Giles spoke out to me, “buck”. Sure enough, on the open hill side covered in yellow wild flowers there was a small group of deer. Two of them were mature bucks with impressive antlers and we watched them for a few minutes. Continuing to scan the mountainside, I spotted more deer feeding below some white granite rocks. The deer were feeding straight away from us working their way out of some thick brush. It was easy to tell that one among them stood out above all the rest. I could quickly see that this specimen was no ordinary creature. It was some sort of unicorn, a buck of my dreams! Even though he was a good distance away it was clear that his antlers made is body look small, with a HUGE symmetric frame that looked to be 5X5. This is where the S.1A really made all the difference to me and I was able to really put the glass to the test.
We couldn’t take our eyes off of this creature, and the first name that came to me was “MONSTAR” as we almost did not believe what we were seeing. At the same time, I could not get over how clear the glass was as the sun was setting. The propensity for glare and distortion due to lengthening shadows is great under these conditions, yet none of this was a distraction. The green mountain side quickly started to turn a warm red as the sun seemed to be focusing all of its light on the area where the buck was. Giles and I were getting even more excited with the number of mature bucks that we had seen that eve of the opener. One thing was for sure, the only buck on my mind was MONSTAR.
One of the best pictures I got of “MONSTAR” through the Maven S.1A during sunset on the eve of the opener. This creature was close to three miles away when I took this picture.
The next morning could not come soon enough as the slow passing hours inside the tent seemed like an eternity. When it was finally time to get going we knew what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be! We had watched MONSTAR as long as we could the night before, but he was still moving rapidly when we last saw him. We planned to focus our attention on the area where he had been.
All morning we scanned the nooks and crannies for our buck, with no success. We started off strong as soon as the sun came up and I was trying to use this Maven scope to the best of its abilities. I was seeming to get the feel of it.
Maven – S.1A
The sun was approaching its highest point in the sky and the heat was getting noticeable. Giles and I decided to move down off the hill a little way to find a shady spot where we could continue to glass. As I was pulling some snacks out of my pack I saw Giles tense up as he muttered, “Got one bedded down”. Those are the words I had been waiting to hear all morning. This was not the infamous “monstar”, but none the less it was an impressive buck. We devised our plan of attack as fast as we could. The deer was in a very “stalkable” position and getting in close to him needed to happen fast.
The 4×5 that Giles spotted
We quickly made our plan and separated just as fast. Giles headed straight off the hill towards the buck’s position as I kept sharp eyes on the deer. I figured it would take him at least 45 minutes to get into position, or at least where we believed was the most advantageous spot for him to approach. Just like most stalks there are so many variables that are at play, so as soon as the wind decided to blow up towards the deer Giles backed out. It had been about 30 minutes since we left each other, and Giles decided to head up the ravine to come at the deer from above.
Giles took his time working up the bottom of the tree line (**See the photo above. There is a deep ravine at the bottom of the canyon) and it took him around 1.5 hours to get just above where the top red circle is in the picture previously mentioned.
By this point we were right around a couple hours of me looking at this deer nonstop and Giles finally seemed to be in pretty good position. However, he still needed to close at least fifty or so yards before he would have a straight line of sight to where the deer was bedded down. He took his shoes off and went in as light as he could so things would be as silent as possible. He spent the next 45 minutes sneaking a few feet at a time waiting for the wind to pick up and then he would take a step. He finally came back into my frame and I could see both the 4×5 and Giles in the same sight picture through my Maven – S.1A.
Tanner Giles patiently waiting to pull back on the 4×5 49yds below him. (*I snapped the picture in a rush without the use of any phone attachments, sorry that it is blurry.)
The buck would stand up and switch positions at random intervals during this ordeal and my heart would drop almost every time wondering if Giles was watching. It was not until about a total of 5 hours in did this 4×5 decide to get up and move. As the buck stood up I could see Giles pull his bow back. The next thing I knew the deer kind of flinched and took off down the mountain crashing through the brush and dead trees like a bull in a china shop. My first thought was, “oh know, he missed”.
I could not see Giles anymore and I assumed he snuck down the hill to see if he could see the deer and possibly get another shot. I believe we both thought he had missed his target. Well, he did run into the buck again and this time at about 20 yds so, he let another arrow fly and this time it met its mark. Come to find out, Giles had nicked the heart on his first shot and that is what allowed him to catch up with it. Five hours of stalking and waiting and it was all over in less than 15 minutes. We quartered out the deer and loaded it up in both of our packs, we were not ready for the pack out. Good thing it was only straight up from where we were, no biggie.
This turned out to be a hunt of a lifetime and one of the coolest experiences I have been a part of while hunting. It was such an amazing opportunity and even better to do it with someone who I have been hunting with since I was 14. We have dreamt of a hunt like this for so many seasons, it was so unreal to see it unfold in real life! It is amazing how effective tools, like the Maven – S.1A, can give you the advantage needed to be successful when the odds are stacked against you.
Giles and the 4×5
Giles and I
You ready to pack this bad boy out?
The Maven – S.1A being used in the last possible slivers of light. Yes, that is the moon in the background. I was watching a buck walk up an open hillside 800 yds away just before I took this picture.
My wife and I putting the eyes and glass to work one evening on the archery hunt. Maven – S.1A
Giles and I after the solar eclipse from 11,000 feet. It was quite eerie, no sound or movement from wildlife at all during the eclipse.
A beautiful moon from 11,000 feet. Picture cred: Maven – S.1A
What they could do better?
We love the this Maven s1a spotting scope, and feel it is just fantastic.
The price and functionality are great.