7 Best Scopes for Deer Hunting – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

August 20, 2019
best scopes for deer hunting

7 Top Picks For Deer Hunters In 2019

Deer hunting is a pastime that Americans have enjoyed for generations. Deer hunting is also an activity that many Pygmies and Native Americans rely on to supply food for themselves and their families. In America, the most popular deer to hunt is the Whitetail Deer. America’s deer population is thriving, and deer can be found in abundance all over the country.

The population once suffered due to over-hunting. But now, the amount of deer is higher than ever due to the conservation efforts of many hunters. Deer hunting isn’t just enjoyable. It has proven to be a viable way of regulating the overpopulation of deer. This is necessary because an overpopulation of deer can affect the ecological makeup of the areas they inhabit. 

However, to effectively hunt deer, you must be equipped with the right equipment. One of the most essential pieces of equipment to consider if you plan on hunting deer is your scope.  Scopes come in a range of magnifications and lens types, offering varying levels of durability and eye comfort.

Finding the right scope for hunting , and your caliber rounds can be daunting because of the many options on the market. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll show you some of the best scopes for deer hunting and help you narrow your search based on a variety of factors including price. Here are some of the best scopes for deer hunting.

 

1- Simmons Rifle Scope 8-Point 3-9x50mm with Truplex Reticle

This 8-point rifle scope by Simmons is not only affordable, but it offers several features unlike others in its class. This model boasts a fully-coated optic lens, which makes for a crisp, high-contrast image. 

The ¼-MOA SureGrip audible-click windage and elevation adjustments allow you to customize the scope according to your preferences. These adjustments will stay locked in regardless of the environmental conditions. With the Simmons QTA eyepiece, you can easily hone in on your target.

Another stand-out feature of this model is the 50-millimeter objective lens with 3-9x magnification. With this scope, you get a field of view of 31.4-feet at 100 yards and 10.5-foot field of view at 100 yards. To keep your eyes from getting tired, this scope also has a 3.7-inch eye-relief. It is both fog-proof and recoil-proof.

Purchasers of this scope say that the zero on this scope holds up between uses, which is a fundamental characteristic of a high-quality scope. Some people say that there is a slight blur around the edges, but nothing that will affect your sight. 

This scope by Simmons is a durable and lightweight scope for deer hunting. Considering the low price tag, you’re getting a lot of value for your money.

Specifications:

  •     Coated optics for high-contrast imagine
  •     Waterproof, recoil-proof, and fog-proof
  •     QTA eyepiece for easy target acquisition
  •     Weight: 13.2 oz

Pros

  • Sharp image
  • Easy adjustments
  • Consistent zero
  • Durable
  • Affordable price

Cons

  •   N/A

 

2- Ledsniper Riflescope Adjustable Intensified Rifle Scope

Ledsniper riflescope

This scope has many features you’d find in a more expensive scope but at an affordable price-point. The model is extremely durable and will hold up well even after hundreds of rounds. The lighted reticle on this model works well for low-light situations.

A lot of more affordable scopes will weaken after extended wear or lose their zero, which can be frustrating since it affects your accuracy. Some users do say that the glass quality of this scope is not up to par with other models, but it is still good considering the low price-point. Overall, this scope is a solid option for people who want a high-quality scope that lasts a long time but don’t want to spend an absurd amount of money.

 Specifications:

  •     Red and green mil-dot reticle with illumination and 3 in sunshade
  •     Fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof
  •     40mm tube for a prime light gathering of up to 5 levels
  •     Adjustable reticle brightness for each color
  •     6-24x magnification
  •     Objective diameter: 32mm
  •     Tube diameter: 25.4mm
  •     Field of view: 16.1-4 ft at 100 yds
  •     Eye relief: 2.5-4.25 in
  •     Exit pupil: 8.3-2.1mm
  •     Click value: ¼ ft at 100 yds
  •     Rangefinder reticle
  •     Weight: 23 oz
  •     Length: 15.8 in
  •     Included accessories: 1x protective cap, 2x scope rings for weaver/ Picatinny rail

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lighted reticle
  • Holds up well after extended use

Cons

  •   Glass quality can’t compete with higher-end models

3- Leupold Rifle Scope VX-2 3-9x40mm, Duplex Reticle 110797, Matte Black

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PH5TMG/?creativeASIN=B006PH5TMG&linkCode=w61&imprToken=DYt22Ca4vfoHpEKzEwgpbg&slotNum=0&tag=thegunzone-20&_encoding=UTF8&tag=longrangegunscopes-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=597915931eafc672fec136e31dd0c15c&camp=1789&creative=9325

 This scope by Leupold has an aluminum body for maximum durability. The matte black finish on this scope makes it a classic and sleek choice that will mesh well with most gun types. Its resilient structure keeps the scope stable and recoil proof.

With this scope, you’ll also find that there’s minimal glare, making it ideal for tactical shooting. The diamond coating on the lens makes it scratch-resistant. You can also choose from 7 different reticles.

Leupold’s quantum optical system makes for a sharper image and better light transmission. It has a magnification range of 3-16x, making it perfect for long-distance shooting. The non-critical eye relief feature is handy for users who suffer from eye fatigue and strain.

This scope for deer hunting offers something a lot of other models don’t. The Leupold Lifetime guarantee. Leupold stands by their products. With this guarantee, you can be confident in your purchase.

 

Specifications:

  •     Fog-proof and waterproof
  •     Versatile 3:1 zoom ratio erector system
  •     DiamondCoat lens coating protects your lens from scratches or abrasions
  •     Index Matches Lens System for optimal brightness and resolution

Pros

  • Aluminum body provides max durability
  • Recoil-proof
  • Minimal glare
  • Sharp image
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  •   N/A

4- Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x/40mm BDC Reticle Riflescope, Drop Zone with Side Parallax and Target Turrets, Matte Black

Ybushnell ar optics

Good accuracy in any tactical scenario stems from a durable and reliable scope. This Bushnell scope is not only precise but performs well in all settings. It maintains peak performance even after extended use.

The target turrets in this scope enable exact adjustments for optimum accuracy. This model zeros at 100 yards and with aiming points out to 500 yards. The multi-coated optics provide high brightness, and the fast focus eyepiece makes it simple to locate your target quickly. 

This scope is nitrogen purged to block out internal moisture. An O-ring seal ensures no dirt or debris enters. The body is made of aluminum alloy with an anodized finish. The rust-proof and scratch-proof body is beautifully finished to complement all rifles nicely. Some users do complain that the scope is a bit heavy, but most people quickly adjust to it after using it repeatedly. Bushnell does mention that the erector cap assembly may not allow for the use of extra-low or low scope rings.

Specifications:

  • Riflescope of 3-9x40mm
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Compatible with many different hunting rifles
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle with 55-62 grain calibration
  • 500-yard aiming points with 223 REM/5.556 loads with
  • Side focus parallax adjustment for optimum accuracy
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • Target turrets (1/4 MOA click value) for precise adjustments

Pros

  • Target turrets help with accuracy
  • High brightness
  • Stays clean because of nitrogen purging
  • Affordable

 

Cons

  • Heavy

 

 

5- Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12x56mm Riflescope, Capped Turret, Z-Plex Reticle, Black

Zeiss Conquest

This high-quality scope by Zeiss utilizes all of the brand’s popular optics technology. With a 4x zoom and carefully crafted mechanics, this scope out-performs many other scopes in its class. The craftsmanship on this scope is excellent. The sleek design is as beautiful as it’s tactful, and Zeiss does a good job of minimizing weight without sacrificing any important features.

The 3-12×56 scope makes this a prime choice for both day and night hunting. A large-diameter lens coupled with an illuminated reticle make for ultra-accurate shots regardless of lighting.

Something unique about this model is the parallax compensation. High magnifications sometimes can skew the field of view. This scope combats that with the parallax compensation feature, so you never have to worry about losing accuracy.

Zeiss designs all their products with the average hunter in mind. Bulky products can significantly impact your hunt, so this scope is lightweight and easy to maneuver.

One downfall of this product is the high price point. While it certainly isn’t as expensive as some other models, it still may be inaccessible for your average hunter. However, some argue that while it is expensive, it’s worth investing in a quality riflescope that will last you a long time.

Specifications:

  •     4x zoom
  •     90% light transmission
  •     Full target acquisition
  •     Second focal plane reticle changes
  •     Highly repeatable turret
  •     Ballistic stop
  •     Large adjustment range

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for daytime and nighttime use
  • Parallax compensation
  • Large-diameter lens

Cons

  • High price

6- Vortex Optics Viper HS Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics

The advanced optical system and 4x zoom range of this scope equip you with a versatility necessary for hunting at varying ranges. The 30mm one-piece machined aircraft-grade aluminum tube is hard-wearing and designed to last.

This model offers a dual-use system, so you can switch between tactical shooting and hunting. The dead-hold BDC MOA reticle with a customized hashmark design can help you avoid errors when making holdover and windage corrections.

As a reference point for magnification setting, this scope comes with a MAG-View Fiber Optic. The fast-focus eyepiece is perfect for convenient and easy reticle focusing. To ensure ease of adjustment, this scope also uses a precision-glide erector system.

The rugged construction of this scope helps withstand recoil and reduce impact. Capped quick-reset turrets allow you to re-index your zero quickly and efficiently. Users of this scope attest to its powerful color rendition and unobtrusive tactical reticle. What this model does well is simplicity. Many hunters have a hard time adjusting to scopes with features that are too complicated or even unnecessary.

The price point of this model is high but nowhere near the price point of some higher-end models. For hunters who want something practical and reliable, this model is a powerful option.

 

Specifications:

  •     XD glass for sharper image
  •     XR multi-coated lens for prime light-capturing
  •     30mm main tube for increased elevation and windage travel
  •     Scratch-resistant Armortek coating on exterior lenses
  •     Argon purging for fog-proofing and waterproofing
  •     Sleek hard-anodized matte black finish

Pros

  • Dual-use system (easy to switch between tactical and hunting)
  • Custom hashmark design
  • Easy reticle focusing
  • Good color rendition

Cons

  •   High price

7- Nikon Buckmasters II Matte Riflescope 3-9x40mm BDC 1in, Waterproof

Nikon Buck Master

This model by Nikon is one of the most trusted rifle scopes among deer hunters. The clarity and brightness of this scope are unmatched, and users are always impressed by the generous eye relief. 

Some other useful features of this model include the 100-yard parallax setting and the fully multi-coated lens for which Nikon is famous. These features provide superior accuracy compared to models that use lower-quality materials. 

Nikon’s dead-hold BDC reticle makes it easy to stay focused while shooting. The see-through ballistic circles are ideal for long-range hunting because they don’t skew your sight at all, no matter the distance. Anti-reflective compounds on the glass surface keep the image clear, vibrant, and well-lit.

Positive-click reticle adjustments zero in quick and stay that way, even if you are experiencing a lot of recoil. Like all of Nikon’s scopes, you get a lifetime warranty that protects against any manufacturer defects.

For hunters who want something lightweight, accurate, and thoughtfully designed, this model checks all the boxes. At its affordable price point, there’s no reason not to give it a try. 

Specifications

  • Optimum brightness and image sharpness
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Nikon’s patented BDC reticle
  • Fog-proof, waterproof, and shockproof

Pros

  • Clarity and brightness
  • 100-yard parallax setting
  • Dead-hold BDC reticle
  • Warranty

 

Cons

  •   N/A

FAQs

How much magnification is needed for long-range shooting?

It can be challenging to decide on the proper magnification for long-range shooting because you must consider many factors like scope/glass quality and shooting conditions. Also, it is possible to have too much magnification and to skew your field of view. That said, a 3-18x is a solid option for most distances. 

Does magnification change MOA?

Scopes that operate in the first focal plane don’t affect your MOA no matter what magnification you use. Usually, your MOA is correct at your optic’s highest magnification setting. Once you’re in the second focal plane, magnification does start affecting your MOA, and you must learn how to compensate. Let’s say you’re using an optic with a 10-power magnification. With your magnification set at 10x, you have a 1 MOA at 100 yards.

What is the best scope power for deer hunting?

You don’t need a scope with absurdly high power for deer hunting. Anything over 10x will likely just add bulk to your rifle and cost you more money than necessary. When shopping for a scope, choose a scope with a high sharpness so you’re able to make out a deer against backgrounds of a similar color. Also, make sure your scope is durable and doesn’t break its zero. This will throw off your accuracy, sometimes dramatically.

What is the best scope magnification for deer hunting?

Don’t opt for anything with a magnification of less than 8x. This is because deer tend to be jumpy and will easily be scared off if you get too close. Something else that will help you at long distances is a parallax adjuster that will remove the parallax, which tends to appear at long distances.

What is the best rifle scope under $500?

Scopes can be an expensive piece of equipment, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Luckily for hunters, many affordable options come with a lot of the features that higher-end models boast. While it sits right at the $500 mark, we do think that the Vortex Optics Viper HS Second Focal Plane Rifle scope is the best value scope because of its durable design, sharp image, and accuracy.

What’s the best scope for a 6.5 Creedmoor?

The best scope for a 6.5 Creedmoor is the Zeiss Conquest V4 3-12x56mm Riflescope, Capped Turret, Z-Plex Reticle, Black. Although the price is a bit high, it’s an investment you won’t be sorry you made. This scope has full target acquisition, 90% light transmission, and is ideal for both nighttime and daytime shooting.

 

Conclusion

Finding a quality scope that works well for your lifestyle is important, so we hope that this guide aided you in your search. When looking for the best scope for deer hunting, remember to find something with a high magnification range, a sharp lens for easy discernibility, and a lightweight build.

Deer are fast and intelligent creatures. A scope that is accurate and easy to adjust is essential if you want to do well during a hunt. Don’t feel like you need to spend an absurd amount of money on a scope. There are plenty of accessible options that have features comparable to higher end models. 

Ultimately, it’s about deciding on your priorities and finding a model that suits your hunting style. For more content about hunting and to read some of the other top hunting scopes go here.

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