Best Rifle Scopes for Deer Hunting 
Shopping for a rifle scope is maddening these days. There are so many options at so many price points from so many manufacturers, those looking to buy a scope for a deer rifle are probably pulling their hair out as they try to navigate what has become a very confusing marketplace.
We can cut through all of this uncertainty if we set some simple parameters, however, and in very little time and with few words wasted, we can identify a selection of scopes that will help get you out in the field preparing to hunt, and not pouring over product reviews in front of your computer screen.
When we’re looking for a deer rifle scope, we need to be clear about what we need. First, as ethical hunters, we’re looking to take shots within about 300 yards, or maybe 400 yards, if we have an appropriate rifle and are skilled in its use. So, we need a scope that suited to that distance, and as a rule of thumb, a 3- to 9-power scope will serve very well out to 300 yards.
Next, we want to consider our budget, and with that in mind, I’ll select three tiers of scopes, from budget glass to more expensive options.
Of course, we’ll also look at fit and finish, features, and performance to help make our decision.
I’m not looking at ultra-budget options here. These scopes won’t require you to sacrifice performance in the field to save money. The truth is that, yes, more expensive options may provide superior performance, but our selections won’t hamstring you on your hunt.
The fact of the matter is, I think you’ll be happiest with your purchasing decision if you spend as much as you can afford to spend on a quality scope for your rifle. You don’t have to break the bank, though, and these options offer quality optics for very reasonable prices.
A brief word on reticles: Bullet drop compensator (BDC) reticles are very popular, in no small part thanks to the influence of the long-range shooting enthusiast community, but for my money, nothing beats a plain ole’ duplex reticle. Hunters have been bagging bucks for years with this simple setup, and the duplex reticle’s versatility and simplicity are by far preferable in my humble opinion. Plus, duplex reticles are usually cheaper, and you probably won’t need to use those fancy hold-over points on other reticles while hunting anyway.
Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Matte w/Nikoplex (duplex-style) reticle
Nikon is known for making quality optics, and the Prostaff line doesn’t disappoint. This scope features high-end performance at a low price point and also includes some additional features that are worth considering, including compatibility with Nikon’s Spot On Custom Turrets.
Constructed of aircraft grade aluminum, this scope is fog- and waterproof, very durable, and simple to use. It’s a no-frills scope that will get the job done during deer season.
Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 mm w/V-Plex reticle
This is an excellent scope for the price. This one-piece scope made from aircraft-grade aluminum is lightweight, durable and both fog- and waterproof.
The line also features multi-coated optics and quality construction. This is another no-frills scope that punches well above its weight class when it comes to optical clarity and performance. I’ve also had to the chance to use the Vortex Crossfire II scope in a similar configuration, and I can say I’m very impressed with Vortex Optics’ offerings.
Though our price range is somewhat arbitrary here, I’m mainly considering scopes with more magnification power and high-quality optics. One theme you’ll probably notice is that both of the scopes I’ve recommended so far are simple to use. Complicated features such as parallax adjustments and illuminated reticles may appeal to long-range shooters or varmint hunters, but in my opinion, these are unnecessary for deer hunting.
Our mid-tier options don’t have a lot of bells and whistles, and they’ll do the job just as efficiently regardless. Almost any modern scope will serve well in low-light conditions, and there isn’t an optic in existence that will allow you to shoot any earlier than first legal light … that is unless you don’t mind possibly losing your hunting license and facing other legal ramifications.
Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm w/duplex reticle
Leupold Optics has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality scopes, and its VX-3i line is no exception. This piece of glass features a versatile magnification range with slightly more oomph than a traditional 3- to 9-power scope, and lens surfaces treated with Leupold’s DiamondCoat 2, an ion-assist coating designed to improve light transmission and lens durability.
Leupold’s scopes have generous eye relief and are fog- and waterproof. This is a simple-to-use scope featuring single-body construction from aircraft-grade aluminum, and it doesn’t feature illuminated reticles or other newer features. In my experience, Leupolds hold up very well under hunting conditions, are lightweight, and offer excellent, highly regarded optics performance.
Weaver V series 4-16X42mm w/Dual-X reticle
This scope has more power than others I’ve highlighted, but other than that, it’s a well-made, simple-to-use scope with one additional feature, namely an adjustable objective lens, allowing for parallax-free shooting.
Like the Leupold, the Weaver is fog- and waterproof, and is highly resistant to rough handling. It also has very good eye relief and sports a multi-coated lens designed to enhance light transmission. Weavers have excellent, clear optics, and you won’t go wrong with this scope, especially if you’re a more experienced shooter confident in taking shots on game out to 400 yards.
Money-is-no-object Scopes from
To be honest, I think the vast majority of hunters don’t need much more than what we’ve already covered, and higher price points only go so far in improving performance here. You can definitely go all out and buy a $ 2000 or $ 3000 scope and put it on your hunting rifle, but I think you’ll be spending more on bragging rights than usable features.
That said, there are excellent optics in this price range, and if you can afford it, by all means, drop the cash and get a fantastic scope that will last forever.
Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm
Like the Vortex Diamondback scope listed above, this is an excellent no-frills scope, but with improved optics and none of the overdone features common on more expensive models. It has everything you’ll need at a very nice price point.
Leupold’s VX-5HD 2-10x42mm w/duplex reticle
I admit I’m biased, in that I’ve recently purchased a (now discontinued model) Leupold scope for myself, but I love this company’s optics and believe this is one of the best scopes you can get in this price range. It’s perfect for hunting applications, doesn’t have unnecessary features, and the image quality is second to none for less than $ 1,000.
The optics industry seems to be pushing scopes with more features and adjustability, which is absolutely fine, and many of these scopes are excellent and offer long-range shooters the tools they’ll need to hit targets out to 700 yards and well beyond. However, I’m of the opinion that you just don’t need these features for a hunting scope. Keep it simple, find a piece of glass that fits you, offers a bright and clear image, and won’t empty your wallet, and you’ll be happy for years to come.
Need a scope for other applications? Take a look at PewPewTactical’s Guide to the Best AR-15 Scopes & Optics!
The post Best Rifle Scopes for Deer Hunting  appeared first on MyHuntinGear.com.