Top 10 Best Scopes for Deer Hunting in 2020: A Comprehensive Review and Buyer’s Guide

For many generations, Deer hunting in the US has been one of the most loved game challenges by hunters.

Unlike other animals, deer are extremely smart, fast, and are always guarded, which makes them a challenging target. For this reason, the hunter needs to make very calculated moves to hunt one of these animals successfully. Any slight misjudgment on the hunter’s side is enough to scare the target away.

One way to guarantee the success of a deer hunting exercise is to ensure you have the right gear, especially a deer hunting scope. The best scopes for deer hunting will make the hunt easier by offering an excellent eye on the target even from a distance.

Read more reviews & buying guide about the best rifle scopes in 2020.

Best Scopes for Deer Hunting

Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Riflescope

Top pick & top rated scopes for deer hunting

Leupold VX-3i Rifle Scope

The Leupold VX-3i is one of the best scopes for deer hunting thanks to its powerful abilities and amazing design. It is perfect for hunters who like to work in open, rugged terrains where long-range precision is needed.

It comes with a 4.5 4.5-14X magnification that offers perfect target sight for short- and long-range hunting. It is especially ideal for hunters who use large rounds with the ability to take long-range hits. Even with the high magnification, this deer hunting scope maintains compact dimensions and comes with a standard objective lens of 40mm diameter.

The large size of the lens enabled this scope to collect enough light while the twilight max light management system ensures there is no excess light transmission. This scope lens is made with full lens multi-coating blackened edges. These provide image clarity even in minimal light conditions.

Additionally, ….

The Leupold VX-3i features a wind plex reticle offering hash marks for windage estimations and holdovers. However, it comes with a fixed parallax. Even so, the performance of this scope is hard to beat.

Pros

  • Better long-range precision
  • Excellent low light image contrast and brightness
  • 40mm objective lens compact dimensions
  • Wind plex reticle for windage adjustment

Cons

  • Non-adjustable parallax

What kinds of rifle scope work for deer hunting?

Generally, a deer is not a small animal. For this reason, the right scope should match the stopping power of the bullets you use and also the amount of recoil you expect. The best scope should work with different caliber rounds, including 6.5 Creedmoor, .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester, and the 7mm Remington Magnum.

Here are the most important factors to look for in the best scopes for deer hunting.

Magnification

This is the most important factor to consider in a deer hunting scope.

The right magnification should not be anything less than 9X maximum magnification. If you plan to shoot long distance, you should consider investing in a parallax adjuster to cancel the parallax of the long-distance range. This, coupled with a powerful rifle, is sure to guarantee a hunt regardless of the distance.

Objective Lens

Large lenses are the best for deer hunting. The larger the lens, the clearer you can see your target. A large lens also makes the target bigger, which minimizes your chances of missing it. The only disadvantage of a large lens is the fact that it is heavier.

Multicoated Lenses

The best scopes for deer hunting should be able to perform perfectly, day or night. Multi-colored lenses make it possible for you to continue hunting regardless of the time of day.

Durability

Scopes are not cheap. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the one you buy will last for a long time. Take into consideration the material used to make the scope. Also, go for nitrogen purged lenses as these are fog proof, dustproof, and waterproof, and shock-resistant too.

Eye Relief

The best scope for deer hunting should provide eye relief at least 3.5 inches. It is important to ensure that your eyes are always protected from the bullet recoils whenever you are out hunting.

Reticle

If you are a long-range shooter, the scope you go for needs to compensate for extended distance bullet drop. It is better to have a prediction system for your bullet trajectory and holdover positions. It is also a good idea to have target turrets that are lockable and resettable to zero.

Bonus tip: Go for an illuminated reticle, especially if you prefer to hunt in the dark.

Reviews of the best scopes for deer hunting

Even with all the information about what makes a good scope, the numerous types in the market can make buying a task. To make your work easier, the following are ten of the best scopes for deer hunting. Choosing any of the scopes will deliver all the required features and ensure a successful hunt every time.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

If you need a good rifle scope, this is a high-quality scope that covers all the basics required for your deer hunt to be a success.

If you are into whitetail deer hunting, this rifle scope prides itself on its functionality. It comes fitted with a multi-colored lens with multi-layers of anti-reflective coating. This reduces glare while ensuring you enjoy optimal light transmission.

That’s not all….

The Vortex optics crossfire II has zero-reset turret to ensure protections whenever it is in use or stored away. This scope is also full fog proof and waterproof to ensure you can continue hunting regardless of the weather condition.

Pros

  • Hard anodized finish
  • Capped reset turret
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Adjustment precisions and scope integrity

Cons

  • Poor image quality beyond 9X magnification

Nikon Buckmaster II

The Nikon Buckmaster II is specially designed for deer hunting. This is rated as one of the best scopes for deer hunting because of its accuracy. It comes with a fully multi-coated optical system.

The multi-coated optical system features anti-reflective composite layers on the glass layers to offer you the perfect light transmission from dusk to dawn. This guarantees a clear view of your deer target regardless of the time of day.

The Nikon Buckmaster II is an improvement from its predecessor, which is evident from the improved light transmission of 98 percent. It also comes with a resettable turret. The makers of this brand understand the importance of eye protection. This scope comes with a 3.6 inches eye relief, which is perfect even for heavyweight recoiling.

The coolest feature about this scope is its ability to offer two magnifications of 3-9×40 and 4-12×40. It also comes with a non-slip grip for easy adjusting.

The best part is….

The Nikon brand scope is surprisingly affordable, which makes it possible for you to own a quality brand without having to break the bank.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Two magnification options
  • Multi-colored lens
  • Comes with original Nikon BDC reticle
  • Nitrogen purged with O-ring seals

Cons

  • No adjustable parallax

The Bushnell Banner

The Bushnell banner dusk and dawn Multi-X reticle scope is one of the most affordable and dependable deer hunting scopes in the market today.

It is built with a 3-9X magnification to ensure optimal performance for different hunting distances. This is coupled with a 40mm lens that features Bushnell’s DDB (Dawn & Dusk brightness) lens multi-coating. This helps to maximize image contrast and brightness, especially in the late evenings or early morning hunts.

The scope has a standard Multi-X reticle, which is non-illuminated. However, it will keep the field of view clear to ensure maximum target focus. Even so, it calls for a stable shooting position for long-range shoots since it comes with a non-adjustable parallax.

Pros

  • Classic magnification range
  • Affordable
  • Multi-coated large lens
  • Simple reticle for an uncluttered field of view

Cons

  • Non-adjustable parallax

The Vortex Optics Diamondback

The cortex optics diamondback is built for performance and endurance.

This is one of the best scopes for deer hunting thanks to the impressive 50mm lens that gives you the perfect view of your target. A large lens allows more light to pass through, and this enhances the quality of the target view regardless of the lighting conditions.

This scope offers magnification up to 3.5x10X, which is perfect for short ranges and medium-range games. This is the best scope in the market for shooting running deer. It boasts a multi-colored lens that is anti-reflective coated. This allows for high light transmission while maintaining a sharp image with ample illumination.

What’s more….

This scope comes in a single-center tube design made from 6061-T6 aluminum. It also comes fitted with accuracy adjustment features for easy corrections to lock the target. This is a long-lasting scope that is meant to be used for many years.

It also comes with a matte finished anodizing for fast change to stealth mode. The body of this scope is multi-coated to protect it from scratches, cuts, fingerprints, and stains. The coat also repels water and grease stains.

Pros

  • SFP Reticle set
  • Anodizing matte Finnish
  • Large 50mm lens
  • 6061-T6 single piece aluminum design

Cons

  • Short eye relief

Simmons 8-Point Rifle Scope

This is one of the best scopes for deer hunting for beginners. It is simple and delivers high performance despite its low-price range. It is made with a fully-coated optics system for delivery of maximum light without distorting the image quality.

This scope comes with an elevation and windage system that is easy to use straight from the box. It has a 50mm objective lens and a magnification that can easily adjust from 3X to 9X. At low magnification, the field of view is 31.3 ft while it shoots to 10.5 ft at maximum magnification.

Other features include a 3.75-inch eye relief, fully coated optics, fog proof, waterproof, and recoil proof. Overall, the Simmons 8-point is an above-average rifle scope for its price range.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Intuitive windage and elevations system
  • Large 50mm objective lens
  • Fog proof, recoil proof and waterproof

Cons

  • Lacks illumination

Trijicon TR22 AccuPoint riflescope

If you are in the market for the best light gathering scope, the Trijicon TR22 might be exactly what you need.

This is a high-end riflescope that comes with a 56mm lens with top-line glass multi-coating to offer maximum light transmission. This way, you can focus on your target even under low light conditions while still enjoying a clear and sharp image.

It is made with tritium and fiber options, which give you more hours on the hunting trail without worrying about changing batteries. It also comes with a hard-iodized aluminum built, which makes it resistant to most weather elements. This is a scope you can use to hunt regardless of the weather changes. It is also waterproof and is nitrogen-filled to slow down deteriorations and also prevent fogging.

Other features include a second focal plane reticle. This ensures the reticle size does not change even when you increase your magnification. This provides for a more accurate aiming point on high magnification. This scope offers zero forward emission, which means that there is zero projection from the illuminated reticle.

This is a high-quality scope for a 6.5 Creedmoor.

Pros

  • 6061-T6 aluminum waterproof casing
  • Fiber optics and tritium illumination
  • Large 56mm lens
  • Does not require batteries for reticle light
  • ¼ MOA windage and elevation modifications

Cons

  • It is expensive

Sightron SIII SS Riflescope

There is no debating that the sightron SIII SS is one of the best scopes for deer hunting. It is a favorite among hunters because of its large objective lens, durable construction, efficient tube design, and extreme accuracy for long-range shots. This scope has all the required features by serious hunters. Even with the high price range, anyone who understands the value of this scope sees it as an investment.

The 30mm body tube is made from aircraft quality aluminum with a double-thick tube, which is not common for riflescopes. Even though this makes it heavy, it also increases the scope’s durability. It is nitrogen-filled, waterproof, and fog proof.

And for the best part…

The magnifications range on the Sightron SIII SS ranges between 10x and 50x, which is higher than most scopes in the market.

Pros

  • 10X TO 50X magnification range
  • Double tubing thickness
  • Made from aircraft aluminum
  • Object diameter of 60
  • Crosshair reticle type

Cons

  • It is slightly heavier

Athlon Optics, Talos Riflescope

Ask any hunter, and they will tell that one of the most challenging parts of this activity is trying to hunt under minimum light conditions.

The Athlon Optics, Talos riflescope, is rated as one of the best scopes for deer hunting for a Remington 870. This is a 4-16×40 SFP scope designed to offer maximum light exposure even in those wee hours of the morning or late hours of the day.

It comes equipped with the advanced multi-coated lens for illumination and clarity during low light conditions. The 4x magnification capability allows you to conformably hunt in different environments like pine forests and wide-open ranges.

This scope is made to last. This is all thanks to the aluminum body, which gives this scope the resilience it needs to withstand even the toughest hunting conditions. Not only is this scope waterproof and fog proof, but it is also shockproof, which makes it value for money. You can be sure of many years of service with this scope.

And the tip of the iceberg…

You can be able to range from the reticle without the turret adjustments. This model comes with a perfectly sized mildot with a perfect fast focus eye lens. This way, you are sure to always get a clear view of your target.

Pros

  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Reticle is glass etched
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum finish
  • Nitrogen purged, for proof and waterproof

Cons

  • It is larger when compared to other scopes

Nightforce Optics 4-14x56 SHV Riflescope

If you are in the market for the best scopes for deer hunting under $500, you should consider going for this scope.

Even though the Nightforce optics 4-14×56 SHV riflescope is a relatively new player in the hunting game, the makers have made it one of the best scopes when it comes to optical fine-tuning. It is important to note that this is a real rifleman’s scope and thus requires proper pairing to achieve maximum results.

It is made with a massive 56mm lens for maximum light transmission and clear eyes on the target. It can also magnify from 4X to 14X to offer the shooter a widespread power range for any hunting environment. Shooting at 100 yards on 4X magnification will give you a field of view of 24.9, which is amazing.

Additionally, this scope comes with a well-illuminated reticle and is shown by a red cross sign in the middle of the crosshairs. This gives you precision and definition for locking your target. They also have a non-illuminated option in the market.

The 5×20 magnification power is the cherry on top.

Pros

  • ¼ MOA, 10MOA per adjustment
  • 5x20 magnification power
  • Illuminated and non-illuminated options
  • Easy to use parallax knob

Cons

  • Requires turret covers to protect it from water damage

Conclusion

When it comes to deer hunting, the most essential features on a scope include accuracy, precision, and reliability. Since no one size fits all, this review aims to narrow down your search to the ten best scopes for deer hunting. Based on the features on the scopes, you will be able to make a more informed decision based on your hunting needs and budget. Stay connect with Target Frog for more guidelines.

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