Deer hunting is unarguably the most popular form of hunting. It has gotten so popular that there are now several deer hunting competitions every hunting season to see who is the best hunter—more like who can kill the most deer.
Suppose you’ve participated in any of such competitions before. In that case, you may be wondering how the top hunters could be that successful with their hunting. I can tell you it’s because they have lots of experience, but you already know that. What you may not know, however, is that they do not use just any rifle scope they can lay their hands on; they use the best rifle scope for deer hunting. This is why they can post such successful deer hunting numbers.
Luckily, you too can start having successful deer hunting expeditions as long as you can get the right rifle scope for hunting.
If you love deer hunting like most of us, just any scope won’t cut it. Maybe it used to, but not anymore. The number of deer hunters each season has more than doubled in the past couple of years. More people love deer hunting, and whilst this brings fun to hunting, more people are now struggling for the limited deer in the hunting range.
You have to be at your absolute best if you must have a successful hunt and not end your expedition like most people do, fruitless.
When deer hunting, you most times have one chance to hit the deer before it runs away into the bush. This is not target practice where you can take several shots before you hit the bull’s eye. In deer hunting, one bad shot and you may not get another chance. Another chance to get the bragging right among friends and to be able to fill your freezer with meat.
There are so many scopes right now, all claiming to be the best, but that is far from the truth. To make it easier for you, we’ve selected the best rifle scope for deer hunting.
The Best Rifle Scope for Deer Hunting
As stated earlier, choosing the right scope for your deer hunting rifle is no easy task because of the number of scopes in the market now, even scopes with similar features on paper.
Here is a list of our top picks for Deer Hunting Rifle Scope that have been able to pass our test and should bring you the best success rate in your deer hunting.
- Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Rifle Scope – Our top pick
- Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40mm
- Burris Fullfield II 3-9×40mm Hunting Rifle Scope
- Simmons 8-Point 3-9×50mm Rifle Scope – Best value for money
- Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50mm Rifle Scope
In case you want to know about the scopes, in brief, this comparison table below is tailor-made for you.
|Vortex Crossfire||• Magnification of 4-12x|
• Fast focus eyepiece
• Dead-hold BDC reticle
|Leupold VX-Freedom||• Magnification range of 3-9x|
• Good optical quality
• Wide eye relief
|Burris Fullfield||• Magnification range of 3-9x|
• Burris ballistic plex reticle
|Simmons 8-Point||• Magnification range of 3-9x|
• Truplex reticle
• Very affordable
|Vortex Viper HS||• Magnification range of 6-24x|
• Available parallax adjustment
• Vortex VIP warranty
#1. Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44 Rifle Scope for Deer Hunting
This is our top pick for the best deer hunting rifle scope. This vortex scope was able to pass our test in flying colors.
The vortex crossfire II 4-12×44mm riflescope is perfect when it comes to deer hunting. But what exactly sets it apart from the several other deer hunting scopes, and why should you be seriously considering this scope?
It comes with a magnification range of 4-12x, which makes it perfect for most mid to long-range shooting you’ll be doing in the wild. Depending on your hunting range, the ideal distance to shoot from when deer hunting varies. In some areas, you wouldn’t be doing more than 100 yards, while in other areas like the western parts of the US, you’ll most likely be shooting from long distances.
Its objective lens of 44mm allows enough light into the lens that’ll keep the images clear even at high magnification. A large objective lens also increases the weight of the scope. This scope weighs just over 17 ounces which are slightly bulky. It is 13.1 inches long and has a tube diameter of 1 inch like most other scopes.
This scope comes with two-finger adjustable turrets for elevation and windage, which are respectfully located at the top and right sides of the scope. The turrets use ¼ MOA per click gradient for adjustment. Its parallax is fixed at 100 yards. Its turrets are also capped so you can keep your settings locked in.
Its lens is multi-coated with several layers of anti-reflective materials that reduce the glare that would be formed when used in bright conditions. The coatings also prevent the lens from scratch and allow for optimal light transmission into the tube for clear and crisp images.
It uses a dead-hold bullet drop compensator reticle with a field of view of 24.7-8.4 feet at 100 yards. It also has an eye relief of 3.9 inches.
Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×44, like other vortex products, is a durable scope. Made with a single piece of solid aluminum material, it makes it shockproof. It withstands shock from the rifle and impacts from external forces. It is also fog-proof and waterproof. It has a matte black finish.
- Wide magnification range of 4-12x
- The wide objective lens of 44mm for clear pictures
- Dead-hold BDC reticle
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fog-proof for extra durability
- Finger adjustable turrets
- Multi-coated lens with anti-reflective materials
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Capped turrets
- A little bulky
- May produce blurry images at 9x magnification and above
#2. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40mm
Alongside vortex, Leupold is one of the biggest and most respected names in the optics industry due to its optics quality. The Leupold VX-freedom 3-9×40 doesn’t disappoint.
Armed with a magnification range of 3-9x, it is more of a medium-distance scope than the above-listed scope. With this scope, your deer hunting success rate will dramatically improve and, with a decent amount of practice, put you in the bracket of some of the best hunters.
Its objective lens of 40mm is enough to allow the right amount of light into the scope. Seeing that the maximum magnification of this scope is 9x, it shouldn’t have any issue giving you clear images even at the highest magnification.
Built as a replacement for the VX-1 and VX-2 rifle scopes, the VX-freedom scope is a perfect deer hunting scope. With a field of view of 33.7’/13.6’ at 100 yards, you’ll be able to see the surroundings of your target and make better decisions. It also has a wide eye relief of 4.17 inches to 3.66 inches depending on the magnification.
One of its biggest pulls is its lightweight design weighing just 12.2 ounces. This makes it easier to carry and handle. Its matte black finish gives it a nice look while also preventing annoying glare on the surface of the scope.
It comes with two capped finger adjustable turrets; the elevation turret at the top and the windage turret at the side of the scope. Its duplex reticle, on the other hand, is less exciting but functional.
Its glass is clear and produces crisp pictures. It is also durable as it is made with solid aluminum materials. It is shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof while still having the all-important Leupold lifetime warranty.
- Magnification range of 3-9x
- A good objective lens of 40mm
- Good optical quality
- Shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof
- Wide eye relief
- Wide field of view
- Leupold lifetime warranty
- Capped finger adjustable turrets
- Uninspiring duplex reticle
#3. Burris Fullfield II 3-9×40mm Hunting Rifle Scope
If clear shots are your priority when deer hunting, you’ll be making a great decision going for this scope. The Burris Fullfield II 3-9×40mm hunting rifle is specifically made to cater to hunters and their needs. It is also perfect for deer hunting because of some peculiarities you’ll see shortly.
It covers almost similar mid-range distances with a magnification range of 3-9x like the above-listed deer hunting scope. Its objective lens of 40mm further boosts its image quality even at higher magnification. This does not limit the Burris Fullfield II scope to only mid-ranges, as its second focal plane design makes it capable of handling long-range shooting with aplomb.
It also has a field of view of 12 feet to 33 feet at 100 yards. It also sports a decent eye relief of 3.1 inches to 3.8 inches, enough to protect your eyes and prevent them from being “scope-kissed” due to recoil.
It comes with knurled adjustment turrets that make it able to locate and adjust the turrets; the ease of using the turrets is further boosted by the audible clicks it makes when moving the turrets. The two adjustment turrets available are the elevation and windage turrets to adjust the vertical and horizontal differences.
The Burris Fullfield II lens is multi-coated to protect the lens and reduce glare. The glass quality is also epic as it produces great images in most light conditions.
It uses the Burris ballistic plex reticle that is non-magnifying. This means the reticle’s size does not change even when adjusting the scope’s magnification.
What is even more interesting is that it can be used on a handgun, rifle, or even a muzzleloader comfortably. Its weight of just 13 ounces is a huge factor for this.
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum material, which makes it shockproof. It is also fog-proof and waterproof.
- A wide objective lens of 40mm
- Wide magnification range of 3-9x
- It can be used on handguns, rifles, and muzzleloaders
- Burris ballistic plex reticle
- Easily adjustable turrets
- Long eye relief
- Shockproof, fog, and waterproof
- May struggle with targets above 200 yards
- It has fine crosshairs at the center, which makes it difficult for you to aim quickly and accurately.
#4. Simmons 8-Point 3-9×50mm Rifle Scope
This is one of the best value scopes for deer hunting. If you’re looking for a decently priced scope to add to your deer hunting gadget, you’ll hardly do better than the Simmons 8-point scope.
One thing that stands out when looking at this scope is its extremely wide objective lens. At 50mm, it is hard to miss. This means enough light can enter the lens and produce clear images at any magnification range. Its magnification range goes from 3x to 9x. This range covers distances in the short to medium ranges.
The field of view at 100 yards is 31.4’-10.5’. It uses a triplex reticle with a thin crosshair at the center that makes aiming more accurate. This way, you can easily see where exactly your bullet will hit when you pull the trigger.
This scope has a hydro shield coated lens that produces a clear, crisp, and bright image when used in varying light conditions.
Are you wondering if you can use this scope in harsh weather conditions like wet conditions without damaging it? This scope is both fog-proof and waterproof, which means it is sealed to keep water from entering the scope. It is also made to withstand impact pressures and shocks from the recoil of the rifle.
It sports capped finger adjustable elevation and windage turrets that are not mushy when being adjusted. The caps also ensure the settings you’ve made the stay that way even when carried across harsh environments.
Surprisingly this scope only weighs 13.2 ounces despite its large objective lens. The size of its objective lens, however, may require a high-rise mounting ring for proper mounting. It also does not have a parallax adjustment knob.
Considering its price, these drawbacks can easily be neglected.
- Good for short to medium-distance shooting
- Wide magnification range of 3-9x
- An extremely large objective lens of 50mm for better image quality
- Lightweight considering its features
- Capped finger adjustable turrets
- Hydro shield coated lens
- Shockproof, waterproof and fog-proof
- Truplex reticle
- Very affordable
- Will struggle when used for long-distance shooting
- The large objective lens makes mounting difficult as you need a high-rise mounting ring
#5. Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24×50mm Rifle Scope
Like the Simmons 8-point scope, this scope also sports a visible large objective lens of 50mm. In the vortex Viper HS-T case, this large objective lens is even more important because of its high magnification range. It has a zoom range of 6x to 24x. This magnification range makes it ideal for shooting medium to long distances. The magnification is as clear as possible from 6x to 20x, but you’ll begin to notice fuzzy pictures as you approach 24x.
This scope is precision-focused and can give you a highly accurate target. With a linear field of view of 17.8 ft at 100 yards when used with lower magnifications and 5.1 ft at 100 yards when used at the highest magnification, you’re able to see around your target easily.
Its eye relief is 4 inches, no matter the magnification you’re using. This is long enough to protect your eyes from injuries caused by recoil from the rifle. Its coated lens allows a good amount of light to enter the scope.
This scope has three turrets; the elevation knob at the top, the windage dial at the right, and the parallax dial at the left of the scope. This helps to provide a great deal of accuracy. No wonder this scope prides itself on accuracy for its users. The turrets produce audible clicks, which make adjustments easy and quick.
The reticle uses a second focal plane without any illumination, which makes using this scope in low light conditions difficult.
Vortex Viper HS-T is made from anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, making it shockproof and able to withstand impact from falls. Sturdy and durable is the watchword here as it is also dust-proof, fog-proof, and waterproof.
It has a larger tube diameter than the regular 1-inch tubes. This means more light can travel through the scope and produce clear images. It also sports a VMR-1 reticle for quick aim. You’ll also enjoy its second focal plane when shooting long distances.
Add this to the amazing VIP vortex warranty, and you’ll see why deer hunters love this scope.
- The amazing Vortex VIP warranty
- Extremely wide magnification range of 6-24x
- Wide objective lens to produce clear images even at higher magnification
- Shockproof, fog-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof
- Good eye relief of 4 inches
- Comes with parallax adjustments which make aiming easier, especially in long-distance shooting
- Tube diameter of more than 1”
- No illuminated reticle which makes shooting in low light difficult
- Bulky and heavy
- You may need a high-rise mounting ring because of the large objective lens
- It’s larger than the normal tube diameter means you may struggle to find matching mounting rings.
The Best Rifle Scope for Deer Hunting: Factors to Consider When Choosing One
Choosing the best deer hunting rifle scope is hard. There are so many scopes to choose from. Some of these scopes look alike and may even carry similar features on paper, but choosing a matching scope for your deer rifle is more than this.
Some factors can make your decision easier and faster. This way, you do not need to spend a lot of time figuring out which scope will be the best for you.
Here are what you should consider when buying a scope for your deer hunting rifle:
One of the first factors you should consider before making your decision is the magnification of the scope.
Here, you need to know the range where you’ll normally be hunting from. How big is your hunting range? How far can your rifle go? All these will help you make a more informed decision on the range of magnification best suited for your deer hunting.
When you get this, you can then examine it against the scopes you want to buy and select the scope with a range covering your ideal shooting distance.
- Objective Lens
Depending on the maximum magnification range of the scope you’re selecting, you’ll need a matching objective lens that will produce clear and crisp images.
Normally, a scope with high maximum magnification will require a wide objective lens. This is so that enough light enters the tube so you can get clear images. Suppose you’re using a scope with a maximum magnification of up to 9x. In that case, the minimum objective lens size you should consider is 40mm.
Check the materials the scope is made from; this will determine its durability and how long you may get to enjoy this scope before you need to replace it.
Is it able to withstand the impact of falling from a high place, say a tree? What about the recoil pressure the rifle exerts on the scope? A scope made from durable aircraft-grade materials will ensure durability.
You’ll also want to get a scope that you can use comfortably in wet conditions without the fear of it getting damaged. Seeing that deer hunting may require you to hunt in wet conditions, you want a fog-proof and waterproof scope.
- Weight and Size
The weight and size of a scope are very important when deer hunting, seeing that you may be in the wild for a long time and would have to carry your gadgets around harsh terrains. A lightweight scope will make your job easier and will leave room for other gadgets in your backpack.
It’ll also make your rifle easier to handle since you won’t notice a significant increase in weight if you’re using a lightweight scope.
How much are you willing to spend on a deer hunting rifle? There is something for every price range, and while premium deer hunting scopes will give you so many features to use, you can get budget scopes that will serve you well.
Deer hunting is the most popular type of hunting in the United States, with more and more people joining each year. If you must be among the few that have successful hunting expeditions, you have to get a matching deer hunting scope for your deer hunting rifle.
The best deer hunting scopes list and the factors you should consider will guide you to making the best decision for your deer hunting scope.