Ever gotten close to hunting a deer, but missed your shot because of using the wrong scope? It hurts, right?
Deer hunting is one of America’s favorite pastimes. For many, it is a primal lifestyle as well. People depend on meat and fur to make a living for themselves.
It’s annoying when you get so close to hunting down a deer, but miss the shot just by a few centimeters!
If these multiple failures are ‘Hunting’ you, then probably it’s the right time to get yourself a good scope. A tool that will help you sight the target and strike the bullseye successfully.
Among multiple options, finding the best rifle scope for deer hunting can be time-consuming for you.
Hence, we have added some options that have attracted all the hunters with their clear view, solid material, multiple functions, and a wide range of customization.
So, let’s know which one of these scopes is truly worth the hype!
Burris Fullfield II Hunting Scope
5 out of 5
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes
5 out of 5
CVLIFE Deer Hunting Rifle Scope
4.5 out of 5
ATN X-Sight 4K Day/Night Scope
4 out of 5
TheOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Scope
4.5 out of 5
What Are The Benefits Of Using Deer Hunting Scopes?
Before you invest in a hunting rifle scope, you need to know what this tool is going to give you. There's no point in buying a product that's not going to be beneficial for you, is there?
Let's take a quick look at a few advantages of using a deer hunting scope.
The most important benefit of using a rifle scope is accuracy. You have to be very careful while hunting a deer. Even the slightest noise can scare a deer, causing it to run off.
If you are new to this activity and don’t have the right tool- chances are high that you will miss the shot.
Even if you do have years of experience, the clarity of your shot can reduce over time.
Hence, it is essential to have the rifle scope. Not only can you sight precisely with this, but also hit the target in one try.
Hunting optics offer great safety, especially when you’re going out with other fellows. It works to prevent you from shooting anyone accidentally.
The scope provides a clear view through the lens helping you focus on the right target.
Not just that, you have to use the rifle scope even if you are hunting at dusk. Since the natural light goes dimmer, the scope, especially the night-vision or thermal one, will help you see the target properly.
3. Better Shots
Using deer hunting rifles with scope helps you make a clean shot. The scope features different adjustments that you can set. Once you zero it, you can hit the deer in just one try.
That way, the animal won’t get a chance to run. Instead, it will lie flat instantly and you can easily take it home.
Making efficient shots also increases your confidence. So, you can improve your skills by using a hunting scope when shooting.
4. Long-Range Shots
It may not always be possible to shoot a deer from a close distance as it’s easier to scare it off.
Hence for long-range shooting, many scopes offer adjustable elevation, windage, and magnification levels that can be fine-tuned to zero the scope. This way, you can see where you are shooting, aim at them precisely, and hit efficiently.
Our Recommended Top 10 Best Rifle Scopes For Deer Hunting
1. Burris Fullfield II Deer Hunting Scopes
A good quality rifle scope does not always have to be an expensive one. So, if you found yourself a cheap rifle scope, don't be worried about the performance. Some scopes such as this Burris Fullfield II are great options to look out for if you're on a budget.
The scope, although it is inexpensive, uses very high-grade optical glass. Therefore, the scope is capable of giving you great clarity and brightness.
The precision-ground lens used on this scope is comparatively larger than the other scopes on the market. While it zooms up to 20x, you get a 50mm objective lens that results in a better light transmission. Even if the deer stands over 800 yards away, you can see it using this scope.
You also get glare elimination, along with great low light performance; thanks to the index-matched hi-lumen, multi-coating design. All of the features combined increase your success rate significantly.
The exterior of the scope is also quite high quality. It is made with a durable alloy steel construction and has a no-slip grip design. It's a solid one-piece construction that can withstand shocks and vibrations even with the heavy recoiling of the rifle.
- High-quality alloy steel construction
- Anti-grip design
- Gives great performance in low light
- The precision-ground lens is larger than other scopes
- Index matched hi-lumen, multi-coating design
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II V-Brite Illuminated Riflescopes
Vortex Optics Crossfire II has 4 versions. Out of which, V-Brite offers comfort through an illuminated reticle. Result?
You get to hunt for a deer in extreme low light conditions and see it easily with Crossfire II. Among all the scopes for hunting rifles, you would find it quite functional.
The scope can be zoomed up to 7x while the lens at 32mm ensures a clear view of your target within 250 yards. It has around 4-inch-long eye relief and a forgiving eye box to help focus on your target safely and quickly. Meanwhile, your eyes will remain protected from scope-bite.
There is an eyepiece that lets you adjust your focus instantly. It’s easy and results in a very sharp image for both crosshairs and targets.
The dead-hold BDC reticle uses a customized red dot to help you estimate and get proper wind drift, range, and holdover tunings. This way, aiming at the deer will not only get easier but more precise as well.
The lens is an anti-reflective kind that has a full multi-coating. You can see very clearly with an ample amount of brightness through the lens. The maximum elevation adjustment that can be made on the scope is 60 MOA.
But you may not need this broad range to set the elevation. Because a deer’s efficient zone is considered 6 inches. So, there’s a high chance of hitting the target at 600 yards with 1 MOA once it’s zeroed.
Made with aircraft-grade aluminum, this is the best scope for deer hunting when it comes to durability.
- High-quality aircraft aluminum construction
- Ultra-forgiving eye box with long eye relief design
- Added dead hold BDC reticle
- Anti-reflective glass that gives a clear view
3. CVLIFE 6-24x50 AOE Hunting Rifle Scope
Enjoy spending your morning or dusk with a good deer hunting scope from CVLIFE. Its Mil-Dot reticle gives you red or green marking that can be illuminated to target a deer more conveniently.
It has 5 brightness levels. You can set it to any of those depending on background, lighting, or weather conditions. Using such settings will help a lot, giving you a better view from different angles.
Even during daylight, the lens allows 95% light transmission which is enough to provide a clear and high-contrast view. As a result, you can quickly focus on the deer and place the dot on it.
Most aluminum-made scopes tend to be slightly heavy. It can make the entire hunting session difficult. But this aluminum model is not only heavy-duty but lightweight as well.
Coming in just 630 grams, it doesn’t add extra weight to your rifle. You can hold the weapon for a longer period. If it’s the senior citizens and people with arthritic conditions, this would be suitable for them.
The scope has a 50mm objective lens and it’s large enough to allow for more lighting. It features up to 24x magnification that you can adjust and get a crisp sight of deer up to 900 yards.
Added bonded coatings on the unit are quite durable as well. No matter how rough you use them the coating will not fade.
- Fully-multicoated lens
- Red/green illuminated reticle and 5 brightness levels
- Provides 95% light transmission
- Gives color accurate, high contrast pictures
- Durable bonded coatings will not fade
- Up to 6-24 times magnification
4. ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Day/Night Deer Scope
Ever heard of a smart scope? No? Then you may want to check this model that has some advanced features- unlike the traditional ones.
The handiest feature is its night-vision mode. Using an infrared illuminator, you can easily sight high-resolution views and images even at dusk.
Its super-sensitive 4K Ultra-HD sensor works to give you a crisp image regardless of the distance and light settings. There’s a twin-core processor that enables the scope to stream and record video of your hunting experience. Once the video is saved in 1080p, it’ll give you 2 big benefits. One, you will get a premium-quality recording. Two, the file size will be smaller, meaning more space for more videos.
The scope is very suitable for people who hunt for longer hours. As it lasts 18 hours, you can use it from noon to dawn without any worries.
Mounting the ATN-x sight 4k pro to your rifle will be easy with standard 30 mm rings. The camo prints look super cool and the design is pretty user-friendly.
Despite the scope magnifying up to 14x, you get a crisp field of view at 1000 yards. And because of the 50 mm objective lens, you can target the deer with ease. So, it can be considered the best deer rifle scope for a long-range shot.
For added durability, this aluminum scope is also water-resistant.
- Waterproof design
- Record and stream videos
- Easy to mount on rifles using standard 30 mm rings
- The battery lasts about 18 hours
5. theOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Scope
A scope for hunting deer that comes with heat detection can be very useful! Such thermal scopes let you know where the deer are hiding even if it is not visible through the lens. Regardless of whether you are hunting through smoke, heavy fog, or even dense vegetation, you can easily detect the whitetail with it.
The scope from the theOpticGuru is great for low-light situations. Thanks to the heat sensors, you won't face any problem targeting your prey. The battery also won’t die before 10 hours so you can use it nonstop.
It has two color modes and both ensure detailed outlines and views. Out of them, the white-hot mode will be the handiest for deer hunting. Because it uses the critter’s body heat and shows the imprints right away on the display. Meanwhile, the black hot one is better if you’d like to scan any inanimate objects more precisely.
The best part is that- its multiple reticle patterns make hunting more convenient. You can pick any that suits the background, or your preference and target accordingly. In case an elk stands at 200 yards, you can magnify it up to 6x just to see it.
The scope is made with aluminum alloy and is solid enough for heavy-duty purposes. It’s recoil resistant and does not move too much.
- Great for using in dense fog or smoke
- Heat detection is quite useful for low light performance
- White-hot mode helps spot hidden deer
- Can give you about 10+ hours of performance
- Made of durable aluminum alloy
6. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
Plastic has become quite a popular choice when it comes to the scope for elk hunting. The material is very lightweight making the products reasonable and suitable for seniors who love spending most of their time hunting.
This scope from the Bushnell Banner is made of solid plastic. It has been tested extensively to ensure quality. While it resists heavy uses, the lightness helps make several-hour-long pursuits easier.
You get up to 9x magnification on this unit with the 40 mm objective lens. The lens is designed with dusk and dawn brightness multi-coatings to provide boosted clarity, sharpness, and focus when the light is dusky. So, if you want a scope for medium-range, say at 350 yards and for low-light hunting, this would be perfect.
Its 3.3-inch-long eye relief might be a bit short. But it would be suitable for many who are comfier with placing their eyes closer to the scope. However, if you want a longer one, try this scope from Vortex.
For durability, the Banner exterior is made completely waterproof. The scope is also fog proof, meaning you can use it in any sort of weather condition.
- The lens with dusk and dawn brightness coatings
- Made with high-quality plastic material
- Tested extensively before sold
- Offer 3 to 9X magnification
- Comes with 3.3-inch eye relief
7. Sightmark Wraith HD Night Vision Digital Scope for Hunting Deer
Discard the struggle of changing your scope settings again and again because this model has got the memory you want. It lets you save up to five weapon profiles for different kinds of firearms with different calibers. Hence, you don't have to adjust the scope all over again if you change the firearm.
The scope lets you record video in 1080p HD quality. Not only will it take High-resolution images but also help you see the animals clearly through all the vegetation.
You get up to 8x digital zoom capability, with the 2x optical system that allows up to 16x magnification. If it’s morning and the mode is set to full-color viewing, you can easily identify deer standing at up to 520 yards. About dusk, well, switch the mode to black and white, or night-vision and enjoy sighting critters from 250 yards away.
There are 10 reticle options that you can make use of. The traditional one can be your go-to pick, but the other 9 promise to be very handy for different backgrounds.
You can also change colors and choose any of the 9 options to help aim easier and your shots more accurate. For daylight hunting, you may opt for the classic black, while red would be more suitable for dusk.
- Let's you record video in 1080p
- Can be operated in black and white, color, or night-vision mode
- 10 radical options available with 9 different color options
- 16x magnification capability
- IR flashlight, objective lens cover, and fix Picatinny mount
8. Burris Fullfield E1 Hunting Optics
Here we have another high-performance scope from Burris.
This model weighs just 1.8 lb. It is very easy to carry in your hunting bag, and will not slow you down at all.
Coming at such a reasonable price, the scope can be magnified up to 20x which is considered an efficient magnification for deer hunting. It lets you easily sight and hit deer at 600 to 900 yards. With a 50mm objective lens, you get ample light for comfortable viewing.
The scope has been filled with nitrogen so that it can prevent fogging. You can use it on the coldest days or even during pouring rain and still get a clear vision. On top of that, it is waterproof!
Fullfield incorporates a double-internal spring-tension system that makes sure the scope withstands recoil, vibrations, and shocks. No matter how hard the movement is, the scope will keep holding zero.
A durable, solid one-piece scope as such will surely last a few years.
You can easily adjust the scope with your fingers. It has a very low-profile sleek design. If you're looking for a simple, sleek scope that will help you shoot more accurately, FullField would be the perfect option for you.
- Simple yet sophisticated design
- Helps you shoot more accurately
- High-grade optical glass results in greater clarity and vibrancy
- A double internal spring-tension system gives you better performance during recoil and shock
- The scope has nitrogen that makes it fog proof
9. TRUGLO 4x32mm Compact Rimfire and Shotgun Scope
Looking for a good deer rifle scope for the money? This Truglo compact shotgun scope might be the perfect match.
It’s mainly suitable for short-range shooting, especially for 50 to 100 yards. You can zoom in up to 4x, while the 32mm objective lens will allow sufficient light transmission.
The diamond reticle is very handy. It helps you sight fast and center the target easily, even if it’s on the move. Apart from rifles, you can pair the tool with shotguns too to hunt deer.
It has multiple mounting rings so you can attach it to different weapons. Its Weaver-style rings ensure quick installation. You can mount it on top of your firearm with ease. Moreover, there are ⅜ inch mounting rings, meaning, you can get the scope for your on-air rifles as well.
Its 4-inch eye relief is pretty long. You would love the safe distance while it ensures a clear view.
For comfort, there is a rubber eye guard that makes it easy for you to look through the scope for a long time. The exterior is very durable and comes with a scratch-resistant and also non-reflective matte finish. You can count on this scope to last long.
The lens is fully coated and helps you see with maximum brightness. The clarity and contrast in this unit are also quite impeccable.
- Maximum magnification up to 4x with 32mm objective lens
- Lenses are fully coated and help provide maximum brightness
- Weaver-style rings for easy mounting on shotgun
- Diamond reticle ensures fast target and centering
- Comes with a rubber eye guard to protect your eyes
10. Vortex Strikefire® II 1 x 30 Red Dot Scope
Lastly, we have the very accurate rifle scope for deer hunting in low lights from the Vortex. We already know that Vortex makes high-quality scopes with great features. This one is no exception. Its unlimited eye relief gives you both safety and a better view regardless of the distance.
The unit has fully multi-coated anti-reflective optics. Hence, you get maximum light transmission and optimal brightness even during dusk.
You will find the red/green dot reticle quite convenient. It can be changed easily based on time, target, and background. Besides, you get 10 illumination levels including night vision mode that make the scope suitable for any time. Be it sunup or sundown. So, if the deer in your region are more active at dusk, this will be a good rifle scope for hunting.
Note that the scope doesn’t have any magnifier. If you want this function, then consider a unit that can go up to 20x like this one. That said, the fixed viewing distance ensures decent clarity and brightness out to 100 or 200 yards, thanks to a 30mm objective lens.
And when it comes to durability- Vortex Strikefire is built to last long. You would find it waterproof, shockproof, and even fog proof as it is an old ring-sealed nitrogen purged unit.
Mounting the scope to your rifle will be very easy due to the simple design of the cantilever ring. Powered by a CR2 lithium battery, the scope can run for around 9 years. So, it will get to spend a good amount of time with you.
You will also get a free flip cap with the scope for covering the optic lens and preventing all the dust.
- Fully multi-coated
- 10 illumination levels including night-vision.
- Easy to mount
- 30mm objective lens.
- Flip cap cover included
Rifle Scope For Deer Hunting Comparison Table
What To Look Before Buying Deer Rifle Scope?
So, you have selected rifle optics for hunting. However, are you sure it's the right one for you?
Finding the perfect rifle scope for your needs can be a bit difficult. Don't worry, we've got a list of exactly what you need to look for when purchasing this tool.
Visual Clarity and Glass Quality
Most of the time, the glass of rifle scopes comes in ED which is short for extra-low dispersion. You will find many manufacturers like Vortex, Bushnell, and Burris that use ED for riflescope. Such glasses work to reduce chromatic aberration so you get crisp views and vibrant colors.
The optical glass should be of high quality and scratch-resistant. It should have anti-reflective coatings. So, it helps increase light transmission and reduce the reflected light. Such coating mainly contains several transparent film layers that are very thin.
And each layer has a distinct refractive index that alters the performance of the lens based on different angles of incidence and wavelengths. The coatings can be noticed through the color.
If you take a look into the front of the objective lens, you will see some red, blue, or green reflections there.
Your riflescope can have single, full, or fully multiple coatings. The more the coatings, the better the performance.
Low Light Performance
You may not always get the perfect lighting especially when the sun starts to set, for that, you need a quality rifle scope that can work properly in low-light situations.
Deer are more active during dusk and dawn, meaning nature’s light will be mostly dim. In that case, your scope should have these certain traits so you can target the animal properly.
a) Night-Vision Mode
Such mode uses small amounts of infrared rays coming from surrounding objects and amplifies the light to enhance the image in green. Although not ideal for long-range, you may identify deer out to 250 yards with ease.
b) Illuminated Reticle
An illuminated reticle helps a lot to make the reticle easy to see when you place the patterns against the pitch-dark background. This way, targeting the deer will be easier despite adverse lighting conditions.
c) White-Hot Mode
Many thermal scopes have a white-hot mode that helps enhance the silhouettes and details of deer on display by using the heat of their body. You can use that to detect deer at dusk.
Most rifle scope comes with variable magnification settings. Choose one depending on the distance you maintain mostly while shooting.
- For close-range shooting, your rifle scope should be magnified up to 4x to 5x. You can sight deer at 100 to 150 yards easily with it.
- For medium-range shooting, the rifle should have maximum magnification from 6x to 16x. At the highest setting, it would work to let you view the target at 500 yards with ease.
- For long-range shooting, opt for a scope that you can magnify up to 20 or 24x. With this, you can identify your target from 600 to 1000 yards away.
However, some models may not have adjustable zooming functions. Such scopes are ideal for the ones who are experienced and who know how to hit the bull’s eye with a fixed sight.
A rifle scope may have an objective lens ranging from 28mm to over 50mm in diameter. If you want to use the scope for close-range shooting, a lower diameter would suit you better.
The higher the diameter, the more the allowance of light inside the lens, hence the brighter the field of view. So, for long-range shooting, make sure the scope features at least a 40 to 50mm lens diameter.
Having a decent distance between the scope and your eye is a must. Despite the distance, your rifle scope should still let you see clearly. Eye relief can be 2.5 to over 6-inch long. You can opt for one that gives you the most comfort and protection.
This way, your eyes will remain safe from scope bites and you won’t suffer from any headaches due to recoil.
Out of several types of reticles, few are considered ideal for hunting scopes. The original one has a traditional pattern that is also called cross-hairs. It features a single vertical line and a single horizontal line, and these lines cross in the center, so you can aim at the target easily.
Among them, BDC or Bullet Drop Compensator reticles are great for deer hunting. It has patterns like the original one and lets you use the holdover point for long-range shots.
Duplex-reticle is another suitable style. It has thicker crosshairs that offer better visibility and help greatly in drawing your eye into the center naturally. This way, you can quickly aim at the deer.
Deer Hunting Tips For Beginners
Whether it's your first-time hunting or your 100th, we could all use some good tips sometimes. After all, there's always room for learning.
Here are a few tips that we think could be beneficial for you-
1. Get Rid Of Smell
The first thing that you will have to do is to get rid of your body odor. Just taking a shower and washing your hunting gear might not be enough. A deer will be able to smell you from miles away. Therefore, you must mask the smell.
We suggest using neutral-smelling soap or detergent that is specifically designed for hunting. For example, this soap by Dead Down Wind. It helps eliminate any kind of smell.
2. Be Quiet
Deer has high hearing power. Don't make any sound when hunting. Even a slight movement can scare it off.
3. Get A Clear Shot
Use the best deer hunting scopes so that you can make a clear and clean shot. It's better to take the animal out with just one shot so you can go closer to it and carry it with ease.
If you don't make a clean shot, the animal might try and run away even after being shot.
4. Hunt At The Right Time
Deer usually sleep during the daytime. It can be between 11 am to 4 pm. Right after 4 pm and just before dark, you will find them super active. As they wake up, they tend to look for food between 4 pm to 7 pm.
During this period, they try venturing out into the food source that’s closest to their living area. This can be the best time to target them.
Make sure, you aim at them when they are busy focusing on finding their food. Once they start eating, they can get alert to your presence.
Another crucial time would be from 6 am to 10 am. This is the period when they prepare to head towards their bedding area. They will be sleepy and lethargic. You can take the opportunity to hit them.
5. Scope The Area
If you're hunting in a new region, you should probably scope it out. You can go into the spot a couple of days before you start hunting. Find out spots where you can put your tree stand, or where you can hike. If needed, you can also use satellite images to outline the spots.
Eric and Chad both have very good knowledge about deer hunting. Follow their video tips for perfect shoot.
People Also Asked
1. What To Do If You Missed A Clean Shot When Hunting?
If you shoot the deer and it starts to run, it's better to let it do so. Because you won't be able to catch it. Instead, you will trigger it to run even further.
Let the deer run. It will come back to take a rest in about 30 minutes. As it gets back, it would be an ideal time to take a shot.
2. What Level Of Magnification Is Perfect For Deer Hunting?
It depends on the distance you maintain for shooting. The standard and most popular magnification range is considered 3-9x. You can aim at the animal out to 300 or 350 yards and get a clear picture to hit it.
In that case, Bushnell Banner can be the best deer scope for you. Not only does it have sufficient zooming levels, but also ensures proper light transmission through a 40mm objective lens for a better view.
However, many of you may think that a wider magnification range is better. It does help with long-range shooting, but there are 2 possible drawbacks. One, shooting time will be slower. And two, shots might get missed especially if you are a beginner. Hence, opt for a safe range.
3. How Far Will You Be Able To Shoot With A 5x Scope?
If a rifle scope has maximum magnification up to 5x, you can get a clear view of your target at 50 to 150 yards. Moreover, the optical glass should be clean and the objective lens should have a higher diameter so you can aim at it more precisely.
4. What Magnification Will You Need To See At A Distance Of 300 Yards?
For a distance of 300 yards, you will need a range of 6x to 9x magnification. Make sure the glass doesn’t get blurry and you get a crisp and vibrant field of view.
If this is your range of distance, you can consider getting the Bushnell scope. It has the right magnification level to help you see your targets at 300 to 350 yards.
See! buying good rifle scopes for hunting is not that hard.
It’s right out there for sure, you just have to find the one that will be suitable for you. Just make sure that you take a good look at the material, clicking quality, adjustable functions, reticle movement, and accuracy of the tool. This way, you can easily find the best rifle scopes for deer hunting.
Still, confused about which rifle scope to get? Then we suggest Sightmark Wraith for you. It ensures clarity, quality, and performance.
You can also go through other options in the list and pick one that fits your needs. All of the scopes that we have put in our review are well known for great performance and durability. None of these products will disappoint you.