Everything about deer hunting is demanding of utmost attention to every tiny detail. When it comes to choosing the weapon accessories, one could easily go wrong and in the process give up their chances of taking down a buck.
Well, you probably already have a rifle scope mounted on your favorite gun- probably a 270 Winchester. Now even with as good a rifle as this one, it won’t do you much if it doesn’t have the best rifle scope for deer hunting mounted on it.
When it comes down to choosing the best hunting scope for deer, there’s a lot to be paid attention to (which we will in our buying guide). However, to make things easy for you if it’s your first time, we’ve picked out and tested 10 really good deer hunting scopes just for you.
- 1 10 best rifle scope for deer hunting: an expert’s recommended picks
- 1.1 1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Riflescope
- 1.2 2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
- 1.3 3. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope
- 1.4 4. Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
- 1.5 5. Bushnell Trophy Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
- 1.6 6. Barra Rifle Scope, BDC Reticle Capped Turrets for Hunting
- 1.7 7. TASCO DWC39X40M World Class 3-9x 40mm Riflescope
- 1.8 8. Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Riflescope
- 1.9 9. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope
- 1.10 10. Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope
- 2 How to choose the best rifle scope for deer hunting
You don’t really have to read on all the way to the end so as to know what works best for you. With this comparison chart, things are much more simplified. In it, we’ve featured 5 of the best each of which is the best in its class.
|Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Riflescope||optic4-12x40mm Fully multicoated s||Pricing|
|Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope||3-9x40mm Multi-coated 4-lens system||Pricing|
|Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes||4-12x44 Fully multi-coated lenses||Pricing|
|Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Riflescope||3-9x40 Fully multi-coated lenses||Pricing|
|Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope||3.5-14x40 Fully multicoated optics||Pricing|
Tips on using and choosing a good deer hunting scope
Before we head on to the reviews, here are a few must-have tips you should always have in mind and are guaranteed to make ever hunt much easier.
- Don’t go for a scope that is overly complicated- keep it simple
- You don’t have to break the bank for a quality scope
- High power scopes are not recommended al the time- consider the amount of vegetation cover
- High light transmission is recommended but you avoid shooting in the dark
- Pick out the scope that’s good enough to withstand a recoil
10 best rifle scope for deer hunting: an expert’s recommended picks
There’s no better news to a deer hunter as a scope that promises results and actually delivers them. Well, that is exactly what you’ll be getting here. Take a closer look at a review of the 10 best scopes for deer below.
1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Riflescope
Known to have some of the best optics, Nikon has for you a riflescope that you can count on to work well on your favorite rifle. With the internal design and the optics being as good as the exterior, there’s definitely no better way for you to get a kick for your buck
Features fully multi-coated optics
The rule of thumb to getting a scope for deer hunting is always going for the one that has got as much light transmission as possible.
In the case of the Buckmaster II, you get a 40mm objective lens. This is capable of letting in ample amount of light to have some really bright images. In order to step this up, this is a scope with fully multi-coated optics. With this, you get to have bright and high contrast images even in low light conditions.
In a nutshell, it can be counted on for consistent performance from dusk till dawn.
Has got a waterproof and fog proof design
As far as standing up against the elements is concerned, this one is both water and fog proof. The waterproofing is achieved with an O-ring seal whereas the fogging is prevented by the nitrogen purging. At the end of the day, you get a riflescope good enough to use throughout the hunting season.
Yet another feature you’ll appreciate is the fact that it is shockproof. Even while on the high recoil rifles, the integrity of this bad boy won’t give in whatsoever.
Includes see-through ballistic circles on the reticle
Yet another amazing feature that adds on to the accuracy of every shot you take is the reticles. This is a BDC reticle which ensures you get to hold dead-on even at long ranges.
Now here’s the interesting bit…
There are unique see-through ballistic circles which give you a really huge advantage when taking the long-range shots. At the same time, it allows for normal sight pictures when you’re taking the short-range shots in which case, you’ll find the crosshairs quite efficient
Features the Spot On Ballistic match technology
Optimized for use with the Spot-On Ballistic Match Technology, the Buckmaster II boasts to have one of the highest levels of accuracy. With this feature, you’ll be able to know all the exact aiming points on your scope reticles at different yardages depending on the load and ammunition
- Designed with a full multi-coating for high light transmission
- It is nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed
- Has got see-through reticles for long-range shots
- The crosshairs tend to loosen in some units after some time
2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
It’s a good hunting scope on different ranges. Being one of the many and probably the best variant in the Crossfire II line from Vortex Optics, it boasts an all-around performance: the optics are great, the adjustments are friendly and the build quality one of the best. Here’s a closer look…
Has got a long eye relief
Though most manufacturers tend to ignore the tiny details while designing the rifle scopes, this one has all that covered. Starting with the eye relief, you get an amazing 3.9 inches. Longer than what most riflescopes in its class have to offer, you should keep your brows safe from injury in the event of a high recoil.
To add on to the safety, it also has got an ultra-forgiving eye box and with these to working together, you’ll be able to attain a quick sight picture and acquire your target easily.
Features a dead-hold BDC MOA reticle
With these turrets, there is a customized dot design which aids in eliminating guesswork on the holdover and the windage corrections. So, if you’re in search for something that’ll work perfectly at varying ranges, this is definitely a good hunting scope that you should check out.
It is also an SFP reticle. Being the focal plane, you won’t have to worry about any obscurities even as you increase the power levels since they retain a consistent size
Has got a single piece tube construction
It is not really the best deer hunting scope if its construction is not good enough. Built from aircraft grade aluminum, the strength and performance of this bad boy is one of the best. The tube size is also 1-inch which makes it both easy to mount and accurate at the same time.
Still, on the construction, it’s worth mentioning that it is waterproof and fog proof. Thanks to the nitrogen purging and the O-ring seal you can count on it to hold up even during the cold weather.
Has got anti-reflective lenses
For minimal obscuring and maximum clarity, the lenses on this bad boy are not only anti-reflective but also fully multi-coated. this makes it the best scope for deer hunting even in low light conditions such as at dusk or at dawn.
- It’s a one-piece tube built from aircraft-grade aluminum
- Allows for quick picture sighting and target acquisition with the long eye relief
- Includes fully multi-coated lenses for optimal light transmission
- The images blur in high zoom
3. Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope
Simple a design as it may have, it’s probably one of the best rifle scopes you could get. Other than the fact that it comes from one of the best deer rifle scope brands, it’s an all-around hunting scope that features optics that are as good as the construction. Take a look at what you’ll be looking forward to.
Includes coated optical surfaces
Starting with one of the major features that make this deer rifle scope stand out, it features a multicoat 4 lens system. With this, you get to have extreme clarity throughout the whole field of view. In addition to this, the level of contrast and brightness is high.
Not forgetting the fact that it’s got a 40mm objective lens, you’re bound to get bright sight pictures at all times. Definitely the best scope for deer hunting at dusk or at dawn.
Has got a 3:1 zoom ratio
Other than being ideal in providing utmost clarity in any condition, the zoom ration on the Leupold VX-1 is just as amazing. This is a 3:1 zoom ratio erector system which has the minimum zoom at 3x and the maximum at 9x.
With this zoom ratio, you get a high level of versatility when switching between the bigger picture and the finer details with a single turn of the power selector.
Also, in order to take the long distant shots, you can always compensate for windage and bullet drops using the distinct finger click adjustments which keep things intuitive.
As far as deer hunting is concerned, this is definitely a good enough scope.
Feature a nitrogen sealed design
Yet another feature that makes this a food hunting scope for deer is its ability to keep out the water. First off, it features an O-ring seal to keep out any water. In addition to this, there’s also the nitrogen sealing which prevents it from fogging so the optics are always clear at all times. Also included in the rifle scope is an argon/krypton gas blend which resists the effects of thermal shock.
It’s built with high-grade aluminum alloy
Though 30mm is not the smallest main tube out there, it should be spacious enough for lots of features inclusive of which is a wide range of adjustments. Other than this, it’s got an aluminum construction that is not only high quality but it’s also light.
- It features an aluminum build that is rugged and waterproof
- Use it in any situation with the 3:1 zoom ratio
- Includes a 40mm objective and a multicoat 4-lens system for maximum clarity
- The eye relief on the scope is short
4. Bushnell Trophy XLT Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
With high light transmission, a good eye relief, a dependable zoom ration and a high-quality construction among other things, Bushnell definitely has you covered on this one. So, how about we take a look at how well it holds up when it comes to deer hunting?
It features a 91% light transmission
At the end of the day, a good hunting scope is one which is able to give you the best quality images. In order to achieve these, it’s all about getting a scope with high light transmission.
With the 40 mm objective lens on this one, light intake will be at its best so you get to have 91% light transmission that makes it eligible for light optimization even in low light conditions. Other than the large objective lens, the fully multi-coated optics also aid in achieving this.
Includes a fast focus eyepiece lens
To save on time while at the same time getting the image just as close as you want it, you’ll find the fast focus eyepiece quite convenient. It’s also worth mentioning that the magnification is from 3x to 9x which is perfect for deer hunting.
Includes windage and elevation adjustment
Besides the magnification adjustments, there are also these two. Each of them has got a ¼ MOA fingertip adjustment and while working hand in hand with the Multi-X reticle, the accuracy level is enough for taking down big game such as deer.
It is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof
Designed to have a consistent performance at all times, this scope is dry nitrogen filled in order to prevent it from fogging. The scope also comes with Butler Creek flip-up caps which shield the lens from precipitation and fogging
Other than this, you’ll also appreciate the fact that it is shockproof hence guaranteed to remain in one piece upon impact or during high recoils. It actually undergoes rigorous recoil testing which verifies its integrity in the field.
That’s not everything…
Featuring a one-piece tube that is nearly indestructible and with a matte finish, you can always count on this for stealth and utmost dependability in the field.
- Features a 91% light transmission and fully multi-coated optics
- Has got a one-piece tube design with a matte finish
- It is dry and nitrogen filled to prevent fogging
- It has got a short eye relief
5. Bushnell Trophy Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
Almost halfway through with your best rifle scope for deer hunting reviews, here’s yet another one from Bushnell. The accuracy is quite high, the images clear, the construction durable- everything you need on good deer rifle scopes. Do take a look at this one pack under the hood
Has got a one-piece tube design
The rule of thumb as far as the construction of riflescopes is concerned is that the sturdier it is, the better. In the case of this one, the one-piece tube is nearly indestructible hence perfect for use outdoors. It’s also worth mentioning that the scope is passed through rigorous testing so as to verify its dependability in the field.
The length and the weight of this scope are 11.9 inches and 13.8 ounces respectively. In order to keep your position hidden from deer, it’s got a matte finish that does this quite effectively.
Includes upgraded fully multicoated optics
Other than the build quality, the visuals of any good deer hunting scope should hold up well. on this bad boy, you’ll be getting fully multicoated optics that allow for as much as 91 percent light transmission. At the end of the day, you get to have ultra-bright images even in low light conditions.
For the objective lens, it’s 40mm in size and should be enough to optimize light intake for bright and clear images.
Features a fast focus eyepiece
For quick image acquisition, it does include a fast focus eyepiece that you’ll find quite handy in the heat of the moment. There are also the windage and elevation each of which has ¼ MOA adjustments.
Stands up well against moisture
With a dry nitrogen filled housing, it is well protected from fogging. To add on to this and also protect it from precipitation, there are the Butler Creek flip-up caps that protect the lenses as well.
- Has got a durable one-piece, matte finish design
- Features upgraded fully multicoated optics for ultra-bright images
- Its nitrogen filled and has flip up caps for precipitation and fog prevention
- The glass is blurred at maximum magnification
6. Barra Rifle Scope, BDC Reticle Capped Turrets for Hunting
Not only does this riflescope look good but it also serves quite good when it comes to deer hunting. With a well-constructed body coupled up with some of the best optics, you’ve got every reason to have this as a good enough match for your rifle.
Features a 1-inch tube design
As far as the deer riflescopes are concerned, it’s all about paying attention to the tiniest details. with this one, you’ll be getting a 1-inch tube. This is ideal since it also allows you to mount the scope on your rifle in a low-profile configuration that then results to better accuracy.
Still, on the design, it is made of a high quality 6063 aluminum. This renders it lightweight and at the same time really durable. It is also black anodized which adds on to the overall strength. In a nutshell, the overall exterior design is lightweight and sturdy enough to withstand impacts and recoil.
Includes top of the line optics
Moving on to the inside of the rifle scope, the optics will definitely blow your mind. First, with the 4x to 12x zoom, it’s perfect to hunt deer with it since you don’t need too big a zoom when hunting big game.
Besides the zoom, it also features a 40mm objective diameter. This allows ample light into the scope which, in the end, gives you bright and clear images. To add on to the brightness, it features fully multi-coated lenses that allow for as much as 99.9% light transmission per layer of coating and 95% light transmission per scope.
Has got user-friendly turrets
To give you an easy time using this, it features a low profile and capped turrets. Since you’ll be using these for hunting, their capped nature will keep them in good condition and also ensure your ballistic settings are consistent even when you choose to hunt while moving.
The turret’s low-profile nature also allows for easy zeroing without any trouble.
Designed to keep out any moisture
A good enough riflescope for deer should allow you to hunt in different weather conditions, right? As such, this one features oxygen purged, nitrogen filled and sealed optics. All of these render it fog proof and waterproof for consistent performance even in the worst of weathers.
- Has got fully multi-coated optics for 99.9% light transmission
- Features low profile and capped turrets for easy zeroing
- Has got a 1-inch main tube built with 6063 anodized aluminum.
- The images are a little blurred at really close distances
7. TASCO DWC39X40M World Class 3-9x 40mm Riflescope
Designed to give you high-performance optics and advanced features. Every hunt will be much easier with this riflescope. The build quality is above average and the same goes for the optics. Altogether, it going to be a huge leap forward from your present riflescope.
Features a rugged and dependable design
Starting off with the feature that’s essential for any kind of hunting, the exterior construction is perfect for the outdoors.
It is rugged in nature and in addition to this, has got a black matte finish. With the combination of these two, the TASCO DWC39X40M will retain its integrity under high recoils or impact. Other than this, it’ll be able to keep out moisture quite effectively as it’s water and shockproof.
Yet another feature that makes this the best rifle scope for deer is the mono-tube design with a 1-inch diameter. The smaller diameter makes it eligible for mounting on various rifles in a low profile for high accuracy. As for the mono-tube construction, it will be harder for it to come apart even in the rough outdoor conditions
Includes a SuperCon multi-layered coating
The objective diameter is 40mm and it’s got a 3-9x variable magnification which is both pretty amazing. But what’s even more interesting is that the optics are heat-treated and fully multi-coated throughout.
With the fully multi-coated optics, you get an optimal light transmission that renders the TASCO DWC39X40M eligible for use at dusk or at dawn.
More on the optics…
You will also be getting a 41-15 ft for the field of view which is quite convenient for both long-range and short-range targets.
Includes a true mil-dot reticle
Accuracy is what a rifle scope is all about, right. With the reticle being what allows for this at its best, this one features a mil-dot which has got multiple aiming points. You’ll be able to determine the exact distance of a target and also correct the aiming points irrespective of how far you are from the target.
Coupled up with the magnification power, you’ll find this quite handy to use while brush hunting or open field hunting.
- Features both a waterproof and fog proof design
- Has got the SuperCon coating that allows for maximum light transmission
- Has got a rugged design with a matte black finish
- The view is a little fuzzy as the power increases
8. Nikon Buckmasters II, 4-12x40mm, BDC, Riflescope
Almost done with our reviews and here’s yet another amazing hunting scope from Nikon. If you want the best cheap rifle scope for deer hunting, this is absolutely it. Eligible for use in any hunting environment, you’ll find both the optics and the build quality really worth every penny. Here’s a look at what it packs under the hood.
Includes unique see-through ballistics
With the optics being one of the most important things about a rifle scope for deer, this one has some of the best. You’ll be getting the BDC which allows you to hold a dead-on at various ranges which is not achievable by most scopes.
Also, it includes unique see-through ballistic circles that give you the upper hand when aiming at long distant targets. At the same time, for short range targets, it allows for a normal sight picture where the crosshair itself is the aiming point
Features a fully multi-coated system
Other than the amazing ballistics, there’s also the multi-coated optics. These also include multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds on all the glass surfaces which in turn provide you with optimal light transmission. At the end of the day, coupled up with the 40 mm objective, it’s going to be perfect for use at dusk or at dawn.
While looking through the eyepiece, the scope offers quite a generous eye relief. This is long enough for you to use this bad boy even with high recoil cartridges, light rifles, and even different shooting angles.
It also features the spot-on ballistic match technology which makes it possible to know all the exact aiming points on your rifle scope at different distances. Also, with the positive-click reticle adjustment, you’ll be zeroed in much quicker and be able to retain your settings even when the recoil is heavy
Has got a durable and functional construction
As good as the optics are, it’s not really a good hunting scope if the build quality does not match up. To render it an all-around scope, its nitrogen purged and O-rings sealed for waterproofing and fog proofing. It also does have an amazing shockproof performance which allows it to remain intact even in high recoils
- Features both see-through ballistic circle and a crosshair reticle.
- Features a consistent and generous eye relief to keep your brow safe
- Has got a fully multi-coated optical system
- The turrets are plastic and might strip easily.
9. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope
It’s not every day that you’ll come across an illuminated deer hunting scope that’s perfect for anyone on a budget, right? To give you the biggest value for your money, here’s the best cheap rifle for deer hunting you should go for.
Features a 50mm objective diameter
The general rule of thumb regarding the objective lens is that the larger the diameter it’s got the better it is. With this scope, you get one that’s larger than average. This being the case, it’s going to optimize the light in the surrounding environment so that you end up with both bright and high contrast images.
As for the field of view, it is 28 ft @ 100 yards which is really good for both long and short-range deer hunting. With the magnification being yet another important aspect of a riflescope, this one ranges between a 6x and a 24x zoom. Whether you prefer brush deer hunting or hunting in open fields, it’s going to serve equally well.
Includes illuminated reticles
Whereas the large diameter of the objective lens lets in enough light, it would be amazing if you were able to lock into your target better in low light, right?
In order to achieve this, there is both a green and red reticle illumination. What’s even more interesting about this is that each of the illuminations has 5 different intensity levels. For these, there is a CR 2032 battery included out of the box.
Allows for a generous 3.52 inches of eye relief
Safety is of utmost importance and to keep you protected from high recoils, the CVLIFE deer rifle scope has enough eye relief to keep your brow safe with each shot you take.
It does come with a lens cover and scope mounts for the 20mm weaver dovetail
- Has got 5 different red and green illumination intensity levels
- Features a 1” tube diameter
- Includes a 50mm objective diameter for brighter images
- The optics do fog
10. Nikon PROSTAFF 5 BDC Riflescope
Wrapping up our review of the best rifle scope for deer hunting is the PROSTAFF 5 from Nikon. The zoom is amazing, the light transmission reliable, the reticles engineered for accuracy and an all-around high-quality riflescope. Take a closer look at what made it cut to our top 10 picks.
Features patented see though ballistics
A feature that is common to most Nikon rifle scopes, the see-through ballistics will come in handy for the long distant shots. In addition to this, if you prefer brush hunting, you can utilize the crosshairs as the aiming point.
Alongside these is the Spot On ballistic match technology, this allows you to attain the exact aiming points at different distances.
Features instant-zero reset turrets
With the precise hand-turn reticle adjustment that features a spring-loaded instant zero turret, making all the adjustments is quite easy.
Besides the spring-loaded turret, it also does have a quick focus eyepiece. With this, you’ll be able to bring the reticle into focus instantly since it has got a 4x zoom ratio which makes taking each shot quite easily.
Has got multi-coated optics for high light transmission
With the diameter being 40mm, the PROSTAFF 5 should take in enough light for bright images. To make each image much better, the optics are multi-coated which optimizes the light transmission such that it can be used even in low light conditions such as at dusk or at dawn
Features a high-quality build
It would be amazing if you were able to enjoy each of the features mentioned above for the longest time, right? To make this possible, this hunting scope has been constructed with an aluminum body that is lightweight yet strong at the same time.
Due to its strong nature, it is shockproof which allows it to remain intact upon impact or in high recoils. Speaking of heavy recoils, it has got 3.7-4 inches of eye relief so you can always count on this to keep you from any injury with most cartridges used on it.
You’ll also appreciate the water and fog proof features both of which render this scope eligible for use in any condition.
- Has got Nikon’s patented BDC reticle with see-through ballistics
- Features aluminum construction with water and fog proofing
- Has got spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets
- It’s not the best for very long-range shots
How to choose the best rifle scope for deer hunting
We’re all about making things as easy as possible for you to have you get the biggest kick for your buck. Along with the reviews above, here are the features you should always look into while shopping for the best riflescope.
The magnification power
Regarding the magnification, the sad truth is that most people go really wrong on this. Yes, magnification is a good thing and you do need it but too much of it will just be a waste of your hard-earned cash.
Let me explain why…
Deer are some of the big game people are after while hunting right? So, with too large a magnification say 15X magnification, a deer that is 600 yards away will appear 40 yards away.
With this big magnification, it could be difficult to achieve pinpoint accuracy. On the other hand, sticking to a lower magnification power will make things much easier for two reasons. First, moving slightly will greatly compromise the accuracy and secondly, just a slight movement will greatly throw off your aim.
So, at the end of the day, going for too large a magnification will just be a waste of your money.
Optimal light transmission is good
One thing that is greatly misunderstood while choosing the deer rifle scope is that they gather light. Light transmission, instead, allows the scope to use the light in the surrounding environment.
So, for optimal performance, you could go for one with about 90% light transmission. So as to optimize this, it would also be great if you choose a scope that’s got multi-coated optics. These optimize the light transmission even in low light conditions.
Note: the scopes with illuminated reticles won’t make you see your target in the dark better but instead, function to make you see your aiming sight better.
The build quality
First of all, you’ll want a one-piece exterior design since this is more stable. Still, on that not, it would be great if you pick one with a matte finish. Matte is recommended since it’s anti-glare and won’t shine when the light hits it which could give up your position.
You should also make sure the scope has a tough enough construction to stand up against wet weather and rough terrain. Don’t get a scope that leaks upon impact.
As for the tube diameter, the smaller it is, the better. Sticking to 1-inch tubes is recommended since they can be mounted in low profile which gives some really accurate shots
Fog and waterproofing
In order to achieve either of these, a good hunting scope should have an O-ring seal and inert gas purging as well. the O-ring seal prevents the entry of water into the scope just in case you are caught out in the rain or drop your rifle on wet grounds.
The inert gas purging, on the other hand, functions, to prevent fogging on the inside of the scope so you get to have clear images.
Well, it has been an amazing review of the best deer hunting scopes and it’s time to call it a day. With the top 10 just a click away and a detailed guide at your reach, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have one. It’s all about getting the best scope for that you can afford and we just so happen to have even the best cheap rifle scope for deer hunting.
Most importantly, take your time and weigh out your options before making your purchase to get a value for every penny.