Deer hunting has become a popular game in the United States and a favorite challenge among hunters. Deer are exceptionally smart, always guarded and impressively fast. In fact, the slightest movements and smallest mistakes are enough to cause them to sprint away at extraordinary speed.

As a hunter, you have to make sure that you have nothing but the best scope for deer hunting. It will make the hunting experience better for you, but it will also unleash a superb performance that will yield results. In this case, the results will be an abundance of hearty, fresh deer meat. For help, check out the following guide on picking the best scopes for deer hunting.

Best Scope for Deer HuntingReviews of 2021

Best Overall
Our Score 9.4 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.9 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.7 Out of 10
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Our Score 8.3 Out of 10
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Our Score 7.8 Out of 10
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Our Score 7.5 Out of 10
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Our Score 7.2 Out of 10
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Our Score 6.6 Out of 10
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Our Score 6.4 Out of 10
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Our Score 5.9 Out of 10
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Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12×44 SFP Rifle Scope

Our Score 9.4 out of 10
Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x44 Rifle Scope, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 1 in, Up to 23% Off — Free 2 Day Shipping w/ code 2DAYAIR — 4 models
Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x44 Rifle Scope, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 1 in, Up to 23% Off — Free 2 Day Shipping w/ code 2DAYAIR — 4 models opticsplanet.com Check price

Vortex CrossFire II 4-12x44mm Rifle Scope is a stripped-down but highly precise rifle scope for hunters and tactical operators by Vortex Optical. These powerful Vortex rifle scopes give you the ver...

This is the best rifle scope for whitetail deer hunting. Taking pride in its functionality, it doesn’t believe in flair. It is a scope that grants its user simplicity and 100% quality.

This scope comes with fully multi-coated optics that have multiple layers of anti-reflective coatings. This will help keep the glare down while making sure that optimal light transmission occurs.

Additionally, the Crossfire also has the zero-reset turret. Whether the scope is not in use or is out in the most unforgiving environment, it is capped for protection. For protection against the environment, it is fully fog-proof and waterproof for coverage against unavoidable accidents during hunting season. These accidents can range from a sudden drop from a tree or a quick submersion into mud and puddles. Overall, with the dead-hold BDC reticle, this is a smart buy.

A disadvantage for this particular brand is that the image quality becomes poor beyond 9x magnification.

Pros
  • Наrd-аnоdіzеd fіnіѕh fоr low glare, аntі-rеflесtіvе advantage in the hunt
  • Fast-focus eye piece
  • Сарреd rеѕеt turret for wеаthеr рrоtесtіоn
  • 1-ріесе tubе fоr ѕсоре integrity and adjustment precision
Cons
  • Poor image quality beyond 9x magnification

This is one of the best low-light rifle scopes for deer hunting. It’s worth the price, and with its noteworthy features, it is a good buy that guarantees superb performance.

Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10×50 SFP Rifle Scope

Our Score 9.3 out of 10
Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10x50 SFP Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC (MOA), black (DBK-03-BDC)
Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10x50 SFP Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC (MOA), black (DBK-03-BDC) amazon.com Check price

The Diamondback 3.5-10x50 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal for big game, predator/varmint, slug shotgun, and long range applications
Dead-Hold BDC...

This rifle scope has extended magnification of up to 3.5-10x. This is perfect for medium-range games, but also for short ranges. Currently, it is one of the best scopes for running deer on the market. The Diamondback series boasts a multi-coated, anti-reflective, high-quality lens that provides higher light transmission while keeping the image clear with ample light.

Coupled with its fast-focus eyepiece, it will allow you to quickly concentrate on your targets. Another feature is the reticle being set at SFP, which means that the appearance will always be perfect at any level of magnification. Additionally, its 6061-T6 aluminum single-piece center tube design, fitted with an accuracy adjustment mechanism, allows you to make the necessary corrections as needed. With its solid build, this rifle scope is made to last for a good number of hunting years.

In addition, its anodizing is made in matte finish to help you easily transition to stealth mode. Multi-coated and equipped with water and grease repellant to prevent cuts, scratches, stains, and fingerprints, this watertight and sealed scope will outlast the harsh environment.

On the downside, this scope has a short eye relief, which can be an issue for some people who need extra protection.

Pros
  • Anodizing Matte finish
  • 6061-T6 aluminum single piece tube design
  • Reticle set to SFP
  • Impressive 50 mm lens
Cons
  • Short eye relief

Without going over budget, you can rely on the Vortex Optics Diamondback deer hunting rifle scope because of its quality lens, clarity, and performance.

Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 Rifle Scope

Our Score 7.5 out of 10
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)
Simmons Truplex Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte) amazon.com Check price

8-point riflescope with fully-coated optics
1-4-MOA sure grip audible-click windage and elevation adjustments
Fully coated optics, waterproof, fog proof & shockproof
Truplex reticle
Magnification &...

This optics is fully coated, providing you with anti-reflective and anti-glare properties. When there is rain, the coating will cause the droplets to roll to the lens’ side so that you can continue using the scope. It has a 40mm objective lens with a Truplex reticle. The light transmission of the Truplex is between the range of 90% and 93%.

In addition, it offers a field view of 31.4 inches, as well as a zoom capability of 3x. This is considered generous, as it won’t let you lose your target, even if there are slight movements or uncontrollable factors like the weather.

Without any fuss, the mounting process is simple. With the rubber-coated tube, you will be able to find the best fit. The rifle scope is also designed to be durable and reliable. The machined aircraft grade aluminum and coated rubber armor adds a layer of protection from all bumps and drops. It is waterproof, fog-proof, and can withstand all the shocks and withdrawals of various rifles and shotguns.

This unit lacks illumination, which can be an issue in a low lighting conditions.

Pros
  • Quick Target Acquisition technology
  • Outstanding contrast and clarity of the target
  • Equipped with the Simmon’s Precision optical glass
  • Budget friendly
Cons
  • Lack of sufficient illumination

In summary, the Simmons 8-Point Truplex is a good pick. It meets the basic expectations of a rifle scope for deer hunting. It is economically friendly, and it is a good choice for beginners who would like to improve their skills in hunting.

Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope

Our Score 8.1 out of 10
Nikon Buckmasters 4-12X40 BDC Riflescope Similar Products
Nikon Buckmasters 4-12X40 BDC Riflescope Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

A very well equipped addition to Nikon's line up of Buckmaster scopes, the Nikon Buckmasters II 4-12x40mm Riflescope offers users the brightness and clarity of Nikon's Fully Multicoated lenses. Sig...

From the original Buckmasters, the light transmission improved from 92% to 98%, which helps with the overall light transmission. Another improvement from the previous version is the additional resettable turrets.

Deer hunting can cause strain and fatigue on the eyes, and the Buckmasters won’t give you that. Instead, it provides you with a consistent and generous 3.6 inches of eye relief, even with the heavyweight recoiling of shooting.

Aside from the high quality of lens output, what makes the Buckmasters II the coolest scope is its ability to provide two magnifications of 3-9×40 and 4-12×40. Additionally, it comes with a non-slip grip that make the adjustments easy.

With Nikon being the most expensive company for optics, this scope’s price range is impressively affordable. With a friendly budget, this Nikon scope is a good choice for you.

If you are a a beginner, mounting can be a challenge.

Pros
  • Price is affordable
  • Includes Nikon’s original BDC reticle
  • Optics are fully multi-coated
  • Nitrogen purged with O-ring seals to ensure fog-proof reliability
  • Versatile magnification choice
Cons
  • Initial mounting can be complicated for beginners

There is no wonder why Nikon has reached its pinnacle of success. It produces top-notch optics, and this model is no different. Built to last and designed to perform outstandingly, this rifle scope will complete your arsenal collection.

Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40 Black Matte Rifle Scope

Our Score 8.4 out of 10
Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Riflescope, 1in Tube Similar Products
Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 Riflescope, 1in Tube Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

Gun owners will really enjoy firing a weapon like the Nikon ProStaff 3-9x40 Rifle Scope. Waterproof, fogproof and shockproof, these Riflescopes from Nikon Sport Optics are nitrogen filled and O-rin...

Despite being one of the most budget friendly scopes, expect it to deliver impressive performance. Its multicolored lens is capable of increasing light transmission to up to 98%. This will ensure maximum brightness all day and all night long.

Because of Nikon’s design, this scope makes your hunting experience simple and uncomplicated. For instance, you can easily rotate to your zero and re-engage when the need arises. Also, field adjustments are easy because all you need to do is turn the knob to the setting that you want.

The greatest feature of the Nikon ProStaff is that it gives you the freedom to adjust the bullet drop up to 600 yards. In addition, the scope lets you hold “dead-on” at different ranges. This is yet another reason why it is pegged as the best scope for mule deer hunting, thanks to its see-through ballistic circles.

The mounting rings are not included.

Pros
  • It is ideal for 50 to 200 yards for precise long-range shooting
  • Its eye comfort delivers 3
  • 6 inches of eye relief
  • Great hunting scope at an affordable price
  • Ergonomic controls that allows easy adjustments
  • Magnification of 3x to 9x
Cons
  • The mounting ring is not included and requires a separate purchase

In conclusion, the Nikon ProsStaff is one of the best affordable rifle scopes for deer hunting. Although the scope does not come with mounting rings, its affordability leaves you with enough budget to make the extra purchase.

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope

Our Score 7.4 out of 10
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Adjustable Objective Riflescope, 6-18X 50mm, Black (616185)
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Adjustable Objective Riflescope, 6-18X 50mm, Black (616185) amazon.com Check price

Beautiful design and durability built to last
Low-light riflescope with 6-18x magnification and 50mm objective lens
Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multicoated lenses for clarity and brightness
Multi-...

Since 1947, Bushnell Banner has established itself as a top brand in producing high quality scopes. This series is highly recommended when it comes to low-light settings. As the name suggests, dusk or dawn will never be a challenge for this scope.“Dusk to Dawn” is the treatment used on the glass to increase its visibility in low-light settings.

If you’re looking for the best deer hunting scope under $200, you should check out this item. With nitrogen in its manufacturing, this scope is long lasting, waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It features a fast-focus eyepiece that adds to its reliability. Again, you don’t want to miss a critical shot because of having to make too many adjustments. This will never happen with the Bushnell’s signature multi-x reticle.

Some users may find that this unit is too bulky and heavy.

Pros
  • Clarity is preserved, even with the presence of fog
  • Price is friendly
  • Specialized in low-light conditions
  • Hassle-free adjustments
Cons
  • Heavier and bulkier than most other scopes

Overall, this is a smart buy and a great addition to your arsenal. For its price, this deer rifle scope provides you with great features for hunting during the night and early morning, especially when fog can be a challenge.

Leupold Rifleman 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope

Our Score 7.1 out of 10
Leupold RifleMan 4-12x40 Precision Riflescope Similar Products
Leupold RifleMan 4-12x40 Precision Riflescope Similar Products opticsplanet.com Check price

Features of Leupold RifleMan 4-12x40mm Tactical Riflescope, LU-RS-RFL41240:
The Multi-coat 4 lens system delivers extreme clarity from edge to edge of the visual field, outstanding contrast, and a ...

Just like the rest of the Leupold collection, this scope endures all-out recoil, thanks to the punishing shock-proof tests that it has passed. It has also successfully completed an impact test. This scope subsists a type of ringer that has a .375 H&H Magnum for up to 5,000 points of impact.

Once you lock in on your zero, expect it to hold and stay put whatever happens. Accidental bumping or clicking of the turret is foreign to the Leupold Rifleman. You know that as long as you have your zero, you are all set. With its 40mm objective lens, enough light transmits to help you get a clearer and brighter image.

Additionally, one of the features that you will appreciate is the 4.9-inch eye relief. With a full view and no embarrassing eye circles, you can focus on locking in your targets.

Images can become blurry at higher magnifications.

Pros
  • 100% wаtеrрrооf, rесоіl-рrооf, аnd fоg-рrооf
  • 4-12Х zооm fоr shooting long range
  • Eye relief of 4
  • 9 inches
  • Impact test and shock-proof test survivor
Cons
  • At a high magnification, there can be a slight problem with blurred images

The Rifleman rifle scope is a great rifle scope with a low price and a solid performance. It is a good investment that you can enjoy for a long time.

Trijicon TR22 AccuPoint 2.5-10x56mm Rifle Scope

Our Score 6.8 out of 10
Trijicon AccuPoint 2.5-10x56 Riflescope, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 30 mm, Up to 29% Off w/ Free Shipping — 7 models
Trijicon AccuPoint 2.5-10x56 Riflescope, Color: Black, Tube Diameter: 30 mm, Up to 29% Off w/ Free Shipping — 7 models opticsplanet.com Check price

The Trijicon AccuPoint 2.5-10x56 Riflescope w/ Crosshair Amber Dot Reticle is the largest and most powerful Trijicon riflescope on the market that provides optimum any-light shooting, with high tra...

Ideal for all light settings and the harshest conditions, this scope gives you the freedom to control the light output of the optics during the day. The Accupoint also has aircraft quality with hard-anodized aluminumbuilt to tolerate the toughest conditions during hunting. It is also nitrogen filled and water resistant to avert deterioration and eradicate fogging.

With the solid and back matte finish of the high-quality scope for 6.5 Creedmoor, you don’t need to worry about the risk of light reflection and glare, which can spook your target away. Its clarity earns this scope five stars, and the green dot is perfect during the late evening hours and does not overpower the overall view.

This scope is pricier than other options.

Pros
  • 6061-T6 aluminum waterproof tube to up to 10 inches
  • Equipped with fiber optics and tritium illumination
  • Nitrogen filled and water resistant
  • ¼ MOA elevation and windage modifications
  • Requires no batteries to light the reticle
Cons
  • It is rather steep on the budget

The Trijicon is a good investment. Although it is more expensive than other options, it is a scope of great value that is impressive in both capacity and size.

Athlon Optics Talos 4-16×40 SFP Rifle Scope

Our Score 6.4 out of 10
Athlon Optics , Talos , Riflescope , 4-16 x 40 Second Focal Plane (SFP) 1" Tube, MIL Dot Reticle , Black
Athlon Optics , Talos , Riflescope , 4-16 x 40 Second Focal Plane (SFP) 1" Tube, MIL Dot Reticle , Black amazon.com Check price

Fully multi-coated lenses gives you better light transmission to bring optimum brightness and true color across the entire light Spectrum
Reticle etched on the Glass that provides excellent backing...

This series features the brand’s advanced multi-coated lens to ensure clarity and illumination during conditions when the light is low. With a magnification range of 4x, you have the versatility to hunt in different environments, from wide open ranges to pine forests. The Talos also comes with a collection of specialty scopes for different targets.

Additionally, the aircraft grade aluminum gives the scope the added strength and resilience to withstand the toughest terrains and weather conditions. Nitrogen purged, fog-proof, shockproof, and waterproof, this great deer hunting scope will accompany you for years of hunting. The mildot used for this model is perfectly sized, and with its fast-focus eye piece, you will always have clear and crisp images.

Some users might find this scope to be a bit larger than other scopes.

Pros
  • Lenses are fully multi-coated
  • Made with aircraft grade aluminum tube
  • Glass etched reticle
  • Nitrogen purged, waterproof, and fog-proof
Cons
  • It is larger compared to the average scope

In conclusion, this scope is highly recommended for deer hunting and twilight hunting. It supplies you with features that guaranteed a quality performance in the early morning and late at night. It is versatile and built to last.

Nightforce Optics 4-14×56 SHV Rifle Scope

Our Score 6.0 out of 10
NightForce SHV 4-14x56 .250 MOA 30mm Riflescope, Black, Moar Non Illumintated Reticle, C520
NightForce SHV 4-14x56 .250 MOA 30mm Riflescope, Black, Moar Non Illumintated Reticle, C520 amazon.com Check price

56mm objective lens
Waterproof and fogproof
Side parallax adjustment
2nd focal plane
Capped turrets

With a massive objective lens of 56mm, you will achieve the best light transmission. Its magnification is between the ranges of 4xto 14x. As a shooter, you get to have a widespread power range for shooting of varying fields and environment. At 100 yards with 4x, your field of view is an amazing 24.9 feet.

Additionally, this model has a reticle that is illuminated directly in the middle of the cross hairs. This adds definition and precision of locking in your target. Alternately, a non-illuminated model is also available.

The Nightforce’s optics is something special. The glass will deliver clear, sharp, and bright images without distractions that gear away from the target. The magnification is also an added cherry on top. Mounting this stylish scope is easy and straightforward, but you must purchase the compatible rings separately.

Some users find issues with the turret not being waterproof.

Pros
  • Pronounced ¼ MOA, 10 MOA per adjustment
  • Available with illuminated and non-illuminated reticle
  • 5×20 magnification power
  • Parallax knobs ad illumination is easy to use
Cons
  • The turret cover needs to be on for the scope to be water resistant

Is the Nightforce a good buy? Definitely. The high-quality scope for AR-15 deer hunting costs more than usual, but it is a hunter’s dream. It guarantees to perform outstandingly, compared to other scopes within the same price range.

What Makes a Great Deer Hunting Scope?

A great rifle scope for deer hunting should boost your confidence when it comes to aiming and locking in your target. Due to this, you should have a set of prerequisites when shopping for scopes. To be successful, you also have to consider the characteristics of your target. These are the suggest features to look for to make sure that you equip yourself with a scope that is worth the investment.

So that your images are clear, your rifle scope should be large. It should provide you with a superb hunting experience that will allow you to perform well, regardless if it is dusk or dawn. The lighting conditions should not interfere with the goal of locking in your targets accurately.

A great rifle scope should be easy to mount, convenient to carry, and easy to use. During hunting games, every second counts, and you have to be ready to aim and lock the target. It should also be friendly to your eyes and provide you with sufficient eye relief.

Lastly, it should withstand the abuse and effects of harsh environments. A great rifle scope should not just perform, but it should also prove to be a great investment for a good number of years.

What Magnification Do You Need?

Since deer are always wary and are extremely fast, having the best magnification can give you clear sight and help you lock in your target precisely. Each target will have its recommended magnification so that hunters can perform well.

The magnification range is the most critical feature, and the setting of where you will hunt also plays a big factor. For closer range and daylight shots, a 3-9×40 scope should be good enough for deer. In a country setting where you’re not expected to get those easy shots under 200 and 100 yards, it is best to get long-range rifle scopes. A 6-18×50 deer hunting scope will give you powerful zoom without compromising on the clarity of the target image.

Overall, do not settle for anything less than 9x magnification. Coupled with an equally powerful rifle, you can achieve a quality hunting performance based on accuracy and clarity.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Deer Hunting Scope

Purchasing the best scope for deer hunting can be pretty daunting, especially if it is your first buy. Taking the time to learn more about scopes and what makes them good should help you be more confident when you are ready to buy. Here are some factors that should guide when purchasing a deer hunting scope. Remember to stick to your budget. These days, there are a lot of budget-friendly scopes that deliver high-quality performance.

Objective lens

For deer hunting, it is always best to go for a larger lens. The larger the lens, the more light that can come through, causing images to be clearer and bigger. The only drawback here is that the larger the objective lens, the heavier it weighs.

Magnification

Deer are naturally wary and run away quickly. Ensure that your deer hunting scope won’t go lesser than 9x. Even with maximum zoom, the image’s clarity and brightness should not be compromised.

Multi-coated lenses

A great rifle scope can perform from dawn to dusk. You should not stop your hunt when the sun goes down. You need a rifle scope that will always provide you with crisp and clear images, regardless of the light conditions.

Eye relief

Always make sure that your eyes are protected with the recoil from the bullets. A great eye scope should provide generous eye relief of at least 3.5 inches.

Durability

You have to consider the material used. The lenses are best if they are nitrogen purged, resistant to dust, fog-proof, waterproof, and shock resistant.

Reticle

For long-range shooting, your scope should compensate for the bullet drop over the extended distances. It will help if you have holdover positions and even bullet trajectory prediction systems. It will also be an advantage if the target turrets are resettable to zero and lockable. A reticle that is illuminated score big brownie points especially when used in the dark.

Ease of access

You need a scope that will be easy to use and where mounting can be done in seconds. In a nutshell, you need a plug and play scope that will automatically perform as needed without too much fuss and complicated adjustments.

Price and Warranty

It doesn’t matter if it is the most expensive scope in the market or one that falls mid-range. Price right now is not much in dictating the quality of scope. Be open with your options but as mentioned, stick to your budget.

For different manufacturers and different distributors, your scope will be taken with different repairing and replacing program. Some of these warranties are from 2 year to life-time, while some are from limited to unconditional. These choices are all great if you can peace in mind whenever your scope is broken somehow. I suggest you to read carefully about product warranty. It will be better if you contact directly to manufacturer and have detail information.

(Source: [1], [2])

Conclusion

In conclusion, each scope will work uniquely for every user, and each scope will have its own pros and cons. With so many options to choose from, you have to find one that will suitably meet your needs and wants. Take the time to go through reviews and recommendations. Also, consult with more seasoned hunters who have their fair share of experience trying different deer hunting scopes. Again, experience will always be the best teacher.