I think you will agree with me when I say that hunting as a sport has advanced a lot.
Elk hunting is very well liked among hunters, and scopes are undoubtedly a necessity in this sport. As a hunter, you will need a scope to cover longer ranges, increase hunting opportunities and overall find a better hunt.
For this, we have compiled the top ten best rifle scopes for elk hunting so you can make a well-thought decision.
ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Smart Day/Night Rifle Scope
This rifle scope is our winner because of its multiple amazing features such as 3-9X magnification, triplex reticle, etc. And this too at an affordable price.
Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9×40
Our runner up brought the hunting and digital world together. With its amazing new technological features, hunting has become more entertaining and fun.
Best Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting – Top 10 Reviews
Let’s review our top ten best rifle scopes for elk hunting:
#1. Best Affordable Elk Hunting Rifle Scope – Simmons Truplex 8-Point 3-9x50mm Review
The Simmons Truplex 8-Point is one of our team’s favourites because it offers a very high optical system for smooth execution. This ultimately makes it easier to shoot accurately.
A good shot depends on your vision of the target. This rifle scope offers a truplex reticle which makes target shooting a piece of cake. The fine lines and the intersection improves aiming drastically.
Features of Simmons Truplex 8-Point 3-9x50mm
- 3 to 9 times magnification: 31.4-foot field of view at 100 yards at 3X and 10.5-foot field of view at 100 yards at 9X
- 50 millimeter objective lens
- 3.75 inches eye relief
- 16.6 to 5.6 millimeter exit pupil
- Weighs 13.2 ounces
- 60 inch adjustment range at 100 yards
- Features Quick Target Acquisition (QTA) eyepiece for fast, easy target acquisition
- Features SureGrip audible-click windage, elevation adjustments and truplex reticle
- Wide field view
- Fast and easy target acquisition
- Fog proof
- Recoil proof
- Offers good eye relief
- Offers good value for money
- Trouble adjusting
- Not suitable for low light conditions
Best Affordable Elk Hunting Rifle Scope
The best affordable scope is Simmons Truplex 8-point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope because it gives best possible eye relief and clarity to hunt down your target. This rifle scope offers a very good value for the price.
#2. Best Rifle Scope for Night & Day Elk hunting – ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Review
ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart is another one of our team’s favorites because of the amazing ultra HD 4K sensor and Obsidian 4 Dual Core Processor that it features. This feature has been the game changer in hunting. It not only allows day and night shots, but also makes execution of shots super easy.
Moreover, its batteries can last upto 18+ hours. This means that your scope will be your partner for as long as you’re in the field. Not only this, it offers wifi streaming as well as simultaneous live recording so you can enjoy hunting experience to the fullest.
Features of ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart
- 18+ hours extended battery life
- Smart Rangefinder aims shots at a distance and also calculates distance between hunter and target
- Ballistic Calculator determines exact range, wind, weapon profile, angle, temperature, humidity, etc. for an accurate shot
- Recoil Auto-Activation lets scope record the video before and after the shot so you can focus on your hunt
- Ultra Hd 4K Sensor with Obsidian 4 Dual Core Processor offers higher resolution, faster optics, and millions of vivid colors
- Live Wi-fi streaming while recording it in SD card
- Includes ATN Quick Detach Mount, X-Trac remote control and battery pack.
- No pixelated vision when zoomed in
- Longer eye relief
- Long lasting power
- Live streaming with recorded shots
- Clear night vision
- Electronic Charging
- Trouble mounting
Best Rifle Scope for Night & Day Elk Hunting
The Best Rifle Scope for day and night elk hunting is ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart because you unlock all the crucial hunting levels with its extended battery life, ballistic calculator and Ultra 4K sensor.
#3. Best High Quality Rifle Scope for Clear range – Vortex Optics Viper HS Review
Viper HS is another one of the amazing scopes that our team loves. It features an advanced optical system, 4 times zoom range and also provides a versatile range of magnification.
The advanced optical system forms clearer and vivid images edge-to-edge. The XR multi-coated captures maximum light from sunrise to sunset and the zoom range will bring your target closer to you.
Not only this, the Dead-Hold BDC reticle can be used for hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be an apprehension .
Features of Vortex Optics Viper HS
- Features 4X zoom range and a Dead-hold BDC reticle
- Eye relief of 4 inches with magnification of 2.5 to 10X
- Field of view of 47 to 10.9 feet per 100 yards
- Features objective lens of diameter 44 mm and tube of 30 mm
- It has a parallax setting of 100 yards
- Length: 12 inches; weight: 16.5 ounces
- Very durable
- Wide magnification range
- Very good light transmission
- Turrets are easy to control
- Offers great value if you an experience user
- A little heavy
- Beginners may find it expensive
If you are someone who can afford to invest in a scope on an expensive side then this is for you. It is one of the perfect scopes for experienced hunters and shooters and can offer good value for its price.
Best High Quality Rifle Scope for Clear Range
The best high quality scope for clear range is Vortex Optics Viper HS because of its advanced optical system that renders clear, sharp and vivid images.
#4. Best Long Range Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting – Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane Review
This scope is in our top list because of its sturdy construction and easy-to-use features. This makes it very versatile and equally usable for beginners as well as professionals for hunting elks.
In addition to this, it offers very smart and advanced features for the price it offers and its high quality built. One-piece tube and fog proof and waterproof qualities makes it one of the most durable hunting scopes.
Features of Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane
- Magnification of 6 – 24X with eye relief of 3.9 inches
- Objective lens has a diameter of 50 mm
- It features a field of view od 18-4.5 feet per 100 yards
- Features fast-focus functionality for quick use
- A one-piece tube of 30 mm
- Includes metal on metal adjustments for zero resets
- Sturdy and durable
- Fog proof and waterproof
- Easy to use
- Simple adjustment features
This scope can be used by professionals and beginners alike thanks to its easy-to-use features. We especially recommend this to hunters who are always on the go, because of its light weight.
Best Long Range Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting
The best long range scope is Vortex Optics Diamondback Tactical First Focal Plane because of its elegant and simple design. Since the features are not cramped up in it, it can easily take a thousand yard mark.
#5. Best Low Light Rifle Scope under $300 – Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane Review
Vortex Optics Diamondback is another amazing scope with Second Focal Plane (SFP) configuration with Dead-Hold BDC reticle.
In addition to this, it has multi-coated lenses for rendering clear and bright images, even when the light is low. Moreover, fast focal eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing. This produces exceptionally anti-reflective images.
Our team loved it because of its durability. It is not only waterproof but also fog proof, thanks to O-ring seals.
Features of Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane
- Magnification of 4-12X with variable power
- Objective lens has a diameter of 40 mm
- Length: 12 inches; Weight: 14.6 ounces; Tube diameter: 1 inch
- It has a field of view of 32.4-11.3 feet per 100 yards
- Eye Relief of 3.1 inches and exit pupil of 10-3.3 mm
- Features Dead-Hold BDC reticle
- Features fully multi-coated optics
- Shock proof
- Water and fog proof
- Very durable
- Highly clear and anti reflective image quality
- Does not have parallax correction
If you are someone who is fond of big game hunting, varmint hunting, small game hunting, target shooting or any of these, then this riflescope is for you. Being extremely durable and shockproof makes it ideal for hunting while being camouflaged.
Best Low Light Rifle Scope under $300
The best low light rifle scope under $300 is Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane because multi-coated optics provide extremely vivid images without any reflection.
#6. Best Multi-coated Scope for Light Conditions – UTG 4-16X44 30mm Review
Moving on, UTG 4-16X44 30 mm is another exceptional scope which can be used all year round.
It uses red and green colors in dual-color configuration and also allows 36 colors to be used in multi-colored mode. It features Innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System that produces high quality images and gives good shooting performance.
Features of UTG 4-16X44 30mm
- Tube of 30mm with perfect multi-coating for maximum light transmission
- Power of 4X to 16X with Quick Power Selector Ring
- Field of View at 100 yards is 24.4 feet – 6.8 feet
- Target turrets are zero lockable and zero resettable with consistent and precise 1/4 MOA per click adjustment
- Side wheel adjustable turret (SWAT) for parallax adjustment is from 10 yards to infinity
- Features 1-Click Technology for quick and easy access to your desired color and brightness
- Features mil-dot range estimating reticle with built-in sunshade for aiming and good performance
- Shock proof
- Rainproof and fog proof
- Quick zooming in and target acquisition
- Protective lens caps
- Ergonomic design
- Some people may find mil-dots too small
If you are a hunter looking for a rather versatile scope then this one’s for you. Easy target acquisition, all-round the year use, powerful zoom and multicolor rings make the shooting fun and easy.
Best Multi-Coated Scope for Light Conditions
The best multi-coated scope for light conditions is UTG 4-16X44 30 mm thanks to Innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System. This allows it red and green colors in dual-color mode and 36 colors in multi-color mode to cater for all light conditions and weathers.
#7. Best Resistant Elk Hunting Scope – Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Review
Next up, we have Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm riflescope.
As a hunter, what do you want most in your rifle scope?
The answer is a durable, tough design that can work in the minimum of light conditions. Our team loved the Argon/Krypton gas blend technology that almost eliminates the effects of thermal shocks. Not only this, it also has a reduced diffusion rate of gases sealed inside the scope.
This rifle scope is an allrounder scope that you need on your next hunting trip.
Features of Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm
- It features 1/4 MOA precision finger click adjustments
- Argon and Krypton waterproofing
- Zoom ratio: 3:1
- The tube is only 1 inch to give a classic look with maximum durability
- Twilight maxlight management system adds 20 minutes of shooting light and reduces glare by 85%
- Rear focal plane (RFP) reticles remain fine and cover the target at high power
- Lightweight and compact
- Water, rain and fog proof
- Works very well in all kinds of light conditions
- Allows easy acquisition of target
Best Resistant Elk Hunting Scope
The best resistant elk hunting scope is Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm because of its Argon-Krypton technology which makes it very durable.
#8. Best Night Vision & Digital Rifle Scope – Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 Review
Sightmark Wraith HD 4-32×50 has introduced new technology in hunting sports. This specific rifle scope is a digital scope with a 1920×1080 HD sensor. This offers complete colors range very vividly during the day and emerald and black for night mode.
With this, you can also use its built-in HD video recording feature to watch your hunting films later if you want.
Features of Sightmark Wraith 4-32×50 HD
- Day and night mode allows full color viewing for day use and black and white or classic green for night vision
- High-definition sensor offers high resolution imaging with video recording in 1920×1080 HD
- 8x digital zoom and 4x optical system for up to 32x magnification
- HD photo and video recording
- Reticle variations features 10 reticle options and 9 different colors for easier aiming and accuracy
- 5 weapon profiles and power input
- Also includes removable 850 nm IR illuminator with a detection range of 200 yards
- Clear imaging
- Easy operation
- Can be used with multiple rifles
- Makes day and night hunting feasible
- Field of view is not well
- Does not include SD card
If you are someone who would like to view their hunting trip later then this digital scope is for you. Not only does it offer a full color spectrum for your day adventures, it also works very well at night with night vision. Simultaneously, it also records your hunts that you can watch later.
Best Night Vision & Digital Rifle Scope
The best night vision and digital rifle scope is Sightmark Wraith 4-32x50HD because it offers not only day vision but also night vision.
#9. Best Low Light Scope – Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 Review
Crossfire II is specifically designed to be used for low-light hunting. Our team has experienced that you can place shots even in the worst of light conditions with complete confidence.
The reason is its multi-coated optics with anti-reflective coatings, a 30 mm tube and oversized 56 mm objective lens.
Not only this, the tube is sturdy and tough, and crafted with air-craft grade aluminum in a single piece, filled with nitrogen. The O-rings are perfectly sealed which makes it water and fog proof.
Features of Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56
- Magnification 3-12X with objective lens of diameter 56 mm
- Eye relief of 3.5 inches
- Field of view 36.7-9.2 feet per 100 yards
- Features V-brite reticle that uses the V-Plex format with battery-powered electronics to illuminate the center dot for better performance in low light
- Tube size 30 mm
- Adjustment graduation 1/4 MOA with a parallax setting of 10 yards to infinity
- Reasonable price
- Adjustable objective
- Very bright
- Perfect for low-light hunts
- May feel a little heavy
Hunters who are fond of night hunting should get this scope. It does an amazing job during a night hunt adventure, and it is very durable. Moreover, although it is not cheap, it does provide value for the cost.
Best Low Light Scope
The best low light scope is Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 of product because of the V-Brite technology that it uses. It illuminates the reticle as well as provides a clear and bright picture.
#10. Easy-To-Use Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting – TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 1-6 X 24mm Review
This scope is the ideal amalgam of precision, clarity and speed. With this, it also provides a super bright image with a very wide field of view.
Moreover, the scope of shock, water and fog resistant with nitrogen-gas filled in the tube to make it very durable. The lenses are fully coated to provide bright images and high contrast results.
Another amazing feature is that it has a MIL-DOT reticle. It allows you to figure out the distance between you and targets of a known size, and also provides quick trajectory and wind drift reference.
Features of TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 1-6 X 24mm
- 1-6X magnification
- Eye relief of 3.5 inches
- 30 mm tube with better click adjustment and brighter images
- 24 mm objective lens for brighter results
- Leaf-spring click adjustments for windage and elevation
- Also includes pre-calibrated BDC turrets in calibers .223 (55 grain) and .308 (168 grain) for targets up to 800 yards away
- Extremely wide field of view
- Waterproof and fog proof
- Maximum brightness contrast and clarity of results
- Rear optical lens cover failed for a few users
If you are looking for an easy-to-operate all-rounder riflescope then this is the one. From providing exceptional outputs to being extremely user friendly, this is your way into the hunting sport.
Easy-To-Use Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting
The easy to use rifle scope for elk hunting is TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 1-6 x 24 mm because of its simple design, clarity, precision and speed that it offers while providing an exceptional output.
This is one of the many important aspects to consider before buying. Rule of the thumb is to invest half the amount you invested in your rifle. For instance if your gun cost you $400 you should not be spending more than $200 on the scope.
However, as more features are introduced in the scope, the higher the price goes. Therefore, always invest only as much as you easily can. Do not go overboard.
If you are a beginner, make sure that the scope offers good basic features that you can benefit from in your learning phase.
Scopes are no less an investment. It is always crucial to spend money on the scope that will offer maximum value for money and will last you a long time.
However, here is thing:
Hunting is an outdoor activity, and scopes are bound to get damaged, if not from dropping then from weather conditions or just impact of the wild environment.
Therefore, we advise that you invest in a fog-proof and waterproof scope, for added durability. Moreover, if it comes with a rain guard, we advise you to get that too for additional protection.
Visibility is an important factor to consider. You will not be able to focus and take your shot if your target is not visible to you.
In case of hunting elk, get a scope that has adjustable magnification so images of animals can be seen at varying sizes.
How do I choose the best hunting scope for me?
Let’s talk about the types of scopes that are available from which you can choose:
The magnification range usually depends on the time of the day when you are hunting and what you are hunting. For smaller animals, you need scopes with greater magnification. When hunting for bigger animals such as elks and deer, long-distance should be maintained to not scare them away.
If you are hunting in daylight and closer ranges, a 3-9×40 magnification scope will work very well. However, we recommend a 6-18×50 scope far-range deer and elk hunting.
So, this sums up as, when buying a scope you need to consider the time of the day you will be hunting, the hunt, the place for its climate and conditions, whether it will be woods or country side and the range you will be shooting at.
- 30 mm vs 1 inch
30-mm scope is usually considered somewhat high end. It offers more adjustable features. Therefore we recommend it for experts and professionals. On the other hand, 1-inch is the perfect choice for beginner hunters. 1-inch also offers great ease and comfort in its usage.
- 40 mm vs 50 mm
40 mm and 50 mm come very close in their qualities however there are still some features that set them apart.
We recommend 30-40 mm scopes for longer shooting ranges and daylight hunting trips. On the contrary, 50 mm scopes are recommended in low light situations as they transmit more light.
Another benefit of 50mm scope is that it is much lightweight and more affordable.
- 1-6 vs 1-8
Here is the deal when it comes to 1-6 against 1-8:
1-8 has more to offer – works well in low light, is much lighter and brighter. However, it is also more expensive.
On the other hand, 1-6 is more affordable. So if you have a limited budget, 1-6 is your choice.
- FFP vs SFP
FFP and SFP are two configurations of the scope that refer to location of the reticle within the lens.
FFP stands for ‘First Focal Plane’ and SFP stands for ‘Second Focal Plane’. The difference between the two is the effect on reticle when you zoom in or out.
In the case of FFP, as you zoom in or zoom out, the size of reticle changes. It either shrinks or extends. However, in the case of SFP, the size of the reticle remains the same regardless of zooming in or out.
This is the reason that SFP is found in scopes that have higher magnification power and are more precise. This makes them more suitable for long range shooting, such as hunting elks.
What is a night vision scope?
A night vision scope is defined as a device that produces images in levels of light approaching total darkness.
The night vision scope works by detecting small amounts of infrared light that are reflected off hunt/objects. It then amplifies them and forms them into a glowing green image.
- How much should I spend on the scope?
The rule of scope shopping is that you should spend half of what you spent on the gun. For instance, if you spent $500 on the gun, you should not spend more than $250 on the scope.
- What scope is ideal for Elk hunting?
A 3-9×40 scope should be enough for whitetails, mule deer, or elk. It is one of the best and most common scope magnifications for deer hunting.
- Why do I need a scope for hunting?
Scope is a necessity especially if you are hunting in open-plane with potentially long-range shots. Similarly if you are hunting in thicker woods and want full experience in times of low lights, you should get a scope for this too.
- Is POI affected by magnification?
Yes, POI may be affected by magnification. It is not supposed to change but it does. Movement depends upon focal plane and range of magnification.
- What’s better: leupold or vortex?
Vortex is new in the market, however much more affordable than Leupold. Leupold however has a very good reputation in the market and is known for its higher built quality. Ultimately it will come down to personal preference.
- Is a 50 mm scope better than a 40mm?
A 50 mm will collect more light, higher resolution, and a larger exit pupil. Diameter of the tubes does not really affect image brightness. However 30-40 mm are popular due to longer range as there is more range for reticle adjustment.
- How many inch-pounds do I need to tighten a scope ring?
The rule of thumb is to place rings as far apart as possible for a specific scope. Now that the rings are in the correct location, take the scope off, push ahead and tighten each ring.
- What happens if you over tighten scope rings?
If the scope rings are over tightened, they can deform the scope tubes, especially if they are 1-inch tubes. This results in erratic movement of the erector system
- What makes a rifle scope best for low light conditions?
Low light settings require light transmission. A scope with multi-coated lenses will work better. This is because multiple layers are added to every glass surface. Size of the objective lens also affects light transmission. Larger lens allows more light through.
- What type of scope do I need for 500 yards?
The minimum magnification needed for 500 yards is 5X. This is the bare minimum magnification and may not be ideal for low side stretched at 500 yards. Experts recommend a 10X magnification for a good shot.
The clear winner of our roundup is Simmons Truplex 8-Point. With 3X to 9X magnification and triplex reticle, it makes target hunting very fun and super easy.
In addition, it offers a good quality design at a very affordable price. The optics are fully coated and produce a bright and high contrast image. Another amazing feature is the ¼-MOA SureGrip audible click windage. This allows effortless elevation adjustments.
It is most loved by our team because of how easy it is to mount on your rifle. This makes it extremely user-friendly. Not only this, it is also waterproof, recoil proof and fog roof that just adds more value to its durability.