Best Spotting Scopes For Hunting

best spotting scopes for hunting

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The best spotting scopes for hunting can play a major role in a successful hunt. Spotting scopes, with their enhanced magnification and detail clarity, offer a keen advantage in tracking and creating a game plan from considerable distances.

Best Spotting Scopes For Hunting - Top Picks

(Full List Below)

Best Spotting Scopes - Full List

  • 20-60×85, Angled Body
  • Redesigned Diamondback HD optics
  • Multiple anti-reflective coatings on all surfaces
  • Comfortable adjustable eyecups
  • Tripod adaptable and Arca-Swiss compatible
  • Waterproof and fogproof, with Armortek lens coatings

The Vortex Optics Diamondback HD is a bowhunter’s dream. With its HD optics, it lets you make out every detail, whether you’re hunting in the early morning or just before dusk.

I appreciate the eyecups – comfortable even when you’ve got your glasses on. Plus, it’s adaptable to tripods and compatible with Arca-Swiss mounts. My buddies and I love this feature.

It’s waterproof and fog-proof, so no need to baby this one. Also, those lenses are armored with Armortek coatings. Talk about built to last.

I’d say with its high quality, combined with its features, the Vortex Optics Diamondback HD one of the best spotting scopes for hunting on the market.

  • 20-60×85, Angled Body
  • Built-in sun shade reduces glare
  • Both coarse and fine focusing adjustment
  • Adjustable eyecup for eyeglass wearers
  • Lightweight, durable, armored design
  • Angled eyepiece with rotating tripod mount

As a bowhunter, I appreciate gear that’s built tough, like the Burris Signature HD Spotting Scope. This thing’s got an armored design, which means it’s durable enough to handle the unpredictable conditions in the woods but light enough that won’t weight you down when trekking through the terrain. When it comes to hunting spotting scopes, this one stands out for its practicality and durability.

It’s got an angled eyepiece that rotates on the tripod mount, making it easier to spot targets from all sorts of positions, and the adjustable eyecups are integrated for glasses wearers.

It even comes with a built-in sun shade to reduce glare and dual focus options, so you can fine-tune your view. It’s the kind of thoughtful design that makes a difference when you’re out in the field.

If you’re interested in learning more about this spotting scope, check out my full review of the Burris Signature HD here.

  • 20-60×65, Straight Body
  • Brightness: Best in class
  • Fully multi-coated for clear images
  • Bak-4 Porro Prism system
  • Waterproof for all-weather use
  • Sunshade and objective cover built-in
  • Compact tripod with window mount included

In the field, the Trophy Xtreme 20-60×65 Spotting Scope is the real deal. It’s bright, it’s tough, and it’s got a price that won’t make you wince. When talking about the best spotting scopes for elk hunting, the Trophy Xtreme deserves a mention.

Its 20-60x magnification range and large 65mm objective lens ensure you’ll pick out that distant trophy buck nestled in the brush or observe subtle bird behavior. It’s equipped with a full multi-coated lens to offer a clear and bright image even in less-than-perfect light conditions. And when the weather gets rough?

No worries. This scope is waterproof and built to withstand the elements. A portable ally for bowhunters, the Xtreme also includes a compact tripod and protective cases, so it’s always ready to roll when you are.

Its sturdy design, brightness, and price make it an all-around solid choice for us bowhunters who appreciate quality gear that won’t break the bank.

  • Waterproof and fogproof
  • High Definition, calcium-fluoride lenses
  • Tripod-ready with built-in adapter port
  • Easy-grip rubber armor coating

With the Leupold SX-2 Alpine HD 20-60x60mm Angled Spotting Scope, you get a balance of performance and practicality. This one stands out among the best spotting scopes for hunting.

Its 100% waterproof and fogproof design ensures it can handle whatever weather you’re hunting in. The high-definition calcium-fluoride lenses deliver incredible clarity at all magnification levels, bringing your target into sharp focus.

It’s tripod-ready, with a built-in 1/4-20 rotatable tripod adapter port that makes it easy to mount when you need stable, hands-free viewing. Plus, the rugged rubber armor coating provides a reliable grip and added durability. With this scope, every hunt becomes an exciting adventure.

  • 20x to 60x dynamic zoom capability
  • Fully multi-coated 80mm green film lens
  • Nitrogen filled, waterproof and fog-proof design
  • Includes smartphone digiscoping adapter
  • Sturdy full metal tripod included

Out of the box, this Gosky Spotting Scope is the real deal. It’s got a zoom range of 20x to 60x, meaning no matter how far off your target is, you’ll have a clear shot.

The 80mm green film lens is a godsend when you’re stuck in low-light situations. Not to mention, this baby’s waterproof and fog-proof – won’t even flinch when the weather’s against you.

For the bowhunter on a budget, this is an affordable spotting scope that doesn’t compromise on quality or functionality.

Got a good shot? Snap a photo or take a video with the digiscoping adapter. And the solid metal tripod? It’s just the cherry on top. Keeps your scope steady when the adrenaline’s rushing.

  • Vivid HD images, XR anti-reflective coatings
  • Smooth helical focus
  • Built-in sunshade to reduce glare
  • Multi-position eyecup, locking collar
  • Waterproof, fogproof, and scratch-resistant

The Vortex Optics Viper HD Spotting Scope comes packed with features that make it a reliable tool for any bowhunter.

Its HD optical system produces vivid high-definition images, and the XR anti-reflective coatings on exterior surfaces deliver brighter views in low-light situations.

The smooth helical focus offers ultra-sharp viewing and maintains a trim profile for ultimate packability.

It also comes with a built-in sunshade to reduce glare, a multi-position eyecup, and a locking collar for different viewing positions.

With O-ring sealed and argon purged construction, it ensures waterproof and fogproof performance. The Armortek coatings protect the lenses from oil, scratches, and dirt, while the rubber armor enhances both durability and grip.

For those after quality and reliability, Vortex spotting scopes, like this Viper HD, really stand out in the field.

  • 25-75x zoom for broad to focused viewing
  • 70mm large object lens with extendable sunshade
  • IP65 waterproof and non-slip finish
  • Includes phone adapter and portable desktop tripod
  • Lightweight and portable design

This SVBONY SV28 Spotting Scope is made for a bowhunter who wants versatility. With its 25-75x zoom, it’s like having a wide-angle and a telephoto lens all in one.

The 70mm lens pulls in plenty of light, and the extendable sunshade keeps the glare out of your eye. It’s waterproof too, so don’t sweat the sudden showers. And the non-slip finish?

That’s a big help when the going gets wet. With the included phone adapter, you can share your hunts with everyone back home. The portable desktop tripod is just what you need for steady, hands-free viewing.

With its impressive features and versatility, it’s no surprise that the SVBONY SV28 makes the list of best spotting scopes for hunting.

  • Adjustable 20x to 60x magnification
  • Fully multi-coated lens, BAK4 roof prism
  • Durable, non-slip, shock-proof construction
  • Built-in retractable sunshade
  • Waterproof and fogproof

This Emarth spotting scope brings the wilderness up close and personal. It’s equipped with a powerful zoom range, adjustable from 20x to 60x, letting you see distant deer as if they’re right next to you.

The 45-degree angled eyepiece makes for comfortable viewing. The fully multi-coated lens, coupled with a BAK4 roof prism, offers bright, clear, high-contrast images even in low-light situations.

The high-quality rubber armor provides a non-slip grip and durable protection. The built-in retractable sunshade reduces glare, and with it being waterproof and fogproof, you don’t have to worry about weather conditions.

Clearly, with the reviews the Emarth spotting scope has received, it’s one of the leading hunting spotting scopes on the market when it comes to enhancing your hunting experience at a price anyone can afford.

  • Allows multiple users to view shots
  • Save and review each shot sequence
  • Self-generating Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Comprehensive Target Manager app
  • Requires permissions acceptance post app-installation

The SME WiFi Spotting Scope Camera, with its user-friendly features, can take your bowhunting experience to a whole new level.

It allows you to see each shot or group of shots clearly, and even enables multiple users to shoot the same target, perfect for a hunting party.

It can save and review each shot sequence for you to analyze your shooting sessions. The self-generating Wi-Fi hotspot is a godsend when you’re out in the woods.

The provided Target Manager app is a full-featured app that’s free to use. It’s one of the easiest to use and best spotting scope cameras you’ll find. And it’s priced relatively cheap, too.

Why Magnification Matters: Choosing the Right Range for Hunting

When you’re out in the field, hunting spotting scopes can provide a level of detail that makes a significant difference in your success rate. Magnification, the ability of a spotting scope to enlarge the image of a distant object, is one of the most critical aspects to consider. Magnification typically ranges from 15x to 60x. Lower magnification provides a wider field of view, which is great for scanning landscapes, while higher magnification is ideal for detailed observations of specific targets.

The best spotting scopes for hunting often feature a zoom lens, allowing for variable magnification to adjust according to your needs. For instance, you might use a lower setting to locate a herd of elk, then dial up the power to assess the body and rack size of individual bulls. This makes them a key tool in the arsenal of any serious bowhunter.

However, remember that higher magnification often comes with trade-offs like a narrower field of view and poorer performance in low light conditions. Therefore, balancing your need for detail with practical limitations is key to choosing the right spotting scope for hunting.

Lens Quality and Its Impact on Your Hunt

The quality of the lens on your spotting scope can mean the difference between a successful hunting trip and going home empty-handed. With the best spotting scopes, you can expect a lens that has been multi-coated or fully multi-coated for maximum light transmission, resulting in a brighter, clearer image. High-quality lenses also help to produce sharper images with better contrast and more accurate colors, providing vital details about your target.

One of the most reputable brands in this regard is Vortex because Vortex spotting scopes are known for their high-quality lenses that deliver exceptional image quality. However, a higher-quality lens often comes with a higher price tag. Keep in mind, though, that investing in good glass is often worth the cost, as it can significantly increase your spotting and success rate.

Weatherproof Features: Navigating Fogproof and Waterproof Hunting Scopes

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and often, the best spotting scopes for elk hunting or any hunting, in general, are the ones that can stand up to the elements. Waterproof scopes are sealed to keep out moisture, which is crucial if you’re hunting in wet or humid conditions. Fogproof scopes, on the other hand, are filled with nitrogen or argon gas to prevent the lenses from fogging up due to temperature changes. This is critical for early morning hunts when the temperature can fluctuate.

Cheap spotting scopes might skimp on these features, but if you’re serious about hunting, a scope that can handle harsh conditions is a worthy investment. You never want to miss a perfect shot because your scope fogged up or got damaged by rain.

Tripod Compatibility: A Key to Steady Viewing

When it comes to spotting scopes, the importance of a stable platform cannot be overstated. No matter how good your scope is, it’s not going to be much use if it’s shaking while you’re trying to get a bead on that trophy buck. That’s why compatibility with tripods is an essential feature to consider when choosing a spotting scope.

The best spotting scopes for hunting usually offer a variety of mounting options to work with different tripods. Some even come with their own tripods for ease of use. Consider your hunting style and whether you’ll be stationary or on the move, as this will dictate the type of tripod you’ll need.

Eyecups and Eye Relief: Ensuring Comfort during Long Observation Periods

If you wear glasses or expect to be using your spotting scope for extended periods, factors like eyecups and eye relief become significant. Eye relief is the distance from the rear eyepiece lens to your eye at which the full field of view remains visible. The best spotting scopes have longer eye relief, making them more comfortable for those who wear eyeglasses.

Adjustable eyecups that can be twisted up and down enhance comfort for both glasses wearers and non-glasses wearers. They allow you to maintain the correct eye relief distance without straining your eyes or having to remove your glasses.

Budget Considerations: Finding Quality Spotting Scopes Without Breaking the Bank

High-quality spotting scopes can be an investment, and while you often get what you pay for, it’s possible to find affordable options that still offer great performance. Cheap spotting scopes can still be of good quality, particularly if you’re a beginner or on a budget.

When it comes to hunting spotting scopes, it’s a good idea to consider what features you actually need. High-end models come with many advanced features that can push the price up, but if you don’t need them, why pay for them?

Top Brands and Models: A Look at the Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting

There are a variety of brands and models when it comes to spotting scopes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. However, some brands consistently stand above the rest. Vortex spotting scopes is one such brand. They’re known for their excellent image quality and durable build.

But ultimately, the best spotting scopes for hunting are the ones that best meet your specific needs. Consider factors like magnification, lens quality, durability, and of course, price. By weighing these factors, you can find a spotting scope that’s a perfect match for your hunting style.

Angled vs Straight Spotting Scopes

The debate between angled vs straight spotting scopes is a long-standing one among hunters. Straight scopes, where the eyepiece and the body are aligned, are more intuitive to use and quicker to set up. This can be crucial when time is of the essence, such as tracking moving game.

Angled scopes, with the eyepiece set at a 45 or 90-degree angle, are more comfortable for extended use and allow for a lower tripod setting, making them less susceptible to wind. They also facilitate shared use, as they can accommodate users of different heights without adjusting the tripod.

Whether angled or straight is better largely comes down to personal preference and the specific hunting situations you’re likely to encounter. It’s always a good idea to try out both types before making a purchase to see which one suits you better.

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