Scopes and Optics

Top 5 Best Scope for Elk Hunting

Best Scope for Elk Hunting

Best of the Best Elk Hunting Scopes

An elk’s size might make you think the animal is slow, but do not be deceived. It is a pretty fast animal with a heightened sense of hearing, smell, and taste. To this end, you need to invest in the best scope for elk hunting in order for you to pack that tender game meat off the slopes. Having a hunting mindset is one part of the skill, investing in the best gear on the market is what sets you apart from other hunters. The best elk hunting scopes elevate your skills from one level to another.

We have compiled a list of the best elk hunting scopes on the market to help you make an informed buy. We will include the pros and cons of each scope so that you understand what you are investing in.

We have provided a list of different scopes because we understand that people’s hunting habits and choices are different. We also understand the fact that hunting skills and experiences vary from hunter to hunter so we have included something for everyone.

Here is a quick list if you are pressed on time

 

PRODUCT IMAGE PRICE
Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope
Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope

 

Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope
Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Riflescope Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Riflescope
Burris Veracity Riflescope w/ Ballistic E1 FFP Reticle

 

Burris Veracity Riflescope w/ Ballistic E1 FFP Reitcle
NightForce ATACR 5-25x56mm NightForce ATACR 5-25x56mm
Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope
Athlon Optics BTR 6-24×50 Direct Dial Side Focus FFP Athlon Optics BTR 6-24×50 Direct Dial Side Focus FFP
Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Rifle Scope Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Rifle Scope
Vortex Crossfire II 4-12×40 AO Rifle Scope Vortex Crossfire II 4-12x40 AO Rifle Scope

Best Scope for Elk Hunting Comprehensive Review

 

#1) Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope

Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope-Best Scope for Elk Hunting

 

 

This is one of the best elk hunting scopes for beginners and it is also budget-friendly. Well, if you compare its price with the rest of the scopes reviewed. It comes with features that place it right at the top of the best elk hunting scopes. For starters, it is fitted with a partially illuminated reticle that has 12 brightest settings. This allows you to use the scope in low-light conditions. The center mil-dot reticle is powered by an easy-to-find CR2032  battery. This means if ever the need arises to replace the battery, you won’t have to travel to a different country to find one. The turrets are zero resettable, locking, and have tactile and audible ¼ MOA click adjustments.

It is crafted from high-quality aluminum and it’s also waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. This means it is durable and can withstand the test of time. 

Features

  • Second focal plane
  • Tactile and audible clicks
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
  • Exposed turrets
  • Partial reticle illumination with 12 brightness sightings
  • 1-year warranty
  • 4-16x magnification
  • 44mm objective lens diameter

Pros

  • Tactile and audible clicks ensure windage and elevation adjustments are quick and easy
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Average optics clarity

 

 

 

#2) Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope

Bushnell Engage 4-16x44mm Rifle Scope

 

 

 

 

The Bushnell Engage 4-16×44 is in the best scope for elk hunting for many reasons. One, it comes with fully multi-coated optics and ultra-wideband coating for high-quality image clarity and brightness. Fully multi-coated optics allow maximum light transmission for clearer views. Additionally, the lenses are coated with the EXO barrier that repels dust, fog, oil, and dust. This contributes to the scope’s overall durability. 

Its 44mm objective diameter lets in the maximum light for brighter images while its wide zoom range allows you to comfortably hunt both at close range and medium range. With this scope, you can easily spot your target with its deploy MOA reticle.

Features

  • EXO Barrier lens coated optics for protection against dust and oil
  • An ultra-wideband coating 
  • Fully multi-coated optics for clear and bright views
  • Flip open eyepiece and objective covers
  • A 30mm tube
  • 42mm objective lens

Pros

  • High-quality lenses
  • Easy to reset to zero
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used to shoot at extended ranges

Cons

  • It’s price

 

 

 

#3) Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm Riflescope-Best Scope for Elk Hunting

 

 

 

 

There is a reason why this scope is a hunter’s favorite and one of the best scope for elk hunting. Leupold is a renowned brand known for high-quality optics for every scope they put on the market. It is a lightweight scope that ensures moving around is fast and precision is on point.

It is crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure this scope withstands rugged terrain and lasts a lifetime. The scope is fitted with Leupold’s Twilight Max light management system that delivers clear and bright views even in low light conditions. What’s more, its lenses feature the DiamondCoat 2 lens coatings that enhance image clarity and the scope’s durability. The lens edges are blackened for reducing scattered light hence increasing image clarity.

A twin bias erector spring is fitted to reduce backlash on the scope’s internal components. 

Features

  • Twilight max light management system for bright and clear views even in low light conditions.
  • DiamondCoat 2 lens coatings.
  • Completely waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
  • Crafted with 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum
  • A fast-focus eyepiece that is also lockable
  • Twin bias spring erector system

Pros

  • Made from durable material
  • Delivers high-quality images even in low light conditions
  • High image quality
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not ideal for long-range shooting
  • No zero-reset function

 

 

 

#4) Burris Veracity Riflescope w/ Ballistic E1 FFP Reticle

Burris Veracity Riflescope w/ Ballistic E1 FFP Reitcle

 

 

 

 

As one of the best scope for elk hunting, this Burris scope takes long-range hunting to a whole new level. This scope is among the best elk hunting scopes for its precision and reliability in the field.

It comes with a huge 50mm objective lens which is responsible for allowing maximum light transmission for bright image delivery. Its wide zoom range means you can spot that elusive elk from a long distance. The objective lens also provides a wide field of view and wide-ranging capabilities. 

It comes with state-of-the-art windage and elevation adjustment with true zero adjustments knobs.

Features

  • Fist focal plane
  • 50mm objective diameter lens
  • Shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof
  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Hi-Lume Multi-Coated optics
  • 30mm tube

Pros

  • A great reticle
  • Exemplary performance under low light conditions
  • Weather-resistant
  • High-quality finish

Cons

  • Might feel a little bulky

 

 

 

#5) NightForce ATACR 5-25x56mm

NightForce ATACR 5-25x56mm-Best Scope for Elk Hunting

 

 

 

This Nightforce scope is the best of the best scope for elk hunting. It comes with cutting technology that makes elk hunting easy and fun. 

For starters, its wide zoom range ensures you can ethically put down an elk from a distance. The 56mm objective diameter lens allows maximum light transmission for crisp, clear, and bright views. This huge objective lens is also great as it makes sure you can still utilize the scope under low light conditions. 

The eyepiece is fitted with a power throw Lever ( PTL) and an XtremeSpeed thread that makes diopter adjustments fast. 

It comes with a generous field of view so your eye is protected from injury. 

Features

  • Windage adjustments are capped
  • First Focal Plane
  • Parallax adjustment is marked with numbered distances
  • Digital reticle illumination
  • ED optics
  • 56 mm objective lens

Pros

  • Delivers high-quality images.
  • Its precision is unparalleled.
  • Wide zoom range
  • Acquires targets quick and easy
  • Unmatched durability

Cons

  • Pricey

Best Scope for Elk Hunting Buyer’s Guide

These are some of the features you should consider when looking for the best scope for elk hunting.

Lens Coating 

Lens coating is important in a scope. They protect the scope lenses from dirt or scratches which is great if you are hunting in the mountains or on rough terrain. Scopes come with different lens coatings but the best ones have anti-scratch and anti-reflective coatings. This helps in the scope’s durability and ability to withstand the taste of time. 

Scopes come in either coated lenses, fully coated lenses, or fully multi-coated lenses. Fully multi-coated lenses offer the best range and the best clarity of images/targets.

The Brand/ Manufacturer

Like with every other product on the market, you need to check the brand you are getting your elk hunting scopes from. You can go through their reviews to understand exactly what you are buying. Reviews are great for information about the brand’s credibility and actual reliability.  You should also ensure the brand has great customer service and are not rude to their customers. Great brands like Vortex, Leupold, or even NightForce optics are renowned for their great products and great product warranty. 

Durability

The best elk hunting scopes don’t come cheap. A scope is an investment and is with everything you put your money on, you want it to last. Hunting in general is an activity that requires well-built gear. Great scopes are crafted from high-quality materials like aircraft-grade aluminum to ensure they can withstand the test of time. While elk hunting, your scope is prone to physical factors like dust or accidental falls. This is why getting a well-crafted scope is important. Other features that contribute to a scope’s durability are, waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. You want a scope that can give you excellent performance even in harsh weather conditions. 

Magnification

The magnification you need for close range to medium range to long-range is different. A 3-9x is okay for close-range shooting while a 6-18x scope is great for long-range hunting. However, higher magnification ranges can be somewhat expensive. Magnification depends on the kind of hunter you are or want to be if you only hunt close arrange then getting a 5-25x scope might be overkill but if you typically hunt long-range then a 5-25x scope is perfect for you. Get a scope that perfectly suits your needs. 

Cost 

In today’s market, you will find budget-friendly scopes with high-end features. So you might not need to break the bank for the best scope for elk hunting. For beginners, you can buy a cost-friendly scope then as you improve on your skills and experience, you upgrade the scope to a better one. In as much as scopes are expensive, they are worth the investments but if you can’t afford an expensive one, there is always something for you on the market that works. 

 

Conclusion

The need for a scope while hunting elk can not be overemphasized. An elk’s fast pace and fierceness cannot be underestimated. They are also strong enough to cause you harm if you get too close. It goes without saying that getting too close to an animal can be incredibly dangerous while also being too far means you are not going to hit your target. Hence the need for the best scope for elk hunting. 

This review has some of the best elk hunting scopes on the market. For every skill set and experience, there is a scope for you. Whichever scope you decide to get, ensure it’s a good fit for you and your needs because what good is a scope for if it does not serve your needs.