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The Best Scopes for Deer Hunting

Our Top Five List of Scopes Under $500

When it comes to whitetail hunting, you need patience, a reliable rifle, and a high-quality scope that’s true to its aim. As any experienced hunter will tell you, there’s nothing worse than sitting in a blind for several hours only to miss your shot when a deer finally wanders into your sights. If you miss, that’s likely the last time you’ll ever see it, so it’s important you set yourself up for success. That means using a scope made from premium components that provide the best optic quality. The better you’re able to see your target, the more likely you are to bring home your trophy.

We know there are plenty of scopes available on the market and the amount of options can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Not to worry, though. We’ve narrowed down the selection to our top five list of scopes to accommodate a range of budgets for whitetail hunting.

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm Rifle Scope

When we say that the Leupold VX-3i is one of the best rifle scopes on the market, we mean it. It has near-perfect customer ratings from both seasoned and casual hunters alike, and for good reason. It’s high-performance and rugged, but in an ultra-light package at only 13 ounces, which makes it one of the lightest scopes in its class.

This scope also features the Twilight Max Light Management System, which allows you to see your targets clearer than ever, even in low-light situations.

Other features of the Leupold VX-3i include:

  • Waterproof, shock proof, and fog proof
  • Impact tested and verified; composed of aircraft quality aluminum
  • Wide range of magnification options
  • Scratch resistant lenses
  • Easy turn power selector and precise adjustments
  • Elite optical performance with fast focus eyepiece
  • Performs in extreme climates (from -40°F to 160°F)

It is the most expensive rifle scope on our list retailing at around $350, but well worth it when considering its overall performance and the overwhelmingly positive customer feedback it’s received.

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Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10×50 SFP Rifle Scope

People love the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10×50 SFP Rifle Scope because it allows hunters an expanded view of their target area. It has a 50mm crystal clear lens and can offer magnification of up to 3.5-10x without blurring. Another big feature is the reticle being set at the second focal plane (SFP), which means it’s behind the magnification point and closer to the hunter’s eye. This makes it the perfect scope for short or mid-range deer hunting.

Other features of the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10×50 SFP Rifle Scope include:

  • Fast focus eyepiece for quickly zeroing in on your target
  • Excellent performance in low-light situations
  • Solid, one-piece construction for better durability (6061-T6 aluminum)
  • Waterproof, shock proof, and fog proof
  • Anodized matte finish allows hunter to remain stealthy

At a starting retail price of around $179, this makes the Vortex Optics Diamondback 3.5-10×50 SFP Rifle Scope a bargain considering what it has to offer. Other models in the Vortex Optics line are also available.

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Athlon Optics Talos 4-16×40 SFP Rifle Scope

The Talos is our next installment of great scopes you can get for under the $200 mark. Although a bit bulkier in size at 19.1 ounces, this scope ticks a lot of boxes that any seasoned deer hunter is going to look for in a scope. The scope is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which means it can take a fair amount of punishment.

You can also count on exceptional clarity. The lenses of the Talos are fully multi-coated to reduce reflected light, and have been tested to give hunters exceptional clarity in low light scenarios. A heat-treated, one-piece design gives this scope added strength compared to multi-piece scopes.

Other features of the Athlon Optics Talos 4-16×40 SFP Rifle Scope include:

  • 4x magnification range
  • Optimum brightness and clarity
  • Reticle etched on the glass
  • Nitrogen purging, which reduces fogging
  • Waterproof
  • High shock resistance

With a starting retail price of around $151, the Talos is another great choice for deer hunters looking for a quality scope that’s built with durability and low lighting in mind.

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Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope

To say that Bushnell Banner is an established brand would be an understatement. For over 70 years, they’ve been providing high-quality products at a reasonable price point. This is why we’re including the Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope on our list.

As the name implies, this scope is designed to perform in low-light situations via its Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses. Optic quality and clarity are well above the average scope, offering 3-9x magnification and 40mm lens. Hunters should have no trouble running deer in short or mid-range.

Other features of the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Rifle Scope include:

  • Multi-X (SFP) reticle
  • Waterproof, shock proof, and fog proof
  • Fast-focus eyepiece
  • Easy wind and elevation adjustments
  • 3.3 inches of eye relief

With a starting retail of around $89, this makes the Bushnell Banner scope a bargain for those trying to keep their hunting costs down.

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Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 Rifle Scope

The Simmons Truplex is last on our list and costs the least amount of money, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a reliable scope. The Simmons Truplex is widely regarded as one of the highest performing scopes you can get at its price point.

Although not quite as illuminated as the other scopes previously mentioned, the clarity and quality of image still remains high. It offers a magnification range of 3x to 9x with a 40mm objective lens. The scope is made of aircraftgrade aluminum with an additional coat of rubber for protection.

Other features of the Simmons Truplex 3-9×40 Rifle Scope include:

  • Compatible with most firearms using standard 1-inch rings
  • Fully-coated optics
  • Waterproof, shock proof, and fog proof
  • Truplex reticle

At a starting price point of $70, this scope is the clear choice for those who want a budget-friendly scope that’s capable of running deer with the best of them.

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Remember, when shopping for rifle scopes, you want to keep in mind the time of day, estimated range from target, and outdoor conditions. You also want to plan around your budget. If you’re not quite ready to invest in a rifle scope, remember that Kansas Trophy Outfitters provides our guests everything they need for running deer – from rifles to hunting clothes – so that you can come claim the trophy you’ve always wanted.

Book your hunt with us today!