Best Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting in 2018 (Every Price Range)

2020’s Best Rifle Scope for Elk Hunting (Every Price Range)

Elk hunting is one of my favorite hobbies. 

I used a pretty shoddy rifle scope when I started elk hunting, which made me miss plenty of elk I shouldn’t have. 

To avoid missing elk as often, I decided to do some research on rifle scopes and invest in a better one.

After researching, I bought a Leupold scope that I thought looked like what I needed. Once it arrived, I tested it out on my rifle. The testing led me to conclude that my odds of hitting an elk had definitely improved enough to justify the scope’s cost.

That whole story is what inspired me to write this review. 

Elk hunting is much more enjoyable when you know you are using the most reliable scope you can get so that when an elk does show up, you have a good chance of hitting it.

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x40 AO

Best budget scope for elk hunting.

Pros:

  • High quality glass;
  • Performs better than most budget scopes;
  • Excels in areas that are critical for elk hunting;
  • Water, fog, and shock proof.

Overview:

  • (Full statistics/specs of this scope can be seen on Amazon.)
  • (All of these ratings are relative to the price range.)
  • 10/10 Glass Clarity
  • 10/10 Eye Relief
  • 10/10 Durability
  • 10/10 Warranty
  • 10/10 Adjustments
  • 9/10 Reticle Design
  • 9/10 Light Gathering
  • 9/10 Zero Holding
  • 8/10 Size
  • 7/10 Weight

Cons:

  • With a budget scope, you get the disadvantages that come with it;
  • Not durable;
  • Can be unreliable.

A common mistake that buyers make when looking for a scope for elk hunting is thinking that they need a ton of magnification power, which is not true. The truth is that most elk you see will be relatively near your stand.

Because of elks tendency to appear close by, you want a scope with a low minimum power variable. I advise you to stay away from any scope that has a minimum power that’s above 5x. (The Vortex Crossfire II is a 4-12x, so it meets the qualifications.)

Now on to the review.

For elk hunting, the Vortex Crossfire II is one of the best budget scopes. Why? Well, it excels in multiple areas, all of which are very important for elk hunting. Granted, this scope’s glass might not be as clear as that of pricier optics, but if you’re looking for a solid budget option that’s good for elk hunting, this scope is what you need.

See this scope at Amazon if you want to read what customers have to say about the quality of this scope.

2. Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm CDS Wind-Plex

Best bang for the buck scope for elk hunting.

Pros:

  • It’s the best scope for elk hunting in this price range;
  • Plenty of eye relief;
  • Lifetime warranty;
  • Very durable;
  • Perfect magnification power;
  • Water, fog, and shock proof.

Overview:

  • (Full statistics/specs of this scope can be seen on Amazon.)
  • (All of these ratings are relative to the price range.)
  • 10/10 Glass Clarity
  • 10/10 Eye Relief
  • 10/10 Durability
  • 10/10 Warranty
  • 10/10 Weight
  • 10/10 Reticle Design
  • 9/10 Light Gathering
  • 9/10 Zero Holding
  • 9/10 Size
  • 8/10 Adjustments

Cons:

  • Glass quality is good, but not great.

Leupold is a reliable, well-known U.S. based company that is popular for making high-quality optics. When you buy from Leupold, you can always expect an amazing product and buying experience.

On to the review.

The 3.5-10 power is the perfect range for hunting elk. At 3.5x magnification, you’ll be able to see close elk, while at 10x you’ll be able to reach elk that are a long distance away.

Not only is there a community that really likes this scope, but I can vouch for its greatness, too. This is the scope I talked about in the intro. I used it for about ten years before upgrading to a higher priced Leupold, which, by the way, wasn’t worth the extra money because the VX-3i was just as good for elk hunting as it.

The VX-3i is an order of magnitude better than the Vortex scope I listed above. If you’re in a position where you can shell out some extra cash, the Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40mm is worth it. Click here (See at Amazon)  to read what people are saying about it on Amazon.

ALSO READ: “Best Binoculars for Elk Hunting in 2019”

3. Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 2-10x42 20 Plex Reticle

Best value scope for elk hunting on a high budget.

Pros:

  • It’s the best scope for elk hunting in this price range;
  • Perfect magnification power;
  • Water, fog, and shock proof.

Overview:

  • (Full statistics/specs of this scope can be seen on Amazon.)
  • (All of these ratings are relative to the price range.)
  • 10/10 Glass Clarity
  • 10/10 Eye Relief
  • 10/10 Durability
  • 10/10 Warranty
  • 10/10 Weight
  • 10/10 Reticle Design
  • 10/10 Light Gathering
  • 10/10 Zero Holding
  • 10/10 Size
  • 10/10 Adjustments

Cons:

  • Some people dislike the reticle design

This scope is a German masterpiece, born by modern technology. The technology used in this scope to make it such high quality is truly incredible.

This scope is a pretty big step up from the other scopes on this list (and the price reflects it). However, if you want a scope you can rely on with your life, this is the one, no doubt about it. 

There is not another scope in this price range that can compete with this scope, as far as elk hunting goes. This scope checks all the boxes for a good elk hunting scope, and then some.

If you want a beautiful scope that will last you a lifetime, the Carl Zeiss Optical Conquest HD5 2-10×42 20 Plex Reticle (See at Amazon) is an amazing pick. 

4. Leupold VX6.2-12x42 30MM

Best bang for the buck scope for elk hunting on an unlimited budget.

Pros:

  • It’s the best scope for elk hunting in this price range;
  • Perfect magnification power;
  • Water, fog, and shock proof.

Overview:

  • (Full statistics/specs of this scope can be seen on Amazon.)
  • (All of these ratings are relative to the price range.)
  • 10/10 Glass Clarity
  • 10/10 Eye Relief
  • 10/10 Durability
  • 10/10 Warranty
  • 10/10 Weight
  • 10/10 Reticle Design
  • 10/10 Light Gathering
  • 10/10 Zero Holding
  • 10/10 Size
  • 10/10 Adjustments

Cons:

  • No cons

This scope is absolutely stunning. It is one of the best scopes on the market for any use, but it’s especially great for elk hunting.

If you are willing to shell out a few bucks, this scope is the best on the market for hunting elk.

There aren’t many words I can say to describe this scope. It kind of speaks for itself, honestly. 

If you still need to be convinced of this scope’s greatness, read the reviews of it at Amazon.

What to Look for in an Elk Hunting Scope​

Elk hunting scopes need low, but variable, magnification power. The ideal scope would have power of 2-12.

The objective lens of a elk hunting scope shouldn’t be so big that it makes things complicated when moving.

You want a scope that will do well in rain, fog, and low light.

ALSO READ: “The Best Scope & Setup for a Crickett 22 (The Buyers’ Guide)

Conclusion

That wraps it up for my list of the best scopes for elk hunting. By choosing one of the scopes on this list, you ensure that you’re getting the best value scope for the price you pay.

I hope you found this article helpful, and as always, make sure to share this with your friends and family!