5 Best Scopes For Elk Hunting

If you’re a fan of not only hunting game but also consuming the prize, then you definitely would be a lover of elk hunting. And to hunt down these beauties, you need the best scopes for Elk hunting.

Elks are amazingly delightful and pleasant to eat. However, these gorgeous creatures aren’t easy to hunt down out there in the wild. Your great hunting skills or numerous years of experience hunting don’t guarantee that you can always bring an elk back from your hunting expenditures.

So, what do you need to ensure that your expenditure is productive? What you need on your rifle is the best scope for hunting elks. Not every random scope you see in the market or get your hands on can help you accomplish your hunting expectations.

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The market certainly has a whole lot of scopes for hunting, however, we are talking about elks now, real quick and clever animals. What you need is an extraordinary scope to ensure you achieve a productive hunting expenditure.

How different is a scope used to hunt an elk? Scopes specially designed for hunting elks have a lot of added features to ensure that you take down these quick creatures. Coming to this part, What does an elk scope need to have to ensure that you don’t waste time out in the outdoors?

Foremost, an elk scope mounted on your rifle should be of a respectable brand, whose products speak quality and offers nothing but that. Do away with the misconception that scopes from established brands are more expensive, as there are substantial brands that have scopes of high quality at affordable prices.

Plus, when you buy a new scope you get a certified warranty for it, great value for your money, if you’d ask me.

Here are our top three reliable and durable best scopes for elk hunting.

Top 3 Best Scopes For Elk Hunting

Getting a low-quality scope is the genesis of myriad problems when hunting elks in the wild. Moving on, the lenses should be of even greater quality, to avoid fogging, coating or even scratches, which can lead to inaccuracies when shooting.

Also, know that there are various sizes of lenses, you pick the one you feel would be comfortable for your use when hunting. I’ll give an invaluable hunting tip, the larger the lens the more it can collect light and utilize it for magnification to be used in low light conditions.

Another tip is, with the wide size of your scope, the longer ranges the scope will cover. More so, the most essential of all, your scope should be highly durable to ensure that it survives the harshest of climate conditions.

It should be made of a strong material that ensures that your scope is water, shock, scratch, and fog-resistant. Speaking on the lens again, the lens of your rifle scope should be coated or protected, as this adds to its durability.

Lens coating could be for keeping scratches off or to prevent fogging. Likewise, the anti-reflective coating helps to avoid multiple or confusing visuals when aiming. To cap, your scope needs to possess a far reliable magnification range to ensure that the accuracy of shots isn’t compromised at all times.

With all of these features to look out for in the best scope for hunting elks, there still are a whole lot of scopes out there in the market that does not meet these expectations. Don’t be bothered, as I’ve got you covered. In this article, you see the 5 best scopes for elk hunting, which in the market has proved to be the best of bests.

So, without any further delay, let’s look at the leading scopes that cling to the best positions in the league of scopes.

5 Best Scopes for Elk Hunting (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Bushnell Engage Riflescope, Matte Black, 30mm Tube


  • Dimensions: 17.9 x 4.6 x 3.7 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 1.26 Pounds
  • Material: Matte Black aluminum

The next scope is made by the reputable Bushnell, accounting for the amount of quality this scope houses. First, it Deploys MOA Reticle, which helps the shooter get a clear vision, without obstructing the target picture.

Also, the lenses of this scope are multi-coated, to keep the standards of shooting in low light conditions. The multi-coatings help the lenses effectively utilize the light rays, at dawn and dusk to ensure that you have a clear sight of the target.

Likewise, the EXO barrier glass coating helps to repel substances, like water or oil, scratches, and fogging on the lenses. No matter the environmental condition of the place you’re hunting in, you can ever rely on the lenses of this scope, not to fog up or scratch, all thanks to the EXO barrier glass coat.

Bushnell Engage Riflescope

Now talking about the magnification, The zooming range is farther enough, which allows you to shoot at long distances, maintaining precision. Also, it incorporates a comfortable parallax adjustment just on the side of the scope. 

Plus the tactical windage and elevation turrets can both be locked to zero to avoid shifting when aiming at targets. The eye relief on this scope is also pleasant, as you can aim or hunt for as long as you want to and still have strain-free eyes.

This scope, like its predecessor, also resists impact. It can fall as many times as it wants when hunting, your scope would remain intact. Lastly, it is relatively heavy and also comes with a lifetime warranty from Bushnell.


2. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope – Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA) with Vortex Hat
  • The Diamondback 4-12×40 riflescope is one of multiple configurations in the Diamondback lineup and is ideal for big game, predator/varmint, muzzleloader, slug shotgun, and long range applications. Vortex Optics hat included, hat color may vary.
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern


  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches LxWxH
  • Weight: 1.4 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

The last contender on my list of the best scopes for hunting elks is this adorable piece by Vortex, USA. Like all other scopes on my list, this scope also incorporates features that will be of interest to you as an elk hunter.

So, What exactly is this scope all about? The first and most notable is the Fast focus eyepiece, which helps the hunter to have a steady, quick and constant aim at the target. Hunting elks requires all precision as well as speed. When your scope doesn’t give room for these, you know you’re holding an inferior.

This scope allows you to quickly focus your red dot on your target, in this case, the fast elks, and terminate. This scope by vortex doesn’t only guarantee quickly focused eyepiece but also durability. This scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminium.

Vortex Optics Diamondback

The material helps to strengthen your scope, making it resistant to water, scratch, and even fog. The implication being that your scope will be able to survive even the harshest of weather conditions.

Also, this scope comes with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle, which guarantees precision when hunting down quick prey.

Likewise, the multi-coated lenses ensure that your eyes never get off the target for whatever reason. The multi-coated lenses ensure that there are no reflections on the glass, which makes aiming stress-free.

Plus the audible click that can easily be reset to zero, this scope can be just the right one for your next hunting expenditure. Also, note that this scope falls on the pocket-friendly side of the spectrum.

Finally, with a Vortex VIP warranty, you’re given a lifetime warranty on every scope you purchase.


3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

Vortex Optics CF2-31015 Vortex Crossfire 2 4-12x44 Riflescope Deadhold BDC MOA , Black
5,475 Reviews
Vortex Optics CF2-31015 Vortex Crossfire 2 4-12×44 Riflescope Deadhold BDC MOA , Black
  • The 4-12×44 Crossfire II riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle is good for hunting/shooting at varying ranges where estimating holdover is a concern.
  • With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye box, you’ll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.


  • Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 3 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 1.4 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum

On the top of the most respected and reliable brands that makes scopes is the Vortex company, USA. This high-quality scope made by them has a lot of compartments that perform good work when hunting elks. This scope can be used to hunt the quickest of the game in the wild, especially fast animals like elks.

Recommended by a lot of professional hunters for its versatility and durability, also its affordability, this scope is certainly the most popular. What makes this scope sit on the gold position on my list? Let’s look at what this scope is all about; First I’ll talk about the affordability of this scope. This scope is the most budget-friendly of all on my list, also packed with a lot of functions that can make hunting easier.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

This scope offers high-quality materials and functionality while ensuring that you don’t break the bank to buy it. Amazingly, the pocket-friendly price does not determine whether the scope is high quality, durable, or not.

The next amazing component is the glasses on this scope. The image quality produced is excellent and the lens has a very high resolution that helps to acquire targets easier.

The lenses are fully multi-coated, to ensure that the image of the acquired target is clear and crisp, without any glare deformity. Likewise, the 32mm objective lens is substantial enough to ensure that magnification ranging from 200-yards to 1000-yards remains apparent all through.

Besides, the long eye relief that this scope offers is unmatched, when compared to other scopes that you’d find in the market. After long hours of aiming with this scope, the eye relief ensures that your eyes are still as healthy as ever, relieving the strain on the eyes.

Moving on, we see the lightweight, and compact size of the scope, which makes it easy to mount on your rifle. Weighing about 1.4 Pounds, this scope is just right for your rifle. Also, its compact size makes it comfortable to pack in your hunting backpack, reducing the load you’d have to carry when embarking on an expenditure.

The main focus here is on how to catch elks right? Definitely. And as you’ve read earlier, they are a quick set of creatures. The fast-focus eyepiece enables you to have an easy reticle focusing and in good time, to match the pace of the game. This scope ensures that the elks you’re aiming at never leave your sight, all thanks to the fast-focus eyepiece.

The fast-focus eyepiece allows you to quickly change your focus when the elks or other fast-moving game is on the run. Now, speaking on the durability of this scope, this scope is built from aircraft-grade aluminum, which ensures that the scope remains reliable.

In the making of this scope, its durability was made a priority. The scope incorporates an O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged body, which makes it both water and fog-proof. Also, due to the type of material used to make this scope, it can survive in any environment, cold or hot, without any scratches. To cap, this scope has a lifetime warranty from Vortex, so you’re sure you’d be getting the best value for your money.



  • Dimensions: 12.7 × 3 x 3 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 12.6 Oz
  • Material: Aluminum

The next scope on my list is also lightweight and easy to carry. This scope has a matte finish, made a very durable aluminium material which makes this scope highly reliable. Versatile and rugged, this scope can survive in the harshest of climate conditions and can also work in low-light environments.

The focus of this scope is unmatched as the red dot, with the fast-focus eyepiece makes it practically impossible for you to lose sight of your target. In its durable making, this scope, made from aircraft-grade aluminium, is water, fog, and scratch-resistant. It can withstand all environmental factors.

Also incorporated in this scope is the Twilight Max Light Management system, which helps in the regulation and proper utilization of light rays. The Twilight Max Light Management system facilitates light transmission, making it suitable for use even in low light environments.

Also, with the addition of the Twilight Max Light Management system, you don’t need to worry about having a glare deformity when aiming. Included in this scope is the Diamond Coat 2 lens coating, which guarantees protection to all lenses on the scope, making it reliable at all times.

LeopoldVX-3I 3.5-10X40 DUPLEX

At either dusk or dawn, you can ever rely on the lenses to give clear vision, all thanks to the Diamond Coat 2 lens coating. More so, to ensure that your scope is stable all through the shooting and aiming process, the scope has an inbuilt twin bias spring erector system.

The twin bias spring erector system restores stability to your scope and holds everything inside the scope together after firing. I think the major focus when constructing this scope was durability and reliability, because this scope delivers both well, and perfectly. Also know that it is easy to set the scope back to zero and the scope keeps this zero adequately.

Leopold guarantees a lifetime warranty when you purchase this scope, and it is assuring as well as reliable. However, the downside to this scope is that its magnification cannot be spanned for longer distances.


5. Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Riflescope 


  • Dimensions: 17.24 x 4.41 x 3.9 inches (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 16.8 oz
  • Material: Aluminum

This next scope by Leupold is another great scope, suitable for hunting down elks and other quick game in the wild. It has a lot of commendable features which a modern scope should have. This scope is high-end.

So, let’s see what this scope is all about. Foremost, the objective lens of this scope which is 42mm, is large enough to ensure that you have the widest view when aiming. Plus the clarity of the objective lens of this scope is unmatched.

The lenses found on this scope are protected with the Guard-Iron Rain Shedding coating, which helps to add to its durability. The Guard-Iron Rain Shedding coating ensures that your lenses are free of scratches, fogging or cracks. Also, it helps prolong the lifespan of the scope.

Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm Riflescope

Besides, the incorporated Twilight Max HD Management System, which is another cutting-edge technology in this scope, accounts for light transmission and utilization. The Twilight Max HD Management System utilizes some components to guarantee the brightest and clearest image possible when aiming.

Also, it helps to keep the image crisp and clear even when hunting in low-light environments, so you’re never caught with a blurry vision. Moving on, we see the amazing illuminated FireDot Duplex reticle, which houses seven illumination levels.

Plus the adjustment of the illuminated FireDot Duplex reticle is quite easy, making this scope even ideal to use in low light conditions. The illuminated FireDot helps to track and quickly aim at the game, so it never skips your sight even when in motion.

Amazingly, this scope is lightweight and offers rugged performance in the wild, just suitable for hunting quick targets. This scope is made of durable aluminium, which makes it rugged to survive the severity of the wild. It is water, shock, and also fog resistant.

Further, the scope resists impacting up to 5,000 impacts on the surface or terrain it strikes, making it the ideal scope to use when hunting in dangerous terrains. Also, the custom Dial System ZeroLock 2 technology, helps to keep the dial locked to zero and in quick time

The battery, all thanks to the  Motion Sensor Technology, is significantly helpful.  When the sensor detects that there’s no motion for 5 minutes, it goes off, and when a sensation is noticed, it comes on. Finally, the warranty for this scope is unlimited, lifetime. However, this scope is on the expensive side of the spectrum.



A 100-yards distance is quite on the shorter range shooting. Nevertheless, you still need to be accurate when aiming to kill the game. For a 100-yard range distance, the maximum magnification you need is 3x, that’s if you still have a healthy set of eyes. At the 3x magnification, even a pea-sized object can be shot at with all precision. However, if you’re experiencing any kind of eye problem, temporary or continual, then you can set the magnification of 100-yards to 9x

Shooting a thousand yards requires a lot, precision, excellent magnification ranges as well as a good rifle. A thousand-yard is a very long distance and to shoot at the distance, maintaining accuracy may be difficult. However, with the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50 SFP rifle scope, shooting for 1000-yards is reduced to a piece of cake. The scope has a magnification of 18x to 25x, making it easy to zoom into the target, aim, shoot, and accurately terminate the game.

Picking the magnification to use when hunting for elks in the wild largely depends on the distance your target is. For shorter-range distance, you can set the magnification of your scope to basic 3-9×40. At this magnification level, you can shoot well in closer range situations and shoot with all precision. However, for longer range shots when hunting elks, you can set your magnification to 4x, preferably 300-yards and above. Now, you know what magnification level you should fix your scope at when shooting at various ranges.


Elks, as adorable looking as these creatures are, they’re not as easy to hunt down. They are quick and very intelligent, making it almost impossible to catch them unawares. Possibly, you’ve been hunting elks for a long time and you feel that you have enough experience in the wild.

I tell you that your presumed possessed experience can not always guarantee that you catch elks. As it has been established in this article, you need the best scope you can get your hands on to hunt down these adorable creatures.

5 best scopes for elk hunting have been reviewed and ranked in this article according to the amazing features they offer when hunting elks. The best scope, as you have seen, must have a good magnification range, made of high-quality materials from the body to the lenses. Also, you should be able to use the best scope under low light environments at any time of the day, from dusk to dawn.

I hope that after reading through and making your decision on the best scope for elk hunting, your hunting expenditures will yield more game. Make your thorough research on each product and how well it suits your hunting desires. And I hope on your next elk hunting, you pick one of 5 of these amazing scopes.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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