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Deer hunting has evolved over the years, and with that, so has the technology used by hunters. In 2023, having the best optics is more important than ever to ensure a successful deer hunt ever. In this blog post, you will gain a fresh perspective on the best scope for deer hunting, factors to consider when choosing one, and additional optics to enhance your hunting experience. Get ready to discover the ideal deer hunting scope for your next adventure.

Short Summary

  • Find the best hunting scope for 2023 – Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42 is the overall best, Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30×56 for long range, Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm as budget friendly and CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope as lightweight option.

  • Consider factors such as magnification range, objective lens size, reticle type & durability/weather resistance when selecting a scope.

  • Properly mount & zero your scope to enhance performance. Use additional optics like red dots & rangefinders to improve success in field.

Best Rifle Scopes for Deer Hunting

In 2023, the market is filled with a variety ofscopes, each with its unique features catering to different hunting styles and preferences.

The Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42 stands out as the best overall rifle scope for deer, thanks to its advanced features, push-button illumination, and lifetime warranty.

For long-range hunting enthusiasts, the Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30×56 offers a first focal plane reticle, large 56mm lens, and dual illumination in red and green.

Budget-conscious hunters can opt for the Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm rifle scope, which provides True Zero technology and a good contrast and max magnification at an affordable price, albeit with some eye relief and clarity trade-offs.

Lightweight options like the Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44 Rifle Scope also cater to hunters who prefer a scope that won’t weigh them down on long treks. This budget-friendly option has a maximum magnification of 24x and an illuminated reticle, but its minimum magnification is 6x, and eye relief can be sharp.

With such a diverse selection of scopes available to hunt deer with, it’s crucial to understand the factors to consider when choosing the perfect deer hunting optic.

Best Overall Rifle Scope for Deer: Vortex Razor HD LHT

Vortex Razor HD LHT

Key Features

  • Magnification: 3-15x

  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm

  • Max Windage and Elevation Adjustments: 80 MOA

The Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42 is the top choice for deer hunting in 2023 due to its sophisticated features, push-button illumination, and lifetime warranty.

This scope boasts a 30mm tube, a fast focus eyepiece, and a 4x zoom ratio. The EBR-7C reticle with a center illuminated dot allows for easier target acquisition in low light conditions, and the push-button illumination feature helps reduce weight.

With a magnification range suitable for Eastern woodlands whitetail, open-country mule deer hunters, and the midwestern deer hunter, the Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42 offers great versatility. Its first focal plane reticle ensures holdover points remain consistent, regardless of the magnification setting.

This premium scope guarantees a reliable and accurate hunting experience, making it the best overall scope for hunting.

Best Long-Range Rifle Scope for Deer: Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30×56

Trijicon Tenmile

Key Features

Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30×56 rifle scopes are ideal for long-range shots while hunting or during competition, featuring first focal plane MOA and MRAD Precision Tree reticles, a large 56mm lens, and dual illumination in red and green. The 56mm lens with ED glass ensures increased light, brightness, and color fidelity.

The Trijicon Tenmile 4.5-30×56 is a mid-range, moderately priced scope with a lifetime warranty to the original owner, and the electronics are warrantied for five years from the date of manufacture.

Its performance, durability glass quality, and reliability make it the best long-range scope for deer hunting in 2023, ensuring accurate shots at greater distances.

Best Budget-Friendly Rifle Scope for Deer: Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm

Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50

Key Features

Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm rifle scopes are an affordable option for deer hunters who want performance without breaking the bank.

With a magnification range of 3x to 9x, it caters to most hunting scenarios. Its TrueZero technology ensures the scope maintains zero even in challenging conditions, offering reliability and accuracy at a lower price point.

However, the Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm rifle scope does have some trade-offs, including eye relief and clarity.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly scope that still offers decent performance, the Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm rifle scope is worth considering.

Best Lightweight Rifle Scopes for Deer Hunting: LEUPOLD VX-5HD 3-15×44

Leupold VX scope for deer hunting

Key Features

  • 100% Waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof

  • ZeroLock CDS (Custom Dial System) – Simplifies longer shots by eliminating the need for holdovers or ballistic calculations by using a dial that is customized to your rifle and ammo.

  • Twilight Max HD Light Management system – Adds up to 30 minutes of shooting light, best in class glare reduction, and edge to edge HD lens clarity.

  • Side Focus Parallax Adjustment – Fast, easy parallax focusing from any shooting position.

The Leupold VX-5HD 3-15×44 is a high-end rifle scope recognized for its exceptional performance and reliable durability. This scope offers a magnification range of 3 to 15x, giving shooters versatility for various shooting distances.

The 44mm objective lens ensures a generous light intake, thus providing a bright and clear field of view, even under challenging lighting conditions. Its HD (High Definition) lenses are designed to offer improved color, contrast, and brightness for superior optical quality. The scope’s construction is waterproof and fog-proof, making it suitable for use in diverse environmental conditions.

Additionally, the VX-5HD 3-15×44 includes Leupold’s Custom Dial System (CDS), enabling shooters to quickly dial their elevation to different sight-in ranges with a custom adjustment matched to their specific ballistics information. This feature allows for exceptional precision and adaptability in the field.

With its blend of advanced features, this Leupold scope is highly esteemed by shooting enthusiasts and hunters alike for its excellent functionality.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Rifle Scope

Selecting the perfect scope requires careful consideration of various factors. Each hunter’s needs and preferences differ, so it’s essential to understand which features will benefit your hunting style and environment the most.

In this section, you will learn about the key factors to consider when choosing a scope, including the magnification range, objective lens size, reticle type, and durability and weather resistance.

The magnification range plays a crucial role in ensuring that you can clearly see your target at different distances. For most whitetail hunting scenarios, a magnification range between 3x and 9x is sufficient, but a range of 4x to 12x is suitable for longer shots if you have experience.

The objective lens size also affects your hunting experience, with larger lenses providing better light transmission for low light conditions and longer range shots, but potentially hindering proper shooting form.

Reticle type is another important factor to consider based on your hunting style and geographical location. Bullet drop compensating (BDC) reticles are popular for medium-range shooting and tracking moving game.

Durability and weather resistance are essential for hunting scopes, as hunting often takes place in harsh outdoor conditions. Opt for scopes with ED glass and multi-coated surfaces for clearer, brighter image.

Magnification Range

The magnification range of your optics plays a vital role in ensuring clear target visibility at different distances.

For most whitetail hunting scenarios, a magnification range between 3x and 9x is adequate. However, if you’re an experienced hunter aiming for longer shots, a range of 4x to 12x is more suitable.

Keep in mind that more magnification isn’t always better, as it can also result in a narrower field of view and decreased image quality.

When selecting a scope with the appropriate magnification range, consider the quality of the glass, the size of the lens, and the range of magnification that will be used most frequently.

A scope with a mid-range magnification and high-quality glass will provide a clear, bright image, ensuring you can easily spot and track your target.

Objective Lens Size

The size of the objective lens in your optics is crucial for maximizing the transition of light, which directly affects the brightness and clarity of your sight picture.

A larger objective lens can provide a broader field of view and transmit additional and more light through, making it advantageous for hunting in low light conditions.

However, a smaller objective lens may be more suitable if you’re looking for a lighter, lower-profile scope.

Most deer hunters should opt for an objective lens size between 40-50mm. This size range offers a good balance between light transmission and weight, ensuring you can comfortably carry your rifle and scope while still benefiting from the improved visibility that a larger lens provides.

Reticle Type

The reticle type in your scope can greatly impact your accuracy and ease of use when aiming at a deer. There are various reticle types available, such as duplex, ballistic, and tree reticles.

The most suitable reticle type depends on your hunting style and geographical location, with BDC reticles being particularly popular for medium-range shooting and tracking moving game.

BDC reticles are designed with holdover points that allow you to compensate for bullet drop at various distances, making them ideal for hunters who frequently engage targets at different ranges.

Make sure to choose a reticle type that complements your hunting style and preferences for the best results.

Durability and Weather Resistance

A durable and weather-resistant scope is essential to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, accidental drops, and recoil.

Opt for scopes constructed from robust materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel, and look for waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof features. These characteristics will ensure your scope is a dependable and long-lasting investment that performs reliably in various hunting situations.

ED (Extra-low dispersion) glass and multi-coated surfaces can effectively reduce chromatic aberration and improve light transmission, resulting in a clearer and brighter image.

Additionally, scopes with a solid zero retention system will maintain their zero even in challenging conditions, ensuring consistent accuracy throughout your hunt.

By prioritizing durability and weather resistance, you’ll be well-equipped for a successful hunting experience.

How to Properly Mount and Zero Your Hunting Scope

Properly mounting and zeroing your scope is crucial for accurate target acquisition and shot placement.

A scope that is not correctly mounted or zeroed can lead to missed shots or wounded game, so it’s essential to take the time to set up your scope correctly.

In this section, you’ll learn about the proper techniques for mounting and zeroing your optics to ensure optimal performance. Mounting techniques include using rings, bases, and mounts, with the latter two providing more stability and accuracy.

Once your scope is securely mounted, zeroing involves adjusting windage and elevation turrets for accurate shots, which becomes more critical when the target is farther away.

By taking the time to properly mount and zero your scope, you’ll maximize your chances of a successful hunting experience.

Mounting Techniques

There are several mounting techniques available for attaching your scope to your rifle. The most common method is to secure the bases and rings with screws using socket heads or Torx wrenches.

Rings are used to attach the scope to the rifle, and it’s important to choose the appropriate size and shape for your rifle and scope.

Alternatively, you can use bases and mounts for increased stability and accuracy. Bases and mounts are affixed to the rifle, and the scope is then connected to the base or mount.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to verify that the threads and rings are compatible with your scope and that they are securely tightened to prevent damage to the scope.

Zeroing Process

Zeroing your scope is essential for ensuring it is aligned with the barrel of your rifle for accurate target acquisition.

The process involves aligning the scope’s crosshairs with the center of the target at a predetermined distance, usually 100 yards, by adjusting the scope’s settings.

Windage and elevation turrets must be manipulated to align the crosshairs with the center of the target.

To ensure precise zeroing, use a solid rest or sandbags to support the rifle and provide stability.

By properly zeroing your scope, you’ll improve your accuracy and precision, increasing the likelihood of a successful and ethical shot on your next hunting adventure.

Enhancing Your Hunting Experience with Additional Optics

In addition to a quality scope, there are other optics that can enhance your hunting experience and improve your chances of success in the field.

Red dots sights and rangefinders are two such options, each offering unique benefits and advantages for deer hunters. In this section, we’ll explore these additional optics and how they can complement your hunting scope.

Red dots provide precision, forgiveness, and are best suited for close-up hunting situations. They can be particularly useful for quick target acquisition in fast-paced hunting scenarios, such as tracking moving game. Rangefinders, on the other hand, are invaluable tools for measuring the distance to your target, ensuring accurate shot placement and ethical hunting practices. Laser rangefinders are the most accurate and reliable option for determining distance to targets.

By incorporating additional optics like red dot sights and rangefinders into your hunting setup, you can further increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable hunting experience. These tools, combined with a high-qualit hunting scope, will provide you with the confidence and accuracy needed to make every shot count.

Red Dot Sights

Red dot sights are an excellent addition to your hunting arsenal, providing increased precision and quick target acquisition in close-range hunting situations.

With a 4 MOA dot being ideal for shots up to 50 yards and a 2 MOA dot being better suited for longer distances, red dot sights cater to a variety of hunting scenarios and preferences.

There are several red dot sight options available, such as the cost-effective Holosun HS403R Micro Red Dot and the EOTech EXPS2 Holographic Weapon Sight, which offers on-the-fly ranging with its speed ring.

By incorporating a red dot sight into your hunting setup, you’ll enhance your ability to quickly and accurately acquire targets in close-range hunting situations.


Rangefinders are a crucial addition to your hunting toolkit, as they enable you to accurately measure the distance to your target, ensuring precise and ethical shot placement.

Laser rangefinders are the most accurate and reliable option, making them an essential tool for deer hunters.

When selecting a rangefinder, consider factors such as magnification range, objective lens size, reticle type, and durability and weather resistance.

By utilizing a rangefinder in conjunction with your hunting scope, you’ll have the information necessary to make accurate and ethical shots, improving your overall hunting success.


In conclusion, investing in the right hunting scope and additional optics can greatly enhance your hunting experience and improve your chances of success in the field. From the best overall scope, the Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42, to budget-friendly and lightweight options, there is a scope to suit every hunter’s needs and preferences. By considering factors such as magnification range, objective lens size, reticle type, and durability, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect scope for your next hunting adventure. So don’t wait any longer – equip yourself with the right tools and embark on a successful and enjoyable hunting experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size scope is best for deer hunting?

For hunting deer, a 3-9×40 scope is generally the best option. It allows the hunter to switch between higher magnification for shots at longer range and lower magnifications for the short distances that are typical of deer hunting. Its wide field of view helps hunters spot movement in low light conditions.

What is the best scope for deer hunting with an AR?

For deer hunting with an AR, the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 is the best scope available. Its features and quality optics make it ideal for getting accurate shots in any weather conditions. With its long-range capabilities and superior performance, the Nikon P-223 is sure to give you the edge on your next hunting adventure.

What reticle is best for deer hunting?

For deer hunting, I recommend using a reticle that is clean and has thick, crisp horizontal lines below the center crosshair. My go-to choice is typically Mil Dot or MOA style reticles since they offer clear accuracy.

I like to zero in my scope at 100 yards when sighting in the reticle for the hunt. Ultimately, the best reticle for deer hunting comes down to personal preference.

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