Top recommended hunting optics
Which optic should you be using?
There are countless reviews and opinions to be found about which optic is best. Let’s keep it simple: By focusing on specific features that you need for your hunt, you can make an informed decision and save big on the perfect optic. We sifted through thousands of reviews from guides, retail experts and dedicated hunters to find out more.
There’s a lot to consider when picking out a new riflescope. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we recommend keeping things simple by focusing on scope features that are useful in any scenario: lens clarity, turret quality and the ability to hold zero.
Experts appreciate the optical quality, durability and ease of use of this scope from Vortex Optics. Not to mention the exceptionally attractive price tag.
“This scope is at a sweet spot for magnification, size, weight, and price. Perfect for my 6.5 Grendel build without making it too heavy to carry hunting.”
Hunters targeting game at longer ranges will appreciate the clarity and light transference properties of the Cronus BTR GEN2 UHD from Athlon.
“This scope is more than expected. Awesome product with a great price. Performs with the higher end scopes for much less. Definitely get your moneys worth in this scope. Glass is amazing and adjustments are spot on. Love this scope.”
This exceptionally adjustable scope from ZEISS is loaded with features to provide accuracy in any condition.
“Love the glass, turrets, and overall build quality. I have compared it to some other $3k scopes and it holds its own easily. Great scope for PRS, NRL, and hunting. Reticle is well done also, and zero stop is straightforward. Parallax, magnification ring, and turrets all have perfect tension for adjustability.”
Depending on the terrain where you plan on hunting and your average sightline distance, an LPVO (low-power variable optic) may be an ideal choice for your next scope.
Immensely popular as an AR optic, the Strike Eagle 1-8×24 also makes a great hunting scope for short-to-mid-range applications.
“Well built and even better function for a multitude of environments and engagements.”
Steiner built the T6Xi 1-6×24 with quality-of-life features such as a throw lever, a forgiving eye relief and tactile turrets.
“This reticle is phenomenal on 1x and 6x. The reticle circle is a little in the way in between those magnifications. Considering this will be mostly a 1x scope for me, I am in love with it. When 6x is needed the glass is clearer that anything I’ve used. The EV pricing was way better than anything else I could find. This one is a winner!”
Known for legendary durability, Nightforce combined intelligent reticles with precision hold points and ZeroStop elevation in this LPVO.
“Nightforce never disappoints with clarity and overall build quality, this optic performs as expected and also exceeds. Solid adjustments and perfect size for my application.”
Binoculars are one of the important tools that a hunter can carry. From general scouting to identifying targets and tracking game, a good pair of binoculars are integral to the success of any hunt.
One of the highest-rated optics on ExpertVoice, the Diamondback HD 10×42 from Vortex is packed with high-quality optical performance features.
“Love the size, weight, and lenses for glassing sheds and wildlife!”
Athlon built the Midas G2 UHD with protective lens coatings, a magnesium alloy chassis and rubber armor for enhanced durability.
“Very suprised by the clarity. Light weight but sturdy. Alot of times you can tell quality the moment you hold something in your hands, these binos are one of those things. Very good in lower light. Easily better than some other brands I have used that cost a few hundred more.”
Experts appreciate the exceptional light transmission and superior clarity provided by the ZEISS CONQUEST HD 10×42.
“These will be perfect for hunting in the mountains. Excellent light transmission and very light and compact. They come with a nice case and carrying strap. Only drawback as far as I can tell so far after a couple of days of use are the covers for the front lenses.”
Spotting scopes give hunters an edge by providing a larger, and often clearer, field of view at greater distances than binoculars and riflescopes can. Great for spot-and-stalk scenarios, identifying game trails and even sighting in rifles, spotting scopes are an exceptionally versatile tool.
Another fan-favorite entry from Athlon, this affordable spotting scope provides a clear field of view and enhanced brightness at a budget price.
“Never having a spotting scope of this and not wanting to break the bank, this has been an awesome addition to the range equipment. Very clear optics and a nice set of lens covers and a zip up bag.”
This spotting scope from Burris features a built-in sunshade, a durable body and eyecup that can be adjusted to accommodate eyeglasses.
“This scope is the best scope I could find for my needs! I target shoot out to five hundred yards and my targets at that range are perfectly clear! I can see my shots on the target very well. I do not have to stop shooting and go to my target as many times as I did before.”
Vortex pulled out all the stops to create the premium Razor HD spotting scope. From premium lenses to enhanced optical elements, experts report that this straight spotting scope is a force to be reckoned with.
“From Sighting in rifles to spotting the perfect buck, this glass is awesome. Clear and easy to mount and use. I have no negatives.”
Ensure that you hit your mark by accurately calculating the distance between you and your target with a laser rangefinder.
This compact rangefinder from GSM Outdoors provides rapid, accurate readings out to 850 yards at an exceptionally accessible price point.
“The range finder is very intuitive to use, light weight and comes with a lanyard like a compact camera and a case with silent closure (no velcro). My only comment would be the display in my unit is too dark to see in the semi-darkness of my deer-hunting use-case, and I have to “laze and point at the sky” to read the range.”
Widely recognized as the one of the leading rangefinder brands, Leica employed premium-grade technologies and components to create this rapid, user-friendly laser rangefinder.
“Glass clarity at its best . Fits very comfortably in your hand and quick reading on distance. Will soon pair it with the Kestrel Ballistic meter for accuracy.”
Gear up for hunting season
Now that you’ve seen some of our expert’s top picks, it’s time to gear up for a successful season. Shop the entire hunting optics category to find the scope, spotter or binoculars that you’ve been looking for.
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Jacob Harlow has 14 years of law enforcement and firefighting experience under his belt and has been an ExpertVoice member for more than 12 of those years. He’s saved lives throughout his career, having taken part battling chemical fires, assisting in swift water rescues and more. Jacob sat down with ExpertVoice to share insights from […]Read More
ExpertVoice connects brands with retail and industry professionals, allowing the brands to engage with verified experts and offer them exclusive opportunities to learn more about their products, purchase them at discounted prices, and receive expert feedback through product reviews. Check out this quick-start guide and discover just how easy it is to learn and shop […]Read More
EXPERT PROFILE The Gear Junkie from Ohio Expert name: Dave Vet Affiliation: Law Enforcement & Tactical Training Occupation: Tactical Instructor Location: Cleveland, OH Date joined ExpertVoice: 2010 Meet Dave Vet, a retired law enforcement officer (LEO) and current tactical instructor from Cleveland, Ohio. Dave’s been an expert on ExpertVoice since before we were even ExpertVoice! […]Read More