Best Scope for Elk Hunting

A mere mindset is not enough and one needs a proper set of gears to adapt to the particular skill level of elk hunting.

Unlike the easier prey like rabbits and squirrels, these relatively near-standing 800 lbs mountain beasts might surprise you with their pace. And it calls for the best elk hunting scope to get extremely tender elk meat being packed off the slopes.

We have researched a number of scopes to narrow down the list of the best scope for elk hunting to the top 10.

This guide is designed to be a resource that can help you find the best scope for elk hunting available. We have spent hours researching and trying out the products. The wear-testing included the highlights and features, pros and cons, and of course the objective side of having the best gear.

With that being said, every person’s choice and hunting habits are different. More importantly, every person’s skill set and experience levels are unalike. Considering that, we have provided a variety of best scope for elk hunting to choose from.

Editor’s Choice

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44

Vortex Optics gets the best scope award from us for its versatility. This scope is suitable for any elk hunters regardless of their experience and skill set. This is easy to set up and use, has 3x magnification for both short and long-range targets, and is highly adjustable for users’ comfort.


It is audible and repeatable during adjustments. This scope’s setting to zero is instant.

This scope is also one of the best in the world for elk hunting because of its efficiency in any weather conditions. It is fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof which adds to the durability. The degree of accuracy is unparalleled. The only downside is the limited field view which can be quite a hassle in the beginning. But once you get used to it, the adjustment is effortless and you will be holding on to this gear for a long long time.

Best Scopes for Elk Hunting –

S.NProduct NameProduct ImageCheck Price
1Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44
2Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
3Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm RiflescopeLeupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm Riflescope
4Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 20 Plex
Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 20 Plex
5LEU VX-Freedom EFR 3-9x33 Fine
LEU VX-Freedom EFR 3-9x33 Fine
6Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope (3-9×40-mm)Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope (3-9×40-mm)
7Primary Arms 4-16X44mm Mil Dot Scope Riflescope
Primary Arms 4-16X44mm Mil Dot Scope Riflescope
8Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope
"Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope "
9Nightforce Optics 5-25x56 ATACR Riflescope
Nightforce Optics 5-25x56 ATACR Riflescope
10Burris Optics Veracity 5-25×50 Rifle ScopeBurris Optics Veracity 5-25×50 Rifle Scope

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44 (Best Scopes For Elk Hunting)


Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 sets itself apart from other scopes by its preciseness. Comparatively inexpensive than other products with similar performance, Vortex Optics Crossfire is a light and fast to aim that provides exceptional accuracy even to the novice.

Dimensions : 10.2 x 8.4 x 6.8 inches

Weight: 1 Pound

Magnification: 3x

Field of View: 38.2 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 2.2 inches

Features :

If ‘no-nonsense scope’ is your search, your journey ends right here!

The scope comes with adjustable simple, fast, and effective push buttons. This design engages and disengages the flip mount. It allows the magnifier to lock in at your desired position so that you won’t have to take off your gloves or mitts.

The magnification of this scope equally helps with near-approaching elks. The magnifier is articulated with a flip mount combo that enables you for 3x with a red dot. A multi-coated lens uses color fidelity to maximize resolution and light gathering capacity.

The adjustments of 4-12 with high clarity give one an allowance of getting the best image view. Not having to assemble and disassemble provides hunters with unmatched comfortability. The side parallax adjustment is the icing on the cake.

Also, nitrogen purged makes this scope reliable for waterproof and fog-proof performance in the field.

After the adventure, remove the scope, add in some lens cleaning fluid and optical tissue or cloth lenses and it’s good as new. No hassle!

This durable scope is lightweight, compact, and secure! Can it get any better?


  • The clarity and brightness of this scope is a big plus
  • Trendy and reasonably priced
  • Relaxed aiming and lining up a target.
  • Adjustable turrets and easy finger-tip MOA made for rugged terrain
  • Lightweight and extremely durable
  • capped reset turrets that can be zeroed with ease
  • Fits on a variety of different guns


  • Limited Field of view

2. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte BDC600

Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600


With dependable accuracy and fast targeting ability, Nixon P-Tactical is professional-grade scope. This gear is ideal for both novice and advanced hunters alike. Nikon riflescope blends top-quality materials with salient features that make it one of the best scope for elk hunting.

Dimensions : 12.4 x 8.4 x 6.8 inches

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Magnification: 3-9x

Field of View: 34 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.6 inches

Features :

With 103 years of expertise in manufacturing, Nikon has stepped up its game with Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Matte. This iconic scope pushes the boundary of comfort. P-Tactical is a quick-focusing ballistic technology scope that ensures superior light transmission and freedom of movement.

On top of that, the reticle can be sharply focused on the target. The quick focus eyepiece allows you to customize your fit with ease.

This scope is built with aircraft-grade aluminum main tubes that brighten even the most dismal environments. Similarly, O-ring sealed shockproof construction protects the scope from unforgiving conditions making it waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. Should anything go south, you are covered with a lifetime warranty with the purchase of this scope.

The manufacturers have taken into account your need to hunt in high altitudes. The MK1 reticle’s asymmetrical design allows for additional holdover. This makes P-Tactical perfect for use to estimate range, target size, elevation holdover, and wind-drift at the designated magnification.

The ability to reset with spring-loaded instant zero-resets turrets is unparalleled.

If there is one thing that separates this scope from the rest, it is its extraordinary crystal clear optics with fine crosshairs.

In terms of durability, this scope is top-notch, for real.


  • Multi-coated optics offers clarity and brightness at any time of the day
  • The wide objective lens gives larger cover at higher magnification
  • The high magnification range
  • Can be used in any weather conditions
  • The comfortable eye relief provides ease of use during targeting
  • Easy to customize
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Rough handling might cause easy scratch
  • May not be compatible with high powered rifles

3. Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm Riflescope

Leupold VX-3i 2.5-8x36mm Riflescope


This ‘Hunters’ favorite’ scope is suitable for adventures across any terrain and ranks as one of the best scope for elk hunting.

Everything about Leupold VX-3i has been gauged from a functional and weight-saving perspective, which makes it an excellent choice for avid hunters looking for something lightweight to increase mobility and precision.

Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 2.8 inches

Weight: 1.25 Pounds

Magnification: 2.5x-8x

Field of View: 37.5 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 4.5 inches


From the durable 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum built to the Diamond Coat 2 reinforcements over the glasses, all elements are technically solid and efficiently lightweight. It has a great

1/4 MOA finger click adjustments for windage and a relatively slim-fitting cut, making it perfect for extreme use over long periods of time.

If relentless performance is what you are looking for in your scope, you have landed on the correct page!

The precise blend of perfect magnification and lightweight ruggedness have helped this scope gain popularity all across the country. The VX-3i delivers outstanding performance in low-light conditions.

What’s better?

Twilight Max Light Management System lets you see details others can’t in those crucial low-light situations at the beginning and the end of the day. It’s very lightweight and offers an extremely useful zoom range as well.

The compactness of this scope aids you in preparing it for the next trip with ease.

Clarity, Quality, and Weight at this price point are almost impossible to find in other scopes of similar range.


  • Very good in low light conditions
  • Lightweight & Compact which increases mobility
  • High-quality glass for any kinds of terrain
  • Highly durable built material
  • Reliable warranty


  • There is no zero stop nor zero-reset function with the turrets
  • Not suited for long-range shootings

4. Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15×42 20 Plex

Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15x42 20 Plex


Should You Buy a Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 3-15×42 20 Plex?

The short answer is YES!

Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest HD5 is the perfect gear whether you’re stopping for medium-range practice or long precise deadly shots. It is designed to suit the varying needs of medium and long-range hunters alike. The quality and clarity of this optic device rank it among the best scope for elk hunting in 2021.

Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 14.2 inches

Weight: 1.5 Pounds

Magnification: 5x

Field of View: 27.6 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.9 inches


Zeiss Carl Optical Conquest has a very thoughtful design that offers you the best comfort and style, thanks to the new sleek attractive design.

Similarly, with exceptional durability, you don’t have to worry about the harsh terrains. Descend down the slopes, aim at the elk far away and shoot. The 55mm objective lens is equipped with a 5x magnification option. This offers a cleaner sight of the target, hence making it perfect for long-range elk hunting.

The lockable turret aids for quick adjustments. Should you need to change the turrets, you have a wide range of options to choose from which make the scope more versatile.

This German-made scope packs an HD lens system with exclusive T coating which enhances image quality.

Also, the pockets are big, plentiful, and fleece-lined.


  • Versatile rifle scope with 5x Super-zoom
  • Designed and built in Germany, it is the finest example of craftsmanship
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty by the company
  • The highly compact design
  • Precision Mechanics with 1/4 MOA -100% correction to click
  • HD lens arrangement and T coverings which improving image quality
  • Bright and high-resolution images


  • The focus that cannot be readjusted
  • Slightly expensive

5. LEU VX-Freedom EFR 3-9×33 Fine

LEU VX-Freedom EFR 3-9x33 Fine


LEU VX-Freedom EFR 3-9×33 Fine, as the name suggests, stands out as one of the finest among the best scope for elk hunting. This scope offers the dependability hunters and shooters have demanded for decades and gets the job done every single time.

You can trust this gear for hunting all year round and for all weather conditions!

Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 2.75 inches

Weight: 1.19 Pounds

Magnification: 3x-9x

Field of View: 35.7 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.4 inches


The new VX-Freedom pack is everything you need in scope: it’s reliable, accurate, and extremely clear and bright.

Leu has combined expertise in manufacturing with un beatable optical performance and rolled it into a scope that is guaranteed to get the job done every time.

Leupold’s Twilight Light Management systems ensure balancing light transmission, glare reduction, and image contrast and resolution ensuring a crisp image in any lighting condition. The lenses are scratch-resistant that offer absolute repeatability and dependability over a lifetime of extreme use.

Precision 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments aids for windage and elevation. An external focus ring is a newly added feature that allows you to focus down incredibly close. Once you master it, this scope is ideal for virtually any situation and weather conditions.


  • Power ring offers quick power adjustments
  • Include an extended-eye-relief, an Extended Focus Range (EFR), and a Leupold’s Custom Dial System (CDS)
  • Lens technology reduces the effects of glare, which can occur when you have to look in the direction of the rising or setting sun
  • finger-click adjustments for windage and elevation


  • Lacks a parallax adjustment dial
  • Comparatively expensive

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6. Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope (3-9×40-mm)

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope (3-9×40-mm)


Bushnell Legend Ultra HD is the most versatile variable power scope for big game hunting. The manufacturers are regarded highly by hunting enthusiasts. They have paid close attention to detail and sustainability, durability, and aesthetic levels. The result is a beautifully designed versatile scope that is worth every penny.

Dimensions: 17 x 3.87 x 3.75 inches

Weight:1.04 Pounds

Magnification: 3-9x

Field of View: 36 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.5 inches


Getting an elk spotted and hitting the beast dead with one shot is your job. And this scope makes the task as easy as possible with bright, razor-sharp imagery and compact lenses.

The scope uses the revolutionary technique of ultra-effective Rain Guard HD so that you wouldn’t be bothered by the foul weather or condensation from your own misguided breath.

The built-in binocular-like ultra HD glass system delivers an exceptional field performance. The multi-coated lens gives extra light penetration making it easier for you to hunt in low light conditions.

With a 3-9x magnification and an objective lens diameter of 40 mm you can easily hit targets that are at 300 yards or more.

This budget-friendly scope is super easy to use and maintain and is highly durable as well.


  • One of the most Versatile scopes
  • Budget-friendly price tag
  • High magnification power and large objective lens diameter
  • Extremely durable
  • 3x offers sufficient field of view for most elk hunting conditions


  • No warranty available
  • Slightly bulky

7. Primary Arms 4-16X44mm Mil-Dot Scope Riflescope

Primary Arms 4-16X44mm Mil Dot Scope Riflescope


Primary Arms’s goal was to build the best possible scope with quality” FFP (First Focal Plane) scope, and they came up with this pinnacle outdoor product. After passing the ‘All the tricks and complicated maneuvers’ test from our team, we found this scope super high quality, well constructed and comfortable to use.

Dimensions: 17.7 x 4.2 x 4 inches

Weight: 1.63 pounds

Magnification: 4-16X

Field of View: 27.2 feet/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.50 inches


This scope deserves the term ‘cult classic’ as it went from cult following of limited loyal customers to a massive hit these days.

This scope is versatile and packs a CR2032 battery which illuminates the red dot in the center. The scope also features 12 different brightness settings. This makes the scope ideal for elk hunting at any time of the day. Also, the locking, zero resettable turrets have tactile and audible ¼ MOA click adjustments.

The scope is rugged and durable. Likewise, the tough built uses top-notch aluminum in the construction which makes it waterproof, fog proof, and can handle any amount of shock. Also, the 1-year warranty will either repair or replace the scope should anything go wrong.

In brief, this scope lies in a very competitive price range for optics, and Primary Arms has done a great job delivering one hell of an optical gear with this product!


  • Inexpensive
  • Very tactile and audible clicks on the knob help in elevation and windage adjustments
  • The parallax adjustment is easily finger-adjustable
  • Good tactile and audible feedback offers sure and easy movement


  • The optic’s clarity is mediocre
  • A lot of information in the view through the scope might be a hassle for traditional scope users

8. Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope

"Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope "


Simmon’s tagline is ‘Just try it once and you’ll love it’, and that’s exactly what this expedition-class scope showcases.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly scopes, Simmon is the brand to go for. And this new Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope has an improved design and features making it one of the best scope for elk hunting for any ranges

This scope also packs a unique visual appeal — the shiny long and smooth tube design creates a naturally sporty look.

Dimensions: 12×4.2×3 inches

Weight: 0.62 pounds

Magnification: 3-9x

Field of View: 31.4 ft/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.75 inches

Features: Simmons .22 MAG is in a class all its own.

What makes Simmons Truplex .22 Mag Riflescope one of the best scope for elk hunting?

In short, Simmons has added some innovative features namely QTA™ (Quick Target Acquisition) eyepiece and SureGrip™ adjustments. Likewise, they function together to provide plenty of eye relief and make adjustments easy, even while wearing gloves. Moreover, this exclusive feature in this gear separates them from the rest and makes the scope worth every penny.

The lenses are fully coated and come with a complete set of mounting rings. It provides bright, sharper images with high contrast.  Similarly, the use of SureGrip technology offers easy adjustments and helps maintain a clear sight picture, regardless of weather conditions.

Also, along with the sleek design, the scope’s external matte black anodized finish surely makes it the best-looking scopes in our list.


  • The best value for money scope with high durability
  • The scope’s graphics are restrained and attractive
  • Easy to use and mount
  • Adjustments are also easy with this scope’s SureGrip adjustments and fit most firearms
  • This scope is waterproof, fog-proof and recoil-proof


  • Doesn’t hold zero well
  • The scope’s large, grooved zoom ring is a bit bulky

9. Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR Riflescope

Nightforce Optics 5-25x56 ATACR Riflescope


crème de la crème!

Is it the best scope for elk hunting? We will let you decide that. But for anyone that is into the technical aspect of hunting, there is no gear better than Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR Riflescope.

Furthermore, that’s a bold claim to make, however, our test results observed this scope exceed the needed performance in riflescope technology in every aspect.

Dimensions: 22.72 x 5.98 x 5.71 inches

Weight: 3.65 pounds

Magnification: 7-35x

Field of View: 15.0 ft/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.6 in inches


In particular, this scope clearly stands out as one of the best scope for elk hunting. Likewise, the incredibly high magnification range puts it as the most sought-after scopes for multiple applications. Also, with 7-35 magnification, precision is guaranteed every single time you take a shot.

The objective length of 56 mm makes it lethal for a fast target involvement. The pacey elk doesn’t stand a chance with this modern extreme long-range rifle.

And Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR Riflescope excels in other ways too.

Furthermore, this riflescope offers an incredible field of view. Similarly, this gives a hunter the ability to find, identify, and engage the targets with ease across the entire magnification range.

This riflescope delivers unmatched precision and repeatability.

The only downside is the price range. If you have some extra cash to spare, this is hands down the best scope you can shoot with.


  • Best for rapid target acquisition
  • Delivers unmatched precision and repeatability
  • Extensive magnification range offers the best long-range engagements
  • Highly durable


  • Relatively expensive compared to other scopes

10. Burris Optics Veracity 5-25×50 Rifle Scope

Burris Optics Veracity 5-25×50 Rifle Scope


Burris brand is well known for its unique approach to the subject of long-range rifle scopes. And this gear is no different either. The design of a proprietary reticle is a stand-out feature that ranks Optics Veracity as one of the best scope for elk hunting.

To cater to the new needs of manufacturing for long-range hunters, Borris has pushed their limits in terms of accuracy and precision. This award-winning scope is a favorite among the elk hunters ever since it was introduced.

Dimensions: 20 x 5 x 4 inches

Weight: 0.85 pounds

Magnification: 5-25x

Field of View: 21 ft/100 yards

Eye Relief: 3.5 in inches


Accuracy, durability, innovation, and value- Checked!

In short, this scope undoubtedly stands out for its high-end features with exceptionally low weight. 50 mm objective offers maximum light collection making it ideal for bright as well as low light conditions. Moreover, this gear offers one of the highest adjustment capacities. Multi-turn target knobs offer up to 15 MOA of adjustment per rotation which helps in easy adjustments.

Generally, the Trajectory compensation has been calculated to 700 yards. This coupled with an extremely high magnification range makes this scope accurate and precise over long-distance targets.

Hence, if pinpoint accuracy at a distance is your aim, ordering this top-of-the-line scope is a no-brainer!


  • Clarity under high and low light situations.
  • Fit and finish is immaculate
  • Lifetime, no questions asked transferable warranty
  • The reticle is amazingly sharp
  • Easy adjustments


  • Eye relief at 25x zoom may be a hassle
  • Large and Bulky for some uses

Buyer’s Guide

Below is a list of the key features that are worth looking out for before buying scope for elk hunting.

Manufacturer and Brand

Particularly, like every other product, the manufacturers and the brand value play an important role in buying a new scope. One of the easy ways of sorting this out would be checking the span of time the manufacturers have been in the market. Furthermore, a brand with decent-time spent would have customer reviews that add credibility and reliability.

Also, make sure you’re making a purchase from an authorized seller.

Lens Coating or Protection

Lens coating not only showcases the durability, but also the overall quality of the scope.

A good lens coating protects your lens from foreign materials during elk hunting in rough terrain. Likewise, aim for the best anti-scratch lens, this would be important for long-term use. The anti-reflective coating offers a clearer view which is vital while spotting the target.


In particular, magnification is a very important factor in choosing a specific lens for your needs. Short-range and long-range engagements require different kinds of magnifying power. In most cases, higher magnification scopes are generally expensive and they go along with the snipers. Therefore, determine the type of hunter you are before making the choice of magnification.

Lens Quality and Features

Just like magnification, the lens quality and size differ according to the needs of the hunter. The rule of thumb- the larger the size of the objective lens, the longer ranger the scope offers.

Also, a high-quality lens with a larger size collects more light ensuring its ability to be used in low light conditions.


In short, you don’t have to break the bank for good scopes. Although some long-range scopes with high-quality glasses are valued highly, they are more popular among avid hunters. Similarly, for a beginner, a budget-friendly scope is readily available that offers similar features compared to the high-end ones. Overall, expenses on a scope should be based on quality, the long-term use potential, financial needs, and the skillset of a hunter.


Here, the durability of a lens should never be overlooked. Elk hunting is an outdoor activity that makes your scopes vulnerable to physical factors. It’s always the best idea to look for built material. Also, make sure that the scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. If not, go for additional protection.

Usually, warranties are often available with the purchase of new scopes. Don’t forget to get one before you walk out of the store.


A good quality scope is a must during elk hunting regardless of the terrain. In an open field, the level of danger skyrockets with the number of freely roaming wild animals. Elk, despite being one of the favorite animals for hunting, is incredibly fast and fierce. Moreover, they have the ability to knock a human out with ease.

Furthermore, getting too close to the animal can be very dangerous whereas being too far away means you’re going back empty-handed. So, the choice of scopes plays a vital role in elk hunting. Therefore, we have tried and tested varieties of brands to present to you the best scope for elk hunting available in 2021.

Whichever you decide to go for, make sure it is a good fit for your skillset; practice well before leaving for the adventure and always be extra careful in the wild.

Good Luck!