Choosing the Best Riflescope for Deer Hunting
Remember your first riflescope? It probably fit into the 3X-7X or 3X-9X range and didn’t cost more than a few hundred bucks. It likely sat atop your favorite rifle; perhaps a Remington Woodmaster with enough dints, dings and scratches to tell a lifetime of stories. And how many deer did that riflescope help you take? Today, as the world remains incredibly close to our fingertips, there are a few essential ways to go about choosing the best riflescope for deer hunting.
No Need to Pay Top Dollar
Or fight the legions of other hunters cramming the aisles at your local sporting good store. Let’s say you wear Levi jeans; have your whole life. Yet, every time you need a new pair, a dreaded trip to the mall ensues where you spend a half hour looking for a parking spot, a half hour finding your favorite jeans because they relocate their products 30 times a year and then you can guarantee at least another 20-30 minutes in the checkout line. Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if you could just buy those Levi jeans online, at a wholesale price, and get them shipped to your front door?
This very analogy applies directly to riflescopes. Sure, you pay for what you get. But that’s only because everyone involved throughout the buying process requires monetary compensation. Imagine buying and owning a riflescope of Swarovski, Leupold or Leica caliber without having to switch from Budweiser to Natural Light just to save up and pay the manufacturer, distributor and retailer for it. Maybe not the best example (Natural Light!), but you get the gist.
The Gadgets are Nice, But…
Complicated tools lead to complicated problems that always seem to fail at the most inopportune times. Choose a simple riflescope for deer hunting that exudes its greatest qualities through use and not looks.
More Power is Not Greater
Remember the ol’ 3X-9X? Especially for those who hunt deer in the hardwoods, this is an all-around great choice for discerning the grey winter coat of a whitetail against the backdrop of a grey woodline at last light. If you’re using a 16X riflescope to hunt whitetails in dense forests and swamp bottoms, good luck, my friend. Choosing a riflescope for deer is a lot like choosing your binoculars for deer hunting, higher magnification doesn't mean better results.
Don't sacrifice field of view when choosing the best riflescope for hunting deer.
It’d Better Be Tough
Perhaps the single greatest attribute to choosing the best riflescope for deer hunting is its toughness. If you haven’t dropped your rifle, banged it against a tree or watched helplessly as it slid off the bumper of a pickup truck, then you’re obviously in the infancy of your deer hunting career. When these accidents do happen, it’s usually the scope that takes the brunt of the blow because it’s a weighted extremity. Often enough there’s not an opportunity to call timeout during a hunt and re-sight your rifle. Let’s just hope your crosshairs are protected by magnesium alloy or some other structural metal that can withstand getting knocked around a bit.
Don’t get flashy with your riflescope. We’re not altogether sure whether shiny scopes are still made, but just in case somebody tries to sell you one, give a firm “Heck no!” and walk away. The sun’s reflection off a shiny scope is worse than waving to a passing deer. At least the hand could be a squirrel’s tail.
Eye relief, fully multicoated lenses and high-transmission glass are also nice features of a deer hunting riflescope. Finding out where it’s made is another great point of research - the Japanese have riflescope manufacturing down to a fine science. But then again, whether it’s a $100 or $1,000 scope, and as long as it fulfills your every hunting and shooting need, you’re one of the lucky ones because finding that perfect scope can take years of sifting through the masses.
We’re here to help answer any questions you have pertaining to riflescopes and binoculars. Give us a call, shoot us an email, chat with us on the homepage of our website or reach out on Facebook. Optics, hunting and shooting are three things we can talk about all day long.