Best Spotting Scope for Hunting & Shooting:Top Products Reviewed

Best Spotting Scope for Hunting
Written by Kevin Fleeman

What makes spotting scope so popular is their ability to view across extremely great distances more than binoculars can cover. You can view details of objects, or animals that are over 1000 yards away. When selecting the best spotting scope for hunting, the most obvious thing to consider is the magnification capacity. However, there is more to a good spotting scope than that. Here we wish to consider the different variables that combine to make the best spotting scope for hunting and shooting.

Our Expert Tested 8 Best Spotting Scope for Hunting & Shooting

Spotting Scope Image Key Features Details
Gosky 20-60X 80 Porro Prism
  • Manufacturer: Gosky Optics
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 800g
  • Length: 450mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 80mm
  • Exit Pupil: A.3.2-1.10mm
  • Eye Relief: A.17-13.5mm
  • Field of View: A.39-19m/1000m
  • Rating: 9 out of 10
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Emarth 20-60x60 AE
  • Manufacturer: Emarth
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 640g
  • Length: 350mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 60mm
  • Exit Pupil: 3.2-1.10mm
  • Eye Relief: 13.5-17mm
  • Field of View: 127-62feet/1000yards
  • Rating: 8.6 out of 10
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Redfiled Rampage 20-60x60
  • Manufacturer: Redfield
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 1055g
  • Length: 365mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 60mm
  • Exit Pupil: A.3.0-1.0mm
  • Eye Relief: A.17-14mm
  • Field of View: A.125-25m/1000m
  • Rating: 8.8 out of 10
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Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60X 85
  • Manufacturer: Vortex Optics
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 1863g
  • Length: 389mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 85mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.3-1.4mm
  • Eye Relief: 20-18mm
  • Field of View: 117-60feet/1000yards
  • Rating: 9.2 out of 10
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Authentic ROXANT Blackbird
  • Manufacturer: Roxant
  • Magnification: 12-36X
  • Weight: 490g
  • Length: 232mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.1-1.4mm
  • Eye Relief: *****
  • Field of View: 52-26m/1000m
  • Rating: 9.8 out of 10
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Vortex Optics Diamond Back 20-60X60
  • Manufacturer: Vortex Optics
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 936g
  • Length: 356mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 60mm
  • Exit Pupil: 3-1mm
  • Eye Relief: 17-14mm
  • Field of View: 114-51feet/1000yards
  • Rating: 8.2 out of 10
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Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60x80
  • Manufacturer: Bushnell
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 2300g
  • Length: 419mm
  • Objective lens Diameter: 80mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.0-1.3mm
  • Eye Relief: 18mm
  • Field of View: 51-17m/1000m
  • Rating: 8.6 out of 10
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Celestron Ultima 20-60X80
  • Manufacturer: Celestron
  • Magnification: 20-60X
  • Weight: 1616g
  • Length: ****
  • Objective lens Diameter: 80mm
  • Exit Pupil: 4.0-1.3mm
  • Eye Relief: 18mm
  • Field of View: 35-17m/1000m
  • Rating: 8.8 out of 10
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Consideration When Buying the Best Spotting Scope for Hunting

The Numbers

These are used to identify the spotting scope and they are usually the first thing to put a question in the mind of the buyer. For example, you may come across a scope written 30-70X95mm. What do these numbers really mean? Are they a load of confusion set there to make life hard?

Well its actually very simple to decipher the meaning. They are telling us about the qualities of the objective lens as well as the magnification. The numbers before the X say mean the scope is capable of increasing the size of an image from 30 times up to 70 times. The numbers after the X refer to the size of the objective lens. In our case it’s 95 millimeters.

What You Need to Know About Magnification

When buying the best spotting scope for hunting, it is easy to fall into the illusion that the more magnification the scope has the better it is. Well, you will likely come across a few draw backs if you choose this one-sided view.

Taking our example above, as you continue to increase the size of the image to up to 70 times, the field of view gradually decreases. That means you will only have sight in a very small area. Second, the more the image is magnified the more light is required, this causes the image to get darker as you magnify.

If you have used a camcorder before, you’ve likely noticed that when its increased to maximum zoom, the image gets larger but there is a lot of shaking. The same concept applies in spotting scopes. Taking it up to 70x magnification will cause unsteadiness.

Not only are you going to view the image in more detail, there will also be interruptions from the weather conditions. Fog, mirages become more visible causing the image to blur.

The Eyepiece

It’s important to note that not all spotting scopes allow for zooming. You might come across one written 20×60. This simply means that it has a fixed magnification of 20 times.

Now because we know spotting scopes come with either a fixed eyepiece or a zoom eyepiece, which of the two is best? When considering the quality of the image and the challenges faced during magnification, its suffice to say that fixed eyepieces offer clearer images. They also offer a wider field of view.

The clear imaging however comes at a cost. Fixed eyepiece scopes are not as powerful as zoom eyepieces. This makes the zoom eyepiece the best spotting scope for hunting. You can scan larger areas and once you have spotted something, it’s easy tozoom in as close as possible to get a better more detailed image.

Weather Conditions

Weather can render the spotting scope useless. Due to the high magnification abilities, spotting scopes are very sensitive to the conditions of the atmosphere. Imagine a moist, foggy day. Looking through the eyepiece, the only thing you can see is blur. That is because the lens is picking up on the fog.

This is one of the main draw backs of using spotting scopes. The best conditions are clear days. Don’t let this dampen your intentions of getting a good spotting scope for hunting however. When they do get into their element, your hunting experience will be worth it.

Quality of the Lens

What makes a 15-45X60 spotting scope more expensive than a 30-60X60 scope? The answer is the quality of the lens.

The more the magnification, the more the image becomes less clear. Colour also gets slightly distorted. We call this chromatic aberration. Whereas the latter scope offers far more magnification, the quality of the image may not be as good as the first. This means the15-45×60 scope will providebetter images at 45x magnification than the 30-60×60 spotting scope would at the same 45x magnification.

lens of spotting scope

The difference comes down to the design and quality of the leans as well as the coatings that are added for image enhancement. There are three types of coatings. Fully-coated, multi-coated and fully-multicoated. For the best spotting scope for hunting, go for the one that has fully multi-coating if its within your budget.

Tripod

This apparatus is important because it holds the spotting scope in place. Some scopes can be a bit heavy. A tripod provides an excellent support platform.

During large magnifications, the image tends to become more unsteady. Using your hands will only make it worse. A tripod holds down the spotting scope in a perfectly motionless state helping to reduce the image vibrations.

Basic Design

There are two main types of spotting scope designs. Straight spotting scopes and angled spotting scopes. Each has its own pros that make it an ideal hunting accessory.

Angled spotting scopes have the eye piece set 45 degrees from the main body. The advantage is that people of different heights can use it comfortably.

Straight spotting scopes have the eye piece set horizontal to the body. They provide a comfortable horizontal look out when the tripod is raised to the correct height.

With these tips in mind, you are now ready to go out and get the best hunting spotting scope in the market.

Think About Different Variables

Decide on the type of spotting scope. If you prefer to view through the eyepiece in a horizontal position, then the straight spotting scope is the one for you. On the other hand an angled scope allows you to view without always adjusting the height. It all comes down to your preference.

Ensure you have insurance against buying a faulty gadget. Always insist on having warranty.

There are different weather elements that can cause damage to your spotting scope. Rain being one of them. Ensure that the scope is well protected from the elements with high quality weather proof design.

Magnification is what makes spotting scopes stand out from equipment such as binoculars. Pick one with a good magnification while keeping your budget in mind.

Weight is an important factor to consider. Buying a hunting spotting scope that is too large will make it difficult to carry over rough terrain. Ensure you buy a scope that you can comfortably carry.

The field of view is important when scanning the surrounding looking for your prey. Buy a spotting scope that provides a large field of view to help you spot animals quicker.

Spotting scopes are expensive equipment. Before setting out to buy one ensure you are aware of the amount you want to spend.

Added features such as magnesium coating on the lens can prove useful. It adds brightness to the image. Ensure that the scope you select comes with extra benefits.

When buying online, its good practice to read the reviews from other customers. They will give you an image of how the equipment will perform.

Our Handpicked Top 8 Best Hunting Spotting Scope Reviews

#1 Gosky 20-60×80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Gosky 20-60×80 Porro Prism spotting scope comes with an angled eyepiece and is perfect for bird lovers as well as those who enjoy archery, target shooting and other major outdoor activities.Gosky 20-60x80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope

Features

Magnification can be varied from the minimum 20x to 60x. Wildlife and bird watching has never been easier thanks to the Dynamic Lens Focusing technology.

Enjoy clear and bright images courtesy of the multi-coated 80mm objective lens.

This is a great outdoors tool. The external is coated with a durable rubber that keeps the equipment safe from the elements. The eyepiece is also well protected by the extendable shield and the scope boasts a top notch magnalium frame construction.

Record images and video thanks to the inbuilt adapter. This allows you to make digiscoping a reality with simple and neat settings.

Whether it’s a clear day or rainy one, the Gosky 20-60x 80 Porro Prism Spotting Scope has you covered. You can carry out your observation without having to worry about water damaging your equipment.

Pros

  • Offers clear images
  • High quality design and construction
  • Great value for your money
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • It is quite large and bulky

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#2 Emarth 20-60×60 AE Waterproof Spotting Scope

This excellent product from Emarth is sure to catch your eye. With an angled design, it is the perfect tool for any outdoorsman. Whether its bird or wildlife watching, archery, target shooting, hunting or simply hiking, this spotting scope will do it all.

A simple design incorporates maximum mobility allowing the user to carry it into any type of terrain.Emarth 20-60x60 AE Waterproof Spotting Scope

Features

Simple operation is what you get with the Emarth 20-60×60 AE. A maximum magnification of 60x, a large 60mm objective lens and having the Dynamic Lens Focusing System, bird watching has never been easier.

Angled designed makes it easy on your neck. You can enjoy use over extended periods of time without fatigue.

Multi coating on the lens helps to provide crisp, clear and bright images for that perfect shot.

The construction is simply top notch. Enjoy clear images in any type of weather while never having to worry about fog. The outer coating is a rubber armor that absorbs shock. An ergonomic design improves your handling and this translates to overall safety.

You are well protected from buying a faulty gadget thanks to the one year warranty. You are able to enjoy a quality yet affordable product.

Pros

  • Great magnification
  • Great value for money
  • Easy to operate
  • Ergonomic easy to handle design
  • High quality construction

Cons

  • Does not offer the best clarity at high magnifications.

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#3 Redfield Rampage20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

Are you looking for extra magnification with high resolution? The Redfield Rampage 20-60x60mm Spotting Scope is the tool for you. It comes with all the extra tools to make observing a complete experience. With a storage case, lens cover, tripod and adaptable mount, you have everything you need without having to incur extra costs.Redfield Rampage20-60x60mm Spotting Scope

Features

The Redfield Rampage features a straight design. Magnification goes up to 60 times helping you spot targets at great distances.

The lens shade is retractable and the whole spotting scope is covered with weatherproof material.

Durable polycarbonate body means you can enjoy a long service life without worry of damaging the scope.

To provide those clears crisp images, the lens is multicoated resulting in high quality bright pictures even in dim light.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Excellent magnification and image quality
  • Top notch design
  • Great value for your money
  • Simple to operate
  • Able to withstand the elements

Cons

  • Not very light weight

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#4 Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60×85 Spotting Scope

Are you looking for a scope with a large objective lens that is multi-coated and offers precise focusing while being resistant to the elements? You may have just found your bargain with the Vortex Optics Razor HD spotting scope. It has all the qualities of a high end scope but at an excellent price.

Once you see what this spotting scope can do, you will be more than willing to spend every penny for a quality product.Vortex Optics Razor HD 20-60x85 Spotting Scope

Features

Even after using for a long time, the vortex Optics 20-60x85mm Razor HD Spotting Scope will still provide you with the clear images you need. This is thanks to the ArmorTek coating that is on the lens making them resistance to scratches and dirt.

To enhance the brightness of the images, there is a special technology called the dielectric prism coating that also work to prevent image color distortion. This together with the XR anti-reflective coatings, you can enjoy the clearest images possible.

To ensure there is no image aberration, the scope features a three piece apochromatic lens design.

You will not have to mind the weather. Just continue taking the shots regardless of rain or snow or fog courtesy of the O-ring seal. This provides dust proof, debris and waterproof capabilities.

Pros

  • High quality construction
  • Weatherproof
  • Simple angled design
  • Excellent clear images over great distances of up to 200 yards.
  • Great value for money
  • Offers bright images in dim light
  • Easy to operate
  • Scratch resistant lens

Cons

  • Over extremely long distances of up to 300 yards, the image quality diminishes

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#5 Roxant Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope

You know it’s a quality scope when it features military grade optics. If you prefer great visibility in a compact package then the Roxant Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope will serve you well. Regardless of the activity, whether it’s hunting or bird watching or simply doing surveillance, this spotting scope certainly gets the job done.

Versatility is the name of the game with this simple to set up the scope. Enjoy the capabilities of high end spotting scopes at a fraction of the price.

A 50 mm objective lens produces bright crystal clear images and is especially useful in dim light.Roxant Blackbird High Definition Spotting Scope

Features

With a magnification of between 12 to 36x and compact precision zooming, using this scope is a simple affair. Thanks to the angled design the scope accommodates people with varying heights.

A Great functioning tool that is highly versatile, the Roxant Blackbird High Definition Spotting scope can be used for hunting, bird watching, stargazing, as well as hiking. Its special design allows you to take it with you through any terrain and is lightweight enough for convenient carry.

On top is a thick rubber construction that increases durability and ensures a long service life. The grip is nonslip which makes it hard to drop and damage.

The eyepiece is perfect for people who use glasses thanks to it extendable design. For enhanced viewing during bright sunny days, make use of the sunshade that comes inbuilt with the barrel of the scope.

The 50 mm objective lens is large enough to provide you with clear crisp and bright images even in low light conditions.  To further enhance the brightness, the lens come multi-coated and feature a military grade BAK4 prism.

This spotting scope offers clear imagery even at high magnification making it stand out from other brands that boast greater magnifications.

Pros

  • Produces Clear images
  • Great value for money
  • Compact design makes it easy to carry
  • Provides bright images even in low light
  • Simple to operate
  • Light weight

Con

  • The scope can break easily

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#6 Vortex Optics DiamondBack Spotting Scope

Do you want a scope that offers high performance at a low price, the Vortex Diamondback 20-60x60mm is the tool for you. Take hunting to the next level with this carefully designed, compact spotting scope from Vortex.Vortex Optics DiamondBack Spotting Scope

Features

As with many versions of spotting scopes from Vortex, The optics Diamond Spotting Scope comes with a dielectric prism coating that enhances image quality, brightness and preventing any kind of distortions.

An ArmorTek surface improves on durability making the scope able to withstand harsh weather elements while keeping all the sensitive parts well protected.

The angled design of the Vortex Optics Diamonds Spotting Scope makes it simple to use for people of various heights.

The lens contains special coatings that make them resistant to water and fog. You can use the scope regardless of the conditions for those clear images.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Large range of vision
  • High quality images
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Does not provide the best eye relief
  • Clarity of image tends to diminish when magnification goes beyond 40x

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#7 Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60×80 Spotting Scope

Avid hunters, bird watchers and enthusiasts now have the perfect partner. That is Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Spotting Scope.

For a fraction of the price of most high end spotting scopes, you are guaranteed of superior performance. This is courtesy of the unique design and construction that is synonymous with Bushnell products. Examples are the multi coated lens, low dispersion glass and bak-4 prism optics.Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 20-60x80 Spotting Scope

Features

Magnification level of the Bushnell Legend Ultra ranges from 20 to 60 times. A Large 80 mm objective lens offers crystal clear images in low light situations.

The surface of the spotting scope is coated with special water repellent material that ensures that the scope can withstand the elements. You finally have a partner that you can take to the backcountry in any type of condition be it rainy, foggy or snowing.

The dual focus adjustment will bring the image close enough for you to view even the smallest details. Enjoy excellent resolution with the ED Prime low dispersion glass bringing the right color without distortion.

Multi coated lens make for bright clear images while providing protection from fog and water. Adjust for the right clarity with the focus settings and knobs.

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD spotting scope with its angled design will provide great service for just a fraction of the cost.

Pros

  • Offers clear crisp images
  • Durable construction
  • Weatherproof design
  • Easy to operate
  • Great value for your money

Cons

  • Might be a bit bulky

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#8 Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

If you are an avid hunter who finds himself on the trail of his prey even in the dark evening hours, take a deep breath as you now have the right spotting scope to serve your purpose. The Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope.

The greatest feature is the amount of design that has gone into making it one of the brightest spotting scopes in the market. It uses refractor technology and has a large 80 mm objective lens that is multi coated for clear images.Celestron 52250 80mm Ultima Zoom Spotting Scope

Features

This spotting scope comes with conveniences that make it easy to carry. One of such is the easy carrying case.

The Lens is multi-coated and provide excellent high quality images at high magnification. Make use of the refractor technology and take the scope with you even in low light conditions. If you are a bird watcher, you will be amazed at the quality of pictures especially in the forested areas.

The eyepiece will help you focus on the target bringing the image closer while adjusting for clarity.

If you are concerned about the performance of the spotting scope at first purchase, take a deep breath with the lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Easy to operate and adjust
  • Great quality product
  • Great value for your money
  • Offers clear images

Cons

  • May not have the best telephoto lens
  • May be a bit too heavy

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Benefits of Hunting With a Spotting Scope

As we have seen, one of the main advantages of using a spotting scope when hunting is the long range viewing that it provides. There are many other benefits however. Let’s look at a few of these below.

Prey animals have incredible senses designed to help them escape their predators. Deer can hear you coming from many yards away. Observing your target from a safe distance can help you plan your next move without spooking the target.

The ability to see further across the terrain means that you are more likely to spot your prey using a spotting scope than with just using regular binoculars. This comes down to the high power lens.

When you find the game you want to shoot, chances are that if its deer they will be in a herd. A spotting scope gives you a better detailed image. You are therefore able to single out a target from the herd. If you are a trophy hunter, this is especially useful.

While some spotting scopes are large apparatus, modern design incorporate compactness. This will allow you to carry it with through any type of terrain when hunting.

When hunting, it is safe to assume that you are not the only predator out in the woods. The long range viewing means that you can observe your target and see whether a predator such as a grizzly bear is also interested in the prey animal you want to shoot. You can observe this from a safe distance.

Hunting excursions can carry on into the dark hours of the day. Sporting scopes will improve your visibility thanks to the large objective lens. In times when you are hunting in dense forests with little light penetrating the canopy, this will be a huge advantage.

Cons of Getting a Spotting Scope

Spotting scopes also come with a few drawbacks. These are:

Regular sized spotting scopes are large and can be cumbersome when going out hunting. This is especially true when you consider the extra gear needed to use them such as tripods.

Due to the many parts, spotting scopes can take a lot of time to set up. This is time you cannot afford to lose considering that prey animals tend to be highly nervous and can disappear in an instant.

Getting a high quality scope for hunting is expensive and could be out of budget of most people. Extra gear also carries its own cost.

About the author

Kevin Fleeman

Selfpatron.com is a site dedicated to the sport of hunting. We have a deep respect for nature and for the environment and we therefore take the sport of hunting very seriously. Selfpatron.com provides guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear.

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