Hunting is an adrenaline pumping activity that quite many people enjoy. However, there is more to this activity than just going out into the wild and shooting at wild animals. Anybody serious about hunting, especially big game hunting, know that you need to be adequately prepared before you leave the house. One of the things you must be ready to invest in is a scope. Otherwise, you will shoot and miss more often than not. Buying a rifle scope is not a two-minute thing, but it also does not have to take you three weeks. One thing you need to remember before you even start browsing for a scope is that different people and different levels of hunting expertise will call for a different scope. Additionally, every one you come across will have their opinion on the perfect gear. Therefore, to help make your search a bit easier, use the following steps.

Precisely Which Game Are You Hunting?

Animals react in different ways when they feel threatened. You will notice that while a deer will run away if they sense you other animals like elk will attack you.  Let's not even mention the reaction a startled bear will have. Therefore, unless you plan to tap be right next to the animals, you need a rifle scope. In most cases, the ideal scope is one that allows you to see and target your game from a distance.

Consider getting a Leupold VX-2-3-9×40 mm rifle scope, for long distance hunting. This scope comes with a quantum optical system, which allows for better light transmission and in turn more explicit images even from long distances.  The manufacturer has also thrown in a lifetime guarantee to show you how much they believe in the quality of their products.

Alternatively, the XTR II long-range lineup has a variety of about four scopes, from which you can choose.

Evaluate the Environment

Big game is varied, and therefore, is found in different environments. The gear you will need to hunt an animal in a dense forest is different from what you will need in a plain. Additionally, because hunting is done during different seasons, you have to take into account the kind of weather conditions expected around the time of your hunting trip. To be on the safe side, if you plan to hunt at during different seasons, you need to get a scope that is at least water and fog resistant.

One such scope is the Vortex Optics Viper HS 4-16×44 Riflescope w/ Dead-Hold BDC Reticle VHS-4305. This scope is fog and water resistant because it is also sealed with an O ring preventing any seepage of moisture into the lens. Furthermore, it was purged with argon ensuring that fog cannot form inside the lens. This item is made from aircraft grade aluminum, and it is resistant to oil, dirt, and scratches

Skill Level

Your expertise as a hunter also comes into question when you are choosing a rifle scope. Expert hunters in most cases can shoot from far away and can navigate almost any terrain or weather. However, beginners in most cases can only shoot from about 150 yards away and may not be that comfortable taking the shot. On the other hand, whether you are a professional or a beginner if you are serious about hunting, you will want to invest in something high quality that you can use for years.

The Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 Riflescope is one of the most durable rifle scopes you will find in the market. The aluminum body makes it both lightweight and able to withstand constant use.  It has a 50mm objective lens, which allows only 2% light transmission. However, the downside of this lens is its 3× to 9× magnification which not everyone may like.

Appropriate Eye Relief

Rifle scopes need to allow you adequate eye relief. Otherwise, if your eye is too close to the scope, you could easily get injured.

The Simmons 8-Point 3-9x50mm Rifle Scope with Truplex Reticle offers 3.75 inches of eye relief, which is quite generous. This scope is not a lot cheaper than most of the rifles reviewed here, but it has excellent lenses. The lens comes with a TrueZero Windage and elevation adjustment system and a 1/4-MOA SureGrip audible-click windage. Additionally, the lenses are fully coated allowing for clear, bright images.

 Parallax, Reticle, and Glare

Imagine you have gone hunting coyotes or another predator. Right before you make the shot your lens casts a glare and the animal sees you and runs or attacks. Worse still you had the animal in your crosshairs, but your adjustment was off by quite a bit, so you missed the shot.

To avoid scenarios like this, you have to make sure you get rifle scopes that prevent glare like the Predator Quest Riflescope 4.5-14×42mm. This scope has a ballistic reticle with cascading dots, which compensate for the crosswind. The lens also has an anti-reflection device eliminating glare.

On the other hand, you could also choose a Leupold VX-2 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope. It has a no-glare finish and has a seven-style reticle.

Conclusion

A proper scope will augment your hunting skills. While it might not automatically make you a better hunter, with some practice, you will notice that you are more confident in your abilities, and are becoming a better shot.

As much as reading the descriptions of various rifle scopes might seem enough make sure to try out a few in people before making a purchase. This way you can test the specs, and also see if it is compatible for your rifle. Keep in mind that the best quality scopes in the market will not come cheap. However, why compromise on quality?

by Josh Montgomery