Best Spotting Scope For Hunting [Buying Guide]

Best-Spotting-Scope-For-Hunting

The answer to the question of the best spotting scope for hunting is not an easy one. If it were comfortable, we wouldn’t be here. If you have searched around for a spotting scope for hunting, then you have seen several posts.

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT THAN THE OTHER?

We will try to help you understand the scope in simple words, and it will make your decision making easier. You will know which one to go for after reading this review for sure. 

The way we organized this list is based on the best price to performance. If a $3000 scope provides the best price to performance for you, then you know it’s the best spotting scope for you. 

ENJOY.

CONTENTS

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILSPrice
  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Field of view: 108 to 60 feet @ 1,000 Yards
  • Eye Relief: 17mm
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  • Magnification: Variable
  • Objective Lens: 88m
  • Lens Type: Fluorite Crystal
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  • Magnification: 25-50x
  • Objective Lens: 82mm
  • Field Of View: 41m @1,000m
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  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Best For: Mid Range
  • Type: Angled
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  • Magnification: 27-60x
  • Objective Lens: 85mm
  • Eye Relief: 16.7-17.00mm
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  • Magnification: 20-60xs
  • Objective Lens: 85mm
  • Eye Relief: 17.8-19.6mm
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  • Magnification: 16x-48x
  • Field of View (degrees): 2.5°-1.3°
  • Eye Relief: 20mm
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  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective Lens: 60mm
  • Eye Relief: 14-17mm
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  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective Lens: 80mm
  • Eye Relief: 17-12mm
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  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Objective Lens: 80mm
  • Eye Relief: 18mm
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1. Swarovski Optik HD ATS-80 Spotting Scope

To start of the article, we wanted to show you guys the absolute best on today’s list. If you are here to know what’s the best spotting scope for hunting. this is it.

But why is the best on our list? Is it because it’s pricey? It’s one of the reason but not the main one.

The main reason is when you charge that much for a scope that means you have nailed everything. The objective lens of this scope is 80mm. The included eyepiece is 20-60x. Yes, the magnification is variable.

The reason I mentioned included eyepiece is because the eyepiece is detachable. You can use a third-party eyepiece with higher magnification if you want.

The scope is O-ring sealed so, hunters that hunts under a terrible weather can use the scope without any issue. The build quality of the scope is absolutely highest of quality. Unless you roll it over by a road roller you won’t be breaking it anytime soon.

The lens on this scope is one of the if not the best that we saw. Trust me we have our fair share of spotting scopes over the years but this was something else.

There was virtually no lag while zooming and even during dusk the scope held its performance.

ON TOP OF THAT, the magnification on the scope is smooth without any distortion you can focus on any objects. Even at close range the scope shines. No, it doesn’t reflect sun but it shines through its performance. The only thing missing from the scope is the reticle.

But as the eyepiece is interchangeable you can opt for an eyepiece that has reticle. Don’t forget to choose FPP reticle. Because with this high magnification SFP reticle is going to look bad. 

The eye relief on the eyepiece is quite generous. Zooming the eyepiece is quite easy. The metal ring is pretty easy to handle. Don’t worry. It still takes a little pressure to use it. So you won’t accidentally press it.

WITH A SCOPE PRICED THIS HIGH, if the scope wasn’t O-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, it would be terrible. Luckily the Swarovski Optik HD-ATS-80 has both of them. As the optic is O-ring sealed, you don’t need to worry about changing the eyepiece under the rain. Water won’t go inside the scope by any means.

IF IT DOES, that means your unit was defective, and you can ask for a replacement. They will be very much obliged to change it if it’s still under the limited warranty period.

The build quality, the lens, the prism, the sealing, the eyepiece and interchangeable eyepiece option makes this scope unbeatable at its category. This optics right here is what a hunter looking for.

PROS

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Excellent optics quality.
  • Changeable eyepiece.
  • Close focus.
  • The included eyepiece is just excellent.
  • Tripod mountable.
  • Great for digiscoping.

CONS

  • Expensive.
  • It has a limited lifetime warranty.
  • The field of view could have been wider.

2. Kowa TSN 880 Angled Body Spotting Scope

One thing that’s holding Kowa TSN-880 series from winning the best spotting scope race is, the scope doesn’t come with an eyepiece. 

You pay around $2500 only for the scope. And trust me, it’s worth it. But now that you know what you are getting into, make sure that skip this if you don’t have at least a $2800 budget.

The TSN-883 is the flagship of the TSN-880 series. The scope is priced higher, but let me tell you it deserves that high price.

The building material of the scope is magnesium alloy: lightweight material but heavy durable. The green finish on top of the scope makes it blend with nature easily. 

The scope is 100% waterproof; in theory, you can take it to water diving. But my question is, why would you?

The scope is nitrogen purged, and all optics are fully multi-coated.

The dual focusing mechanism is an excellent feature to have. While you focus on the closest subject, you can use the second dial to fine detail the focus, just like a camera. Thanks to this, the Kowa TSN-883 is an excellent choice for hardcore digiscoper. Trust me; this scope will serve you as a blessing.

Prominar Pure Fluorite Crystal Lenses performs excellently under the heavy sun and during dusk. Depending on your eyepiece, the magnification will vary.

PROS

  • Excellent build quality.
  • Excellent optics quality.
  • Fully waterproof and fog proof.
  • Special eyepiece locking mechanism.
  • The scope performs excellently under any weather.

CONS

  • Eyepiece sold separately.
  • The mounting plate is too small.

3. Leica APO Televid 82mm Spotting Scope

The objective lens of this scope is huge 82mm. You won’t lose anything when you are looking for your prey. The field of view is also huge @41m@1,000m on 25x zoom.

I assure you that no animal is escaping your sight. 

The one downside that I can point is there is only one eyepiece that you can use with the scope. Don’t worry, the eyepiece is a 25-50x magnification one. You can spot your prey from miles away. 

The lenses of the scope are also fully multi-coated. You two options to choose from. Straight or angled. If you are a digiscoper, then we recommend you get the angled version. It helps when you put the scope on a digiscoping mount, you can easily see the image on the screen.

But if you are someone that is coming from a binocular & looking for a best spotting scope for hunting! Then you will prefer the straight version. To be honest, it will depend on your preference. Just keep in mind both of them are the same scope just with different angles of the eyepiece.

PROS

  • Excellent image quality.
  • Great focusing mechanism.
  • Great for digiscoping.
  • Good build quality.
  • Matte black.
  • The field of view is wide.
  • Available in an angled and straight version.

CONS

  • Quite expensive for a lot of people.
  • The mounting plate is not universal.
  • The accessories are by no means cheap.

4. Burris Signature 20-60x HD Spotting Scope

Burris made a comeback a couple of years ago by releasing several observational optics. This includes the new Signature HD spotting scope.

The spotter earned its name by providing HD clear images. Not a lot of spotting scope delivers HD image despite having HD in their name. 

Regardless to say this is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a good mid-range angled spotting scope.

Hunters and target shooters will be more attracted to this because of the reticle. You can choose from SCR Mil or SCR MOA reticle. Both reticles are in FPP. 

The angled eyepiece is included. It’s an excellent one. The magnification of the eyepiece is 20-60x. As the reticle in FPP, the reticle will keep zooming in alongside your magnification. If you are good at reading data, you won’t even need a rangefinder.

For target shooters and hunters, the reticle is kind of a must. Reticle gives them a better understanding of the distance and what angle they should fire at.

PROS

  • Price.
  • High-quality optics.
  • Good build quality.
  • Fast Fire compatible.
  • 20-60x eyepiece included.
  • Eyepiece with reticle available.

CONS

  • You can't buy it directly from Burris.

5. Vortex Razor HD 27-60x85 Spotting Scope

Priced similar to the Burris, the Vortex Razor is an immediate competitor of the Signature HD.

But where Vortex Razor beat Burris is in variety. That’s right; there are a total of six versions of the Razor HD family available for the purchase. For this review, we have the 27-60×85 angled version. 

AS YOU CAN GUESS, 3 of them are straight version. If you have followed our reviews for a while, you already know that we love the angled version. We have our reasons, and you should also have yours. The choice of choosing between straight or angled will depend on you. 

The optics of the scope is XR Plus Fully Multi-Coated. The prism is dielectric Prism Coatings via the Plasma Tech technology.

Under these coatings, the glass is an APO glass system with ED glass materials. You can imagine just how good the scope performs under any lighting condition. You can say the image quality is razor-sharp.

Unlike the old Razor, the new Razor series has Helical Focus with a collar-style mechanism. You can easily focus on an object with one hand.

PROS

  • Price.
  • Excellent coatings.
  • Excellent optics.
  • Wide-angle lens.
  • Available in straight and angled versions.
  • It has an excellent prism & prism coating.

CONS

  • No reticle.

6. Vortex Viper HD 20-60×85 Spotting Scope

Just like the Razor series Vortex Viper is another well-loved series by Vortex. They also have another series called Diamondback. A little spoiler Diamondback is also on the list. Vortex scopes are way best for hunting.

Just like the Razor series, the Viper series feature a Helical focus ring. The specialty of the helical focus ring is, you can easily control it with one hand. It’s sturdy enough that you won’t accidentally change your focus.

One thing Vortex never fails to amaze me is their glass. Even though Viper HD is a below $1000 scope, the glass quality is amazing.

We were genuinely surprised to find ED glass that performs excellently. For the money honestly, I am crowning this the champion. But if you want a lower budget but the latest technology, then you should go for the Vortex diamondback.

Hunters and shooters always loved viper series. The sole reason is the attractive price. The performance for the price is quite unbeatable. 

PROS

  • Price.
  • Helical focus.
  • HD image clarity.
  • ED glass.
  • Good body quality.
  • 85mm objective lens.
  • Trim profile.

CONS

  • Heavy.
  • Not suitable for extremely low-light.

7. Celestron Regal M2 65ED Spotting Scope

The glass of the Regal spotting scope is made out of low dispersion glasses. That’s why it even says in the name Regal M2 65ED glass.

If you are looking for the best hunting spotting scope under $500, you are at the right place. Celestron has been making spotting scope for decades now.

They have made some of the best astronomical spotting scopes on the market. 

The Regal M2 is no exception. Celestron Regal M2 65ED is by no means a small scope. You need to buy a tripod for the scope. But lucky for you, if you visit through our link, it will direct you to an option where you can purchase it with a universal mobile mount.

Fully multi-coated XLT glass gives you extreme clarity. The Bak-4 prism is an excellent prism used by a lot of companies in their scopes and binoculars.

The scope also has a dual focus mode. When you focus on an object, you can use the secondary focus wheel to fine-tune the object. This is the purpose of dual focus. With a dual focus and close focus, the scope is of great value for your money.

The included eyepiece is angled. The magnification is 16x-48x. That is plenty of magnification for a mid-range scope. What’s more interesting is the fact that it has a 65mm objective lens. 

PROS

  • Dual focus system.
  • ED glass.
  • Interchangeable eyepiece.
  • The tripod mount is rotatable.
  • Digiscope adaptable.
  • Excellent pricing.

CONS

  • There were some quality control issue complaints.

8. Vortex Diamondback 20-60x Spotting Scope

The price of this series is incredible. If you are looking for a low-budget spotting scope that has high magnification, then look no further. 

Most low-end scopes with high magnification turn out to be gimmick most of the time. But this is Vortex we are talking about, and they earned their respect and trust by providing quality products.

If you know Vortex for a while, you already know that Diamondback is one of their most famous series. They have riflescope and rangefinder under this name too. 

 

But to give you guys an overview, this is an excellent scope for the money. 

The scope is digiscope adaptable. The magnification on the scope is really high. The eyecup is adjustable. It’s is available in both angled and straight versions. Again we prefer the angled version. You have the flexibility to switch the angle of the scope.

ON TOP OF THAT, the tripod mount is rotatable, so you can rotate to any degrees you want. 

PROS

  • Excellent pricing.
  • Good body quality.
  • Excellent optics quality.
  • Fully multi-coated optics.
  • Fully weatherproof.
  • Great for digiscoping.
  • The tripod ring is rotatable.
  • Overall good value for money.

CONS

  • Single focus.

9. Creative Xp Hd 20-60x Spotting Scope

Ok wow! That name was a mouthful. But don’t let the name distract you. Let the price distract you.

The scope comes with a 20-60x eyepiece, and the objective lens diameter is 80mm. It’s a thick scope. 

LET ME ASSURE YOU, the magnification here is not a gimmick. You can magnify the scope to 60x and get usable pictures. Sure the magnification transition won’t be as smooth as a $2000 scope. But the distortion of the scope is really low. It’s still there but forgivable.

The scope comes with a free tripod. The durability is questionable, but hey free is free.

THE SCOPE DURABILITY, on the other hand, is pretty good. Creative XP claims to provide top quality optics for a low price. I think they have done just that. But don’t get me wrong Vortex is still better than them.

But you will have to spend $100 more to purchase a Vortex Diamondback. Do we recommend Vortex over this? If you can spend the extra, then yes. But if you don’t want to and you are happy to have a 60X magnification scope with a tripod, then don’t spend more. This will keep you just as happy.

PROS

  • Price.
  • Good build quality.
  • Decent optics quality.
  • High magnification.
  • Comfortable eyepiece.
  • Free tripod.
  • Nitrogen purged.
  • Waterproof & O-ring sealed.
  • Digiscopable.

CONS

  • Magnification isn't crisp.
  • At high magnification, there is distortion.

10. Celestron Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope

The final scope on today’s list is the Celestron Ultima 80. The scope is coincidentally also the cheapest. Does that make it the worst? No. 

Is it a toy? No. It’s a real spotting scope that can do the task really well. While it’s true that it won’t provide you with HD images, but for mid-range usage, the scope will provide you with great image clarity. Honestly, in my opinion, the scope suits bow hunter the most.

The scope has adjustable 20-60x magnification. The eyepiece is angled, and the angle of the eyepiece is 80-45degree. There is a straight version of this scope available for purchase.

The optics are multi-coated, and it uses a Bak-4 prism—quite a good prism for the price. To be honest, I don’t expect a scope at this price range to have fully magnesium alloy chassis with O-ring sealed water protection. But this scope is waterproof and shockproof.

The tripod mount, unfortunately, is fixed and not rotatable. 

PROS

  • Cheap.
  • Generous eye relief.
  • Good magnification.
  • Decent build quality.
  • Available in an angled and straight version.

CONS

  • Tripod mount not rotatable.
  • The eyepiece angle is fixed.
  • There is distortion in high magnification.

That concludes this best spotting scope for hunting! Sorry, I took more time than I promised, but hopefully, you found something that you like in this post. Like always, we have our comment section open for a healthy discussion, and you can find all the product links right below each product. You should check other reviews on our website. You might end up liking something else. 

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