Best Scopes for Elk Hunting: Top 5 Picks for a Successful Hunt

Elk hunting is a popular outdoor activity that requires skill, patience, and the right equipment. One of the key tools every hunter needs for a successful expedition is a high-quality scope.

A scope not only enables you to spot elk at a distance but also improves your accuracy when taking a shot. In this article, we’ll discuss the best scopes for elk hunting, focusing on factors such as magnification, optical clarity, and durability to help you make an informed decision.

Scopes come in various sizes and styles, and with different features, making it crucial to find the right one for your needs and preferences. Elk hunting typically requires longer-range shooting, so selecting a scope with sufficient magnification is essential.

Additionally, since hunting often occurs in low light conditions during early mornings or late evenings, having a scope with an exceptional light transmission capability can make a significant difference in your overall success.

When purchasing a scope, it is essential to consider attributes such as the build quality, lens coating, reticle style, and adjustment options for windage and elevation. These factors can greatly impact your hunting experience and the accuracy of your shots.

We devoted many hours to researching and testing various scopes to present you with the best options for elk hunting. Read on to find the perfect scope to elevate your hunting prowess and increase your success in the field.

Best Scopes for Elk Hunting

We have carefully curated a list of the best scopes for elk hunting to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience in the field.

BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope

BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope

This night vision scope is perfect for hunters seeking an affordable option with useful features and satisfactory performance.


  • Day and night functionality
  • Easy to assemble
  • High-quality nighttime captures


  • Bulky design
  • Batteries not included
  • Limited night vision range without additional IR illuminators

We recently tried out the BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope during an elk hunting trip, and it proved to be quite effective. The day and night functionality is impressive, providing clear color views during daylight hours. This versatile feature makes the scope a handy addition to any hunting gear.

Assembling the scope was a breeze, thanks to detailed instructions. We were able to quickly attach it to our rifle for immediate use.

The scope’s high-quality night captures allowed us to observe and track our targets easily, even in complete darkness. This makes it ideal for nighttime wildlife observation or exploring caves.

However, there are some drawbacks to this night vision scope. Its bulky design can feel cumbersome when carrying it around in the field for extended periods. Also, it’s essential to note that the package does not include batteries, so plan to purchase them separately.

In terms of night vision range, the scope performs adequately with the included 5W sliding infrared flashlight. However, if you want to extend the range, we recommend purchasing additional 5W IR illuminators or even a more powerful option.

Despite these minor issues, the BESTSIGHT DIY Digital Night Vision Scope is a reliable and cost-effective choice for elk hunting enthusiasts.

UUQ 6-24×50 AO Rifle Scope

UUQ 6-24x50 AO Rifle Scope

An excellent choice for hunters seeking a high-performance scope for elk hunting in various conditions.


  • Exceptional high-definition observation
  • Upgrade precision multi-coated lens
  • Dual-color illumination and AO adjustment


  • May be too large for some pellet rifles
  • No installation or operation instructions included
  • Possible inconsistency in adjustment knobs

The UUQ 6-24×50 AO Rifle Scope impressed us with its incredibly clear and high-definition observation. The adjustable 6-24x magnification allowed us to spot our targets with ease at different distances. The 50mm objective lens, combined with the upgraded multi-coated lens, contributed to the excellent transparency even in less-than-ideal conditions.

The five levels of red and green brightness boasted by the dual-color illumination feature greatly assisted us in achieving accurate shots during long-range shooting. The adjustable objective lens (AO) and quick-focus eyepiece were essential in eliminating parallax and providing a clear vision customized to our individual needs.

However, we noticed that this UUQ scope may be too large for some pellet rifles, so make sure to check compatibility before purchasing. Additionally, the scope did not come with installation or operation instructions, which can be a drawback for those new to using rifle scopes. We also encountered some inconsistency in the adjustment knobs, which may affect zeroing for certain users.

The UUQ 6-24×50 AO Rifle Scope offers excellent clarity and performance for elk hunting, especially considering its affordable price point.

With its high-definition observation, upgraded precision lenses, and dual-color illumination features, this scope is certainly worth considering for your next elk-hunting adventure. Just be sure to verify its compatibility with your rifle and be prepared to seek out additional instructions for installation and operation.

Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope

Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope

A reliable and high-performance riflescope ideal for elk hunting, offering bright and accurate visuals.


  • Exceptional brightness and clarity with Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses
  • Ideal for long-range shooting with 6-18x magnification and 50mm objective
  • Durable and weather-resistant design


  • Scope mounts may need to be upgraded for optimal performance
  • Slightly heavier than some competitors
  • Limited lifetime warranty

We recently tried out the Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope and found that it truly lived up to its reputation. The Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses provided incredibly bright and high-contrast visuals, making it much easier to spot elk during those critical early morning and late evening hunts.

One of the standout features of this riflescope is its long-range capabilities. With 6-18x magnification and a large 50mm objective, we had no trouble engaging targets at extended distances. This made it ideal not just for elk hunting, but also for varmint, silhouette, and target shooting.

The build quality of the Bushnell Banner impressed us too. The argon-purged fog-proofing and IPX7 waterproof construction ensured that the scope remained clear and remained stable in a range of weather conditions.

However, it’s worth noting that you may need to upgrade to a set of high-profile scope mounts to get the best performance from this scope.

On the downside, we found that the scope was a little heavier than some competing models, which may be a consideration for hunters who are conscious about overall rifle weight. Additionally, though the limited lifetime warranty offers some peace of mind, it may not be as comprehensive as warranties offered by other brands.

The Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm Riflescope is an excellent choice for elk hunters seeking a dependable and high-quality scope with long-range capabilities. Its outstanding brightness, clarity, and weather resistance make it well worth considering, despite the aforementioned drawbacks.

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm

An ideal scope to enhance your elk hunting experience with its clarity, brightness, and excellent features.


  • Exceptional brightness and clarity with DDB multi-coated lenses
  • Extended 6 inches of eye relief for comfort
  • Argon-purged fog-proofing and IPX7 waterproof construction


  • Plastic material may be less durable
  • No night vision capabilities
  • May experience some issues with reticle alignment

We recently had the chance to take the Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope on an elk hunting trip, and we were quite impressed with its performance. The Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses provided bright and high-contrast images, even during the twilight hours when elk is often most active.

The extended 6 inches of eye relief added comfort during long hours of use and allowed for quick target acquisition. The scope felt well-balanced on our rifles, and we appreciated the versatility of the 3-9×40 magnification range.

Another feature that stood out to us was the argon-purged fog-proofing and IPX7 waterproof construction. These elements ensured that the scope remained fog-free and dry in varying weather conditions, allowing for unobstructed views of the field.

However, there were a few drawbacks to the scope. The plastic material, while lightweight, could potentially be less durable in the long run compared to aluminum or other metals. Additionally, this scope does not have night vision capabilities, limiting its usefulness during nighttime hunting excursions.

Lastly, it’s important to note that some users have reported issues with the reticle alignment; however, we did not encounter these issues during our recent elk hunting trip.

The Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope is a great option for elk hunters seeking a scope that offers exceptional brightness, clarity, and comfort.

While it does have a few limitations in terms of durability and night vision, its pros far outweigh the cons, making it a worthy addition to your hunting gear.

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope

The Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope is a reliable choice for elk hunters seeking bright, accurate, and dependable performance.


  • Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses
  • 6 inches of extended eye relief
  • Argon purged fog-proofing and IPX7 waterproof construction


  • Basic packaging
  • No night vision
  • Some users received a 3-inch eye-relief scope

The Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope impressed us with its clarity and brightness, thanks to the Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coated lenses. This feature is particularly helpful in low-light situations when elk are often more active. As we adjusted the magnification between 3-9x, we found the images remained crisp and true to color, allowing us to spot the details needed for a successful hunt.

The 6 inches of extended eye relief on this riflescope caught our attention, as it allows for a comfortable distance between our eyes and the scope. The added comfort and safety provided by this extended eye relief make it a suitable option for high-recoil rifles. Additionally, the argon-purged fog-proofing and IPX7 waterproof construction ensure the scope remains reliable and functional in various hunting conditions. We appreciated the fog-proofing as the ambient temperature changed during our tests.

While the performance of the Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope was noteworthy, we found a few downsides. The packaging of the product was minimal and may not sufficiently protect the riflescope during shipping.

Furthermore, this scope lacks night vision capabilities which might be a deal-breaker for some hunters seeking for enhanced vision in darker conditions. Lastly, we noticed some user reviews that reported receiving a version with only 3 inches of eye relief instead of the advertised 6 inches.

The Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Riflescope’s features are well-suited for elk hunting. The DDB multi-coated lenses, extended eye relief, and weather-resistant construction make it a solid choice for hunters looking to invest in a reliable scope.

Keep in mind the packaging and night vision limitations, but if those are not critical concerns, give this riflescope a shot on your next elk hunting expedition.

Buying Guide

As avid elk hunters ourselves, we understand the importance of choosing the best scope for elk hunting. In this buying guide, we’ll walk you through some key features to look for when searching for the perfect scope, without mentioning specific brands or products.

Magnification: Elk hunting often requires long-range shots, so we recommend a scope with adjustable magnification between 3x and 12x. This will allow for accurate targeting at various distances, while still providing a good field of view.

Objective Lens Diameter: A larger objective lens diameter improves light transmission, which is particularly useful in low-light hunting conditions, such as early mornings or late evenings. We suggest considering scopes with an objective lens diameter of at least 40mm.

Reticle: There are a variety of reticle options available, and choosing the right one depends on personal preference and hunting style. However, for elk hunting, we recommend a ballistic reticle with holdover marks to compensate for bullet drops at longer ranges.


The durability of a scope is crucial for hunting in rugged environments. We advise looking for:

  • Construction: Opt for scopes built with sturdy materials and seals, ensuring the scope is shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof.
  • Lens Coating: A good quality lens coating can prevent scratches and reduce glare, maintaining the clarity of your view.


Precise and easy-to-use adjustments are important to achieve an accurate shot. Here’s what to consider:

  • Turrets: Choose scopes with turrets that offer tactile, audible, and easily resettable adjustments for windage and elevation.
  • Parallax Adjustment: While not essential, a scope with parallax adjustment can help minimize aiming errors at long distances.


Finally, keep your budget in mind. Scopes can range from affordable to high-end, but it’s essential to find one that delivers good value for your money. Balancing quality and cost will ensure you make a wise investment in your elk hunting experience.

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