5 Tips To Find Best Scope For Elk Hunting

Guest Post by Jenni Beckar

Elk hunting has always been a very popular hobby for many. It is not complicated by itself but has a lot of intricate mechanics and issues to keep one interested for a long time and provide a reasonable challenge. Now, one of the most important factors in elk hunting or hunting in general is having a proper rifle equipped with a proper scope.

How exactly would you go about picking one? Because the more you look into it, the more you’ll realize that this is not as simple as picking a scope with some magnification and placing it on top of your rifle. There are a few other simple but significant considerations you want to take into account before you can make that choice.

Here are 5 tips to find the best scope for elk hunting that will ensure you have everything you’d need in your scope without paying any more than you actually have to.

  • Choose your objective lens based on how far you plan on being: 

In a lot of elk hunting cases, you could be positioned anywhere from 150 to 350 yards which would need you to have some level of zoom on your scope but not necessarily much. A 3x or 4x scope would do just fine in this case as it would let you shoot all the way up to 500 yards.

The more important factors here are how clear the image is and how much field of view you can have at that level of zoom. You obviously want to minimize the blur and the more you can see, the better as you might sometimes find yourself shooting a moving target. This just makes it much easier to keep track of.

  • Get a scope with sufficient eye relief on your rifle: 

Eye relief is how far you can place your eye from the scope without the image getting fuzzy. If you’re too close, you risk getting hit by the scope due to recoil. If it’s a scope with higher zoom, you will usually get less eye relief and combine that with a high recoil rifle and you won’t be having a good time.

The eye relief changes between brands and how much zoom the scope is rated for. So, you always want to consider how much recoil your rifle produces and get a scope with eye relief that compensates for that.

Consider the durability of your scope: Depending on the conditions you will be shooting in, you might want your scope to tick a few boxes if it is to survive for a long time. The very basic of this is it needs to be fog/dust proof. This means a proper seal of the tube and perhaps even a nitrogen purged interior so that no fog can get inside.

If you plan on using it in rough conditions like extreme heat or rain even if it’s sometime in the future, it would be worth investing in a weatherproof design. They are expensive and don’t provide any immediate benefit, but it greatly improves the life span of your scope and its effectiveness even after a long time.

  • Parallax correction: 

Parallax error is a very big factor in any type of shooting and can become quite annoying if you don’t have means to deal with it. So, your first option is to get a rifle that is parallax free, this would likely be more expensive and you might sometimes even have to make a compromise in some other aspect for this.

The other option is to opt for a scope that has parallax correction knob. This will let you compensate for any parallax by setting the knob to the distance you will be shooting at. This will lead the scope to adjust accordingly and provide you with the best possible shot.

  • Choose your reticle based on your comfort: 

There are a lot of reticles and while some provide an edge, it’s mostly dependent on how well the shooter makes use of the information and the functions it provides. If you’re familiar with a certain reticle and used it before, then you can just choose that and you won’t be missing much.

If you’re completely new, going with a basic plus sign reticle will be a good option. It’s clean, does not need you to have any prior knowledge to use it and gets the job done fairly well. It does not give you any additional advantages but does not hold you back in anyway either. Comfort is the most important factor here and as long as you have that, any reticle will do just fine.


So, those are our 5 tips that can help you find an optimal scope for your elk hunting adventures. There is a lot more to it but these are the very basic guidelines that can get you started on the right track without investing too much time or money into it.

You will find more scope for elk hunting on scopenerd.com with expert opinion. Apart from this, you will get detailed information about the best scopes for elk hunting.

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