Picking a Scope for Hunting Deer & Elk With Michael Waddell

Best New Deer and Elk Scopes for 2018

As much as we love hearing the sweet string music of a Hoyt bow during deer and elk season, there’s nothing like busting out the ol smoke pole and running some lead through our Remingtons during gun season! After all, most of us shot our first deer with a hand-me-down rifle and there’s just something right in the world when you can put that big buck or an old doe in the crosshairs and squeeze the trigger. Whether you’re introducing someone new to hunting or just love the smell of gun powder on a cool, fall morning, the additional range and opportunities that you get with gun hunting can be a huge advantage. Watch as Michael takes us through his latest rifle setup that he’ll be using on hunts this season and beyond. But first, what should you look for in a hunting scope to be used on deer and/or elk?

Minimum Requirements for a Deer Hunting Scope

Depending on where you hunt, the conditions you’ll face, and whether you are actually hunting deer or elk, the best deer hunting scope is going to be a bit different. For closer range situations and daylight shots, a basic 3-9×40 scope should be plenty good enough for whitetails, mule deer, or elk. In fact, that’s probably the most common and best scope magnification for deer hunting. But if you’re going to be hunting in wild country where you don’t expect to get any easy shots under 100 or even 200 yards away, you’ll need one of the best long range rifle scopes you can get. A 6-18×50 deer hunting scope allows you to zoom much further in and see clearer images than before, both of which will help you fill your tag on hard-to-hunt animals.

Additionally, the best rifle scopes and best rifle scope brands will definitely feature some kind of lens coatings and protection. Coatings help reduce glare, increase light transmission for clearer pictures, and protect the lens from dirt, debris, water, etc. Bushnell changed the game with their new EXO barrier, and it’s really cool and works very well!  Here what Michael is mounting up on his Remington this year.

Details About The Deer Hunting Scope

You probably noticed that Michael actually mentions two rifle scopes he is excited to try out this year for slightly different purposes. One is higher powered and a little more expensive than the other, so you can agree that one of these could work for your next deer or elk hunt.

Bushnell® Prime Scope

The first deer hunting scope Michael mentions is the Bushnell® Prime scope. It has a magnification range of 6 to 18 power and has a 50 mm objective lens for great light transmission in low light situations or long shots. It contains the Multi-X reticle, which is a classic sight picture. It is highly waterproof, capable of being submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes – not that you’d ever do that, but it shows it is capable of withstanding wet field conditions. The EXO Barrier Protection is a protective lens coating that molecularly bonds to the glass to repel water, oil, dust, and debris – it even prevents scratches from the lens! Last, the lenses are fully multi-coated, meaning they increase light transmission, image brightness, and image contrast, helping you to get on target and stay on target. Michael mentions that this lens is a very high quality option that doesn’t break the bank, but is it toward the top of the line.

Bushnell® Engage Scope

The Bushnell® Engage scope is a great mid-range whitetail scope with a magnification range of 3 to 9 power and a 40 mm objective lens. It also features the EXO Barrier Protection lens coating that molecularly bonds to the glass to repel water, oil, dust, and debris. The lenses are fully multi-coated with layers of anti-reflective coating to deliver bright, high-contrast images. It features the Deploy™ MOA reticle with MOA hashmarks to help with windage and elevation and a thin reticle that doesn’t block the target. This is one of the best rifle scopes for the money given its amazing features.


Bushnell® Forge Scope

Bushnell® also has the Forge series. While Michael doesn’t specifically talk about this series it makes for a powerful competitor when looking for a deer or elk hunting scope. It features a black or terrain brown finish. It has a thin crosshair with long hashmarks at every 1 MOA for wind and elevation holds. A first focal plane construction also allows a scale of adjustments at any magnification.

Best Uses of These Deer Hunting Scopes

As Michael mentions in the video, he plans on mounting at least one of these scopes (the Prime) to his Remington® Model 700 chambered in 7mm Mag for elk or whitetail. The combination of a heavy-hitting gun with an ultra-accurate deer scope is a good bet to use against elk. He plans to mount the Bushnell® Engage scope on a Winchester 300 Mag rifle, which is another great combination. As he noted, sight your rifle in about dead on or 1 inch high from the center of the target, so you know that you will drill an elk or deer at very long ranges, especially if you’re firing high quality Hornady® ammunition appropriate for your caliber.

As you look for a new deer hunting scope this season, remember these two options. You will be more than pleased with the results when you momentarily put the bow down to go hunting with a firearm.

If you are a bow hunter and interested in seeing what Waddy is shooting, check out this video.

 

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