Top 5 Best Rifle Scope For Elk Hunting – Reviews

best rifle scope for elk hunting

If you search for the best rifle scope for elk hunting online, you’re going to find a lot of products claiming to be just that. But the question is how do you figure out which scopes actually live up to the hype? 

While there are a lot of rifle scopes, there are only a few suited specifically for elk hunting. This is where these reviews come in. Here we will take a look at the top scopes for hunting elk. 

Because there are a lot of hunting scopes, we made sure to narrow the list down so you don’t have to spend any more time browsing online looking for answers. 

While the main focus here is the reviews, we have also provided other information to help you out. Whether you are new to elk hunting or not, the following information should definitely help you find the right solution to your needs.

Name

Magnification & OL

Reticle

FOV

Price

Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Scope

3-9x40

CF500 Ballistic Reticle

40/13.6 ft. At 100 yards

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

3-9x40

Multi-X Reticle

35@3x / 12@9x(ft@100yds/m@100m)

TRACT TEKOA 3-12x42 Riflescope

3-12x42

BDC Reticle

34.3 / 8.5(feet @ 100 yards)

TRACT TEKOA 4-16x44 Riflescope

4-16x44

T-Plex Reticle

25.7 / 6.6 feet (@ 100 yards)

Primary Arms 4-16X44 Illuminated Mil Dot Scope

4-16X44

Mil Dot

26.19 ft/6.98 ft(@100)

Our Picks

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Bushnell Banner 3-9x40mm Scope

Score: 4.4  Andrew Garfield

Bushnell is known for their quality products, and this scope is a good example of that. This 3-9x40 mm scope is also notable for its optics that work at dusk and dawn. Now you don’t have to wait for daybreak just to use the scope. 

The multicoated scope produces clear, clean images, and quality is not affected even if it’s early evening or morning. A lot of game, not just elk, are at their most active during this period. 

With the reticle and magnification however you’ll be able to keep an eye on them and take out your chosen target. The optics have been supplied with the patented Bushnell DDB technology. What this does is magnify the brightness levels so you can see better. 

While it is effective for elk, this scope is also suitable for different types of game. The optics are durable and clear, and the reticle is as accurate as more expensive scopes, and adjustment is easy.

Features:

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    The scope is nitrogen filled and fortified against the weather. For the hunter it means the scope remains usable even if it gets wet.
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    The scope is made from durable, high quality materials. It is also shockproof and can take a few bumps and hits.
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    The Bushnell has brightness coatings for dusk and dawn. Some elk show up during this periods so having this type of scope helps.
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    There is a 1/4 MOA fingertip adjustment built in. You only need to move your fingers a little make the adjustment.
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     It has a CF500 illumination in green or red. Regardless of the color you’ll be able to see images more clearly.

Pros

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    Easy to adjust
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    Shockproof
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    Waterproof
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    Clear images
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    Adequate FOV

Cons

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    Slightly longer than other scopes
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    Manual lacks a few details
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    Reticle illumination could be brighter 

The Bushnell is a well made scope and suitable for elk hunting. It is accurate, versatile and will serve your needs in different situations.

Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Multi-X Reticle Riflescope

Score: 4.2  Andrew Garfield

This 3-9x40 scope is built for those who hunt elk and other species on a regular basis. This is a solid, one piece scope that can withstand heavy duty use. 

It is also shock proof and waterproof so your vista does not get affected by a few droplets of rain. With its Multi-X reticle and the 3-9x power, you can close in that elk, deer or other big game without being noticed. 

It also comes with a side focus parallax adjuster. This is a handy feature that improves accuracy for long range shooting. The Legend is also equipped with a good eyepiece to complement the optics. 

The optics are clear even if there’s little light available. The optics also do a good job of keeping condensation at bay even if fog or haze builds up in the area.

Features:

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    The Legend is made from one piece, giving it extra strength. This also means the tube is shockproof and can handle the woods.
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    The scope optics have been fortified against water and fog. Weather can be unpredictable especially during dusk and dawn so waterproofing and fog proofing helps.
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    The scope has variable power and a versatile reticle. This gives you the edge when hunting elk, deer and other animals.
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    Its ED Prime Extra Low Dispersion Glass provides greater visibility. With this you get sharper contrast.
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    Its Rain Guard HD protects the glass. Whether it’s your breath or condensation, the optics always remain clear.

Pros

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    Compatible with many hunting rifles 
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    Fortified design
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    Great for long range shooting
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    Easy to adjust
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    Works great in low lit conditions

Cons

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    Getting to zero could be easier
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    ​The finish doesn’t look too smooth
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    The user guide only has basic info

The Bushnell Legend is a scope that more than lives up to its name. There may be a few issues here and there, but overall we are content with its performance.

TRACT TEKOA 3-12x42 Riflescope

Score: 4.2  Andrew Garfield

The Tekoa rifle scope makes our list for its high level of customization. You can modify the elevation and windage to a high accuracy level. With the 1/4 clicks @ 100 yards you can tweak the sight and reset to zero quickly.

The Tekoa is built from one piece so it’s not going to fall apart when you use it. It is argon purged so it is waterproof. Its level of fog and waterproofing is beyond that of the usual scope so it’s more durable.

The scope mounts quickly on most rifles and it is one of the most versatile. The FOV is good and its clarity level is better than most products in its range. Its light transmission is one of the best in its class as well.

Its reticle is ideal for precision targeting and works very well when combined with its other features for superior performance.

Features:

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    The scope is equipped with an HD optical system. It utilizes the Schott HT glass and has multi-coated lenses for the best light transmission.
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    Its BDC reticle allows for bullet drop compensation. However it is able to do this without affecting the target.
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    The scope uses the Point Bracketing system. This allows you to set the reticle where it needs to be hit the target.
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    The one piece scope has argon purging and O ring sealed. This ensures the optics are fog proof and waterproof.
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    Its hand turn windage and elevation adjustments are audible and repeatable. This allows you to quickly set it to zero and modify other settings.

Pros

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    Accurate
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    Crisp, sharp images
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    Fog proof
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    Versatile performance
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    Suitable for different environments

Cons

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    Slightly heavy 
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    Adjusting gets a bit of getting used to
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    More suited for advanced hunters than beginners

The TRACT TEKOA 3-12x42 is the rifle scope for the serious elk hunter. It may be a bit complex for beginners, but for long time hunters will find this useful.

TRACT TEKOA 4-16x44 Riflescope

Score: 5  Andrew Garfield

Another Tekoa makes our list, this time the 4-16x44. It shares many features with other Tekoa scopes, but it also has unique elements that set it apart.

Light transmission is always key, and the 4-16x44 shines here. There is very little glare and the clarity level is excellent. It works best in well lit spots but you also get good views in low lit settings. If you’re hunting for elk a dusk and dawn, this scope will make for a fine companion.

The eye relief is comfortable, and the FOV is better than on most scopes. The big difference is it doesn’t have the upper vertical post, giving you a better FOV. Even so it doesn’t affect your ability to acquire a target.

The scope also earns points for its adjustability. One of the problems with most scopes is they're hard to adjust or offer very few options. With the Tekoa you can adjust it until it matches your target requirements.

Features:

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    The Tekoa uses an HD optical mechanism with Schott HT Glass and multicoated lenses. This means the light is transmitted at the highest possible level for better clarity.
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    The scope has a T Plex reticle etched in glass. Compared to a regular reticle you get a better field of view.
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    The scope has been argon purged and sealed completely. Compared to other scopes, it holds off water and fog at a higher level.
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    You can customize the Tekoa with accessories to improve performance. You can outfit it with custom turret kits and zero and lock functions too.

Pros

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    Excellent sight 
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    Fog proof
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    Lots of adjustment options
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    Has a lifetime warranty
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    Easy to mount

Cons

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    Slightly heavier than other scopes
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    No zero lock and stop
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    May be too complicated for beginners

The Tekoa 4-16x44 scope has a few drawbacks, but the pros outweigh the cons. For advanced hunting needs and reliability, the Tekoa 4-16x44 makes for a good option.

Primary Arms 4-16X44 Illuminated Mil Dot Scope

Score: 4.8  Andrew Garfield

This scope from Primary Arms has been included in our list for its durability and ease of use. The optics are pretty good even in low visibility environments. It is easy to make adjustments to acquire your target and the range is solid.

The mount isn’t the lightest we have tried, but it’s not going to have a major impact in terms of rifle weight. The one piece design really pays off here and the durability extends to the optics.

The turrets are well-designed and the glass holds up better than those on cheaper scopes. Since it is compatible with a lot of rifles, you probably won’t have issues with it. 

The tracking is also good and really helps improve performance. We also want to add that its clicks are audible and its focus range is precise so performance is consistent.

Features:

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    The scope is equipped with focus controls at the side. By making simple adjustments you’ll get the best possible view to hit your target.
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    Its mil dot reticle is illuminated for your convenience. With this you can spot a target even in low lit places.
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    The turrets can be locked and reset. Using these you’ll be able to control the scope and fine tune it.
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    The scope has been nitrogen purged so it’s waterproof. Now you don’t have to worry about using the scope in damp weather.
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    The scope is built for maximum compatibility. It works fine with most rifles and seting up only takes moments.

Pros

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    Good field of view
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    Does not get affected by fog
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    Made from quality materials
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    Mounting is easy
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    Works in low lit environments

Cons

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    Does not have a sunshade
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    Reticle is a bit thin
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    Heavy

The Primary Arms scope does not have the feature set of more expensive models. But if you just need a no-frills scope to aid in hunting elk and game, the Primary Arm scope will suffice.

How We Wrote This Review

We used a very specific approach to writing these reviews. We assume that you have already read other reviews online, so you are wondering if there is anything here that is different. Firs of all we have actual experience in elk hunting and how it is done.

We conducted a lot of research, and from the various hunting scopes picked the ones that are most suited for elk hunting. We tried each scope and compared them to find out which ones met our criteria.

Apart from doing our own research, we also got input from elk hunters and experts who bought these scopes. We then performed a thorough assessment of each to determine the top five. Once the process was complete we wrote the reviews, focusing only on the most important details.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of an elk hunting scope.

Benefits of the Best Rifle Scope For Elk Hunting 

There are a lot of rifle scopes, but an elk hunting scope offers a lot of benefits for many reasons. While they have a lot in common with your standard scope, there are major differences as well. ​​​​

The most significant is these scopes are meant for hunting elk. It takes more than just a powerful rifle as you also need a scope that lets you view the target and aim accurately. 

These scopes are also designed for use in different types of weather. Most of these scopes also have multicoated lenses so for sharper images and better light transmission. 

These scopes are also built with comfort in mind. You can make adjustments to the controls so the images come out the way you like. They are also compatible with a wide range of rifles so you can use them out of the box right away. 

How We Chose the Top 5

We set down several criteria in picking out the top 5. In particular we took note of the following.

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    Clarity: that’s what a scope is for, so it is one of the primary considerations. We of course picked only those that are clear.
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    Durability: we also based our choice on how well the scope is able to handle fluctuating weather, rain and fog.
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    Magnification: all scopes offer magnification, but we only selected the ones that provide magnification without image distortion.
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    Compatibility: we chose the scopes which can be used with the most popular rifles today.​
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    For elk hunting: the five scopes we have here are all designed specifically for elk hunting.
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    Value: we also made sure the scopes provide value for your money.

There are a lot of things that come into play when reviewing, but those above the most important.

Who Should Buy These Scopes?

So are these scopes the one for you? These scopes are aimed at the following:

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    Elk hunters who want advanced scopes that improve aim and accuracy.
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    These scopes are also for those who want dependability and reliability when woods hunting.
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    You want scopes that can be used in the rain, sun and foggy environments.

If you fit in any of these then these scopes are for you.

Conclusion

The importance of having quality scopes for hunting and shooting cannot be stressed enough. If you purchase a poorly made scope it will lead to low performance. That is the reason why reading credible reviews is a must because it just makes your life easier.

As to which of the five products here is the “best”, that is harder to answer. After researching we feel they are all quality products, and the best is the one that matches your specs. Elk hunters have particular needs, so it’s matter of choosing the one here that maces.

With the reviews here, you now have the opportunity to resolve whatever accuracy issues you may have with your rifle. Of course the secret to being a good hunter has a lot to do with skills.  it also helps if you have the best rifle scope for elk hunting with you.

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Stanley Jones
 

Stanley is a professional hunter with years of experience in hunting, rifle, scopes and other tools that used for hunting. Chief Editor of The Shooters Optics.

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