If you’re here just to find the best hunting spotting scope and really can’t afford to take the time to read the excellent reviews and buying advice prepared by our researchers, this short paragraph will highlight all the vital information. We have collected a lot of information about the best products for sale in this category by looking into reviews and ratings in hunting equipment expert review sites and comparing them with actual owner feedback. Out of all the products we have looked at, we believe the Bushnell Trophy XLT 786520 is the best because of its ability to deliver fantastic range in application and distance. It is a waterproof spotting scope that boasts premium quality fully multi-coated optics with a 60X magnification that gives it extra range. It’s the perfect choice for birding enthusiasts and trophy hunters thanks to its consistent performance in providing a crystal-clear view of your target. If the Bushnell Trophy XLT 786520 is unavailable, you could get the second best option, the Redfield Rampage 67600.
Enabling birders and hunters to find and study their creatures of interest from a great distance, a hunting spotting scope ensures that the observer remains undetected so as not to spook what they are looking at. This type of device also allows hunters to determine if a particular animal is worth pursuing. As the market is crowded with various brands and models of this type of gear, how can you tell which one is the best spotting scope for hunting?
Offers the exact objective diameter and eyepiece magnification for your purpose
In a similar manner as binoculars, the products featured in the hunting spotting scope reviews need to have a large-enough objective or aperture that provides greater light-gathering power. You want high-performance glass to comprise a high-quality objective lens. If you are to choose between size and lens quality, the latter always holds greater importance. A higher quality small lens will do much better than a large, inferior-quality lens. That being said, the size of the objective lens can influence the price of the unit. For hunting, you want an objective normally ranging from 50 to 90 mm.
Designed for viewing at a distance that can’t be handled by a regular pair of binoculars, the magnification of the spotting scope should at least be between 30X and 40X to produce reasonable quality images. Image quality is directly proportional to lens quality. However, at greater magnification, some image quality can get lost.
Comes with quality lens coating and good eye relief
When viewing images at high magnifications, the lens coating is essential. Fully multi-coated lenses come with multi-layer coatings on all surfaces, multicoated lenses come with multilayer coatings on some surfaces, fully coated lenses have all of their air-to-glass surfaces coated with single-layer magnesium fluoride (MgF) coating, and coated lenses have just a single-layer magnesium fluoride coating on some of their optical surfaces. All else being equal, the quality of the image transmitted to the lens will depend on the coating for the scope. For optimal viewing, fully multi-coated scopes offer reliability.
The distance you need to be from the eyepiece that will ensure you won’t lose significant field of view is called the eye relief. Eye relief is essential for eyeglass-wearing users. Even people who wear thick lens eyeglasses can view the full image effortlessly with adequate eye relief. At least 14mm eye relief is necessary for eyeglass wearers to see clearly.
Comes with exceptional features
Look for models that feature waterproof and fogproof optics. Although those aren’t strictly necessary, they do serve to protect the scope from variances in atmospheric conditions. With the seals they produce, moisture, dust and debris are kept out to enhance durability.
Some form of support such as a tripod is needed to optimize the scope’s magnification levels. If you are spotting your target from a vehicle, a car mount should suffice but generally, a tripod is necessary. The tripod should be able to support the spotting scope adequately.
Plenty of models support digiscoping functionality, or the ability to adapt to a camera to take long range photos. The camera may have to be fitted with specific adaptors to facilitate crystal-clear images with good quality.
Top Rated Hunting Spotting Scopes in 2018
There are many hunting spotting scopes on the market and this can easily overwhelm the uninitiated or beginners. We hope the above buying guide can help you make an easier decision. We have also showcased the best products below for even more shopping assistance.
Bushnell Trophy XLT
If you are looking for the best compact spotting scope for hunting, the Bushnell Trophy XLT 786520 makes the perfect choice. This model is designed for those who are born to hunt and have the guts to pursue the sport earnestly. Easily the supreme spotting scope for the toughest conditions, this model comes with fully multi-coated optics that have all their surfaces covered with multilayer coating. The rugged, rubber-encased housing is 100 percent waterproof so you can use the device in the most challenging settings. Easy to carry and set up with just a 13.4-inch length, this device delivers a remarkable zoom magnification to a maximum of 60X. It also ships with everything needed for you to get started on an awesome hunting journey, including a Porro prism design, a compact tripod plus a quality hard-side case. Making a dependable hunting partner, this tough spotting scope comes with a 65mm objective lens and only weighs 42.3 ounces, which makes it easy to transport. Its field of view is 110 feet at 1,000 yards and 20X magnification, while at 60X magnification, 55 feet at 1,000 yards.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
Redfield Rampage 67600
Frequently featured in the best hunting spotting scopes reviews, the Redfield Rampage 67600 ships to you with its own compact tripod, view-through soft case, lens covers and a neoprene neck strap so you can get started on your hunting journey. The hunter-friendly price makes this a great acquisition for the buck. Delivering more magnification during your hunts, this model is built with a polycarbonate body that helps reduce weight. You can expect to view superior quality images thanks to the premium BaK-4 prism and fully multi coated lenses that maximize image clarity and brightness.
The view-through soft case provides fold-down access to the eyepiece and objective so you won’t even need to remove the said case. The device delivers 20-foot close focus distance to make it suitable for intermediate to long-distance observing. The nitrogen-filled polycarbonate housing makes the unit exceptionally lightweight and rugged enough to withstand the elements. The slip-resistant ridges are particularly useful when you have your hands in winter gloves while mounting or focusing the unit.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($199)
The Emarth spotting scope comes with a tabletop tripod, a carrying bag, a lens cap and a user’s manual, so you are ready to get started once you get the product delivered to you. Easily the best value spotting scope for hunting, this model is an angled spotting scope that offers variable 20X to 60X magnification supplemented by a 60mm objective lens so you can enjoy clear views of your target animal while comfortably looking down into the scope instead of straining and squinting straight through it. The revolutionary dynamic lens focusing system provides effortless zooming in on the target. To give you a superbly clear view, this spotting scope comes with a BK-7 prism and fully multi coated optics. This model has 100 percent fog proofing and waterproofing to withstand extreme weather conditions. Thanks to the shock-absorbing rubber armor, this ergonomically designed model offers enhanced overall handling plus maximum protection for lasting use through the years. This makes a fantastic all-around optical instrument that can be used for viewing outdoor sporting activities and nature at a considerable distance.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)