Best Spotting Scopes for Elk Hunting (best optical quality)

(Last Updated On: January 24, 2020)

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Hunting scopes are meant to survive extreme weather conditions, show minutest details of the target, and never become a burden for the hunter. If your glass is lacking in any of these aspects, it’s about time you opt for an upgrade.

Luckily, selecting one of the best spotting scopes for elk hunting won’t be a brainstorming activity for you since I have compiled this list of high-end spotters to make this process easier.

Hunters must already know that determining the gender and size of an elk from miles distance is only possible when you’re there with a great spotting scope. If you’ve opted for an average glass, forget about accurately spotting and shooting your trophy, you might get confused between a hind and a bull and miss the chance to collect antlers.  

Elk hunting scopes (just like binoculars for elk hunting) must be apt at spotting, focusing, and magnifying the subject as, without these perks, you cannot enjoy long-ranging hunts.

Therefore, I am here with four elk hunting spotting scopes that have made it to my list with their ergonomic designs, affordable pricing, and impressive image quality.

Needless to say, each one of these has different specs and price tags. If you’re looking for an excellent spotter for elk hunting, you’ve landed in the right place. This spotting scopes’ review will make the selection easier and foolproof by walking you through the features of each scope. 

Here is a quick list of my top spotting scopes for elk hunting;

  1. Celestron Ultima 80mm scope: 20-60×80 Winner
  2. Landove spotting scope: 20-60×62 – Affordable
  3. Vortex Diamondback straight spotting scope: 20-60×80
  4. Vortex Razor HD angled spotting scope: For lifetime investment

So, without waiting any longer, let’s start:

Landove 20-60×62 Zoom Spotting Scope

Landove is a Chinese optics brand that is well-known for manufacturing inexpensive, durable, and functional spotters. This zoom spotting scope comes with a 62mm focal lens that produces bright and coherent imagery of far-off objects. Landove has coated this focal lens with green film to reduce light reflection and improve transmission.

Its 20-60x magnification easily complements elk hunting requirements and doesn’t let you miss a trophy. Even if you spot a distant object, this scope’s wide-ranging magnification will ensure that you get a good look at it.

Moreover, this spotter comes with a unique coaxial focus system that never lets you miss a worth-watching sight. For example, if you catch a running elk, use the quick focus to spot its location and mark it. Once you know where the target is, use the slow focusing knob for further clarifying the sight; Landove spotter doesn’t miss a target even when your focus isn’t set right.

You can also rotate the eyepiece to 180 degrees to lock your subject, and that too, without moving the tripod. This helpful feature comes in handy during extreme hunting sessions where time is crucial.

Landove 20-60×62 scope is designed to assist elk hunters without taking much space in their luggage. If you’re a light traveler, this 55oz scope with a non-slip grip and sleek body will be your best buddy.

You’ll get a smartphone adapter with the scope as well; filming and sharing exotic wildlife is effortless if you have Landove zoom spotting scope in hand. Attaching/detaching smartphones to your scope and clicking captivating pictures with up to 60x magnification is something you’ll surely adore.

Its 18-19.5mm eye relief distance and adjustable eyecup will keep your eyes comfortable while you keenly observe an object. Especially if the glassing sessions are long, this ERD makes them more manageable.

The 35.2-60 twilight factor also contributes to enhancing image brightness and gives you leverage to scout for the elks early morning or in the evening. Although you cannot accurately shoot in low light with this twilight factor, it’s still good enough for scouting and scanning a region.

Running in search of your target elk and not losing its sight even for a minute is easy with Landove scope; try and see for yourself.

This one is the most cost-effective scope from my list of best elk hunting scopes. If your budget is limited, go for Landove 20-60×62 zoom spotting scope and shoot bulls like a champion!

If you are interested in this Landove spotting scope, you can find more information and customer reviews here on the Amazon website.

Technical Features

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Lens diameter: 62mm
  • Field of View: 156-81ft at 1000 yards
  • Eye relief distance: 19.5-18mm
  • Twilight factor: 35.2- 60.9
  • Exit pupil diameter: 3.25-1.2mm
  • Weight: 55.6oz

Pros

  • Dual focus system
  • Wide eyepiece
  • Perfect for digiscoping
  • Great value for the money
  • Non-slip grip
  • Water/fog proof
  • Compact design
  • Comfortable for glasses wearers

Cons

  • Faintly blur imagery at higher magnification
  • Complaints of slight edge distortion

What’s in the box?

  • Landove 2-60x62 scope
  • Smartphone adapter
  • Lens covers
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Carry bag

Celestron Ultima 80 Angled Spotting Scope: 20-60x80mm

Celestron ultima scope has a fully multicoated achromatic lens that shows razor-sharp imagery and prevents chromatic aberration. This 85mm lens comes with a 4-1.3mm exit pupil diameter so that an ample amount of light enters the scope. If you’re tired of dark/incoherent imagery, stop right at this 20-60×80 ultima scope.

This 18 inches long scope is built to accompany your elk hunting adventures without costing you a fortune. Its 18mm eye relief distance is ideal for passionate hunters who spend hours in the same spot while searching for the target bull. If you wear spectacles/glasses, this one will prevent your eyes from getting strained.

Celestron ultima scope has a sleek and lightweight design to keep your hunting gear tidy. Its quick-to-focus zoom eyepiece allows you to magnify an object before it hides/runs. Elks are hard-to-catch because of their playful behavior; this impressive scope will let you watch elks in their comfort zone and shoot your favorite one.

You’ll get a 40-69 twilight factor in this 20-60×80 spotting scope, which is excellent for low light hunting. If the target hides in a darker place, you’ll still be able to track its location with this impressive TF.

If you enjoy clicking pictures of wildlife as well, there’s nothing better than this spotter. It comes with a T-adapter where you can attach your mobile/camera and enjoy your digiscoping passion.

Elk hunters don’t need a brilliant close focus as they shoot from a considerable distance. Still, if you use the same spotter for birdwatching/digiscoping, a suitable CFD is mandatory. Therefore, Celestron optics has made this scope with 26.2ft close focus distance, which makes it an all-in-one choice.

Whether your favorite object is miles away or right next to you, this premium scope will always show razor-sharp HD imagery. Celestron scopes speak for their elite craftsmanship and durable bodies; this one is no exception.

Hunting equipment is exposed to all harsh weather conditions ranging from heavy rainfall to gusty winds. That’s why Celestron ultima angled scope is purged with dry nitrogen, and its lens is O-ring sealed; if moisture or dry impurities hit the lens surface, they’ll be immediately blocked.

You can use this smart scope for exotic elk hunting without worrying about its safety and weight because Celestron has already taken care of that.

Click here to see customer reviews and pricing for the Celestron Ultima spotting scope.

Technical Features

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Lens diameter: 80mm
  • Field of View: 105-53ft at 1000 yards
  • Close focus distance: 26.2ft
  • Eye relief distance: 18mm
  • Twilight factor: 40-69.2
  • Exit pupil diameter: 4-1.3mm
  • Weight: 55.96oz

Pros

  • Razor-sharp imagery
  • Compact and portable
  • Quick-to-focus zoom eyepiece
  • Fully weatherproof
  • Brilliant light transmission

Cons

  • Blue fringing at higher magnifications

What’s in the box?

  • Celestron Ultima scope
  • Extended tripod mounting plate
  • Lens and eyepiece covers
  • Carry case

Vortex Diamondback Straight Spotting Scopes 20-60x80

Vortex optics emphasizes customers’ comfort and their glass’s functionality so that you get great value for the money. This vortex diamondback spotting scope has a hefty 80mm focal lens with an exclusive XR anti-reflective layer. This high-quality glass impeccably reduces color fringing from the final imagery and provides edge-to-edge sharpness.

This nitrogen purged scope has a solid rubber armor that protects it from external harms. As spotters are exposed to collisions and accidents most of the time, this durable armor will let you forget about its safety. You can enjoy challenging elk hunts without bothering to shelter your precious scope; Vortex Diamondback is a tough fellow!

The diamondback scope has a twist-and-lock collar that lets you focus the subject without moving the whole set-up. Once mounted on a tripod, you can rotate the eyepiece in either direction and quickly lock the sight.  

The built-in retractable sunshade blocks the way of excessive sunlight and removes glare from the views. Also, when the sunrays are bright, this shade keeps your eyes relaxed. Vortex diamondback spotter offers a comfortable viewing experience as it’s perfect from all aspects.

Its lightweight designs will help you travel comfortably without hauling a massive scope to your hunting location. Since it is adaptable with all tripods, you shouldn’t worry much about setting/adjusting its position.

The 22ft close focus distance is excellent when you go near the target to shoot/capture it. Generally, elk hunters maintain a distance from their targets, but some challenge lovers prefer camouflaging with the surroundings and try proximal shooting. If you have plans for short-range hunting, this 22ft close focus distance will be your helping hand.

There is a built-in tripod mounting plate that is easy-to-attach and doesn’t waste your precious time. And, if you don’t have a tripod, this mounting plate supports your scope on the bare ground as well.

The relaxed exit pupil diameter, 40-69 twilight factor, and up to 20mm eye relief distance all are stamps on this scope’s credibility and compatibility. Although this one is expensive from the above two scopes, it’s still great of we consider Vortex’s pricing. You’ll get perks of a high-end glassing while paying a moderate price, great deal, right?

If you are interested in this Vortex Diamondback scope, you can find more information and customer reviews here on the Amazon website.

Technical Features

  • Magnification: 20-60x
  • Lens diameter: 80mm
  • Field of View: 105-51ft at 1000 yards
  • Close focus distance: 22ft
  • Eye relief distance: 16.5-20mm
  • Twilight factor: 40-69.2
  • Exit pupil diameter: 4-1.3mm
  • Weight: 47.1oz

Pros

  • XR multicoated lens
  • Retractable sunshade for comfortable glassing
  • Lightweight body
  • Twist-and-lock collar for easy rotation
  • Smooth focus ring
  • Crisp imagery
  • Built-in tripod mount

Cons

  • Narrow eye relief distance
  • Stiff eyepiece

What’s in the box?

  • Vortex diamondback scope
  • Soft carry case

Vortex Razor HD Angled Spotting Scopes 27-60x85

If your hunting location is in the middle of rough-tough Mountains, be ready to spend some extra bucks and get a top-notch spotting scope. Without a premium spotter, you cannot go elk hunting in thickets and bushes.

Luckily, Vortex Optics has come forward with the exceptional Razor HD 27-60×85 scope to help frequent hunters and perfectionists.

This spotter has an enormous 85mm lens made from extra-low dispersion glass to show HD optical quality. The ED glass combined with Vortex’s exclusive XR plus anti-reflective coating makes this an unbeatable glass for elk hunters.

The incredible twilight factor of 47-71 means insufficient light will never halt your hunting adventures. Instead, you can overcome this limitation with your Vortex Razor HD scope. If you prefer dawn or dusk hunts, this one is ideal for your requirements.

The apochromatic triplet lens provides brilliant light transmission and greatly removes color-fringing. Moreover, the external ArmorTek coating protects the lens glass and helps you clean it easily. Vortex Razor HD 27-60×85 scope shows its elite craftsmanship and adaptability with all activities.

The ergonomic helical focus ring lets you effortlessly clear the view without moving away from the eyepiece. You will never lose your target bull’s sight; vortex razor HD spotter won’t let that happen.

This scope has a sleek design that looks exotic and is easy-to-pack. The durable built and shockproof rubber armor make this spotter resilient against harsh conditions and never expose the glass parts to any harm.

Also, dry nitrogen purging and O-ring sealing make it completely weatherproof; you can hunt on a pouring day without worrying that the lens will get foggy. This elite spotting scope has a sleek-yet-sturdy design and is thoroughly weather and shockproof; all perks for elk hunters packed together.

The 17mm eye relief distance can become bothersome if you wear glasses and are fond of long glassing sessions. But, the wide exit pupil diameter and image-brightening technology easily compensate for this drawback.

Vortex Razor HD is the leading option in my list of best spotting scopes for elk hunting, which will make your hunts hassle-free and memorable.

So, if you want to collect antlers this season, go for this supreme spotting scope and enjoy its 27-60x magnification with brilliant HD optical quality.

Find more information here on the Amazon website for the Vortex Razor hd spotting scope.

Technical Features

  • Magnification: 27-60x
  • Lens diameter: 85mm
  • Field of View: 117-68ft at 1000 yards
  • Close focus distance: 16.4ft
  • Eye relief distance: 17mm
  • Twilight factor: 47-71
  • Exit pupil diameter: 3.7-1.4mm
  • Weight: 65.6oz

Pros

  • An apochromatic lens with XR plus coating
  • Perfect for lowlight glassing
  • HD image quality
  • Ergonomic helical focus ring
  • Edge-to-edge sharpness
  • Protective ArmorTek coating

Cons

  • Bad focus at 60x
  • Tight eye relief distance

What’s in the box?

  • Vortex Razor HD scope
  • Carry case

FAQs

Which scope is better, angled, or straight?

Two scopes with the same dynamics and different eyepiece shapes don’t show any difference in the optical quality. The only difference, however, is the glasser’s comfort.

An angled scope suits best with smaller tripods and doesn’t stress your neck. Instead, you can slightly bend and move while looking through an angled spotter. Therefore, angled scopes are ideal for leisure glassing.

On the other hand, you’ll have to increase the tripod’s length to bring the eyepiece next to your eye, which eventually disturbs the pod’s stability. But this lets you quickly magnify/focus a subject without bothering where it exactly is (unlike the angled ones). So, a straight scope is good if you’re tall and don’t want to bend over the eyepiece much.

Are spotting scopes comfortable for glasses wearers?

Yes, they are. If a scope offers up to 20mm eye relief distance, it’s perfect for glasses wearers and non-wearers alike. Hunters must get a scope with good ERD as prolonged adventures will stress their eyes; wide ERD will let them take some rest.

What tripod is suitable for a scope?

A sturdy tripod with adjustable height and standard adapter thread will do the job. Orion, Celestron, Vanguard, Vortex, and Regetek are some of the best brands to find stable tripods for heavy spotting scopes.

Are spotting scopes resilient?

Yes, most of them are. Although spotters are deemed fragile, they are not. Any spotting scope with sturdy housing, reliable armor, and sleek body is resilient and doesn’t disturb the glasser’s mission. You can rely upon your scope even in the most challenging terrains.

Elk hunting spotting scopes review summary

Hunters are always on the lookout for a trustworthy, functional, and affordable glass. But, due to the disparity in the optics market, finding one with all these features is a hassle.

That’s the reason I collected the best spotting scopes for elk hunting and reviewed their specs one by one. Whether you are a new buyer or are looking for an upgrade, get any of these scopes, and enjoy relaxed glassing activities.

If your scope is excellent, the chances of shooting healthy bulls are always high.

This elk hunting season, take along an exceptional spotting scope and nothing can stop you from collecting those exotic antlers. So, don’t let distance and rough terrains become hurdles in your way, trust a good scope, and defeat your friends in those fun hunting challenges!

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