14 Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting 2023

Spotting scope pointing towards an archery target in the distance on a September elk hunt in 2023
Best Spotting Scopes for the Money in 2023: Target Shooting & Hunting

You’re looking for the best spotting scopes for hunting, target shooting, and birding in 2023, and da-gum-it, you came to the right place. We’re here to help you solve one more piece of the puzzle, and this time it’s an important one.

Few pieces of gear are as coveted and cherished by hunters, shooters, and wildlife watchers as their spotting scopes. A quality set of sporting optics will likely be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment in your pack, but also one of the most important. Getting this purchase right can mean the difference between a successful harvest and going home to eat tag soup.

It hasn’t always been this way, but hunters must spot critters from a distance these days due to increased pressure from the public. For this reason, we’re here to give you an upper hand against the competition with a whole mess of quality options. We’ve left no stone unturned.

From the best budget scopes (including options under $100, $200, $300, and $500) to the upper echelon of the hunting glass world. We’ve got a little something for everyone, but rest assured, you’ll find the best spotting scope for your money here. Each option is well-reviewed and of the utmost quality.

We’ve also included a few spotting scope reviews from our hunting buddies and some general advice on picking the best scopes for target shooting, hunting, or wildlife viewing.

Table of Contents

Best Spotting Scopes of 2023

Spotting Scope FAQs

Before we get started, here are some commonly asked questions regarding choosing a spotting scope that fits your target shooting or hunting needs. Press the ‘+’ button on the right side of the question to reveal the answer.

Do I Need a Spotting Scope for Target Shooting, Hunting, or Viewing Wildlife?

You already have a rangefinder and a set of good 10 x 42 binoculars; what’s all this fuss about lugging a bulky spotting scope with you? Is it needed? Well, that depends. A tree stand hunter will likely not need a spotting scope, but anyone trying to scout or pattern animals from a distance does.

You’ll need a good spotting scope if you’re a target shooter. Unless you’re running a set of 15 x 52 Swarovski Bino’s, this is the best way to dial in your shot group from a distance.

A good spotter is a valuable tool for those who like to hook their camera or phone to their spotting scope to view wildlife. This practice called “digiscoping” is soo hot right now. Take the next step with an option from this list.

Spotting Scopes vs. Binoculars While hunting: How Should Both be Used?

There’s no natural replacement for a good spotting scope regarding scouting and glassing hillsides. The magnification and ability to see critters at a distance significantly increases when looking through a scope, which gives you an advantage over a set of binoculars.

I typically use my binoculars when walking into my hunting areas through thick foliage to ensure I don’t push animals out. Alternatively, I use my spotting scope when glassing ridges and far-off hillsides, as this is a safe enough distance to where you won’t scare animals off while setting up.

Should I Use an Angled or Straight Spotting Scope?

I prefer using an angled spotting scope, but I know many target shooters prefer a straight scope. I like that I can use an angled spotting scope a little bit easier while seated, and it allows me to use a shorter tripod.

If you’re a wildlife viewer, then I think an angled eyepiece has a slight advantage, considering how much easier it is to digiscope with your phone or camera than a straight scope.

Other hunters I spoke to that opt for a straight scope told me they can put the scope on target much faster than an angled scope. If size and weight are a concern, both styles clock in with similar numbers, so it comes down to personal preference.

What Type of Magnification Do I Need for My Hunt or Target Shooting?

Magnification needs depend on the type and quality of scope that you purchase. Some glass is simply better than others, flat out. Two scopes may be rated at 20-60×80 magnification, but one will have vastly different image quality.

The magnification range, or zoom range, is more critical when you’re target shooting than hunting, as you’re trying to see small dime-sized holes at over 100 yards compared to a giant elk at 1,000.

I recommend getting at least a 30x max magnification regardless of the type of scope you purchase. Anything less, and you might as well use binoculars instead. Every scope on this list will work just fine for this application.

Best Value Spotting Scope for the Money
Vortex Optics Viper HD

Green and black Vortex spotting scope for hunting

Magnification: 15-45×65
Eyepiece Position: Angled or straight
Eye Relief: 17.8mm – 19.6mm
Weight: 59.0 oz

Unless you’re new to hunting, you’ve probably already heard of the Vortex Optics Viper HD. It’s a staple among hunters, hunting guides, and target shooters worldwide. But why?

This scope is located at the intersection of quality, performance, and value. Its images are crisp and bright, focusing is a breeze, and it’s as sturdy as they come. If you’re looking for one of the best spotting scopes for the money: look no further.

I own a few pieces of Viper glass, which all work particularly well for my rough and tumble style of backcountry hunting. And though Viper Optics is known for its durability, if I were to break this while crashing through thick timber, at least I wouldn’t be out $2,000.

I have broken a pair of Viper binoculars in the past (eyepiece, my fault). I mention this because I was able to send them in on a Tuesday and had a new pair at my house by the end of the week. Vortex customer service was very responsive, and I’ve heard similar stories from other hunters.

No hyperbole intended; this Vortex Optics Viper HD performs nearly as well as much of the glass in two to three times its price range. I feel confident recommending it to target shooters and hunters long and far. If you’re looking for a little more oomph, this scope can be purchased with the 85 mm lens. It is a bit bulkier and pricier but has a more extensive zoom range and image quality.

ProsDurable, excellent customer service, perfect for glasses wearers
Cons: Focus lens is a little stiff for some

Best Overall Spotting Scope
Leupold SX4 Pro Guide HD

Black Leupold spotting scope with a blue lens

Magnification: 20-60×85
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 17.8mm – 19mm
Weight: 78.2 oz

The American-made Leupold SX4 Pro Guide HD is hands down the most potent, high-performance spotting scope under $1,000. We think it will excel for any outdoorsmen who seek impeccable performance but don’t want to shell out $2,500 for the more high-end options.

In terms of uses, this versatile glass should perform exceptionally well for target shooting, hunting, and even birding. It has ultra-sharp Leopold glass, which zooms smoothly and gives users incredibly crisp, bright, and high-contrast images. It’s also 100% waterproof and fog-proof, which means it’s built to thrive in the roughest backcountry weather conditions.

So what else are you getting for all that hard-earned dough? Our favorite feature of this spotter is the DiamondCoat 2 ion-assist lens coating that helps bring maximum light to its glass. This feature allows for the most precise images possible during low-light situations around dawn and dusk when big game is most active.

Leupold has world-class and attentive customer service, and they offer the most full-coverage lifetime warranty in the industry. When you purchase Leupold, you can rest assured that they’ll stand by their products, no matter what. The SX4 Pro Guide HD checks off all the boxes and is well worth the investment.

Pros: Waterproof, durable, crystal clear image, legendary customer care, great for low-light
Cons: On the heavier side

Bright, Compact & Packable
Maven CS.1

Maven CS.1 hunting optics

Magnification: 15-45×65
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 16 mm – 19 mm
Weight: 40.4 oz

If you’ve got a bit more space in your pack than the guy who’s toting around our ultra-compact recommendation, or you just want a bit more power in an easy-to-pack size, take a look at Maven’s CS.1.

While hunting elk out in the wilds of Colorado, we used this spotting scope extensively to glass faraway ridges where we might find elk hiding between the white slats of aspen trees. And while we did spot a few, they ultimately evaded our arrows.

But that didn’t matter. We were just happy to be outdoors doing what we love while looking through Maven’s incredibly bright, clear, and detailed glass. Plus, toting the Mavens from point A to point B failed to strain our backs or overfill our packs.

That’s because this Maven scope weighs a measly 40.4 oz and measures 11.4 in. To put those numbers in perspective, the CS.1 weighs a bit more than a liter of water and stands shorter than a ruler. The CS.1 is simply quality glass in a compact size.

For outstanding optics that fit just about anywhere, check out the cost-effective CS.1 from Landing, Wyoming’s own — Maven.

ProsCompact and packable, lightweight, incredibly crisp image
Cons: We couldn’t find any!

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Ultra High-End Scope for No-Nonsense Pros
Swarovski ATS 80

Swarovski optic hd ats 80 hd spotter

Magnification: 25 – 60×80
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 17 mm
Weight: 57.8

Getting their hands on a Swarovski scope is every hunter’s dream. They have the finest glass in the game. Thanks to its ergonomically designed angled eyepiece and large eye lens, the ATS 80 features comfortable viewing for hours on end. This lens allows in significant light, making for crystal-clear viewing in nearly all lighting situations.

I know it’s pricey, but if you can swing it, this is the only spotting scope you’ll ever need. Take care of it and you’ll be passing it on down to your grandson when you’re weathered and worn. The buck stops here if you’re the no-nonsense hunter who must own all the finest gadgets.

This Swarovski glass is about the same power as the Vortex Viper HD, but the visual difference is stunning when you look peer through the eyepiece. The Swarovski ATS scope produces one of the clearest images I’ve seen in any scope on the market. Not to mention, this scope is over a full pound lighter than its Vortex counterpart.

If you’re a hunter or outdoor adventurer lucky enough to scoop up some fine Swarovski glass, rest easy knowing that you didn’t muddle around with second-rate gear. This the best spotting scope in the game, plain and simple.

Pros: Top-of-the-line glass, large reticle for viewing, comfortable for hours, best for low light, unmatched crystal clear picture, lightweight

Top-Notch Glass for Expert Hunters
KOWA Prominar 88

KOWA Prominar 88 high-end scope

Magnification: 20-60×88
Eyepiece Position: Angled Or Straight
Eye Relief: 17.8mm – 19mm
Weight: 78.2 oz

We just added the KOWA Prominar 88 for the 2023 season thanks to some helpful reader feedback. This world-class spotter has a lot to love, from its 88 mm objective fluorite lens to its high-end eyepiece and reflective technology.

For starters, the objective lens is the largest on this list and allows for copious amounts of light, producing a crystal — literally crystal, it’s made with Flourite — clear image in the eyepiece. Low light viewing is no match for the Prominar 88 either, as it sports patented reflective glass that prevents glare.

Furthermore, this model has fluorite glass which does a great job at preventing chromatic aberration, which in layman’s terms means that you’ll get a true-to-color sight picture. This is helpful for professional photographers, digiscopes viewers, and hunters trying to pick an elk or deer out of an otherwise brown landscape.

KOWA glass quality is a benchmark for all other scopes to judge themselves against. They’re as equally innovative and quality-driven as Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss, which puts them in elite company.

If there’s one scope on this list that I’ll drool over this fall, here it is.

Pros: Lightweight magnesium alloy makes it super durable but lightweight and compact enough for your pack, unmatched glass quality, best low-light viewing on market
Cons: Pretty unaffordable for the average Joe

Crystal-Clear 1,000-Yard Spotting Scope
Celestron Regal M2

Celestron Regal M2 80ED for 1,000 yards

Magnification: 20-60×80
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 20mm
Weight: 72.0 oz

This is another option that completely outperforms its price point. Don’t sleep on this spotter; many hunters swear by its super clear picture and color enhancement. It can zoom to 1,000 yards with clarity.

But that’s not all. The Celestron Regal is DSLR compatible and is excellent for taking wildlife photos, as the sight picture is HD quality. Many reviewers say it’s also really rugged, and they can tote it through the woods.

My only gripe about this spotting scope is that it’s a bit heavy at almost 5 pounds. I would probably use this for far-off glassing hillsides and then leave it at camp. This scope works great for long-range shooting, as you can quickly see shot groupings at 300+ yards.

Celestron makes one of the most powerful spotting scopes on the market for target shooting and hunting and at a great price to boot. If you want to take things to the next level, the 100ED model has an even better picture than the 80ED, and it’s only an extra couple hundred bucks.

That’s money well spent, in my opinion.

Pros: Durable, effortless focus, crystal clear HD images, waterproof, great deal for its quality
Cons: A bit bulky, questionable customer service, heavy

Ultra-Compact Scope for Fully-Loaded Packs
Vortex Optics Razor HD

Best Vortex spotting scope

Magnification: 11-33×50
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 16.0mm – 19.0mm
Weight: 25.0 oz

The Razor HD from Vortex gets impressive reviews across the board from hunters and outdoors people. People love how small and portable it is on those long alpine hunts.

If you’re a backcountry drop-camp style hunter, you know that every square inch and ounce counts when putting together your pack. This spotting scope checks all the boxes for you: It’s lightweight, compact, and powerful enough to glass long distances.

I wouldn’t purchase this as a target shooting scope because it doesn’t have the most precise image when zoomed to its maximum magnification. I would go with the Diamondback or Viper HD if you plan on long glassing distances.

Remember, Vortex has excellent customer service, so you know that you always purchase peace of mind when you buy one of their products. If you have been around the sport of hunting for longer than a minute, then you know how crucial attentive customer care can be.

Pros: Ultralight, packable, impressive performance for size, excellent customer service
Cons: Not a large lens, image not as crisp image when zoomed, stiff magnification dial when in cold weather

Super Lightweight & Portable Spotting Scope
Leupold Gold Ring

Lightweight black Leupold spotting scope

Magnification: 10-20×40
Eyepiece Position: Straight
Eye Relief: 17.2mm x 18.5mm
Weight: 15.8 oz

I included this lightweight scope because I know many of you out there want to save room in your packs but still carry a quality spotter. The Leupold Gold Ring was built for you.

While I wouldn’t take this thing to the gun range (unless it’s a 50-yard range), it pulls its weight for image quality and target acquisition speed. The straight eyepiece works well when trying to find targets quickly.

I imagine an archery elk hunter who is conscious about how much weight is in their pack may get the most use out of this thing. Leupold makes good glass, no question, and I am super comfortable steering people to buying their products because I know they’re safe bets.

That said, this model, which weighs under a pound, has a small objective lens that leaves much to be desired. If you consider this scope for what it is, NOT a Leica or Swarovski, you will be a-okay.

Creme de la Creme Leupold Spotting Scope
Leupold Mark 4

Black Leupold Mark 4

Magnification: 20-60x80mm
Eyepiece Position: Straight
Eye Relief: 30.0mm
Weight: 61.8 oz

If this isn’t the military’s standard scope, it should be. The Leupold Mark 4 might be the most tactical spotting scope on the market. It can do everything you ask, but it might be the top target shooting spotting scope on this list.

It’s lightweight compared to the Pro Guide model, only by a pound or so, weighing around four pounds. Even though it’s a little lighter than its counterpart, it’s every bit as strong and can withstand a beating.

In terms of features, Leupold has the Twilight Max Light Management System, which claims its lens can give you 20 extra minutes of glassing at dawn and dusk, which is when you need it most.

Ultimately, this Leupold is for the hunter, shooter, or birder who leaves nothing to chance. The Mark 4 is a professional tool for outdoor professionals. Buy this scope if I am describing you. You won’t regret it.

Pros: Crazy fast target acquisition speed, HD-crisp quality, fantastic in low light, professional grade
Cons: Pricey, more for professionals than amateurs

Spare-No-Expense Swarovski Scope
Swarovski High Definition Glass

Green and black Swarovski High Definition Glass

Magnification: 20-50×65
Eyepiece Position: Angled or Straight
Eye Relief: 17mm
Weight: 49.1 oz

When it comes to high-end glass, look no further than Swarovski spotting scopes. Perfect is a bit of a stretch, but it’s close enough.

It has a little bit of everything: tough-as-nails durability, crystal clear images from edge to edge, and all the magnification you will ever need — whether you use glasses or not (due to its twist-up eyecup). Further, the ability to quickly zoom in and out at 1,000 yards is unmatched.

I got to try one of these out while on a hunt last year, and let me tell you: it’s perfect for low-light situations. The ability to scan long distances, even in the twilight, makes for a deadly tool for a hunter to have in their arsenal.

All in all, this is a great spotter for long-range shooters, as well as any type of hunting. Although it is costly, it’s worth every penny for professionals, shooters, and hunters that want the best of the best. It is also a bit cheaper than the ATS 80 above, so if you want top-flight at a bargain check out this model.

Pros: Compact, lightweight, fluoride-filled means crystal clear quality, a vast field of view, lifetime warranty
Cons: Expensive


Best Cheap Option for Under $100

Emarth 20-60x60AE spotting scope under $100

Magnification: 20-60×60
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 18.0mm – 19.5mm
Weight: 48.1 oz

I know what you’re thinking: how can you be serious with a $75 spotting scope? We may be crazy, but this spotting scope is a decent option for those with a small budget.

This entry-level and affordable spotting scope is well-reviewed on Amazon, with over 3,000 5-star reviews. Simply, this is one of the HIGHEST RATED spotting scopes online. People love this thing.

Check out some of the Amazon reviews, and see why everyone seems to love this spotting scope. There are several pictures of the moon that people took with it that are simply stunning.

Back to the point, though. Emarth gives hunters a cheap option under $100. It’s not likely to be very durable and will not have a very sharp focus. In all, this scope will probably work best for beginners, but I wouldn’t consider this a long-term investment.

Pros: Cheap, solid zoom for price, suitable for taking photos, super lightweight
Cons: Clarity is what you’d expect for $76, not recommended for target shooters of 200+ yards


Excellent Budget Scope Under $200
Athlon Optics Talos

Athlon Optics Talos

Magnification: 20-60×80
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 15.2mm – 17.8mm
Weight: 38.0 oz

This Athlon Optics Talos is perfect for the entry-level outdoor enthusiast that doesn’t want to skimp on quality. This is the best budget spotting scope for target shooting and hunting for under $200.

Some reviews state that the Talos isn’t necessarily the best in the durability department, but it performs well and has sharp image quality. Some even reported making out individual leaves at 900 yards!

The silver coating on the outer lens helps bring extra light to your eye, creating a crisp image. It’s not as crisp as my Vortex Diamondback, but it’s close (about half the price). When it comes to value, the Athlon Optics Talos proves one of the best spotting scopes for the money.

This is not a spotting scope that you’ll see a mosquito’s wings from 200 yards, but it’s an affordable option that works admirably for target shooting and hunting. If you have a budget of $1-200, this is the one you want.

Pros: Affordable, crisp image, lightweight
Cons: Not very durable, a tad bulky, not great for long-range target shooting

Minimalist Mid-Range Glass Under $300 
Bushnell Trophy Xtreme

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme spotting scope for target shooting

Magnification: 20-60×65
Eyepiece Position: Straight
Eye Relief: 14.0mm
Weight: 21.5 oz

This Bushnell spotting scope is fantastic for hunters who like to run and gun. It takes up much less room in your pack and saves you precious ounces in your bag. It is also a very affordable option for under $300.

I used one of these in Colorado while hunting elk, and what I liked about it was how quickly I could throw this thing on my shooting stick and get a sharp image in the eyepiece lickety-split.

This portability can be a considerable advantage when mere seconds can make or break a hunt. If quick-sight pictures are your thing, then this is one of the best scopes for 100 yards.

Although it’s small and portable, which can be good in certain situations, I probably wouldn’t use it for glassing animals over 1,000 yards. It’s passable at longer distances but not ideal for long-range target shooters and hunters.

Pros: Super lightweight and portable, excellent image quality, window mount & tripod included
Cons: Not the most potent magnification, images not as prominent with 50mm objective lens

Rock-Solid Spotting Scope Under $500
Vortex Optics Diamondback

Green and black Vortex Optics Diamondback glass

Magnification: 20-60×85
Eyepiece Position: Angled
Eye Relief: 14.0mm – 17.0mm
Weight: 33.8 oz

While pouring through spotting scope reviews for this write-up, I was fascinated by the number of people recommending the Diamondback spotting scope from Vortex. The reality was that I already knew that this was the best scope for target shooting and hunting for under $500 (because I own one).

This was the first spotting scope I ever purchased. I thought I was splurging at the time, unaware that spotting scopes could get far more expensive than this. It was my first year guiding elk hunts, and I wanted to ensure I had something reliable that wouldn’t let my hunters or me down. Lucky for me, it didn’t, and this scope assisted in getting my hunters into three monster 6×6 bulls.

I have since upgraded to the Viper HD model, but I still use my Diamondback from time to time. If you want a little more out of your scope, I would spend the extra money and get the Viper HD if you can swing it. That isn’t to degrade the Diamondback; it makes a rock-solid option if this is what you can afford.

The Diamondback is the middle of the line regarding target shooting. You can see your shots out to about 200 yards, anything past that, and I recommend the Viper HD or one of the more high-end spotters on this list.

Pros: Durable, lifetime warranty, less eye fatigue, comfortable with glasses
Cons: Has trouble with focus at high magnification, stiff zoom according to some

Best Spotting Scope Tripods
Vortex Optics High Country II

Spotting scope tripod

This spotting scope tripod for target shooting and hunting from Vortex is the only tripod that I own. I simply love recommending Vortex gear because of their stellar customer service.

This is important to me in a world where it’s easy to get burned. In short, you find consistency in Vortex gear.

This isn’t an ultra-lightweight carbon fiber tripod and is a bit heavier than I’d like at 3.9 pounds, but I think all that extra weight allows me to have a more sturdy and durable product that isn’t tipping over.

Best Cell Phone Spotting Scope Mount
Celestron NexYZ 3-Axis

Black cell phone mount

I dropped my phone two years ago while trying to take a picture of a black bear through my spotting scope. Its screen shattered, and I had to explain to my wife why I had to buy a new phone. It fell because the mounting clip broke while I was glassing, and it sent my phone tumbling down a boulder. I swore to myself I wouldn’t buy cheap crap anymore.

So, I bought this thing. I found the mount to be durable and of high quality. Also, it is super easy to adjust, even for a big oaf like me. This scope mount can be used on various brands of spotters. I currently use it on my Vortex Viper HD, which fits it perfectly. It takes incredible pictures outdoors, so I would consider getting one if you want to snap a few crisp photos of your hunt.


Factors We Consider When Reviewing Spotting Scopes

Maven brand spotting scope pointing towards the wilderness on an elk hunt
There’s a lot to keep in mind when reviewing and analyzing spotting scopes

Magnification Range

Here’s a quick overview of what all of those numbers mean when you’re considering magnification.

An example is a spotting scope with 20-60 x 80 magnification

The first number (20) is the minimum magnification of the spotting scope, and the second number (60) is the maximum magnification.

So at a minimum, this scope will show objects to be 20x more prominent than they are in nature, and at its max, it will display objects 60 times larger than they are with the naked eye.

The last number (80) is the size of the objective lens in millimeters or mm. The larger the objective lens, the more light it lets in, and the more detail you can see.

When choosing a magnification for target shooting and hunting, you want to determine a spotting scope that fits your needs. There is no one size fits all. However, we recommend a minimum of 30x max zoom and 50mm of an objective lens. Any less than this magnification, and you might as well use binoculars.


As I highlighted earlier in this write-up, eyepiece selection is a personal choice. I like to have an angled eyepiece to sit in a chair and glass with a smaller tripod.

I recommend trying out a straight eyepiece if you’re the type of tactical spotter who needs to acquire targets quickly and are willing to sacrifice room in their pack for a more sturdy tripod. We’ve made recommendations for both types of eyepieces in this post.

Eye Relief

Eye relief is the distance from the lens to the tip of your eyeball. Proper eye relief should produce a perfectly crisp and clear image when viewed by the viewer. That is to say, it’s not distorted and doesn’t have a black ring around it.

Eye relief is more of a concern for rifle scopes and binoculars than for spotting scopes, in my opinion, but some glasses wearers may choose to have a shorter eye relief because of the extra distance to their glasses.

For this write-up, we chose products with an eye relief of a minimum of 17mm from the lens to the eyeball.


I’m a lightweight nerd, so, I may have a bit of a skewed perspective here. I count ounces in my pack like people on Weight Watchers count points. My theory is that the lighter my bag, the more effective I am at pushing myself just a little bit harder so I can go just a little farther.

Some want the absolute best glass they can get, which likely comes with some added weight. But, the truth is, most target shooters and hunters will rarely lug their spotting scope much further than a half-mile from the truck. So weight may not be such a significant factor for you.

For this write-up’s sake, I included tons of weight options in the 1-5 pound range.


If you weren’t born yesterday, you probably know that target shooting and hunting are expensive sports. When choosing a budget for your glass, just know that you will get what you pay for. Cliche, I know, but it’s true with spotting scopes (and most hunting gear, for that matter).

Get what you can afford now, and upgrade as your skills and budget increase. To this end, we have included scopes for all budgets.


Take care of your investment, and it will take care of you. Make sure you have a good case that can hold up to the beating you may throw at it. Some of the spotters on this list come with a case, and some don’t. If you find yourself with the latter, then don’t hesitate to find a case that fits your scope snug as a bug.

A high-quality tripod is a must for those who want to get the most out of their spotter. This allows for a steady sight picture and keeps your target locked into place. If you are spotting from a vehicle, they make easy-to-install window mounts that will enable you to view while seated in your car or truck. I have one, and I find it helpful when scouting for elk on the go.

Which Spotting Scope is Best for Your Style of Target Shooting & Hunting?

A hunter in camo looking towards the camera through the best spotting scope of 2023
Which spotting scope do you have your eye on?

Ok, guys and gals, you have done all the research, read all the fluff, and now you’re ready to purchase. Hey, I’ve given you many options, including 2023’s best budget spotting scopes under $100, $200, $300, and $500. I’ve also included some luxury brands like Swarovski and Leupold.

Spotting scope reviews are great, but you’ll never know what works for you by reading about them on the internet. Instead, use this guide to make a selection that suits your needs and hit that ‘Buy’ button.

Every scope on this list is returnable, so if you don’t feel like you got the best spotting scope for your money, return it and try a different one. Like I said earlier, you can’t afford to get this purchase wrong.

We’re here to help to make sure you get it right. Our sole purpose is to inform and educate our readers and make them better outdoorsmen and hunters, one write-up at a time. This is why we’re dedicated to helping you pick the right gear, from a spotting scope for target shooting and hunting to the hunting boots that lead the way.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2024

4 thoughts on “14 Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting 2023”

  1. What is the author’s personal experience with the Diamondback spotting scope from Vortex? How did it perform during their elk hunting expeditions, and what are their recommendations for upgrading to the Viper HD model? At what distance does the Diamondback scope excel in target shooting, and what are the author’s suggestions for longer ranges?

    • The Diamondback is a rock-solid option for anyone who needs a budget friendly but still capable elk spotter. Lifetime warranty shouldn’t be overlooked when determining real value as well.


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