9 Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting

Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting

Any hunter, competitive shooter, or lover of nature will find spotting scopes to be fantastic tools since they let you see your target as if it were right in front of you.

Spotting scopes allow hunters to set up a shooting position so they can stalk their game from a great distance.

Owning a spotting scope will help range and competition shooters get a precise zero or set up their next shot by allowing them to see where they shot.

Spotting scopes are among the few pieces of equipment that hunters, shooters, and wildlife observers prize and cherish the most.

To improve accuracy and the whole outdoor experience, choosing the right spotting scope for target shooting and hunting is essential. The ideal scopes for these activities are defined by the convergence of clarity, durability, and adaptability.

From the top hunting glass selections to the greatest budget scopes (including models for under $100, $200, $300, and $500). We have a little something for everyone, but you can shop with confidence knowing you’re getting the best spotting scope for your money.

Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting-Our Best Picks

  1. Vortex Viper HD Spotting Scope

Vortex Viper HD 15-45x 65mm Spotting Scope



Hunting enthusiasts, hunting instructors, and target shooters all around the world rely on the Vortex Optics Viper HD. This area of focus lies where value, performance, and quality come together. Its visuals are clear and bright, focusing is simple, and it is extremely durable.

The spotter’s profile is kept compact for maximum packability and your image is dialed in for ultrasharp viewing with the help of the ultrasmooth, fluid, and stylish helical-style focus.

The Vortex 15-45x65mm Viper HD Spotting Scope is fully fogproof, dustproof, and waterproof to safeguard against moisture, debris, and severe weather conditions.


  • Excellent lenses
  • Superb customer service.
  • Ideal for those who wear spectacles.


  • For some, the focus lens is a tad stiff.
  1. Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide Spotting Scope

Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide 20-60x85 HD Spotting Scope



The most effective, high-performance spotting scope under $1,000 is the American-made Leupold SX4 Pro Guide HD. This multipurpose glass ought to function superbly for birding, hunting, and even target shooting.

It has Leopold glass that is exceptionally sharp, zooms smoothly, and produces images that are incredibly clear, bright, and high contrast. Additionally, it is completely waterproof and fog-proof, making it designed to endure the harshest backcountry weather conditions.

The DiamondCoat 2 ion-assist lens coating, which helps deliver the most light to its glass, is a favored feature of this spotter. When large game is most active in low-light conditions at dawn and twilight, this feature enables the sharpest shots imaginable.


  • Waterproof
  • A really clear image.
  • Exemplary customer service.
  • Excellent in dim light.


  • Slightly heavier
  1. Maven CS.1 15-45X65 Spotting Scope Maven CS.1 15-45X65 Spotting Scope Gray/Orange ED Lens (Angled)


Check out Maven’s CS.1 if you simply need a little bit more power in a portable package. This powerful scope has an extremely low dispersion (ED) glass, completely multi-coated lenses, and a well-balanced lightweight polymer frame for an extraordinarily clear, bright, high-contrast image with superb color reproduction.

Lens coatings that are resistant to water, fog, and scratches will ensure obstructed field use. The CS.1 is just high-quality glass in a small package.

Look into the reasonably priced CS.1 from Landing, Wyoming-based Maven for outstanding optics that fit practically everywhere.


  • Portable and small.
  • Excellent image and quality.
  • Exceptionally clear picture.


  • There were none to be found!
  1. Kowa 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope

Kowa 88mm Prominar Spotting Scope



The world-class KOWA Prominar 88 spotter boasts many appealing features, including an 88 mm objective fluorite lens, a premium eyepiece, and reflecting technology.

The largest lens on this list, the objective lens lets in a ton of light and creates an eyepiece image that is extremely clear because it is composed of Flourite. The Prominar 88 is also unaffected by low light viewing because it has proprietary reflective glass that reduces glare.

Additionally, the fluorite glass used in this model does a fantastic job of reducing chromatic aberration.

All other scopes are compared to the KOWA glass quality as a standard. They are in prestigious company since they are just as innovative and quality-focused as Swarovski, Leica, and Zeiss.


  • Magnesium alloy, which is lightweight and small enough for your pack, making it extremely durable.
  • High-end specifications and tough construction.
  • Highest-quality glass, best available low-light viewing.


  • Quite expensive for the ordinary Guy
  1. Leupold Mark 4 Tactical Spotting Scope

Leupold 20-60x80 Mark 4 Tactical Waterproof Spotting Scope



The most strategic spotting scope available is possibly the Leupold Mark 4. Although it can perform any task, it may be the best target shooting spotting scope on our list.

Only a pound or two less heavy than the Pro Guide model, it weighs about four pounds. It’s a little lighter than its predecessor, but it can still take a hit and is just as robust.

Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System, which boasts that its lens may extend your glassing time at dawn and nightfall, when it’s most needed, is one of its features.

In the end, this Leupold is for the meticulous hunter, shooter, or birder. For experts in the outdoors, there is the Mark 4.


  • Ridiculously quick target acquisition speed.
  • Sharp HD quality.
  • Wonderful in dim lighting.
  • Superior quality


  • More for experts than for beginners
  1. Athlon Optics Talos Spotting Scopes

Athlon Optics Talos 20-60x80mm Spotting Scopes



For the beginner outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t want to compromise on quality, Athlon Optics Talos is ideal. The best under $200 spotting scope for hunting and target shooting is this one.

It works nicely and produces images with clarity. A crisp image is produced by the additional light that the outer lens’ silver coating helps your eyes receive. Although it is not as sharp as some scopes, it is near (about half the price).

The Athlon Optics Talos ranks among the top spotting scopes available for the money in terms of value.

The zoom is rather accurate, the adjustments are decent, the glass is crystal clear right up to the edges, and focusing is simple.

To minimize interior fogging and improve thermal stability, the lightweight composite chassis is filled with nitrogen gas and is fogproof, waterproof, and resistant to water. You can transport the spotting scope and tripod together thanks to the product’s inclusion of a table-top tripod and comfortable carrying case.


  • Clear picture.
  • It is simple to use.
  • The tripod is really well made.


  • Not very robust.
  • Bulky; not the best for shooting long-range targets.
  1. Bushnell Trophy Xtreme Spotting Scopes

Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 20-60x65 Porro Prism Spotting Scopes



For hunters who prefer to run and gun, this Bushnell spotting scope is excellent. It saves you valuable ounces in your bag and takes up a lot less space in your pack. In addition, it is a highly cost-effective choice at under $300.

These Spotting Scopes were created by the glass experts at Bushnell with fully multi-coated lenses that have anti-reflective qualities and offer brilliant, high-contrast images that can help you identify disguised game and delineate all the specifics of your hunting fields.

With its IPX7 waterproof rating and fogproof protection, you may use these Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 20-60-65 Straight Spotting Scopes even in tough weather situations, allowing you to take accurate measurements even when there is precipitation present.

Use the adjustable sun shade to block off glare for clear, crisp views even on the hottest summer days, and twist-up the eyecups to your preferred level of comfort.

This is one of the greatest scopes for 100 yards if you enjoy taking quick-sight photographs.


  • Extremely portable and lightweight.
  • Outstanding visual quality.
  • Is protected by a strong, shock-absorbing rubber protection.
  • Tripod and window mount are included.


  • Not the strongest magnifying.
  • Images are less noticeable when using a 50mm objective lens.
  1. Vortex Diamondback HD Spotting Scopes

Vortex Diamondback HD 20-60x85mm Spotting Scopes



The new Diamondback HD spotting scope has all the optical power a western hunter could want and is the best scope for target shooting and hunting under $500. It also performs well in poor light.

It has a slimmer profile thanks to its streamlined body, and it has a built-in helical focus wheel for quick and precise adjustments.

The scope offers performance that is waterproof and fogproof thanks to its O-ring seal and argon purge. The lenses are shielded from dirt, oil, and scratches by Armortek coatings. The user’s grip and durability are improved with rubber armor.

The Diamondback HD spotter is stunning both inside and out.


  • Easy to use and long-lasting.
  • A lifetime warranty.
  • Reduced eye fatigue
  • better designed or ergonomic.
  • Glasses-wearing convenience


  • Has focus issues at extreme magnification.
  • Some claim that the zoom is stiff.
  1. Alpen Shasta Ridge Spotting Scope

Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60x80 Waterproof Spotting Scope



The ruggedized Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope has a rubberized protective coating that is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and nitrogen-filled to survive any environment.

It includes a low-profile swivel tripod for better stability and camouflage.

A low-profile 12″ tripod, a padded field carrying case, and a spotting scope are all included in the set.

The inbuilt extendable sunshade can protect you from the sun if you are facing it.

You can easily locate your target or observe nature from a distance with a variable magnification of 20x to 60x.

The Alpen Shasta Ridge 20-60×80 Waterproof Spotting Scope is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a dependable spotting scope with a lifetime warranty.


  • Offers beautiful views
  • Clarity and color are good.


  • Its weight is too light.

See Also:

Spotting Scope Tips

  • A number of scenarios should be used to test your scope.
  • Find a location with a nice view by giving it some thought.
  • Use a lot of help. Larger tripods work better.
  • Observe how range is affected by heat and humidity.
  • Your eyes need to rest.

Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting Buyer’s Guide

Glass quality

The quality of your image in a spotting scope depends on the glass you use.

The optics can be coated in a variety of ways that improve clarity, color harmony, weather durability, and scratch resistance.


To fit the kind of activity you are performing, they feature a wide range of magnification levels.

For any task, having a variable magnification is essential.

You should choose a spotting scope that meets your needs when selecting a magnification for hunting and target shooting. No one solution fits all. But we advise a minimum 30x maximum zoom and 50mm objective lens. If the magnification were any lower, binoculars would be a better option.


According to our reasoning, it will be easier for us to push ourselves a little bit more and travel a little bit farther if our bag is lighter.

Some people certainly carry a little extra weight because they want the greatest glass they can possibly find. The majority of hunters and target shooters, however, will rarely carry their spotting scope further than half a mile from the truck. Therefore, your weight might not really be a big deal to you.


You undoubtedly already know how expensive target shooting and hunting are. Just remember that you will get what you pay for when deciding on a budget for your glass.

Purchase what you can now afford, then improve as your talents and finances allow. We have specified scopes for every budget in order to do this.


If you take good care of your investment, you will be taken care of. Some of the spotters on this list come with cases, while others do not. In the second scenario, don’t be reluctant to choose a case that properly encloses your scope.

A top-notch tripod is essential for anyone who wants to get the most out of their spotter. This maintains the position of your target and permits a steady sight image. With the help of window mounts, which are simple to install, you may spy from within a car or truck.

Best Spotting Scopes for Hunting & Target Shooting FAQs

Are Spotting Scopes Good for Hunting & Target Shooting?

Indeed, spotting scopes are quite helpful for target shooting as well as hunting. They offer a number of benefits that help with accuracy, target recognition, and overall enjoyment.

While both riflescopes and binoculars have their uses, spotting scopes are particularly useful for long-range observation and in-depth target assessment. They are useful equipment for both precision shooters and professional hunters due to their versatility.

How Does a Spotting Scope Differ from Binoculars and Riflescopes, and Why is it Necessary for Hunting and Target Shooting?

Spotting scopes provide high magnification and outstanding optics, making them a great alternative to riflescopes for precise shooting and binoculars for general observation.

Spotting scopes include a wider magnification range, a larger objective lens for better light gathering, and tripod mounting for stability while using them for extended periods of time.

With these characteristics, spotting scopes are perfect for long-range game observation, detailed target evaluation, and working with spotters to position shots precisely while target shooting.

You will be better able to appreciate the special function spotting scopes play in target shooting and hunting when you are aware of these distinctions and benefits.


While reading spotting scope reviews online is great, you’ll never know what will work for you. Instead, utilize this information to help you choose what is best for you.

Since every scope on this list is returnable, you can test another one if you don’t think you received the best spotting scope for your money.

One article at a time, our main goal is to educate and inform our readers in order to help them become better hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Actually, we really hope you discover a spotting scope you enjoy!