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Hunter’s Handbook is the official student “how-to” information pipeline of the International Hunter Education Association. As the experts in teaching safe, ethical and successful hunting, we are here to provide tips, tools, and great video content as well as offer you a place that you can learn more about your love and favorite past-time—hunting.  Spend some time with us.  New content is added monthly, and we are excited to share our expertise with you.  We wish you a lifetime of safe and memorable experiences in the outdoors.

Leupold: Scopes for deer hunters

For someone new to deer hunting, the world of riflescopes can seem confusing with a mind-boggling selection among so many different features, models, sizes and manufacturers. Where should a person even begin and what do you need to know about riflescopes?

We went to our friends at Leupold and asked them to answer basic questions on the minds of new—and experienced—deer hunters. Here are their answers.

What should deer hunters expect a riflescope to do for them?

A scope will allow a hunter greater aiming precision on deer at farther distances, as well as identifying their target prior to shooting. However, for safety reasons, a hunter should NEVER use the riflescope for game observation and location.

Leupold: Scopes for Deer Hunters

Confused by Riflescopes? Leupold Has the Answers

By Joe Arterburn

For someone new to deer hunting, the world of riflescopes can seem confusing with a mind-boggling selection among so many different features, models, sizes and manufacturers. Where should a person even begin and what do you need to know about riflescopes?

We went to our friends at Leupold and asked them to answer basic questions on the minds of new—and experienced—deer hunters. Here are their answers.

 

What should deer hunters expect a riflescope to do for them?

A scope will allow a hunter greater aiming precision on deer at farther distances, as well as identifying their target prior to shooting. However, for safety reasons, a hunter should NEVER use the riflescope for game observation and location.

 

What features should deer hunters look for in a riflescope?

Choosing the right scope can be difficult, and the technological improvements in recent years, though certainly beneficial, can be confusing if you’re just getting familiar with shooting. Light management, mechanical reliability, ruggedness, cosmetics, clarity, and value have improved dramatically, turning many riflescopes into high-tech optics that sportsmen and women could only dream of 30 years ago.

When shopping for a riflescope, it’s essential to compare construction, mechanical reliability, optical qualities, ability to reduce glare and handle light, and overall suitability to your hunting application. And never underestimate the value of a world-class warranty and good customer service.

 

What does a variable-power scope do for deer hunters?

Leupold variable-power scopes allow you to select from a range of magnifications to suit your particular rifle, cartridge and shooting needs. All variable-power scopes have a power selector ring in front of the eyepiece assembly. Turn the ring to align the number indicating the desired magnification with the indicator on the body of the scope.

A variable-power scope will allow the deer hunter better aiming precision at longer distances.

 

What range of magnification in a variable-power scope is appropriate for deer hunters?

This all depends on the conditions of the hunt. If using a shotgun in heavy timber, a 1-4x or 2-7x would be considered ideal. For hunting out west, in open country, 9x up to 25x are used. In general, for centerfire rifles, a 3-9x or 4-12x will be sufficient for shots out to 600 yards.

 

Is there such a thing as too much magnification?

Yes, but this all depends on the conditions of the hunt. Heavy timber or close-range shooting demands a large field of view, which is dependent on lower magnification. So an elk hunter or coastal deer hunter might prefer a 2-7 variable, with the ability to set the magnification on 2x for up close and personal shooting, and still increase the magnification to 7x if a 200 yard shot across a clearcut presents itself.

On the other hand, a hunter pursuing sheep or pronghorns may prefer a 4.5-14, since he is more likely to take a long-range shot where magnification will help make a quick, clean kill-shot.

Varmint hunting demands higher magnification, as shots are usually very long and targets are very small. Because most varmint rifles don’t recoil much, eye relief can be sacrificed for magnification. Eye relief of 3.5 inches or more is ideal for hunting rifles, and four inches is even better. This will deliver a full picture and keep the objective lens out of a shooter’s eyebrow during recoil.