Best Rifle Scope For Deer Hunting Under $500

Best Rifle Scope For Deer Hunting Under $500

Every year around this time I get the itch to go hunting. Sometimes it’s for that prize buck that I haven’t bagged yet, sometimes it’s just because I feel the call of the wild.

I have already begun planning my deer hunt for this year and one thing is always at the top of my list when getting ready for a hunt: choosing the best rifle scopes for deer hunting.

If you are reading this article, chances are high that you feel the same way about your hunting setup as I do about mine! But how do you know what scope will be perfect for you? That’s where we come in. We can help steer you down the path to which rifle scope will be perfect for you.

This article will cover the BEST rifle scopes for deer hunting on your next big game hunt or precision target shooting session. We’ll break down each scope and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your needs.

We’re not going to lowball anyone here, this information has been tried and true by some of the BEST hunters in the field.

best rifle scope for deer hunting

We’ll start with a breakdown of the Best Rifle Scope For Deer Hunting and move on to some rifle scope terminology, setting up your new scope, and finally, we’ll wrap it all up by giving YOU our BEST picks.

I’ll never forget my first hunt. I was only 12 and I had just received my very first Remington .243! It was an early birthday present from my grandfather and as I opened it up on that crisp fall morning, the excitement began to bubble over.

After assembling my new firearm, loading up on ammunition, and packing as much as I could carry in my little red wagon (yes we were one of those families) we headed down to the farm where we would spend our three days.


One of the BEST rifle scopes features to consider is how far you will be shooting. If you are a deer hunter, I’d say that most shots will fall between 100 and 200 yards depending on the time of year, time of day, and location.

In our case, we were only allowed to hunt during daylight hours but there may be some exceptions for things like muzzleloader season or bow hunts at times. It’s imperative that you have a rifle scope that is going to perform well in low light conditions or when transitioning from dusk to dawn.


The BEST rifle scopes will have a “rangefinder” built right into their reticles so that you can get more accurate measurements for shot placement. A quick and easy way to judge how far an animal is from your location is to use something called Mil-Dots which work like this:

Mil (milliradian) = 1/1000th of a radian, or thereabouts (1 meter at 1000 meters). There are 6.28 mils per angular degree, which means 3 mils per angular minute, and approximately 19.2 mils per angular mil.

If your BEST rifle scope has a rangefinder and illuminated reticle you’ll be able to save yourself loads of time in the field when it comes to judging distances!

Lets Move On The Best Rifle Scope

With that tip, I present my picks for The 5 Best Rifle Scopes for Deer Hunting Under $500 in 2021!
I want to give you a heads up before we get started. There are five items on this list and they range from the entry-level all the way up through high-end scopes. They can be found under 500 dollars but still offer amazing features, so it doesn’t mean if your wallet isn’t as deep as others’ wallets should consider buying something here– just remember: these choices were made by me after hours of careful research into what would suit YOUR needs best while also remaining within budget constraints (or lack thereof). It’s not an easy task lol…but don’t worry; everything will make sense once.

best rifle scope for deer hunting

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope


The VX-Freedom is a 3-9 x 40 mm riflescope that provides high performance and versatility.

  • The Twilight Management System allows you to shoot longer into the evening and get more usable light out of your scope. It also reduces glare in low light situations, like hunting at dawn or dusk.
  • The 100% waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof design makes this scope perfect for any weather condition or terrain.
  • You can take it with you on your next hunt knowing that it will be able to withstand the harshest recoil.
  • This scope is built from 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum, which means it’s durable enough to handle whatever you throw at it!
best rifle scope for deer hunting

Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 5-25×56 First Focal Plane Riflescopes

Product Description in paragraph form: The Strike Eagle series of optics is the perfect solution for hunters who want to take their game to the next level without breaking the bank.

The XR fully multi-coated lenses offer superior light transmission, resolution, and color fidelity. The side focus parallax adjustment allows you to quickly dial your sight picture in at varying distances. The locking MOA turrets ensure your setting stays true even when traversing harsh terrain.
The nitrogen-purged tube keeps moisture out of the sight while providing fogproof performance that will last a lifetime.



  • XD OPTICAL SYSTEM – Provides high resolution and is equipped with anti-reflective coating.
  • REVSTOP ZERO SYSTEM – Offers easy to set turret adjustments with tactical grade locking turrets.
  • CONSTRUCTION – Constructed from aircraft grade aluminum on a 34mm tube.
  • Waterproof, Fogproof, Shockproof making it durable in all climates and able to absorb hard knocks and recoil.
  • Illuminated MOA reticle is high performance and comes with a throw lever that can be installed for quick adjustments. 14.6” long and weighs 30.4oz
best rifle scope for deer hunting

Bushnell Engage Riflescope, Matte Black, 30mm Tube


The BUSHNELL ENGAGE series is my favorite of their scopes. It is highly durable and rated for an element you can encounter. The side dial is a parallax adjustment which adds to the dynamics of the ENGAGE’s accuracy. The ultra-wide anti-reflective coating provides a clear picture even in the morning sun. The scope is 14” and weighs 20.1oz, which is ideal for stand hunters. Available


Bushnell Engage Riflescope, Matte Black, 30mm Tube

  • DEPLOY MOA reticle
  • Easy side mounted Parallax adjustment
  • 14 inches in length
  • 20.1oz in weight
  • EXO Anti-fog, waterproof coating which also repels debris and dust from the lens.
best rifle scope for deer hunting


The PROSTAFF P5 riflescope is an ideal choice for shooters looking for a high-quality riflescope with advanced features at a great price. The PROSTAFF P5 delivers the quality of nitrogen purged glass, the sleek aircraft-rated aluminum one-inch main tube makes this scope non-invasive and lightweight. This scope delivers the quality of nitrogen purged glass, the sleek aircraft-rated aluminum one-inch main tube makes this scope non-invasive and lightweight.

SPRING LOADED INSTANT ZERO-RESET TURRETS – The PROSTAFF P5 has spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets. This allows you to reset the turrets to zero after sighting in the scope, and then quickly return to your original settings.


  • ONE INCH MAIN TUBE – The PROSTAFF P5 features a one inch main tube allowing for lightweight design with superior strength.
  • AIRCRAFT GRADE ALUMINIUM – Aircraft grade aluminium is used in the construction of the PROSTAFF P5, which is lightweight but very strong.
best rifle scope for deer hunting

Simmons 4-12×40 8 Point Black Riflescope Truplex

The Simmons Truplex 8 Point is a great budget scope. If you are looking to get an aftermarket scope that will not cost you much, Simmons makes a great starter scope.

This scope gives you the bells and whistles of a higher grade scope, just in a slightly more limited capacity. I am not referring to performance so much as the range of capability. This scope will outperform the average hunter’s basic needs any day, and if you’re hunting within 100 yards it is more than adequate.


  • The Simmons Truplex 8-Point is the most accurate, dependable, and versatile riflescope you can buy. With a true zero return to point of aim accuracy, it’s ideal for long-range shooting.
  • The Truplex reticle provides fast target zone alignment. It features eight points around the center dot that are equally spaced at 1/4 MOA intervals with hash marks between each point.
  • These hash marks are designed to make it easy to estimate holdover or windage corrections in 1/4 MOA increments without having to use a calculator or chart.
  • The Simmons Truplex 8-Point has fully coated optics for high contrast target imagery and an OTA (Quick Target Acquisition)

These scopes will help you with your aim and make sure you get a clean shot on your target.
Once you settle on the scope that is right for you, you will want to mount it on your rifle and dial it into the range you hunt. If you are beginning with hunting optics you might want to ask a friend or gun professional about the best methods for sighting, and how to read a scope while looking