7 Best Vortex Scopes for Elk Hunting

It is the dream of every elk hunter to have a successful hunting trip once in their lifetime. Before you set foot in the hunting field, you should have the right gear with you. And in this guide, we are here to show you the best Vortex scopes for elk hunting.

A quality scope is one of the essential tools to have for this kind of hunting. No matter the environment you are hunting elks in, a good scope will boost your chances of success and help make the overall expedition more fun and rewarding.

There are so many scopes manufacturing brands out there but is it hard to beat Vortex Optics. This brand makes a wide selection of high-quality scopes that offer the rugged performance that hunters need. Built with surgical precision and high-end materials, these scopes offer unbeatable performance that many hunters have come to depend on.

Best Vortex Scopes for Elk Hunting – Our Top Picks

Whilst Vortex offers many scopes, not all are suitable for elk hunting. If you are in the market for the best Vortex scopes for elk hunting, you have come to the right place. We review the best Vortex scopes that make a handy companion for every modern elk hunter. Let’s take a look.

1) Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16×44 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

best Vortex scopes for elk hunting



The Viper HS-T 4-16×44 is one of the best Vortex scopes for elk hunting that is available on the market today. Designed for both hunting and tactical shooting, the scope provides admirable performance in virtually any environment.

This rifle scope is ideal for hunting elks even at extended ranges. With the 4-16x adjustable magnification, you get the flexibility to take shots at both medium and long ranges. Further, it is equipped with a 44mm objective lens that optimizes light collection for easy target finding even in low light settings.

The best part about using the scope is the rugged construction. It has a 1-piece tube that is built well to stand up to harsh hunting environments and rough handling. The whole tube is then O-ring sealed and argon purged to ensure that the scope doesn’t fog up or let in dirt and moisture inside the optics.

Furthermore, Vortex designed this rifle scope to offer excellent optical performance from dawn to dusk. It uses fully multi-coated ED lenses which provide outstanding resolution and color contrast even in low light settings. It also has Armortek coatings which protect the external lenses from scratches and dirt.

Other handy features included in this scope are a second focal plane VMR-1 reticle, CRS Zero Stop and exposed target-style turrets.


  • Versatile 4x zoom
  • Fully multi-coated ED lenses
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • Second focal plane VMR-1 reticle
  • Armortek lens coating
  • One-piece 30mm body tube
  • Exposed target-style turrets


  • Great price
  • Excellent image clarity and brightness
  • Crisp clear optics
  • Built for versatility


  • Reticle included is not smooth to use
  • Not ideal for close range applications

2) Vortex Diamondback 4-12×40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

best Vortex scopes for elk hunting



The Diamondback 4-12×40 is a premium quality rifle scope that offers unmatched performance when it comes to elk hunting. It harbors a wide array of excellent features that every discerning elk hunter will truly appreciate.

The scope provides superb image quality in nearly any lighting environment. With the large 40mm objective lens, you are assured of optimal low light performance. Additionally, the lenses are fully multi-coated for excellent light transmission, which is essential for bright and crisp image views. Further, the scope uses a crisp clear Dead-Hold BDC reticle that is placed on the second focal plane.

This rifle scope will deliver a lifetime of reliable performance even in the roughest field conditions. It has a durable and shockproof aluminum body with a hard anodized finish to prevent rust and scratches. It is also fully waterproof and fog proof for use under extreme weather conditions.

Further, the scope is built for versatility. You can use it with a slug shotgun, muzzleloader or any long range rifle. Better yet, it has a lightweight design that disperses recoil from high caliber weapons while optimizing mobility. It also features a fast focus eyepiece for swift reticle focusing and a precision glide erector system that ensures accurate tracking and repeatability.


  • SFP Dead-Hold BDC reticle
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Metal on metal precision turrets
  • 4-12x magnification range
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • 1-piece body tube
  • Hard anodized finish
  • Precision glide erector system


  • Robust and reliable aluminum construction
  • Easy to mount and use
  • Great value for the price
  • Crystal clear focus
  • Lightweight design


  • Short eye relief

3) Vortex Crossfire II AO 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope

Vortex Crossfire



The Crossfire II AO 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope is built on a 1-piece tube which gives it greater strength than multi-piece tube scopes. It is fully waterproof and fog proof for use under any hunting environment, and shockproof to stand up to anything you subject it to while hunting.

With the adjustable 4-12x magnification range, you get the flexibility to hunt at varying ranges and in different environments. The adjustable objective eliminates parallax when hunting at extended ranges and you can also use it for image focusing and range estimation. Moreover, the scope’s turrets are capped to prevent accidental dialing and improve mobility in the field.

This scope will let you take accurate shots regardless of whether you are hunting elk at dawn or dusk. It has fully multi-coated optics which enhance transmission of light for bright and clear sight pictures. It also has a 40mm objective lens which maximizes resolution and also gives the scope a more compact profile.

Above all, the scope has a hard anodized finish that keeps it scratch resistant and rust proof even when you expose it to humid weather conditions.


  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Single-piece 1-inch body tube
  • 4-12x magnification range
  • Waterproof, fog proof and shock resistant
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Hard anodized finish
  • Adjustable objective


  • Solid aircraft grade aluminum body
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Accommodating eye relief
  • Crisp clear optics


  • No reticle illumination

4) Vortex Razor HD Gen II 3-18×50 Riflescope

Vortex Razor



To hone your elk hunting skills, you need a top-performing optic like the Razor HD Gen II 3-18×50 Riflescope. This is a no non-sense scope when it comes to accuracy and long range performance.

The 6x zoom range offers magnification versatility that you need to hunt elk at different ranges while the large 34mm body tube provides more room for both elevation and reticle movement. Furthermore, the scope features an EBR-2 MOA reticle which is glass etched to disperse heavy recoil for greater durability. For greater versatility, the reticle has 11 illumination intensities for optimal visibility in diverse lighting environments.

In terms of construction, the scope is built well to offer unmatched durability. It has a robust aircraft grade aluminum housing which provides a durable platform. Moreover, it is waterproof and for proof for performance in any environment and with the Armortek coatings, the exterior lenses are protected from scratches, dirt and oil.

To top it all, the Razor HD Gen II 3-18×50 Riflescope features fully multi-coated lenses which deliver stunning image quality from dawn to dusk.


  • Versatile 6x zoom
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Armortek lens coating
  • XR plus fully multi-coated lenses
  • 34mm body tube
  • Glass-etched EBR-2 MOA reticle
  • Hard anodized black finish
  • Fast focus eyepiece


  • Illuminated reticle with 11 illuminated settings
  • Pinpoint accuracy
  • Crisp and clear optics
  • Good eye relief
  • Locking turrets


  • Heavy
  • Big budget

5) Vortex Viper PST Gen II 3-15×44 Rifle Scope

Vortex Viper




As one of the best Vortex scopes for elk hunting, the Viper PST Gen II 3-15×44 Rifle Scope gives you the flexibility to hunt at close quarters to long ranges. It is built with a wide selection of premium and user-friendly features for those hunters seeking to keep the upper hand in nearly all hunting situations.

Featuring a second focal plane EBR-4 MOA reticle, the scope offers optimal viewing in any environment. The reticle comes with 10 intensity levels for accurate aiming even in adverse lighting conditions and it is etched on glass for greater durability and recoil resistance. Further,  the scope comes with a fast focus eyepiece which allows for quick and simple reticle focusing.

Another outstanding feature about this product is the unmatched durability it offers. It has a rugged aluminum construction which stands up to shock, impacts and recoil. On the exterior surface is a hard anodized finish that helps camouflage the shooter’s position while optimizing the scope’s resistance to scratches and rust.

Other essential features included are a waterproof and fog proof construction, extra-low dispersion glass and an RZR zero stop.


  • 30mm body tube
  • 3-15x magnification
  • Waterproof and fog proof construction
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Precision glide erector system
  • Hard anodized finish
  • Exposed tactical-style turrets
  • Second focal plane EBR-4 MOA reticle


  • Illuminated reticle
  • Rugged and reliable construction
  • Bright and clear sight pictures
  • Easy to use


  • Poor eye relief at maximum power
  • Illuminated reticle isn’t bright enough for daytime hunting

6) Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 SFP Riflescope

Vortex Strike Eagle



When hunting elks at long ranges, you need a versatile and solid-quality scope like the Strike Eagle 4-24×50 SFP Riflescope. It has a broad 4-24x magnification that makes it ideal for taking shots at varying ranges, and a large 50mm aperture to complement the versatile zoom.

Designed to optimize long range hunting and shooting, the scope features an EBR-4 MOA second focal plane reticle which you can use to effectively determine the range as well as holdover and windage correction. This reticle is glass-etched for added durability and recoil resistance, and it stays clean all through for optimal viewing.

Furthermore, the scope features fully multi-coated lenses that produce crisp clear and bright image views from sunrise till sunset. Construction-wise, it has a mono-piece 30mm tube that is ruggedly made to stand up to mishandling, recoil and impacts. It also comes with zero resettable tactical turrets with clearly marked adjustment rotation indicators.

Above all, this Strike Eagle scope is sealed with O-rings and nitrogen purged to deliver a lifetime of waterproof and fog proof performance.


  • Broad 4-14x magnification
  • Zero resettable tactical turrets
  • Glass-etched EBR-4 MOA reticle
  • 30mm main tube
  • Fully multi-coated lenses
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Side parallax adjustment knob


  • Adjustable parallax
  • Illuminated and easy to use reticle
  • Great value for the price
  • Incredible long range accuracy


  • Slight color aberration
  • Could have done better on eye relief

7) Vortex Viper HS 4-16×50 Dead-Hold BDC Riflescope

Vortex Viper HS



Lastly, we have the Viper HS 4-16×50 Dead-Hold BDC Riflescope. It features an advanced optical system and an array of high-end features that guarantee hunting success once you set foot on the hunting field.

Built on a sturdy 30mm single-piece machined aluminum tube, the scope delivers unbeatable durability under any hunting environment. It possesses a long eye relief that helps you get on targets quickly and a fast focus eyepiece that aids in quick and straightforward reticle focusing.

With the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, the scope is ideal for hunting at varying distances where you might have an issue with estimating holdover. Besides, it uses XD glass which generates images that are clear and sharp from edge to edge. Also, the lenses are multi-coated to capture the most light when hunting in dismal environments.

Furthermore, the scope is built to offer reliable performance in any weather condition. It is fully waterproof and fog proof so you can hunt elks with confidence under any weather. Above all, it comes with a sleek hard anodized finish for added protection from corrosion and scratches.


  • 4-16x magnification range
  • Dead-Hold BDC reticle
  • Ultra-hard scratch resistant Armortek lens coatings
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • 30mm single-piece machined aluminum tube
  • Multi-coated optics
  • Fast focus eyepiece


  • Excellent eye relief
  • Solid construction
  • Superb image clarity and brightness
  • Expanded windage and elevation range


  • Parallax focuses down to 50 yards only

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Criteria for Choosing the Best Vortex Scopes for Elk Hunting


This is the first thing you should take into account. While magnification is largely a matter of personal preference, make sure that you get a scope that offers a decent magnification. 3-9x optical power is sufficient for most hunting environments as it offers the perfect balance between a large field of view and fast target acquisition.

However, you can go for a 4-16x model or more if your hunting largely involves long range hunting in wide and open plains.

Objective Lens

A large objective lens is paramount for elk hunting. It will collect more light for production of bright and clear images. Additionally, a scope with a large aperture provides the much-required large field of view that allows for easy tracking of the game when you take a shot. Go for a scope that has an objective lens diameter of 40mm to 50mm.


When it comes to choosing the best Vortex scopes for elk hunting, it is best to get a unit that is light in weight. This way, you will be able to carry with ease as you move around looking for game. Plus, lightweight scopes offer the added advantage of being accurate and easy to use.

Lens Coating

Clarity and image precision are two important factors in elk hunting. And in most cases, the type of lens coatings the scope directly affects image clarity that you get. With poor lens coatings, you will have a tricky time knowing where to shoot the elk, let alone see it clearly. This translates to decreased chances of having a rewarding hunting excursion.

On the other hand, good lens coating will turn your hunting trip into an extravaganza. A scope that boasts fully multi-coated lenses is the best. It will offer the highest level of light transmission for bright and clear sight pictures.


The scope you get should be fully weatherproof. Any moisture that gets inside the scope can cause irreparable damage to the optics. So, the scope you get should be sealed with O-rings to keep the optics moisture, dust and dirt-free. Additionally, the scope should be filled with dry nitrogen gas or charged with argon gas to counter build up of fog inside the lenses.

Eye Relief

The other thing you should consider is the eye relief. Eye relief is the distance from the scope’s eyepiece to your eye. This distance plays a huge role in determining eye comfort when hunting.

To get the most out of your scope, get a unit that offers at least 3.5 inches of eye relief. It will help in rapid acquisition of targets and also ensure that your eye stays protected from high-recoiling rifles. A long eye relief will also help you scout for game comfortably from any shooting position.

Best Vortex Scopes for Elk Hunting FAQs

  • What size of scope is best for elk hunting?

This will depend on the hunting distance and your individual preference. In most cases, a variable power scope with up to 10x magnification is sufficient for medium range elk hunting where a wide viewing angle is critical. But a model with 14x or more magnification is perfect for long distance elk hunting.

  • Are Vortex Scopes Worth the Money?

Yes. Consistently, Vortex scopes hold their reputation to offering great value for money for all uses. All Vortex scopes have proven to be adaptable, reliable, and with their rugged construction, you are guaranteed of a lifetime of unbeatable performance.

Final Thoughts

The best Vortex scopes for elk hunting will help you find the elk with ease in any hunting environment and also help you aim more accurately. All the vortex scopes listed above are well made with a host of quality and reliable features to help you make the most out of your hunting excursion. No matter the scope you end up purchasing, we do hope that is overview has helped point you in the right direction and you are now able to make the right buying decision.