Best Vortex Scopes For Deer Hunting (2023)

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What’s the best Vortex scope for deer hunting you should be using this fall?

To a certain extent, scope brands are sort of like truck brands. Just like how some people are “Ford” or “Chevy guys”, others are fans or Leupold, Bushnell, Burris, or Vortex.

Judging by the fact that you’re here, you’re probably a “Vortex guy.” There’s a lot of like about this great American company: their fantastic hunting optics, their incredible VIP Warranty, and their gigantic product selection.

Unfortunately, the tremendous number and variety of Vortex rifle scopes currently in production can make choosing the best Vortex scope for deer hunting a challenging task, especially for those who are new to hunting or just don’t know a lot about optics in general.

What’s the best scope for you?

Well, it depends on a bunch of different factors like the specific conditions you’re hunting under, what sort of firearm you need a scope for, your budget, etc.

Not to worry: I’ll help you sort things out and find the best Vortex scope for your particular hunting situation that also fits your budget.

In this post, I’m going share my picks of the best Vortex scopes for deer hunting. Buying one of these scopes won’t magically transform you into an expert hunter or improve your marksmanship, but the right scope can still definitely provide a critical edge when you need it most.

Before we get started, here’s a disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

This commission comes at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support.

Finally, in case you weren’t aware, the Crossfire, Diamondback, Strike Eagle, Viper, and Razor families (in ascending order of price and overall quality) currently form the meat of the Vortex line of hunting scopes here in 2023. Moving up from one family to another will correspond with an improvement in glass quality, light transmission, overall build quality, additional features, and price.

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s get started.

Feel free to scroll straight through the article, or click one of the links below to jump straight to the best Vortex scope for deer hunting in the specific category you’re looking for.

Best Value Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $200

Overall Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $300

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $500

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $1,000

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting With A Straight Wall Cartridge

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting With An AR-Platform

Best Value Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting

Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm

First up is the Vortex Diamondback 4-12x40mm scope, which I think is the best value Vortex scope for deer hunting. Vortex makes great quality hunting scopes and their Diamondback line provides a good mix of good quality glass in a rifle scope suitable for most deer hunting situations that’s also available at a moderate price tier.

The Vortex Diamondback uses a solid one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum alloy construction that makes this scope very durable and also offers good resistance to heavy recoil, even from magnum cartridges like the 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag. The Diamondback is also purged with argon to ensure it’s waterproof and fogproof.

Plus, it uses advanced fully multi-coated optics to deliver crystal clear images. This scope also uses Vortex’s Dead-Hold BDC reticle. At the maximum magnification, the hashmarks on this reticle provide 1.5 MOA, 4.5 MOA, and 7.5 MOA holdover points as well as 2 MOA, 4 MOA, 6 MOA, and 8 MOA windage hold marks.

This scope also uses a 1″ main body tube, which helps keep it light and compact. Scopes like this one with a 1-inch tube are easier to mount low to the bore, which facilitates a good cheek weld and gives the rifle a more streamlined profile that’s less prone to snagging on obstructions.

A 4x magnification at the low end is good for closer range hunting situations while a 12x magnification at the high end works great for checking targets at the range or for slightly shots at longer range afield.

Add it all up, and you’ve got a great deer hunting scope at a reasonable price point that should serve you well for many years of hunting use. This is the sort of scope the vast majority of deer hunters could buy today and happily use for the next 20-30 years without ever feeling like they needed something nicer.

With all that in mind, I think the Vortex Diamondback is the best value Vortex scope for most deer hunters.

Key Features

  • Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 4-12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Tube Diameter: 1-inch
  • Field of View: 32.4-11.3 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Fixed at 100 yards
  • Knob Style: Capped Windage & Elevation
  • Illuminated Reticle: No
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Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Good quality glass
  • Good light transmission
  • Reasonable price
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • No parallax adjustment dial
  • No illuminated reticle

BUY A VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12x SCOPE ON AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX DIAMONDBACK 4-12x SCOPE ON OPTICS PLANET HERE

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $200

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9x40mm

The Vortex Crossfire II is a great performing “budget” rifle scope and is exactly what you need if you want a Vortex scope for deer hunting under $200.

This scope is nitrogen filled so it’s is fog proof and waterproof. It also has multi-coated lenses that facilitate light transmission and clarity under a variety of circumstances.

The Crossfire II scope is available with either the V-Brite illuminated reticle or the Vortex Dead Hold BDC reticle. Windage and elevation holdover points are the same on this scope as they are on the Vortex Diamondback.

On the other hand, the V-Brite reticle is basically just a standard duplex reticle with a subtle red dot in the exact center that’s great for precise aiming under low light conditions. Just turn on the illuminated center dot, place that red dot where you want to hit, and squeeze the trigger.

While the Vortex Optics Crossfire II does not provide light transmission or image quality on par with some of the more expensive rifle scopes on this list, it’s still a capable deer hunting scope for those who don’t need a high performance optic and is perfectly adequate for typical deer hunting situations. It’s also a great option for best Vortex scope for hunters on a tight budget.

Key Features

  • Weight: 16.0 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Tube Diameter: 1-inch main tube
  • Field of View: 34.1-12.6 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Fixed at 100 yards
  • Knob Style: Capped
  • Illuminated Reticle: Optional

Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Very reasonable price
  • Perfect for a budget conscious deer hunter
  • Illuminated reticle is optional add-on

Cons

  • Lower image quality than the higher end scopes
  • Restrictive eye box
  • No parallax adjustment dial

BUY A VORTEX CROSSFIRE II SCOPE ON AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX CROSSFIRE II SCOPE AT OPTICS PLANET HERE

Overall Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting

Vortex Razor HD LHT 3-15×42

The Vortex Razor HD LHT is the best option if you want the absolute best Vortex scope for deer hunting. This is Vortex’s top of the line rifle scope and it uses high quality glass, has a reticle with a center illuminated dot, a side parallax knob, and also has an exposed elevation turret with Vortex’s RevStop Zero System (their version of a a zero stop).

“LHT” stands for “Light Hunting Tactical”, which is a good description of this scope’s capabilities. Vortex Optics markets the Razor HD LHT as “one scope to rule them all” and it’s well suited for use in dark-timber on whitetails as well as for open country mule deer hunts where precision long range shots may be necessary.

The Razor HD LHT also comes with a coupon you can redeem with Kentron Industries to receive a custom elevation turret matched to your favorite hunting load to assist with making long shots on game and at the range.

Finally, the illuminated reticle is especially nice for use in low light conditions where there’s still legal shooting light, but it may be too dark to see the reticle. Similar to the V-Brite reticle on the Crossfire II, the HSR-5i illuminated reticle on the Razor HD LHT (available with either MOA or MRAD scale offsets) is a subtle red center dot.

Just place that red dot where you want to hit, and squeeze the trigger. The reticle also works just fine during the daytime when illumination is turned off.

If you want the absolute best Vortex scope for deer hunting, then you definitely need to buy a Vortex Razor HD LHT.

Key Features

  • Weight: 19.1 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 3-15x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Field of View: 35.3-7.0 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Side adjusting parallax/focus knob
  • Knob Style: Exposed elevation turret (MOA)
  • Illuminated Reticle: Yes

Pros

  • Can order a custom elevation dial
  • Excellent glass quality
  • Illuminated center dot
  • Well suited for virtually any deer hunting situation

Cons

  • Busy reticle
  • On heavy side
  • Expensive

BUY A VORTEX RAZOR SCOPE ON AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX RAZOR LHT SCOPE AT OPTICS PLANET HERE

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $300

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-12x40mm

Very similar to the baseline Vortex Diamondback previously mentioned in this article, the Vortex Diamondback Tactical has exposed tactical turrets that enable the user to quickly and precisely dial for bullet drop and wind deflection at extended ranges.

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Those turrets also have a zero-reset feature and fiber optic rotation indicators that allow the user to zero the scope, index the dials to that new zero condition, and then provide a quick reference for the user to verify at a glance that their scope is still zeroed properly.

With all this in mind, the Diamondback Tactical also has a slightly different reticle. Instead of the Dead Hold BDC reticle, this rifle scope has a more tactical style VMR-1 Reticle with hash marks every 2 MOA for both windage and elevation.

Though the regular Diamondback is a great rifle scope for short to medium range hunting scenarios, the Diamondback Tactical is a better option for hunters who plan on doing lots of hunting in open country where encounters with game at longer distances are more likely.

All in all, the Vortex Diamondback Tactical is a great deer hunting scope, especially since it’s available for less than $300.

Key Features

  • Weight: 17.5 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 4-12x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Tube Diameter: 1-inch
  • Field of View: 23.6-7.9 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Fixed at 100 yards
  • Knob Style: Exposed Windage & Elevation Dials
  • Illuminated Reticle: No

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very reasonable price
  • Good quality glass
  • Lots of features with a reasonable price
  • Perfect for a budget conscious deer hunter

Cons

  • Lower image quality than the higher end scopes
  • No parallax adjustment dial
  • No illuminated reticle

BUY A VORTEX DIAMONDBACK TACTICAL SCOPE FROM AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX DIAMONDBACK TACTICAL SCOPE FROM OPTICS PLANET HERE

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $500

Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16x44mm FFP

The Vortex Diamondback Tactical FFP is the next step up from the Vortex Diamondback Tactical. It has the same glass quality as the other scopes in the Diamondback line, but this scope also has exposed windage and elevation turrets as well as a side adjustment parallax dial.

And just like the name states, the Diamondback Tactical FFP is also a first focal plane scope. You can also get a custom elevation turret from Kentron Industries that’s matched to your favorite hunting load for this scope as well. All things considered, this is a capable long range scope at a shockingly low price point.

Key Features

  • Weight: 23.1 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 4-16x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 44mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Field of View: 26.9-6.7 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: First
  • Parallax/Focus: Side adjusting parallax/focus knob
  • Knob Style: Exposed Windage & Elevation Dials
  • Illuminated Reticle: No

Pros

  • Very reasonable price
  • Good quality glass
  • Lots of features with a reasonable price
  • Perfect for a budget conscious deer hunter
  • Parallax adjustment dial

Cons

  • Lower image quality than the higher end scopes
  • Heavy
  • No illuminated reticle

BUY A VORTEX DIAMONDBACK TACTICAL FFP SCOPE FROM AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX DIAMONDBACK TACTICAL FFP FROM OPTICS PLANET HERE

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting Under $1,000

Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm

The Viper line is the next tier of rifle scopes above the Diamondback line and below the Razor line. As such, the Vortex Viper has better quality glass, better anti-reflective coatings, better overall construction, and a few more features than the Vortex Diamondback.

In that vein, the Vortex Viper HST (Hunting Shooting Tactical) is a very tough, well built scope with fantastic extra-low dispersion glass, a forgiving eye box, exposed tactical turrets, and a side focus parallax adjustment dial that’s just a great all-around optical system. No, it’s not quite as nice as the Vortex Razor LHT, but the Vortex Viper is still a darn good scope, especially considering you can pick one up for less than $1,000.

All in all, the Vortex Viper HST is a fantastic deer hunting scope that provides high end performance out to surprisingly long distances at a shockingly reasonable price.

Key Features

  • Weight: 20.8 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 4-16x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 44mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Field of View: 27.4-7.4 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Side adjusting parallax/focus knob
  • Knob Style: Exposed Windage & Elevation Dials
  • Illuminated Reticle: No

Pros

  • Wide magnification range
  • Excellent quality glass
  • Reasonable price for scope with great glass and lots of features

Cons

  • On the heavy side
  • Lacks throw level on magnification ring
  • No illuminated reticle

BUY A VORTEX VIPER HST SCOPE ON AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX VIPER HS-T SCOPE AT OPTICS PLANET HERE

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting With A Straight Walled Cartridge

Vortex Crossfire II 3-9×50 Straight Wall BDC

A good chunk of deer hunters are required to use straight-walled cartridges. This includes those who hunt in the states of Iowa and Ohio as well as portions of Indiana and southern Michigan.

While straight-walled cartridges are incredibly effective on deer, they also tend to fling a heavier and larger caliber bullet at a slower velocity than bottle-necked cartridges like the 243 Winchester or 30-06 Springfield. This results in straight-wall cartridges a more arching trajectory that can make taking longer shots significantly more difficult. Fortunately, Vortex produces a rifle scope perfectly suited for those hunters.

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Specifically, they produce a version of the Crossfire II with a slightly different version of the Dead-Hold BDC reticle the folks at Vortex call the Straight-Wall BDC MOA Reticle. That reticle is designed to provide accurate holdovers for the most popular straight-wall cartridges in use today: the 350 Legend, .450 Bushmaster, and .45-70 Government.

With a 100 yard zero, the Straight-Wall BDC offers holdovers for 150, 200, 250 and 300 yards when used with those cartridges.

You’ll probably experience a little bit of variation for the exact ranges those holdovers work for when using different straight-wall cartridge and specific loads. So, make sure you verify things at the range before going hunting. It’s also important to note that the holdovers for this scope are only accurate when used at the highest magnification setting.

Even so, this Vortex rifle scope is a great tool for slightly extending your effective range with one of those lower velocity straight-wall cartridge.

Other than a different reticle (and a slightly larger objective lens), this scope is basically identical to the Crossfire II scope I mentioned earlier in this article.

This scope will work fine with higher velocity bottle-necked cartridges, but the BDC holdovers in the reticle will not match up. With all that in mind, I think this is the perfect Vortex scope for deer hunters who use straight-walled cartridges like the 350 Legend, 450 Bushmaster, and 45-70 Government. Other hunters should use on of the other Vortex scopes on this list.

Key Features

  • Weight: 18.4 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 3-9x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Tube Diameter: 1-inch
  • Field of View: 32.0-12.9 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .25 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Fixed at 100 yards
  • Knob Style: Capped
  • Illuminated Reticle: No

Pros

  • Removable throw lever on magnification ring facilitates rapid adjustments
  • Good magnification range for close quarters and open-country hunting
  • Clean and simple illuminated reticle
  • Good quality scope with lots of features for a reasonable price

Cons

  • Lacks exposed elevation turrets
  • Physically a little too large for my taste

BUY A VORTEX CROSSFIRE STRAIGHT WALL BDC SCOPE ON AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX CROSSFIRE STRAIGHT WALL BDC SCOPE FROM OPTICS PLANET HERE

Best Vortex Scope For Deer Hunting With An AR-15

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm

The rise in popularity of the AR platform over the past few years has resulted in a dramatic increase in scope options specifically designed for hunting with those rifles. Don’t just slap any rifle scope on your AR-15 or AR-10 though.

Fortunately, Vortex produces a great scope for hunting with an AR-platform in the Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm. This rifle scope is a LPVO (low powered variable optic) that will help you take advantage of the strengths of the AR platform while hunting.

Specifically, the Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24 is a reasonably priced, but still low profile, capable, and feature rich scope that’s perfect for those hunting situations.

With a 1-8x magnification range, the scope has a wide field of view that facilitates rapid target acquisition at lower power, but also provides plenty of magnification for longer ranged shots. It also comes from the factory with a removable throw lever for rapid magnification adjustments and an illuminated reticle, both of which are uncommon features on scopes in this price range.

I especially like the illuminated reticle, which offers low light performance. This scope also has a streamlined profile. This is an area where most people mess up when mounting a scope on their AR. However, low profile scopes like the Strike Eagle may be mounted close to the bore to facilitate a good cheek weld while shooting and minimize the chances of the scope getting hung up on vegetation or clothing.

Key Features

  • Weight: 17.6 ounces
  • Magnification Range: 1-8x
  • Objective Lens Diameter: 24mm
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Field of View: 109.0-14.4 feet at 100 yards
  • Turret Click Values: .5 MOA
  • Reticle Focal Plane: Second
  • Parallax/Focus: Fixed at 100 yards
  • Knob Style: Capped
  • Illuminated Reticle: Yes

Pros

  • Wide magnification range
  • Massive field of view
  • Removable throw lever on magnification ring facilitates rapid adjustments
  • Design is perfect for quick target acquisition
  • Lots of features for a reasonable price
  • Durable

Cons

  • On the heavy side
  • Non-traditional reticle

BUY A VORTEX STRIKE EAGLE ON AMAZON HERE

BUY A VORTEX STRIKE EAGLE FROM OPTICS PLANET HERE

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>