On one level, choosing a hunting scope is a personal endeavor. On the other, while no two scopes are identical, they all have certain similarities, no matter how you plan on using them. The following is a brief summary of what you should look for when you are searching top rated hunting scopes for that perfect scope that will fit your hunting needs.
Figuring out your budget is important as it sets the stage and limits for your searching process. If, for example, your budget is a few hundred dollars, there is no need, except for human interest, to look at a scope that costs thousands. Your budget, unless it is significant in terms of amount, helps you instantly eliminate multiple hunting scopes before you even look at one.
How You Will Use It
Are you varmint hunting? Or are you going after big game like deer or elk? Do you need a scope that can let you pinpoint where you want your bullet to penetrate or are you using a firearm that has a wider range of projectile, like a shotgun? What type of firearm will you be mounting it on?
These are all questions you need to answer before you consider any of your options regarding top rated hunting scopes. Not having them answered means you are taking a scattershot approach to buying a scope and while that can work, unless you get lucky, it will take a greater amount of time and more likely, you will not get the ideal scope for your needs.
If you are gifting your scope, you need to have those questions worked out for the person you will be giving the scope to as well.
As you are probably aware, there are literally dozens of scope makers you can choose from. There are almost as many scope brands as there are prices and types of scope. Some of the big names, however, do not change.
For example, you cannot go wrong with Leopold long range hunting scopes or manufacturers like Bushnell, Browning, Nikon or Wheeler. All have multiple-type hunting scopes and price ranges that are affordable for almost everyone. Other lesser known brands, like Redfield, Sightron and Vortex have very affordable, dependable and durable scopes that can fit almost any budget.
The point is the brand is not so important as what you can afford and what you are looking for in a scope. Top rated hunting scopes are great, but only if they can do what you need them to do. Making sure the purpose of your scope matches your hunting needs will save you a lot of frustration in missed or destroyed shots in the field.