There are quite a few binoculars out there, so it’s perfectly understandable that you’d be confused. We’re here to help you dig through all the descriptions and jargon to understand what’s important.
Right now, you’re likely thinking that you need the highest magnification possible. You’d be wrong. You do need magnification, but the highest isn’t always the best. It depends on other factors like lens diameter and the prism, too.
We’ve broken down the features that matter, and we’ve reviewed 5 of the ones we like best. You don’t need to read all that jargon or try to make sense of it. That’s what we’re here for, and we’ve saved you hours of head scratching. There’s a guide at the end as well as some fun facts about elk.
Table of Contents
- Best Binoculars for Elk and Deer Hunting Comparison Table
- Top 5 Binoculars for Elk and Deer Hunting Review
Best Binoculars for Elk and Deer Hunting Comparison Table
|Upland Optics HD Binoculars||10 x 42 mm||340 ft||23 Oz|
|Adorrgon HD Binoculars||12 x 42 mm||367 ft||17.6 Oz|
|Gosky Binoculars for Adults||10 x 42 mm||307 ft||23.88 Oz|
|ZoomX Binoculars for Adults||10 x 42 mm||305 ft||19.2 Oz|
|Bushnell Green Trophy Binoculars||10 x 42 mm||N/A||25 Oz|
Top 5 Binoculars for Elk and Deer Hunting Review
The company was founded by two hunters from Idaho. They wanted optics specially created for other hunters. The two understand what you need in your bins when out in the wilderness. At any time, a hunter could be lying prone in the mud or climbing over rocks. These bins are up to the job.
- 10x magnification
- Field of view 330 feet
- Eye relief – 15.2 mm
- Weight – 1.44 pounds
The Perception bins are magnifying by 10. The lenses are extra-low dispersion (ED) glass. This glass doesn’t distort the image because of reflections. They’ll give you incredible clarity. While you’re under the canopy, the light can still hit your lenses through the trees. You’re going to have really clear images without a problem.
The field of view of these bins will rival some of the more expensive competitors. At 1000 yards, you can see a wide 330 feet. When you hear thrashing in the underbrush, you can find the source quickly. The view is clear and perfect. Once you lock onto your target, you can get in close with the 10x magnification.
These bins are waterproof and fogproof. It’s important for making sure you’re always ready to seek a target. It could be raining or humid, and your binoculars will always be ready to perform. The body is a magnalium chassis with a rubber coating.
As an avid outdoorsman, my gear has to stand up to all conditions. That includes the binoculars. These are a good value for the money. They are rugged and feel very solid in my hand.
They’re lightweight enough at less than 2 pounds, too. They can be carried in your pack heading to the perfect spot to find the animals. When you’re prone and waiting, they won’t hurt your arms while you’re glassing the area.
The eye relief is good. It’s 17.2 mm, which is on the high end for binoculars. That’s a generous amount if you are wearing eyeglasses to shoot. In low-light situations, wearing yellow-tinted glasses improves the light.
The close focus is more than 8 feet. You’ll need to be further than 8 feet back to see your target. Binoculars vary between 5 and 9 feet, so this is on the high end.
These are an incredible set of professional bins from Adorrgon. They might not be a name you know like some of the others, but it’s a great set of optics. They can be used for many activities where low light is a block to a clear image. This makes it perfect for hunting in the morning or at dusk.
- Magnification 12x
- Lens diameter 42 mm
- Roof prisms
- Lightweight: 1 pound
- Clear weak light vision
- Field of view: 367 feet
The objective lenses have multiple coatings. Fully coated lenses are going to provide a crisp, clear image. It deals with reflections, so you’ll be able to see everything – no matter how much light is hitting the glass. They have a diameter of 42 mm. That’s going to let in a lot of light.
Field of view (FOV) for this set of bins is 367 feet at 1000 yards. You’ll be able to see objects that are less than tiny dots to the naked eye. The bins feature BAK-4 roof prisms, which are going to give you a sharp image. The close distance for these bins is good. You’ll be able to see an elk or deer from 5 feet away.
These binoculars are waterproof and fogproof. When you’re prone on the forest floor, dampness and mist are not going to be an issue. The casing is sealed tight. There are o-rings, and it’s been purged with gas. The purging ensures that no moisture can fog up the lenses.
A higher magnification is nice, but it’s not everything you need for hunting elk or deer. This set of bins has quite a few of the features you want in a good pair of binoculars. The fully multi-coated lenses have images near perfection.
They aren’t fuzzy or weird. They’re resistant to water and condensation, too. That’s important when you’re using them outdoors. You never know when it’s going to rain or mist. It shouldn’t cause issues with your bins.
These are portable, lightweight, and good in low light. Elk feed in the morning and at dusk. You’ll need a pair of bins with fantastic low-light capabilities. These seem to enhance the available light. As if they have night vision.
These don’t have a hookup for a smartphone. If you want to take pictures while out in the woods, you’ll have to get a separate adapter. The company keeps some in stock, but you have to request one.
The company is fully immersed in the world of optics. It’s not a sideline for them. They provide customers with all kinds of optics from telescopes to microscopes to binoculars. They’re committed to giving customers great service and high-quality optics for all kinds of hobbies and careers.
- Magnification 10x
- Lenses 42 mm
- BAK-4 prism
- Smartphone compatible
- Shock proof
- Field of view: 307 feet
The lenses are fully multi-coated with green film on the objective lens. It’s covered with blue, fully multi-coated on the eyepiece lens. The film gives you bright, clear images compared to other kinds. Inside the bins are BAK4 roof prisms. You’re getting bright images even in low light.
The field of view is 307 feet at 1000 yards. If it’s clear at that distance, you know it’s going to be clear at half that distance. The bins will work great in the woods or across a field. You can use it with or without glasses. It’s completely lightweight at 1.25 pounds and able to withstand much of the weather outdoors.
It’s waterproof as well as being fogproof. That’s vital for outdoor use in areas where the weather can change. It might be misty and overcast in the morning before the sun burns off the mist. It might even be raining all day on your trip. No reason to cancel. Your bins can keep up with all kinds of weather.
Waterproof and fogproof are important with changing climates. Humidity or rain won’t ruin your trip in terms of your binoculars. It has a rugged case. It’s shockproof in case you need to toss the bins down to grab your rifle.
Aside from hunting, these bins have tons of other uses. There’s a smartphone adapter for picture taking. Your next concert or sports event can be viewed through bins and captured with the smartphone, too.
These lightweight bins have many accessories included. There’s the adapter, carrying bag, neck strap, cleaning cloth, and instructions. The lens covers are attached to the bins, so they’ll never get lost.
The carrying case isn’t as durable as it should have been. The straps are good, though. You can easily use the lens covers to protect the lenses as you carry it around your neck.
The company has a range of binoculars as well as monoculars. They use quality lenses from suppliers they trust and use Porro and roof prisms depending on the type of bins they sell. They provide a solid magnification in all their optics as well as a lifetime limited warranty.
- Magnification 10x
- Objective diameter 42 mm
- BAK4 roof prisms
- Field of view 305 feet
- Interpupillary distance 55 to 74 mm
- Smartphone adapter
The lenses are fully multi-coated. It gives you bright images that are high contrast. You won’t get dull images with any kind of chromatic aberration around the edges. That’s important for glassing the woods in search of elk or deer. You’ll be able to see deer even when they’re hiding in the bushes.
Close focus on these bins is 6.5 feet. It’s a good distance. Far enough away that the animals can’t catch your scent, but close for shooting. The field of view at 1000 yards is 305 feet. It’s unlikely you’ll need that amount of distance for hunting. You can use these in other places, too.
Out in the wild, you can’t go without having waterproofing on your bins. These are more than water resistant. They’re waterproof IPX7. It means they could even be submerged up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. The bins are filled with nitrogen to be completely fogproof.
The fully coated lenses are going to give you bright images that won’t have you guessing whether you’ve seen an elk or deer. While hunting, you want to be able to glass the object quickly and take your shot.
With these bins, you’re getting 99.6% transmission of light. Iit comes from the FMC lenses and the BAK4 prism. The competition might hover around 80% without a good prism or lens.
Being waterproof is vital to the success of your hunting trip. If you have to pack it up because it’s drizzling rain, that will ruin everything. They can even be dropped in a river and still perform beautifully.
No instructions for using the included smartphone adapter. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself or view some videos on the process.
Bushnell is a company with their hands fully in the hunting and outdoor world. They have riflescopes, laser rangefinders, red dot sights, binoculars, and telescopes. It’s been around since 1948, and it’s a name that most people recognize. They have a good reputation for quality bins.
- Magnification 10x
- Objective lenses 42 mm
- Fully multi-coated lenses
- Field of view: 395 feet
- BAK4 prisms
- Fast focus system
- Weight 1.56 pounds
Lenses are the most important part of the binoculars. These are large enough for plenty of light to enter. The prism is a BAK4 roof. Together, they produce crisp, clear images with no fuzzing around the edges. When you’re trying to track your target, there shouldn’t be any mistake about what you’re looking at.
There’s a generous field of view at 1000 yards of 395 feet. The minimum focus distance is 9.8 feet. The 10x magnification keeps the shakes to a minimum compared to bigger magnifications. It has eye relief at 17.5 mm, so you can wear your favorite glasses for shooting.
It’s a bin that is waterproof as well as fogproof. The Dura-Grip Rubber Armor is casing that won’t slip from your fingers. It doesn’t matter what kind of weather you have. It won’t get too wet to hold. The interior is sealed with an o-ring, and purged with nitrogen.
The glass in these bins is where the company really focuses. That’s important for hunting. The lenses are fully multi-coated to ensure you’re getting the best image possible. You’re getting a true representation of the object down to the edges and the color.
It improves the light coming into the bins. You’ll see bright, clear pictures that are even better than what you’d see with your naked eye. The contrast is excellent. There’s a large focus wheel and a right-eye dioptric wheel.
Mounting it on a tripod can keep the bins in focus on a certain area. It comes with an optional adapter. You can mount this or use it in your hand. It’s really lightweight and will stay steady while you’re glassing the area.
The close distance is not as close as some other bins. You’ll need to decide if that matters. You’re likely to be far enough away from deer or elk so they can’t smell you. Nine feet can be plenty.
What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Binoculars for Deer and Elk Hunting
If you’re going to be dragging gear into the forest for hunting, it should be lightweight. That’s a bit of common sense for your bins. They should be light for carrying. They should be light for holding to your eyes for long periods of time. There are other things you should think about before purchase.
Magnification Needed for Hunting
People who have started looking at higher-priced binoculars will want to know something important about the magnification. Choosing the biggest magnification won’t always get you the best bins. High magnification can lead to shakiness during viewing.
The difference between an 8x and a 10x magnification can lead to other disadvantages, too. It’s best to consider the magnification along with the rest of the specs of the bins. Especially with the objective lens size.
Objective Lens Size in Your New Bins
This is the size of the lenses. It’s the second number you’re going to see in the description. If binoculars are 8×42, the 42 is the lens size. If you’re going for a bigger size for anything, it should be the lenses.
The lens admits light into the bins. Like a camera, the bins allowing in more light will have a sharper image. Objects in the binoculars will be brighter, and you’ll be able to see them better.
Field of View: How That Works with Hunting
With higher magnification, the field of view will be narrow. The field of view is how much you can see in the lens when looking far away. It’s reported in feet or degrees. It’s easier to understand the feet you’ll be able to see.
When you’re looking at the landscape, a wider field of view might be important. For hunting, you’re unlikely to need a wide field of view. That will certainly depend on what you’re looking at, though.
Type of Prism for Best View
There are Porro and roof prisms for binoculars. The first design of the prism were Porros. They existed alone until the 60s. There’s a bend in the path of light for the Porro. A roof prism has light that goes straight. There’s no bend.
When it comes to porro and roof prisms, the porro is more expensive to make. The roof prism is a cost-effective prism that gives you a good view for the money. BAK4 prisms are quality glass that makes good prisms.
Eye Relief for Shooting Glasses
Bin users should be thinking about what they need for eyeglasses. Even if you don’t wear eyeglasses, sunglasses need the same consideration. Hunters will likely be wearing shooting glasses that enhance low light.
Eye relief is how far away the eye can be from the lens while still getting a good view. With poor eye relief, you’re not going to get the best view. You’ll need a higher number to get a complete view while keeping glasses on your eyes.
Lens Coatings for Light
The coating on the lens is where you’ll really see a difference. Lenses with one coating will only protect them from scratches. It’ll need more than one coat to really see a quality image.
Lenses with multiple coatings will reduce the light lost due to reflection. The images will be brighter and clearer when light can enter the lens without bouncing off of it. There are plenty of bins with a variety of coatings from fully coated to multi-coated to fully multi-coated.
Facts About Elk & Deer
A few facts about elk in case it’s a new pursuit for you. Deer hunting and elk hunting are closely related. They are animals that travel in the same areas, but what should you know about them?
They Need Young Forests
You’d think that elk need a ton of trees for their habitat. If the landscape doesn’t allow for sunlight, though, the grasses they eat can’t thrive. Low vegetation is vital for their survival.
That means, as a hunter, you’ll want to be in the young forest. Keep an eye out for the vegetation they need for survival. That’s where they’ll be.
Deer eat 8 to 12 pounds of vegetation, so they definitely need to have plenty of ground cover to eat. They have to eat that amount daily. It’ll be easy to find them feeding somewhere.
Deer and Elk Are Fast!
They can reach a max speed of 45 miles an hour. To put that into perspective, horses can hit around 29 to 30 miles per hour. In a race, the fastest horse ever was recorded at 44 mph. Elk in their natural habitat go much faster.
White-tailed deer aren’t as fast as elk. They can get up to a sprint of 35 mph. That’s 10 miles per hour slower than an elk. It’s fast, so you definitely don’t want to startle the animal before you can get your shot lined up.
Can They Jump?
It might be surprising to learn that elk can jump more than a few feet off the ground. They can jump more than 8 feet in the air. They make short work of fences in most areas.
The same is true of deer. If they’re running to jump that fence, they can get to 10 feet. That’s something to consider when hunting since they may escape by running.
Migration and Diet of These Animals
Elk and deer have really similar to the instincts. They’ll be found in areas with plenty of ground vegetation. Elk will eat sprouts of small trees, bark in the winter, and vegetation in the summer as will deer.
They prefer mountainous terrain. The animals frequent areas that are heavily wooded yet with enough light for their favorite foods to grow. They’ll feed in the morning and evening. It’s the best time to get a bead on them.
What Do These Facts Mean to You?
As a hunter, the more you know about your prey, the easier it is to find them. You won’t be shocked when you see an elk or deer run or hop a fence. Hunters can find the right forests where they’ll see animals traveling.
When choosing the best binoculars for deer and elk hunting, you should know what you’re looking for. That’s likely why you’re here. Researching and learning about binoculars is the first step to making a sound purchase.
This guide and reviews should be helpful in making a decision. Now, you’ll know that the higher magnifications aren’t the only thing you have to think about. It’s all about eye relief, coating on the lenses, and the prisms.
We’ve given you plenty to consider, but one of these bins on the list will be the best choice for hunting binoculars. We wanted to do all the work for you, so you’ll feel confident when ordering.