6 Best Illuminated Scope For Deer Hunting – 2023 Update

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Are you searching for the best illuminated scope for deer hunting? By the end of this post, you will find a reliable scope that suits your shooting needs.

Reticles are supposed to make it easier for you to strike your targets, but occasionally they might be challenging to spot. Your accuracy may be compromised by reticle colors that mix with your preferred game’s surroundings or the fur.

That is the primary motivation behind the creation of scopes with illuminated reticles. Yet it takes a lot of investigation and surfing to locate the most extraordinary brilliant reticle sight for your upcoming hunting trip.

The purpose of illuminated reticles is something that a lot of people misunderstand. They believe that glowing reticles should illuminate their target or, in some other way, enable them to hit an animal correctly, even in complete darkness. Illuminated reticles are not intended for that.

Instead, consider illuminated reticles as tools that will improve your ability to view your reticle concerning your target. Reticle lighting makes a reticle easier to notice, enabling you to align the optics better and fire a precise shot.

When your reticle’s natural color blends in with the surroundings or the fur of your animal target during specific hunting conditions, it can be helpful too. Your reticle may become more distinct and easier to place by lighting it.

This is not to imply that lit reticles are ineffective in low light. Indeed, even visible reticles frequently appear less vivid or distinct in low-light conditions or times of the day.

Reticle illumination comes in handy in these circumstances, especially since many of them come with control knobs that let you choose just how bright or dim the reticle should be.

Illuminated reticles are best understood as sophisticated accuracy tools overall. They can aid you in making a precise shot, but they cannot compensate for your lousy aim or enable you to work wonders in complete darkness.

We created this guide, which includes the complete lighted reticle scopes available, to help you out. We’ll also advise you on choosing the optimal range for your particular requirements. Let’s start!

What is an illuminated scope?

Internal lights in an illuminated scope create an illuminated reticle. This can make it easier to see the reticle in poor lighting situations like dawn, dusk, rain, snow, or overcast skies.

Top 6 Best Illuminated Scope for Deer Hunting

Here are the best illuminated scopes for deer hunting:

1)      Burris Optics 8-40x50mm II Riflescope

best illuminated scope for deer huntingWith magnification settings ranging from 8x to 40x, this lighted reticle rifle scope offers a wide range of effective ranges, making it the perfect rifle scope for various ammunition or weapon platforms. It also uses a 50 mm objective lens, giving it a wide field of view even at the maximum zoom setting.

Additionally, this scope has a first focus plane lighted reticle that is ideal for shooting in dim light. To increase overall durability and light transmission, the lenses have been coated. The reticle’s dial can be used to adjust the illumination settings.

The zero-click stop adjustment turrets on this sight are some of the best available. There are two turrets for windage and elevation, in addition to a parallax turret that lets you control the effects of this condition at further distances.

Each turret is extremely sensitive and emits an audible click for every shift in increments.

Overall, we found this rifle scope to be extremely impressive. It has a fantastic lit reticle that is controllable and outstanding adjustment turrets that will assist you in hitting targets farther away.


  • Impressive adjustment turrets with an excellent lens set
  • Overall strong
  • It has a parallax knob


  • Expensive


2)    Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope

best illuminated scope for deer hunting


With this 5x to 20x riflescope, Trijicon enters the fray. It also has a 50 mm objective lens, which offers a large field of view and outstanding light transmission. These lenses are multi-coated to increase clarity even more than many other scopes on the market.

Even at great distances, utilizing the scope will result in negligible distortion.

That’s partly because of its side-mounted parallax turret, windage, and elevation adjustment turrets. The remainder of the scope is housed in aircraft-grade aluminum to keep the interior safe from bad weather and ensure that it works even during more demanding hunting adventures.

The lighted reticle on this sight is one of the best available. A zero-forward emission design prevents the reticle from unintentionally reflecting light from the objective lens, which could compromise your accuracy or ruin your shot.

Even better, a tritium phosphor lamp is used in place of a battery to power this lit reticle. There won’t be a chance of the reticle suddenly dimming when you need it.

This outstanding rifle sight has an illuminated reticle that doesn’t require a separate power source, freeing up a small amount of weight for your perfect rifle construction and ensuring consistent performance even on extended hunting expeditions.


  • No battery is required for the reticle.
  • Reticle doesn’t provide contaminated illumination for the lens, making it ideal for bad weather
  • Multi-coated lenses


  • No turrets lock.


3)    Athlon Optics 6-24×50 (FFP) Illuminated Reticle Gen 2

best illuminated scope for deer huntingThis model demonstrates why Athlon Optics is one of the top brands in the rifle scope industry. It has a set of lenses with an objective lens of 50 mm with a 6x to 24x magnification range.

These lenses are multi-coated to increase color contrast across the spectrum and, more critically, to improve light transmission.

Additionally, it has been argon-purged and is composed of aircraft-grade aluminum, guaranteeing exceptional waterproof performance. The turrets offer tactile and aural feedback and are more durable than many comparable models.

This scope has a fantastic lit reticle etched directly onto the glass. As a result, one of the main issues with illuminated reticles is removed, and excellent visibility and endurance are guaranteed.

One of the toughest lighted reticles on the market and a sophisticated overall design round out this robust rifle scope’s characteristics.


  • The glass has an engraved illumination reticle.
  • Multi-coated lenses
  • Turrets provide tactile cues.
  • Excellent in any weather


  • High power with little eye relief
  • No turrets lock.


4)    UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope

best illuminated scope for deer huntingThis UTG small scope is an excellent illustration of an optic with a top-notch lighted reticle. It contrasts with “emerald” lenses, a specific coating that increases overall toughness and light transmission.

The outcome? Those who use this little optic with their hunting rifles will have better accuracy.

However, it’s a terrific choice for other factors, such as the mil-dot reticle’s total of 36 color options. Users can choose between this illuminated reticle using a unique side dial that clicks audibly with each successive selection.

However, this scope is an even better option for high-recoil rifles because it has unique circuitry and housing that guarantee continual illumination regardless of recoil intensity.

Like the rest of the scope, it comprises an aircraft-grade aluminum tube with waterproof functionality. Even dropping or hitting the range on the ground won’t cause shock damage.

A superb optic was obtained by adding flip-open lens caps and an accompanying sunshade.

We enjoy this little optic thanks to the zero-locking, resettable windage, and elevation adjustment turrets.

Each adjustment provides tactile and auditory feedback, making it simple to make changes without glancing at the dials’ actual readings. For even better value, the scope has a lifetime warranty.

This illuminated reticle optic is a high-quality item of gear from UTG. It has good lenses, great turrets for windage and elevation adjustment, and several other features that make it excellent and inexpensive for any seasoned rifle user.


  • It has a reticle that is lighted and has a 36-level adjustable brightness
  • It has turrets for resetting the windage and elevation adjustments.
  • Includes several beautiful accessories.
  • Lifetime warranty included
  • Constructed to durability and has a waterproof function


  • Due to the tough coatings, your field of view’s edge can be a little blurry.


5)    Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 V-Brite Illuminated MOA

The Crossfire line from Vortex is well-known, and this weapon highlights its best qualities. It has a 44 mm objective lens and magnifications ranging from 6 to 18 times. Each time you use this lens, you will benefit from the increased light transmission and a more transparent picture thanks to its multicoating.

However, this scope also includes an excellent fix for the parallax issue that many long-range shooters encounter. The scope’s design has an adjustable objective that enables you to correct this issue without adding a turret.

Already installed windage and elevation turrets are good additions to the hardware because they can be finger-reset to zero and are capped.

The eye box on this scope is among the best available. It is forgiving and enables speedy sighting into targets, even far away. Additionally, it offers excellent eye relief at all its magnification levels.

The eyepiece and excellent lenses of this scope are just the beginning. The picture is completed by some of the greatest turrets on the market and has a robust construction, making it a solid option for any hunter or discerning marksman.


  • Amazing Turrets
  • Adjustable Parallax Objective
  • A Lot Of Eye Comfort
  • The Eye box is understanding.


  • For some light circumstances, illumination could be insufficient.


6)    TRUGLO TRU-BRITE 30 Series Illuminated Tactical Rifle Scope

Another excellent lighted reticle scope is available from TRUGLO. A fantastic piece of gear made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum is the TRU-BRITE 30 Series optic. Although it weighs 2.2 pounds, which is a little more than typical, this gives it exceptional longevity.

Still, because of the materials employed, it will always keep working, even in severe weather. Because of the limited lifetime warranty, you will receive your money’s worth with this purchase.

However, the scope is fantastic since it has an offset, reversible scope mount constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum. So it’s quick and straightforward to attach the optic to your weapon.

You can hit objects at a greater distance because of the connected windage and elevation turrets. These turrets will probably be utilized frequently because the scope has a 42 mm objective lens and magnifies between 3 and 9 times.

Also excellent is the eye relief. At 9x magnification, you have 4 inches of eye relief, so even highly recoiling guns won’t severely cause the optic to buck into your orbital bone.

The reticle is outstanding for a couple more key reasons as well. For starters, it has a dual-color reticle that may be seen in either red or green. A side-mounted dial that is simple to reach can be used to change the brightness and hue.

The reticle, however, is also deeply carved into the lens glass. As a result, you don’t need to adjust the reticle’s illumination, and it won’t shake or tremble even during rapid recoil. Even after extensive use, it remains a reticle you can trust.

Overall, the TRU-BRITE 30 Series features one of the nicest illuminated reticles on the market and provides a fantastic shooting experience.


  • For improved longevity, the lighted reticle is engraved onto the glass.
  • Two colors are available for the lighted reticle.
  • Great turrets for windage and elevation adjustments
  • Sound lens light transmission and durability
  • Even at high magnification, it has a generous eye relief


  • Somewhat heavier than usual


What to Look for When Buying The Best Illuminated Scope for Deer Hunting

Let’s go over the typical factors you should consider when picking the ideal illuminated reticle sight for your requirements.

Ranges of Magnification

The possible magnification ranges will strongly influence a rifle scope’s effective content. Most hunting encounters occur at distances under 1000 yards; hence 10x or fewer magnification settings are typically acceptable for rifle sight owners.

Although you can zoom in well past 1000 yards with magnification levels of more than 10x, these scopes are best for stationary target hunting or target shooting.

We’ve supplied lighted reticle scopes in various magnification settings to help you choose the ideal sight for your everyday hunting needs or scenarios.

Which focal plane should I use?

The lighted reticle’s position on the first or second focal plane must be considered. As you zoom in and out, the first focal plane reticles will gradually grow more prominent. This enables the reticle’s windage and elevation holdover points to stay precise as the magnification changes.

On the other hand, even when switching between zoom levels, second focal plane reticles remain the same size. At the one degree of magnification mentioned in the scope’s handbook, they are typically truly precise; for all other zoom levels, you will need to mentally estimate the accuracy of holdover points.

Both scope types have supporters as well as benefits and drawbacks. As a result, we’ve listed a few scopes below with both reticles for your consideration.

Setting the brightness

The best-lit reticle scopes will have settings to help you alter how vivid the reticle truly is, typically in the form of an adjustable turret. This is excellent for adjusting the reticle to various environmental light levels and improving personal comfort.

Instead of only having an “on or off” reticle switch, you should always look for lit reticle scopes with at least a couple of adjustable brightness settings.

Lens Coatings

Prioritize your search for scopes with multi-coated lenses as well. These offer superior light transmission and a better final sight picture for your content, making them more valuable because they won’t break as readily. Still, they are also more robust and less likely to break.

These support higher precision while collaborating flawlessly with lit reticles. The scopes listed below all have multi-coated lenses and brightness controls.

FAQs on The Best Illuminated Scope for Deer Hunting

1)    What function does an illuminated reticle scope serve?

An illuminated reticle can be seen through an illuminated scope thanks to internal lighting. Low-light conditions like dawn, dusk, rain, snow or overcast skies can help you see the reticle.

A target darkened by color or a shadow might also benefit from having an illuminated reticle to create contrast. With a non-illuminated reticle, it might be challenging to identify, for instance, a dark brown elk standing in a tree’s shade.

To illuminate an illuminated reticle, a small LED is employed. While some illuminated scopes use green or amber LEDs, most do not. Due to their ability to be seen in low light conditions without requiring the eye’s pupil to constrict as much as white light does, these colors are used to retain color.

A small LED provides the illumination of an illuminated reticle. While some illuminated scopes use green or amber LEDs, red is the most common color. These colors are used. After all, they preserve night vision because they can be seen in low light while not compressing the pupil of the eye as much as white light does.

A non-illuminated scope can be used just like an illuminated scope. Hunters who want to hunt at the beginning or end of the day may benefit from using the luminous reticle function on a bright spectrum because most states base their legal hunting hours on local dawn and sunset.

You can either disable the illumination feature or use it occasionally for the remainder of the day.

An illuminated scope can be used similarly to non-illuminated content. The brilliant reticle feature on a bright degree may be helpful for hunters who want to hunt at the beginning or end of the day because most states base legal hunting hours on local dawn and sunset.

Depending on the lighting of your target, you can either disable the illumination feature for the remainder of the day or use it sparingly.

2)    Does it pay to have an illuminated scope?

An illuminated scope is worth the money if it enhances the sharpness of your sight image when hunting.

While an illuminated scope can aid in more accurate shooting and aiming, whether it is worthwhile depends entirely on your needs.

3)    Is it possible to use an illuminated reticle without batteries?

An illuminated reticle can work without a battery. Because the battery is the only illumination source for the reticle, it will turn back to black when the power is lost.

4)    For deer hunting, which lighted reticle scope is best?

A deer hunting scope’s quality is determined by its capacity to maintain zero and provide repeatability. Additionally, it should be resistant to water and dust and have high optical clarity.

It is best to use a scope with high-quality glass, a large aperture, and a multi-coated lens because deer are most active at dawn and dusk.

The best-illuminated scope for deer hunting must be simple to mount, carry, and use.

Every second counts in a hunting game, so you must constantly be prepared to aim and fire at the prey. The scope ought to be comfortable to wear and offer sufficient eye relief.

5)    What scope works best in low light or complete darkness?

It would help if you chose a rifle scope that satisfies your needs. If you’re going to utilize a night vision optic, it’s best to have a degree with an illuminated reticle that is compatible with night vision.

However, if you don’t want to shoot at night, you don’t need to invest money on night vision compatibility.

Long shots in the dark demand a bullet drop compensator and an illuminated reticle, whereas shooting at dawn and dusk calls for a sight with a broader magnification range.

Choose a scope with a reticle that will enable you to aim more precisely because some have fully illuminated reticles while the majority only have partial illumination.



Overall, the best illuminated scope for deer hunting for your particular requirements will provide the proper magnification range, be tough enough to resist your travels, and probably be waterproof so it can operate in all weather.

Hopefully, one of our top picks from the list above fits you perfectly. Happy searching!

You can also check the 6 Best Night Vision Scopes For Coyote Hunting.