Best Elk Hunting Binoculars 2023-Reviews, Tips & Guide

If you are looking for the best elk hunting binoculars, you are spot on the right place.

We have compiled the list for best binoculars to carry while your next elk or Deer hunting trip. They are included in our best list with a lot of field tests and analysis of the best user reviews. 

You have always been waiting for that great D-day when you would accomplish your next trophy hunt. A successful elk or deer hunt requires days of preparation, the best equipment, and the mindset of a winner.

We have tried to help the aspiring, beginner and advanced elk and deer hunters with our best list of binoculars for the purpose. We have discussed some tips also for a successful hunt.

best elk hunting binoculars

So, below we will discuss our top choices of binoculars for elk hunting. All of these are of supreme quality and ensures that the user has the best of time while their hunting program.

A Quick List  Of  The Best Binoculars For Elk Hunting

elk hunting equipments

Best Elk Hunting Binoculars-Our Top Picks & Reviews In 2023

Now, Without any delay let me share you the best binoculars for Elk and Deer Hunting. 

Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 tops our list of the best elk hunting binoculars based on several users and our field tests observation.

Nikon has a great impression in the minds of people when it comes to camera and lenses. They produce great quality binoculars also. Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 tops our list of the best elk hunting binoculars. They provide 10x magnification with 42mm objective lens.

These binoculars are very compact in size with dimensions 145x129x55 mm, while being considerably lightweight at only 21.6 ounces (600gms). This makes it easier to carry around for scanning moving targets like elk or deer.

The rubber armor on the sturdy body of the binocular makes it weatherproof, which is highly required in an elk or deer hunting environment. Besides being weatherproof and shockproof, they are waterproof and fog proof also.

The fully multicoated ED (Extra-low) dispersion eco glass and lenses provide a high contrast image of the trophy hunt you are looking at.

There are none of the focuser problems. It’s quite fast too – just a single turn from close focus to infinity. Fast focus is important to scan moving hunts like elk or deer. The diopter adjustment is also smooth and accurate for all types of eye adjustments.

They are great for eyeglass/sunglass wearers too as they provide an ample eye relief of 18.4mm.

The prisms are multicoated and phase-corrected to give the brightest of illumination at your next hunting glassing sessions. The binoculars provide an appropriate field of view of 288ft at 1000 yds.

Based on the above, we can safely say that Monarch 5 10x42 can be your ideal companion in the fields while you are at your next elk hunting game. You can be fully confident with these top of the line Monarch Binoculars

Check out our Detailed Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 Review


  • Excellent optics and HD Lenses with Phase Coated Prisms
  • Waterproof/Fogproof
  • Tripod Compatible(Important for Long glassing Sessions)
  • Ideal for sunglass or eyeglass wearers
  • Rubber armor on solid and sturdy housing makes it shockproof and weatherproof


  • No such significant cons are found with respect to the purpose
Nikon 7576 Monarch 5 8x42 Binocular (Black)
  • All Monarch 5 binoculars are now built with Nikon's premium ED (Extra low dispersion); Glass for a sharper, clearer and...
  • Almost an ounce lighter than its predecessor, the new Monarch 5 is even easier to bring along on your next adventure
  • Fully multicoated eco glass lenses provide a high light transmittance across the entire visible light spectrum

The Bushnell Legend Ultra HD is designed for a high-performance outdoor experience.

Considering the value they provide at the price point they are available at, we have included them in our top 3 list of the best elk hunting binoculars. They provide 10 times magnification with 42mm objective lenses.

Weighing in at just 22.5 ounces, this model is one of the lightest ones produced by Bushnell, so you’ll be able to carry it with extreme ease while your next elk hunt.

The magnesium chassis with rubber armor coating makes the binoculars weatherproof and shockproof. This is very important while chasing an elk or deer, you may accidentally drop the binoculars. This feature protects the binoculars from damage.

The binoculars are argon gas purged which makes them fog proof, they are waterproof too.

The field of view is 340ft at 1000 yards which are considerably large. Also, Thanks to the phase coated Bak-4 roof prism, the lenses can focus fast. Even if the objects are moving, you’ll be able to clearly see them. Moreover, the instant focus comes in very handy to catch moving objects like elks efficiently.

Also, You can analyze your trophy hunt even in low light conditions with these Bushnell legend ultra Hd 10x42 thanks to HD lenses and prisms.

In a nutshell, you will receive the best bang for your buck with great features after choosing these Bushnell Ultra HD 10x42 Binoculars. They are apt for hunting and birdwatching adventures.

Check out our Detailed Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 Review


  • Tripod Adaptable
  • Fully Multicoated Lenses and Prisms
  • ED(Extra-Low) Dispersion Prime glass includes Fluorite Crystals
  • Long eye-relief
  • Locking Dioptre Mechanism
  • Wide Field Of View
  • Value For Money


  • Eye Cups Sometimes becomes loose
Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x 42mm Roof Prism Binocular
  • Rain guard HD water repellent lens coating
  • Lightweight, magnesium chassis
  • Waterproof and fog proof

The third spot for the best elk hunting binoculars is offered to mid-range premium Vortex Viper HD 10x42 Binoculars.

Vortex Viper is a premium upgrade to the above two binoculars mentioned. However, they are worth it considering their performance and crisp images they produce.

Weighing 24.6 ounces they are heavier than our top 2 contenders. However, you are not going to feel that they are pulling you down while carrying around the neck at your hunting sessions.

The polycarbonate body of this binocular covered in tough rubber armor. I found this binocular to be lightweight and extremely sturdy.

Located on the right eye-piece, the diopter on these Vortex Viper binoculars is lockable. The focusing is smooth and it feels easy to fiddle with focusing wheels.

The XR lenses are fully multicoated, this increases the high transmission and helps in even low light conditions. Dielectric phase-coated prisms help to provide clear, well defined and color-accurate images.

These binoculars come boxed with a rain guardtethered objective lens covers, a comfortable neck strap, and a carrying case. Vortex is also Known for no questions asked VIP unconditional lifetime warranty, which makes the user extremely confident, even in case of any unexpected incidents while on the hunts.

Read our detailed Vortex Viper HD 10x42 Review


  • Premium binoculars at a mid-range price
  • Waterproof and Fogproof
  • The tough and robust exterior
  • HD glasses
  • Great Ergonomics and handling
  • Vortex VIP Warranty


  • Field of view is not that great
  • Average eye relief
Vortex Optics Viper HD Roof Prism Binoculars 10x42
  • 10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, the Viper HD binoculars have an advanced high density optical system with...
  • Dielectric, multi-layer prism coatings provide bright, clear, color-accurate images. Coating on roof prism models...
  • A compact, rubber-armored chasis and armortek coating ensures the Viper HD is ready for any hunt.

Next in our list is Vortex Diamondback 10x42 binoculars. Vortex Diamondback has always been in the minds of serious elk hunter and outdoor enthusiasts, since the time they were launched.

The Diamondback 10x42 is an extremely capable and high-performing set of binocular with enhanced, dielectric fully multi-coated lenses and phase-coated prisms.

The binoculars are convenient to hold and grip while on move outdoors. A new Glass Pak harness case is included with 10x42 new HD Diamondbacks, which you carry on your chest. The harness ensures that there is no weight on your neck. Although the classic model is also well and good to carry with ease.

The diopter setting is good and the focusing knob has the right amount of resistance while turning it. The adjustable eyecups on this binocular have clear markings. On the right eyecup is a locking diopter for twisting the eyecups up and down.

This set of binoculars has an extra-wide, best-in-class field of view of 330ft at 1000 yards. So, you can effortlessly cover the ground and pinpoint your hunt with much ease.

In short, The Vortex Diamondback Binoculars is one of the best options in its price range for serious elk and Deer Hunters.

Note: You can also choose a newer model i.e. Vortex Diamondback HD with significantly sharper image, better brightness, contrast, and resolution. Obviously, there is approx a $100 price difference. However, you can go with the classic model confidently, If the budget doesn’t allow.

Check Out Our Detailed Vortex Diamondback 10x42 Review


  • Fog Proof/ Water Proof
  • Rubber Armored Body
  • Smooth Focusing Wheel
  • Tripod Adaptable
  • Value for Money
  • New Comfortable Neck Strap
  • Multicoated Roof Prisms and Lenses


  • No major cons as such
Vortex Optics Diamondback Roof Prism Binoculars 10x42
  • 10x magnification and 42mm objective lenses, these Diamondback binoculars are the workhorse of Vortex lineup; known for...
  • Dielectric, fully multi-coated lenses transmit more light and clearer, brighter images. A field of view that is one of...
  • A sleek, short hinge design with rubber armor and thumb indents leaves more room for your hands creating an easier,...

Again, another Nikon Binocular has come in our list of best elk hunting binoculars. The Prostaff 7s 10x42 provides a magnification of 10X with its 42mm objective lenses.

The Prostaff 7s are made up of reinforced polycarbonate resin chassis and is covered by black rubberized armor. This makes the binoculars sturdy and durable in tough terrain conditions.

The optical tubes are nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed to be waterproof. They are also resistant to internal fogging when moving through extreme temperature variations. These features are extremely important at your hunting trips.

The Nikon Prostaff remarkably retains the crisp and well-defined image even when the object is in motion.

The fast focusing feature is easy to operate and allows quick scanning of fast-moving objects such as Deer and Elk with ease.

Aside from this, the 6-degree wide field of vision it provides, rarely require you to move your location or your face. Minimizing the unnecessary movement is the key to not surprise your prey while you are at your next trophy.

Weighing 23.5 ounces, it is somewhat in the middle while comparing the weight of other binoculars mentioned above.

Nikon continues its legacy of excellence with this fantastic binocular. The technology and design with its appropriate price make it a favorite among birdwatchers and hunters.


  • Ample field of view i.e 325 ft @1000 Yards
  • Less shakiness even at 10X magnification
  • Reflective Mirror Prism Coatings
  • Phase corrected roof prisms
  • Multicoated lens and prisms


  • Glares may appear in the Field of view in direct sunlight.
Nikon 16003 PROSTAFF 7S 10x42 Inches All-Terrain Binocular (Black)
  • Whether you're looking at wildlife or scenery, 2 things are important: color and clarity The PROSTAFF 7S brings you...
  • Even eyeglass wearers will enjoy looking through the PROSTAFF 7S The turn and slide rubber eyecups allow anyone to...
  • The PROSTAFF 7S is comfortable to hold, even in wet conditions, thanks to its rubber armored body The rubber armor also...

Next in our list of best elk hunting binoculars is the Carson 3D Series 10x42 binoculars. They produce an awesome magnification of 10X with 42mm objective lens

The binoculars Include ED Glass for Sharper and Brighter Images. The binoculars are fitted with multicoated lenses and BAK-4 phase-corrected roof Prisms for better color fidelity, high light transmission and good contrast.

They include Rubberized Armor Coating which makes this 3D Binocular rugged and shock-resistant. They are waterproof and nitrogen purged Fogproof too.

Weighing just 23.2oz (658g) these are amongst one of the lightest pairs of full-sized binoculars. You can carry them with ease for your next elk hunting trip. Also, The binoculars feel comfortable to hold and are well balanced.

The Field of View is 314 feet at 1,000 yard which is enough to cover a large area to scan while you are watching moving elk or deer. However, The fov is average for a 10X42 binoculars.

The Eye Relief is ok at 16mm resulting in a great combination for long glassing sessions for most types of eyeglass wearers.

They seem to just well designed and reasonably priced binoculars for Hunting, Bird Watching, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Traveling, Concerts, Sporting Events, and Other Outdoor Adventures.


  • ED(extra-low) dispersion glass used.
  • Tripod adaptable
  • No hassle warranty
  • Weatherproof and Shockproof
  • well placed thumb grooves and Nice Ergonomics


  • No major complaints
Carson 3D Series 10x42mm High Definition Compact and Waterproof Binoculars with ED Glass, Mossy Oak Camouflage (TD-042EDMO)
  • ED Glass for Sharper and Brighter Images | Magnification: 10x Power | Objective Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Included with Carry Case, Neck Strap, Shoulder Harness, Lens Covers and Lens Cloth
  • Includes Rubberized Armor Textured Coating| Color: Mossy Oak Camouflage | Waterproof and Fog proof | Fully Multi Coated...

The Leica 10x42 Geovid HD-B-3000 functions as binoculars with in-built range finding capability.

The Leica’s are a bit heavy and are available at a very high price point than the other binoculars mentioned in this list. That’s why it slips somewhat below in our rankings. However, the benefits and extreme high technology implied outweigh these cons.

HDB-3000 is Leica’s newest products showcased in 2018 improving over already hot selling HDB-2200 model.

They weigh around 34.7 oz which is a bit heavier than other binoculars included in this list. However, Just remember you are not crying separate range finders and binoculars to aim for your next elk hunt.

The Leica Geovid HD-B 3000 offers a staggering 3000 yards ranging capabilities that calculate and tell you how far away you are from your target up to 3000yards along with other noteworthy technological innovations. Spotting and tracking a game becomes a cakewalk with these awesome rangefinder binoculars

Geovid HD-B 3000 rangefinding binoculars also boast the onboard Leica Advanced Ballistic Compensation (ABC) system. An inbuilt microSD card enables users to upload custom ballistics profiles.

In addition to linear distance, the Ballistic system fitted considers temperature, angle of declination reading barometric pressure to deliver user-specific results and accurate aim. Leica also boasts of angle compensation feature for its range finding binoculars.

The 10x42mm version offers 4.2mm exit pupil and field of view of 374 feet at 1000 yards.

In a nutshell, If you don’t want to compromise on any capability of a binocular and don’t want to carry a rangefinder separately, Leica Geovid HD-B is the ones to choose for your next elk hunt. Of course, you need to have deep pockets to go for it.


  • 10x42 Binoculars with integrated rangefinder
  • Loads of ballistic functions.
  • Precise focusing
  • Great low light performance
  • High-quality optics


  • A bit bulky
  • Costly
Leica 10x42 Geovid HD-B 3000 Rangefinding Binocular 40801
  • Leica 10x42 geovid HD-B 3000 rangefinding binocular 40801

The last one in our list of best elk hunting binoculars, which I couldn’t miss is Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Binoculars. Zeiss’s Lenses are German made and they are characterized by Schmidt–Pechan prisms of high-quality Schott ED glass. However, they are assembled in China, which can be a concern for many people.

The design is ergonomic and compact. Weighing around 24 ounces the binoculars are easy to carry around while elk hunting trips. The fiberglass-reinforced construction makes the binoculars sturdy and robust.

The big center knob provides smooth and fast focusing. The eyecups of Zeiss Terra binocular turn smoothly, and they remain in place when adjusted either upwards or downwards.

They are nitrogen-filled fog-roof and waterproof too, which are important features binoculars should posses while at field hunts.

Zeiss’ proprietary MC multi-coated lenses and prisms produce high-quality images with great contrast and sharpness. The field of view is 330ft which is ample while in the fields for scanning a large area.


  • Tripod adaptable
  • Affordable Zeiss binoculars
  • Multiple color availability
  • Fully Multicoated lenses and prisms


  • Chromatic Aberration at the edge of FOV

Read Our Detailed Zeiss Terra ED 10x42 Review.

Zeiss 10x42 Terra ED Binoculars (Black)
  • 10x magnification for delivering breathtaking enlarged images; field of view at 1000m - 110 m; apparent field of view -...
  • Effective lens diameter - 42 mm; Exit pupil diameter - 4.2 mm
  • Weatherproof: the operating temperature range of 24 to 140F and the waterproof body, these outdoor binoculars are a...

Elk Hunting Binoculars Buying Guide

While the purpose of hunting ranges from the need to earn a living to having fun around what matters significantly is what you are hunting.

Hunting an elk or deer can be exceedingly exciting but equally challenging because of many reasons such as their habitat, their high sensing abilities, etc. Though your most important weapon in the field will be none other than plenty of buckets of patience.

Those who have it, the task becomes slightly easier. Moreover, good quality equipment such as flashlights, batteries, headlamps and most importantly binoculars. The perfect binoculars gift you a golden opportunity to successfully hunt an elk or a deer.

Here is a list of the factors you should consider before buying the best elk or deer hunting binoculars: 

IT All Starts With the Lenses:Best Size Binoculars For Elk Hunting

Companies that launch binoculars or any type of instrument with lenses such as telescopes, microscopes, etc. they have a wide number of models.

 In these models, there are subsections with different types of binoculars such as 10x42, 8x42, etc. One might wonder what are these numbers actually and what do they indicate?

The answer is that the first number in this case 10 an 8 is the magnification power of the lens and the other number after 'x' is the objective size of the lens the instrument possesses.

42 is actually a large number and it is very essential for hunting binoculars because the objective size of the lens determines how much light the lenses gather and ultimately how well you see in dark and low light conditions. Magnification plays a role since you find your target in dense and bushy forests with higher magnification binoculars. For elk hunting, binoculars with 10x magnification is a must while hunting a bear 8x is sufficient.

Must Read: 8x42 vs 10x42 Binoculars

You Rely Upon the Field of View:

The field of view of the lenses also known as FOV is inversely proportional to the magnification power of the lenses which means the higher the magnification the narrower the field of view.

When you choose a binocular with a wider field of view the chances of spotting your target increases which means you are less bothered and it saves your time as well. Thankfully binocular manufacturing companies give you a lot of options to choose from.

When you go for the one with 8x magnification it can provide you with 393 feet field of view approximately while the one with 12x magnification offers you a narrower field of view of about 271 feet.

Instead of going for the extremities buy one which serves an intermediate field of view so that it comes handy no matter which animal you are hunting. 

Prisms Do Matter:

Prisms are an important factor while talking about optics and light. What concerns us are the prisms used in binoculars.

There are two types of prisms used in the binoculars- roof prism and Porro prism. Porro prisms are the ones that were used in the normal and traditional ones while the latest models of the binoculars now have roof prisms.

 But which one is better? Now, this seems to be a not very tough decision since Porro prisms add up to the bulkiness of the instrument while roof prisms keep it compact and lightweight.

A hunter would definitely not want something that is heavy to add up to his troubles in the unknown terrain.  

Binoculars that don’t care about the weather:

If it had been any other hunt or any other terrain this might not be such an important consideration but since it is an elk or deer hunting we are talking about you need binoculars that are on good terms with the volatile weather.

A hunter smart enough usually goes looking for the elk when it’s dark and snowy out.

Hence the binoculars you carry must be water and proof. However, you don't need to worry a lot since almost all of the binoculars in the market nowadays are resistant to water and fog. 

Cost does matter:

A good pair of binoculars is not something you buy every time you go on a hunt. Once you buy a decent one you carry it wherever you go be it hunting or bird watching.

Moreover, if you are paying a good price you would obviously want it to be durable, long-lasting and multi-purpose.

Also, since the technology is getting better day by day companies are coming up with better and new products and it eventually comes out to be a neck to neck competition.

Hence, the byline is that whatever you buy make sure to compare the prices and performances of the variety of them available out there. 

Now that you know which factors contribute to buying the best hunting binoculars to aid in your elk or deer hunting journey here are a few tips for elk and deer hunting:

  1. Always watch the weather forecast before heading into the forest so that you can be well prepared with the circumstances you may face.
  2. The best time to start chasing the elk and looking for a chance to aim is not early morning but the middle of the day since they get really dizzy and lazy at that time. 
  3. Always look for the signs or trails the elk leave behind while walking on the snow. These give you cues about whether it is relaxed, alert or looking for a place to chill.
  4. You will definitely not want to head into the spiral of laws and courts so always know the updated rules and regulations about hunting in the place you are. Always get prepared with your license, permits, etc.
  5. Don't hesitate to make a bold move. Those hunters who are timid and scared have very fewer chances of hunting an elk successfully and let us accept the risk you take is definitely worth it. Hence, when you see a herd near you head into it and while they are all surprised and shocked you get the opportunity to arrow one of them.

Some More Best Tips For Elk Hunting

Be More Fit and Healthy, Try To Maintain a Good Shape

If you are coming to uphills to hunt an elk, at a high altitude you might be deprived of oxygen. Acclimatization can be an issue. A higher fitness level would help you in accommodating in a new environment.

A fitter you, would increase the chances of a successful elk hunt which needs lots of hiking and long wait.

Socks and Boots

A quality pair of shoes and well-made cotton socks are a prerequisite for taking care of your feet. Long and continuous hiking require nice mountaineering boots, so never go cheap with them.

 A good pair of socks and boot also helps you to keep your fit dry. Moreover, good boots prevent blisters which can easily ruin your elk hunting expedition

Study Maps and Terrain Earlier, Know your Area

Do some scouting a searching about your elk hunting area beforehand. Study your maps, be informed about the hikes in the area.

 Preferably take a look in the summer months before fall. Get a friend to guide you. Mark and be familiar with the landmarks and migration routes of the elk in the area.

Pick up a Quality Pair Of Binoculars

You will be observing your trophy hunt far away from you. Get a nice pair of best elk hunting binoculars.

Choose accordingly as per your requirements. I have listed some of the best of the above in this article.

Practice With Your Bow or Rifle Before Hand

Prior to your actual elk hunting experience, be proficient with your bow or rifle. Start practicing shooting with it several months before your actual elk hunt.

Try to learn beforehand that how far you can shoot comfortably and accurately with your rifle or bow. In that way, you will be well acquainted with your hunting equipment would not miss that great day of your life.

Bring Some Sleeping Gear

While long expeditions and trekking, you may get far from your base camp. Get a backpacking tent. In that way, you can take rest, If you can’t return to your camp. You may need shelter if rain or snow starts falling.

 Getting a good night's sleep helps you to freshen up the next morning. In that way, you won’t feel tired and perform better the next day.

Dress Properly and Stay Hydrated

Good clothing will make you dry and comfortable for long days. A base layer is the significant layer of your hunting clothes. Merino wool is best recommended for a base layer, they help in removing the odor from your body. Next, put a quality insulation layer on top of the base layer. You want suitable clothing for rain and snow too as weather changes can occur frequently.

Also, try to keep yourself hydrated, no matter how warm or cold the weather is. Take some type of water filter such as straw filter with you, so as you can quench your thirst on the go. Bring some sports drinks and electrolytes also to keep you fresh and rejuvenated.

List of Items Needed For a Successful Elk Hunt

  • Wall Tent
  • Heating stoves which are collapsible
  • Cots, Lights, Propane, Coolers, Saw, Electric Fence, Shovel, Ax,
  • Electric Fence, Portable Shower, First Aid Kits
  • Portable Shower, Tard for Keeping Saddles Dry
  • Riding Boots, Chaps, Rough and Tough Jacket
  • Water Purifier, Hat, Satellite Phone, rain Gear
  • Saddle Bag, Nice Gloves

Elk Hunting States

Pennsylvania, Arizona, Washington, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado

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Selecting a flawless and efficient binocular for your next elk hunting expedition is a crucial task. Appropriate equipment will ensure fun and enjoyable experience without any strain or fatigue.

There are various factors that determine an ideal binocular.

In our view, Nikon Monarch 5 10x42 and Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 10x42 are optimum binoculars for elk hunting. As both of them offer wider fov and are compact and easy to carry in the fields.

Choose a Leica HD-B 3000, If you have a very deep pocket and want to have extremely high-tech binoculars with integrated rangefinder in your hand.

Vortex Diamondbacks 10x42 are on the affordable side, choose them, if you want value for money and a popular pair of binoculars in your hands. If you love only Vortex, are a fan of their warranty and want extreme high quality optics choose a Vortex Viper HD 10x42.

Also, all of these have the most preferable magnification power. The lens of all these is multi-coated. Along with this, all the binocular are of optimum quality.

Last update on 2024-04-26


"Smith is an outdoor enthusiast and Just loves everything about binoculars. Since his childhood he has been a fan of optical gadgets & going into the Jungle with his uncle was his favorite pastime. Besides, He loves watching & studying birds & animals. He is a mechanical engineering graduate and New Jersey Resident. He loves to review binoculars and related optical Instruments and loves testing each one of them." When he is not fiddling with one of his binoculars, you can find him playing his favorite sport Pickleball."

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