Re: Best Value in a Spotting Scope?
If glassing, then get some binos. A spotting scope will kill you if viewed for extended periods of time. Once you have found the game, then you bring in the spotting scope.
Budget spotting scopes include the new Celestrons. Big and not weatherproof but great optics for the money. Review elsewhere. I use a Nikon XL and am very happy.
As to binos, I would suggest you look at the new Nikon EX Extreme ATB binos. I have a 12X50 and have no issue with clarity and resolution at 1000m and beyond. Elk are not small critters so seeing them with these is a no brainer to 2000m. I have compared them to a pair of Zeiss binos 10X42 side by side. The owner of the Zeiss and I both agreed these Nikons were better. Go figure. Dirt cheap.
Now to view their headgear may require big dollar spotting scope. How far is very far to you?