Reaching out for Mulies


Well-Known Member
May 4, 2002
I slipped this optic equipment question in the long range hunting site because it is hunting related. I need opinions from people in the know,people who have been successful in making long shots at Deer sized game. I have some wonderful spots here in Montana for spot and stalk(or laze and blaze) hunting Mule Deer bucks. I am a experienced long range target shooter with average scores. I understand the technique. I am seeking a opinion on using a 8X Leupold scope with factory target knobs for attempting shot limited to 700yds. I will be hunting alone,so no spotter. The rifle is a varmit weight barrel 300 Win. with muzzle brake. I am concerned with field of view to spot my hit(or miss and readjust). I have a 6x18 Target Leupold on my Swift, but I hardly ever use more than 12 on gophers and chucks.Thanks for your time and sharing your experience!
For long range hunting, excessive magnification is actually a detrement, at least to me. I use 10X scopes now for out past 1500yds. All you need is good quality optics that let you resolve your target clearly and put the cross hairs where it belongs. You don't need to be able to count the fleas to make a kill.

Without a spotter, I would really emphasise testing your rig so that you can see the bullet impact during recoil. With an effective muzzle brake and rest, your 8x should be fine. If you can see a milk jug clearly, you can hit it. That is pretty much the size of the kill zone on a muley.

With my 300Wby, I can see the bullets impact from 300yds out. Even with a spotter, being able to call your own shots is a good thing.

Good luck with your hunts...


If I can put my 2 cents in here also.

I prefer more magnification at extreme range and the reason is, the type terrain you or the fellow from Montana or myself, may be hunting in may be completely different.

I have seen areas where the bullet is "sucked up" to the point where you can't see a hit to save you and then when hunting in sandy, dusty areas the hit can be seen at a mile with your naked eye. Snow will suck up the bullet real bad. That's another reason I went to the 338/416IMP with the 300 gr bullet. The hits can really be seen.

If I were him (I'll call him Montana), I would be using a Leupold 8 1/2 to 25X with the side wheel focus especially when hunting alone.

The additional power can make or break a missed shot, or hit, on the animal.

Many times I look at my scope power after the shooting has stopped and the animal is down and find that I only turned it up to 18X.

The hits in Montana and Colordao terrain can be much easier seen with higher power. 8X or 10X is not enouigh for my hunting partners or myself.

We use bigeyes of 22X Wide angle and I feel the scopes on your rifles should at least have the ability to approach that power.

Just another opinion when shooting alone and trying to watch your hits.

Darryl Cassel
I use a 4.5 x 14 Leupold on a 300 weatherby here in Jackson, WY. I used to use a 3x9 and could see well enough to shoot to 600 but not size the animal up at that distance.

Hope this helps.
Hey Bear we are neighbors!!!! ... I'm in Cody.. You shoot at my target and I'll shoot at yours ...
Right or wrong i use my 22x NXS on max power as long as light permits...with my hunting rigs i dont like a muzzlebrake because im usually laying prone to shoot long range and the mb blows to much dirt in your face especially if wind is in your face and you cant follow trace anyways. I would rather have the increased magnification to insure a better hit, just double and triple check yardage and wind and get used to shootin what you shootin. Whatever you probably get used to is best.
I have a collection of 6X-24X 30 mm tubes with 50, 56, and now a 60mm objective lens.

Not just for hunting, but it is also nice at the range to be able to see your holes appear on the paper

The only time 6X sucked is when I had a standing buck only 60 feet away.

My Prarrie Poodle and pig gun 6X24 - 60mm

I would agree w/ more power. At least with a higher variable you can zoom in if you need. I hunt w/ 5-20. Walking around its always on 5 and if time permits or I need I zoom in.
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