The best scope for extended range culling

ask the experts

ask the experts - Credit: Archant

Which scope will perform the best for extended range culling? Andrew Venables replies...

Q: What scopes do you recommend for extended range (500-yard) deer culling?

ANDREW VENABLES replies: Scope-wise, the need is for 3-12, 4-16, 3-15 magnification ranges for the actual shooting. Power over 20 often means the objective view is too narrow to maintain a sight picture through the course of the shot and follow up. Seeing where the round strikes is far more important than shooting at a big image of a deer.

Brand-wise, I have used Swarovski, Zeiss, Nightforce, S&B, Minox and others. The important factors are reliable return to zero turrets, clicks in centimetres or ¼ MOA (not ½ cm or 1/8 MOA), reticules which allow for considered wind aim-off, if required, with BDC reticules being an option if understood and correctly set.

Beyond the scope, calibre is everything. Don’t think of taking long shots (over 200m) at deer with .243, .25-06 or similar as they lack the wind efficiency and power to make sense of long shots on medium to large deer reliably. I know it can be done, but the margins for error are tiny. We are in 7mm RM, .300 WM, .270 WSM, .30-06 or larger territory, in my opinion.

Long-range deer management is a big subject and involves a lot more than a high-powered telescopic sight to achieve humane results.