Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hawke Vantage 3-9X50 Rifle Scope Review

Many of us reflect on our past hunting season as ways to evaluate what gear is working and which gear is not.  We also try to find the items that we want to change--either behaviors or gear--before the next hunting season to hopefully bring more success in the coming season.   One of the things I have unfortunately neglected was my wife's hunting gear...  I had taken my wife on a few hunts and noticed she had struggled over and over again to hit the target or animals she was shooting at.  There would be many times I would point out an animal to her, but she could never find it through her scope.  I attributed it all to the fact that she was still fairly new to hunting and it was just a skill that she would acquire over time.  As much as I told myself that she just needed to practice more, or that she was flinching when she pulled the trigger, I failed to check her gear like I would have done with my own equipment.   After an emotional hunt where she filled her deer tag but was disappointed in other missed deer, poor shot placement, and having to shoot the animal more than once, I decided I would grab her rifle and give it a shot... (pun intended)

My wife with her 2017 deer before her new scope
It didn't take me long to realize that I also struggled shooting her rifle with the scope that was currently on it.   I told my wife that I would check into scopes and see what I could get her to help her have more success.  She was disappointed in herself, and didn't even want to explore the option of switching scopes, as she had convinced herself that she was the problem.  Below is her take on the scope, I will let you hear my wife's take on this rifle scope first, and then I'll add my input.

I love my 30-30, but I have always seemed to struggle being successful with it. Last year, I had a particularly rough hunting season. Any time I saw what I was going for, I’d quickly lift my rifle to aim and take a shot....but I was not quick enough. I couldn’t ever seem to get the deer in my scope soon enough. This happened time and time again. I was hard on myself and got easily frustrated with my lack of success. How hard could it be to aim and get the animal in site? I blamed myself for not practicing enough...or not being focused enough. I had a list of reasons as to why it was my fault for not being successful.

It took a lot for me to finally get a deer to add to our freezer last season. I didn’t want a trophy deer, but I did want a healthy full-grown deer that would provide a decent amount of meals. It is essential to have game meat for my children, as they have health needs. I had missed many opportunities to get full-grown deer because of not being quick enough. On the last day of the season, I saw a small deer, and was able to take it....finally. But even then, it was still quite a struggle to harvest it. I’m grateful for even that small amount of meat, but it hasn’t been enough to last us this year.

I started feeling like maybe I wasn’t cut out for hunting like I used to be with my other guns. I felt like I couldn’t trust myself to be out in the field. The pressure to practice shooting more that I already was really weighed on me; I’m already busy with raising a family, working, etc. I started to think that maybe I’d take a few years off from hunting until I could take more time to practice shooting.

Kevin encouraged me to try out the Hawke Vantage 3-9X50 Rifle Scope. I kept laughing to myself, as I thought there was no way a scope would make that much of a difference for me. To me, a scope is a scope. I was willing to try, but was not proactive about it. I put it off because I didn’t want to experience the feelings of failure again. I finally got the courage to appease Kevin, and we headed up to the mountains. 

Kevin gave me a target to aim for. I pulled the gun up, and I shot it. 


I pulled the gun up....AND SHOT! Quickly! I didn’t have to frantically look for my target. No! I simply pulled up my 30-30, saw the target, and shot. My target was right there in my line of site. BOLD AS CAN BE. No questions asked.

I had never experienced that solid and secure feeling before. When we realized I had hit the target spot on every time, I was shocked. The confidence I had to shoot took over. My plans to take time off from hunting disseminated, and I found myself craving being out there again.

I admit that I was originally reluctant to believe that a scope makes that much of a difference. I knew it had to be me or even the 30-30, as I seemed fine with my other guns. I drug my feet when Kevin asked me to try out the Hawke Vantage 3-9X50. But now, I cannot express enough how important it is to have a good quality scope. Being able to aim quicker is EVERYTHING. I do not want my children to experience the feelings I did when I had my old scope. I don’t want a low-quality scope to taint their memories toward such a great opportunity to learn about life through hunting. My children will use a Hawke Optics scope! They need to feel success…not just for the result of meat in the freezer, but also for their own confidence in themselves!

I have to say, watching my wife shoot consistently was not only impressive considering our previous experiences, but it was also reassuring to see her enjoy shooting again.  To give you an idea of her shooting, I had her shoot at a small aspen tree which was less that 3 inches wide at 60 yards away.  She shot three shots within 30 seconds and hit the tree with each shot! I don't know if I could have done that. :) Her confidence skyrocketed when she realized she could hit her target again!
I had to hold the tree up to get a picture to show where she hit it. 
Less than 3" wide

Now that you have heard her experience and can see what a difference the Hawke Vantage scope made for my wife, I'll share my take on it as well.

First off, this is a great quality scope for the price.  The Vantage 3-9x50 will cost you under $120.  As my wife mentioned, the clarity and quality are outstanding.  The warranty on all of the Hawke rife scopes gives you the assurance that if the quality and clarity are not up to par, you will be taken care of! When I got the scope, I got it in the 30/30 duplex reticle so that it fit our 30/30.  You can also get this scope in their Mil Dot Reticle.
30/30 Duplex Reticle
Mil Dot Reticle

I shot this rifle every other week for about 6 months while working on this review, and I have to say the Vantage 3-9x50 is undoubtedly consistent. Once it's mounted on the rifle and sighted in, I have not had to touch it or adjust it since.  It is light weight, simple, and effective.  The specs of the scope are shown below (be sure to enlarge the picture or visit the website if the font is difficult to read).
To sum up our experiences, switching to the Vantage 3-9x50 scope made a world of a difference.  It was unfortunate that I put my wife through a few years of poor quality scopes which tainted her hunting experience and made her question her abilities before I realized we needed to make the switch.  The most frustrating part for me was that the Hawke Vantage 3-9x50 was only $30 more than the cheaper and less effective scope that was on our 30/30.  I wish I would have gone with the Hawke Vantage 3-9x50 when I first got my wife into hunting, rather than waiting until now.  


  1. TNever heard of hawke brand! I’ll look into it.

  2. I’m saving up to buy one of these! Dakota S.

  3. Sounds like i might have to mention it to my husband ��

  4. I have despised rifle hunting just for this reason. I can’t find anything in the scope. Thanks for the awesome review, I’ll have to check it out.

  5. Awesome review. Very well written and covers all the important points and problems others might have.

  6. Looks like a great scope! Pick me for giveaway! Broke college student that loves your products!

  7. Glad ya all figured it out sometime's chagrin is good

  8. I may need to look into one! I always have trouble with scopes. Thanks for sharing.