Originally Posted by AHorseThief
I'd go with the tried and true 3X9.
On deer, yes.
Agreed 3X9 or 4-14.5 is what I typically run with for a general purpose hunting rifle. I am a big Leupold fan as far as scopes. (I would mention Schmidt and Bender but they cost more than most cars I have owned).
Most of my scopes are 50mm objectives however 40mm is usually more than enough.
I also prefer 30mm tubes over 1 inch tubes on scopes. The light transmission is essentially the same, however the amount of elevation you can dial on a 30mm scope will allow for a much greater range.
With scopes you get what you pay for. Glass clarity/light transmission, calibrated turret adjustments, the ability to hold a zero, parallax adjustments,customer service etc....
When it comes to cost you also have to consider the amount of money you will spend on the trip itself. If you spend hundreds on the trip and end up missing a shot because of a bad rifle/scope combo you have wasted all that money.
Also I have Remington 700's in 308 win and 300 win mag if you would like to try them out as well. Maybe you me and AHorseThief can head out to Colorado Rifle club together. (I am a member and it will save us the 36 dollar an hour cost for Blue Core)