"I've done some hunting in western Kansas, and it's great country. No matter how much you pay for a spotting scope, more than 40X is almost never usable in the field because of heat waves and dimness. I'd look at a variable porro-prism scope (the ones with a ""dog-leg"" body) in the $150 to $250 price range, with magnification starting at 12X-15X and running up to 35X-40X. Variables allow you to change the magnification to allow for heat and light conditions. At lower power they also allow you to find objects more easily, due to a wider field of view. Then you can zoom in for a closer look. "