Best Vortex Scope for Deer Hunting: Buying Guide & Top 7 Picks

Hunting deer is both a pastime and lifestyle for most deer hunters in the US. The sport has been practiced for ages, and the only difference is that hunters now use a rifle mounted with a scope, like the best Vortex scope for deer hunting, and hunters then used bows and arrows.

The adventure becomes more thrilling when deer hunters make the kill. However, it can be easier said than done because it takes skills, practice, and mastery of deer hunting to succeed on it.

Aside from these things, you’ll need the right scope for this activity because it can improve shot precision and sight picture for a better shot.

That’s something Vortex scopes are known for. But what’s a good Vortex scope for hunting deer? We’ll highlight the top seven picks in this article and help you with a buying guide.

I’ve also highlighted answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you’re ready, let’s get started and review the best Vortex scopes for deer.

What about Vortex Optics?

Vortex Optics has been in the business of rifle scopes since 1986. You’ve probably heard or even used Vortex scopes whether you’re a marksman, a hunter, or a security officer.

Vortex Optics, which is a US company, has been known for engineering the best scopes for particular applications and advancing sighting device technologies. It is a manufacturer of quality scopes for deer hunting, long range shooting, varmint hunting, tactical shooting, and so much more.

The company also manufactures binoculars and law enforcement equipment.

Their scopes, like the best vortex scope for deer hunting, are available in different price points and have different features.

They’ve also introduced series scopes, such as the Vortex Optics Diamondback, Strike Eagle, Viper, Vortex Crossfire, and Razor HD Gen scopes.

Vortex scopes are reliable and known in the world of competitive shooting and hunting for their quality glass, reasonable prices, and top features.

That’s why Vortex Optics can be compared to manufacturers selling top end and expensive scopes for hunting and long range targeting.

Vortex is also recognized for its innovation, like a sight picture’s high contrast to help users identify their target easily. The brand is also generous for providing its customers with a lifetime warranty that covers replacements and repairs of scopes with manufacturer defects.

What is the best method for hunting deer?

Vortex line of scopes are known for qualities like illuminated reticle, optimal light transmission, long eye relief, fast focus eyepiece, and wide magnification range depending on the selected model. But for a more rewarding experience with your scope for deer, you must know the best method for hunting.

Stand Hunting

It’s the most common method used by most hunters. You can do it by patiently waiting in places where deer are more likely to pass by or travel. Either do it on the ground or in an elevated place within a tree.

In this method, you usually position tree stands eight to 30 feet above the ground, and at the crop’s edges to lure the deer.

Decoys and scents

Using scents and decoys is another method for hunting. Hunters use this because it gives them a good shot of the deer. This method can be combined with stand hunting.

Still Hunting

In this method, you need to use a food plot that will attract deer. You will walk through the woods or field’s edge. Repeat the steps, but remember not to stay as close.

This method involves walking through the habitat of the deer stealthily and stopping by there often in order to scan and listen for the animal.  Many hunters are still-hunting in unfamiliar terrain or in forbidden or impractical stands.

7 Best Vortex Scope for Deer Hunting: In-depth Review

1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP Riflescopes (Best Overall)

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The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is the best overall for hunters. The long range and hunting rifle scope is packed with solid features that users will appreciate about it.

This scope for deer hunting belongs to the Vortex line of affordable and quality scopes. It is functional and easy to operate in that even beginners wouldn’t have a hard time using it.

This Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 scope is a high quality optic, which features magnification range from two to seven times and an objective lens diameter of 32 mm.

The long range Vortex Optics Crossfire II for hunting game is known for helping users land precise shots within the 1000-yard range.

The deer rifle scope that’s made of quality glass is an excellent choice for short to long range shots. I find that two times power is suitable for applications like tactical shooting.

On the other hand, the maximum magnification range of seven times is much applicable for ranges within 700 yards, but I find the scope also useful for beyond this value depending on the firearm used.

Nevertheless, the deer rifle scope is functional for common hunting applications and can be used seamlessly by newbie shooters.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II features the second focal plane bullet drop compensating reticle (dead hold BDC reticle), which utilizes hash marks or holdover points along the crosshair’s bottom line.

What it does is help hunters to estimate the bullet drop’s effect on the point of impact. This element in the design of the scope for deer hunting is especially useful when trying to land at a long distance.

The BDC reticle will be helpful in that it can help me ensure precision when landing shots from 500 yards. Good thing that the magnification range and reticle are designed to engage long distance shots.

The Vortex Crossfire II is equipped with a 32 mm objective lens along with the SFP reticle that remains the same in size regardless of the zooming option chosen. In that case, it will be easy to switch from one magnification setting to another.

This Crossfire II line scope model for longer ranges also offers a rugged, all-weather performance. Aside from dead hold BDC reticle that works perfectly for landing shots at a longer range, this Vortex sighting device can also have fully multi coated lenses for light transmission even in low light conditions.

This best vortex scope for deer hunting also has anti-reflective coatings, which can reduce glare from being transmitted to my eyes. In addition, the Vortex Crossfire II rifle scope is made with o ring sealing and gas purging, ensuring weatherproof performance.

The durability of the scope is also unquestionable. Its tube is made with aircraft grade aluminum, which is both lightweight and durable. Thus, this sighting device is dependable for a consistent long-term performance.

This model has a long eye relief and a forgiving eye box, too. In addition, it has windage and elevation turrets, which can be easily reset and are finger adjustable.

However, it is not for users looking for higher magnification ranges. Overall, the Vortex Crossfire II scope is a reliable and rugged rifle scope for hunting game. You have to check it out for an easy to operate and precise scope for your adventures.


  • Capped reset turrets

  • SFP rifle scope
  • Superior glass and fog proof performance
  • Ultra forgiving eye box and long eye relief
  • Precision at longer ranges


  • Not for people looking for higher magnification ranges

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2. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight (Best Red Dot Sight)

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The Strikefire II is another of Vortex scope models to consider for whitetail deer long range hunting. It’s easy to use especially for beginners who have just started with their outdoor and sport adventures because it can offer simplistic aiming.

The scope, which is available at a reasonable price, is an excellent hunting scope for people looking for a quality red dot sight.

This model is designed for straightforward use in that it has rear-facing controls for easy operation and adjustment of the 10 red dot intensity levels.

I find that its two lowest red dot settings are compatible for night vision use. In addition to its ease of use, the scope can return to the last dot intensity used when set to a higher power.

This scope, which is available at a very reasonable price, also offers durability in that it can perform no matter the kind of weather.

The rugged red dot from Vortex features a fog proof and waterproof performance.

I also liked that I can switch from red or green dots easily aside from the adjustments in the brightness settings based on the changing conditions.

The 30mm aluminum alloy construction makes it more rugged while remaining lightweight for hours of use.

More so, the best vortex scope for deer hunting is made with multi coated lenses to ensure a bright, clear, and clean view. Quick target acquisition is also possible with the unlimited eye relief of this red dot sight.

The lightweight material is still durable in that the scope can offer a shockproof performance even when used with heavy recoiling firearms. It can deal with impact, bumps, drops, and shocks.

That’s not all because I also appreciate that it can offer a weatherproof performance. It is engineered with o-ring seals and nitrogen purging, ensuring it remains moisture free, while also protecting its internal components.

Every purchase also comes with an offset cantilever mount, allowing me to move it forward when used together with a magnifier and iron sight on one rail.

This Strikefire II red dot sight is also designed with 4 MOA red or green dot reticle, which is very useful in situations like quick transitions.

In addition, the Vortex red dot sight features windage and elevation adjustment dials that have audible clicks.

In every click, it will move your point of impact ½ inch of MOA. This value corresponds to ½ inch at 100 yards, for instance. It is also easy to adjust the windage and elevation settings, so using it is a cinch.

However, the buttons can be hard to push initially. But overall, the Vortex Optics StrikeFire II scope is a reliable scope for both maximum view field and quick target acquisition. It is versatile and reliable and suits all shooters and hunters looking for a sleek and simple red dot sight.


  • Lightweight and durable aluminum material
  • Fog proof and waterproof performance
  • Beginner-friendly operation
  • Audible clicks on windage and elevation
  • Unlimited eye relief


  • Buttons can be hard to push initially

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3. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle SFP Rifle Scopes (BEST ILLUMINATED SHORT RANGE SCOPE)

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When searching for the best rifle scope with illuminated reticles for short range shooting and hunting, Vortex Optics Strike Eagle scope is an excellent option for its versatility and speed, which are vital for us looking to engage our targets quickly.

The Vortex scope for deer hunting has magnification from 1-6x, offering versatility for different applications, including tactical shooting, hunting, and short to middle range shooting. It is one of my favorite affordable variable scopes.

This model is one of the deer hunting scopes, which is the cheaper scope than Vortex Razor HD scopes.  The middle range optics offers plenty of remarkable features, like capped turrets, BDC marking, and illuminated reticle as well as a raised adjustment fin on the scope’s magnification adjustment ring.

The scope made of aircraft grade aluminum has a good reticle that offers several options for use. Its inner lines are impressive to use for mid range targets that require a more accurate shot, while the outside rings are useful for closer targets.

But take note, the BDC will just be calibrated when you use the scope at the highest magnification. On the other hand, I find the zero usable no matter the magnification used. So there, you need to use the 6x power if you want to aim with the BDC, though.

The BDC reticle is quite accurate when I tried it at 250 yards, but of course, results can change based on the rifle and ammo used. That’s why you might have to test a couple of times to determine how this reticle will work in harmony with your firearm.

The scope model also has a very clear and quality glass. When used at the lowest power, I don’t experience any distortion. It’s clear from edge to edge. However, if you turn up the power to max of 6x, you’ll see some distortion.

But then, the Vortex rifle scope can still help me target and hit out to at least 300 yards.  Take note, though, it can be difficult to make hits if you’re going beyond 500 yards.  For long range hunters, Strike Eagle 1-6x might not be the most suitable.

I also liked the simple adjustments of the scope, which is pretty useful especially for beginners still practicing and mastering how to use their scopes. for deer hunting.

For example, the capped reset turrets can give ½ MOA clicks having a maximum range of 140 MOA in windage and elevation adjustments.

The scope covers are already installed, but you have the option of removing them should you want to.

Overall, this Strike Eagle scope is a useful and general purpose rifle scope with outstanding features but available at an affordable price. It is a great beginner rifle scope for deer hunting, too.


  • Speed for quick target acquisition
  • BDC reticle for more precise shots
  • Short to middle range performance
  • Simple and straightforward operation
  • Aircraft grade aluminum construction


  • Can be hard to find mount for it

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4. Vortex Optics Viper HD 15-45×65 Straight Spotting Scope – Best Vortex Spotting

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Here’s a dependable partner for your hunting rifle or long range shooting tactical firearm.  Although this sighting device is a standalone unit you can stow in your bag, its magnification and spotting capabilities make it the choice of professional marksmen and their spotter buddies.

As the best Vortex spotting scope, it should also come in handy during the open season, increasing your chances of bagging a prized game with a single shot.

I cannot begin to describe how crystal clear the images are in this spotting scope. I know Vortex uses only high quality glass for its products, but this device is on another level.

This spotting scope features an HD optical system that delivers exceptionally vivid images through the objectives. No hunter should go out into the woods to land a kill shot on a deer without this device because the scene you see through the lens is as realistic as the world itself.

It doesn’t matter if the deer is 2,000 yards away or only 500 yards out. This spotting scope produces distortion-free images in vibrant colors. You’ll get an astonishing field of view of 136.5 feet at 15x magnification and 67.8 feet at the maximum 45x. Maintaining situational awareness is never a problem.

Like many of the world’s best rifle scopes, this Vortex spotter scope offers a fluid and ultrasmooth focusing mechanism. The system allows hunters to adjust the focus, eyecup, viewing angle, and magnification by simply twisting dedicated rings.

Its XR lens coating guarantees excellent illumination in low-light conditions, allowing hunters to spot their prey at dusk or dawn. There’s an adjustable sunshade to help block out the sun’s glare in case you want to hunt at noon.

Although I love the stability of a tripod, I am glad this spotting scope can sit securely on a car window mount. I could spot wild animals in the comfort and safety of my vehicle, guiding my hunting buddy where to land the shot.

Build quality is like any investment-worthy Vortex scope. Its argon-purged body protects the sighting device more effectively than nitrogen against oxidation and fogging. You could take this to the Amazon and never worry about moisture ruining your hunting adventures.

The lenses also feature ArborTech coatings to make them free of dirt, scratches, and oil. I love the rubber armor hugging the scope, giving it a surprisingly warm feel and boosting its all-terrain, all-weather performance.

Although I admire this long range deer hunting spotting scope, I wish it was lighter than 3.7 pounds. On the bright side, I should feel more confident about its high-quality optics and robust construction.

This product remains the best Vortex scope for spotters, allowing hunters and tactical shooters to make precise calculations for accurate shot placements.

However, it’s not an ideal solution for hunters who need an all-in-one device that facilitates faster spotting, targeting, and shooting.


  • Superior optical performance
  • Fully adjustable elements for precise and comfortable spotting
  • Excellent illumination
  • Dual mounting options
  • Robust, bring-anywhere construction


  • A little hefty

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5. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×44 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

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Viper returns with one of the best second focal plane rifle scopes for deer hunting money could buy. And if you’re worried this scope will break your bank, you’d be in for a delightful surprise.

Although this Viper doesn’t have the HD’s magnification prowess, its 6.5x to 20x range is more than sufficient to land perfect shots after dead-center shots from a hundred to a thousand yards.

Most hunters would call this riflescope’s magnification middle range, but I am willing to bet my money that it can beat lower-priced long-range scopes in the market. It has nearly all the striking features of the Viper HD in a rifle-mountable design.

Extra-low dispersion glass forms the heart of this riflescope, ensuring images are as vivid and clear as hunters would want them. The scope’s color fidelity and resolution are as impeccable as the Viper HD, making me believe they’re twins in different mounting platforms.

Targeting deer through its Mil-dot reticle is a cinch. There’s nowhere for the animal to hide because this riflescope’s lenses make it effortless to check the target from a distance with absolute clarity. Landing the kill shot should be a breeze.

Adjusting the windage and elevation turrets is a different experience. The Viper HD doesn’t have these elements, making this riflescope a pleasant surprise.

Every twist of the adjustment knob corresponds to precise reticle change, ensuring what you dial on top is what you see through the glass.

The knobs produce an almost-musical confidence-boosting click. Shooters and hunters will never worry about their settings going astray.

The capped reset turrets are also impeccable. Hunters could reindex their sights to zero without fuss. The parallax adjustment also helps guarantee more accurate shot placements by accounting for discrepancies between the reticle and the focal plane.

Like the Viper HD, this stealthy riflescope has an uber-quick-focusing eyepiece. Zooming in and out of its magnifying capabilities is like controlling the diaphragms of an electron microscope. It’s that precise and effortless.

Separating this riflescope from cheap knockoffs and best scope-wannabes is an argon-purged tube.

Most rifle scope brands use nitrogen to rid the cylinder of oxygen and moisture. But since argon is denser than nitrogen, this sighting device’s fog-proofing, waterproofing, and oxidation-proofing are incomparable.

It might not have the Viper HD’s rubber cladding, but this riflescope’s construction is as robust as any other Vortex Optics product you trust. Take it anywhere, and this scope will never fail you. Bagging the prize is a done deal.

Some consider its two-pound heft as this riflescope’s drawback, but it’s all relative. I think its weight is a sign of the scope’s superior craftsmanship.

With so many admirable qualities, this Vortex riflescope is indeed the best in its class. A rugged exterior protects its cutting-edge lens technology to ensure precision shots every time.


  • Superb color fidelity and resolution
  • Snappy turrets
  • Rapid focusing eyepiece
  • Unquestionable build quality
  • Effortless zeroing and resetting


  • A bit bulky

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6. Vortex Optics Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

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Although the Vortex Diamondback is a budget-conscious hunter’s favorite, it would be a gross injustice to consider this riflescope inferior to other sighting devices that bear the badge.

I get that some hunters don’t want to invest in high-quality riflescopes when occasionally hunting for deer and similar animals. But this scope has excellent quality at a price that many seasoned hunters consider a steal. I wouldn’t understand if you don’t pick this riflescope from the rest.

Hunting with this scope mounted on your rifle is like having a second pair of eyes looking out into the distance.

The picture quality the riflescope delivers is as clear and vivid as any other Vortex system I know to every deer hunter. Putting the deer in the crosshairs while maintaining a sweeping view of the field is a breeze with this device.

The fast focus eyepiece is a joy to operate. Zooming in from 1.75x to 5x is a cinch, and the experience is surprisingly tactile. Directional arrows guide newbies on where to turn the dial to change the magnification. Such thoughtfulness in the scope’s design deserves merit.

Aiding newbies in aiming their shots is the dead hold BDC reticle of this quality scope. Hash marks on the article’s horizontal crosshair make it easier for beginner hunters to estimate the distance to the target.

The reticle also includes wind drift correction lines. Although it might take a while for novice shooters to familiarize themselves with the system, I am confident they’ll ace it within one or two sessions.

The turrets are predictably responsive, as I would expect from any Vortex device. Adjusting the elevation and windage settings is never a concern because the knobs are snappy, offering a soft click that sounds like music to the ears.

The parallax adjustment turret is as responsive as the other knobs. Ensuring the perfect alignment between the focal plane and the reticle is a breeze.

Beginners will never have issues with target tracking and the scope holding its zero. This riflescope retains its arbitrary settings like a vise grip latching onto an object. And when it comes to resetting the zero, you won’t have concerns, too.

Argon-purging the scope cylinder is now a standard in Vortex facilities, and this riflescope isn’t any different. You will have a scope that’s rare to go on your next hunting adventure, whether in the Kenyan plains, the Amazon rainforest, or the woods of the Midwest.

Although the lens sports multiple layers of anti-reflective coating, I find it bothersome that the glass somehow produces an annoying glare at first or last light. Perhaps my eyes are getting too old, or I have a lopsided dislike for too much light in my eyes.

The Vortex Diamondback appeals to serious hunters who require a dependable sighting device for their favorite rifles. It’s also an excellent option for beginners who might find adjusting for holdovers trickier than usual.


  • Excellent optical quality
  • Easy-to-use reticle
  • Dependable tracking and repeatability
  • Superb craftsmanship
  • Affordable


  • Glare can be a deal-breaker for some hunters

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7. Vortex Optics Strike Eagle 1-6×24 Second Focal Plane Riflescope

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A great deer hunting scope should also be versatile enough to be effective in tactical situations and close-quarter combat. And this Vortex scope fits the bill like a glove.

As a riflescope with low power variable optics (LPVO) and a true 1x magnification, this product is one of Vortex’s best-sellers. Tacticians and hunters like the Strike Eagle’s versatile design, allowing them to hunt prey on Sundays and neutralize bad guys on other days.

Although I doubt its maximum magnification would allow for shooting long range, its 5x power is enough to land a kill shot from 650 yards. That is impressive, considering I have seen riflescopes with higher magnifications incapable of ensuring precision shots at closer distances.

This riflescope doesn’t have the Viper’s ultra-low dispersion XR lens coating, which is quite a bummer.

However, I wouldn’t expect to have such refined technology, given its price. Nevertheless, its glass remains a cut above competitors, ensuring clear images even in low light conditions.

Surprisingly, its anti-reflective coatings of the deer hunting scope are better at minimizing glare than the Diamondback. I could spend countless hours peering through the ocular with the sun in front of me or to the side, and my eyes will never scream of fatigue.

The turrets are classic Vortex, giving shooters and hunters confidence in placing shots in deer hunting. Like the Viper and Diamondback, the turrets are responsive and precise, ensuring near-effortless elevation and windage corrections. Even parallax compensation isn’t a problem. The turrets are as crisp as any other Vortex device.

Some folks hate the BDC3 reticle, especially in close-quarter combat situations, because of the vertical hash mark and dotted lines from the red center dot.

I find the glass etched reticle perfect for different shooting situations. I don’t need to adjust the reticle illumination because the target points are highly visible.

My favorite about this Vortex riflescope is the thread-in throw lever for adjusting the magnification level. Although the Viper has the MAG Bar, I prefer the Strike Eagle’s rod sticking out from the magnification ring. I should never worry about zooming in and out of the range quickly.

It doesn’t have the Viper HD’s rubber envelope, but this riflescope’s solid construction should withstand frequent bangs and occasional drops. Its nitrogen-purged tube might not be as effective as an argon-purged system, but it’s sufficient to keep fog, dirt, and moisture out.

I would give this tactical and deer hunting rifle five stars if not for one minor inconvenience. I find its eye box somewhat uncomfortable because it could interfere with some shooters’ cheek weld.

Most hunters with a similar concern solved the issue by mounting the riflescope a little forward, allowing them to rest their cheeks on the rifle butt and ensure consistent sighting.

It’s not the best, but this scope has all the makings of a reliable Vortex scope with a pocket-friendly price. Of course, you’re free to pick others.


  • Superb glass quality for the price
  • Multipurpose design
  • Convenient throw-lever
  • Easy-to-use reticle
  • Surprisingly well-built


  • Eye box could be more forgiving

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Does the military use vortex scopes?

Yes, the military uses Vortex scopes. In fact, the US Army announced that the Next Generation Squad Weapons-Fire Control system (NGSW-FC), which is made by Vortex Optics subsidiary, Sheltered Wings, will be used with chosen NGSW from General Dynamics, Textron Systems, or SIG Sauer.

The scope features a ruggedized fire control for lethality for close combat force and increased accuracy. The scope also features a laser rangefinder, backup etched reticle, and many more.

Which is better: Vortex or Burris?

Both manufacturers are respected in the rifle scope industry for their quality and reliable scopes, like FFP scope and SFP scope, available at different magnification settings and with features like first focal plane or second focal plane, short, mid range, and long range shooting rifle scopes.

For red dot sights, Burris and Vortex both manufacture mini and standard red dot sights. In terms of their optics, both of them offer a wide range of scopes for rifles, guns, and other firearms at different price points.

In summary, to answer which between Burris and Vortex is better, it all boils down to personal preference. Compare and weigh your options well to make the best decision.

Are Vortex scopes as good as Leupold?

Both companies offer great game or deer hunting scopes with clear and superior glasses, full field of view, and long eye relief. Leupold and Vortex also make scopes for different uses, such as long range, tactical, and game hunting.

Their hunting scopes are also made with fully multi coated lenses, anti-reflective coatings, aircraft grade aluminum tube, and gas purging and o-ring sealing. So without even saying, the build is almost the same, but may vary depending on the selected model.

But when it comes to price, Vortex scopes are more affordable than Leupold. That’s why it is preferred by new hunters and shooters.

Final Thoughts

Your mule deer hunting adventure will be pleasant and rewarding with the right tools for the job. That’s why you need a good sighting device for clear and crisp images and better shot placement.

Shooting long range and hunting white tail or mule deer requires a reliable, repeatable, and rugged Vortex scope that possesses excellent capabilities like more light gathering capabilities, waterproofing ability, better sight picture, and tough performance.

But we do recognize that choosing among the different Vortex scopes isn’t that easy if you’re unfamiliar with the most important features to look for. This guide should be able to help you with that to pick the best scope for deer hunting. Good luck and happy hunting!

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