After about 50 years of hunting big game, here's my feelings about buying scopes. When I first started hunting, the quality of scopes, in general, was not as good as it is now accross the board. Today, they are all pretty dependable and will get the job done. Since you say that you are new to hunting, but plan on sticking with it, I would recommend that you get the very best scope you can afford. In fact, since the season is winding down right now, I would recommend that you save up and get something even better than you might be able to buy at this particular time. And if it sounds like I'm equating quality to price, that's exactly what I mean. You get what you pay for. Even though they are all good, some are a lot better than others. Features to look for are: nitrogen-filled (fog and waterproof), fully coated lenses, shockproof, locking focus ring. Also, get a scope with lots of eye relief. Keep in mind that the eye relief of variable power scopes DECREASES as the power is cranked up. So, if you get a variable, look at what the eye releif is at the low powers when you compare brands and models. Another important thing is customer service. Some scopes are guaranteed for life, even if the scope is sold. Variables seem to be the most popular, but for the ranges that you mentioned, you can do very well with a fixed power scope, maybe 4x. If you want a variable, 2-7, or 3-9 are the way to go. I've had great performance and customer service from Leupold and Burris. Hope this helps. Good luck!