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Night hunting optics #7729251
11/28/22 06:10 PM
11/28/22 06:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 258
MN
K
K9BeavCoon Offline OP
trapper
K9BeavCoon  Offline OP
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MN
I’d like to dip my toes in the water of night vision/ thermal hunting. We hunt a lot of open fields around here. What’s everyone’s suggestions? All the guys I know run $2000 plus thermals and I’d like to know how what your guys’ experiences are and if a guy can get into it a little cheaper.

Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7729255
11/28/22 06:13 PM
11/28/22 06:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi
Wolfdog91 Offline
trapper
Wolfdog91  Offline
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Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi
This is my set up under $1000 all in all. Where finally getting PARDs in the US though so that gonna be the next thing I look into. Buddies in the UK love them and the ones I've seeing now look pretty good for the $350 their asking



Trappermans Resident Black Guy
The Black Redneck! 22yrs
MS National Guardsmen
I Like Moddin Traps 'N Trapping Possums
Go Ordnance!!!!
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Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7729256
11/28/22 06:15 PM
11/28/22 06:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi
Wolfdog91 Offline
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Wolfdog91  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi

Last edited by Wolfdog91; 11/28/22 06:15 PM.

Trappermans Resident Black Guy
The Black Redneck! 22yrs
MS National Guardsmen
I Like Moddin Traps 'N Trapping Possums
Go Ordnance!!!!
Tman Archivist
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7729440
11/28/22 08:59 PM
11/28/22 08:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,391
Louisiana
AirportTrapper Offline
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AirportTrapper  Offline
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Louisiana
If you buy cheap and go with someone who has a decent thermal. You will regret it. Pulsar makes a pretty good budget thermal.


If it makes a track on this earth , I can catch it.
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7732550
12/02/22 10:56 AM
12/02/22 10:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,619
Nebraska
WadeRyan Offline
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WadeRyan  Offline
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Posts: 2,619
Nebraska
You only cry once. I would save up and get the best you can afford based on your budget. In thermal cheaper definitely does not mean better. You can get into it cheaper but you'll be sorely disappointed if you ever run one that isn't below $2,000. I wouldn't spend less than $2500 even if you have to wait a year, you'll be far ahead.


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Re: Night hunting optics [Re: WadeRyan] #7732705
12/02/22 02:32 PM
12/02/22 02:32 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 798
Washington
wildflights Offline
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wildflights  Offline
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Posts: 798
Washington
Originally Posted by WadeRyan
You only cry once. I would save up and get the best you can afford based on your budget. In thermal cheaper definitely does not mean better. You can get into it cheaper but you'll be sorely disappointed if you ever run one that isn't below $2,000. I wouldn't spend less than $2500 even if you have to wait a year, you'll be far ahead.


x2 I have two PARD's. The 800 and the 800s. Both have laser range finders, one has the ballistic calculator. They are great units and paired with a Sniper Hog Light ir, they can easily be used out past 200 yards. They are fantastic for identifying the target. I primarily use them around the house where I'm sorting barn cats from possums. You can identify the difference out past 160 yards.
The weakness of NV is picking up the canine while scanning. In a lot of ways, it's like running lights where eye glow is often the first thing you'll see. When you start looking at NV, notice that the FOV is normally very small. With the PARD units @ 6.5x base magnification you'll have a FOV of 20' @ 100 yards.

Thermal on the other hand (I have Pulsar) makes animals jump out at night. While scanning with thermal I can cover a field in under ten seconds and tell you what's out there...often including mice. There is no comparison between thermal and NV when it comes to picking out critters. The less you spend on thermal the more likely you are to misidentify your target. Low resolution makes deer look like coyotes and when it comes to smaller critters cats/possums/raccoon, they all look pretty similar. Do not buy anything lower than 384 resolution. If I could go back in time, I wouldn't buy anything but 640.

Killed a raccoon last week that had run one of our cats up a tree. Picked them up in the thermal and switched over to the PARD for the killing.

Last edited by wildflights; 12/02/22 02:57 PM.

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. -Gustav Mahler
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7733484
12/03/22 10:39 AM
12/03/22 10:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 258
MN
K
K9BeavCoon Offline OP
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K9BeavCoon  Offline OP
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MN
Trying to keep my budget around $2k. Hunting in MN and hopefully SD shots would mostly be in 200yd and out to 400 depending on optics. Talkin with distributors, im hearing a guy needs to spend around $3500. One distributor suggested a Wraith 4k and upgraded IR to identify and shoot at those distances. And a 640 thermal monocular for scanning. Opinions?

Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7733514
12/03/22 11:18 AM
12/03/22 11:18 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,418
mn north of blakely
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Steven 49er Online content
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Steven 49er  Online Content
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mn north of blakely
$2000 thermal and 2 plus hundred yards don't go hand in hand

I can not comment on IR and NV scope as I have not tried them. IMHO, in a thermal, a person needs to spend somewhere in that 3500 ball park.

If you are on a tighter budget, skip the mono and put that money into the scope.

Last edited by Steven 49er; 12/04/22 10:32 AM.

"Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon". Milton Friedman.
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7733563
12/03/22 12:33 PM
12/03/22 12:33 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 898
Near Gardiner MT
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Elkguy Offline
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Elkguy  Offline
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Near Gardiner MT
Pulsar 640 riflescopes are money well spent. Hurts at first but guaranteed years of fun and profit. Mine paid for itself in 2 years.


CBCS
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: Elkguy] #7733599
12/03/22 01:16 PM
12/03/22 01:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 258
MN
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K9BeavCoon Offline OP
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K9BeavCoon  Offline OP
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MN
Originally Posted by Elkguy
Pulsar 640 riflescopes are money well spent. Hurts at first but guaranteed years of fun and profit. Mine paid for itself in 2 years.


I hear what you’re saying. Lol but a guy won’t be paying for scopes with fur anytime soon lol!

Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7733603
12/03/22 01:25 PM
12/03/22 01:25 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 16,651
OH
Catch22 Offline
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Catch22  Offline
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OH
Originally Posted by K9BeavCoon
Originally Posted by Elkguy
Pulsar 640 riflescopes are money well spent. Hurts at first but guaranteed years of fun and profit. Mine paid for itself in 2 years.


I hear what you’re saying. Lol but a guy won’t be paying for scopes with fur anytime soon lol!

All ya need is a 1000 put up coon. grin


I wonder if tap dancers walk into a room, look at the floor, and think, I'd tap that. I wonder about things.....
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7733606
12/03/22 01:27 PM
12/03/22 01:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi
Wolfdog91 Offline
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Amite county Mississippi
Look into the AGM Rattlers. They have a base model for around 1200 and I was able to check out a $2500 version at the last Convention. Very small and compact thermal unit. Other then it being mounted so high I liked it


Trappermans Resident Black Guy
The Black Redneck! 22yrs
MS National Guardsmen
I Like Moddin Traps 'N Trapping Possums
Go Ordnance!!!!
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Re: Night hunting optics [Re: Steven 49er] #7733613
12/03/22 01:35 PM
12/03/22 01:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 14,017
Iowa
~ADC~ Offline
The Count
~ADC~  Offline
The Count

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Posts: 14,017
Iowa
Originally Posted by Steven 49er
$2000 thermal and 2 plus hundred yards don't go hand in hand

I can not comment on IR and NV scope as I have not tried them. IMHO, in a thermal, a person needs to spend somewhere in that 35000 ball park.

If you are on a tighter budget, skip the mono and put that money into the scope.


I hope that's a typo Steven. I can't afford $3500 let alone 35k, but I bet you could get a great set up for that kind of money.

Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7734288
12/04/22 09:40 AM
12/04/22 09:40 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 798
Washington
wildflights Offline
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Washington
If you're hunting at night, you are not likely to be shooting a lot at 2-400 yards. For me personally, 250 is maxed out. With the thermals I can see them much further but have little need or desire to send it. The few videos I've seen where guys are making longer shots, they are running the $8,000. type units. All thermals are lower magnification than a normal scope. Usually in the 2x to 3.5x range. A coyote at 350 yards looks pretty small @ 3.5x.

The Pulsar Thermion XM30 is running right around $2,300 with 3.5x magnification but it is a 320 resolution scope. Wolfdog already mentioned the AGM Rattler. The TS-35 is a 2x and the TS-25 is a 1.5x. If that TS-25 was rated for shotgun recoil, I'd own one. It has one of the widest FOV on the market but it is a 100 yard scope.

On the NV end, I think my longest shot is 220. Your ir illuminator is going to be a limiting factor there. I got into the PARD's before Pulsar came out with their C50. From the videos I've seen, I think the C50 is probably the top choice if you go NV. I will say that the ir illuminator that comes standard on the PARD is very good. It is an ir laser so you need to be careful if using around reflective surfaces. It is not eye safe.

Should post up over on Predator Masters. There are a lot more guys over there running in the dark. https://www.predatormastersforums.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=3&page=1

ETA- If you're hunting with guys running thermal, don't go NV.

Last edited by wildflights; 12/04/22 10:50 AM.

Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire. -Gustav Mahler
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7734321
12/04/22 10:37 AM
12/04/22 10:37 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,418
mn north of blakely
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Steven 49er Online content
trapper
Steven 49er  Online Content
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Joined: May 2010
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mn north of blakely
I'm not sure IR is legal in MN. Well the scope is but then we have another law that says we cannot use artificial light in the illuminator. I'd check with the warden.

Yes, ADC, a typo.


"Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon". Milton Friedman.
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: Steven 49er] #7735181
12/05/22 10:44 AM
12/05/22 10:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 258
MN
K
K9BeavCoon Offline OP
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K9BeavCoon  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 258
MN
Originally Posted by Steven 49er
I'm not sure IR is legal in MN. Well the scope is but then we have another law that says we cannot use artificial light in the illuminator. I'd check with the warden.

Yes, ADC, a typo.



Sheesh. I knew the law about artificial law but didn’t give it any thought for IR. Figured you can’t see it. But knowing MN and the probability you could run into a dink of a CO… that’s worth something

Last edited by K9BeavCoon; 12/05/22 10:45 PM.
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7735192
12/05/22 11:07 AM
12/05/22 11:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 270
Wyoming
wytex Offline
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wytex  Offline
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Wyoming
I have a FLIR handheld for scanning and a good LED flashlight for shooting. Works well for us on hogs.
Might look on Texas Hunting Forum under optics sections, those folks use lots of thermal scopes and handhelds.

Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7741421
12/11/22 09:57 PM
12/11/22 09:57 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 7,853
SW Georgia
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Wanna Be Offline
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SW Georgia
Hate to bring this back based on the thermal hate, but with a $5K budget, what’s out there. If you thermal users were handed $5K what would you buy?
Just got told by the wife that was my Christmas, but $5K or under…she mentioned tax too, lol.

Last edited by Wanna Be; 12/11/22 09:58 PM.
Re: Night hunting optics [Re: Wanna Be] #7741432
12/11/22 10:06 PM
12/11/22 10:06 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi
Wolfdog91 Offline
trapper
Wolfdog91  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,350
Amite county Mississippi
Originally Posted by Wanna Be
Hate to bring this back based on the thermal hate, but with a $5K budget, what’s out there. If you thermal users were handed $5K what would you buy?
Just got told by the wife that was my Christmas, but $5K or under…she mentioned tax too, lol.


AGM Rattler
Pulsar thermion
Pulsar trail
Ect. ALOT of great opening for just the optic for 5k.

Honestly would probably get a thermion and then put the rest toward a PVS14 and bump helmet set up.


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The Black Redneck! 22yrs
MS National Guardsmen
I Like Moddin Traps 'N Trapping Possums
Go Ordnance!!!!
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Re: Night hunting optics [Re: K9BeavCoon] #7741445
12/11/22 10:21 PM
12/11/22 10:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,391
Louisiana
AirportTrapper Offline
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AirportTrapper  Offline
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Louisiana
Thermion 2


If it makes a track on this earth , I can catch it.
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