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Can we talk about those days that you tried to take a clean shot of a hog, but you could not ’cause it was pitch dark? Those days are over my friend!
It is almost impossible to hunt in darkness without the help of Night Vision. These night vision devices have, since the 1930s, undergone various changes. With the advanced technology now, their levels of efficiency are unmatched. Producing impressive images in the darkest of nights is now much more comfortable.
However, it would be right to address a few doubts that you might be having. Well, grab a seat as we take on this great tour.
What are Night Vision Scopes?
Night vision scopes are one-piece, handheld, optical devices that help in producing images in darkness. Ideally, they will intensify the human vision under low light conditions. Sometimes, you might want to use them alongside lasers, depending on your preferences.
Initially, they were only available to military and law enforcement officers, an aspect that has since changed. Currently, they are readily available to hunters and other private citizens.
These scopes usually come as complete units, which include image intensifier tubes, sacrificial lens, and protective water-resistant housing. You will also find telescopic lenses, infrared illuminators, and different mounting systems.
Usually, you will get different types of night scopes, including image intensifiers and infrared or thermal devices. The intensifiers, which are our focus, rely on reflected infrared radiations to generate pictures of these prey.
How Night vision Scopes Work
Night devices work in two significant ways, which could be either thermal imaging or image enhancement. It is the method with which they work that you will know the type of your device. Night vision scopes, however, operate on image enhancement.
Image enhancement operates by collecting various yet tiny amounts of light that are present but not visible to the human eye. They will then amplify this light to a level where you can effortlessly observe the image of your prey. Remember, this type of imaging uses the lower part of the infrared too.
Instruction Videos on Night Vision Scopes
You might also find it beneficial to go through multiple instruction videos on youtube. These videos will give you invaluable insights into the operation and maintenance of such night vision devices. Some of what you should consider include the following.
Which Is the Best Night Vision Scope?
It is relatively hard to point out which night vision scope is the best, and the process of choosing one is reasonably daunting. However, we have critical elements that reflect a reliable night vision scope. As long as your night vision scope meets your preferences, needs, and the following features, it could as well be the best.
• Field of View
This aspect will often define how wide an area you can see from afar. In most cases, you will be able to see up to 100 yards when using optics. For instance, a field of view is 22ft at 100 yards if you can see a breadth 22 ft at that point. Most importantly, you should always consider a more significant field of view for effectiveness.
Undoubtedly, enhanced magnification implies that you will see bigger images in the long run. However, the bigger the magnification, the bigger the device is likely to be. You will be free to pick any magnification between 3 and 10X, with those between 3 and 5 being more affordable.
• Signal to Noise Ratio
Signal refers to the amount of light that the human eye can see. Therefore, this signal to noise ratio will be vital in gauging the visibility versus snow effect in place. Enhanced clarity will often come with a better signal to noise ratio.
• Recognition and detection range
While night vision scopes can allow you to see a moving object, you need to be sure of what it is. This recognition range highlights the distance within which you can recognize your target. It depends on the optics generation, lens size, and magnification of the device. Ensure that you have a night scope that allows you to shoot at suitable ranges, and comfortably so.
It is at this point that you should be sure of the device’s LP/mm. Usually, an excellent night vision scope comes with an LP/mm of approximately 60 to 70. With such, you will be confident of enhanced clarity in the long run.
• Luminance gain
You could also refer to it as the simple system gain. It amplifies the ambient light for you to see regardless of your range. It will be more valuable for you to aim at getting an enhanced luminance gain, as it will assure you of lesser noise.
Above all, you should pick a device that prides itself on the latest technology. Preferably, the newest generation, Gen 4, will suit you better. While at it, a digital option is much easier to operate.
Which night vision scope offers you value for money?
No one wants to spend money on something that is going to fail or deliver less favorable returns on investment. As such, you need to take time to evaluate which night vision scope will offer you enhanced value for your money. It could be daunting to compare different options, and it is likely to consume much time. To that end, how about we give you three of the best night vision scopes for hog hunting?
This NVD, which is a combination of daylight sight and digital riflescope, will be one of the most reliable ones for use in all light situations. It comes with a built-in IR illuminator that is handy in low-light environments. With up to six different reticle patterns, you will have a perfect hog hunting experience out there.
1. ATN X-Sight 4K
Do you need a night vision scope with recording capabilities? With this camera, you will be free to hunt hogs regardless of the time of the day. Ideally, it allows you to switch between day and night modes. Its ballistic calculator comes in handy in automatic computations, which ensure you take clean shots.
This device features a magnification of 5-20X, a smart range finder, and a reliable zero range. You will also appreciate its 3D gyroscope, smooth zooming abilities, and upgradeable software. Besides, their customer service will be readily available to clear any of your doubts.
We love this night vision scope and have used it ourselves for over a year now, read our buyers guide here.
2. Sightmark Photon XT 6.5*50L
This device prides itself on a field of view of 25 degrees, a magnification of 2X, and a 36mm resolution. You will also find its eyepiece adjustment ring relatively impeccable, and essential in refining the sharpness of your image.
Some of the advantages of this NVD will often include its long-lasting battery, easier mounting, and lightweight. Did you know that it comes with 11 illumination levels on its IR illuminator too?
Unfortunately, Sightmark does not offer the best customer support services. There are also chances that the device will turn itself off from time to time or even come without screws.
3. Firefield FF26014T Tactical NV Rifle Scope
The enhanced optics that this scope comes with make it unmatched. It boasts of a 2.5*50 magnification capability, a titanium alloy body, and sleek design. Besides its wide field of view, this night vision scope allows you access to internal focusing abilities.
One of the things you will appreciate about this scope is its sturdy build and a guarantee of longevity. Its 50mm lens will also be vital in giving you the high resolution you so desire. You will also find that it has an illuminated reticle, which improves your focus during low-light conditions.
Interestingly, this night vision device will assure you of a reliable rail mount system, an adjustable reticle, and enhanced durability. You will also fall for its stylishness and lightweight. Would you want to ignore its impressive warranty?
The only problem the product features is its cost. Usually, you will spend over $350, which is remarkably less affordable for some hunters.
Whichever device you choose from the three mentioned above, you will be confident of reaping the utmost. These night vision scopes assure you of not only steadfast services but also durability.
What are the problems with night vision scopes?
Indeed, some issues will often be inevitable in any technology. While night vision scopes will give you the services you need, they come with various flaws, including the following.
• Monitoring across extended ranges or distances tends to be reasonably hard when using night vision devices. It will be hard for you to see the face or appearance of moving objects with the exactitudes you so desire. Besides, any overlapping images will often appear nearer than they are.
• You might also need to worry about the resolution of some photos. As mentioned, these devices boast of a relatively lower resolution rate, which compromises the quality of your results.
• Usually, you will hardly use these devices during the day or in well-lit environments. Besides, things such as fog, snow, dust, and smoke will obscure their clarity. Did you also know that their camouflage is still present in these devices?
Pros and Cons vs. Thermal Imaging
You cannot ignore comparing these two forms of imaging, the thermal and image enhancement. These differences illustrate the benefits that either has over the other one. Here are a few advantages that night vision scopes have over thermal imaging.
• Unlike thermal imaging, you will not need any training to interpret the images you get with your night vision scope. However, investing in voluntary training can be beneficial to you too.
• Night Vision does not depend on heat differences to detect a hog. Usually, as long as there is ambient light, night vision will effortlessly enhance an image for the human eye to comprehend. If there is no light, its IR illuminators will come in handy in generating the light.
• Night vision has proven to be relatively affordable in both maintenance and acquisition. Remember, the advanced technology used in thermal imaging only implies that the cost could be less accessible for some people. On top of that, night vision scopes tend to be readily available in the market.
• You will appreciate the durability of night vision scopes. These devices are likely to last for relatively long and without any maintenance needs too.
Cons of night vision compared to thermal imaging
• More than often, you will hardly use night vision scopes during the day. That is because bright light could readily compromise their intensifier tubes. On the other hand, you could rely on thermal imaging for both day and night.
• You cannot rely on night vision scopes to detect temperature or heat differences. For that reason, they will be ineffective in tracking down wounded game. Comparatively, thermal imaging will do this effortlessly.
• Thermal imaging comes in handier whenever you need surveillance tools. They can simply help you to see through smoke, fog, or any other visual obstacle at hand. Conversely, you cannot expect this from night vision scopes.
Are Night Vision Scopes Necessary or just Gadgets?
Indeed, you cannot ignore the role of night visions when it comes to hunting. While they have various flaws, they have proven to be worth investing in at any time. Simply put, night vision scopes are necessary for enhanced hunting experiences.
With these gadgets, it will be much more straightforward for you to conserve your livestock and even eliminating different predators. Whether you have a problem with coyotes or hogs, it will be easier for you to take them out from a distance. Did you also know that they will help in protecting you? With these handheld devices, scanning for any danger in the world will be effortless.
Are you thinking twice about getting these night vision scopes? Well, it is understandable. I was hesitant for over a year before I bought my first one. Now I can’t imagine going hunting for hogs without one. I hope this article helped you, happy hunting my friend!
FAQ Regarding Night vision scopes
Will night vision work in pitch black?
No it wont work at all then, it needs to have some IR-light source to enhance.
What Night vision to mount in front of scope?
Well there is for example this one from
What Night vision to use with aimpoint?
Preferably something that you mount on your helmet/head like an ATN PVS14-3
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.