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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South-Central Idaho
    Posts
    3,279

    Default Thermal or Night Vision? Time to spend some dough.

    I've recently moved into a new place here in Idaho. It's about 8 miles from my old place...you know, just because it was time for a great adventure in my life exploring exciting new places. LOL

    Anyway, I've got some coyotes down by the creek. I hear them about every night. Sadly, The bad news is that I have so danged many rifles that I can't justify getting a new one to kill the suckers. The good news is I CAN use them as a reason to get some night vision. My wife is a bit of a prepper and has been after me to get some good night vision for years (yeah...she's a keeper!) but I haven't gotten around to it. Now that I have something to shoot at at night I guess it's time.

    So I guess the question for the tribe is what should I get? Night vision or thermal? Seems like thermal would be good enough for killing a coyote but maybe night vision is more useful for other things. Also, I live in the desert of Idaho and a guy at the LGS told me thermal isn't as effective here because the rocks and ground get so hot during the day. I have no idea if that's true or a load of BS.

    Anyway, I need some guidance here. Here are my criteria:

    - I could care less what it costs. Money isn't an issue for me. But if it's going to cost a lot, it'd better be durable and functional.
    - I don't really like/trust techy/digital stuff that's fragile. So I'd like something reliable.
    - While I'm almost certainly not ever going to need it for anything but a coyote or a skunk, it would be nice to identify and not shoot my neighbor if the apocalypse happens next week.

    Are there optics that do both? Should I get a handheld NV for snooping around and a thermal scope for shooting what I find once I've identified it?

    Anyway, I'd appreciate some guidance. Whenever I look into this topic I get analysis paralysis and don't do anything because I don't really have a need. But lately...I've been getting the wants. LOL
    Last edited by DogDoc; 09-30-2021 at 06:03 AM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    220
    I prefer helmet-mounted NV for moving around and weapon mounted thermal. Most of my night hunting has been multiple targets (hogs) on farmland. Usually close range to a couple hundred yards. Thermal “sees” differences in temperature. So if a rock is 98 degrees it may look like a hog…. In actual use, things that are alive usually stand out well with thermal. The biggest advantage for a thermal weapon sight is on moving targets. With NV, shadows, brush, and crops can obscure the target. Same issue with an IR laser sight. They work well on a still target in the open, but more difficult if moving and around cover.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    548
    NVD dont have the advantage they once did.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...l_imaging.html

    I bought this, and holy shit.

    No hog is safe.

    I use these to hunt, then switch to a PVS 14 to actually make the kill.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    221
    I have yotes at my place too, and often times even though I can hear them, I can't see them. This is with a Gen 3 PVS14. Thermal is best for detecting targets, but in general, you do see more detail with a good passive system. To be honest, I mainly use my NODS to walk around at night and look at stars. I have stood still and had whitetail deer walk up to within 20 ft of me and were
    oblivious to my presence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,004
    The redneck technique I chose is NV on the rifle and thermal handheld for scanning.
    I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me. - Andrew Jackson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    261
    I have green and white PVS14s. White is clearer. Make sure you get the auto gate control otherwise they will switch off when you shoot. Don't go cheep on the helmet mount and get a counter weight for the back. I have a skull crusher but helmet is so much more comfortable

    For thermal I have a Pulsar handheld. It complements NV well. I can tell what cars still have hot engines and find people and animals easily. I engage with the NV

    On rifles, I have a DBAL. Make sure you get the slaved visible and IR laser so you can zero it. The IR illuminator with the DBAL is great. I have a hand held vampire also.

    On pistols, red dots are king for NV.

    Make sure you play with your switches so you don't go visible high when you IR. I'll sometimes turn my IR strobe on in daylight and not notice.

    For tactics. Neither device will make you invisible. Indoors lights from microwaves/wall sockets still back light you. Prepare for the lights going on. Nothing like being in open field when a target decides it's time to scan with a flashlight. I always have a white light souce (either handheld or weapon mounted) the respond to a white light hitting me when under nods. IR lights give off a slight red glow head on.

    Develop a process for putting you NODs on and focusing them. Carry spare batteries and the various caps.

    I've had the same experience reported above with both people and animals not detecting me at night in my rural AO. It's fun.
    Last edited by GhostRidder; 09-30-2021 at 08:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    In the good Old South
    Posts
    951
    I hunt hogs at night and prefer thermal.
    Dave

    "If your sport does not put grease, blood, or dirt under your fingernails, then it's just a game!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South-Central Idaho
    Posts
    3,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Taylor View Post
    NVD dont have the advantage they once did.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...l_imaging.html

    I bought this, and holy shit.

    No hog is safe.

    I use these to hunt, then switch to a PVS 14 to actually make the kill.
    Ryan, how are you using that? Is it mounted to your rifle or are you using it on a helmet mount or handheld?
    Wanna Learn about Medicinal Herbs & Edible Plants?
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    2,808
    Doc, what did you decide and how is it working for you?
    Waitin' for a squeeze...

    TWOTU Since March 2012

    DPS
    CRG
    AR15/M4 RGF
    HRO-6 CQB
    HRO-7 Team Tactics
    HITS-8 Knife


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    20
    Doc.
    I've heard that dogs can see (sense?) infra red. Any opinions on this?
    thanks, Mouser 1

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