Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help

Posted by: Natron243

Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 05:58 AM

Hello, all, first post here. I have stalked for a while and much of my studying has arisen from reading conversations on here. Great place!

Did a few night hunts with a buddy last year and loved it. Loved the tech. We scanned with an old FLIR 64 LS and shot with a Gen 2+ clipon, in tandem with a 5x optic. Naturally, from there I started to learn what I could about NV and thermal, leading me reach out here.

I'm pretty excited about where digital NV is heading and the much-reduced price of entry. So I'm pretty sold on the forthcoming Wraith 4k as a weapons sight and have my deposit placed. I feel like they will be arriving in the next couple months. Sightmark has finally just put out a teaser vid. My real focus is a thermal scanner, with the 35 mm Hogster being the absolute upper price limit.

So I have the opportunity to purchase either....

- That old FLIR 64 LS for $2,000 (it IS a 640 sensor and was a $6,000 unit back in the day, but does the rest of the older tech in it make it inferior to the others here?)

- Axion XM38 (Discontinued, so now available for just $2,200. I understand the native mag gives this guy a terrible FOV. But... the 12 micron sensor/pixel pitch surely results in a sweet picture for a lower res unit. And detection range is twice what the Hogster is).

- Hogster 35 mm (I think I've watched every vid Kirsch and others have put out there and listened to other angles on this one. A local dealer has a 35mm in stock. This one will give me the option to mount on a second rifle, which is a bonus, but not a deciding factor. Mounted sight and hunt recording are already covered with that 4k.

- Helion XQ38 (I know I said $2,600 was my limit, but this one warrants consideration. I have only seen Kirsch's video comparison. From THAT, I cannot justify an additional $400. Am I wrong, and detection range/clarity are much better through the eyepiece than that of the Hogster?)

I will probably get the Hogster today. But this is a lot of $$ to me and perhaps someone has one more to consider? Just want to make the best choice possible.

What are thoughts on the LS64? It looked fantastic and beats the crap out of my Scout TK smile

I hunt thousands of acres here, among several locations and have a variety of field sizes. Some are 500 and 600 yard areas in a couple directions, and for those, the narrower FOV of Axion would be fine. Not so fine for the smaller areas. I'd say half the areas are 200 and under, but I'd like good detection 600 yards.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 07:31 AM

Get the Hogster 35 and use it as a scanner. After a few nights of using it and then switching to digital nv to shoot you will probably want to mount it on your rifle and get another thermal for scanning. I wouldn't bother with an xq helion due to the lack of fov. I would consider a Hogster 25 to scan or find a used Puksar xd19a or hd19a. I would only consider a 640 core helion. I have no experience with Flir.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 07:43 AM

Many thanks, Varminter. Really leaning toward that Hogster. Do you agree that without getting into 640 prices, the Bering Optics is most bang for the buck?
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 07:47 AM

I hope someone can chime in on the FLIR LS64. It looked great, but it's quite old. I'd like affirmation that even though it's a 640 unit, it doesn't stack up against what I'm looking at in 2020.
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 09:41 AM

Originally Posted By: Natron243
Axion XM38 (Discontinued, so now available for just $2,200. I understand the native mag gives this guy a terrible FOV. But... the 12 micron sensor/pixel pitch surely results in a sweet picture for a lower res unit. And detection range is twice what the Hogster is).
My perspective is a 5.8 x 4.3 degree FOV is too small to be used for an all-around coyote scanner. My old Flir PTS536 scope was just a little bit less than this and it was almost too small of a FOV to be used as a weapon's sight let alone a scanner. This is a device designed to have spotted an animal at long range and you want to try to get a Positive ID. It has a place but as the scanner for coyotes in the terrain you mentioned, not a recommendation.

Originally Posted By: Natron243
Hogster 35 mm (I think I've watched every vid Kirsch and others have put out there and listened to other angles on this one. A local dealer has a 35mm in stock. This one will give me the option to mount on a second rifle, which is a bonus, but not a deciding factor. Mounted sight and hunt recording are already covered with that 4k.
The Hogster 35 will make a great scanner/or weapons sight. I do agree after using, you will be tempted to switch it to the gun. The 25mm can also be considered if you really want to use mainly as a scanner, but the 35 is more versatile.

Originally Posted By: Natron243
Helion XQ38 (I know I said $2,600 was my limit, but this one warrants consideration. I have only seen Kirsch's video comparison. From THAT, I cannot justify an additional $400. Am I wrong, and detection range/clarity are much better through the eyepiece than that of the Hogster?)
The video you saw was not of the XQ38 but of the XP38, so $1,200 higher or $1400 more for an XP50. The scanning image is much better on the XP vs the XQ. The Hogster is more versatile and compact. The main advantage of the XQ is battery and recording and you said you don't need it for recording. I would take the XQ over the Axion already talked about, but I would not take it over the Hogster.

Originally Posted By: Natron243
I will probably get the Hogster today. But this is a lot of $$ to me and perhaps someone has one more to consider? Just want to make the best choice possible.
I have a Pulsar Helion XP50 that is only 1 month old that I would sell for $3150. It is in the Classifieds here. It has a better image than any thermal mentioned in this thread and is $850 off new pricing.

Originally Posted By: Natron243
What are thoughts on the LS64? It looked fantastic and beats the crap out of my Scout TK smile
I haven't used an LS64. I am assuming it uses the same sensor as Flir used in the Scout III 640. I have used that scanner, and the Hogster image is considerably better. The FOV on this scanner I believe was 18x14, so if you liked that, again you will not like the Axion.

Originally Posted By: Natron243
I hunt thousands of acres here, among several locations and have a variety of field sizes. Some are 500 and 600 yard areas in a couple directions, and for those, the narrower FOV of Axion would be fine. Not so fine for the smaller areas. I'd say half the areas are 200 and under, but I'd like good detection 600 yards.
You will have no issues with detection on the Hogster. I had it in the field with me along side my Helion XP38 with a detection range of 1350 and the Hogster would detect coyotes 100-200 yards before my Helion XP38, every time. Detection will not be an issue with the Hogster

Originally Posted By: Natron243
Do you agree that without getting into 640 prices, the Bering Optics is most bang for the buck?
Yes in my opinion the Hogster is going to give you the best value for a new thermal. The exception is my Helion XP50 for sale which gives you a 1-month old Pulsar 640 res at 384 resolution pricing.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 12:01 PM

I will send dozerxj to this thread he just purchased a hogster 35 and has a thermion xp50. He has used our trail xp50 s as well. He came from the low end night vision side of things and I don't think he's going back LOL.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 01:03 PM

What a wealth of info and experience. Thank you, Varminter and Kirsch.

Kirsch....PM sent.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 01:39 PM

Dozer said he had both his thermion xp50 and the hogster r35 out the other night and he told me that he'd doubted he would have bought his thermion xp50 if he would have had the hogster first. The only thing that I can say I would like to see on the hogster is a rechargeable onboard battery. Batteries are kind of a big deal in this game but I wouldn't let it stop me from getting one at their price. I think the hogster will have a really good resale value too unless they come out with something that has an on-board rechargeable battery or some other must have bell or whistle for very little extra money. The next gun mounted option is plain and simple going to cost you another 2,000 bucks. I would put that towards a scanner. at that point I don't think you'll ever be left standing there saying dang I would have had that coyote if I would have had a better scope. As a matter of fact you might be saying dang I would have missed that coyote if I would have had one of them POI shifting pulsars LOL.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 01:48 PM

Thank you for the input, Varminter. I think you just saved my some money 🤣👍
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 01:56 PM

Now that you figured your optics out you can start wading through the 47 different new AR-15 calibers available LOL.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 07/31/20 02:55 PM

No kidding!
Posted by: P&Y

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 05:08 AM

Originally Posted By: varminter .223
Now that you figured your optics out you can start wading through the 47 different new AR-15 calibers available LOL.



Honestly if you invest in a new spotter and scope it would almost be disrespectful to not put it on the newest wizbang AR caliber. Slapping it on a bolt action would be borderline criminal!
LOL
Welcome to the forum and good luck!
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 08:15 AM

I'm a fan of the fast and flat .243. I'll be happy with my Axis 2 for now, but I'm sure an AR platform will be the next bug to bite me. Another season, perhaps, after I recover from recent investments cry
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 08:58 AM

The Advent of the $300 BCA ambidextrous charging 20" barrel 8 twist upper along with the sub 50 cent Dogtown 70 grain rounds really simplified our decision on what to shoot last year night hunting.
Those barrels are a bit lighter but when I hang my radius on the front and a little custom machining on a rail I was able to move the gun all the way forward on the pod where it balances almost perfectly. That is one recommendation I have is take the time to get your gun to balance on your tripod. For me it really helps accuracy. You can run your ballhead looser without the butt of your rifle dropping down when you're going to the scanner and back to the gun.
With the gun market getting crazier every day all of the dirt cheap AR stuff seems to be drying up though.
Posted by: Rookietjx2

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 09:29 AM

Originally Posted By: varminter .223
Dozer said he had both his thermion xp50 and the hogster r35 out the other night and he told me that he'd doubted he would have bought his thermion xp50 if he would have had the hogster first. The only thing that I can say I would like to see on the hogster is a rechargeable onboard battery. Batteries are kind of a big deal in this game but I wouldn't let it stop me from getting one at their price. I think the hogster will have a really good resale value too unless they come out with something that has an on-board rechargeable battery or some other must have bell or whistle for very little extra money. The next gun mounted option is plain and simple going to cost you another 2,000 bucks. I would put that towards a scanner. at that point I don't think you'll ever be left standing there saying dang I would have had that coyote if I would have had a better scope. As a matter of fact you might be saying dang I would have missed that coyote if I would have had one of them POI shifting pulsars LOL.



I own a Trijicon MK3 60mm and a Hogster-r 35mm. If Bering Optics would make a Hogster-r with more native magnification, I wouldn't see the need for my Trijicon.
Posted by: Vance

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 10:29 AM

I jumped in from red lights straight to thermal with a Hogster 35 and Iím happy with that decision. As far as detection at 5-600 yards you mentioned, that will be no problem. I hunt out in the desert south west and can see for miles. I can ID wild horses and cows out to close to a mile. Mostly they look like a blob, but as you watch the movement you can tell what it is.

I feel like a Hogster 25 would be a great addition for me to use just as a scanner too.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 11:28 AM

I made a last minute decision to spend a little more money on a killer deal and scored a Pulsar Helion XP50. I think I'll be very pleased with the that choice for scanning! And I'm sticking by my original plan to use the Wraith 4K for the weapon mounted sight. In the mean time, I will "test" the heck out of that Helion during some day hunts, with my glass optic on the rifle
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Natron243
I made a last minute decision to spend a little more money on a killer deal and scored a Pulsar Helion XP50. I think I'll be very pleased with the that choice for scanning! In the mean time, I will "test" the heck out of that Helion during some day hunts, with my glass optic on the rifle
Congrats on the Helion XP50. Thermals work well during the day as well as night. However, don't point the objective directly towards the sun as it can cause what is called "High Energy Damage" to the lens. I use my thermals during the daytime a lot as well, but just passing along this precaution.
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 11:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Vance
I feel like a Hogster 25 would be a great addition for me to use just as a scanner too.
The Hogster 25 does make a great scanner. Another option to consider is the Bering Optics Phenom. If you don't need the versatility of having a 2nd scope/scanner combo, this has an amazing image. I recently had one to test and will hopefully have a video to show soon. Night Goggles is planning on carrying the Phenom very soon.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 12:47 PM

I wish you could set the hogster p i p magnification to what you wanted as opposed to just double the main screen but it might pixelate too bad.
Posted by: Kirsch

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 12:50 PM

Originally Posted By: varminter .223
I wish you could set the p i p magnification to what you wanted as opposed to just double the main screen but it might pixelate too bad.
It never hurts to ask Bering, but I doubt this will change.
Posted by: Bigdwebster

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 02:18 PM

There is no comparison between the ls64 and the hogster. Unfortunately I was one of the ones that paid $5,700 for one 6 years ago. Flir replaced mine with the LSXR64 and there is still no comparison. You will love the helion although the hogsters are very nice for the money. I hope your successful but If your hunting southern Illinois be prepared for some IR glow runners. Especially if you have two guys running an ir in your hunting group.
Posted by: varminter .223

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 03:12 PM

Don't get a monster torch just get something small. As stated above you will burn some with your ir and they will have none of it. The helion handhelds are great tool for deer hunting as well. I see all kinds of deer that I would have never seen in the timber in the daytime having thermal. I even killed a coyote with my bow last November while deer hunting in a thick logged timber that I would have never seen without thermal. I seen him in some thick brush and I would have never seen him without the thermal. I killed another one a couple hours later that was a heck of a hunt.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 04:21 PM

Thanks, Korey, I'll certainly remember that. I've always been careful about that with my little ScoutI guess I'd always assumed such an intense heat source would damage a thermal, but this is the first confirmation.
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: varminter .223
Don't get a monster torch just get something small. As stated above you will burn some with your ir and they will have none of it. The helion handhelds are great tool for deer hunting as well. I see all kinds of deer that I would have never seen in the timber in the daytime having thermal. I even killed a coyote with my bow last November while deer hunting in a thick logged timber that I would have never seen without thermal. I seen him in some thick brush and I would have never seen him without the thermal. I killed another one a couple hours later that was a heck of a hunt.


Varminter/Bigweb.. I'll just use the one that comes with it this season. But as a replacement next season, I was looking at the 3in1 options from Wicked, so I'd have both 850 and 940 within reach. What is the consensus on the Wicked lights?
Posted by: Natron243

Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help - 08/01/20 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: Bigdwebster
There is no comparison between the ls64 and the hogster. Unfortunately I was one of the ones that paid $5,700 for one 6 years ago. Flir replaced mine with the LSXR64 and there is still no comparison.


There we go. Thanks for chiming in. I was really hoping to hear from someone who had also experienced the LS64 for some perspective on how it stacked up. Makes me even more excited to be getting something modern