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#3227747 - 01/11/20 10:23 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: 6mm06]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1411
Loc: North Dakota
Originally Posted By: 6mm06
Kirsch, I can’t remember, does the Hogster 25mm have an external jack for attaching a dvr?
Yes, both the 35mm and 25mm include a video out option. Each scope also comes with a dual purpose cable that allows the scope to use a battery pack as well as be used for video out while using the same jack.
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Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3227755 - 01/11/20 11:14 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
6mm06 Online
PM senior

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 8007
Loc: USA

That’s good to know. Thanks.

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#3228523 - 01/16/20 12:35 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
Magnumatving Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/07/20
Posts: 3
Loc: Southern Ohio
I've been reading quite a bit on these forums and mostly up until lately, we have been day coyote hunters only. I have been wanting to step up into night calling, but haven't been willing to take the plunge yet.

I had my mind set on buying a digital night vision scope and upgrading the IR light. Mostly likely was going to go with the ATN X-Sight Pro 3-14x. I've since been rethinking that decision as most people that I'm reading tend to be disappointed in the long run. I'm not a fan of spending more money than I have to, but I hate spending money on something and later regretting it.

So I'm looking to go a thermal scope. I would like to stay under $3k for the scope. I can always buy a scanner later as my budget is pretty limited to spend more than $3k. Most of our hunting will be here in Ohio over picked bean and corn fields and hay field. Distances of 50 yards out to 500 are possible.

What would be the top three thermal scopes under $3k that I should be researching for this type of application? I see the ones you recommended in this thread for mostly brush hunting. What about more wide open hunting?

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#3228531 - 01/16/20 01:39 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1411
Loc: North Dakota
Originally Posted By: Magnumatving
I've been reading quite a bit on these forums and mostly up until lately, we have been day coyote hunters only. I have been wanting to step up into night calling, but haven't been willing to take the plunge yet.

I had my mind set on buying a digital night vision scope and upgrading the IR light. Mostly likely was going to go with the ATN X-Sight Pro 3-14x. I've since been rethinking that decision as most people that I'm reading tend to be disappointed in the long run. I'm not a fan of spending more money than I have to, but I hate spending money on something and later regretting it.

So I'm looking to go a thermal scope. I would like to stay under $3k for the scope. I can always buy a scanner later as my budget is pretty limited to spend more than $3k. Most of our hunting will be here in Ohio over picked bean and corn fields and hay field. Distances of 50 yards out to 500 are possible.

What would be the top three thermal scopes under $3k that I should be researching for this type of application? I see the ones you recommended in this thread for mostly brush hunting. What about more wide open hunting?
There isn't much in this range unfortunately unless you are looking for used. Here would be the two recommendations:

Hogster-R 35mm - $2,695 is probably the best option. However, scanning with a thermal scope mounted on a gun isn't ideal. If you don't have a tripod, I would highly recommend one as well.

Thermion XM38 - $3,300. This will have better long range performance in comparison to the Hogster, but in my opinion, the Hogster image will be better. The XM38 is going to be very difficult to scan with with a 4.2x base mag and narrow field of view. Based on this, I would lean towards the Hogster.

There are 2 other scopes to mention in this price range. The Flir PTS233 is no longer being sold by Flir and the Pulsar RXQ30 is $1,900. Both the RXQ30 and the PTS233 are 150 yards and closer scopes that aren't great in high humidity. They are not 500 yard scopes. Actually, there are few 500 yard thermal scopes to start with but none in this price range.

A Different Option:
I personally am not a big fan of digital night vision in comparison to thermal unless 100% Positive ID is required. However, for your budget, you may want to go with a Hogster-R 25mm for scanning ($2145) and then go with a Sightmark Wraith ($500) for the gun. Even with buying a better IR light, you would have a great thermal for detection and can shoot with the NV and still be a little under budget. If you decide later to get a thermal scope, you can sell the Wraith and keep the Hogster as the scanner. I can't stress enough the importance of the thermal scanner. This is most likely a better solution than a thermal scope only. I still believe shooting entry level digital night vision at 500 yards is a stretch but 250-300 yards should be fine.
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Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3228542 - 01/16/20 02:28 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: Kirsch]
Magnumatving Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/07/20
Posts: 3
Loc: Southern Ohio
Originally Posted By: Kirsch
There isn't much in this range unfortunately unless you are looking for used. Here would be the two recommendations:

Hogster-R 35mm - $2,695 is probably the best option. However, scanning with a thermal scope mounted on a gun isn't ideal. If you don't have a tripod, I would highly recommend one as well.

Thermion XM38 - $3,300. This will have better long range performance in comparison to the Hogster, but in my opinion, the Hogster image will be better. The XM38 is going to be very difficult to scan with with a 4.2x base mag and narrow field of view. Based on this, I would lean towards the Hogster.

There are 2 other scopes to mention in this price range. The Flir PTS233 is no longer being sold by Flir and the Pulsar RXQ30 is $1,900. Both the RXQ30 and the PTS233 are 150 yards and closer scopes that aren't great in high humidity. They are not 500 yard scopes. Actually, there are few 500 yard thermal scopes to start with but none in this price range.

A Different Option:
I personally am not a big fan of digital night vision in comparison to thermal unless 100% Positive ID is required. However, for your budget, you may want to go with a Hogster-R 25mm for scanning ($2145) and then go with a Sightmark Wraith ($500) for the gun. Even with buying a better IR light, you would have a great thermal for detection and can shoot with the NV and still be a little under budget. If you decide later to get a thermal scope, you can sell the Wraith and keep the Hogster as the scanner. I can't stress enough the importance of the thermal scanner. This is most likely a better solution than a thermal scope only. I still believe shooting entry level digital night vision at 500 yards is a stretch but 250-300 yards should be fine.


Thanks. That definitely is something to think about. The one farm we hunt is up against city limits, so having dogs in the field is a possibility. Positive identification would be crucial in that area.

Are you a bigger fan of the Sightmark Wrath versus the ATN X-Sight Pro? I know ATN had some issues when they brought the Pro on the market, but most of those issues seem to have ben resolved.

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#3228544 - 01/16/20 02:35 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
cmatera Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 2249
Loc: CO
I have a FLIR LS64, a D740, an ATN 4K Pro 3-14, and have had thermal. The ATN 4K Pro is pretty darn good for the $$. I shot two skunks last night at 25 yards. An upgraded IR illuminator is not an option, it's a must have. Other less expensive NV options are the Sionyx Aurora, and the Pard NV007 (clip on)and NV008 standalone.

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#3228558 - 01/16/20 03:38 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1411
Loc: North Dakota
Originally Posted By: Magnumatving
The one farm we hunt is up against city limits, so having dogs in the field is a possibility. Positive identification would be crucial in that area.

Are you a bigger fan of the Sightmark Wrath versus the ATN X-Sight Pro? I know ATN had some issues when they brought the Pro on the market, but most of those issues seem to have ben resolved.
I have never shot a domestic dog thinking it was a coyote with thermal but I have shot a fox thinking it was a coyote, so you do have to be careful. With thermal you are seeing a heat (IR Radiation) signature, so you really have to watch for subtle differences in size, movement, etc.

As far as ATN goes, I haven't used the 4K only the Xsight II. I had issues with my Xsight II. In addition, it is very hard to find night vision/thermal dealers who carry ATN. The reason most stopped carrying ATN is due to the high rate of return with their Night Vision and thermal equipment. ATN is still available through big box stores and some large online retailers.

When reputable dealers stopped carrying them, due to their high failure rate, is when I decided to move away from ATN. You will find some people have good luck with them. The people with the most success seem to turn off most of the extra features.

There is a chance with any company and any electronic device that there could be issues.

As far as differences in the Wraith and the 4K, the 4K records video and sound and the Wraith is just video, and the 4K has an internal battery and the Wraith does not. The 4K has a 3x and 5x native magnification option, while the Wraith is 4x. The Wraith is less expensive. These are the main differences.
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Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3228559 - 01/16/20 03:50 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: Kirsch]
Magnumatving Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/07/20
Posts: 3
Loc: Southern Ohio
Originally Posted By: Kirsch
I have never shot a domestic dog thinking it was a coyote with thermal but I have shot a fox thinking it was a coyote, so you do have to be careful. With thermal you are seeing a heat (IR Radiation) signature, so you really have to watch for subtle differences in size, movement, etc.

As far as ATN goes, I haven't used the 4K only the Xsight II. I had issues with my Xsight II. In addition, it is very hard to find night vision/thermal dealers who carry ATN. The reason most stopped carrying ATN is due to the high rate of return with their Night Vision and thermal equipment. ATN is still available through big box stores and some large online retailers.

When reputable dealers stopped carrying them, due to their high failure rate, is when I decided to move away from ATN. You will find some people have good luck with them. The people with the most success seem to turn off most of the extra features.

There is a chance with any company and any electronic device that there could be issues.

As far as differences in the Wraith and the 4K, the 4K records video and sound and the Wraith is just video, and the 4K has an internal battery and the Wraith does not. The 4K has a 3x and 5x native magnification option, while the Wraith is 4x. The Wraith is less expensive. These are the main differences.


Great information! The risk of shooting a dog is minimal. We deer hunt the daylights out of this property and have yet to see a dog in the fields. But it still is a possibility with houses nearby.

I may go with the Wraith and use the cost difference to buy an upgraded IR light. Any suggestions for a better IR light under $150?

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#3228560 - 01/16/20 03:56 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: Magnumatving]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1411
Loc: North Dakota
Originally Posted By: Magnumatving
I may go with the Wraith and use the cost difference to buy an upgraded IR light. Any suggestions for a better IR light under $150?
Not my area of expertise since I only use thermal for night hunting. If you do a search on Predator Masters, there are lots of threads on various IR lights. Hopefully, others will respond as well who have used lots of different options. Good Luck.
_________________________
Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3228573 - 01/16/20 05:28 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
why Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 699
Loc: md eastern shore
I have been using the Evola T20 IR from Amazon, about $65, with good success out to about 250 yds on fox. I can see farther but haven't shot beyond 250. This is on a Wraith.

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#3228575 - 01/16/20 05:33 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
cmatera Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 12/15/08
Posts: 2249
Loc: CO
The ATN 4K Pro is heads and shoulders above the old XSight II, even above the early 4K Pros which had firmware issues. All that has changed. I bought mine direct from ATN. In the past, I owned a Sightmark Photon XT 4.5. I considered a Wraith, but my Photon XT had terrible battery life (1.5-2 hours depending on IR usage)and I believe the Wraith to be about the same. After the 8 hour battery life of the Pulsar Trail XP 38, I simply could not go back. The ATN 4K Pro has an 18 hour battery life. Changing batteries in the dark is not my idea of a good time, although I think you can buy extra battery trays, keep them filled and swap them out.

In your price range for the IR illuminator, you'll probably be in Fleabay territory. If you can spend a little more this one looks good. I may get one myself (even though I have 3 already). The slider dimmer would be nice if it works properly. I have a High Tech Redneck Infinity illuminator with the dial dimmer, but as others have noted, it goes from zero illumination to 100% illumination in about 1/4 turn so it's not that useful.

https://www.predatorhunteroutdoors.com/i...ghtsnipe-ns750/


Edited by cmatera (01/16/20 05:34 PM)

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#3228640 - 01/16/20 09:51 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
why Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 699
Loc: md eastern shore
As for batteries on the Wraith I carry a set of 4 AA rechargeable and 1 18650 rechargeable for the IR and have no trouble changing them out in total darkness if need be. Most nites I don't need to change them out but I only hunt 3 or 4 hrs and the temps around 20-50 degrees. In colder climates they may not last as long.

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#3228698 - 01/17/20 09:31 AM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1411
Loc: North Dakota
For any thermal or NV product that I use as a scope, I never run batteries as I only use a battery pack. This way you don't have to worry about batteries.
_________________________
Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3228903 - 01/18/20 12:34 PM Re: Need advice on getting into thermal/night vision [Re: SouthTXBowhunter]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2496
Loc: south central Illinois
If you can find a new trail xq38 in stock that would be a great 3k ish route to go as well. Big fov, pip, big on board battery, and video.

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