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#3249285 - 07/31/20 05:58 AM Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
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.


Edited by Natron243 (07/31/20 07:02 AM)

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#3249286 - 07/31/20 07:31 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: south central Illinois
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.


Edited by varminter .223 (07/31/20 07:40 AM)

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#3249287 - 07/31/20 07:43 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
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?

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#3249288 - 07/31/20 07:47 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
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.

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#3249292 - 07/31/20 09:41 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
Kirsch Online
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 10/13/09
Posts: 1748
Loc: North Dakota
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.
_________________________
Korey Kirschenmann
Night Goggles - Pro Staff

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#3249306 - 07/31/20 12:01 PM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: south central Illinois
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.


Edited by varminter .223 (07/31/20 12:02 PM)

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#3249321 - 07/31/20 01:03 PM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
What a wealth of info and experience. Thank you, Varminter and Kirsch.

Kirsch....PM sent.

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#3249327 - 07/31/20 01:39 PM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: south central Illinois
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.


Edited by varminter .223 (07/31/20 01:55 PM)

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#3249329 - 07/31/20 01:48 PM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
Thank you for the input, Varminter. I think you just saved my some money 🤣👍

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#3249333 - 07/31/20 01:56 PM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: south central Illinois
Now that you figured your optics out you can start wading through the 47 different new AR-15 calibers available LOL.


Edited by varminter .223 (07/31/20 01:57 PM)

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#3249338 - 07/31/20 02:55 PM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
No kidding!

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#3249376 - 08/01/20 05:08 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: varminter .223]
P&Y Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/04/19
Posts: 325
Loc: ND
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!


Edited by P&Y (08/01/20 05:09 AM)

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#3249384 - 08/01/20 08:15 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: P&Y]
Natron243 Offline
New Member

Registered: 07/30/20
Posts: 12
Loc: IL
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

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#3249388 - 08/01/20 08:58 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: Natron243]
varminter .223 Online
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: south central Illinois
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.


Edited by varminter .223 (08/01/20 09:00 AM)

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#3249392 - 08/01/20 09:29 AM Re: Night hunts in southern Illinois, scanner help [Re: varminter .223]
Rookietjx2 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/14/18
Posts: 172
Loc: IN
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.

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