Night Vision and Thermal Hunting – Quick Impressions

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Hunting hogs with night vision and thermal imaging gives you a great advantage over the super invasive and smart prey.


PVS14 setup

I’ve been able to use a PVS14 night vision monocular setup for a while and recently was able to give the brand new Sig Sauer Echo1 thermal scope a run on a night hunt.  I’ll have a more detailed review on the thermal in the future, but in the meantime here are a few impressions:

  • Thermal does not replace night vision equipment.  With night vision I’m able to walk, stalk, run, or drive an vehicle.
  • You have a greater field of view with night vision.
  • You miss lots of animals with night vision.  I can spot animals in a field 400+ yards away with NVG, but only if there is a good contrast in the center of the field, or looking at me eyes reflecting in my illuminator.  Thermal shows everything up to and against the tree line.
  • With the SIG Echo we could ID deer from hogs from cows up to 400 yards away.
  • Thermal is FAST for scanning fields.  Even a rabbit at 200 yards shows instantly.
  • You lose depth perception a little with NVG, lots with thermal.

For those contemplating either purchasing night vision OR thermal you’ll just need to consider the main use.  If you are primarily hunting from a fixed position or in wide open fields – thermal optics are for you.  It rules the night in acquiring and identifying warm game.

Thermal 3

Hogs around 100 yards with the Echo

However if you wish to be moving under complete darkness and keep situational awareness you want to go the night vision route.  If budget allows it, thermal optics make a great addition to a head mounted nigh vision setup.

Here is one boar brought down by a .300BLK from 70 yards with the Sig Echo:

Thermal 1

Boar dropped with 300BLK & Thermal Optic

The thermal setup was VERY accurate.  Here is a two shot group on a RSR target from 100 yards at night (after we heated the steel up on the BBQ pit).

Thermal 5

Shot group from 100 yards with thermal optic.

A few screenshots of the thermal imaging.  Forgive the screenshot quality, the prototype optic did not come with the USB wire for downloads, but you can still ID everything just fine.
Thermal 4

Thermal 2

Deer @ 200 and 300 yards


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