Trying to spot your target can be difficult. Animals are well blended with their surroundings, and may limit their movement if they know they’re being hunted. And although your scope might have great distance, it’s not going to differentiate the thermal radiation. Which is why thermal imaging cameras for hunting are excellent tools for serious hunters.
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And when most people hear the term thermal imaging, they typically think of cameras, or hand held devices. And sure, hand held devices can be impactful. Consider FLIR’s Scout, their hand-held thermal imaging monocle. It’s excellent for field work, whether you’re hunting, or just patrolling your property.
Or when you reflect on your days watching Mike Holmes from Holmes Homes. He was always using a thermal camera to detect poorly insulated areas within a home.
But in the world of hunting, your hands are already going to be full. So although hand-held devices can be useful, they’re not positioned in the best location. So when you can mount a device to your rifle, you’re going to have an extra advantage over your target. Less equipment to fumble over, and more time trying to place your target behind the cross-hairs.
But there’s also the price range to consider. Good hand held devices can be purchased for usually less than $1000, while good thermal scopes can easily exceed $2000. So there’s always a financial barrier involved. But no matter which style you’re trying to implement, you’ll find that you’re hunting game and meat yield will drastically increase just by using a thermal imaging scope.
Animals use camo to evade hunters. But the Armasight Predator Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope can bypass that camouflage by finding their thermal radiation. The Armasight Predator utilizes FLIR’s thermal imaging technology to build one of the most widely used scopes on the market.
Whether is for military tactical purposes, or hunting, Armasight’s scope comes with a crock-pot of unique features to ensure that you get your target. By offering a variety of color modes, the shooter can customize his imaging to their comfort level, so that they can get the best shot on their target.
And with the digital zoom, shooters can lock in on targets as far as 135 yards.
And with it’s video output, you can record your hunt with the simple interface, so that you can share and relive it with your friends and colleagues.
And most importantly, Armasight is backed by a 3 year warranty. So you can hunt in piece, knowing that it’s manufactured so well that the Armasight will stand behind their product in the event that the difficult outdoor environment causes irreversible damage to the thermal scope.
The Pulsar Trail Thermal Rifle scope can find every hunting opportunity that wouldn’t normally present itself. With a scope that offers dual screens, every user can maximize each shot by instantly comparing the close up to the foreground image.
This unit comes with 7 different color pallets. So no matter what the environment is, or the weather conditions, you’ll be able to get the contrast you need for a proper shot. And that contrast will arrive in your line of site at a 50 Hz frequency, keeping the target clean and clear.
This scope also comes with a rangefinder reticle. While searching for your next shot, you can keep an eye on the range and distance. The benefit of this is that you’ll learn to lead your shot, or if you have a straight shot.
And Pulsar knows that it can take some time getting familiar with this highly sophisticated device. So they preloaded it with some common settings, to help new users get their rifling started sooner, rather than latter. But of course, the sites are customizable, so no need to think you’re stuck with the display.
And not only is this high tech piece of equipment sophisticated, but it’s also highly durable. Designed from fiberglass and die-cast plastic, these housing units are too tough for common outdoor environments. And the OLED germanium lens can withstand temperatures as low as -25° C, so no need to fear the frost damage.
Overall, the Pulsar Trail Thermal Rifle scope is an excellent option, and can compete with the more popular thermal scopes on the market.
No need to deal with a foggy scope when the big screen Sig Sauer displays the thermal report on your screen. The biggest difference between this mountable thermal imaging camera, and the typical scopes is that it offers an LCD display. So instead of squinting through a thermal scope, you can get a nice, 4″ thermal display to show any one of your reticle options.
The Sig Sauer Echo 1 thermal imaging can read up to 30 Hz of thermal frequency. This may not be the best in the business, but it should be sufficient enough for most hunters.
But one impressive caveat that it does offer are the dual supercapacitators that can withstand excessive rifle retraction. So no matter which type of rifle you’re shooting, you can expect that there should be minimal scope readjusting after each shot.
And just like all the thermal scopes on the market, you can record your hunt with the video input and output. And not only can you record it, but you can broadcast it wirelessly to other mobile devices, so you can share the action.
Overall Sig Sauer makes an impressive and unique model that should fit the expectations for many hunters. But it’s low frequency might not make it suitable for hard-core hunters.
Sometimes we don’t need our thermal images to come from a rifle scope. So the Leupold LTO’s Thermal Tracker will present them through a hand-held tracker instead. And although thermal imaging units are more practical when mounted on a scope, the Leupold makes up for the deficit by coming in at a much lower price compared to the other thermal scopes.
But even though this unit can be acquired for a mere $600, it’s mighty on performance. The 1.5″ LCD screen displays a full range of 6 color palettes. And these palettes are measured with 30 Hz of frequency, which is a respectable amount of frequency to provide detailed thermal images.
The thermal sensor is 206×156, and has a field of range that maxes out at 600 yards. And not only does it offer excellent performance, but it can perform in as low as -4 degrees Fehrenheit, to as high as 140 degrees. And although it’s unlikely you’ll be operating at the ends of that temperature range, it’s nice to know that no matter what you take you Leupold thermal imaging scope, you don’t have to worry about its durability.
Built from aircraft aluminum, the Leupold thermal imaging scope is waterproof and can withstand the rugged conditions that it’s usually drug through. And just in case and can’t live up to the hype, Leupold backs it with a 5 year warranty.
Overall, although it can’t be mounted like a traditional rifle scope, it can be purchased at a very attractive price, and can still offer unquestioned benefits for big game hunting.
#5. FLIR’s R-Series Thermal Riflescope is Designed by on of the Most Respected Thermal Camera Makers in the World.
FlIR’s digital thermal rifle scope is created by the legend itself. And FLIR hasn’t earned legendary status without creating a revolutionary product.
And the R-Series offers some of the most captivating features that every hunting enthusiast would expect from a FLIR product.
It should go without saying that the quality of the lens is world-class. And whether you get a 13mm or a 60mm lens, you can operate with confidence knowing that you’re imaging is top of the line.
And not only are the internal components for the thermal imaging world-class, but the mechanics are engineered to withstand the aggressive retraction from firing the rifle. So there’s no need to re-align your scope.
The 4 button interface makes it easy to bounce from the various reticle settings. So when you only have a few seconds to spare, you can easily alter the view. And the video output makes it simple to record your hunt, so you can share it and relive it with friends and family.
Overall, although it has a heavy price tag, any Flir product is world-class. And every user knows that that Flir product will withstand the the rugged environment that he puts it through.
The verdict’s in. Arming your rifle with a thermal imaging scope can drastically reduce your wait time, and increase your meat yield. And although you might already have a scope, it’s not going to identify heat sources. Which will easily locate your next shot.
And although there are numerous options available on the market, these 5 are an excellent place to start any thermal imaging scope. So do your research, and hunt for the trophy bull.