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Night vision binos or monocular recommendations?

Bwhana

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
1,410
Location
Hickory, NC
What make/model are you using? Looking for general use while walking in and checking fields at night where spot lighting is not legal.
 

KYHunter

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Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
531
I don’t have them yet but saving up for some Gen 3+ PVS-14s. Have messed around with them a good bit with a shooting buddy of mine and they are awesome. And IR Illuminator defintly helps
 

sureshotscott

Moderator
Staff member
SH Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
1,187
Location
SE MI
I've dabbled in some lesser-priced thermals, not gen 3 nods. Own a Flir TK scout. Poor resolution so not good for positive ID on anything past 40-60 yards. Also own a Sionyx Aurora Sport. Played with it a little this season but never picked up an ir illuminator so have not explored its full potential. Did post a crappy youtube video earlier this season.

Gen 3 nods would be nice but I've always wondered how an ir illuminator would effect deer, not sure if those wavelengths are in their visual spectrum.
 

Bwhana

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
1,410
Location
Hickory, NC
What’s your budget?
For this use, under $500. I know gen 3 or higher is better, but also costs more than that. Not looking for perfect, just the ability to walk in without a light and also scan open fields or plots.
 

Tuhlmann

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
90
Location
Waukesha County
Well, like many things you get what you pay for with NV. The only experience I have with the cheap stuff is this:


I used my Cabela's points on one about 10 years ago. It's a consumer-level Gen 1 monocular that requires a bunch of indirect ambient or constant IR supplemental light to be very effective. Not bad for suburban areas and just dinking around stargazing and being weird. Definitely better than nothing, but not even in the same zip code as Gen 2 and especially Gen 3 devices. I don't think you will be able to find anything in your price range that you could safely navigate in while using, but for static observation you may.

For scanning open fields & plots you might be better served with a thermal monocular. You can find a capable FLIR device for around your budget. While also not suitable for navigating safely, thermal definitely shines when it comes to detection. NV is more suited to identfication/classification, and nav. Just something to consider. I use both in a tandem setup, but both serve very different purposes.

WARNING: You are dipping your toe into a dark, dark pool of super-nerdy rabbit hole technology & financial hardship. The finest & most expensive flashlights are waaaaaaayyyy much, much cheaper! If you continue on, soon enough you'll find yourself giggling at how you once thought you could ever live without it, at any cost. I told you so....
 

NATHAN

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
462
Location
Very Southern Illinois
The LTO Tracker 2 HD is good. I don’t think it is worth what I had to pay. But that’s not the first time I’ve been separated from my money. I can see deer easily at 100yd in open field. A little tougher at 200. I’ll chime in again after use on a hunt.
 

NATHAN

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
462
Location
Very Southern Illinois
Still havent been on a hunt, but I took the LTO with me late at night to pull an sd card. It was pretty cool being able to confirm that nothing was around and just march right up to the camera.
 

Bwhana

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SH Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
1,410
Location
Hickory, NC
I had a really cool experience back in 1991. A club member was the quarter master for a Nat. Guard post and was able to bring full blown military NV goggles for us to play with one weekend (surely against all rules). We were driving all over Fairfield Co, SC, with a lights out convoy of trucks and saw more deer out on fields and clear cuts, especially big bucks, than we ever could before. We also used them to walk in the woods those nights and put our climbers on trees so we didn't have to carry them in the next morning. It was amazing to see how many deer just stood within 40 yds of us and let us walk by without spooking. They thought we couldn't see them. Never had my hands on anything that nice since, but sure made for a fun weekend.
 

Tuhlmann

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
90
Location
Waukesha County
If you enjoyed that, just imagine how that tech has improved in the past 18 years. You didn’t even have a “mobile device” 18 years ago!
 
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