Re: NIGHT VISION EQUIPMENT
Sorry about the late post here, didn't see this topic until just now.
Because of my work through predator control, I have done an extensive amount of night hunting of coyotes, most of it for predator control purposes.
I have yet to find any night vision equipment that has come close to meeting my needs for hunting coyotes at night.
Hunting at night can be very productive with a spotlight, but that requires the use of a partner. Almost all my work is done alone, and I can't get a good partner to run the light or do the shooting when I need one for night work. Hence me reason for exploring night vision equipment.
Comparing the two, my best night ever with night vision equipment yielded a whopping 3 dead coyotes and enough coyotes missed or unable to shoot at for whatever reason (due to inadequacies in the equipment) that it's embarassing.
With a partner and a spotlight, I've exceeded 10 coyotes in a night several times.
My experience with night vision equipment involves the Aries ATN Z4 III, the Aries MK-7900 Crusader and the Osprey International Gen. II scope.
My first qualm with all of the scopes was the lack of resolution quality. Like has been said, only under good conditions could I get good quality image pictures out to 200 yards. This proved to be a real problem when you get a jackrabbit walking through sage and you can't tell if it's a coyote or a rabbit because the image quality leaves so much to be desired.
Secondly, you have to use night vision goggles while calling to see the coyote approaching, and then switching to the scope you can't find the coyote because the clarity is too poor to pick out any defining features in the landscape where the coyote was when you switched from the goggles.
The scopes all needed to be babied to make them work correctly. Dust would cause problems in the their function. To make them work adequately you had to be paranoid about dirt, water and all the other things that you shouldn't have to worry about regarding your scope while hunting.
The crosshairs would wander really bad simply from casing the gun in your truck, driving a few miles down a dirt road and getting the gun back out. The vibrations from the washboardy road, which would be no problem to a quality riflescope really affected the night vision scopes I used.
Also, if I were to be working at night during the winter, attempting to use night vision equipment was futile because the battery would die fast in temperatures that you would hardly deem as cold (20-40 degrees Fahrenheit). Even with a fresh battery, as soon as the scope got cold, image quality suffered. The transition from cold night air, to warm truck and back, was detrimental to all the scopes I used.
I tried hard to find night vision equipment that would allow me one more facet to efficiently get my job done, but all the equipment I used was very inadequate.
I'm leery of going back, but will admit the equipment you're talking about is intriguing. Would you mind going into detail a little more as far as practical use and application of these night vision scopes?
Do they have high quality images out to 500 or beyond? What about on completely moonless nights? When you say the image quality is good, just how good are you talking? In comparison, are they better than the scopes I used by very much, or just one step better?
How much abuse can they take? If I were to use one just like a standard rifle scope, would they take the treatment or are they "fragile" like the other ones I've used?
Battery life looks impressive. How about at 25 degrees?
Thank you for your time.