Coyote night Equitment

killahog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
203
Location
Ohio
I have the Bering optics Hogster 35 I have only had it three weeks but it is working fine. I. am amazed at how well it picks up a thermal image. I can tell a raccoon from a opossum at about 200 yards and id deer around, well **** a long way. I never knew how many mice and flying squirrel's were in the open woods.
 

Pinski

Active Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
36
Pretty much everyone here Is running Pulsars. Toss up between the trail two and thermions just depends where and how you are hunting. I just upgraded from the XP-50 to the new XG -50 Thermion and it is very impressive!! Furthest coyote so far is 375yds. No comparison as far as I’m concerned, thermal is only way to go and don’t waste your time with ATN. We all pretty much started with ATN and all converted to pulsar. Never have issues with the Pulsars.
 

Hootiewho

Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
23
Location
SC
Besides some side gigs doing deer depredation over crops at night, I have been chasing coyotes since around ‘05. Mostly at night. I‘ve settled on the following:

My go to stick is a AI AXMC with a 26” 6mm CM Bartlein chambered by Tooley. I run a TBAC Ultra 9 6.5mm suppressor.
I have a Hensoldt 3.5-26x56 ZF with H-59 reticle, and run a KAC UNS LR A2 with a filmless high FOM white phospher tube.
Atilla 200 for my IR illuminator
Wilcox RAPTAR S ES up top.

I also have a KAC SR25 65CM with the same scope, same illuminator, but I run a L3 CNVD LR WP with it.

I use a head mounted SkeetIR X to spot with.

I hunt a ton of agricultural land as well as cattle pastures and feedlots. Over the years I noticed at night coyotes here would usually approach to about 250-300 yards then begin their circle downwind to catch my scent. Since I began to use distance to my advantage, the number of coyotes I kill has gone through the roof. With the rifle and thermal scanner mentioned above I have no issues spotting, identifying, and hitting coyotes at night well past the range they normally begin to try and wind me at. I killed 108 of them in 2020. I would say my average shot distance at night was around 450-500 yards. Very few were shot under 150 yards.

I also do not run a call about 1/2 the time. I do a good bit of scouting prior to hunting a given property. Around here, things like earth dams on the lower side of a farm pond are a coyote magnet. I find a high spot I can use to overwatch from and usually within about an hour after dark at least 2-3 coyotes will come out and go sniff around an earth dam. I cannot tell you how many I’ve killed just after the sun dropped on farm pond dams.

I like the clip on NVG for shooting because I get much better PID of the target. I have a good idea from the SKEETIR alone, but love the confirmation the NVG gives. It also gives me the ability to pick up any vehicle or structure lighting within my backstop area. I’ve seen several times the thermal showed nothing downrange as far as a structure, but when viewed through the NVG I caught a faint light though the trees. The downside is fog is rough on NVG as well as intermediate objects like shooting through a stand of trees along a creek run from one field to the next. This is really only an issue when using the IR illuminator.

Just blasting pigs at close range, thermal is the way to go. Taking shots at individual coyotes at 300-800 yards at night....clip on nvg all day.
 

Hootiewho

Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
23
Location
SC
I have been using this when hunting in spots with limited shot distance. If I run the Mk23, I’ll usually stick the PVS-31a on my head and use the thermal in my hand to scan. A better option for close in would probably be an ECOTI on the 31a’s.

9A22A61D-A5FF-46BE-A39D-3468146D271E.jpeg
 

Copper91

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
5
Location
SD
pulsar makes some great entry level thermal scopes. The new “Iray” thermal looks like it is going to be really good as well,,, it has HD.
 

jbenevides89

Active Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
42
Location
Columbia SC
I don't have any experience with them. ATN has a reputation for poor quality and bad CS. Having said that I am tempted to try one but haven't dared.

Short answer for a reliable entry scope I'd look at a Bearing Optics Hogster and put it on a Bobro qd mount so you can take it on and off your rifle somewhat easily with claimed return to zero repeatability. What your going to find is a rifle scope alone doesn't cut it. Your going to want a hand held scanner also. Scanning with a weapon mounted optic is not good on several levels. Your going to also want a tripod for your rifle (more like need of you don't have a scanner) welcome to the rabbit hole! I had a nightstalker from nightgoggles and wouldn't recommend one. I now have a nightstalker pro model and have been happy with it.

I strongly suggest staying as far away from Pulsar as possible. They don't hold zero and are garbage as far as I'm concerned. Good luck!
I have a Pulsar Thermion and have had zero issues with it holding up on my 308. Has ran reliably for me since day one with heavy use.
 

WMDM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
172
I have a Pulsar Thermion and have had zero issues with it holding up on my 308. Has ran reliably for me since day one with heavy use.

Glad it's working for you, keep your fingers crossed. The 4 Pulsar scopes I owned (Trail, Trail 2 and Thermion) did not hold zero. Some searching should reveal their history of issues. The major weaknesses surface during cold weather and precision (coyote) shooting. Many are lucky enough not to have to deal with the kind of cold I'm talking about. Nothing but frustration for my friends and I. I'd personally never recommend them to anyone!
 

jbenevides89

Active Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
42
Location
Columbia SC
Glad it's working for you, keep your fingers crossed. The 4 Pulsar scopes I owned (Trail, Trail 2 and Thermion) did not hold zero. Some searching should reveal their history of issues. The major weaknesses surface during cold weather and precision (coyote) shooting. Many are lucky enough not to have to deal with the kind of cold I'm talking about. Nothing but frustration for my friends and I. I'd personally never recommend them to anyone!
I run 2 thermions pretty regularly. An XM50 and an XP50. Some nights get down in the 20s here but thats about as cold as it gets. I use a set of Accolades for spotting and the only time I have ever had an issue is if the lenses get too cold it distorts the picture. Keeping the cap closed or the binos inside the coat takes care of that though. I even have my xm50 on a quick release ADM mount and its always held and returned to zero. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Im not saying there aren't bad ones out there, but there are good ones too. The XP50 had a battery issue early on and pulsar took care of it no issues
 

WMDM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
172
I run 2 thermions pretty regularly. An XM50 and an XP50. Some nights get down in the 20s here but thats about as cold as it gets. I use a set of Accolades for spotting and the only time I have ever had an issue is if the lenses get too cold it distorts the picture. Keeping the cap closed or the binos inside the coat takes care of that though. I even have my xm50 on a quick release ADM mount and its always held and returned to zero. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Im not saying there aren't bad ones out there, but there are good ones too. The XP50 had a battery issue early on and pulsar took care of it no issues

The problems we saw started at about your coldest temperatures. Going from temperatures above that to colder environments the poi will begin to move, typically low and right. The Trails moved as much as a couple feet at 100 yds. The Thermion, my last unit moved 1-2" from a warm environment (pickup) to cold in a half hour. The colder the unit got, the more it moved. As it warmed, the poi would start walking back.

Pulsar replaced each scope with another defective unit. My last one, Trail 2 XP50 I sold nib with full disclosure of my issues with the previous scopes. The new owner said it moves just like the others.

Maybe you got a gem but it could be it just doesn't get as cold in your neck of the woods. Be interesting to pop that XM in the ADM off, set it in the freezer for a half hour and check it. My $ says the poi will move. Mute point if your only ever dealing with 20 degree temperatures though. Our night season starts late Nov, we can be getting into those temperatures before season even starts.
 

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