Night Hunting Crossbow Scope Options and Recommendations

Full Curl

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2012
I know this forum is primarily for firearms, but I know how much I have learned from members on here in the past on other subjects so I thought I’d post this.

I’m going hog hunting next year and would like to try hunting at night with my xbow (yes, it’s legal) and am starting to research my options for scopes. I understand I can either go with a night vision or thermal scope. I’ve never used either but have been researching both. I’ll be hunting over a feeder in a box blind. Shots will be 20 to 30 yards, 40 max. Since my shots will be close range and I want to see as much detail as I can, I’m thinking a night vision scope would be my best option. I’m not going to be field scanning or doing anything at distance where I think a thermal scope would be best. I might look into a thermal monocular for detection to use while in the blind so I don’t have to keep shouldering my xbow, but as far as what I would use to make the shot, I think a night vision scope would be best. Am I thinking correctly here?

I would like my best complete darkness night vision scope that can be mounted on my xbow. I know most of them have all sorts of “smart scope” features but I really don’t care about most of that stuff. I would like a model with a crossbow reticle. Something that is straight forward and easy to learn how to use and gives me the best quality picture in the dark. I don’t necessarily have to be able to use the scope during the day as I’ll have a completely different xbow for day hunting, but if that’s an option I would consider it. I have read all about generation 1, 2, and 3 and analog vs. digital but I would like to get the opinion from folks who have used these before as far as recommendations.

I also understand that an Infrared illuminator can be used with a night vision scope to increase its effectiveness. I’ve never seen one of these before…. can a human or animal eye see “infrared light” or is it completely dark like nothing is there?

I have no experience with any of this night vision technology and would like to hear what others with much more experience would recommend given my needs. Any advice or feedback would be much appreciated. As far as budget, I’ll consider all options. Thank you.