School me on night/thermal scopes

Varminting and vertebrate pest control. Small game, hunting feral goats, foxes, dogs, cats, rabbits etc.

School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Vicko » 18 Jun 2020, 10:37 am

What's the go these days. Thinking now that my traditional spotlighting method (foxes predominantly) could do with a rethink.
So I'm wondering what others are using, how they are using it and what sort of setup I should be looking at.
In terms of how you are using it, I mean - do you use a spotlight to help locate the target first? Or thermal binos? Do you still use a spotlight at all? Or drive to a spot, lights out, scan the area - move on to next spot? What sort of range are you using them at? Paired with what calibre?

The idea of thermal imaging sounds good in that it would certainly help locate the targets both before and after dropping them...
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Blr243 » 18 Jun 2020, 11:06 am

My spotlight sits in the shed gathering dust I would never use it to find game because the definition of white on black with thermal binos far surpasses the body body shape, movement or eye shine that u would conventionallly use for ID with a spotlight ....but primarily I would not use a light because it tells everything where I am from a long way off. Sometimes people start off with a thermal spotter and an nv scope on the rifle ....this requires useing a vehicle or footwork to get within range of a nv scopes usable range ....this combo is I feel dollar based Instead I spent 15000 on binos and rifle combined.( Both thermal ) Target acquisition under difficult conditions , or stress .or if the game is bolting is so much easier with thermal. I have never spent more than 1600 on a rifle. That’s just me. It’s sort of what’s important to me and we are all different. There is no way I regret spending on thermal. It’s completely transformed my hunting. I’m a touch tired after a big walk thru the scrub. Will add more later. There’s a stack of useful pre purchase info
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Peter988 » 18 Jun 2020, 4:34 pm

Mate and I do a lot of mitigation work on kangaroos. He has a thermal monocular ($3000) on the roof which blue tooth’s to a iPad on the dash. We find the animals on the iPad. He then uses thermal scope ($9000) to shoot. He can identify game out to 600-700 Metres but we don’t shoot much over 200.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by NTSOG » 18 Jun 2020, 5:07 pm

G'day,

I'm using a basic thermal monocular to spot animals and then shifting to IR night vision [ATN X Sight II and 4K] scopes] as they come closer. I flash a red torch around in some cases as my thermal does not always pick up foxes hiding behind thick reeds with just their heads sticking up a bit. I also bought a PARD NV008. It's on my BRNO Model 2 because the mounting bracket is poorly finished and had to be shimmed to get the reticle anywhere near centre. I and some others are not happy about that sight holding zero with its poorly finished mount. The 008 has a vcsel, i.e. laser-based illuminator, built in and it's very good. It's a great IR sight and very light - except for the mounting bracket. For my two centre fire rifles I have a vcsel illuminator [Black Sun Dark Engine] from the UK which gives a tight and very bright IR light on one. My other IR light is an LED Sniper Hog LRX66 which gives very good light with a wider beam, though not quite as bright as the Black Sun Dark Engine [BSDE]. I bought both lights from the UK: the Sniper Hog cost me $A300 for basic light with one IR pill - the local importer will only sell you the whole light kit for $530 but I didn't need the whole kit. The BSDE cost me about $A200 posted from the UK. I'm shooting at closer ranges than many more skilled shooters - about 100-120 yards maximum so the lights and scopes I have are more than enough for me.

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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 18 Jun 2020, 5:32 pm

Hey mate. Like BLR, my torches gather dust these day.. I run a Pulsar Trail XP50LRF with a Helion XP28 spotter. All my mates are using thermal now, so I’ve used the Thermions, Accolades and Night-techs. See the pic below.
There’s so much info to divulge and my fingers hate typing this much. Why don’t you message me your mobile and I’d be happy to have a chat. Have spent many, many hours behind thermals these days and happy to share info. As we speak, I’m about to go and try out the new Pard SA35 and 50 tonight...
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Blr243 » 18 Jun 2020, 6:06 pm

Ferris I have only spotted with my xp 50 accolades ... how do they compare game finding with other gadgets you have tried? Good luck tonight
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 18 Jun 2020, 7:12 pm

The xp50 accolade is top shelf mate. I haven’t looked through better but there are others out there worth twice as much..... For what we do, the Accolade is the bees knees sir.
I started with the Helion xp28 because of the wider FOV. Bouncing around in the back of the ute, the wider FOV was handy, but I’ve found now that once we see anything suspicious “thermal”, we stop and check it out first and then decide on a plan of attack so to speak, mostly depending on the wind...
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by JimTom » 18 Jun 2020, 7:37 pm

YouTube is your friend mate. That’s is where I started my information gathering, and then had a few lengthy conversations with Ferrisweil. He knows his sh1t. Thoroughly recommend it.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 18 Jun 2020, 11:36 pm

Thanks JimTom for the compliment mate.
Thought I’d put up some pics for you guys of the new Pard Thermal that’s I’m about to put through it’s paces. The one in pic the SA35. The larger scope is a Pulsar Trail XP50LRF. Look at the bloody size diff! Has changed the balance of the rifle in a positive way! I have to say, initial thoughts are that I like the Pard. It’s not as sharp as the Trail but it’s less than half the price and i tell ya what, the little Pard punches above its weight. Field testing to come in the next few weeks so watch this space... Mainly keen to test image at diff distances, accuracy and ease of use in the field.
It’s got this feature I’ve never seen on a thermal before callEd “heat tracker”. Hard to explain but basically you get a second reticle on screen that tracks the hottest contact on screen. Line the two reticles up and pull the trigger. Pretty cool but skeptical until I use it...
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Vicko » 19 Jun 2020, 3:40 pm

Hey this stuff is gold. Thanks guys. Keep em coming. Seems to be a few folks saying some good things about the pard for the price..

And Ferris: if I may also ask - what calibre are you running on the MDT stocked Lithgow? Was reading some thoughts about people not running centrefires with the night vision scopes but that seems a bit suspect... I guess I could put it on my 17hmr, but I'd rather something with more punch. I'm contemplating dropping it on a lightweight 30-06 I have coming and running as light a load as I can on foxes. And could then switch up loads if I decide to chase bigger targets..
I will pm you with my mobile too Ferris - appreciate the offer.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Blr243 » 19 Jun 2020, 3:58 pm

Don’t know about the pard but on the pulsar there are different sighting profiles and settings so u don’t have to zero every time you put the scope on a different rifle and same goes with different profile settings for different loads it’s all kept in the memory of the scope. I tend not to use this feature but it’s there if u want to switch around. Not sure if I’m explaining this properly.....I’m in lazy holiday mode soaking up the winter sun
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Die Judicii » 19 Jun 2020, 5:17 pm

I've used mine on the .375 H&H, and it performs faultlessly night after night on the .308 s
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by brinny » 19 Jun 2020, 6:04 pm

Your question is a fairly open one and what you get depends largely on your budget....
Thermal is expensive....bloody expensive....there is no getting away from that fact....
I have been using thermal now for quite a few years and run two monoculars and one scope at the moment, but setting up another rifle as we speak and will set that up with another thermal....
Scope im running these days is a GSCI S675 and retails these days at around 13.5K.....and i target mainly foxes....3-400 a year
I ran Pulsars for a couple of years and went right away from them as they had POI issues......
There are others out there like the Pard, Night Tech, ATN etc that seems to be getting a good share of the market....
The two monoculars are Pulsar and are quite good....an XQ50 Quantum and an XQ50 Helion....Running a monocular and a scope together is like peas and carrots.....they compliment each other well....
If you can afford them they are the way of the future.....
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Vicko » 20 Jun 2020, 2:55 pm

Hey Brinny - it is fairly open yes, as I'm still getting my head around what 'will do the job' in terms of budget...
I'm starting to see that I'd need deep pockets for top quality thermal stuff!
But wondering if I matched something like a Pard008 with a thermal monocular of around the $2k-ish mark?
Be nice to get out there and try something new with the old man while he still can.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 20 Jun 2020, 3:05 pm

If I was just getting into thermal/NV again and was watching the coins, there’s two ways I’d go:

A) save coins and get a really nice monocle like a Helion XP and use it for scanning etc. I’d use one of my standard rifles with a decent torch like an Olight. (This is what I did)

B) NV has come a long way in the last 5 years. I’d get a maybe Pard NV008 and run an Axion as a spotter BUT if you can stretch it, get yourself the Helion as it’s a huge step in quality from the Axion and you’ll save yourself a purchase down the track
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Die Judicii » 20 Jun 2020, 5:53 pm

Do your homework VERY well to know for sure what you need,,
Then go all out and get the best.
Buy once,,,,,,,,, cry once
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by brinny » 20 Jun 2020, 8:56 pm

Vicko wrote:Hey Brinny - it is fairly open yes, as I'm still getting my head around what 'will do the job' in terms of budget...
I'm starting to see that I'd need deep pockets for top quality thermal stuff!
But wondering if I matched something like a Pard008 with a thermal monocular of around the $2k-ish mark?
Be nice to get out there and try something new with the old man while he still can.


Mate....Im down Bacchus Marsh way in Vic....I see your in Vic as well.....If you are close enough you are more than welcome to come and check out my gear and have a look and see for yourself what thermal is like in the flesh....
Nothing like try before you buy.....
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Vicko » 21 Jun 2020, 8:52 am

Brinny I’d love to take you up on that offer. That’s only 45mins from me. Will drop you a msg.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by TassieTiger » 22 Jun 2020, 3:52 am

Watching thread with interest...again.
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Howa 300 win mag.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by JimTom » 22 Jun 2020, 7:36 am

Ferrisweil wrote:If I was just getting into thermal/NV again and was watching the coins, there’s two ways I’d go:

A) save coins and get a really nice monocle like a Helion XP and use it for scanning etc. I’d use one of my standard rifles with a decent torch like an Olight. (This is what I did)

B) NV has come a long way in the last 5 years. I’d get a maybe Pard NV008 and run an Axion as a spotter BUT if you can stretch it, get yourself the Helion as it’s a huge step in quality from the Axion and you’ll save yourself a purchase down the track



Mate I agree with this. Although I am new to this also, if I had my time again I would buy a good thermal monocle and a decent NV scope.
This would definitely save some coin.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Blr243 » 22 Jun 2020, 8:28 am

Months ago Ferris mentioned something about mist / fog at certain times of year reducing the effectiveness of thermal equipment... I have hunted every month all times of year and never encountered this problem , up until the other day. I tried a morning hunt 730 till 11 am Both my binos and scope were useless and no amount of adjustment could get me to see clear enough to hunt with ....but later in the day or at night time it all cleared up. Twice this happened on morning hunts. I don’t usually hunt daytime but I tried this trip because nothing else was working. I just hope it never happens to me at night ....at this stage I’m putting it down to all the night dew on the vegetation gradually rising up as the sun rises. I could not actually see the fog with my eyes but it was giving my equipment a hard time. And I don’t mean condensation getting inside, just trouble seeing thu the fog
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by scoot » 22 Jun 2020, 10:57 am

Would it be plausible to buy a good thermal scope and attach via qd mounts so it can be used as a monacle too, or is their a difference, ie field of view. Obviously the hassles of remounting, possible poi change comes into it but for the odd shot here or there would it be a cheap way to have the best of both worlds?????
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Blr243 » 22 Jun 2020, 11:49 am

Pulsar comes with a rail that clips over a pic rail. The pulsar rail has Qd levers so u can quickly undo it Your suggestion would work initially as long as u have time to re fit it to your rifle ....it would suffice but is not ideal. It would work for 6 months and that would give you time to save up so u can afford a thermal scanner .....and then u are sorted. It’s great to have both cranking at the same time ....if we could all just win lotto ... I was thinking the other night as I was poking along in the dark on my quadbike ....if I won lotto I could have a series of rack mounted thermal scanners pointing in all directions to give me constant 360 degree monitoring. All viewed on iPads on my dash.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Vicko » 22 Jun 2020, 1:53 pm

Anyone had their hands on the Pulsar Digex? (Pulsar's NV version of the Thermion from what I can tell)
I like the 30mm tube shape as it'd let me run another/better torch on the top nice and easy I guess if I needed to throw some red light or additional IR around...
Doesnt seem a LOT more then the PardNV008 in the grand scheme of things and looks pretty decent in terms of features etc...
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 22 Jun 2020, 3:25 pm

scoot wrote:Would it be plausible to buy a good thermal scope and attach via qd mounts so it can be used as a monacle too, or is their a difference, ie field of view. Obviously the hassles of remounting, possible poi change comes into it but for the odd shot here or there would it be a cheap way to have the best of both worlds?????


I know quite a few that have tried that and it prolly comes down to what you shoot. I’m a bit old school and I’m not a fan taking scopes on/off. Bit of a case of “CBA” really.
The irony is that, if you’re into what I do, most of my shots are under 100m and on moving game, so I don’t need bees dick accuracy. I could, in theory, take the scope on/off etc and use as a spotter and a scope but the whole point of using thermal is to be in the dark, and operate nice and quiet. You start f&$king around in the dark with rails and QD mounts when you wanna put the scope on and you’ll be more frustrated than a beggar in brothel...
I reckon those guys who shoot foxes out to 200+ would be even more pedantic on the POI and swapping scopes.
You could do it but prolly a bit impractical depending on what your doing..
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by brinny » 23 Jun 2020, 2:01 pm

Blr243 wrote:Months ago Ferris mentioned something about mist / fog at certain times of year reducing the effectiveness of thermal equipment... I have hunted every month all times of year and never encountered this problem , up until the other day. I tried a morning hunt 730 till 11 am Both my binos and scope were useless and no amount of adjustment could get me to see clear enough to hunt with ....but later in the day or at night time it all cleared up. Twice this happened on morning hunts. I don’t usually hunt daytime but I tried this trip because nothing else was working. I just hope it never happens to me at night ....at this stage I’m putting it down to all the night dew on the vegetation gradually rising up as the sun rises. I could not actually see the fog with my eyes but it was giving my equipment a hard time. And I don’t mean condensation getting inside, just trouble seeing thu the fog


I went and done a job down Warnambool way last night....
Farmer was losing stud lambs to light shy foxes ....and asked me if i would go down there as soon as possible to help him out with my thermal gear....
Well it rained most of the night with very few windows of oppertunity to actually get out....and when i did....it was heavy misty drizzly s**t....and trying to use the thermal gear in that was next to useless.....
It was like trying to look through a milk bottle.....both scope and monocular....
I ended up with 3 confirmed and one hit....(turned just as i fired)....and because the night was so bad and visibility was next to nothing, i couldnt even follow the one i hit up to track it down.....
Thermal are great in the right condoitions...but in the rain/mist/fog etc....may as well stay at home.....
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Blr243 » 23 Jun 2020, 2:40 pm

Thanks briny. Glad u mentioned u have the same. For a moment I thought my gear was playing up and that could be expensive....but it’s good to know it was just the moisture in the air
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 23 Jun 2020, 4:44 pm

If you’re in a valley, you can watch the fog roll in with the thermal. It’s like a blanket of invisibility comin to get ya lol
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Die Judicii » 23 Jun 2020, 10:51 pm

scoot wrote:Would it be plausible to buy a good thermal scope and attach via qd mounts so it can be used as a monacle too, or is their a difference, ie field of view. Obviously the hassles of remounting, possible poi change comes into it but for the odd shot here or there would it be a cheap way to have the best of both worlds?????


Pulsar have already solved this issue with their "CORE FXQ 50" unit.
It is what I have and it works extremely well.

It is a "clip on" thermal,,
that simply clamps (QD) onto the front objective bell housing of your normal scope.

They come with a set of rubber inserts to adapt to different diameter bell housings,,,, but to make life simple I fitted ALL the same scopes to any of my rifles that I use at night.
So, the thermal can be changed from one rifle to the next in a matter of seconds.
Because you are using your normal scope,,,,,,,, as long as each individual one is zeroed,, when you change the thermal unit from one rifle to the other there is no point of impact change.
This unit also has a separate eyepiece that can be attached in seconds enabling the thermal to then be used as a monocular.
It will pick up a human or deer size at 1.6 klms

So, you can have the best of both worlds by buying just one unit,,,, and use it on different rifles with no poi change.
I have used mine on .17 HMR up to and including .375 H+H Magnum.
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Re: School me on night/thermal scopes

Post by Ferrisweil » 23 Jun 2020, 10:57 pm

What scopes have you got the clip on for Die? Is it like the NV clip ons where parallax is better. Would it work well enough on a 2-12x50 Swaro?
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