Thermal Imaging Binoculars

Quinn Kloppers

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Sep 15, 2010
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Zimbabwe/South Africa
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Has anybody used Thermal Imaging Binoculars or Goggles for hunting? Day or night and what distance can they pick up heat signature, and can they work through really dense brush?
No thermal or Night Vision system works through heavy cover, it's just that simple.

Some are more resolvable than others and some are flat out better than others. Sci-Fi and action movies aside, you can't see through walls with thermal systems. The thermals you see on the civilian market were primarily designed for fire fighters, finding a fire in the woods or a building was why they were developed. the MRT or minimum resolvable temperature gradients is around 1-3 degrees C for these types of systems. The technology used is not the same as that used in military type and grade thermal sensors. The MRT in a miitary targeting system is clsoer to 1/25th of 1 degree C. This is the factor that allows you to see details of a target.

I've evaluated and tested several civilian thermal systems and they all have one major shortcoming. They are about ten years from being "worth" the price you would have to pay. Think about these systems in this way: You can buy a cheap Gen 1 night vision scope from Cabelas for $400. It sees at night with the aid of a IR illiuminator. You can also buy a Gen 4 Night Vision scope, the cost is closer to $10,000 and you can read a newspaper in a dark room with it. Both work but they are light years apart in technology. The thermals I've seen present an image and "see" at night. They are no where near the level of quality you need for a weapon system.

If you are interested in a thermal for night game viewing or counting you might be able to come up with something that suits your needs.
Thanks Macs..That helps alot..I was looking for some thing that my help pick up a sleeping buffalo in really long grass and thick Brush as spooking them when we are on our hands and knees is not fun anymore.
I use a 1st Gen Russian monocular for night varmint hunting. Any animal that is alive will look at you and you can light up their eyes with the IR illuminator. No need for expensive NV gear for finding animals at night.

Also, night vision gear makes you night blind in the eye that looks at the glowing green screen. I only use a monocular and only use my left eye. The right eye is saved for shooting and retains my night vision. If you have a half moon or more, and good eyes, something like my Hawke Nite-Eye SR6 50mm 3-12x50mm illuminated reticle scope is better than Russian 1st Gen rifle scopes.....and it cost me under $200.
i've been testing a thermal eye x50 unit for the last month. it works well through light brush out to about 200 yards. at that distance, animals/people just shot up as a thermal blip, you can't tell what it is. what my hog hunters have been doing is they use the thermaleye for locating game, then use nightvision for confirmation before they shoot.

i let several policemen i know demo the unit and it assisted in several arrest, one case a couple of guys ran off into a patch of woods, they laid down behind a bush in the dark, but because they had the thermal unit they had an easy time finding them
I have a quality thermal image monocular and I would like to mention a couple of factors you might not have thought and this is from experience.

Shortly after buying my T.I. monocular I was doing hippo PAC at night. The hippo were coming from the river, pushing through a fence and coming into a large mealie field. While scanning with the monocular I noticed how hard it was to judge distance and thought T.I. binoculars would improve my ability to JUDGE DISTANCE.

Second experience. I was doing elephant PAC on a cold rainy night. We knew the elephant were near, but the elephant were being very quiet (probably testing the air) we were staying frozen! On this pitch black night as only Africa black can be I decided to use the T.I. monocular. Aaagghh, one elephant was right in front of us. I quickly dropped the monocular and went to my .470s sights, they were no longer there!! The monocular which I used with my right eye had ZERO NIGHT VISION. Now I am smart enough that if I use the monocular at night I use my LEFT eye. If I had been using thermal image binoculars I would have been totally blind.

Fortunately some times "Dianna, goddess of the hunt" takes pity on fools, I am living proof!

Keep in mind I am talking about Thermal Image, not passive night vision devices, those I have had good luck with!
get a thermal camera on a drone and sent the pictures to your phone.
this adds another dimension to the sport.
Nothing against the monocular it is a FLIR SCOUT THE BIGGER ONE
I use an armasight thermal scope. With the deals they run they can actually be cheaper than a monocular. I used it last night to locate the neighbors coonhound barking treed in one of our fence rows. I was able to see him through a pretty decent screen of brush. Scanning the fields at night, deer show up very distinctly at 300 to 400 yards. That is the limit of my sight line. I don’t know how it would work beyond that.

Range estimation is difficult. We shoot pigs at night but it is not a long range proposition. 150 would be the absolute max range with 50 to 80 typical.

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KEMP AFRICAN SAFARIS wrote on intj's profile.
welcome to the forum.if you have any questions please feel free at any time .
Here is short video of blesbok hunt from yesterday

made it to camp yesterday afternoon! had a braai with some awesome T-bones ready to start hunting for sable today!
made it to camp , had a big Braai last night with some awesome T-bones! ready to start the day!