I didn't want to distract from a previous thread on using a Pulsar thermal monocular so I'm starting this thread.
I've always thought of thermal optics as night vision never thought about using a thermal monocular during daylight hours for hunting but it may be a good idea. Our 300 acre property has about 150 acres that was clear-cut and replanted with pine about 3 years ago and the pines are now 5-6 feet tall. I know the deer are in the clear-cut as I get glimpses of them from time to time and I also see them crossing roads. I've been relegated to hunting roads and power line easements as its impossible to see deer in the clear-cut now that the pines and brush have grown up. I'm thinking that a thermal will help me spot deer and hogs in the clear-cut and be ready for them when they step out into a road or easement.
Will a thermal monocular help me see deer or hogs in the clear-cut during daylight hours? I don't necessarily need to ID them just know that there is a deer/hog size animal would be great.
If so, what kind of range should I expect to be able to detect them?
Here's a picture of the property, for perspective, the power line poles are 103 yds away and the distance to the far end of the food plot is 175 yds. As you can see, I can see a long way in the clear-cut.
I looked up the detection range for the Pulsar Axion XM30S at its 1300 meters. I would be happy if it could detect deer/hogs in the clear-cut at half that range. Anyone think thats doable during daylight hours?
Yea it will. My place has a lot of low brush out west. There are times I can’t see deer even with binoculars Ayer finding them with the thermal. It’s absolutely a game changer even for day time hunting.
Will it help, yes. It is magic...no. It won't see through any significant brush and if you can't see the animal in binos you won't be able to see it in a thermal. Now you might overlook an animal with binos that you see in the thermal and be able to go back with binos and see it.
It's proven to be very handy looking for down/wounded deer and I like using it too and from the stand because I can see animals I wouldn't normally be able to see. Cool to see how amazingly close deer will let you get to them in the dark versus in the daylight. I rarely turn mine off once the sun comes up. I bought a scope and a good QD mount and mine doubles as a monocular and scope.
Good luck, the sky is the limit for what you can spend.
Originally Posted by Phil Robertson
Don't let your ears hear what your eyes didn't see, and don't let your mouth say what your heart doesn't feel
Yeah, of course you can use it in the day time. It does not see light.
Daylight use may be slightly degraded because so much more of your environment may be heated up by sunshine, but otherwise, sure, you can use thermal in the day time. It tends to work better at night because your surroundings are not being continually recharged with heat.
Judd mentioning being able to see animals you might miss with your binos. Thermal does not care about color camo. It just cares about heat. I find that it works really well in finding critters in the shadows.
It will certainly help. As Judd said, it's not magic, but it does help. I've had instances where I looked over a field of tall weeds with binoculars and observed nothing. I looked again with thermal and saw some hot spots. Back to binos, nothing! Picked up the thermal again and noted exactly where the hot spots were. Then, with the binoculars, I saw just the back (top) of a hog. There wasn't much showing and it blended in well with the dead/dying weeds but it couldn't hide from the thermal monocular.
You can never have too much ammo � unless you're swimming.
I bought my pulsar axion toward season end. So I used it about 8 times so this is my limited impression. Looking over a clear cut (planted pines 6’ tall and tall broom straw) where you think you can see the ground but not too sure, I found it amazing, especially in the first and last two hours of light. I could very quickly scan the area easily 200 yards away, and see if deer were there. I often saw deer I had a hard time finding with my binoculars. It changed the way I hunted. Instead of glassing slowly looking for movement, I just did a quick scan. Either there were deer there or not, in an instant. In timber, where the deer often disappears yet you know he’s there somewhere, I could instantly spot him. When seeing a deer on the edge of a road or field, I would look thru my monocular and realize there were four, not one. As the sun heats things up and it gets brighter, it becomes less effective from what I saw. But in those dim light conditions, it is a game changer. It helps limit my movement also as I don’t have to look around as much.
Plus I see every bird, squirrel, rabbit and critter around. In the dark, it’s equally effective, but my hunting is mostly deer, so I don’t use it at night except to see what’s around as I’m leaving my stand. I did walk around one dark night and I walked up on deer regularly. I’m anxious to see how it works finding roosted turkeys.
I spotted one deer walking past my stand at 80 yards. It was in the pines and weeds. He walked right by me for 100 yards. I put down the monocular and tried to see it but could not ever pick it up. I’d find it again thermally, but just never could see the deer. Absolutely, that’s the deer you never knew was there, yet it walked right by. Frustrating, but shows how effective the thermal is. It’s also fun to spot deer in fields at night. Who doesn’t like spotlighting deer ( yet it’s illegal where I live). But now I can see them clearly hundreds of yards away.
Big Dad, looking at your picture, I think I could in 10 seconds scan that with my thermal and tell you if deer were there, at night or in the first or last hours of hunting. Several hundred yards is a gimme. The clear cut I hunt is similar. I’ll try to post a photo. The Axion XM30S is the one I have and like. It’s really compact and works great. However, I’ve never used the bigger versions. My only gripe is the battery life. (And the price) It goes quickly. Replacement batteries are longtime backordered. I ordered two months ago. Sometimes I carry a battery pack to be sure I don’t run out, especially if I hunt all day without a way to plug it in. No way would it last a morning and evening hunt for me. It truly adds another dimension to hunting and I’m still a rookie using it. When it starts warming up, I find it becomes less effective. Of course when the light is bright, game is pretty easy to spot without it.
That far ridgeline is about 200 yards. Those pines don’t look that thick but my buddy walked across it and I could barely see him I’m places, and I’m up 30 feet. With my thermal, I could scan that entire area in just a few seconds. Saw lots of deer there, at the farthest range. So I would just scan it every few minutes and not even look otherwise. The deer would light up the thermal. Once I spotted them, I would switch to binoculars. The one deer I mentioned walked all the way across those pines 80 yards out and I never could see him.
This is a screenshot so not that great, but here are two deer seen from that same stand, at the top of the far ridge 200 yards away looking thru trees nearer me. And it was a good 30 minutes past shooting time, very dark. It was thick where they were. I couldn’t have seen them in daylight.