Before I take the plunge, what’s your opinion on this optic
I’m not hard core pig hunt 24/7 guy
Ill go when I can and when kid sports allow type guy
I never felt the need to spend big $$$ on a thermal when my time is so limited
I have also hunted with it, not as much as Pig_Popper. As an entry level scope, this appears to be a good value in terms of capabilities. It is also compact and fairly lightweight. It is a nicely functional thermal for typical hunting distances. If you don't use it as a weapon sight, it can be a handy dandy spotting scope. It is small enough to go into most coat pockets. So, say, if you are a deer hunter who hunts the woods of east Texas and shoot a deer that you have trouble finding, this is small enough to have along with you to help find the deer. In other words, you can find hunting-related activities to use this little scope beyond use as a weapon sight.
Being lower end, you may have to take a little extra time to be sure of some of your targets. If you haven't had thermal before, regardless of the quality, you will need some time to learn how to make identifications of animals based on 2-D silhouettes that are often from odd angles. That is part of the learning process anyway. You will learn that some animals can be confused for one another and learn to watch for in order to make your identifications. For example, a deer in 1 foot deep grass that has its head down below the grass can look a LOT like a hog with its head down. You wait for the animal to raise its head. Long neck = Deer. Head raised well above the body = deer.
Coyotes and deer can sometimes look a lot alike, but they move different.
Hogs and calves can look alike, particularly at distance....you get the idea.
I like many of the features of the scope and its capability. What I did not like is that zooming in is a little cumbersome because of going through the menu system. All thermal scopes have a tiny bit of image lag (not to be confused with refresh rate) and I thought it was a bit more noticeable on the Hogster than other brands. Some people don't even notice it, however.
Lots of people have these scope so far and really seem to like them. For a person who isn't a die hard night hunter, this is probably one of the better ways to go if getting into thermal.