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Thermals for deer hunting #8435846 11/01/21 04:04 PM
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Harkriscar Offline OP
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I bought a Pulsar Axion monocular last year. I’ve been using it deer hunting a lot. I can say that this gadget absolutely has changed the way I hunt. It is truly amazing. I hunt from stands primarily in various terrain. It’s cool to see deer in the dark before daylight. I never knew so many deer were nearby as I’m waiting for the sun to come up. But what’s game changing, I use it to scan around me. It works great for the first several hours of daylight, and late evening. I now see deer in thick cover way before I could have seen them with my naked eyes or with binoculars. I once spent lots of time with binoculars, looking for movement. Now I only use binoculars for sizing a buck. The thermal alerts me to approaching deer way before they can be seen clearly. I am detecting deer that I once would have never seen. I can do a 360 scan in seconds, and either they're deer there or they’re not. I can see hot spots in thick cover or pasture edges before the deer steps in view. What I think is one deer, the thermal may show a group, or other deer nearby. The thermal allows me to pick up deer much sooner that I could before. I now use it every hunt, scanning around me every few minutes. I also use it still hunting some, as I stalk. It gives me a great advantage. The only downside is battery life. I turn off the screen when I’m not looking thru it, but even so, I’ll go thru a battery in several hours. So I have 4 batteries, which covers an entire days hunt. Once the sun gets higher, and things start to warm up, I put it away. Of course by then, the light is bright and it’s not that helpful. It’s an expensive addition (two grand) but it absolutely has been an incredible tool to spot deer. It’s also fun to use it squirrel hunting. My backyard squirrels can’t hide anymore.

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8435971 11/01/21 06:29 PM
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Yeah, those batteries are pretty pricey, but at least they are rechargeable. Instead of going into screen saver mode, just just the scope off if you aren't using is for 4 or 5 minutes. The screen is actually quite tiny and doesn't eat a lot of power.


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8435993 11/01/21 06:49 PM
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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8436031 11/01/21 07:31 PM
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I do this all the time. I actually enjoy watching all the rabbits that I would’ve missed. Rabbits are like the crack head of the woods, extremely spastic


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: BigPig] #8441378 11/07/21 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BigPig
I do this all the time. I actually enjoy watching all the rabbits that I would’ve missed. Rabbits are like the crack head of the woods, extremely spastic


Fun to watch

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8441689 11/07/21 08:15 PM
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Love mine. Helps keep me alert and boredom at bay. More time scanning and less time playing on the phone. Waiting to see how well it works as a tracking tool.


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8441827 11/07/21 10:36 PM
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Quote
Waiting to see how well it works as a tracking tool.


Generally speaking, thermal is not a good tracking tool unless you have exceptionally fresh blood. Otherwise, the blood tends to get to ambient temp of whatever surface it is on and is less noticeable. With that said, thermal is a really helpful tool for helping spot downed animals that might otherwise be hard to see with the unaided eye. So I would say not much help for 'tracking' but a lot of help for 'finding.'


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8441892 11/07/21 11:29 PM
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Since thermal is out of my pay grade, I went with an NV version: Bushnell Equinox X650. It certainly helps with detection, since trying to scan with my Wraith on the rifle is a non-starter. It's very simple to operate, has a built in, automatic IR illuminator, so if I'm in a tripod chair, I can swing it around and scan the neighborhood; if I'm in a box blind, I open the windows on all sides and take a peek on a regular basis to see what might be heading my way. For under $200, it is perfect for my simple needs and my skinny wallet.

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8442559 11/08/21 04:33 PM
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I use the Pulsar Axiom thermal monocular all the time. It's in my hunting pack for walking to/from the stand in the dark to spot animals.



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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8444641 11/10/21 06:47 PM
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There is evidently no end to tech in hunting.


Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: freerange] #8447511 11/13/21 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
There is evidently no end to tech in hunting.



I too have never shot a game animal over a feeder or attractant, but I judge no one who has.

Last edited by Dzhitshard; 11/13/21 07:48 PM. Reason: cat hit send
Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8447527 11/13/21 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Quote
Waiting to see how well it works as a tracking tool.


Generally speaking, thermal is not a good tracking tool unless you have exceptionally fresh blood. Otherwise, the blood tends to get to ambient temp of whatever surface it is on and is less noticeable. With that said, thermal is a really helpful tool for helping spot downed animals that might otherwise be hard to see with the unaided eye. So I would say not much help for 'tracking' but a lot of help for 'finding.'


Man, do I agree with this! I've used a thermal monocular numerous times to locate hogs at night that would have otherwise not been recovered.


You can never have too much ammo � unless you're swimming.
Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8461347 11/29/21 02:41 AM
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Just bought my first thermal, an AGM Rattler 35. Lots of great info and first hand feedback on here helped me make that decision. Saved some $$$ on some Black Friday deals doing it, too. Really excited to try it for the scanning in the blind for deer. Originally, I bought it for hog hunting, but I’m delighted to find some other helpful uses for it.

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Gurka] #8462477 11/30/21 04:10 AM
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Here’s another use. Try it for locating squirrels hiding in trees in your backyard. It adds a whole other dimension to pellet rifle hunting in the city. The little buggers think they’re hiding but you can’t hide from the thermal.

I was deer hunting overlooking thick planted pines last evening. Thirty minutes before dark I started seeing deer moving in the thick cover that I would never have seen without the thermal. Once I knew where to look, I could pick up glimpses with my binoculars and scope.

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8463906 12/01/21 10:24 PM
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Expensive stud finder, rodent locator in shed, tractor, etc. and can also check corn levels on your feeders without getting off the truck!


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: HLo] #8473744 12/12/21 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HLo
Expensive stud finder, rodent locator in shed, tractor, etc. and can also check corn levels on your feeders without getting off the truck!


I know lots of non hunting applications for thermal, but that last one honestly never occurred to me. I gotta try that next time I’m out at the lease.

Other uses; Finding a breaker running hot in the panel, finding a dead cylinder on an engine, air leaks around windows and doors, etc.

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8476551 12/15/21 03:56 PM
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I had one a long time ago. No idea what happened to it. One time, I was hunting on a power line on my place. The cleared land is about 50 or so yards wide. I scanned the tree line and the whole area lit up. I didn’t believe it. And then, about 5 minutes later, a herd of does came out. It lasted a couple of years and went bad.

I’m like Mike. At $2,000, out of my pay grade

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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: freerange] #8482112 12/21/21 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by freerange
There is evidently no end to tech in hunting.

Right? What happened to skill and patience?

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: TWarren] #8482372 12/21/21 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TWarren
Originally Posted by freerange
There is evidently no end to tech in hunting.

Right? What happened to skill and patience?


No doubt you hunt with technology that you deem appropriate. You likely use optics, a rifle, etc, but some bow hunter is asking, "What happened to skill and patience?" which is about the same thing some atlatl hunter asked when people started hunting with bows which some spear hunter asked when folks starting hunting with atlatls. Of course, the spear was a grand improvement over just hunting with a rock in your hand and the rock was much better than going after game barehanded.

You would be amazed how many people just drive a car to their hunting areas.


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: TWarren] #8482761 12/21/21 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TWarren

Right? What happened to skill and patience?


A question that night vision hunters ask thermal hunters.
A question that red led weapons mounted light hunters ask night vision hunters.
A question that white Q-Beam spot light hunters ask red led weapons mounted hunters.
A question that carbide headlamp hunters ask Q-Beam spot light hunters.
A question that clear, full moon night (no artificial light) hunters ask carbide headlamp hunters

And the list goes on. Back years ago when I was really big into archery the debates raged between traditional archery hunters, single cam bow shooters, dual cam shooters, aluminum arrows, carbon arrows, fixed broadheads, mechanical heads, old style single blade heads, releases, no releases and to this day, I'm sure on archery boards across the country those debates continue.

If there is one thing that mankind is good at, it's technological advances. I'll be the first to admit that I often long for the days before cell phones and the internet but at the same time, without this modern technology a bunch of guys wouldn't be talking to each other about hunting while sitting hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We live in very interesting times for sure.


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Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: TWarren] #8482820 12/21/21 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TWarren
Originally Posted by freerange
There is evidently no end to tech in hunting.

Right? What happened to skill and patience?


I'm just trying to reduce the hog population as best I can.

[Linked Image]


You can never have too much ammo � unless you're swimming.
Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Harkriscar] #8484427 12/23/21 03:18 AM
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I’m eyeing the pulsar xm 30 but hard to pull the trigger

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Jaspermac] #8484560 12/23/21 05:57 AM
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Used mine yesterday on afternoon hunt. Spotted a white hot spot in a brush pile across the pasture about an hour before dark, about 200 yards away. After searching with my 10x binoculars, finally found the source, a buck with only his head showing. He remained there for over 30 minutes without moving, behind thick cover. I would never have seen him without the thermal. I had no shot, as I couldn’t size him or even see anything but his face. Later I shot a buck at last light. It’s hard to find blood in a pasture of tall wet grass, at night, when it’s hard to pinpoint where the deer stood. So I started scanning the surrounding hardwoods in the direction he ran, and quickly spotted him in the thermal 100 yards away. I doubt I would have found that deer in the dark without the thermal. I’m a believer. No other gadget I have ever used adds more to my hunting. In low light, the deer glow.

Re: Thermals for deer hunting [Re: Outdoor Legacy] #8487617 12/27/21 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Outdoor Legacy
Originally Posted by TWarren

Right? What happened to skill and patience?


A question that night vision hunters ask thermal hunters.
A question that red led weapons mounted light hunters ask night vision hunters.
A question that white Q-Beam spot light hunters ask red led weapons mounted hunters.
A question that carbide headlamp hunters ask Q-Beam spot light hunters.
A question that clear, full moon night (no artificial light) hunters ask carbide headlamp hunters

And the list goes on. Back years ago when I was really big into archery the debates raged between traditional archery hunters, single cam bow shooters, dual cam shooters, aluminum arrows, carbon arrows, fixed broadheads, mechanical heads, old style single blade heads, releases, no releases and to this day, I'm sure on archery boards across the country those debates continue.

If there is one thing that mankind is good at, it's technological advances. I'll be the first to admit that I often long for the days before cell phones and the internet but at the same time, without this modern technology a bunch of guys wouldn't be talking to each other about hunting while sitting hundreds or even thousands of miles away. We live in very interesting times for sure.


I braced for the alpacalips to start tonight.

I grabbed my recurve and hogster 35-r off the loaner rifle and headed into the woods just to see if I could make 2021 break lol.

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