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Looking for reasonably good night vision

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posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 06:08 PM
I've found myself in a position where I'll need to go through the woods after midnight... and I need to do it without making a lot of commotion!
That means no lights - and it is DARK out there.

A friend of mine suggested buying a PVS-14 ; apparently that's what he used in the military for night time operation. They look great- but the price is all over the place. I see them as cheap as $200 - I have to assume those aren't "real" or whatever...
I see one that may be the real deal on ebay for 1500- but the description says it doesn't have a feature that I read all of these have - implying it may be broken.

I've thought about it quite a bit and I do want to stick with a non-zoom (1x) sight, and I want a monocular... but I don't know the first thing about this stuff.
I don't have a price range in mind- but the problem I'd be solving is rather expensive so I'm open to suggestions.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 06:37 PM
a reply to: lordcomac

I came in here on the off-chance that you're talking about developing the super-ability to see clearly through the darkness, an ability which I believe I possess.

I can see, again, that I've grievously miscalculated the situation.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 08:45 PM
a reply to: lordcomac

You can buy Gen 1 night vision pretty cheap nowadays. The Gen 2 stuff is remarkable but very spendy.

I purchased a gen 1 monocle for around 249 bucks 3 years ago or so, its pretty cool but theres draw backs, like happening onto an unexpected light source and being blinded.

I use mine for spotting game, but its great for star gazing too, see zillions more stars with it.

Consider the red light feature on a decent headlamp, much cheaper and damned effective.
edit on 6-10-2018 by BlueJacket because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-10-2018 by BlueJacket because: sp

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:27 PM
a reply to: lordcomac

I came to hear advice on night vision equipment but, now You got me all curious about this mission.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:31 PM
a reply to: BlueJacket

I've been looking at the gen1's, still about $250. Everyone I've seen with one says to spend the cash for a gen2, but they seem to start in the $2500 range. Other equipment for this mission is going to cost me nearly 2k already so I'm hoping to save a few bucks.

What's this about a red headlamp? Anything that lives in the woods would certainly notice that moving around in the woods.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 09:36 PM

originally posted by: Woodcarver
a reply to: lordcomac

I came to hear advice on night vision equipment but, now You got me all curious about this mission.

Nothing special. I've lost two of my cats to coyote in the past two months. The first one I never found- but thanks to tracking collar technology I was able to bury the remains of the second.
They're coming into my yard and snatching my pets. I love those pets more than most humans- so I've decided it's time to get myself some coyote pelt seat covers.

There's about a mile of woods behind my home to the highway- Last night I heard at least three "yipping" in out back around 12:30. They couldn't have been a half a mile from my yard, I was out having a fire. If I had the ability (and was sober enough to use it) I would have gone after them.

I'm looking at a low end thermal scope- It'll cost more than 3x the rifle it's going on but from what I've seen it's well worth it... and will be neat to have loose in deer season in a few more weeks for spotting.

Just need to work out how to get around in the woods quietly without scaring them off.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 10:44 PM
a reply to: lordcomac

Well alot of us hunt with red lights successfully. If its on as you enter your woods, you should be ok, definitely better then a white light.

Ive used red light quite a bit, is it fool proof, no...but its pretty darn good.

If you go gen 1, you will need a head set to mount it, and guess what, the gen 1 utilizes red light to boost your visual.

posted on Oct, 6 2018 @ 10:51 PM
a reply to: lordcomac

Buddy, get a great Pyrenees or two, my girl destroys any opossum, coyote, coon that come near my chickens, even hawks are unwilling to cross her path...Pyrenees.

I shoot coyotes from time to time, but my dog Sally runs the farm, nothing and I mean nothing gets by her.

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 04:31 AM
a reply to: lordcomac

Ah, a subject I have quite a bit of experience with (both night vision AND coyotes)...

I'll give you the highlights and you can ask questions from there if you like.

Night vision equipment - NV equipment breaks down into two categories. The first is 'starlight' equipment, and the second is 'thermal'. Starlight gear requires 'some' light to function properly. Thermal gear requires no light at all as it works on infrared heat signatures. Starlight gear prices range from cheap to relatively expensive. Thermal is BIG $$$ (think 'thousands', and even 'tens of thousands').

Starlight gear breaks down into three categories. There is Gen 1, Gen 2 and Gen 3 (and there are two types of Gen 3).

Gen 1 - Absolute garbage! Do NOT waste your money on it, it's complete crap! Useless beyond 25-30 feet (often even less than that). Most of it is Russian and/or Chinese. It's low quality optics even in broad daylight (which will damage it BTW). The market is flooded with this crap, and better than 50% of it is misrepresented. It's fragile and just outright garbage. Think of Gen 1 as more of a novelty 'toy' than a 'tool'. Price points for Gen 1 stuff is usually in the $100+/- range.

Gen 2 - Giant leap of improvement over Gen 1. Gen 2 is really where anyone seriously looking into NV should start. Gen 2 is military grade from about 30 years ago (technology wise). It has good optics out to about 100 feet at night, and the light amplification works decently. Most Gen 2 gear will have an infrared illumination to augment the light amplification. Prices range from the mid $200's up to over $1,000. Much of the differences in price are due to the quality of the glass, the technology of the light amplification is the same across all Gen 2 equipment.

Gen 3 - Gen 3 is really where people start to get serious. Something like a rifle scope for example should really be Gen 3 (although some of the higher end Gen 2 stuff will work in a pinch also). Gen 3 NV gear is mostly all military grade, and most of it was declassified in the last decade and a half. Prior to this it was only available to military and law enforcement. Prices for Gen 3 equipment range from $1,000 to $2,500. (Prices are coming down fast, just two years ago this range would have been $1,700 to $3,500). Range on this equipment can be up to 200 yards with high quality optics (glass). There are no liars in this area of the market; it's either Gen 3 or they can't label it as such. There is also a permutation of Gen 3 called 'Gen 3 Plus' (which I'll cover next).

Gen 3 Plus - Interestingly, Gen 3 plus gears actually starts out life as regular Gen 3, but due to the laws of physics some productions of the Gen 3 equipment result in a higher quality image intensifier. As a result they are graded higher in the final QA inspection process after manufacturing. There is a significant and noticeable difference too, it's not just a ruse to get more money. Gen 3 Plus equipment will cost $2,500 to $4,000 for quality stuff.

Beyond Gen 3+ is where you get into the REALLY serious stuff, and that is thermal, or IR equipment. This is where it's at (in my opinion), but it ain't cheap! Thermal gear works off of heat signatures. It compares the heat of an object to that of the background. This stuff rocks! You want to get into coyote hunting, thermal is where you need to be. Prices are dropping rapidly now with advances in camera technology, but the last time I looked into thermal pricing for something like a rifle scope you were generally looking at about $5,000 and up (with $10,000 not being out of the realm of possibilities). Of course, these numbers scare people, but they shouldn't really when you consider some other things required like suppressors, custom rifles and precision ammunition. These things will cost as much as the optics.

I'll stop here on the NV equipment and make another post about actual coyote hunting.

Hope this helps you.

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 04:58 AM
Coyote hunting 101

First of all, they didn't call the Roadrunner's coyote "Wiley" for nothing, coyotes are probably one of the most wiley predators there are. They're smart, they're stealthy, they have a sense of smell 3x that of a domestic dog (and a regular dog is 10,000x better than human's ability to smell). They have excellent eyesight, and their hearing is absolutely staggering. To give you an example of how well a coyote can hear...they can hear a mouse squeak (which is barely audible to us even in a quiet room) at well over 200 yards in a windstorm. I've actually called in coyotes with barely audible noises from several hundred yards out.

As noted, coyotes are SMART too! They will use the terrain to conceal themselves with amazing success. The only time they let their guard down is at night. This is why NV equipment is so important in coyote eradication.

If you want to hunt coyotes, you better start practicing your shooting because easy shots almost never happen with coyotes. Getting coyotes often requires long shots, and often shots on running animals. Coyotes rarely ever stand still unless they're feeding on a kill. Otherwise they're constantly moving.

Concealment and stealth are paramount when hunting coyotes. That, and being almost perfectly quiet (as in NO sound at all). Just a simple twig snapping under your foot will send the coyotes running for miles. (this has always puzzled me how they know it's not just another animal, but like I said...coyotes are smart).

Here's the bottom line about coyotes though, and you need to know this up front. You will never completely eradicate coyotes, it's not possible. They have an instinctive ability to increase their breeding rates when they're under hunting pressure. Your biggest goal is to push them out of your area, to make it such an unpleasant life for them that they go elsewhere (for a while). Trust me, they'll be back though. And this is why coyote hunting is a constant vigil.

In fact, the reason I'm typing this post right now is because of a coyote. That sucker was standing on my back porch and let off a series of yelps from right outside my window. I didn't even bother to grab the rifle because the second I turned on the light I knew he was long gone. But he'll get his in just a little bit here! And, by "his" I mean a .22-250 pill to the head or spine before daylight...because he'll be back and I now know how he thinks, but it's taken years to learn that.

I don't hunt coyotes for sport (many do though). I hunt them out of necessity, they are a big time and very costly predator. Consequently, I am legal to hunt them 24x7x365 around here. There are no seasons and no off-limits shooting times; it's open season all the time.

That's what coyote hunting is like.
edit on 10/7/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 05:08 AM
And one last thing...

The Holy Grail of a coyote hunter is a fully suppressed .22-250 with a custom bolt action on a carbon fiber stock with a 15x thermal scope. (and a price tag that comes in just under $25,000 when all is said and done).

Is $25k for a single rifle and scope setup crazy? No, it just shows you how much of a problem these animals truly are!

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 07:54 AM
a reply to: lordcomac

Coyotes. I totally get ya. There is a much cheaper way of getting them though. Much more reliable than chasing them through the woods at night. Me and my friends join a competition for predator hunting every year. Whoever brings in the most tags wins a nice rifle or some other pricey gadget.

Buy some meat, or some chickens, or pick up some freshly run over animals from the road. (I know it sounds gross, but just don’t get the gross ones)

Start a pile somewhere far enough away from Residential areas. Keep replenishing it. Set up a stand nearby, but far enough away, and upwind so they don’t know you’re there. Be there a few hours before sundown, and you will see them start a habit of coming and checking for easy food.

If you are patient, and let them feast for a few weeks in peace. You will get every coyote in the area visiting your pile. Take them out at your leisure. And usually during dusk, before it gets dark.
edit on 7-10-2018 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 04:32 PM
a reply to: BlueJacket

No dogs allowed on the property.
This is exactly the kind of advice I knew I'd get when I mentioned a coyote problem.... but it's not a viable solution.

That's why my thread title wasn't "Looking for solution to coyote problem"

Thanks for trying, though!

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 04:44 PM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

SO MUCH information here. Thank you very much.
I don't have the time or resources to go after this problem with as much force as I wish I could- and I certainly don't have 25 grand to plunk down on a rifle setup... I'll be re-using much of what I have.
I am looking at the entry level thermal scopes, though.
This would by FAR be the most expensive firearm accessory I've ever considered - over three times more than I've ever paid for a rifle... but I think it would be quite useful for hunting coyote in the heavy woods we have here - and might make a reasonably helpful spotting tool come deer season.

I'm not having much luck with the local laws, either - go figure. A suppressor is going to run me about $700 it seems - but the kicker is the current wait time for our lovely big brother government is just over ten months according to the shop down the way.

Which means I'll be using sub sonic ammo to reduce the chances of attracting attention. Which sucks- because I'm already going to be using an undersized cartridge- my options at the moment are 308 or 22lr.
I'm worried all I'll do is injure the damn thing if I do get a shot... but I'm looking into getting another rifle. I've got friends who could probably lend me something better suited for the season.
The season, of course, has also become an issue. The local authorities won't allow me to kill a coyote at night unless it's actively attacking my pets.
Right now I'm bringing the remaining cats in at night, but they're none too happy about it and getting harder and harder to round up. One of them is smart, and you can tell he's afraid of the woods- but coyote will come into a quiet neighborhood at 3am for food, and I've got to sleep sometime.

Legal night hunting of coyote isn't until January. By then the sun doesn't rise until I'm commuting to work and doesn't set until well after I'm home - so I need to at least scare these damn things far away from here before then... which leaves the last option.
Day hunting. The least likely time to find a coyote - and of course I also have a full time job so I'm stuck doing it on weekends.
Oh, and no hunting on sundays...

Too many laws. It's killing me, one pet at a time.
I'll re-read your advice tomorrow when I'm a bit more level headed and see what I can take advantage of.
Thank you!

posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 04:50 PM
a reply to: Woodcarver

Clever, but difficult. I'd have to restock the pile a few times a week, I'd imagine- which means buying expensive meat or collecting roadkill. I don't have a ton of spare time- but I like the idea.
There's the perfect spot for it too back there- Well, almost perfect. I could be comfortably on the ground looking into a big gulley - maybe a 25' drop in elevation from both sides, and it opens up into a small field down there because the water wont let anything with big roots set in.
Only part that sucks is that where I'd be staying is maybe only 200' from my yard, and I don't want to be baiting these predators closer to my cats if I can help it. Next closest place I can think of that's reasonable is probably a half mile in- but the way the trails are it'd be easily a mile hike to get there.

Anyone have experience with these electronic predator calls? Family friend handed me one, said to hold onto it as long as I need it. Played around with it today, it's LOUD.

posted on Oct, 8 2018 @ 08:29 AM

originally posted by: lordcomac
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

SO MUCH information here. Thank you very much.
I don't have the time or resources to go after this problem with as much force as I wish I could- and I certainly don't have 25 grand to plunk down on a rifle setup... I'll be re-using much of what I have.
I am looking at the entry level thermal scopes, though.
This would by FAR be the most expensive firearm accessory I've ever considered - over three times more than I've ever paid for a rifle... but I think it would be quite useful for hunting coyote in the heavy woods we have here - and might make a reasonably helpful spotting tool come deer season.


That's actually a pretty darn good set up, from a very reliable company! You'll be happy with that.

When I first started looking into NV I was looking at the Gen 3+ stuff. Even had it budgeted. Then I made the mistake of looking into the thermal stuff (big mistake). It's like going out to look at sports cars and first looking at some Mustangs and then just going and taking a casual test drive in a Ferrari for the heck of it. It's hard to look at the Mustangs the same way after that. This caused me about a one year delay.

Wait time on suppressors is usually pretty long. Ten months isn't too out of the question. Once you get approved though it's easier the next time.

A word of caution; I'd be careful putting any high-end optics on a .22LR. Funny thing about .22LR's is the recoil is different (especially on semis), and it wreaks havoc with scopes! This is why there are specially designed .22 scopes. I found this out the hard way. Even though it seems like there's no recoil at all on the .22LR, there is to the scope (and they don't like it at all). Jacks up the reticles. It's like a two stage recoil, unlike higher powered faster cartridges. Plus, a .22LR would be a waste of the scope's ability with such a short range. A .22 will get the job done, but only at close range. It's pretty hard to get coyotes in that close. If you don't want to go down the .22-250 path, minimally I'd suggest a .223 (which can be had pretty economically pretty much anywhere). Plus, ammo is cheap for the .223.

Regarding calls (in your other post). Electronic calls work, but they can be a pain. The best call to use is actually just a simple reed type turkey call (the kind you put on the roof of your mouth). Oh, and you don't need loud, what you need is the correct call for the moment.

Lastly, for your enjoyment, here's a video of some hard-core guys on coyotes. These guys make it look easy, but they've got top end gear. If you listen carefully you'll hear them call a couple times and the calls are the faintest thing, but watch how the coyotes perk up to it. It's more about being effective calling than it is about how loud.

WARNING - Not for the squeamish!

edit on 10/8/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2018 @ 08:48 AM
Oh, and just kind of a summary statement about the info I posted above on NV.

The starlight stuff is the green stuff you usually see. If you're already looking at thermal then you can disregard most of the stuff I posted about Gen 1-3 as that's all starlight (available light) equipment. Thermal needs no light at all, and is definitely the way to go!

They even have color thermal now, though I like the black and white almost better.

posted on Oct, 8 2018 @ 09:28 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Thanks again.

I'll go down to the local place today and look at the 223 options - and they manufacture suppressors there so I'll see if I can find a rifle that uses the same thread as my 22... maybe buy a can that fits both.

Interesting on the scopes on .22 - I've got a decent 1-5x on there right now and haven't had a problem, but it's not had a hundred shots through it since I zero'd it in.

as for the night vision... The thermal sight does look really nice- but I still have the problem of navigating through the woods in the dark.
Apparently using a red headlamp doesn't scare them off...? Doesn't sound right to me, but if it works it's plenty affordable...

One last thing....I'm in the northeast- it's rare to see anything more than 50 yards out, and if you did it won't be an easy shot. I've got a 6x on my hunting rifle and I plan to sell it for a 1-5 or 3x fixed. The woods are just too thick! Thermal should help with spotting, there... but I'm not sure if it will help at all with getting a shot.
edit on 8-10-2018 by lordcomac because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2018 @ 09:54 AM
a reply to: lordcomac

Have you tried adapting your actual eyes to the night, before marching off into it? If you are going to be in the woods, the first thing you need to do, the moment you get out of direct line of sight to a light source, is shut your eyes, breathe in deeply through the mouth, out through the nose, about fifty times, sloooowwwwly.

Then, open your eyes and see what you can see. If the answer is "Not a bloody thing", you need to spend more time outdoors at night for a bit, and then try again. I always carry a flashlight with me everywhere I go, but I barely use it unless there is some kind of emergency or unusual situation, because my eyes are well adapted to the dark.

I do however wear sunshades on cloudy days.

posted on Oct, 8 2018 @ 10:46 AM
a reply to: lordcomac

You can get universal (well sort of) suppressors (i.e. Suppressors which fit multiple calibers). The problem is, many of them are tuned for gas volume. The gas volume of a .22LR is going to be a lot less than a .223 even though they're roughly the same caliber. I'll look into that a little bit for you and find out if it's still an issue.

As for red lamps, while it does help 'some', you are certainly not invisible to a coyote with one. Coyotes have excellent night vision so they're definitely going to see a light at the lower end of the visible spectrum. I've not had much luck at all with the red or green lights (you'll find some green ones out there too). Personally, I don't think it makes any difference at all. About the only time a red light will help is if it's on your flashlight or something. The red will cut way down on visible reflections off other objects, so if you need something from your pack you'd use that instead of a regular light which will cast sharp reflections and shadows. If you point a red light at a coyote they're going to see it. They might not know what it is, but they'll see it. The other thing about red light is, it doesn't travel very far at all. 25-30 feet max, even with a bright one. And because of the other colors missing from the spectrum it's very difficult to tell what you're looking at (not to mention depth perception is way off). I'd save your money for something better. Don't get sucked in to that hype.

The other thing about coyotes is, they learn quickly. They see your red light, and you take a shot at them...once...and you'll never see another one! If you watched that video, watch how they all run on a shot. Because of the suppressor they don't know where the shot came from, and because of the thermal sight they see no light...which is why they scatter in all directions (even towards the shooters). In one case you actually see a coyote go straight up. It didn't know where the shot came from, but heard it hit the ground so it instantly reacts by jumping straight up (away from the perceived threat).

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