The best time to go predator and hog hunting is during the night. However, since human eyes aren’t equipped for hunting in darkness, anyone who goes hunting at night needs a little help with either thermal optics or night vision.
We will be focusing on how thermal optics can help improve nighttime hunting and some of the best thermal scopes currently available on the market. Before delving any deeper, it’s worth noting that thermal imaging rifle scopes are typically more expensive than night vision scopes. However, they make zeroing in on targets a lot easier. And the fact that they still can be used during the day means you get to get the most out of your scope. The good thing about thermal rifle scopes is that they also incorporate video recording and a rangefinder as a bonus.
When night time hunting, you need a reliable optic that offers clear pictures in the dark, making it easier to spot coyotes, whose natural camouflage sometimes makes it hard to spot them. Apart from that, it would help if you had a scope that makes it easier for you to hit moving targets in the dark – and there is no solution better than a thermal sight.
However, it’s worth noting that there is bad news and good news here.
Bad news: these thermal scopes can be quite expensive.
Good news: you have plenty of options to choose from, which means you shouldn’t have a problem finding a scope that suits your budget and needs.
A Review of The Best Night Time Coyote Hunting Thermal Imaging Rifle Scopes
Let’s jump right into looking at some of the best thermal scopes you can find for Coyote and Hog hunting. so you can find the best thermal scope for your nighttime hunting. The list is always updated to highlight the latest optics and provide you with up-to-date information to find the best thermal scope.
Pulsar Thermion 2 XP50 Thermal Riflescope
The Best Thermal Scope available for any type of hunting
The Pulsar Thermion 2 XP50 Thermal Scope is in our opinion the best thermal imaging scope you can get. Is it affordable? Well, it depends on how deep your pockets are. The majority of people would not label it as affordable. Yet, when you’re seriously into using a thermal weapon scope for coyote or hog hunting then this is your best option.
The detection range is a whopping 2000 yards. With the 2-16x zoom, there’s no doubting that you will be able to detect coyotes, hogs, and other night critters across long distances. While the 2,000 yards detection range is somewhat theoretical, you do get a real-life range that makes it possible to shoot before you yourself might be detected.
The Pulsar Thermion XP50 thermal scope can be mounted with standard 30 mm scope rings. That provides you a ton of mounting ring options and you’re free to choose your favorite rings!
The objective lens measures a great 42 mm in diameter and allows to get thermal information easily onto the sensor. The thermal sensor has a resolution of 640×480 pixels which surpasses most other thermal weapon sights on the market today. The thermal information is sent to an AMOLED display with a resolution of 1024×768. You get a crisp target image that you can vary in different colors and with different reticles.
The Thermion scope has a rechargeable built-in battery that provides more than 5 hours of continuous use. There’s also an external rechargeable battery that extends the operational time. It also can be replaced quickly if you have additional external batteries so that you can use the scope practically all night.
The optic comes loaded with more than 10 reticles and eight color options. These color options include:
- Red monochrome
When you end up having found your perfect color and reticle combination you can start video recording your hunt onto the 16GB built-in memory. Or you connect your phone through the WiFi capabilities and stream the video there. You can record on your smart device or to the onboard memory with built-in trigger activation.
On top of that, the optic also has an IPX7 waterproof rating. No matter how hard it rains, you don’t have to worry about anything getting into the optic.
- Onboard and external video recording.
- Eight different color modes and 10 reticles
- High-resolution display and pixel array for crystal clear images
- Great magnification range from 2x to 16x.
- Mounts with standard 30 mm scope rings
- Very expensive
Pulsar Core RXQ30V (1.6-6.4×22) Thermal Scope
The Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting
The Pulsar RXQ30V thermal imaging scope sits on the lower end of the thermal scopes price spectrum. However, don’t let the price fool you as this is a high-performance thermal scope.
First of all, its 1.6-times magnification is optical, which means you still get a crystal-clear image at the scope’s base magnification power. Furthermore, magnification, up to 6.4-times, is digital.
Its resolution of 384×288 is high enough that there’s little image quality degradation when using the scope’s digital zoom. Having a sufficient sight image resolution allows you to spot coyotes in the dark and shot accurately, even at the highest magnification.
Another thing worth noting about the thermal scope is that it comes with a green sapphire display. The good thing about this display is that it maximizes image contrast while reducing eye fatigue.
Its thermal core is designed to detect heat signatures from targets 984 yards (900 meters) away. Interestingly, it still can detect thermal signatures much further than you can shoot. Honestly, you cannot outshoot the RXQ30V thermal scope.
Finally, the rifle scope comes with three (3) zeroes and three (3) rifle profiles. Apart from that, it also has a quick detach mount, which allows you to use it on multiple rifles.
Two CR123A batteries power the RXQ30V with decent battery life. However, you might find yourself having to replace the batteries quite often if you go night hunting a lot.
There is no other thermal scope for coyote hunting that can beat the RXQ30V thermal scope at this price range. If you are looking for a thermal riflescope that’ll make hunting in the dark more straightforward, then this is the thermal scope to get.
- Its resolution is high enough that the scope’s digital magnification causes slight granularity
- Optical base magnification
- 900-meter (984-yard) thermal detection
- Mountable on three different rifles
- Features a green sapphire display that helps reduces eye fatigue
- Battery life isn’t that good
AGM Rattler TS25-385 Compact Thermal Imaging Scope
Best Value for Money Coyote Hunting Thermal Scope
The AGM Rattler TS255-385 thermal weapon sight is built very compact and provides great performance for short to medium ranges. It’s one of the more affordable scopes but when you’re going to hunt at shorter ranges during the night, you’ll be pleased at the detection capabilities you get.
AGM might not be one of the household names when it comes to riflescopes but they have held their own with regards to electro-optics. And their thermal imaging optics are really giving the established brands a headache. The sights are reasonably priced and provide good quality and features.
The AGM Rattler TS255-385 is no exception to that. The 8x zoom is all digital and there’s no optical zoom. The thermal sensor resolution is a solid 384×288 pixels with a 50 Hz refresh rate.
The thermal data is then projected to a 1024×768 resolution on a 0.39 inch OLED display for you to aim. This resolution and the OLED display provide a clear target image with barely noticeable distortion or pixelation. It’s clear enough to let you make a precise shot.
The thermal weapon sight is powered by two CR123 batteries. These provide enough juice to keep the scope going for up to 4.5 hours of continuous use. You can attach an external battery pack for additional operation time.
The optic also has four different color modes:
- White Hot
- Black Hot
- Red Hot
In addition to the four color choices you also have 5 different reticle options. These choices give you enough options to customize your display for quicker and easier coyote spotting.
A great feature is that you can capture live video with the AGM Rattler thermal scope. You can feed the video through the onboard video recording and Wifi for live streaming or recording onto your phone via an app. This allows you to use your hunting recordings to critique your hunting/shooting technique. That’s a feature you often won’t find in the more affordable thermal imaging scopes.
Overall, the AGM Rattler TS255-385 thermal scope is a customizable and capable thermal imaging scope suitable for hog hunting, coyote hunting, and all other types of night game shooting.
- Onboard video recording.
- Four color modes
- High-resolution display and pixel array
- Good magnification range with 8x digital zoom.
- Limited in use to short/medium ranges with a max. detection range of 882 meters.
ATN Thor 4 Smart HD 384×288 Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope
Best Compact Coyote Hunting Thermal Imaging Sight
The ATN Thor 4 Smart HD is built around Obsidian-IV Dual Thermal Core by ATN, which is one step above FLIR’s model.
The scope’s thermal sensor has a resolution of 384×288 and offers excellent contrast and clear images, making it easy to spot animals in the dark.
The optical zoom of this thermal scope for coyote hunting is set at 1.25-times magnification while its digital zoom goes up to 5-times magnification – which isn’t as good as what some thermal scopes have to offer. However, what the ATN Thor 4 Smart HD lacks in magnification, it compensates in compactness.
It has a similar profile to that of a standard optical scope. And while it is larger than a glass optic, it is streamlined and will not add too much weight to your rifle.
Despite having a slim profile, the ATN Thor 4 Smart HD thermal scope for coyote hunting still includes a ballistic calculator and a built-in rangefinder to help users nail their long-distance shots.
This model, just like the Thor HD 640, is capable of recording high definition video and can also stream to any device while recording to an SD card. The fact that it’s Wi-Fi enabled means that you can use your phone or tablet as a viewfinder.
The scope’s internal battery is quite impressive, considering that it can run for up to 18 hours without requiring a recharge. If well maintained, you will never have to worry about your scope dying while in the middle of a night hunting excursion.
However, it is worth noting that the ATN Thor 4 Smart HD thermal scope for coyote hunting does have some software issues which often require assistance from the manufacturer to resolve.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for a thermal scope for coyote hunting that is capable and compact, then consider getting the ATN Thor 4 Smart HD.
- 18-hour battery life
- Built-in ballistic calculator and rangefinder
- Simultaneous video recording and streaming
- Exceptional thermal sensor resolution
- Occasional software issues
Pulsar Trail XQ Thermal Riflescope
Best Thermal Imaging Scope for Long Range Night-Time Coyote Hunting
If you are looking to shoot some coyotes from a distance, then the Pulsar Trail XQ is the rifle for you. It packs both a powerful heat sensor and strong zoom capabilities.
With a base optical magnification of 3-times, you have enough zoom to aim accurately without forgoing short-range performance. However, its magnification range goes all the way up to 12-times magnification – but anything above 3-times zoom is digital.
Fortunately, its thermal sensor has a resolution of 382×288, which is high enough to ensure the images remain clear and crisp even at maximum digital zoom. You, therefore, should be able to aim and hit distant targets using the highest zoom.
To help you make those long-range shots, Pulsar has installed a sensor that can detect heat signatures from targets 1970 yards away – that is almost 2,000 meters. There is no way you are outshooting the thermal core on this scope.
The Pulsar Trail XQ also has 13 electronically-operated reticles for improved long-range capabilities. Apart from that, users can save up to three rifle profiles and five different zeroes for hot-swapping the scope between rifles.
Furthermore, it comes with an integrated rangefinder to help you make shooting calculations and has an onboard video recording feature that allows you to record your shots.
If there were any downside to this thermal scope for coyote hunting, it’d be that it comes with a stadiametric rangefinder. This type of rangefinder calculates range based on an object’s estimated size, which makes it less accurate than laser range finders.
And while the Pulsar Trail XQ thermal scope for coyote hunting costs a pretty penny, it gets the work done, especially when it comes to nighttime hunting.
- Integrated video recorder and rangefinder
- Powerful magnification range
- Five zeroes and three rifle profiles for use with different hand loads or on multiple rifles
- 13 reticle options
- Long-range thermal sensor
- It’s expensive
- The rangefinder is not super precise
See in the Dark
Thermal imaging scopes are perfect for nighttime hunting and showing off your hunting skills. Since they are more reliable than night vision scopes, these sights are what you need when going night hunting.
The best thermal scope for many hunters nowadays is the Pulsar RXQ30V thermal imaging rifle scope. It’s compact and reasonably affordable while offering sufficient optical and thermal capabilities.
Now that you have seen the light, it’s time you got yourself a thermal imaging scope before heading out for some night time coyote hunting.