NV or Thermal for predator control, first time buyer

Bravo6niner

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Wanting to do some evening predator control and can’t quite decide which route to go. I’ve never looked through good NV like a pvs30 but just recently got the chance to try out a halo LR at mhsa.

I live on a farm with no major cities around (ie. won’t have lights or glow of city light to deal with). Right now I’m leaning towards either a
KAC pvs-30 plus a L3 thermal monocular or getting a Halo LR. Either one of those options is roughly the same money. I have rifle setups that the pvs30 will mount up to no problem so I’m covered there.

My main goals are raccoon control around the farm buildings and tree rows. Also night time coyote calling that I’m guessing will range from a 100yds to 400yds......

Any insight or help would be appreciated.
 

Evolution 9

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Thermal.

I’ve owned lots of options. I sold the PVS-30 (seriously heavy). I run a Trijicon Reap-ir almost exclusively. Longest shot on a coyote was one shot from an accurate AR at 472 yards. Very difficult with the reap simply because of reticle limitations. The Halo LR has a useful reticle to take a lot of the guess work out of that shot.

I still have a D790 (fixed 6X) night vision with mil dot reticle that I use for longer range shots but thermal is worlds better for locating the animals.

Keep in mind you will need a way to range the longer shots at night.
 
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wigwamitus

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I have similar use case to OP.

And answer I would say depends on the amount of vegetation you have around. I have both NV clipons and thermal clipons and use both ... but in most cases, I wouldn't be able to see the critters in the woods or thru the treelines or in the tall grass with NV. So I use thermal most of the time.

Now if you are mostly in open cut fields, then NV will work fine.
 

Evolution 9

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I agree with Wigwamitus in concept, but even with mostly mowed (grazed) fields like I have around here I find thermal to be worlds better.

To quantity this, with night vision, I average 1-2 coyotes per night...

When I got my thermal, I killed 6 in the first half hour, and most of that time was walking to remove them from fields.

You just don’t know how many you never notice until you try thermal.
 

Bravo6niner

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I have similar use case to OP.

And answer I would say depends on the amount of vegetation you have around. I have both NV clipons and thermal clipons and use both ... but in most cases, I wouldn't be able to see the critters in the woods or thru the treelines or in the tall grass with NV. So I use thermal most of the time.

Now if you are mostly in open cut fields, then NV will work fine.

Ya my terrain is flat ground to rolling hills in eastern Colorado. Pasture grass doesn’t get very tall but I can see a lot of my coyote hunting will be in corn stalks( 12-24” tall).
 

Westy35

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I agree with Wigwamitus in concept, but even with mostly mowed (grazed) fields like I have around here I find thermal to be worlds better.

To quantity this, with night vision, I average 1-2 coyotes per night...

When I got my thermal, I killed 6 in the first half hour, and most of that time was walking to remove them from fields.

You just don’t know how many you never notice until you try thermal.
I wouldn't have guessed thermal was that much better for finding critters. Good to know.
 

Bravo6niner

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Thanks for the info thus far guys!!! One other question. Being that I’ve only looked through a Halo LR so far. How does the pulsar xq38/50 compare to Halo? Not even in the same ball park or decent at closer ranges but doesn’t even compare at distance??
 

PlinkIt

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I'd say thermal 100% to scan with. Locating animals with NV is NOTHING like doing it with thermal.

But given your initial two options listed... Getting the Halo leaves you with only the rifle mounted thermal.

I'd almost be tempted to get a lower cost thermal scope so I could have a dedicated scanner

Scanning with a rifle sucks I think...
 
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Gilly

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I'd say thermal 100% to scan with. Locating animals with NV is NOTHING like doing it with thermal.

But given your initial two options listed... Getting the Halo leaves you with only the rifle mounted thermal.

I'd almost be tempted to get a lower cost thermal scope so I could have a dedicated scanner

Scanning with a rifle sucks I think...
any solid options on lower cost rifle mounted to go that route?
 

wigwamitus

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... Scanning with a rifle sucks ...
Most people agree with this ... maybe I'm the only contrarian ... but I did it for three years ... with a CARBINE (not a rifle) ...



That's ^^ a 5.56(10.3) and for three years ... winter 15/16 ... winter 16/17 and winter 18/19 ... that was my primary critter contol system. It started as a mk2 35mm then got upgraded to a mk3 35mm ... then finally to a mk3 60mm ... and none of that really made any difference regarding the vast majority of what I did with it.

The "trick" was how I hold the carbine. Both elbows on my chest ... support hand forms a "V" the forearm rests in and I keep my hand as far to the rear as possible, so the angle at the elbow is as small as possible.
On the other side, the trigger hand is actually holding the bottom of the 30 rd magazine. That let's me keep more of the support arm in contact with my chest. The more I'm touching my chest with my forearms, the more weight I'm transferring to my body from my arms.
I walked around like this for hours ... now I would let the rifle down for maybe 10m an hour ... if I needed to move a good distance in the open ... and I'd swing up for a few seconds during those periods to make sure I wasn't missing anything ... but I can do 360s while moving ... and holding up ... as long as the speed of movement relates to the familiarity of the ground.

So a short rifle with the thermal back on the receiver ... both elbows on the chest and as most of the arms touching the chest as possible. IDK, it works for me :D

==
If I was out with others ... I'd use helmet mounted dual band setup ...



As I didn't want to be swinging the rifle around with others present!

==

But now I've evolved to no thermals on the carbines ... just a laser ... much lighter ... no holding up ... much more mobility for hoping over fences ... and hands free thermal scanner on head together with 14+coti for dual band aiming with the laser. The 14 can see the laser, even if it can't see the critter ... the coti can see the critter ...



So far this "banzai" season ... the carbine setups have gotten 5.5 critters and the rifles on tripods with thermal clipon have gotten 2.5 critters. That's mostly because we still had a fair amount of vegetation in the area. But that's changing daily and fast. Once the vegetation disappears, then the rifles with thermal clipons can see far enough out to made their contribution.



And if at no other time ... at least when there's snow on the ground ... the NV clipons can do there thing. The massive luminousity of the snow ... even without moon ... makes it bright as day out there .. .



==
But if I could just have one widget ... it would be either the HALO-LR or the Mk3 60mm. The Halo-lr has the holding reticle ... the mk3 60mm has a bit more magnification ... so the choice would depend on the terrain ... and whether I was mostly alone. And I'd put it on a carbine so I could move fast and hold up to scan easily. And if I needed to shoot much over 200yds ... I'd take a stick.
 

wigwamitus

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For low cost right now, I'd go with the pulsar trails ... they are proven in the field and get the job done. The xq38mm is the bottom of the barrel with street price around $3k.
 

Evolution 9

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I totally scan with a rifle mounted thermal. Scanning happens so fast (there’s either heat signatures or not) that I don’t get very fatigued. Scanning with Night vision on the weapon is more taxing as you have to check and recheck suspicious shapes and really “look” for the animals.
 

PlinkIt

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I'd agree with wig on the trail, the only reason I let my trail go was to get a second Halo... And the trail had more interesting tricks up it's sleeve I think than most other units. The ability to have multiple distance zeros for example means you can take the remote and dial to whatever distance zero save your target was at... Pretty useful for something that drops like a rock... Subsonic for example. They also had a reticle that would scale with magnification, like a FFP reticle.

I'm obviously on the Halo bandwagon at this point, but I might would actually get the 25mm first vs the 50 depending on your location (very open or wooded & grown up?). The FOV is much better for scanning on the 25, and you can use their "mil" type reticle for holdovers in both units. It's more like SFP than FFP though, so don't forget what mag you are at.

I will say the first time I tried to scan with rifle mounted thermal was with a heavy bolt gun (desert tech SRS A1) using a heavy thermal clip on (Flir T60)... So that pretty much solidified in my mind that rifle scanning was a ridiculous idea

But
Winter is coming...
So I'll try the 25mm Halo as a scanner on either the SBR or a "pistol"... Won't be the first time I've changed how I'm doing things
 

CBDR

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I'd say thermal 100% to scan with. Locating animals with NV is NOTHING like doing it with thermal.

But given your initial two options listed... Getting the Halo leaves you with only the rifle mounted thermal.

I'd almost be tempted to get a lower cost thermal scope so I could have a dedicated scanner

Scanning with a rifle sucks I think...
Scanning with a rifle really does suck. Especially with a narrow FOV in thick cover.
 
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Againstallevil

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Thanks for the info thus far guys!!! One other question. Being that I’ve only looked through a Halo LR so far. How does the pulsar xq38/50 compare to Halo? Not even in the same ball park or decent at closer ranges but doesn’t even compare at distance??
I have the Pulsar XP50 trail and love it. It has lots of features that help when predator hunting like the picture-n-picture feature.
With the Pulsar Trail XP50 the image quality is awesome and in the plains of Eastern Colorado you will be able to spot them around 1000yrd.
Side note: I miss hunting coyotes up there. I went to high school at Woodlin
 
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sea2summit

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If you are stationary thermal all the way, if you are loving NV.

Also as others said scanning with your weapon sucks, and potentially adds risk. Leupold and FLIR both make handhelds in the $4-700 range on sale and it is worth every penny. Even if it doesn’t have the resolution for PID it will identify critters just as easily as your primary.
 
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PlinkIt

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I think if I went backwards to do it all over again... I would almost be tempted to get a pvs14 & a patrol on a helmet first... Just mount a simple IR laser on my rifle, and maybe put a really bright light on my rifle in case I needed to take a shot using the scope...

We spend what... 98% of our time scanning for targets... 2% of our time shooting... Maybe
 
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Rlb40x

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I'm still digging my pulsar accolade binos for scanning, they also have a pretty good laser rangefinder built in.
They hang around the neck easy, not to heavy and have good battery life.
I just got a gen 3 pvs14 with pinnical tube for navagation, liking it as well.
I haven't had a chance to hunt with them yet, but playing around outside after dark, I do know I won't be getting tangled up In briar bushes anymore. It will be nice being able to see where I'm stepping.
I personally think thermal is the way to go for a gun sight, I'm using a Reap, and this year I added a Steiner IR laser for close shots with the 14s while navigating to a call site.
 
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