Everything You Need To Consider When Choosing a Night Vision Scope
From scouting the area to finding clues about your target, nothing beats the excitement of hunting at night. But, all of these won’t be possible without a night vision scope.
It’s great to go around and hunt during the daytime. But, if you want to improve your skills, night scopes can be a good start. Let’s find out how this type of scope can help you, how to find the best one in the market, and what to expect from it.
What is a Night Vision Scope?
A night vision scope is a type of scope that allows you to see prey easily at night. It is different from a scope when you’re using it during day time. You can easily spot a target at night by using this type of scope.
Most of you would say that night vision goggles would be a better alternative, but how can you accurately target a prey if you don’t have a scope. It’s only good when you’re moving around, but once you find your target, only an NVS can give you that extra advantage.
How Does It Work?
Night scopes can give you the vision that you need to accurately aim at a prey. But, what is the science behind this? How does this scope work? Here is a simple guide on how it works and how it can help you see your prey even at night.
- The scope has an objective lens that will collect ambient light from the surroundings. If the light is insufficient, there are scope models that use infrared light as an alternative. The light particles are transferred to the image intensifier tube to convert the photons to electrons.
- After the transformation, the electrons will travel to the photomultiplier. This is the place where the electrons will start multiplying.
- The electrons, after their multiplication, will revert to their previous state when they reach the phosphor screen. Since there are more electrons now, the light produced will be brighter.
- The vision you see through the scope is the color green because the eye is very sensitive to it. Your eyes can easily pick it up compared to the other colors.
Do You Really Need a Night Scope?
It’s very easy to get swayed by peer pressure, especially when it comes to hunting. Sometimes, you will buy something that you don’t even need, which will only be a waste of money. Before you start buying a night vision device, you need to know if you have a use for it when hunting. Here are some of the reasons why you should get this type of scope.
1. Offers Protection
One of the reasons why you should have a night scope is to provide protection while you are hunting. There are lots of prey and predators at night that are very hard to spot, which would put you and the people around you in danger.
You have to remember that it is very risky to use standard lighting devices in the forest during nighttime as it will attract the predators nearby. However, by using a night scope, you can prevent them from spotting you and you can easily find your target while remaining hidden.
2. Find your Prey Easily
Finding your prey at night is extremely difficult. It’s already hard finding them during the day so you can expect that the difficulty will be multiplied further when you’re hunting at night. The best way to find your prey without alerting them is to use a night scope. It’s very easy for you to spot them from afar and you can even shoot without getting noticed.
You will only rely on the mood and the night scope so the prey will not be alerted of your presence in its surroundings. You also have the element of surprise so it is easier to catch them.
3. Improve Accuracy
No matter how experienced you are in hunting, it would be near impossible to locate and accurately hit prey during nighttime. Instead of wasting your ammunition and alerting all the other prey and predators from the surrounding, it is better to have a night scope with you.
It will help improve your accuracy, especially the newer models. They come with various reticles and sighting technology that would help improve your aim. With this, you can easily find your target, aim accurately, and hit them with ease.
4. Can Be Used During Day Time
Older scopes are very sensitive to light, which means that they are not usable during daytime. It would mean that you need a separate scope during the day, which is a bit costly. The newer models of night scopes can now be used during night and daytime. Because of this, you won’t have to switch out your scope every time you’re hunting.
5. Improve your Overall Skills
You have to remember that hunting in the wild will not only require your natural skills. You need to develop your senses as well. By hunting at night with the use of a night scope, you can clearly see the clues around you. This would give you more information about the location and the movement of your prey.
You can also improve your movement and prevent the target from noticing you. These skills can only be developed effectively if you are hunting at night.
Important Factors to Know When Buying a Night Scope
Buying an NVS is not as easy as you think because it is different from a normal scope. It’s easy to buy the most expensive model in the market, but can you actually use all the features that it offers? If you want to buy the right night scope that you can fully utilize, here are some of the factors that you need to know.
1. Battery Life
This type of scope runs on batteries so once it runs out, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. Although you can bring any amount of batteries during the hunt, it’s better to find a model that runs with top-grade AA batteries.
These batteries are rechargeable and are extremely durable. Remember that not all scopes run with the same type of batteries so you need to find a model that would accept a high-grade AA battery. You can also opt for a model that runs on lithium-ion batteries.
It’s never a good idea to have so much weight with you when hunting. More weight can create more sound while you’re walking, which is not a good idea when hunting at night. You need to be as quiet as possible so buying a night scope with too many features is not a great choice as it becomes extremely heavy.
Heavier scopes are also more fragile so accidentally dropping them might damage their features. You should only buy a scope that comes with all the essential features that you need. Be very picky with the features.
Lightweight scopes are more durable and it would be easier for you to aim and move around.
When you’re buying a scope, the first thing that you need to check is its clarity. The goal of buying one is to see your prey or target so the scope should be very clear.
Clarity can be measured by lines per millimeter (LP/MM). A higher number would mean that the image that you will see behind the scope is very clear. The night scopes in the market can allow you to spot and view your prey from 200 yards away. This is already a good choice for a typical hunting scope. But, if you want something clearer, you can get a higher LP/MM.
Durability should also be a priority because a lot of things can happen when you’re hunting during nighttime. If you accidentally let go of your gun while hunting, there is a chance that the scope will be damaged if the construction is not durable.
Always look for a scope made from high-quality materials as they can last longer than cheaper alternatives. They are definitely more expensive, but it’s better than replacing your scope over and over again.
You should also make sure that the scope is suited for all types of weather. It should be waterproof and shockproof to provide another layer of protection to the scope.
This is one of the factors that are usually overlooked by the hunters because they always check the clarity of the scope. Most of them think that as long as the clarity is high, the range of the scope will follow. This is a big misconception because clarity and range are two different things. They are directly related to each other, but you should never ignore the range of the scope.
Most scopes have a range of 100 yards, which is the average for some users. You can opt for a higher range depending on your needs, but this is the best range for normal hunters. You should also look for scopes that come with long optics since they can produce more light.
Since we’ve already mentioned optics, this is also an important factor as it determines the quality of the image that you’re going to see in your scope. The optics is responsible for the collection of light to provide a higher quality image.
For optics, you should look for high-fiber glass with the right coatings. You can also look for a scope with caps and a cleaning cloth for protection and maintenance.
The technology integrated into the night scopes is different depending on the generation they were manufactured. The new models offer better technologies and they come with a wide range of features. But, they are extremely expensive and bulky. Every additional feature added would add to the bulkiness and weight of the scope.
The first-generation models are still amazing, but the images are usually distorted or blurry. Some hunters can still benefit from this, but the new ones would have a hard time adjusting to these older models.
8. Infrared Illuminators (IR)
Some night scopes already have a built-in infrared illuminator. If the brand or model that you want doesn’t come with a free IR, check if you can attach one.
An infrared illuminator can be used to make your night vision a bit brighter, especially if the night is pitch black. You need to check the range as they are usually limited. This is a very important tool so make sure that the NVS that you’re going to buy can at least allow you to attach an IR.
Simple Tips to Keep your Night Scope Secure
Getting a scope for night hunting can be complicated, but taking care of it would pose more challenges for you. Although these scopes are built to last for a long time, you still need to pay attention to their care and maintenance. Here are a few tips that you can follow:
1. Check the Instruction Manual
When you buy something, what’s the first thing that you usually do? Most people will ignore the instruction manual and they would check the scope on their own. But, doing so can be very dangerous, especially if you bought an expensive Night Vision Device (NVD).
The first step to take care of your scope is to read the instruction manual. It has all the maintenance and care tips that you need to know, including the things that can damage the device. Remember that not all scopes are made with the same material, which means that taking care of an ATN scope is different from maintaining a Firefield scope.
2. Avoid Sources of Bright Light
Depending on the type of NVS you’re using, you should avoid sources of bright light. More expensive models can often be used during daytime, but most of the average scopes are only usable at night.
If you allow the optics of your scope to be subjected to bright illumination, it can cause irreversible damage to its external and internal components. Remember that this is permanent damage and it will lead to very expensive repairs or replacements, which are not covered by the warranty of the scope.
3. You Should Never Take It Apart
Most of you are probably thinking of taking it apart for cleaning, but this is a big mistake. Your NVS should only be cleaned on the outside. This device is very fragile and complex. Only trained professionals can take it apart and assemble it without damaging any of its parts.
If you don’t have any hands-on experience when it comes to these mechanisms, it is better to just use it or bring it to a professional if there’s a problem. DIY tutorials won’t be a good idea as well because a simple mistake will completely ruin the NVS.
4. Don’t Touch the Objective Lens
Like with a DSLR camera, it’s not a good idea to touch the objective lens with your bare hands. The lens is covered by a special coating that would prevent it from getting damaged when you’re using it in the wild. The oils and other debris or dirt from your hands can damage the coating of the lens. Keep in mind that the objective lens is very expensive so don’t touch it with your bare skin.
The best way to clean the lens is to use a clean and non-abrasive cloth. Never use any type of cloth as it might scratch the surface of the lens. The soft cloth used for eyeglasses would be your best option.
5. Know the Voltage of your Night Vision
When you buy an NVS, you need to check the recommended batteries by the manufacturer. The specific voltage of the battery would depend on the usage of the device. Make sure that you choose the batteries based on the recommendation of the manufacturer so they would work safely and properly.
The latest scopes are built with protective mechanisms that would prevent you from using them if you’re using the wrong batteries. But, it’s still better to learn more about voltage and the right batteries to use for your NVS.
Also, remove the batteries from the device if you’re not using it. This is to prevent any leaks that would damage your scope. You should also make sure that you only change your batteries in non-humid areas. Moisture can enter the NVS and damage its interior.
6. Avoid Humid Areas
Most of the NVS models are waterproof or water-resistant, which means that you can use them even if it’s raining. However, not all of them come with this kind of feature. An average NVS doesn’t have resistance to water so you can only use them when the area is not humid or the weather is good.
It is best to verify the unit if it comes with waterproof features before you use it in rainy and foggy areas. This type of weather will not only give you visibility issues, but it can also damage your equipment permanently.
7. Proper Storage
Your night vision is not a toy that you can dump in your bag. They are fun to use, but you have to be extra careful when storing them. They have a lot of fragile and delicate parts that might get damaged if you don’t take extra care when putting them inside your bag.
Your scope should have its own pouch where the lens and the other parts would be kept safe. If you’re going to put it with your other personal belongings, make sure that it is placed at the top and not below the items. This is to prevent any kind of damage to the scope while you’re traveling.
After using the scope, you need to place it inside its storage space as soon as possible.
8. Clean your Scope Regularly
Whether you’re using your scope regularly or not, you need to keep it clean at all times. It is your responsibility to clean your scope after every use. There is a chance that it will be full of dirt and dust after your night hunting so you need to clean it properly before you store it away. Here is a simple cleaning technique for your NVS.
- Get a soft lint-free cloth and special cleaning liquid to remove the dirt and dust from the surface of the lenses. You can use regular water, but the special cleaning liquid will prevent the protective layer of the lens from being damaged.
- Soak the lint-free cloth with the special liquid and gently wipe the lens of your NVS. Don’t apply too much pressure and just wipe it in a circular motion. This will help remove the dirt and dust without applying force.
- After removing the dirt from the surface, get a dry lint-free cloth and wipe the lens. Don’t let the liquid air dry as it might cause stains on the lens.
9. Keep it Away from Kids
If you have kids in your house, they might think that your night scope is actually a toy. It’s the reason why you have to always keep it when you’re not using your gun. If you have a vault for your guns, you need to put the scope on the same storage. But, make sure that they are kept in a box because the lenses are very delicate.
Don’t let the kids play with the scope as it can easily get damaged. After cleaning the scope, store it away as soon as possible.
It’s fun and exciting to go hunting at night, especially if you have a night vision scope to help you navigate the area and find your prey. But, you should always know how to take care of it because this piece of equipment is very complicated and delicate.
If you’re looking for night vision scopes to get you started with night hunting, you have a lot of options to choose from. However, you need to understand how to find the best one so you can get your money’s worth.