Wildlife is beautiful in its perfection. The human species is the crown of evolution that dominates the planet. Scientists and inventors have found ways to fly in space, descend to the ocean floor, treat diseases, and transplant organs. But humans are not nocturnal creatures. In ancient times, hunting was the individual’s way of life and his tribe. However, night hunting required highly complex skills, and few people dared to do such activity for simple entertainment. In modern times, when hunting has become just a sport and a pleasant hobby, manufacturers of optical instruments successfully solve the problem of seeing far and seeing in the dark. The military, rescuers, police, conservationists, and veterinarians use night vision devices and thermal imagers. Night hunters have also adapted this equipment to their needs.
Optics for hunting, even picking up a bow with arrows, a modern hunter can afford to choose from a vast list of optical instruments. A rifle can be equipped in general with the latest technology. Conventionally, hunting optics can be divided into several categories of goods:
Optics are installed on the weapon to facilitate long-range shooting – a spotting scope with an aiming grid. Such a sight is called an optical sight. It simplifies the process of aiming and increases accuracy and the chances of a successful shot.
Binoculars are optical devices consisting of two telescopes located parallel and connected for observing distant objects with two eyes: due to this, the observer sees a stereoscopic image. They differ in magnification, lens diameter, eyepiece diameter, aperture ratio, a field of view, type of prisms used, etc.
A monocular is a compact refractor telescope used to magnify objects at a distance. Typically, this type of optical instrument uses an optical prism to obtain a direct image instead of relay lenses, as in most optical sights. Monoculars have the same characteristics as binoculars. But they are smaller and less expensive.
These are laser optical devices that determine the distance to the desired object.
This is a spyglass, a compact, powerful telescope optimized for detailed observation of distant objects.
The laser pointer is used to illuminate a distant aiming point without visual inspection. This method is preferred because it has less parallax, allows more movement in the weapon as the projected laser beam will stay true to the bore axis, and does not require the bolt to be removed.Also read: 10 Top Android Apps For Personal Finances
A monocular is a small device that can be carried in one hand. This is almost half of the binoculars. The telescope is a much larger instrument and not as easy to control.
A night vision device is indispensable for hunting. It allows you to navigate the terrain, track prey, and aim in the faint light of the moon and stars. Being able to see in the dark is an added advantage and another chance to get loot. There are several design options: monoculars, binoculars, glasses, and sights. Despite Differences, the principle of operation is the same. All night vision devices convert weak, indistinguishable light into an image visible.
The device amplifies the brightness of the object thousands of times. This can be natural light or IR illumination converted into the visible spectrum.
The device consists of one or two lenses, eyepieces, and an image intensifier located between them. It is the electron-optical converter that allows you to see in the dark. The converter consists of a photocathode, an electron beam multiplier, and an anode coated with a phosphor, on which an image of the observed object appears. The color of the picture is green. This is due to the manufacturing technology of phosphor, its properties, and its composition. In addition, green is well perceived by the eye, and less tiring. In newer devices of the latest generations, the image is black and white, with greater detail.
Night vision devices differ in the degree of development of the electron-optical converter in generations. From 1 to 3+. The existence of Generation 4 is determined more by marketing features than by the level of development of the device. The paradox is that it is unnecessary to use the most expensive Generation 3 devices for hunting. Each piece of equipment has its conditions of use. Not every shot in the night forest or the field is designed for a considerable distance, for which expensive optical devices are used. Generation 1 has a sensitivity of 200 μL/lm and is used for distances up to 200 meters under the moonlight. Generation 2+ under the moon can work at a distance of up to 600 meters, given that the first device costs about $ 200 and the second $ 2,000.
You also need to understand that it is desirable to have a wide field of view when hunting. This means that an optical instrument with a high magnification gives a better image of an object at a distance than the human eye. But at the same time, it becomes tough to monitor the environment.
Another essential characteristic of a night vision device for a hunter is weight. When traveling long distances, every gram of gear matters. But when a hunter sits in ambush in a camouflaged place and conducts a long observation, it makes sense to use a powerful, heavier night vision device.
Also, the weight of the equipment depends on the importance of the batteries and the energy resource of the device.
In hunting, two thermal imagers are used: sights and monocular observation devices. The operation of such an optical device is based on the visualization of infrared radiation from objects on the screen. Based on the temperature difference between the surface and background areas, a heat map is created on the screen that the human eye can see. The device resembles a conventional video camera, but heat is recorded instead of light.
The thermal imager has an opaque lens made of germanium and coated with carbon.
This optical device can detect and recognize prey in complete darkness under the rain, fog, and snow conditions. Thermal imagers are not afraid of illumination and can be used even daily. Since the principle of operation of the device is based on thermal radiation, it is straightforward to detect games even in dense foliage and behind trees. And it also refers to the still warm trace of a recently passed animal.
Thermal imaging devices are also characterized by the range of detection, recognition, and target identification.
The objective magnification in thermal imagers is usually 1-4x. But the more influential the diversity, the worse the aperture ratio and contrast. And the higher the elaboration of the lens, the narrower the view.
The thermal imager is an electronic device, so the electronic unit works cyclically to display a moving image. But the refresh rate of the image is not essential in surveillance.
On average, thermal imagers have about 4-5 hours of battery life. The hunter must monitor the battery level and decide whether to carry additional power supplies or put the device into sleep mode to save energy.
For a hunter, a thermal imager is much more convenient than a night vision device, but there are no clear reference points in space when working with this. Therefore, it is advisable to use a rangefinder—either built-in during manufacture or purchased separately.
Since a thermal imager is a relatively progressive electronic device, some models often provide video recording functions on a memory card, radio signal, and WiFi blocks.
Night hunting requires special skills and abilities. But with well-chosen equipment, even an inexperienced hunter can show a quick and effective result. That’s why you should familiarize yourself with the offers on stores’ websites and prepare for hunting based on the experience of selecting the right equipment.
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