Can I use thermal during the day?
Thermal imaging provides an amazing advantage to hunters during daylight hours. Night-vision technology is fairly useless during the daytime – the internal Image Intensifier Tubes (IITs) can be damaged if exposed to sunshine – so using night vision during the day is unwise. Even digital night vision riflescopes, which can be used during the day, won’t provide the detection range and heat signature information of a thermal device. So, for people who are willing to spend the extra money and invest in a thermal, what are the benefits of daytime thermal usage?
One spectacular benefit of daytime thermal usage is the ability to see through thick brush and vegetation. Often, hunters lie in wait for hours, hoping to catch a glimpse of their prey – only to see nothing. This is remarkably frustrating. With a thermal device, all those little camouflaged birds, varmint, hogs or anything else that is hiding in the brush will become instantly visible. Also, when a deer’s antlers are engorged with blood, they will show up on a thermal device like fireworks on July 4th. A helpful tip here would be to increase the brightness setting on the thermal optic, because during the daylight hours, the Sun will be putting off heat, so to get clear profiles of prey animal, increase the brightness settings slightly.
Another common frustration is shooting an animal, usually a deer, and then searching miles and miles for the wounded beast because the shot wasn’t a kill-shot. Deer are amazingly strong animals, and unless they are shot in the brain or heart, will run for untold miles, usually over rough, uneven terrain. With a thermal, this problem is instantly solved – a warm blood trail will jump out on a thermal device, instantly obvious and easily trackable.
Notably, cold-blooded creatures such as reptiles and fish do not emit heat signatures, so they are not instantly visible with a thermal device. However, their outline will be obvious – which is better than nothing, and is what you would get on a night vision device or regular, un-powered optics….which leads to the next point-of-interest for thermal devices: Improved target identification. No hunter wants to shoot their neighbor’s pet dog, nor livestock, or heaven forbid, a human being. With thermal, target identification is quick and accurate and leaves no room for a tragic case of mistaken identity.
As always, check with local laws, game wardens and park authorities before employing the use of thermal devices. Many states and countries do not permit the usage of thermal devices, so it is imperative to receive permission before embarking on a thermal-powered hunt.
The benefits of thermal imaging devices are simply astounding. Whether you are hunting during the day or night, thermal will help. During the day, you will have improved visibility through brush and camouflage, be able to follow a blood trail, and have improved target identification, especially of smaller animals and varmint. You will be able to see cold-blooded creatures, albeit just their outline. Overall, the only drawback of thermal imaging is its relatively higher cost than other professional optics – however, this expense is offset by the numerous hunting and scouting advantages that thermal provides. And when you want the best, most affordable thermal optics on the market, there’s only one name that delivers quality every time – Pulsar.
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