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Can you hunt deer with a thermal scope?
Deer and other artiodactyls are the favorite animals of many hunters. The process of tracking them down is an exciting event that gives positive emotions and gives a chance to forget about life’s problems for a while. Everyone who wants to try their hand at such a hunt should remember that this activity is far from always and everywhere allowed. The relevant laws have certain restrictions and prohibitions that are individual for each state. Therefore, before you go to the forest, you should carefully read the rules of the upcoming hunt.
When can’t you hunt deer using a thermal scope?
The operation of thermal imaging optics is a controversial issue. Some hunters find this acceptable, while others find it unacceptable. There is no single answer, so the debate continues to this day. To meet the demands of both sides, several US states have introduced certain restrictions. Most often, they forbid people to track or kill deer 1 hour before sunset and dawn. The ban also applies to the use of thermal imagers, which are considered illegal devices during this period.
All restrictions are based on scientific research. According to them, in the dark, deer become more anxious and shy. Therefore, any actions of the hunter in a given period of time (glow with a lantern, shooting, rustle from moving through the forest, etc.) lead to severe stress in animals. This feature is not observed in the light of the Sun, which is why everyone is allowed to hunt.
In certain states, the shooting of deer has led to the fact that artiodactyls are afraid to go out into open spaces and look for food even in the light of the Sun. This has become a real problem for conservationists, as the animal population began to decline sharply. In connection with this situation, it was decided to partially or completely ban deer hunting.
When is it okay to use a thermal scope to hunt deer?
In most states, the use of thermal imaging equipment during night deer hunting is prohibited. At the same time, the law does not restrict the operation of this optics in the daytime. Thermal imaging can also be used to count the number of individuals. This should be done after sunset, since at this time it is possible to easily find all the individuals and obtain reliable data.
Some state laws allow you to hunt deer with different optics. However, one of the prerequisites must be met.
Conditions for legal killing of deer:
- Damage to agriculture. If animals come close to human habitation, they can cause serious damage to crops (trample or eat cultivated plants). To protect the harvest, farmers are allowed to shoot uninvited guests at any time of the day. This should be done at the moment the deer enter the area where crops are grown. Only in this way the killing of one individual will become a clear example for the rest of the herd and will force them to bypass the given territory by another road.
- Damage to gardeners. Deer are herbivores. Therefore, when approaching a garden created by man, they begin to eat everything trees and bushes (they peel off the bark, tear off leaves or small branches). This causes great damage and also leads to the death of plants. To avoid all undesirable consequences, people are allowed to kill a few individuals from the herd. This will be a danger signal for the rest of the deer, and they will never enter the garden again.
- Random accidents. Deer are constantly on the move in search of food. Because of this, they often have to come close to human habitation. In such a situation, they will inevitably have to cross dozens of highways. At night, this often leads to collisions with various vehicles, which end in the death of the animal. In such a situation, drivers who killed an artiodactyl will not pay fines and incur other losses.
Why a thermal scope?
Dozens of weapon models are suitable for hunting any artiodactyls. To increase the efficiency of their work and increase the likelihood of success, you need to supplement them with thermal optics.
Reasons why you should take thermal optics with you:
- Adequate cost. High competition among manufacturers leads to a gradual decrease in the cost of purchasing thermal scopes. Already now you can buy a quality model for relatively little money. In the future, the price will only decrease, which will make modern technologies available to everyone.
- Versatility. Thermal imaging optics work equally effectively at any time. This will result in the hunter not having to buy 2 devices for each time of day. In addition, versatility will save money, as well as not lose the efficiency of the process of tracking and shooting an animal.
- Speed of detection. It is very difficult to find artiodactyls in a dark forest, despite its large dimensions. However, with thermal technologies, this becomes as simple as possible. This technology will give a chance to see even well-camouflaged animals hiding in dense thickets or tall grass.
- Easy to aim. Thermal scope gives the user the ability to see the sharp outline of a deer. Such information will help to find the optimal point of impact of the bullet, which will give a good chance to kill the animal with one shot.
- Wide detection range. Sights augmented with body vision can pick up the heat emanating from a deer’s body from a very long distance. Thanks to this, it will be possible to avoid useless long walks through the dark forest.
- Increased security. With the help of thermal imaging devices, it is possible to detect not only an approaching deer, but also a dangerous predator or other hunter. This will allow you to quickly take the necessary measures that increase safety and reduce the likelihood of undesirable situations (for example, direct contact with a bear, accidental injury to a person, etc.).
What to look for when buying a thermal scope?
Not all thermal imagers are suitable for hunting artiodactyls. Therefore, before buying such optics, it is important to study a few useful recommendations that will become the basis for the right choice in favor of a particular model.
- Give preference to optics that have average magnification. They are optimal during deer hunting and do not create difficulties for the user. Excessive values of this parameter will lead to a narrowing of the field of view, and small values will not allow you to see distant animals.
- When choosing optics, it is important to pay attention to such an indicator as thermal resolution. The quality and clarity of the resulting thermal images directly depend on it. The higher the value of this parameter, the better.
- Be sure to pay attention to the detection range of the thermal imager. The larger it is, the higher the probability of finding a deer from any distance will be.
- Try to buy models that can work offline for a long time. In this case, it will be possible to avoid the rapid discharge of the battery, which will turn the thermal imager into a useless device. An additional plus will be the ability to use an external power source, which will save your hunt in the event that the battery runs out.
- The best models are always those produced by well-known manufacturers. Such devices are distinguished by high-quality assembly and comfortable operation over a long period.
Every hunter dreams of shooting a deer. To do this without harming your own capital and the environment, you need to adhere to laws that are individual for each state. Knowing this information, you can find a suitable place and time for hunting, which will allow you to fully enjoy the process and not make problems for yourself.