Somehow I have been on this earth for several decades and still I have yet to go hunting, even though it is on my bucket list. I know that in the best of circumstances, it is not easy and there are no guarantees. That is why I am interested in hunting feral hogs. They are invasive, abundant, and so destructive that you are encouraged shoot as many as you can find. Fortunately for IL, we do not have feral hogs here…yet. This morning I read 2 reports of feral hogs in Wisconsin. So not only do I no longer need to travel to Tennessee or Texas to bag a hog, I can even contribute to preventing hogs from growing in the Midwest and possibly from invading IL. Every little bit helps so I want to be prepared to do my part.
The one component I am missing to be completely ready to go to war with the swine is a thermal unit. Since the best time to hunt feral pigs is at night, it behooves one to have night vision. While traditional night vision like a PVS-14 is great for navigating terrain and certainly effective as a weapon sight, thermal is superior in the detection department. Thermal will be much more effective at determining whether there is anything worth investigating in a given area, especially if it is an area with considerable cover. With night vision, you cannot always determine for sure if something is there or not but it is very hard to hide from thermal units.
The unit I am most likely to get is the Armasight Predator. It combines the quality and performance of FLIR’s thermal sensor with the rock solid Armasight housing and top notch support. The 2.5-8x magnification is perfect, giving you low power for scanning or moving targets and higher power for precision shots. All of that knockout performance for an unbelievable price of $3000 makes it a no brainer choice. What else could you want?
Well, if we throw out the budget, what I want is the Q14. Smaller than a PVS-14 with all the same modularity, the Q14 thermal monocular is beyond impressive. A feature that I really like is the integrated IR laser pointer. This allows you to scan with the thermal monocular and once you have detected your target, you can “paint” them with the IR laser for those in your party using IIT night vision to pick off. That must be why they stressed teamwork back in grade school.