It takes more than excellent hunting skills to become a decorated coyote hunter. And even with the best rifle, the room for success is quite small. Also, inclement weather conditions and low light add more to your woes. To boost your chances for success, you need the best thermal scope for coyote hunting. It gives you a clear sight, whether day or night. Also, it comes with other extras that make it deadly accurate.
There’s a thermal scope for every coyote hunter, be it a newbie or professional. Hence, in my review, I’ll provide different options for different skills and budget. And with a handy buyer’s guide, you’ll never go wrong.
10 Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting
1. ATN THOR HD 384 Smart Thermal Riflescope
ATN needs no introduction. It’s one brand that has transformed the landscape of thermal hunting. The THOR HD Series, in particular, has been a game-changer. And opening the list is ATN THOR HD 384 4.5-18X.
High clarity 384×288 sensor
THOR HD 384 uses a cutting-edge sensor powered by Obsidian Core. It has 384 resolution, above the minimum recommendation of 320. And at 60Hz, you can easily take a shot at a fast-moving target. Also, the sensor has three modes: Black Hot, Color, and White Hot.
The Obsidian sensor can stream and record video at 1080p full HD. It records video at 60fps, providing a more cinematic view. Also, the sensor supports up to 64GB micro SD cards. And thanks to Wi-Fi support, you can stream via smartphone or tablet.
Recoil-activated video lets you focus more on your game. It buffers everything within the scope, capturing every hunting moment. Also, it records directly to your SD card.
You don’t have to trouble yourself with charts and complex reticles. The ballistic calculator does most of the heavy lifting. All you do is to range in and enter wind readings.
Built-in smart rangefinder
The smart rangefinder turns you into a deadly long-range hunter, up to 1500 yards. It ranges your target with just but two clicks and a shift of the scope. Also, it’s dead accurate to one yard or less.
THOR HD 384 offers a silky smooth zoom at 4.5-18X magnification. The step zoom lets you zoom in on the target without losing your field of view.
Extended battery life
The extended battery enables you to hunt long into the night. At 20000mAh, it provides up to 22 hours of continuous use.
THOR HD 384 is a decent entry-level thermal scope. But unlike other entry-level models, it packs more features and boasts full HD recording. So, if you want to start big, THOR HD 384 is your best bet.
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2. Trijicon REAP-IR Mini Thermal Riflescope
Trijicon REAP-IR Mini is among the top options for demanding shooters and hunters. It comes small and light, but powerful for much-needed speed and accuracy.
Well, S.W.A.P stands for size, weight, and power. REAP-IR comes in a small, light packaging but with exceptional power. Pound-for-pound, it packs more technology than any other model.
Advanced 640×480 thermal sensor
REAP-IR offers crispier imagery, thanks to the high-resolution thermal sensor. At 640 resolution, it’s by far one of the best you can get out there. Be it in smoke, dust, inclement weather, or total darkness, it offers much-needed clarity.
Also, the sensor offers a 60Hz display for fast-moving targets. However, you can switch to 30Hz to conserve battery life.
Edge detect mode
Edge detect entirely redefines how you view your target. It doesn’t give off as much light, only a fraction. Hence, it reduces night blindness for more precision.
Intuitive, easy zero method
New easy zero gives you much-needed speed. Hence, you’ll be able to get the rounds much faster than ever on the target.
REAP-IR uses the stadia method to range in on the target. It’s pretty fast, allowing you to determine the distance at a moment’s notice.
Rugged thumbstick control
REAP-IR adopts a considerable thumbstick control. Hence, it’s easy to locate, even in complete darkness. Moreover, it can take a beating, thanks to the rugged, weatherproof design.
Reticle position readouts
By displaying your current reticle position, REAP-IR makes it easier to sight in the system. Also, it helps in ballistic calculations.
8X Digital electronic zooming
E-zoom reduces the time needed to achieve different magnifications. And with a built-in lighting system, it also makes zeroing much faster.
Versatile top rail
REAP-IR boasts an integral top rail. It provides an ideal place for mounting accessories.
A rugged top-loading battery compartment
The top-loading compartment makes battery changes fast and easy. And with a rugged design, it can withstand the harshest weather conditions.
Two batteries for extended use
At 2 hours, the battery doesn’t last as long. To compensate for that, REAP-IR includes two batteries for extended use.
If you want a ton of technology without having to go bigger, REAP-IR will suffice. Also, it’s faster and accurate, making it ideal for the most demanding hunters.
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3. ATN THOR 4 384×288 Thermal Rifle Scope
THOR 4 thermal scope series are an upgrade of the THOR HD Series. They pack new exciting features designed for the professional shooter. Among the most notable is THOR 4 384 4.5-18X.
Ultra-sensitive 4th generation dual-core sensor
THOR 4 uses the Obsidian dual-core sensor for crispier image quality. Also, it supports a 60Hz display to accommodate fast-moving targets.
The Obsidian sensor can stream and record to an SD card, all at the same time. It records video at 960p and supports up to 64GB SD cards.
The ballistic calculator ensures your shot is dead on target each time. It makes it quick to determine the trajectory for any rifle. All the while, it accounts for external factors that might affect bullet performance. These include wind, temperature, and humidity, among others.
Smart ABL rangefinder
The auxiliary ballistic rangefinder gives you the long-range advantage. It adopts a simple one-button operation and can range in on targets up to 1500 yards.
The RAV or recoil-activated mode records video before, during the shot, and after. Hence, it’s able to capture every hunting moment. Plus, it eliminates the need to fuss around with buttons. All you do is relax and focus more on the target.
THOR 4 384 adopts a more rugged housing. It uses hardened aluminum alloy and boasts impact-resistant electronics. Hence, it can take the pressure of high-caliber weapons.
Ultra-low power consumption
The dual-core processor runs cool, resulting in low power consumption. Hence, you get a remarkable 16 hours of continuous use from the battery. It’s one thermal scope that might easily outlast you.
THOR 4 384 is a flagship thermal scope with cutting-edge thermal sensors. It has a full suite of luxurious features, making it ideal for the professional shooter.
4. ATN X-Sight II HD 5-20 Riflescope
X-Sight II HD is another thermal scope in the ATN HD Series. It’s the first-ever to boast an HD micro display, making it a true powerhouse. Aside from that, it has HD lenses and sensors. Hence, it’s one full HD resolution system.
Like other ATN thermal scopes, X-Sight II runs on the Obsidian dual-core sensor. It affords high-resolution 1080p full HD recording. Also, it offers plenty of customization to improve your hunting experience.
Also, X-Sight II supports Wi-Fi streaming. Hence, you can record every moment using your phone or tablet.
X-Sight II eliminates the need to reset everything each time you use your weapon. For every weapon, it saves zeroing-in and ballistic data on the profile manager. Just create a new profile, and you’re good to go.
X-Sight II makes ballistic calculations easier than ever before. The obsidian core does most of the heavy lifting. For instance, it accounts for external factors that might affect the trajectory. Hence, all you do is to range in and enter your wind readings.
Recoil-activated video captures every moment of the hunt. Unlike in other thermal scopes, you don’t have to press the record button. At least not before each kill shot.
The smart rangefinder comes in handy to make life even easier. It estimates the range to your target, all but with two clicks. Moreover, it adjusts your point of impact automatically.
The smooth zoom offers room for fine-tuning adjustments. Hence, it rewards you with perfect magnification each time. For this thermal scope, you get 5-20X magnification.
Powerful 20000mAh battery
The 20000mAh battery enables you to squeeze out more hours on a single charge. It has enough juice to provide 22 hours of continuous use.
For me, X-Sight II HD is one of the best for a full HD resolution system. Also, it offers excellent performance for the price-point. Overall, I’d recommend it for the best-value thermal scope.
5. Armasight Vampire 3X Night Vision Riflescope
Vampire 3X is an excellent mix of quality and price. Though it uses 1st generation technology, it rivals most 2nd generation optics. Best of all, it offers all at less than half the price.
Unique core image tube technology
Vampire 3X uses super-affordable 1st generation optics. But it more than improves the experience with unique core technology. As such, it packs most of the features of newer generation optics. Also, it has little to no edge distortion.
Long-range infrared illuminator
Vampire 3X uses the IR850 long-range illuminator. It provides near-infrared light, hence boosting night vision performance. Moreover, it’s detachable to increase battery life.
Rugged aluminum housing
This night vision scope can take a beating. The aluminum housing renders it shockproof. Hence, you can run, jump, and move around with confidence. Also, it’s water-resistant and fog-proof to protect the electrical components.
Pic rail system
Vampire 3X has an onboard tactical rail. You can use it to mount accessories, including extra lasers and an illuminator. Also, you can detach it for easy on and off use.
Extra-long run time
This thermal scope pushes battery life to the extreme. It affords up to 40 hours of run time without the illuminator. Hence, it can easily last you several hunting sessions.
Vampire 3X is a super-affordable 1st generation thermal scope. Surprisingly, it provides clear and consistent pictures. If you need a decent budget buy, Vampire 3X will suit you.
6. Pulsar Core RXQ30V 1.6-6.4 Thermal Riflescope
The RXQ30V comes in a compact, no-frills package. It doesn’t have as many features. Even then, it’s an extremely resourceful thermal scope for shooters.
Lightweight, compact design
Pulsar RXQ30V is noticeably smaller compared to other thermal scopes. It measures only 9 inches long. And with the eyecup off, it’s a remarkable 6.75 inches. Also, it weighs a little over one pound.
High-resolution thermal imaging
Despite the small size, Pulsar RXQ30V is no cheap toy. It has 384×288 high-resolution thermal imaging. Hence, it offers a more detailed view of the target. Also, it’s distortion-free, even when zooming long-distance targets.
High-resolution 640×480 AMOLED display
Pulsar RXQ30V has an upgraded AMOLED display. It displays heat signatures in deep white, and black. Moreover, it boasts outstanding contrast. Because of that, it reduces eye fatigue dramatically.
This thermal scope has a variable magnification range of 1.6-6.4X. Also, it has three digital zoom settings that improve overall performance. You get a clear view of targets up to 985 yards.
50Hz image frequency rate
At 50Hz, Pulsar RXQ30V delivers a high-quality image of the target. Aside from the crisp, clear view, it also shows real-time imaging. Hence, you can shoot at moving targets easily.
Built-in video recorder
Thanks to the video recorder, you can capture every moment in video format. Also, you can store it in the internal memory and transfer it to other devices.
IPX7 waterproof housing
With the battery pack in place, Pulsar RXQ30V is fully waterproof. Hence, it’s safe for hunting in wet weather.
Convenient external power supply
Pulsar RXQ30V uses two batteries that deliver up to 4 hours of continuous use. Well, it’s not much compared to other brands, such as ANT. Hence, to increase operation time, it comes with an external power supply.
For me, Pulsar RXQ30V is an excellent high-resolution thermal scope for shooting and off-roading. Also, if you want a compact, no-frills package, this thermal scope will suit you.
7. THOR LT 160 3-6X Thermal Scope
THOR LT Thermal Scopes aren’t as advanced as THOR 4 series. They adopt a compact no-frills design. Even then, they provide outstanding performance for the average hunter. THOR LT 160 3-6X is one model that stands out.
THOR LT is the lightest among the THOR line of thermal scopes. It weighs only 1.4 pounds, making it easier to mount on any platform.
Micro HD display
THOR LT doesn’t record. However, it supports a 720p micro HD display. Also, the 60Hz display makes it useful for fast-moving targets. You can switch between two color modes: Black Hot and White Hot.
One-shot zero feature
The one-shot zero feature saves you precious time. It makes accurate shooting as easy as a 2-step process. Take the shot, adjust the reticle, and you’ll be good to go.
Recoil-resistant hardened aluminum alloy.
Thanks to the recoil-resistant aluminum alloy, THOR LT can withstand any high-caliber weapon. Also, the aluminum housing is weather-resistant. Hence, it can take quite a beating.
Ultra-low power consumption
THOR LT boasts an impressive battery life. It rewards you with more than 10 hours of continuous use. So, it more than lasts the entire night’s hunt.
I’d say THOR LT offers outstanding performance without a ton of extras. It’s for anyone who needs a light, affordable thermal scope for the average hunter.
Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting: Complete Guide
Sensor resolution takes center stage in image performance. The higher the resolution, the more light it captures. Hence, you get a higher quality thermal image. Also, a higher resolution sensor enables you to detect small games from long distances.
There are two common resolutions in the thermal scope segment. You get them in either 384×288 or 640×480 resolution.
384×288 is an entry-level resolution, ideal for short-range hunting. 640×480 resolution, on the other hand, offers a sharper image with better contrast. Well, it’s something you’d want for professional hunting. However, it comes a bit more expensive.
Magnification gives you a close-up view of the target. Overall, you want a higher magnification for long-distance targets.
Most often, scope magnification is listed as a range. Take 4.5X-18X, for instance. 4.5X represents the base magnification. 18X, on the other hand, is the digital zoom.
The more refresh rate, the better your chances of shooting at a moving target. Well, 30Hz sits at the low end. It isn’t very smooth and won’t pick a moving target as quickly. However, it gives you more hours on the battery.
For me, 50-60Hz is pretty much the sweet spot of thermal scopes. It keeps up with a moving target easily.
A built-in rangefinder eliminates the need of having to switch between your scope and a separate rangefinder.
Live streaming and video recording
It’s not a must-have feature. However, you demand it if you want to capture every moment of the hunt. Most have internal SD for storage and smooth transfer to a computer.
Live streaming is a handy feature for sharing on social media platforms. You can stream via smartphone or tablet over a Wi-Fi connection.
For either function, ensure the scope supports recoil-activated video. It will capture every moment before, during, and after you take the shot.
The reticle is a must-have for taking accurate shots. It comes in different shapes. For instance, you can get it in the form of a dot, dotted cross, or crosshairs. Also, it’s wise to go for more reticle colors. It will improve visibility in different environments.
It would help to have a battery that packs more juice for extended use. You’ll need at least 8 hours on the battery for a full night of hunting. ATN THOR thermal scopes go to the extreme to provide up to 22 hours.
Well, some scopes manage only 3-4 hours. I’d recommend them for short hunting periods. Other batteries support USB-charging. Hence, you can recharge them from a solar generator or power bank.
There’s a multitude of upcoming brands. But only a fraction boasts the quality that an excellent thermal scope demands. To stay safe, consider brands with a reputation for quality and performance. Some top brands I’d commend include ANT, Pulsar, Trijicon, and FLIR.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the best thermal scope for professional coyote hunters?
Well, I’d go with two options. First is the Trijicon REAP-IR thermal scope. At 640×480, it has the resolution that professional hunters demand. The second would be ANT THOR 4. Though it has a 384×288 resolution, it uses one of the most advanced sensors.
What’s the best thermals scope for entry-level coyote hunters?
Well, there’s a multitude of options for entry-level coyote hunters. However, I’d go with THOR LT 160. It offers all the essential features without a hefty price tag.
Which thermal scope is the best for long-range coyote hunting?
Long-range hunting demands more magnification. For that, I’ll recommend ANT THOR 4. It has a more extensive magnification range of 4.5X-18X. Also, it packs cutting-edge features to give you a long-range advantage.
Which is better between thermal and night vision scopes?
Thermals scopes are certainly better. They’re a bit expensive but provide crisp imagery even in pitch darkness. Night vision, though affordable, aren’t as effective in dark conditions.
Picking the best thermal scope for coyote hunting takes a bit of research and patience. But I’ve made it easy for you by reviewing the best models to consider. So, I have a question for you. Which one do you find the best for your hunting skill and budget? If you’ve already made your pick, please let’s know in the comments.