This is topic Thermals in forum Night forum at The New Huntmastersbbs!.

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Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 18, 2022, 10:13 AM:
First off, my apologies to any members I may have offended over the years or over ruffed there feathers. Remember when first joined I was told you better have thick skin and I hold no grudges.
Now onto thermals. Yes thermals can be expensive and remember you get what you pay for. There are many brands out there you just have to read up on them more or go to U-tube plenty of guys doing comparisons on them some pretty honest. When choosing a thermal you want one that falls in the middle on price and go up from there. The last 3 numbers is also important, anything under 384 is just going to give you a 150 yard scope max. In other words they not as clear and don't have the power for looking at longer distance and what you do see will be a blur till it gets under 150 yards so keep that in mind. The low dollar scopes, under 1,500.00 fall into that category. Price on scopes can run up to 9k and these scopes have lots of bells and whistles and worth every penny to a die hard you pretty much get the best of everything. Trijcon is about the best you can go if you want to spend that kind of money and rest of the brands just fall under it. So if just starting out go with a 384 or higher, you be happy in the long run. The thermals are pretty easy to figure out and use with little practice and some come with range finders as that's the biggest deal on nighttime hunting, figuring out the range of a coyote. Once a coyote is down you can still use the thermal to go find it as the body still puts off heat and thats what the thermal picks up. It may not be for everyone just depends on your coyotes, like Cal Taylor said in a pod cast every area and the coyotes behave a little differently. In Minn. our coyotes are mostly shy/timid and have gone nocturnal and a daytime coyote is as tough as it gets. When I called in S.D. that was a training ground for me, in Minn. its the proving ground to what works and what does not work. Thanks to the thermal it has upped our game here and more coyotes are killed by thermal than any other means such as calling on full moon or use of lights. Lights here are out dated they just don't give you the range plus a coyote can detect them or shadows from them.
My Nephew started the game few years back and he still struggling, he has called them in over a full moon and also under lights but has yet to kill one as he doesn't have the right tool for the job. So I been helping him out and bought a thermal for him to use and then he can buy it from me as he goes, it sucks on stand sharing a thermal, so I just had to help him get one. We will hunt together, and I'll get him better knowed up on calling and how to deal with an approaching coyote and what sounds to use on the difficult ones.
Nephew wanted to try a AGM Rattler TS35-384 and I did little research on it and seemed to be a good entry level scope for him, so I picked one up other day. I need to take it out and see what its strengths and weakness are compared to mine which is a ATN Thor-4 4.5-18x and is a 640 which is double of what the Ratter is. The rattler will I.D out to roughly 800 yards with positive I.D. out to 400 maybe 500 depending on weather. My Thor will I.D. past a half mile with positive I.D. at 800 yards maybe little more again depends on weather.
High humidity or blowing snow is not your friend when it comes to thermal, how far you see will be limited, there are a few tricks or things you can try to help on those bad nights. Some nights you just have to stay home no way around it. Both scopes come with one shot zero to make that job easy and then you can also fine tune them for tighter groups. Both come with range finders but have not bothered using them yet but have played around a little with mine, nice feature. On the Thor it has a ballistic calculator that will adjust your zero to what range comes up in the range finder another good thing about thor. The Thor comes with internal battery which can be charged when needed and I can go all night without a charge, and it also has a backup battery pack if I need it. The Rattler uses two 123 3volt batteries which are good for 4.5 hours or more if you turn off power between stands. The Ratter has smaller dia. lenses, so field of view is smaller compared to my Thor with bigger lenses, not a real big deal. Both companies have a web site just do a search and you can read up more on them as well as get a good look. Ghosts of the darkness beware as we have now taken over the night. More later as I go.
Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 19, 2022, 01:47 AM:
Was out other night with Nephew taking turns looking through the thor 4 had a pair of coyotes come out of farm grove on first stand just couldn't get them where I liked so just waited for them to leave. Went back alone last night and moved in on them from another direction and came into area from the south of the grove they liked to bed in. No place to hide the truck so I just drove into field and parked in a little low spot said good enough. Walked about 50 feet from truck and set up my bogpod and started calling with good old reliable WT. Took about 20 minutes and one of the coyotes showed up on same sounds I used first time we met. Had to make few changes and just waited him out and finally got him coming right in but very slow, had to what I call tease him in to where I could get a shot and it payed off. The coyote looked like it was 200 yards when I shot but found out when I went to get him it was just 100 yards. LOL I drove around looking for other places to call and used the rattler thermal as a spotter so I wouldn't walk in on top of feeding coyotes, I just hate that. I did notice the range on the rattler is way less than my thor. and when you I.D a coyote with it that coyote will be in range so no guessing or hold over needed. Made another stand and played with a pair of red foxes then packed it up for the night. 5 mph. wind with a -4 for temp. and called in coyote around midnight.
Posted by Kokopelli (Member # 633) on December 19, 2022, 06:27 AM:
" .......-4* & a 5 mph wind" ???? [Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]
You're tougher than I am. It gets down into the 20s and I got body parts that start shutting down.
I didn't move to Arizona to be cold and lately it's been cold.
Posted by Leonard (Member # 2) on December 19, 2022, 10:12 AM:
Okay, Tim. Appreciate your post. I have no experience with thermals at all. Well, I did once. It was something advertised as a game finder and I think I paid about $400 for it. The first time I tried it, there were all three of us looking for a cripple, and I hauled out this thermal gadget. It was so damned sensitive that it could tell the difference between leaves that were turned over due to wind, however, it was well below freezing and all leaves had dropped off.

So, my buddy walked by me and this piece of shit didn't see him! WTF? So, I guess the technology has improved a hell of a lot since then, and this might have been 20 years ago, I don't know, but it was just north of Fallon, not that that matters.

I bitched about the gadget and got a refund, so no harm done, I guess?

Now, don't take this wrong Tim, but look at the difference between what I have written and then scroll up and look at your post. Did you ever hear of a paragraph? Space out your monotonous banging on the keyboard. It's difficult to follow unless you break it up once in a while, if you understand what I am saying?

Good hunting. El Bee

PS Still, 2 thousand dollars is serious money when it comes to coyotes. Then I wonder about the ethical considerations, as far as game animals? Are there laws, legal or ethical?
Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 19, 2022, 11:00 AM:
ok I'll try to space it out a little, was trying to save up space. LOL
Leonard thinks about the price of a custom rifle or all the other bells and whistles one acquires to hunt coyotes or look at what you used for a night hunting rig. etc. big money but if you want to play you have no other choice.
Waiting for a full moon and snow on ground sucks.
Messing around looking for the right light sucks and the lights just don't cut it anymore, thermal is king we own the night.
As for the laws Mn. has been dam good about them. Can shoot a coyote from a road in daytime, can use electric callers, can use centerfire rifles, can use thermal or lights, and can even use a suppressor. Whats not to like?
You-tube has plenty of vid.s out there on thermal use check them out.
Posted by Kokopelli (Member # 633) on December 19, 2022, 06:24 PM:
Do you realize that you just asked Tim to be more 'spacey' ????
BwaaaHaaaaHaaaa !!!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Sorry Tim, I couldn't help myself. [Smile]
Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 19, 2022, 11:06 PM:
If I remember correctly my English classes was in after noon and for some reason while class was going on I'd find myself hunting pheasants or ducks. ummy!
Posted by Leonard (Member # 2) on December 20, 2022, 02:35 PM:
I've been gone long enough that I recognize that sort of Scandinavian-Swedish, ja distinctly Minnesota "accent". Iowa and Wisconsin don't have it. And don't get me wrong, it's really quite charming. It's a bit like Canadian without, eh? Think Knotty Pine. Is there a beer bar anywhere in Minneesota that isn't done in Knotty Pine with a miniature plastic Paul Bunyon & Babe, the blue Ox. Where was it, in Brainard?

I think they all wear Mad Bomber skullcaps, and lace up logger boots to the knee....quite avant Guard in the north woods. Teddy Roosevelt fashions never went out of style in Little Sweden.

Yup, Minnesota is in a 75-100 year time warp, love those mud flaps! And Speedos! No board shorts, what's that? Woopie John on the radio; so cool!

Just kidding Tim. Really love Minnesota culture. They even call a can of Coke, "Pop" like soda pop, without the soda.

Good hunting. El Bee
Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 20, 2022, 04:07 PM:
Nothing like cold can of Mt.dew and yes most call it pop here.
You spot on about the dress code but pertains to mostly the folks up north. I call the Minn. Hillbillies. Go north from there up into Canada and they another 10 years farther back in time. Paul and the Babe is northern thing yes Brainard area.

Paul and the babe have been moved though, not sure where they are but younger generation don't like history or traditions much.
Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 20, 2022, 04:09 PM:
With the thermal I mentioned humidity is not in your favor but forgot to add neither is the cold and both can reduce how far or how clear you can see but still better than a light.
Posted by Kokopelli (Member # 633) on December 20, 2022, 06:00 PM:
For the record, I would far and away rather see someone dressed as a Minny-sotie Hillbilly than some clod walking around with his pants down below his ass thinking that he's 'cool'.

Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 20, 2022, 11:44 PM:
only in twin cities but they migrate like elk.
Posted by Leonard (Member # 2) on December 21, 2022, 07:45 AM:
I keep forgetting that Tim is from southern part of the state, no lodgepole pines down there, it's farmland, basically just like northern Iowa, with mud flaps.

Those 10,000 lakes they brag about? Not where Tim lives, they didn't get the Memo. It's where we used to hunt pheasants in the corn fields. I think, not positive because I left when I was 12, but the pine forests start around Minneapolis/St. Paul, and then north to Canada it's pine trees and Skeeters.

When I was there, they didn't have any coyotes, I remember seeing one red fox when pheasant hunting, one time, and that was a big deal. This is the absolute truth, we chased and pressured the coyotes in The People's Republik and they had to leave the state eastward, some tried to swim to the Hawaiian Islands, not sure how that worked out, but most evacuated to Minnesota. And now we are all knowed up on Little Sweden, where every third person is named Anderson....and they are cute when they are little!

Good hunting. El Bee
Posted by TA17Rem (Member # 794) on December 21, 2022, 04:09 PM:
Yep big woods to north. I live on what's called the prairie but most of it is farmed.

We have more than 10,000 lakes. I help build two more. LOL

Coyotes moved into my area back in early 80's and only a few guys smart enough to shoot one and I still hold record for biggest coyote, never weighed it but measured it in length and I have at least 2" over any others. Had a family group move into area and I didn't bother to hunt them at time as the red fox was bringing big bucks, so I stayed after them. Mange was moving in and I was seeing less fox so I went after that family group of coyotes solo. They had some age on them by this time so got a chance to grow. I took two out of the group and local guy in town who also hunted took one of them. He ran around and bragged about how big his was and claimed the record at the time so he thought. I got word of it and asked to see the tan hide and then we measured it. I asked the guy to come over to my house and I showed him mine and then we measured it, I beat him by 2", boy was he pissed about that. LOL He was the type of guy that weighs or measures everything or keeps score on how many kills he can get. I told him I could care less about that crap I just enjoy hunting but I said hey just for the record my coyote is bigger than your's. LMAO
Posted by Leonard (Member # 2) on December 21, 2022, 06:59 PM:
I don't have, or keep too many records, especially length.

But I will tell you about a coyote I killed oh? 7-8 years ago. This was on the res and I had a coyote come in. I don't really remember the range, but it wasn't a chip shot, must have been more than a hundred?

So dragged him back, he was a male and real lanky.

Now my old Dodge Power Wagon had big tires, I think 32" and the truck had a 6 inch life kit.

So I stood on the doorway, door open and hefted the Coyote by the back legs, between the paws and the hock, about where you would normally pick up a coyote. so I'm off the ground by, let's say maybe 16-18 inches and holding my wrists on the top of the door frame, and get this: the coyotes front paws were just dragging the ground.

This was a long lanky "coyote" and he had somewhat shorter fur than normal, (this was winter) and had sort of a more grayish color than coyote brown. Also, one of the first things I noticed about him, other than the size was that his ears were black! I cut those ears and kept them, had them in my freezer for a while.

Anyway, this critter must have been some sort of "coy dog" he looked and acted coyote. The fact that he was taller than any coyote I've ever seen, and his color was a more gray than brown and of course, the black ears. It's easy to say, "Hello" you killed a dog" but you had to look him over because everything about him screamed COYOTE! I guess he was built kinda like a Doberman. I almost always have a scale but I didn't this time. My guess is he must have been 50-60 pounds.

I will also say this. I have seen different color phases before, like very dark, almost black, and I've seen rusty red down in Texas but I think those animals were red wolf, and that was before I ever heard of red wolves. Also, I've seen blonde coyotes, one was really outstanding, but he weaved between bushes and never slowed down, I would have loved to skin that pelt. I have a neighbor that walks his two Labs and one is black, and I had to ask about the other because she didn't look like a yellow Lab. And he said she was called Champagne. Anyway, that was the color of this coyote that I couldn't get to check up for a shot. It wasn't a lab, it was a blonde coyote. I have seen one other blonde coyote so I know what it was. This was a pelt hanging in a gun shop and I talked to the guy that shot it and he told me where he got it and I know the exact place, behind an airforce radar station, so these blonde phases do exist

Good hunting. El Bee

[ December 21, 2022, 07:00 PM: Message edited by: Leonard ]

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