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Choosing the right hunting IR scope

Choosing the right hunting IR Scope

As the summer continues on and the weather warms and nights grow longer it is becoming a better and better time to go on some night hunts. Hunting at night has become more popular as the price of thermal optics, also known as infrared/IR optics, has dropped drastically from what it previously was. This has led many hunters, looking to try night hunting, to ask the question, “What is the best IR scope?” The answer that question comes down to a few things you will need to consider.

Back to basics

Firstly, I should explain what an IR scope is and how it works. In short, thermal scopes detect infrared light to create images. That is, through an IR scope hot things appear brighter and cold things are darker. If you are curious of what the images look like, here are some videos from our X-Vision Optics website to help demonstrate it. Now, with that explained there are some important factors when considering an IR Scope. These include, budget, image quality, detection range, and other special features.

Choosing the right hunting IR Scope


The first thing to consider when on the market for a new piece of expensive gear, such as an IR scope, is your budget. IR scopes can run from anywhere between $999 and $5,000 or more. Our own long range IR scope comes in close to the middle of that range. The bottom line is, whatever your budget is, you want to get the optic with the best features to get the most out of it.

Image Quality

When hunting at night, the ability to see is the number one priority. You can’t shoot what you can’t see. For that reason, the image quality of an IR scope is very important. Image quality is typically measured by resolution. Our own scope’s resolution is 400×300 pixels with a respectable 50 Hz frame refresh rate. With improved refresh rates and resolution your visibility is improved, and you gain an edge during your night hunt.

Choosing the right hunting IR Scope


Another important factor of an IR scope is its range. This can come down more to personal preference, a person who like to be closer to the game will want a shorter scope and someone who likes to keep their distance will want a longer-range scope. Our own X-Vision Optics IR scope offers 2,600-yard detection and 1,100-yard recognition range.

Other features

IR scopes will also come with a laundry-list of other various features, some more important and some less, that is largely up to what you want/need and what you can afford. If you have more questions about thermal scopes here are two helpful sources. Otherwise, you can always contact us with any questions or concerns!

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Plan your next hog hunt!

Hog Hunt

Feral pigs and wild boars breed quickly and disperse widely wreaking havoc on crops and native wildlife. Because of this, many states have lax hog hunting regulations to encourage people to help curb the issue. Hogs are aggressive and dangerous game, making them an exciting and engaging hunt. Here are a few tips for your next hog hunt!

Planning your next hog huntHow to track hogs

To hunt hogs, one must first be able to find them. Tracking is extremely important on a hog hunt and luckily there are a few tell-tale signs that hogs have been in an area.

First, are the hog’s tracks. Tracks are often the most sought-after sign of an animal’s presence. With hogs, their tracks resemble a deer’s but are larger and rounder.

Secondly, rooting is a huge indicator that specifically a hog has been in the area. Not many other animals dig up dirt and vegetation like they do. If you find a mess of uprooted soil it is likely a hog has been in the area.

Thirdly, is the popular wild pig and hog activity of wallowing. Often wild hogs find a body of water, such as a pond or creek, and dig up some mud to “wallow” in. Hogs do this to cool off and keep cool for an extended period as well as drive off pesky bugs. If you find a wallowing spot, chances are hogs are in the area.

Use calls

Another beneficial tool when hunting hogs is the use of different calls. Because hogs are notoriously aggressive, a predator call may be helpful to draw out hogs by challenging them. A distress call may also be just as effective at drawing a boar out. Hogs are defensive of their young and will come to their aid out in the open if they hear the call. Whichever you choose both will be extremely helpful on your next hog hunt.

Planning your next hog hunt

Hunting at night

Whether they are adapting to hunting pressures or avoiding the heat, hogs can switch to a nocturnal schedule. This nocturnal activity means the best time for a hog hunt is often at night. Before you take out the night vision and thermal optics be sure to scout out the hunting area during the day first. You will want to take not of the terrain, dips in the ground, stumps, big rocks, and landmarks. Remembering the locations of these things will help you keep your footing during the hog hunt.

With the tips outlined above, you should be in good shape for a hog hunt!

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Types of Hunting Camouflage

Types of Hunting Camouflage

Hunting camouflage is one of the key elements of a hunter’s toolkit. Camo helps a hunter blend into the environment and get as close to the prey as possible without being spotted. Here are some different types of hunting camouflage and their best applications.

Breakup Camouflage

This type of camo is named for how it breaks up your appearance, blurring the outline of your figure into the surrounding environment. Breakup hunting camouflage is extremely popular because of how effective and flexible it is. This camo can come in several different patterns to blend into a multitude of environments. This includes, woodland, wetland, riverbed, rocky/sandy, and snow.

Digital Camouflage

You have likely seen this blocky digital design decorating armed forces, but it is also effective for hunting. Digital hunting camo combines large patterns to help you blend in at long distances and smaller patterns for close range concealment. Once again, this hunting camo comes in different patterns that suit different settings.

Types of Hunting Camouflage

Mimicry Camouflage

This type of camouflage differs from the previous types because instead of mimicking the terrain, it mimics the game. Mimicry hunting camouflage acts functionally similar to animal/bird calls. This camo is supposed to give your prey a false sense of security, they may even come closer to you before realizing you are not one of them. Depending on the pattern you wear though, the camo may be counterintuitive. If you wear a mimicry camo pattern that reflects a predator, you may scare prey away, so it is balancing act that you will have to keep in mind. Mimicry hunting camouflage is very situational but can also be very effective.


There many different hunting brands each offering their options of camouflage with pros and cons to each. Two of the most popular are Realtree and Mossy Oak. These two both have distinct and quality camouflages. Realtree’s patterns often mimic thickly wooded terrains which lends itself well to deer hunting. Whereas Mossy Oak’s patterns blend better with open tall grass environments which are ideal for bird hunting.

Types of Hunting Camouflage


Curious about what camouflage patterns would be best for your area? This helpful site will give you a camouflage suggestion based on the hunting terrain and game of your area.

Have more questions about hunting camouflage? This blog goes over just about everything you may want to know about hunting camouflage.

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How Do I Safely Transport My Firearm and Night Vision Optic?

how to safely transport your night vision optic and firearm

When traveling for a hunting trip it is imperative to keep safety in mind while transporting your firearm and night vision optic to avoid damage or injury. Here are some quick tips to help you travel safely.

Utilize your case

Firearms and night vision optics come with cases for a reason. These high-ticket hunting tools are often fragile (night vision optics especially) and need their protective cases for any bumps in the road. Hard-sided cases do a great job of protecting both firearms and night vision optics alike.

When traveling it is important to keep in mind where you are going and the rules and regulations of your area. This site provides more detailed information on interstate transportation of firearms. Generally, a weapon should be stored in a locked case, unloaded, and kept away from the driver or passengers, like in a trunk.

how to safely transport your night vision optic and firearm

Properly stow

Anchor your firearm and night vision optics so that they are not prone to move or fall and become damaged during transportation. Great spots to store your firearm or night vision optic during travel would be in the trunk, back seats, or trailer. Try putting blankets and other items around your firearm or night vision optic to protect them and keep them from moving too much.

A proper stowing will secure an item and make sure it does not budge during the trip.

how to safely transport your night vision optic

Plane travel

When looking to transport your firearm on a plane the regulations are more detailed. The firearm must be unloaded and kept in a locked hard-sided case. The firearm must be checked luggage whereas night vision optics can be checked luggage or carry-on. For more information check here.

Hopefully these commonsense tips and resources will help you travel more safely with your firearm and night vision optic in the future.

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Plan Your Next Turkey Hunt

Plan your next Turkey Hunt X-Vision Optics

Bird hunting, turkey specifically, can be an exciting experience. Gobblers are smart elusive creatures, which makes them fun game but also frustrating game. Here is a guide to bagging a gobbler next turkey season!

Finding the turkey

The first task of a turkey hunt comes before turkey season starts. You will first want to scout the area you’ll be hunting at. The main goal here is to find the turkey’s roost or nest. Where there is a roost there is a turkey, but roosts are not always easy to find. Here are a few things to look out for.

The environment is the first thing to take note of. Turkeys, like most other living creatures, require food, water, and shelter. Turkeys like access to open areas where they can easily get food, water sources, and large trees they can make their roosts in. An area with all three of these features will be a good place to look for a roosting turkey.

Next on your scouting trip, you will want to keep quiet and listen. If your state’s turkey season is in the springtime, then you may be able to hear the mating calls of turkeys nearby. Be quiet and patient and the turkeys may lead you to their roost and you’ll be in a good spot for when you come back to tag them.

Lastly, observe the environment for evidence of turkeys. This may be turkey tracks, feathers, droppings, and ground scrapings. Tracks at the base of a tree is a dead giveaway of turkeys roosting.

Plan your next Turkey Hunt X-Vision Optics

Draw out the turkey

Now that you have found the roost, the turkey hunt is on. Because shotguns are typically the weapon of choice on turkey hunts, get as close to the gobbler as you can and prepare a call to draw it out. A turkey distress call is usually a good call. This gobble call is especially effective during mating season when turkeys are more vocal.

A decoy turkey in conjunction with a call could also be effective at drawing a turkey out into the open for an easy shot. When using a decoy positioning is everything. You do not want to be between the decoy and the gobblers otherwise as they approach, they will see you first get spooked and flee.

Taking the shot

Animal in grass by thermal monocular

All your preparation has led up to this final moment of the turkey hunt. As the turkey steps out into the open you will want to take a deep breath and make your shot count.

Here is a helpful resource that goes much more in depth on this topic!

Hopefully these tips help you on your next turkey hunt. Let us know how it went here.

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Why You Want to Put your Night Vision Binoculars on a Tripod

Night vision binoculars on a tripod

No night hunter’s toolkit is complete without pair of night vision binoculars, this is a given. What is not always acknowledged is the immense advantage that a tripod for said night vision binoculars provides. Here is a short list of how a tripod gives you an edge on your night hunts.

Maintain Image

When staking out a high traffic location for prey a tripod can keep your night vision binoculars on target. The tripod maintains the image free of any human or environmental factors. When on night hunts it is easy to get lost, but with a tripod you would have no worry of losing track of an environmental landmark, herd of game, or where you put bait because the tripod keeps your binoculars fixed on where you want.

man using Night vision binoculars

Efficient Scanning

A tripod also enables more efficient scanning of terrain. Because the night vision binoculars are fixed to a tripod it is easy to make sweeping lateral movements and return to the resting position. This helps you scan an area for landmarks and game more effectively without losing your initial view.

Stabilized View

One of the major benefits of a tripod is obviously stabilizing your optics. A tripod takes out the human error that comes from viewing images at long ranges, such as breathing which sways the optic in a disorientating fashion. Not only that, but a tripod also helps with environmental factors such as wind. A stable image is extremely important for night hunts and a tripod excels at providing one.

Night vision binoculars sitting on the hood of a vehicle

Hand Free Option

With all the equipment that comes along with a night hunt, a tripod for your night vision binoculars can help lighten the load. Instead of balancing your binoculars on your knee or hanging it around your neck, try using a tripod. With the addition of a tripod, you can keep your eyes on target while using your free hands to take care of other tasks. When you return to the night vision binoculars the tripod will have kept the image right where you want it.

Try it out!

Not convinced yet? Here are some of the best tripods from 2022, pick your favorite and try it with one of our night vision binoculars or range finding optics.

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All About Antlers

All about antlers deer alone in woods

Antlers are of great concern for every deer hunter, and for good reason. Ancient cultures have used them as tools, toys, and ceremonial purposes since antiquity. In today’s culture, they serve as a tangible trophy of an animal that survives long after a hunt. The practice of grading sets of antlers as a trophy began in the 19th century. Now we have modern day ranking systems such as Boone and Crocket, which measure a variety of different metrics to determine size and trophy status

Dead animal with antlers on groundWhat are Antlers Made of and How do they Grow?

Antlers consist mostly of calcium, among other minerals, in a structure that roughly resembles our own human bone. This process starts as cartilage, continuing with covering of a nutrient shuttling tissue we call “velvet.” Antlers grow faster than any other mammal bone due to their importance in sexual selection and mating. After their full growth, the base of the antler is destroyed and they eventually fall off. Many outdoorsmen search the woods after shedding as an alternative to deer hunting.

What’s the point?

man posing with deer with antlers after huntAntlers exist for a variety of evolutionary reasons, having long ago developed from tusks. Now, they serve primarily signal dominance and sexual characteristics. They signal maturity and health both to competing males and potential mates. Antler requires huge amounts of energy to build and maintain, meaning large sets can also signal high genetic quality. This tells potential mates an animal is proficient at food gathering or has high metabolic efficiency. Finally, deer with larger sets have an advantage in territorial fighting with other males. Deer will go head to head, locking in an attempt to dominate the other deer through force. It is not uncommon to see puncture wounds on deer caused by competition between bucks.

Are There Different Types?

buck on ground after a huntMost people think of white tail deer as the primary species, but deer are not the only species that grow antlers. In Caribou, both male and female have antlers, Elk and Reindeer also grow sets. Moose also grow their own unique sets, and many theorize their different flat, thick and wide structure serves a function as hearing aids, catching and amplifying sound to the nearby ear. Regardless of what you are hunting, consider reading some tips we have for deer or elk.

What’s the Difference Between a Horn and an Antler?

The primary difference that sets horns apart is that horns are never shed. Horns are more similar to a fingernail where the exterior is alive and constantly growing. Antlers, on the other hand, eventually die and fall off.

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Why You Want to Put your Binoculars on a Tripod

Binoculars on a tripod

Binoculars are a key piece of equipment for any hunting trip. However, just like rifles, they perform best from a stable platform. Therefore, for best performance, we recommend using a tripod. Here are some reasons to put your binoculars on a tripod.

Stabilizes Optic View

A tripod keeps your binocular stable without any input from you. While some hunters may rest their binoculars on their knees or other landscape objects, this isn’t sustainable long term. We can hardly hope for the perfect stump at every hunting location to hold our binoculars.  Especially if using high levels of magnification to scout at a great distance, small movements such as your own breathing can result in massive, disorienting shifts in optic picture.

binoculars on a tripod looking in

Hand Free Options

It’s impossible to hold a rifle or call and a binocular at the same time. A tripod allows you to keep your eyes on the prize and your hands free to handle your other business. When you return from the task, the picture remains in sight and focus.

Maintains Optic Picture

As previously mentioned, a tripod keeps your binocular on target and in focus. This could be on a herd of game, a decoy or a single point in a landscape. Whatever your goal, a tripod for your binocular allows you to dial in and remain on the point regardless of wind or other environmental factors. Tripods even allow you to hold multiple optics in focus at the same time, allowing you to observe several areas at once.

Big Picture/Small Picture Focus

A stable binocular and stable optic picture allows for much more efficient scanning of the environment. By being able to return to the same specific point, it is easier to step back from the optic to get the bigger picture in the hunting environment.

detail hands holding binoculars in rain

Physically and Mentally Easier

An extended scouting venture might involve several hours looking through a binocular. A tripod makes this easier physically by saving energy spent stabilizing the binocular. What’s more, it makes it mentally easier. By reducing eye strain having to focus and refocus or deal with a moving optic picture, a tripod makes extended scouting significantly easier.

Try it for Yourself!

Here is a list of industry leading binocular tripods. We recommend a larger universal adapter to securely hold our night vision binoculars. Our rangefinding binoculars work with a greater variety of mounts due to their more standardized shape.

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How to Properly Care for your Rangefinding Binoculars

man looking through rangefinding binoculars

To start, binoculars are a bit more fragile than your standard gear, so it’s important to care for them so they can serve you a long time.

Don’t Leave your Binoculars in direct sunlight

This is important if you keep rangefinding binoculars in your car. Exposed sun will slowly separate the lenses from the lens covers, causing them to crack. Furthermore, in a car, keep them somewhere anchored so they don’t slide across the car when you stop.

Make Use of Your Case

We include a high quality protective case with every pair of X-Vision rangefinding binoculars for a reason. We want your rangefinding binoculars to last you a long time.

rangefinding binoculars in rain

In Use

Nothing about field conditions is ever perfect, but here are some best practices in the field to care for and avoid a catastrophe for your binoculars.  

Use a Strap

The simplest way to control your binoculars in the field is with a neck strap. A neck strap keeps your binoculars close and in control. When traversing terrain, a neck strap also allows you to tuck binoculars into a jacket.

Keep Your Binoculars Dry

Rangefinding binoculars are capable of handling a light rain. In heavier rain, seek cover or use a waterproof cover to minimize moisture in the set. Because of the electronic components in our rangefinding binoculars, full immersion will likely destroy the electronics.

person using rangefinding binoculars in fog

After Use Care

Wipe Down All Metal Components

Before storing your rangefinding binoculars, wipe down any dirt from the binocular housing.

Remove Grit from the Lens

Hunting is a gritty sport but rubbing grit into lenses will permanently damage them. Before cleaning a lens, use a lens cleaning tissue or soft bristle brush and invert the binoculars to allow the dirt to fall off. You can use a blower to achieve this same function, but don’t use your breath. Blowing on your binocular’s lenses will trap particles on the glass due the moisture of your breath.

Use Microfiber Cloth to Clean Lenses

In the field, a sleeve might work in a pinch. For best results long term, you will want a microfiber cloth to clean the lenses. Also consider adding a lens cleaning solution to remove oil stains from the lens and lens coating.

Dry Them Before Storing

Before storing your binoculars, wipe the exterior down with a soft, dry cloth and store them in the case. Consider adding a silica packet to the binocular case to maintain proper humidity.

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How to Choose a Reticle for Your Thermal Scope

Boar thermal vision Reticle

The X-Vision Thermal Scope has 10 reticle options:

Style 1: Standard crosshairs with thick stadia lines on the outer edges, with thinner lines towards the center of the crosshairs. Simple, yet effective.

Style 2: Similar to the standard crosshairs, this also includes horizontal stadia lines below the center of the crosshairs, good for hold-offs. Not set up for any specific caliber, you will use your own range data to set up holdoffs for different distances.

Style 3: Opposite of style 2, this option has vertical stadia lines on the horizontal axis, allowing easy hold offs to compensate for windage.

Style 4: Open style crosshairs with only single dot in the center, with a few dots below on the y-axis. Good for quick aiming and bolt drops on crossbows.

Style 5: Minimalist crosshairs with only a center dot and further out three stadia lines. Gives a full view of the target, while still providing a reference aim point.

Style 6. Two intersecting lines of dots. Shows a full reticle line, but able to see more of the target than the straight lines of a normal reticle. Dots can be used for elevation or windage holdoffs as well.

Style 7: This is a simple crosshair with only a few wider stadia lines below the center. This is useful for shorter range holdoffs.

Style 8: Similar to 7, but with more space between the stadia lines. Better for holdoffs at longer ranges.

Style 9: A combination of Styles 2 and 3. This style has Stadia lines and ½ Stadia lines on all 4 main lines forming the crosshairs.

Style 10: Similar to Style 9, but with the stadia lines more spaced out and extending farther in all 4 directions. It has a simple dot in the center where the x and y axis meet.

Reticle Off: This allows you to use the scope to view/track targets without a reticle present. Allows full view of the screen.

Reticle thermal vision

What are Stadia Lines?

Stadia lines are lines above and below the main crosshair. They are used to understand the scale of an image viewed through the scope.

When adjusting the magnification of the scope, the distance between stadia lines will increase/decrease with the magnification, similar to a second focal place scope.

This ensures that you can use your hold-offs at any magnification.

deer thermal vision Reticle

What Reticle Colors Does the Thermal Scope Offer?

The X-Vision thermal scope offers black and white reticle colors. We recommend choosing a color that has the most contrast with the palette setting.

Thermal imaging displays the differences in temperatures, so hot objects will appear as a certain color different than their background. Palette settings are what color that contrast appears in. Here’s the lowdown on different palette settings.

White Hot setting displays hotter objects as white on a black field. Green hot displays hot objects as green, and blue hot displays them as blue. Red Hot displays hotter objects as red on a field of white.