Hunting tips

Night Vision Preparation - 5 Top Tips


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Before you go shooting with night vision, you’ll need to do your homework.

Top Tip 1: Communicate with the farmer.

The farmer is the person in the know, he is around his land at all hours. He can tell you where the foxes’ earths are situated. Don’t be afraid to get as much information as possible from the farmer.

Learnt the lay of the land, you might know the area where you'd expect to see the foxes, but when you return at the night it will look a lot different. You need to know everything in the vicinity.

night vision shooting

Top Tip 2: Visit the land in the daytime.

Remember, safety is paramount. You need to be aware of potential issues such as roads and other public rights of way, buildings, livestock (how many times have you seen a pair of eyes at night, and it turns out to be a sheep?), domestic pets (especially cats), or the farmer himself checking his stock at night.

Look for tell-tale signs of fox activity. Well-used pathways, holes in fences, fox scent (that musky sweet smell), fox scat, or even feathers and bones from the fox’s unlucky victims.

When you’ve worked out where the foxes are, and the pathways they are using, think about the positioning of your truck.

Using night vision is different from lamping. We’re not searching for foxes, we’re ambushing them.

Forest ground

Top Tip 3: Think about vehicle position.

Make sure that all angles are covered with the way you’ve parked your truck. Try to park close to hedgerows, trees, or a feature in the field. You will be surprised how your truck blends in at night. Even vehicles with bright paintwork or chrome bumpers and mirrors blend in and disappear at night. When retrieving a shot fox, you will be surprised how many times you will need your torch to locate your vehicle.

The use of a laser range finder is an asset to the night vision shooter. At night, it is very difficult, especially through night vision, to estimate distance. Use geographical features to measure the relative distances and from this you’ll be able to work out what is a possible shot with the limitation of the shooting equipment that you are using.

Night Vision Preparation

Top Tip 4: Know your distances.

If you’re not experienced at estimating distance, don’t be afraid to pace out various distances in your day to day activities – estimate the distance between, for instance, parked cars or lamp posts, and then pace them out (an adult stride is approximately one yard). You may be surprised by your original estimates. Distances can be deceptive.

With night vision, foxes do not know your positioning. The only hint they get that you are there is the dull red glow of the infrared illuminator, but you’re more likely to give yourself away in ways you might not expect.

Top Tip 5: Think like a fox’s prey.

Imagine you don’t want to be caught. At night, it’s not about the visual.

Foxes have good eyesight, but their sense of smell is even better. Be aware of any strong smells that you might encounter during the daytime. Avoid having any spicy foods and make sure that you don't have a strong smelling air-fresheners in your car.

The other superior sense the fox has in its armoury is its hearing. Think about what you’re wearing – avoid squeaky footwear, or clothing materials which rustle. Some waxed jackets can produce a noise which seems amplified at night, when the sleeves move against the coat.

Ensure the platform from which you are shooting is sturdy and sound-proofed (use rubber matting or similar on touching surfaces), and everything you need is to hand so that you don’t have to clunk around opening vehicle doors, or ask your shooting partner to search for some important item.

Dead fox

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