The 4 Best Night Vision Scopes For Coyote Hunting
Coyotes, like many other predators, tend to be nocturnal, meaning that they are out and about at night. The often hunt at night for anything they can prey on. That’s why coyote hunting at night can be way more fun than during the day.
The problem is, as humans, we can’t see very well in the dark. That’s where a night vision scope for coyote hunting comes into play. Night vision technology has been around for a long time but it’s not just becoming more affordable for the everyday hunter like you and me. With night vision scopes becoming more and more popular, there are a lot of them on the market to choose from.
Since not many people have time to look at all the night vision scopes out there, we did it for you. Below, we’ve reviewed what we think are the 4 best night vision scopes for coyote hunting.
Best Night Vision Scope For Coyote Hunting Reviews
The first night vision scope we are reviewing is the ATN X-Sight 4K scope. People often refer to it as the “Smart Scope”. It has earned that name through the incredible software and technology that is on the scope.
With a 4k resolution, the scope looks beautiful, and the software installed is killer. The ballistic calculator does a lot of the work for you. It allows you to put the center of your reticle on what you want to hit and pull the trigger.
It offers regular or customizable reticules like most other scopes on this list. It also has a smart Mil-Dot reticule that automatically adjusts itself when you use the zoom. It is, easily, my favorite mid-cost night vision capable scope.
ATN X-Sight 4k Pro Edition Smart Rifle Scope Pros:
- 4k resolution, allowing a sharper image of the target when shooting.
- One-Shot Zeroing, allowing you to zero your rifle in a single shot as described.
- Ballistic Calculator, which lets you build a profile and factor in environmental factors to allow you to shoot as accurately as possible.
- A smart Mil-Dot reticule that is more accurate than a normal Mil-Dot reticule. It factors in your specific rifle and bullet load for further customization.
- The scope is durable and weather-resistant, in addition to standing up well to any recoil.
- Capable of operating in extreme weather, from -20 to 120 Fahrenheit.
- The battery life of over 18 hours, being the first digital scope of its kind to do so.
- Possesses video-recording capabilities, so you can put that perfect shot to tape.
- 3-14x zoom or 5-20x zoom, depending on the model you choose
- Has a built-in range finder. Not of the highest quality, but it can still work well.
ATN X-Sight 4k Pro Edition Smart Rifle Scope Cons:
- Default IR illuminator is said to have poor range, meaning you may want an aftermarket illuminator.
- Less affordable than the other scopes on this list, apart from the Pulsar Digex.
This scope is an incredibly nice night vision hunting scope, for the opposite reasons as the ATN X-Sight. This scope is great for all of its numerous features and advanced software. It is simple, effective, and affordable.
It is a perfect entry level night vision scope. It won’t break the bank and it has everything you will need. In addition to being affordable, it possesses a stronger illuminator than the ATN and a higher zoom, perfect for longer distance shots.
Overall, a basic and solid entry-level night vision scope. This is the perfect night vision scope for someone who is just testing the waters on hunting coyotes at night.
Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope Pros:
- It represents a great budget option.
- Allows you to use black/white night vision or green night vision for those with a preference towards either.
- An 850nm IR illuminator, effective up to 200 yards.
- Capable of saving 5 zeroed weapon profiles, for use on different rifles.
- 2-16x or 4-32x digital zooms on the scopes, depending on the model.
Sightmark Wraith HD Digital Riflescope Cons:
- It only has 4-5 hours of battery life, meaning you will want rechargeable batteries with this scope especially and a spare pair on every hunt.
This scope is, honestly, not my favorite. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong; it’s an all-around, solid scope, nothing to complain about. It works just fine, and the choice of night vision type is excellent.
The illuminator is strong, and it’s not super expensive, but I don’t think it’s quite worth the money. It’s only a little more affordable than the ATN and isn’t as affordable as the Wraith, which seems like a better scope than the NV-350YL.
It has 3-13.5x zoom, with a good illuminator, but it lacks in features that cheaper scopes have, making me have to say this scope, while good, simply doesn’t compete with the others on the list.
- The second most affordable scope on the list.
- 3-13.5x zoom on the scope.
- 850nm IR illuminator, effective up to 300 yards, some people indicate it is closer to 200 yards without getting grainy.
- Black/white or green night vision choice, like the Wraith scope.
- High-quality casing, making the scope more durable.
- Only capable of resisting recoil up to the level of a .308 rifle.
- No reticule customization function in the scope.
- An 8-hour battery life, not great, not terrible.
This is the granddaddy of night vision scopes here, the one for an experienced hunter with some spare cash to use. With the best night vision performance and a wide array of features, it is the best scope in all matters but price. You can use it in any weather you like with no worries, unlike the others.
It can see the farthest of any of the scopes. It possesses a 940nm IR illuminator, making you almost undetectable, unlike the other 850nm illuminators.
The picture-in-picture mode makes keeping an eye on a sightline while zooming in to check a spot super easy, and the scaling reticules make shooting easy, regardless of what zoom you set it to.
Speaking of zoom, while only 4-16x, for night hunting that’s more than enough. It possesses continuous and stepped zoom, so you can have your perfect amount of zoom for any situation.
The in-built rangefinder is excellent but paired with the shooting profiles that can store 10 zeroed ranges for 5 different guns, it makes this scope stand out. The one downside is, as mentioned, it is the least affordable option on this list, by far, but remember, you get what you pay for.
Pulsar Digex N455 Night Vision Riflescope Pros:
- Effective up to 500 meters during the night, the farthest on the list.
- Zooms from 4-16x, either via 2x steps or in a continuous zoom.
- It has scaling ballistic reticules, allowing you to quickly gauge the distance and make adjustments at any zoom level.
- Picture-in-picture mode allows you to zoom in much higher in the middle 10% of the scope, with the outside remaining at a lower zoom level, allowing you a superior field of view when zoomed in while retaining the precision benefits from high zoom.
- It possesses a high-power 940nm IR illuminator, meaning coyotes can’t detect the illumination, allowing you to remain unseen and undetected while hunting. In addition, it also possesses 3 adjustable IR power levels for preferential illumination and range of the light.
- The scope is fully waterproof, designed to operate in high humidity and any form of precipitation, whether a light drizzle, monsoon rain, or heavy snowfall.
- Possesses an in-built rangefinder to more easily hunt prey at various ranges.
- Operates between -10 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit without a problem.
- Possesses 5 different shooting profiles, each with the capability to store up to 10 zeroes, allowing you to quickly shift between ranges you’ve previously zeroed.
Pulsar Digex N455 Night Vision Riflescope Cons:
- The least affordable scope on the list.
Rules of Thumb for Picking the Best Night Vision Scope For Coyote Hunting
When picking a night vision scope, there are a number of attributes you need to consider. Among these attributes are clarity, precision, price, and ease of use. Quality comes into play as well, but typically most night vision scopes are well-built, with few exceptions unless you go particularly cheap.
There are a few other factors, like how the Pulsar Digex is waterproofed, but generally, these 4 are the primary factors you should be concerned with.
Clarity is, in short, how clear your night vision scope is, most particularly at night. If you’re using a night vision scope that looks blurry past 50 meters, it’s just not going to work well for you.
Clarity is a combination of the scope’s performance and the IR illuminator’s power, as the IR illuminator allows the scope to see clearly even during the darkest nights. A good scope shows you a clear enough picture of the animal to identify and accurately aim.
A scope that isn’t precise simply isn’t useful, no matter how well it lights up the night. The precision of a scope is related to how well you can group shots with it and how much zoom it gives you.
Typically, groupings are going to be good on night vision scopes because most night vision scopes are well built. If you aren’t able to shoot great groups with it right away or you aren’t able to hit what you are aiming at, give it some practice before you return it.
All the night vision scopes on this list will have plenty of zoom for night hunting. If you do decide to go with a scope not reviewed above, make sure it has enough zoom power.
Price is a more personal matter; some people are looking for a budget scope that does the basics. Some people are looking for a top-of-the-line night vision scope. Nothing is wrong with either one, just set a budget for yourself, and find a scope that fits within it, going off of the other criteria I have discussed.
Ease of Use:
The ease of use of a night vision scope includes several factors. Among these factors are how easy it is to save settings if the scope has them, how easy it is to aim at various ranges, and how easy it is to zero the scope.
Some night vision scopes can seem pretty complicated at first because of all the things they have going on in them. But don’t let that deter you, read the owner’s manual and practice. You will know the scope like the back of your hand in no time.
Coyote Calls And Night Vision: A Combination Made In Heaven
Hunting coyotes at night can be difficult to get used to. Especially if you are new to hunting them with a night vision scope. The problem is that everything is dark around you and you have to aim the scope in the direction you want to see. That means if a coyote out to your left, but you are aiming the scope to the right, you won’t ever see it.
That’s where using a coyote call comes into play. Using a call that plays a distress sound will usually draw a coyote into it. If you are aiming at the call, you will not miss any coyote that comes into the call.
Night Vision Scopes And Coyote Hunting FAQs
Will the scope handle the recoil?
In general, the answer is yes. Most people hunt coyotes with lower caliber rifles that don’t produce much recoil. If you are planning on using a larger caliber rifle for some reason, you may want to read some reviews or check with the manufacture to see if the scope will hold up to the recoil.
What do I need to take with me while hunting coyotes at night?
Take everything you normally take on a day coyote hunting trip. But make sure to always have fresh, spare batteries; having your equipment die on you, especially something as important as a night vision scope, is always a massive pain to deal with. If you’re new to hunting coyotes, check out our ultimate beginners guide to coyote hunting for everything you will need to know about coyote hunting.
Can I just put the night vision scope on my rifle and be ready to hunt?
Not quite! Not only do you have to zero the scope beforehand, but you also have to keep in mind that these are somewhat complex electronic machines. If you don’t read the user manual, whether new to electronic scopes or a long-time user, you’re likely going to end up confused and frustrated when the scope doesn’t do what you want to do with it. Always be sure to read the user manual carefully, and pay attention to all the little details because often those little details are the most important.
The Best Night Vision Scope for Coyote Hunting Final Word
These scopes are all quality night vision scopes, but only one of them can be the best. For that scope, I would have to pick the ATN X-Sight, for a few important reasons. First of all, the ballistics calculator.
With that one program on the scope, it makes it easier to actually hit the coyote or hit whatever you are shooting at. Hunting coyotes with a night vision scope will take some time to get used to and the ballistics calculator will only help you master it quicker.
The built-in rangefinder and one-shot zeroing are similarly great for the aspiring sharpshooter, and the adjustable mil-dot reticule is incredible for training, as well as being incredibly accurate when shooting. All of those reasons, and its middle of the road price point, are why I think that the ATN X-Sight is the best night vision scope for coyote hunting.