Home Forums Campfire Forum Just a thought (on technology)…

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    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      I’m going a little cleaning, getting things set for the new year, looking for pork and sauerkraut recipes and watching a little TV. The hunting year has been a bust for me, but that’s why it’s called hunting, not killing. So one particular show came on and I had a thought, so here goes…

      Hunters often are going in or coming out of the woods in the dark. Obviously, a light source is a must. Flashlights are probably the go-to tool, but there are some others that I think might work. The particular one I am talking about is NVG (night vision goggles) or more specifically, FLIR (forward looking infrared). Does anyone use this, or does anyone think it’s UN-trad?

      My thoughts go to the advantages. For one, you get a much wider field of view than with a flashlight. Another is that you are not polluting the area with light, scaring away potential game. Yet a third is tracking. Getting a shot at sunset, right as a rain or snow is coming in, makes for one heck of a job tracking. Something like FLIR could pick up the heat signature from a downed animal.

      Again, nothing will replace basic skills. You need to know how to track, you need to know how to minimize light (and noise) pollution going into and out of the woods. But with prices being pretty reasonable, is this a feasible option? Yes, a person could get some strange looks walking through the woods being dressed like the terminator while carrying a self bow with a dozen homemade wooden shafts tipped with obsidian and some fresh turkey feathers on the back, but still.

      Thoughts?

      Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe new year.

      Be well,

      Alex

      πŸ˜†

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      There’s places where you’d probably automatically be guilty of poaching. Or at least a game warden be mighty curious what you be doing with bows, arrows, and night vision goggles.:wink: I’ve been places that if you had a gun and a spotlight in your vehicle, not matter if the light was in the trunk or toolbox, you were guilty of spotlighting. Just thinkin’:D which ain’t always easy for this old guy.

      Oh yeah, night vision goggles interfere with your anchor point? :lol::lol::lol: Just askin’. Don’t throw rocks, just funnin’.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      R2,

      Wow, great point. I never even thought of the legality of it, or the potential for poaching (stinks to be a law-abiding citizen who doesn’t spent his time trying to find ways to cheat the system πŸ˜• ). Great point though. I was only saying about getting to / from the spot and maybe tracking a downed animal. I knew there would be some folks here who would set me straight πŸ˜† . Have a great new year.

      Be well,

      Alex

    • FallguyFallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      For my normal walk out of the woods I only use safety glasses to keep any branches out of my eyes. The only places I have used a flash light was a night with a new moon coming off a mountain in Oregon. There was a 500 foot drop off on a flat topped nob. If you missed the corner on the trail things would go down hill very fast.:lol:

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      I use a flashlight cause I don’t like rattlesnakes, cactus thorns or mesquite thorns! πŸ˜€ Or drop offs:)

      Alex I knew where you were headed, just me thinkin out loud.:D

    • Col MikeCol Mike
      Member
      Post count: 910

      Alex

      Long time no hear–welcome back. Well you know me–never night vision goggles or flir:evil: Only one type of prey those are used on.

      You would be surprised how well you can walk in the woods at night with just your eyes or a pair of binoculars to amplify. When required (for tracking or butchering) petzel makes a neat little head lamp about the size of a quarter that has red light option–doesn’t offend your eyes or the environment. Just my opinion:D

      Now I do use a white headlamp for mushing at night–but then I don’t have to worry about the game warden while doing that–he’s likely in the sled with me:lol:

      Happy New year

      Mike

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Hey Alex, you can use the night vision goggles while Mike’s got the game warden occupied on the sled. πŸ˜†

    • Col MikeCol Mike
      Member
      Post count: 910

      Tomorrow night I will hoist a cold frosty to all of you–and will need night vision to get home—on the sled:shock:

      Thankfully the dogs know the way and can drag me back without nvg’s:D

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      My thing will be flinging a midnight arrow into my backyard javelina target by flashlight light (I have a wally world special 200 lumen light that lights up the backyard), if I have a willing flashlight holder:wink:. I bet I can lay that bright thing on the ground and it’ll work. Hope a plane don’t land. I don’t use it when hunting, the spotlight thing you know :shock:). Alex hasn’t told me about anchor point interference and night goggles yet πŸ™‚

      Where we going with this? :D:D I’m getting looney. Up at three this morning and home at dark. Tired.

    • 1shot
      Post count: 252

      NVG’s, like most things, take some getting used to while walking/running in the dark, perceptions are skewed, the high=pitched whine gave me a sharp headache after a few hours, (They did give me a fine sense of Joy at one time)…

      Personaly have no use for them now, my night vision is fine, 20/15 with contacts and the critters I hunt dont shoot-back anymore…

      For walking out of the woods/Mt’s safely there would nothing wrong with them, but a flashlight seems a better idea(put a red-filter over the light if your worried about spooking game, dont wave the light around or just cup your fingers over the light to ‘dim” output…

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      LOL! πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

      Great points. I actually love walking in the dark, but like Fallguy said, those pesky branches right at eye level are a pain. R2, as long as you hold 3-under, your anchor would stay the same πŸ˜› (that’s me trying to sound like I know something, I don’t πŸ˜‰ ). ColMike, yeah, you’re right. If I am ever handed NVGs, deer will be the last thing on my mind. Only used them once in basic, hope to never use them again (for their intended purpose). 1Shot, true that red filter really does the job (and costs about $10 with a flashlight, versus $500+ for even the cheapest FLIR). Anyway, have a great New Year everyone. Got a cold one in hand raising a toast to all of you for a happy, healthy and safe new year.

      Na Zdarovia!!!

      Alex

      πŸ˜€

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Now that we got all that figured out I hope everyone can see their way to a bright and Happy New Year. Ralph

    • WyoStillhunter
      Post count: 87

      The older I get the harder I work to take less stuff on my hunts. So NVG, etc. is not a direction that appeals to me.

      I will continue to carry a GPS as a safety measure and maps when in new territory. Otherwise a simple headlamp and basic compass will get me off the local mountains after dark. When available a bright moon is usually all the light I need.

      Happy New Year to all! I might even stay up to finish a football game but likely not.

    • Doc Nock
      Post count: 1150

      Here in the dark understory of early Fall archery, I cannot begin to see my way from ambient light… not even on a full moon…too much over-story!

      Maybe in dead of winter…

      I figure the crunch of dry leaves in a 2-step fashion gives me away long before they (deer) see my light. I don’t need to trip and bust up a custom bow or chance busting my ample snoz on a rock or a stick in the eye!

      No deer is worth that. I “try” to “compensate” by going in far early enough to avoid critters… usually works or if they slink away they’re not doing so blowing like a sperm whale!

      Where one hunts, open country, under heavy canopy, all differs and each has to make his own call. Good scouting, knowing travel routes and times, seems far more a concern than worrying about whether a light will spook a deer! 😯

      I’ve never fooled a deer’s nose and ears, even if his/her eyes! Light is just there to make my route as direct, safe and quiet as possible. After that, it all depends on 3 things: Location- Location-Location!!

      One ole grumps opinion on NY Eve…

      Happy 2014 to all who stay up to see it…it’ll be here tomorrow regardless of sleep loss…

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      Well I’m a bit late to the party as usual…. But I gave up on shooting deer at dark a long time ago. I hate looking for deer in the dark. I’m usually out of the woods while it is still twilight. I do have a nice bright head light that lets me see where my fingers are if I manage to kill something and have to field dress it in the dark though…

      Hope y’all had a good new years! It was lights out by 11 for me. Just couldn’t make it.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I’m with Steve. Not only do I leave early enough to sneak-hunt out of at least the core hunting area before I need artificial light, I can’t count the times in recent years that I’ve heard elk coming, realized the likely outcomes–a herd comes in to drink and hangs around for several minutes, with animals wandering all around so that the chances of getting busted are very high, the chances of getting a clean shot in low light in a herd very low, and I’ve been pinned down in this way for as long as 45 minutes after black dark. To avoid all that I run away at what in other circumstances or my early days of elking would be prime time. In the old days I’ve shot elk right at last light, waited the obligatory hour or so, then spent half the night walking around trying to find them by flashlight. Once I even walked two miles down to the cabin, got there about 11 p.m., got a big Coleman lantern and fresh flashlight batteries and walked back up and still never found the animal. In my experience it’s both the ethical as well as practical thing to quit evening hunts at the point where you know if you shoot anything you’ll be looking for it in the dark by flashlight. Even since I’ve adopted the Ashby arrow system and most of my elk go down well within sight–the last two made it 15 and 25 yards respectively, I still quit early. And mornings, I don’t enter the core hunting area until I can see without a flashlight, and I hunt my way in. Whether it’s accrued wisdom or the timidity of age, the years and hard learning experiences account for these conservative strategies. Also, I absolutely detest the hi-tech militarization of hunting gear and wish all electronics were outlawed. It’s just awful for the sport, IMHO.

    • strait-aero
      Post count: 350

      Me also,Dave….NVG is not traditional.I’ve used the Coleman for night tracking, and let’s face it fellas,that’s when the real hunting begins.:roll: Wayne

    • skinner biscuitskinner biscuit
      Member
      Post count: 250

      I like the petzel headlamp colmike mentioned.I use it with the red filter to get close to my hunting area.Then I shut it off and wait for daylight . I agree with Dave and Steve, mourning’s are the absolute best.

    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      I just use a headlamp and never have issues. I’m no fan of more tech in the woods, but even though I can use a map and compass, hands off my gps:D

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Yep David, after my ordeal last year of locating then retrieve my mule deer buck and messing up my hand, which by the way is usable but not over it and probably never will be, I no longer consider shooting late. That doesn’t mean though that I haven’t gotten way far from the truck in my wanderings. There’s things like the possibility of there being a metate in the rocks over there or the remnants of a camp on that flat or a shiny object that’s caught my eye on yonder hill. I always carry a flashlight or two in my belongings as I get caught away quite often. Modern flashlights can be way small and way bright. I have no problem with the modern version of a torch.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Same here, Ralph. Even if I’m going out for “just a morning hunt,” I always have two LED headlamps and xtra batteries in my hunt pack. Light is part of what I think of as “success gear,” along with knives, game bags, etc. I am never without a flashlight … I just go out of my way not to use them until I have meat on the ground and the hunt is over. Years ago I tried those chemical “luminescence” sticks. They sucked. Using a red lens to walk in is a good idea, I think. It definitely cuts down on brightness and glare … yet animals can still see the light and movement, so it’s not invisible. My game cams are infrared and when the flash fires, a little red light blinks. I have too many pictures of animals–elk, deer, bears–walking right up to the cams at night to check out those lights to believe they can’t see them, and I sure can. I have pics of mountain lions staring at them as well. Since deer can’t see red, what color are they seeing? It’s still a good compromise with using a full-on light if you get stuck out late.

    • RalphRalph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2544

      Yes sir David on the light,”What color are they seeing?” I worked for years with a young man that was color blind. He could not see red or many other colors but he saw them as something and something different. He saw the brake lights of a vehicle when they came on, red or not to him, he saw them light up so why would a deer or other critter not see something when the red light comes on. I too see them look at the light at times from my hidey hole (I have a pop up blind set in a deer crossing and gathering point just cause I like to watch) but also they get so they seem to totally ignore it. ?????? By the way, Happy New Year up there!

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Alex, great to see you back. A hint to the limitations of nvg is that if we ever lose something important at night on an exercise, we take off our NVG and pull out our petzl’s. If it’s tactical I still take off my nvg and look by star or moonlight. My experience is that they’re not great for detail.

      As I understand FLIR it’s just an IR torch that provides a light source that the nvg can see, rather than a thermal capability.

      Some of the thermal imaging gear is excellent, but I doubt the good stuff is available to civilians anywhere in the world.

      Jim

    • JamesG
      Post count: 32

      “Also, I absolutely detest the hi-tech militarization of hunting gear and wish all electronics were outlawed. It’s just awful for the sport, IMHO.”

      I thought for awhile on how to reply to the topic when I realized I could not say it any better than Mr. Petersen. Night vision technology is NOT acceptable for hunting, any hunting be it trad. compound, or rifle. Sorry but that’s my opinion.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Guaranteed to let you down.

      Get you branded poacher or pervert.

      Next you’ll be buying an X bow, sounds like the road to ……… not trad.

      Mark.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Thanks all for the reply. I mentioned this elsewhere and it turns out I am not the first to think of this. There is another archery / hunting site (won’t mention names, but someone sent me a link) that did an entire article on this very thing (FLIR to be exact). πŸ˜•

      Just to clarify, I am ONLY talking about GETTING TO AND FROM YOUR HUNTING SPOT and RECOVERING GAME. Not once did I even question using NVGs or FLIR to actually hunt. I am pretty sure that would be considered poaching in just about every state. πŸ‘Ώ

      Well, since I don’t want to stir the pot (or poke the skunk, or however the saying goes) too much this early in the year, I’ll save the “how trad is trad” post for another time. Hope everyone is having a good new year so far.

      Be well,

      Alex

      πŸ˜€

    • FallguyFallguy
      Member
      Post count: 317

      This is the slippery slope that hunting has gone done. G&F departments wanting to sell more license, lets legalize crossbows. Retailers we need a new product to sell season, lets sell a better scouting tool drones with T.V. camera.:evil:

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      JamesG wrote: “Also, I absolutely detest the hi-tech militarization of hunting gear and wish all electronics were outlawed. It’s just awful for the sport, IMHO.”

      I thought for awhile on how to reply to the topic when I realized I could not say it any better than Mr. Petersen.

      James, I share that opinion with you and Dave, but in terms of effectiveness, if I were a deer, I’d rather a bowhunter or riflehunter shooting iron sights trying to sneak around in the night with a crappy NVG (a noisy affair) over a guy in full daylight sitting on a hill with a powerful rifle and powerful optics and a laser range finder. One is a much more effective killer than the other.

      Jim

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Jim, I can’t quite decipher your meaning here (too much coffey?), but way too often the “more effective thus more humane” potential advantages of big rifles and compound devices is erased and then some by the ever-growing sickness of longer and longer shots. And with compounds, those longer shots are facilitated almost always by light arrows and mechanical or other inferior broadheads … the net result being more wounding loss, not increased efficiency/humanity. If there were some way to absolutely assure that compounders never took shots over 40 yards and used effective arrow set-ups, then I would join the ranks of “live and let live.” It’s going just the other way, so, if I were your hypothetical deer looking for a fast efficient death at the hands of a hunter, as things now stand I’d have to put my faith in the guy who chooses to hunt with a stickbow or an iron-sighted rifle, as I would know that he intends to get close and do it right, and that he has chosen a weapon that demands he get close, thus for that one, the hunt means more than the kill. Right now I am convinced that the shooters of the “most efficient” weapons are responsible for an overwhelming majority of wound losses. Just my take from here …

    • James HarveyJames Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Dave, we’re on the same page. My assertion is that a high powered rifle/optic on a hilltop is a much more effective killing machine than a bow and nvg fumbling around in the dark. Not that I’m suggesting that is a justification of using nvg to hunt game, just that there are already less sporting things accepted in the hunting world.

      Alex, I also acknowledge that this is a diversion from your original post as you were talking about using the tech to track downed game. Apologies πŸ˜‰

      Jim

    • JamesG
      Post count: 32

      Just to stir the pot-

      It would be 100% legal to hunt coyotes, during certain times of the year, at night with NVG/FLIR and any weapon here in Illinois. So to say that hunting with NVG is illegal is not correct. States vary greatly in what they deem legal weapons, methods of take, season dates, hunting times, etc.

      For the record I am OPPOSED to hunting or using in the field in any way shape or form NVG/FLIR.

    • Forresterwoods
      Member
      Post count: 104

      Ditto on Peterson’s comment. The more people use technology the less we depend on our God given hunting skills. Reminds me of a blind person developing greater hearing skills…because he needs to. The more technology we use, the lazier we become and spend less time honing our woodsmanship skills. NVG might be fun to watch critters at night to see what they do with my son but in no way bring a weapon except a sidearm for protection. At night I’m on the menue…

    • Forresterwoods
      Member
      Post count: 104

      Native americans never came to full draw with a bow as their lives depended on game and didn’t want to spook the animals with any extra movement. They relied instead on their stalking skills to get up close to thier game which required a huge amount of patience…which can’t be learned by using technology.

      Kevin

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