Hunting With Thermal Imagery — Made Simple

ATN’s ThOR LT makes thermal imagery accessible to any hunter, with simple-to-use controls and an affordable price.

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Hunting With Thermal Imagery — Made Simple

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ve noticed that hunting is changing, and innovation in the tools hunters have at their disposal is driving much of the change and advancement.

At the same time, predator populations are spiraling out of control, and in response, many states have opened up night hunting for hogs, coyotes and other pests. Day or night, removing these destructive predators has become a priority for hunters and landowners in many parts of the country.

The intersection of need and innovation brings us modern solutions to the overpopulation problem, and chief among those solutions is thermal imaging.

You can read more about thermal here and here, but if you’re not familiar with the technology, in a nutshell, thermal optics “read heat,” allowing a hunter to “see” animals when they might not ordinarily be able to. Night or day makes no difference, as a thermal device can read the heat signature regardless of ambient light. Fog, rain and brush can’t hide an animal from thermal imagery, either, which makes thermal optics handy even in the middle of the day. After the shot, thermal optics are even useful in helping the hunter find downed or wounded game. Who doesn’t love a short tracking job?

Thermal does come with a downside, though. As with any technology, its capabilities are growing so rapidly that we’re approaching a “how much of a good thing is too much?” point. Advanced features and a keyboard’s worth of buttons might be well-suited to certain uses, but your typical hunter is priced out of the market when technology advances too far, adding to the price tag with each new bell and whistle.

What does a hunter need out of a thermal optic? Well, clear images are a must, as is a functional reticle and adequate magnification. Battery life has to be strong enough to last an entire night or day without a recharge, hunters need a generous detection and identification range — but nothing approaching the extreme ranges needed in military applications. The ideal thermal scope for hunting would be lightweight, easy to use and quick to deploy, in addition to offering great images at hunting ranges. It would be affordable without unnecessary features adding to the cost.

ATN, a leader in thermal optics, has developed a riflescope that fills that bill perfectly: the ThOR LT series. Designed to make thermal imaging technology more available to hunters, the ThOR LT line has everything a hunter needs and nothing they don’t — without sacrificing quality. Two sensor options (160x120 17um and 320x240 12 um) let shooters choose between good and great resolution, and several lens/magnification choices (3-6x to 5-10x) let hunters pick the magnification range that works best for their style of hunting. At just 1.4 pounds, the ThOR LT is the lightest scope in ATN’s ThOR line, so it can be mounted on a rifle, a crossbow, an air rifle or other platforms where weight is a critical factor. At the same time, hardened aluminum alloy construction means it’s tough enough to handle the recoil generated by high-caliber firearms.

The ThOR LT mounts easily with 30mm rings, and the controls are simple to use. You won’t have to worry about fumbling with buttons or scrolling through options in the dark, and you don’t have to be an engineer to navigate the controls. In fact, there are only a few buttons: on/off, zoom up/down, brightness and contrast up/down, and mode (white-hot versus black-hot according to your preference). And speaking of easy to use, the ThOR LT boasts a one-shot zero. Just take a shot, adjust your reticle to where the shot hit, and the gun is zeroed.

Classic ergonomics and a 3-inch eye relief make the ThOR LT comfortable to use and give it a familiar feel, much like a traditional hunting scope. The housing is weather-resistant. Depending on the model, it has a human detection range of up to 1620 meters and a human identification range of up to 415 meters — plenty of range to cover a hunter’s typical shot distances.

Of course, battery life is a concern on an all-night or all-day hunts, and the ThOR LT has hunters covered there, too. It’s designed for ultra low power consumption, and the internal lithium ion battery will run for 10+ hours of continual use before it needs to be recharged via a USB port. No more buying one-time-use batteries!

MSRP on the ThOR LT series starts at just $1,199, and a three-year warranty is included. Thermal made simple is a hunter’s dream come true, and the ThOR LT offers a great entry into the world of thermal optics without a massive investment.


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