Thermal Imaging: A Conservation Tool That Goes Beyond Just Hunting

ATN’s thermal optics are more than just hunting tools — because they are a great help in recovering game, they can actually help you be a good steward of our natural resources.

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Thermal Imaging: A Conservation Tool That Goes Beyond Just Hunting

Because hunting is such a primal, man-versus-nature activity, it carries a sense of tradition that runs deep. And so, as technology evolves, making us more efficient and effective hunters, some traditionalists decry the “new” methods, claiming that hunting is becoming too easy or less sporting. Every advancement — from compound bows to trail cameras to high-tech scent-control gear — goes through the cycle of outcry to acceptance until it becomes commonplace.

Thermal imaging is no exception. Though some traditionalists protested its use when thermal first made its way into the fields and forests, it didn’t take long for hunters to see the overwhelmingly practical benefits that thermal brings to the table. In fact, traditionalists who are concerned with conservation and being good stewards of the land have found that thermal is just another helpful tool in the hunter and land manager’s toolbox.

One of the basic tenets of conservation is to hunt responsibly and make good use of your harvest, and although this is not what it was designed for, thermal has proven to be a surprisingly great tool for recovering wounded or downed game. Because it reads heat signatures, thermal can “see” through fog, brush and darkness to help hunters find their animal. Did the bloodtrail run out? Is it too dark to find droplets? A thermal imaging device like those from ATN can solve that problem. Just begin walking a grid, scanning with your thermal monocular or binoculars, watching for signs of your quarry. As long as the animal hasn’t cooled off to ambient temperature, the heat signature will be readable. You no longer have to wait until morning before resuming your tracking, taking the chance that a coyote or other predator will find your animal overnight and ruin the meat.

A pair of thermal binoculars is excellent for this task, and you won’t go wrong with ATN’s BinoX line. With a built-in laser rangefinder and a dual-core thermal sensor, the BinoX 4T comes with your choice of two 4th-gen sensors offering a detection range of 750 up to 1,950 yards depending on sensor and lens options. You can select between black-hot/white-hot mode or color mode, and video capability — recording and live-streaming is built in. With 16+ hours of run time on a single charge, you can run the BinoX all day or all night. The BinoX line starts at $2,699.

If you’re looking to dip your toes in the thermal water with a less expensive unit, or you prefer something smaller and simpler, ATN’s OTS-XLT line of thermal monoculars is an ideal game-tracking tool for considerably less money — starting at just $599. They’re designed to be simple and easy to use, with all the features you need and nothing you don’t, powered by ATN’s Obsidian LT core with a 160x120px sensor. Two lens options are available depending on the magnification you want. A smart rangefinder is built-in, and it records video and takes photos as well.

Need more features for scouting, hunting and other after-dark adventures like hiking or camping? The Odin LT line of monoculars might be more your speed. They offer an improved high-resolution displayed, upgraded lenses and a head-mount in case you’d like to go hands-free. The Odin LT line starts at $1,299 and comes with a three-year warranty.

Whatever model you choose, ATN’s thermal products are all simple and intuitive to use, so you’ll be up and running with little to no learning curve. Whether you use them for scouting, hunting or game retrieval, thermal imaging devices are one technological advancement that can truly help you be a good steward of our resources and make the most of the time you have afield.


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