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Night Vision and Thermal Hog Hunting

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I have spent some serious time in Texas swatting creatures of the night. Our first trip to Texas was back in 2018. I spent time with his Uncle Todd Huey owner of Lonestar Boars and Huey Outdoors https://www.hueyoutdoors.com/. I showed up with a single TNVC PVS-14. Todd got me situated with a Vyper body PVS-14 and a Mod Armory D-14 Bride https://www.modarmory.com/product/integrated-components-night-vision-helmet-mount-d-14-dual-pvs-14-light-weight-mounting-system/. I spent a weekend crawling all night in the cold, wet, central Texas weather with Uncle Todd glassing for hogs. We killed 16 or so hogs that weekend. A quiet weekend according to Todd. The weather was keeping the hogs’ movement down. None of that mattered, the hog hunting bug was already in full effect.

Hog Hunting and the Itch to Always Go Back

It is gratifying to finally put all the hours of training and costly acquisition of equipment to the test. When you send that first volley of rounds down range at a heard. Hogs dropping left and right under thermal. There isn’t too much quite like it. We are not talking dropping a single hog with a well placed earshot, we are talking mass extermination.

Alex poses with a pig he shot on the Texan Ammo private hunting property. Bren 2 7.62×39 with Pulsar Thermion XP50

Thermal vs Night Vision

There are plenty of ways to get the job done. Running NVGs and lasers work okay. NVGs are mostly used for night time navigation through your environment without the use of visible light. Running IR illuminators and lasers doesn’t spook the hogs, but is visible to coyotes. This does spook coyotes if you were hoping for a bonus dog. You can certainly walk and stalk hogs with NVG on high luminous nights. Their bodies cast shadows and stronger visible silhouettes. Season is important too. Summer time the, grass can be tall and PID’ing the hogs becomes much harder. You certainly want to PID all of your targets, don’t just assume. Hogs hair heavily coated in mud acts as a very useful light absorber making it super difficult to see Hogs.

Thermal is king. Some veteran Hog hunting locals don’t even have NVG. They could afford thermal but not both. They will glass with thermal on their weapon system periodically, shooting their azimuth (figuratively) walking to the last spot they mentally marked, before checking glass again.

Hog hunting is hunting to some, extermination to most. Hogs are highly invasive and destructive. Feral hogs cause over $50M is damages a year. There are many outfitters that are given permission to hunt private lands to help cull the herds. One of the smaller, but quality outfitters is https://www.instagram.com/sandycreekoutfitters/?utm_medium=copy_link&hl=en. We definitely recommend checking them out if you’re in the market for a night hog hunt.

What are the Industry Standard NVG

White Phosphor PVS-14 is the gold standard for NVG at the entry level. RNVG are the next step up. They are a fixed bridge, no articulation, same tube as the PVS-14. Next up would be the DTNVS 22µa 2300+ FOM. This is the top shelf tube and quality with a lightweight housing. They have full articulation.

The creme de la creme is the PVS-31A and we suggest https://licentiaarmsco.com/ for your night vision needs. Buy once, cry once. If you can afford 31s, then full send. They will be the last tubes you ever buy.

Alex loves his Team Wendy Helmet https://www.teamwendy.com/products/helmets-accessories/helmets/exfil-carbon. The Epic Air retention system is so comfortable. Many folks like Ops-Core as well. Ops-Core makes fantastic everything. The Ops-Core AMP headset is bar-none the best ear pro on the market https://shop.gentexcorp.com/ops-core-amp-communication-headset-connectorized/?gclid=CjwKCAiAsNKQBhAPEiwAB-I5zTjTRL7wdRgHGEbIQn9KXF_G8jK9AGKcWfN3bG5i_OegKxvirYEyBhoCl70QAvD_BwE.

Currently the only NVG mount you should ever own is the Wilcox G24 https://www.wilcoxind.com/products/mounting-systems/mount-shroud-combinations/product_mount_g24.

Alex prefers the LAC Counter Weight kit https://licentiaarmsco.com/product/improved-counterweight-kit/, seen in the below photo. Photo was taken on a hunt with Texan Ammo https://www.facebook.com/txammo/. Steve from Texan Ammo had feeders set up. Alex and Steve did walk-and-stalk hog hunting night after night toward the feeders swatting a total of 6 large hogs.

Alex and Steve inspect the cutters, or tusks, on the dispatched hog

Thermal is Superior

Thermal is the only way to go. Alex prefers his Pulsar Thermion XP50 https://www.pulsar-nv.com/glo/products/33/thermal-imaging-riflescopes/thermion/. This is a 30mm tube, scope style, self recording Thermal Scope. Zeroing the XP50 is a dream. It has a freeze screen function with an X, and Y toggle on the dial. Simply freeze the image and move the impact to the zero. Unfreeze the image and you are totally zeroed. It’s that simple. Alex has use the XP50 on a suppressed belt-fed PKM. The XP50 handles the abuse. Pulsar makes a plethora of optic options. They are more wallet friendly.

Other thermal options we have experience with are the Trijicon Thermal line, such as, the REAP-IR. Follow this link to check out the less affordable, but harder use Trijicon Thermal Optics https://www.trijicon.com/products/category/thermal.

A 300lb Toad that Alex took with a belt fed PKM with Sandy Creek Outfitters near Eagle Texas

Successes in the Field

Find yourself a decent outfitter and test your skills and capabilities. Hog hunting is a great way to apply all that expensive training an equipment. Between riding full kit on side-by-sides, walking and stalking in the dark trying not to trip, maneuvering with poor close depth perception through cover while stalking, quietly establishing a conal directional fire, and laying waste to an entire herd of hogs.

Pregnant sow hog, dispatched by Alex

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