The Best Night Vision Scope for Coyote Hunting in 2022

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There are a number of challenges when it comes to raising livestock. Animal husbandry in and of itself can be difficult. There are a number of things that you have to know, and a number of skills that have to be honed.

One of the skills that comes into play is shooting. Where there is livestock, there will certainly be predators. While many defenses can be employed to prevent losses from them, occasionally you’ll have to break out the big guns, so to speak. 

Of the predators that you’re likely to encounter, the coyote is going to be the most frustrating. These varmints are large enough to defy many of the traditional safety tactics that are used. They’re clever, and they’re nocturnal, making coyote hunting troublesome. Thankfully, there are a number of night vision scopes available that can help you take care of the problem before it gets too bad.

If you’re suffering from issues with coyotes, look no further. We’ve rounded up the best night vision scopes available to help you take care of your problem. Keep reading to learn all you need to know to nip it in the bud!

Combating a Nocturnal Predator: What You Need to Know About the Coyote

Coyotes are primarily nocturnal, meaning that you’re going to have to hunt them on their terms. This can be a huge issue, which is why we’re discussing the use of night vision scopes. These small predators are adept at everything in the dark, meaning that they’re likely to spot you before you spot them. If you’ve got to hunt coyotes at night, remember these tips:

  • Scout for a few spots to hunt from during the day
  • Remember that wind is still a factor at night
  • Start early, during dusk, and end late, sometimes as late as dawn

When you put all of these together, and add in a great night vision scope, you’re set up for success.

Criteria to Consider for a Night Vision Scope

Night vision scopes are becoming more popular options as technology advances. At one point in time, they were only available for military use. However, as the years have gone on, more models have been made available for consumers. When choosing a night vision scope, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

Scope Generation

Night vision scopes have been released in four distinct generations since their inception. The original, first generation scopes were exclusively developed for military use. These old scopes are now very outdated, making them a poor choice for any hunter. Their downfalls really come in the form of limited magnification, and the need for light to function.

The more modern second and third generation scopes are common, and they’re easy to use. They stand up to the test of time, and are still viable for coyote hunting. A brand new, fourth generation night vision scope isn’t necessary for hunting coyotes, thankfully.

Clarity

Coyotes are a sly predator, making the clarity of the scope of the utmost importance. Clarity in  a night vision scope refers to a number of different factors. Of course, the resolution of the image is important. Glass needs to be of the highest quality, or images can become obscured, making this hunt more difficult than it needs to be.

With night vision scopes, there is also a term called recognition range. Recognition range on a night vision scope illustrates the scope’s ability to render images under different moonlit conditions. Understanding how well you’re going to be able to see is crucial when hunting at night.

Magnification

When hunting coyotes, you’re competing against a full range of heightened senses. These small canines are able to see exceptionally well at night, and they can smell far better than we can. As such, there’s a good chance that you’re not going to be getting very close to them. Magnification is necessary, and is going to depend on your ideal range from the spots you’ve picked out during the day.

Illumination

Many night vision scopes come with, or allow for, infrared illumination. Infrared illuminators help make the image being viewed through the scope brighter, making it easier to see. If you’re hunting during an overcast night, this can come in handy. Sometimes, hunting coyotes is a necessity, and not a sport. Weather shouldn’t prevent you from doing what has to be done. Having the ability to illuminate your image is essential.

Weight

Coyotes are small, spry animals, and they may keep you on your toes. If the hunt goes on foot, you can’t do too much if your scope is too heavy. Thankfully, many of the modern night vision scopes are lighter than their predecessors, meaning you won’t feel too weighed down.

Durability

Let’s face it, hunting at night means going bump in the night. Your night vision scope, while being a sophisticated instrument, has no room to be delicate. It’s likely that it’s going to take a bit of a beating, especially if you’re clambering around in the dark. Make sure it can stand up to the abuse.

Getting Ready for the Hunt

Just like any other scope, a night vision scope has to be prepared and dialed in before a hunt. Even if your scope lets you see in the dark, it means nothing without preparation. Before heading out to nab some coyotes, make sure you do the following things.

Get Things Mounted Accordingly

Mounting your night vision scope goes without saying. However, it’s best to do this well ahead of time, before things come down to the wire. This lets you make sure that everything is set up to your needs, and that no issues are going to be encountered. You may also learn a few things, like where the batteries are, and how difficult replacing them will be.

Zero In Your Scope

Zeroing in a night vision scope is still a big part of the process. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be done at night. Many night vision scopes offer a daytime mode. This means that you can get your scope dialed in during the light of day, then use it under the moonlight without any issues.

However, not all scopes offer this. In that case, you’re going to have to get things taken care of during low light conditions. The best way to do that is through the use of reflective tape. It’s the same process as doing things during daylight, just a bit more time consuming.

Check Your Batteries, and Bring Extra

Battery life is an important factor to take into consideration, and batteries should always be checked prior to a hunt. Knowing how much time you’ve got with your scope in the dark can make all the difference.

Understanding the battery replacement procedure is huge, too. Some night vision scope scopes have to be removed entirely for batteries to be replaced. That means that the scope then has to be zeroed in again, making it more of a liability than a benefit during your hunt. Thankfully, many scopes have an excellent battery life, meaning you shouldn’t have any issues while in the field.

The 4 Best Night Vision Scopes for Coyote Hunting

We’ve taken a look at a good number of night vision scopes with the intent of hunting coyotes. Of them, we’ve chosen the 4 best options. Of these scopes, one should fit your needs, as well as your budget, making your hunt for coyotes easy and enjoyable.

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1. Night Owl Optics NightShot Night Vision Riflescope

When it comes to night vision scopes, Night Owl is kind of a veteran, having specialized in the niche for years. Their Night Vision Riflescope is a testament to their work in the field, and most hunters are going to find this scope to be appropriate for their needs.

This scope provides imagery to the hunter through means of a high resolution 680×480 display. Such a generous display allows hunters to track their game on-screen easily. It also offers 6 different reticle options, 3 in white, and 3 in black. This means you never lose your sight, no matter the background.

The scope comes with a built-in infrared illuminator, making it especially useful for your night hunts. However, it can be used during the day, as well.

Now, magnification may be an issue for some. It is fixed at 3x, which may be enough for some, but for others it may be lacking. In most scenarios, it can be used up to 100 yards in the nighttime, though, making it more than adequate for coyote hunting.

The biggest issue, though, is battery life. The batteries on this scope only last about 4 hours, sometimes lasting up to 7 if conditions are right. This limits your night hunts. However, all of the other pros really outweigh this issue, making it a great option at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • High-res display
  • Numerous reticle options
  • Versatile mounting system, allowing for Weaver or Picatinny mounting
  • Affordably priced
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Single magnification
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2. Sightmark Wraith Night Vision Riflescope

Another contender for excellent night vision scopes, the Sightmark Wraith is an impressive optic. The scope itself is available in 3 different models, with the highest priced version coming in 4k. 

Being very technologically advanced, the Sightmark Wraith allows hunters to take HD photos and video. While recording isn’t a must, it can certainly be a nice feature. The most impressive part, however, is probably the built-in weapon profiles. The Wraith wants to be put on whatever rifles you have. It remembers the settings for 5 different rifles, meaning that you don’t have to worry about zeroing in again if you swap firearms.

Like the Night Owl, the Sightmark Wraith has a daytime and a nighttime mode, meaning you won’t ruin it during the day on accident. It also has a number of different reticles, providing 10 options that can be set in 9 different colors.

Additionally, it has a built-in infrared illuminator, making it just as useful as the top scope on our list. However, the scope and the illuminator use two different batteries. The scope operates on AAs, while the illuminator uses CR123a batteries. Batteries in each last about 4.5 hours. There is a sleep mode to help save battery life, though.

Pros

  • 3 different models, meaning an affordable model for most people
  • High performance while maintaining affordability
  • Highly customizable, both through weapon profiles and reticles
  • HD recording and photography
  • Daytime and nighttime modes

Cons

  • Limited battery life
  • Small field of view
  • Uses 2 different batteries, depending on application
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3. theOpticGuru Day/Night Scope

When it comes to modern options, this may take the cake. This scope is available in two magnification ranges, 3-14x and 5-20x. Each entry is a bit pricey, but they’re worth it. This is as close as you’re going to get to having a smart scope.

When we say smart scope, we mean it. The scope comes in 4k resolution, and allows you to record video and take photos. Video is automatically started through recoil-activation, meaning you don’t have to fiddle with any controls. What’s more, though, is that the scope is connected to your other devices. It allows for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, which enables streaming capabilities. This scope is ready for the modern world.

Looking more at the capabilities of the scope in relation to hunting, it’s pretty impressive, as well. This scope allows for daytime and nighttime shooting, as do the other options on our list. The most impressive part about it, though, has to be the battery life. On average, the batteries in this scope last 18 hours.

The largest thing limiting this scope is its price. It is nearly double the price of both options listed prior, meaning that it doesn’t fit all budgets.

Pros

  • Two different magnification ranges available, allowing for you to pick the best one
  • Daytime and nighttime shooting possible
  • Automatic video recording
  • HD video and photos
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, allowing video to be streamed
  • Longest battery life available, at around 18 hours

Cons

  • On the larger side, weighing over 2 pounds
  • Expensive when compared to other options
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4. Bestsight DIY Digital Night Vision Scope

Okay, this isn’t a scope, per se. However, it should be mentioned in the realm of these optics. This is an add-on that can be paired with traditional scopes, turning them into a night vision scope. 

It does this by mounting to the top of a scope, and mounting  sensor to the eyepiece. Then, information from the eyepiece is transmitted to a 5 inch screen on top of the rifle. To be honest, it looks a bit strange, and functions even more strangely. However, it still works, and it’s great for a number of reasons.

If you aren’t able to afford a night vision scope, this option allows you to convert a scope into a night vision accessory. This means that hunting at night can still take place, and that you can still bag the coyotes you’ve got your sights set on.

Additionally, this option is great for people who aren’t looking to remove their preferred scope from their rifle. Often, we find ourselves being highly accustomed to our optics. As such, removing them, especially for just a single hunt, can be frustrating. You don’t want to have to zero in your preferred optic again. This choice helps to prevent that.

Now, let’s get to the elephant in the room. This attachment prevents you from handling your rifle in a traditional way. Rather than looking through your scope, you’re forced to look through the screen on top of it. This can be a bit jarring, and will take some time to get used to. If push comes to shove, it certainly works, and that’s nothing to scoff at.

Pros

  • The most affordable option
  • Prevents a scope from having to be removed to make room for a night vision scope
  • Provides a generous 5 inch screen for viewing
  • Can be used during daytime and nighttime shooting
  • Allows for video recording and photo capturing
  • Uses common batteries

Cons

  • Awkward, takes getting used to
  • Battery life is just over an hour
  • May not mate with your traditional scope well
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Final Thoughts

Hunting at night presents a number of challenges, especially when your quarry is coyotes. These are clever critters, and they’re designed for the night, meaning they’ve got the advantage. However, when you add a night vision scope into the equation, coyotes are more than able to be hunted.

There are a number of things to consider when purchasing a night vision scope. You have to take the age of the scope design, clarity, and magnification into account. Price also needs to be considered. Night vision is not a cheap technology, and even budget scopes can be a pretty penny. 

That being said, sometimes you have no choice but to hunt for coyotes, especially when livestock is involved. Thankfully, there are affordable night vision scopes, as well as night vision accessories, that can be purchased these days. 

As always, happy hunting!

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