Airgun Insider: When darkness falls

As the evenings draw in, it’s time to get out your night vision kit

I admit it: I’m not a morning person. This means most of my hunting is done in the evenings. I love walking the fields or lying up in the sunshine on a summer’s evening and watching the wildlife almost as much as I enjoy the actual hunting. Seeing buzzards soaring high on the thermals or stumbling on a deer fawn hunkered down can be magical.

However, that all changes at this time of year when night falls so much sooner. I used to lamp, but I’m now a total convert to NV. Rabbits can soon wise-up and become lamp-shy, but I’ve not seen any animal react to the NV. In some ways it feels like cheating, but it also gives you time to get set up correctly for the most humane shot.

But you do need to know what you’re doing. Range estimation at night is difficult at the best of times, but with NV you get a flat TV screen-type image, so telling if something is small but near, or large and far away is trying.

There are a few NV rangefinders, but I tend to work out the distances before it is totally dark and look for my virtual markers like an upturned bucket, hedge or fence post.

Another big plus for me with NV is the excitement you get when bats buzz over you, badgers come within a few feet of your position, the occasional deer daintily trots past you, or – best of all – you get to see an owl out hunting. So what are you waiting for? Get out there!

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