The Best Thermal Scope for Hog Hunting Reviews and Buying Guide

Hog hunting at daytime or nighttime could be a fun and rewarding activity and using a good Thermal scope for it can give you more from your experience. The best thermal scope for hog hunting can work regardless of the weather conditions and outdoor elements it could meet out there.

But if you’ve just started with your hog hunts and you’re searching for the night vision scopes or thermal scopes to meet your needs and demands, you’re probably having a tough time comparing your choices because there are so many of them on the market.

I’ve put up this guide to help you look for a good thermal night vision scope, each with their unique characteristics and features, including excellent detection of the target’s thermal signature to deliver a concise and clear sight picture. Also, I’ll be discussing the most sought-after features of what makes a good thermal imaging device. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started and later decide on the thermal scope for you.

What Makes a Great Scope for Hog Hunting?

Sitting in the darkness while waiting for the hogs to approach can fill you with excitement and anticipation, and when the hog is on sight, the action begins. For successful hog hunting, it all boils down to you, your rifle, and your scope. So before you set off in the wild, it is important to know the type of scope that you need in order to get your first kill.

Magnification Factor

A scope’s magnification pertains to the times that the target will be larger if you look at it through your scope.

The zoom extent of the scope depends on the number seen on its body, which means that a “3-9×32” magnification can zoom in on the target 3 to 9 times more.

Hunters can choose the type of magnification that they are comfortable with.

Fixed magnification allows you to zoom in on the target at a certain number only, and you can’t adjust it anymore.

For variable magnification, you have the option to adjust your view depending on the hunting conditions, your preferences, and the target’s visibility.

Note: Remember that the higher power you use, the less light will be able to travel through the scope. This dims your view and it negatively affects the clarity of what you see.

For example, the quality of the image may begin degrading, ruining the resolution and clarity in a digital thermal scope.

Thus, there should be a balance between effective detection range and magnification. This also has to do around the other factors, like display quality and sensor.

That is to say that it is not always a good idea to go with a higher power because it will affect the night vision performance of the scope.

Resolution quality

I suggest that you choose a thermal scope for hunting hogs that features a higher resolution. Always consider the highest resolution that  you can buy with your budget.

Illuminated Reticle

The scope’s reticle is the crosshair seen when a hunter looks at the target. Reticles are important because it allows hunters to aim accurately and estimate their distance from the hogs.

In the past, there were different types of reticles that were used to markup the space seen through the scope, but since hunters do not stand in one place and have to be on the move constantly, the hunting optics industry created a reticle that is more versatile.

The illuminated reticle has the same crosshair as the other reticles but with luminous lines. This type of reticle is always visible, even if a hunter uses it at night or if their view is obstructed by the shadows of trees or rocks.

Illuminated reticle is powered by batteries and ambient light as they provide energy and capture light to accumulate it and make sure that you can see the hogs wherever they go.

Refresh Rate

I suggest getting the thermal scope for hog hunting that has the highest refresh rate. It refers to the frequency that an image will refresh per second. If you’re tracking a moving target, you should opt for a higher refresh rate thermal scope, like between 30hz and 60hz. The quicker the image will refresh with the higher the number.

Price

Thermal sighting devices are not cheap, but they are more affordable now versus when they were introduced. You should expect to pay thousands of dollars for a high-end scope.

Ballistic Turret

When it comes to choosing a scope for hog hunting, the magnification and reticle are not the only ones that you need to consider to ensure a precise and accurate aim.

One important factor that you need to consider is the ballistic turret.

The turrets have sets of dials that allow you to adjust the elevation and the windage of the scope, so you can see the target better.

The ballistic turret lets you aim at the target even though you are far from it.

Objective Lens

Objective lenses are important for scope clarity. It is responsible for the scope’s brightness too.  When a scope has a big objective lens, there is a higher chance that it will allow you to see your target even in dark areas.

The diameter of the objective lens on the scope depends on what you need to use the rifle for.

For hog hunting, it is better to get a scope with an objective lens diameter of 50mm and above because it uses higher magnification in low light, and it is suited for extreme long range targets.

Objective lens diameter of 30mm to 44mm are best suited for firearms with more recoil and for those who need a scope for low light hunting.

For objective lens diameter of 28mm and above, they are suited for firearms with litter recoil and for hunters who do close range hunting.

Lens Coatings

Lens coating is an invisible coat that enhances your sight. The coating increases the brightness and clarity and it increases light transmission. It also enhances your view to ensure that you hit the target wherever it is.

There are four different types of coatings that you can choose from.

The coated ones feature only one surface of the scope covered with a single layer.

The fully-coated ones mean that all the external glass is coated in a single layer, and it is the option that most hunters go for.

Multicoated lenses mean that one surface of the scope is covered in several layers, while the fully multicolored lenses mean that the scope’s external glass is coated in several layers.

For hog hunters, it is best to choose a fully-coated lens for clarity.

Field of View

The field of view pertains to how much of the surroundings you can see in the scope when your sight moves from left to right.

Field of view is important because it prevents tunneling, which is similar to going through a tunnel as you peak through the scope.

It often forms when you increase the magnification.

If there is a tunnel, it means that the scope has cut corners and has eliminated magnification.

With a wide field of view, you are assured that you can see everything, so you can still aim your target even if it runs away.

What is the best time to hog hunt?

You can hunt hogs anytime of the year, but many hog hunters claim that the best season for it is  the deer season.  Months from December to February are great because wild boars are searching farther and longer to look for food.

Do you need a thermal scope for hog hunting?

Yes, you need one for hunting hogs and other animals especially  that you’re hunting in remote places, in the woods, open fields, and other places where there might be thick trees, grasses, and other factors that will negatively affect your vision like in night hunting.

Best Thermal Rifle Scopes for Hog Hunting – in depth reviews:

1. Leupold FX-II Ultralight 2.5x20mm Riflescope

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This Leupold thermal scope is the rugged sighting device that every serious hunter might want to take a look at. I found that it’s tested to survive at least 5,000 impacts on the manufacturer’s recoil simulation machine, the Punisher.

It is one of the characteristics of the best thermal scope for hog hunting that you must be looking for to get the most out of your spending. The impact each Leupold scope has received is thrice the recoil of a .308 rifle, making them recoil resistant.

The thermal technology used in this scope is superb in that it allows seeing through fog and bushy areas, allowing me to detect a target even at a longer distance. I also liked that the thermal scope features the Twilight Max Light Management System, giving me a better sight picture even in a low lighting condition. This system delivers a bright and vivid hog image, no matter the environment.

In addition, I find that this model provides more minutes of shooting light, and that’s thanks to the features like edge-to-edge lens clarity, glare management, and full lens coatings. All these make for a great thermal scope for hog hunting that anyone would appreciate in their arsenal of tools and equipment.

This thermal scope can disperse recoil energy, extending its lifespan and improving its performance even if we’re tracking a steady or moving target.  Let me also highlight that the lenses are scratch resistant aside from being a great night vision device that delivers image clarity in all lighting conditions. The night vision sighting unit can resist scratches and deal with dirt, dust, oil, and other debris.

The Leupold FX-II is the top choice among hunters. The scope versus others is more versatile that it can be used for lever action rifles and scout rifles. Hunters who also want to attach their thermal sighting unit in front of the rifle’s receiver also pick this one.

Also, the thermal device is waterproof, making it more useful even in different weather conditions, such as fog, rain, or snow.  Thanks that Leupold has tested it in extreme climate, ensuring it will work no matter the outdoor conditions. Adding to the durability of this unit, it’s made with seals and gas blend, ensuring it can keep up with varying pressures.

I also liked the cantilever mounting style because it allows me to position the sighting device where I need it for good eye relief.

Overall, I recommend this best thermal for hog hunting for its rugged and reliable performance. It’s compatible with multiple rifles, lightweight, and suitable for hunting, tactical operations, and law enforcement. However, it might not be the best one to use for long range hunting.

Pros

  • Rugged and reliable outdoor performance
  • Recoil- and temperature change tested
  • Twilight Max Light Management System
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Compatible with different rifles

Cons

  • Smaller objective lens not for long ranges

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2. ATN Thor LT Thermal Rifle Scope

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Entry level thermal scopes like this ATN Thor LT are cheaper than high-end thermal imaging scopes. This particular model is best for day shooting, hunting, varmint control, close to mid range detection, standalone scope, and light to heavy caliber rifles.

The scope for hog hunting is for beginners and is also affordable that many hunters can buy with their money.  So now, hunting hogs is not only for those who use very expensive thermals but also for newbie hunters who are not yet ready to spend much for their sighting device.

The Thor LT 160 is suitable for close range hunters who are comfortable in targeting their prey at a shorter distance like below 200 yards. It can boost their ability to see clearer at night.

The scope with basic thermal imaging technology has functional features at an affordable price point. ATN claims that it has a recognition range up to 240 meters and detection range up to 475 meters. Meanwhile, its target identification could be up to 160 meters.

The short range night vision scope has a 3 to 6 times digital zoom range, so I think it’s not suitable for mid to long range hunting. However, I appreciate that this sighting device for hunting hogs works excellently for moving targets because of its high refresh rate of 60 Hz.

The affordable night vision scope is so great that it also comes with a 3-year warranty, which is fair enough for its price point.

Although it lacks top features like a ballistic calculator,  video recording and streaming, and rangefinder, it has the basic functionalities that can cover what we need out there.

The ATN thermal is also a standalone unit, meaning it’s not a clip-on scope. However, it has different reticles to select from, which some monocular night visions and clip-ons might not have.

So while the ATN Thor LT doesn’t have the smart features in a digital scope for target shooting or hunting you might be expecting, it does deliver as it promises.

This unit is sold with a USB cable, scope cover, eyecup and a lens tissue, but then, you will have to buy a mount for it.

The thermal imaging unit can be used at daytime and you don’t have to remove it from your rifle, making it suitable for daylight tracking, hunting, or shooting.

How about durability? This night vision device is rugged because it’s made using hardened aluminum alloy like more expensive thermal imaging scopes. Adding to its toughness, these affordable best night vision scopes are rated for high recoil, being able to withstand even that coming from a high caliber rifle used in hog hunting.

Not to forget, this one is also weather-resistant, allowing it to deal with even the harshest weather that it could encounter in the woods. Overall, it is a good scope for hunting hog, varmint, and other prey, but it is not for long range shooting.

Pros

  • Weather resistant and recoil resistant
  • Very affordable versus other scopes
  • Simplistic design
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Ideal for short range hunting

Cons

  • Not for long range detection

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3. AGM Rattler TS19-256 Thermal Imaging RifleScope

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Another top consideration for a thermal imaging scope is the AGM Rattler TS19-256 that is packed with primary and additional features to make your life easier.

While it is not a cheap thermal scope, its performance is unprecedented like its excellent thermal optics that can detect heat signatures effectively, helping hunters target and hit their prey quickly.

One of the things that I also appreciate about thermal optics is its long battery life. This model is powered with two pieces of CR123 batteries, running the unit for up to four and half hours of continuous operating time. Plus, it has an external 5-volt battery pack or power bank, which I can conveniently just connect via a USB connector, increasing operating time quickly.

For its smart features, the scope for thermal imaging is also equipped with a Wi-Fi module, allowing me to stream videos as well as record images and videos to document my hunting experience.

The thermal rifle scope is also compact and durable. I’ve tried it during a foggy night hunting pursuit, and I noticed how it kept its performance despite the harsh weather.

The thermal imaging scope collects more visible light to help me see clearly, delivering clear sight pictures no matter the outdoor conditions. Its ruggedness also makes it suitable to work well in conditions, like snow, camouflage, smoke, dust, and darkness.

This high quality thermal scope is also versatile in that it allows using it as a handheld monocular or as a thermal rifle scope, making it ideal for different applications like hunting, patrolling, and self defense.

It is also made to last with a material made of polycarbonate material, adding to its toughness to deal with heavy recoil and impacts.

The hog hunting scope has a Weaver mount mounting style. A weaver mount, which has more grooves closer together, gives hunters more options with only less space between the different possible positions.

It also offers eight times digital zooming options, enlarging the image area at the frame’s center, while trimming away the image’s outer edges.

Overall, the performance of this high end thermal scope for hog hunts is remarkable with all its solid features and durable construction.

It is definitely one of the best thermal scopes around for its price. However, it is not lightweight, although shouldn’t be an issue if you’re looking for a high performance scope for hog hunts.

Pros

  • Durable construction and rugged feel
  • 8x digital zoom for more zooming options
  • Can be used as a standalone monocular or as a thermal rifle scope
  • Works well in different weather conditions
  • Night vision capability

Cons

  • Not lightweight

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4. ATN Thor 4, Thermal Rifle Scope with Full HD Video

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Great thermal scopes work excellently because they are weather resistant, are made of quality materials, and have superb detection range. One of the no frills scope that I would like to recommend for those who want to get the most out of their spending on a thermal is this ATN Thor 4.

This quality scope works better than standard rifle scopes because of its superb features like the next Gen Sensor that makes it effective in capturing a clear and vivid image even at a long distance. The image it delivers has smooth gradations even when the scope is used in a low light condition.

I’d also like to highlight that the thermal scope for hog hunting has a built in ballistic calculator, which calculates the most important metrics to increase your chances of a shot.

It calculates environmental factors, such as wind, humidity, temperature, and more, along with angle to target, eliminating any guesswork and in the end saving ammo and time. Thermal scopes with this capability can help hunters calculate and identify the correct ballistics, which is very important especially for long distance shots.

In addition, this ATN rifle scope is integrated with a battery pack kit, which powers it for 22 hours of continuous use.  This feature is one of the most important when searching for a scope especially that it will keep your device powered all night in the woods and remote places where you could be out for hog hunts.

The long lasting battery life of this scope makes it suitable for every serious hog hunter who needs a reliable scope to keep up with them.

I can use all the important features of this rifle scope without switching batteries. And the best part, the battery is also easy to recharge.

I’d also like to mention the quick detach mount of this best thermal scope. I can retain the zero of this device even if I move it from one rifle to another.

The night hunting scope is also equipped with a built in laser rangefinder. Its ABL Laser Range Finder allows me to determine even a long distance target. This system sends the vital details to the built in ballistic calculator via Bluetooth in order to create all the adjustments for the reticle.

Scopes for hog hunting should allow you to relax so that you can focus on what you’re doing. This ATN scope features a recoil activated video (RAV) capability, recording a video automatically before and after taking a shot.

In addition, this one has the X-TRAC remote control, providing control of the different features of the thermal imaging unit, such as built in laser rangefinder and ballistic calculator.

Thor 4 also has a classic feel and look that makes it attractive and gives it a simple appearance. In addition, the self defense or hog hunting scope has a long eye relief for eye protection from recoil.

More so, it has an excellent thermal signature detection for identifying even hidden targets, allowing for quick and easy viewing while also getting a clear picture all the time.

The best thermal for hog hunting also features a dual stream video recording capability, streaming video to one’s phone while also recording it to the SD card integrated into this device.

Overall, the scope for hunting hogs has the primary and other features that anyone would be looking for in their thermal. It is effective and eliminates the need to carry different devices like a ballistic calculator, which would otherwise add to the weight you’ll be carrying.

Pros

  • Integrated rangefinder and ballistics calculator
  • Excellent heat detection
  • Smart features like RAV
  • Battery pack kit
  • Long life battery

Cons

  • No night vision capability

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5. AGM Rattler TS35-640 Thermal Imaging RifleScope

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The AGM Rattler TS35-640 is another excellent scope for night hunting.  It’s lightweight, making it ideal to carry even for long hours whether you use it as a daytime scope or a nighttime scope.

The base magnification of 2X is sufficient for many hunters and its 65 feet field of view allows me to see much in front of my scope whether I’m hunting in open fields or woods with varying conditions.

Aside from producing clear and vivid thermal images, it has a thermal processor, which can deliver enough resolution to increase the power up to 8X more. However, I suggest keeping the range at most 200 yards at the 2X base magnification for a clear sight picture.

Along with all these features, I feel confident that this thermal scope delivers up to 200 yards, although much better at a 100-yard range. I think it’s quite suitable for hunting hogs and larger species.

AGM Rattler TS35-640, which has good heat radiation detection, can give me a good image and field of view. I believe that black hot hunters will appreciate the image it can produce. I also like that this thermal scope has an adjustable objective lens, which can help deliver a sharp image.

Another thing I liked about the AGM Rattler TS35-640 with recoil resistance is that it has easy to control buttons that really help a lot especially when I’m night hunting. They’re easy to look for even in a complete darkness.

This is a really good scope that also features video recording and photo capturing. You can easily turn it on in a cinch.  You can also depend on its streaming ability to your mobile phone through the T-Vision App.

And if you love to upload your hunting adventures on video streaming apps, like YouTube, you can easily do that, too.

The hunting rifle scope also features the Stadiametric Rangefinder that works by estimating the distance to your target.

Modern optical devices like this one are also built with a picture in picture function, which allows me to see my target clearer and easier while preparing to make a shot.

I also noticed that this thermal scope for hunting predators, coyotes, and hogs has options to save five different zero profiles, giving you the opportunity of setting up a profile for multiple rifles. Or, you can set different loads for one rifle.

So if you’re using different loads/bullets, you should be setting up two different profiles for it. There shouldn’t be any problem because it’s easy with this AGM Rattler TS35-640.

Nevertheless, I recommend the AGM Rattler TS35-640 for short range hog hunters looking for a good scope for hunting at day or night. It will not disappoint you.

Pros

  • Durable to withstand different outdoor conditions
  • Good thermal signature detection
  • Easy to control buttons
  • Video recording and photo capturing capability
  • Stadiametric Rangefinder

Cons

  • Image may be a bit blurry a longer distance

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6. Pulsar Trail LRF Thermal Rifle Scope

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Pulsar Trail LRF digital scope has superb features, including pixel pitch core that has four times digital zooming capability and 640×480 resolution capability aside from having an excellent thermal technology to detect even far away targets.

I’ve tried using its laser rangefinder, and it worked perfectly in collecting information and displaying the distance of the target correctly up to 1,000 meters. This built in device features two modes – scanning and single time measurement, with the scanning mode that automatically adjusts based on the varying distances.

The thermal imaging device with a remarkable maximum effective range is also integrated with a picture-in-picture mode, which displays an additional, small image on my screen. The image delivered is magnified based on my selection of the reticle and target.

The picture in picture viewing mode allows me to see a more detailed version of an image in my shooting area. This additional region in my screen lets me observe the total field of view without any hassles.

This best thermal scope for day or night use features variable scope magnification and digital zoom for better view of the image. I also liked the good refresh rate of this device at 50Hz, which is a good refresh rate, for optimal tracking of moving targets.

The scope with a good digital zooming ability can deliver with hours and hours of precision performance. It is highly dependable for heat detection up to 1,475 yards out.

When it comes to delivering a rich view field, it is also reliable for its variable 2.1-8.4x magnification and 384 x 288 sensor. These features increase my chances of getting the shot, not to mention the three different reticles, ensuring precise performance.

The Pulsar Trail LRF is also weather resistant with a rating of IPX7 waterproof protection that ensures that it can work no matter the weather. I’ve tried using it during snowfall and rain, and it delivered the performance I was expecting from it.

I also discovered that this particular thermal scope can allow submersion in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes, something that also makes it a standout among its competition.

For its media capability, the thermal imaging device for hunting hogs also has an integrated recording capability for both video and sound. These contents can also be stored internally in the device.

And should I wish to, I can also transfer them easily to my laptop via Wi-Fi or wired internet connection. The best part is that I can also easily turn on the recoil activated video capturing mode, which is helpful especially if I forget pressing the record button. Other features also include built-in accelerometer and Gyroscope.

Overall, the XP38 thermal is one of the best in the category for its digital magnification, quality lens, excellent thermal detection and target identification. On the downside, it can be tricky to use initially.

Pros

  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Picture-in-picture mode
  • Built-in accelerometer and Gyroscope
  • Maximum effective range
  • Heat detection up to 1,475 yards

Cons

  • Familiarization controlling it can be tricky at first

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FAQs

What is the longest range thermal scope? 

Aside from depth perception, index matched lens system, and weather resistance, you might want to know about the longest range thermal sighting device. On the market, you’ll find the highest quality scopes with a really broad detection range.

Those will help you identify the target positively at up to 4,000 yards far out. However, they can also come at a hefty price, which might not sound good for beginners who have a limited budget.

But worry not because there are also high quality thermals at affordable prices and can positively detect and identify a target at most 1,000 yards.

Is thermal or night vision better for hog hunting?

This is another common question for those torn between buying the best thermal scope or the best night scope. To help you decide, here is what to remember.

A thermal rifle scope will be able to detect moving objects or animals even from a long distance no matter the time of the day.  It can have a better detection capability than night vision scopes alone. Thermals can help you see even in snowy or heavy rain.

A scope using thermal imaging technology also reads heat, particularly its processors, which can detect the differences in heat, and then make a digital picture of the animal or landscape in your scope.

Now for the best night vision scope– it works by collecting while simultaneously intensifying ambient light available. It can be moonlight or starlight, or any other sources of light at night, helping you see clearly even in dark conditions.

Most of these night vision scope and devices are built in with an infrared illuminator, which illuminates a target or the field even in total darkness. This IR light is invisible to your eyes, but combining it with a rifle scope for hog, it will appear like a spotlight.

An advantage that hog hunters can get from thermal imaging scopes over the best night vision scope is that they can see through smoke, grass, and fog because they don’t rely on light but read heat to detect and see an image. And at a much greater distance, thermals can easily detect warmer targets, too.

What brand thermal scope does the military use?

Aside from thinking about the best scope magnification, ruggedness, weather resistance, and other features of a thermal scope, you might also be curious about knowing what brand of thermals the military uses.

The most popular answer to this is the AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sight, which can provide the law enforcement and military with the ability of seeing deep into the battlefield day or night. This thermal scope is by Raytheon.

Conclusion

The best thermal for hog hunting offers unprecedented performance that you can rely on regardless of the outdoor conditions, weather, terrain, and environmental/shooting conditions.

It is equipped with smart features, like recoil activated video recording, laser rangefinder, built-in ballistic calculator, clear display, and Wi-Fi capabilities, depending on the selected model. In addition, it had the capability to provide you with a superb sight picture, field of view, and image quality even at a longer range.

We do hope that you’ll be able to compare these thermals along with their specific features so that you can find your best match for your preferences and needs. Good luck and happy hog hunting!

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