The new Leupold LTO Tracker HD is their second generation thermal viewer. Designed to detect heat signatures up to 750 yards away it should be an essential part of everyone’s kit. From tracking downed game to finding your way back to camp a small handheld thermal is a worthwhile investment. Handheld thermals around this price point are a hot market.
First impressions are of a high-quality aluminum flashlight, complete with crenelated bezel. It feels substantial and solid in hand.
Unlike many thermals, there is no rubber eyepiece like on the FLIR Scout line. Instead, you simply hold the LTO Tracker HD out 8-10 inches within your line of sight. I find this to be a more natural viewing experience and less tiring than pressing against an eyepiece. The one downside is that it therefore produces more of a visible light signature – which generally isn’t any big deal but would be a consideration in a security or home defense environment.
Trijicon purchased IR Defense last year and is aggressively moving into Thermal night vision devices. The first four products include the IR-Hunter and REAP-IR thermal riflescopes, the IR-Patrol thermal monocular, and the SNIPE-IR thermal clip-on. One of their target markets is hog hunting.
We know hog hunting! It is one of our favorite activities. We were fortunate enough to receive one of the first IR-HUNTER thermal riflescopes to hit the field. It is impressive to say the least.
Armasight makes some of the best thermal rifle scopes available. These are high-end units – professional grade. The Armasight Zeus Pro is simply a superior solution for hog hunting.
I have taken the Armasight Zeus Pro hog hunting at night but did not have the DVR available to record the video. As you know, deer hunting past twilight is a criminal offense. The video taken here is intended to demonstrate the capabilities of the thermal scope – we were not deer hunting at night!
Thermal is different from traditional night vision devices in that the subjects really jump out at you. On one occasion, we had both a Gen 3 NVD and a thermal out one night hog hunting. We had spread corn down a long road, parked up on a rise, and were waiting on the pigs to arrive. Scanning down the road with the NVD, I didn’t notice anything moving. I then picked up the thermal and wow – a doe was standing about 60 yards away! Because she wasn’t moving I did not notice her with NVD. However, with the thermal she just popped!
Coker Tactical is our preferred supplier of thermal imaging and they are an authorized Armasight dealer.