Nighttime Hunting... what do I need to prepare?

It's getting to that time of the year, although the days are still warm, the light nights are drawing into a close. which can only mean one thing... more nighttime hunting!

Where better to get prepared for the long nights than here at Night Master? Market leaders of Hunting Lamps & IR Illuminators, Night Vision & Thermal Imaging specialists - we'll make sure you see what you've been missing.

Day in and day out we receive phone calls and emails from customers asking for our honest knowledgeable advice, being shooters ourselves we know exactly what does and doesn't work. We wouldn't advise otherwise. 

I'm looking for a Hunting Light / IR Illuminator, what would you suggest?

It's no secret, there are plenty of 'high power' hunting lights out there, but what separates Night Master from the rest? Here at Night Master, as a team we design and develop every one of our light's to ensure they include the best and latest LED technology, never seen before features and extremely high build quality which is widely recognised by our users.

Want to see an example of this? Take a look at our NEW NM1 Hunting Light range.

The NM1 range has been specifically designed for night hunting, with controls that are close-at-hand. Beam focus, brightness control and all other functions are operated from the tail-switch. So if the lamp is rifle-mounted there's no need to reach forward to twist the lens or fumble looking for buttons.

There are three different models available when it comes to the NEW NM1 range.

NM1 CL - KIT RRP £119.95

The NM1 CL is the smallest of the NEW NM1 hunting lamp range, thanks to a combination of the latest LED technology and ultra-clear 35mm convex lens you can expect to detect eye-shine out to 600m and clear ID through the riflescope with the white LED at 250m. The CL uses the smallest convex lens out of the three NM1 models which will give you the widest beam profile on full focus, this is great for closer illumination such as pest control in a barn where you may need to illuminate a large area whilst also being able to keep good light intensity.

NM1 SL - KIT RRP £149.95

The NM1 SL is the perfect balance between the NEW XL and CL NM1 hunting lamp models, thanks to a combination of the latest LED technology and ultra-clear 50mm convex lens you can expect to detect eye-shine out to 900m and clear ID through the riflescope with the white LED at 350m. The SL offers you a perfect beam balance of being tight enough to reach a long distance yet wide enough to still cover a good amount of area when looking through the riflescope, this is the perfect scope mounted hunting light.

NM1 XL  - KIT RRP £179.95

The NM1 XL is the most powerful of the NEW NM1 hunting lamp range, thanks to a combination of the latest LED technology and ultra-clear 65mm convex lens you can expect to detect eye-shine out to 1200m and clear ID through the riflescope with the white LED at 500m. Due to the large convex lens, the XL offers the tightest beam profile on full focus out of the three NM1 models this is great for long range precise spotting - if you're looking for the brightest, most impressive long range hunting light that we offer, the NM1 XL is the one for you.

The switch is quiet and brightness control is smooth with the rotary dimmer. A lock-out function prevents accidental activation and a soft-glow indicator pulsates when the battery power reaches 10%. The indicator light can also be set to activate when the beam is active - an ideal alert if you leave your infrared (IR) LED switched on.

Three LED's in one light? Check out our Night Master Trident.

Night Master Trident - KIT RRP £199.95

The Trident boasts many useful features; not only 3 switchable LEDs, a dynamic rotary dimmer switch and easily focusable head, it also has a quiet on/off switch, low-battery indicator, beam lock-out function (to prevent accidental activation), and an ‘Active Light Indicator’ on the tail-cap to indicate when the beam is on – perfect for use with the infrared (IR) LED, as a reminder to switch off when not in use.

The quiet Intelligent Dimmer Switch featured on the Night Master Trident has a number of functions; turns the light on/off, dims/brightness the beam, provides a lock-out function and an indicator tells you when the light is active (useful when using the IR) as well as a low battery indicator, to let you know when you need to swap or charge your battery.

The Trident is one of our best-selling hunting lights and has proven popular with pest controllers and gamekeepers due to the Tri-LED design, allowing you to swap between three colours simply by turning a dial. Currently there are two colour combinations; White-Amber-Red and IR (850nm)-Amber-Red. But we now have new colour combos on the way..! 

New for 2020, we are adding two new LED combinations to the Trident range by popular demand – White-Red-IR (850nm) - for those who love lamping with white or red but also have their own night vision device; plus White-IR (850nm)-IR (940nm) - for those who want to swap between the super powerful IR (850nm) and more covert IR (940nm), making it great to use for both long and short range shooting, and where quarry is likely to be spooked.

I'm looking for a Night Vision Riflescope, what would you suggest?

As mentioned previously, being shooters ourselves we know what does and doesn't work - and what does work for us, is Pulsar Night Vision. To be exact, we actually favour the Pulsar Digex as our 'go-to' NV riflescope which has definitely given us great results out foxing.

Pulsar Digex N450 - RRP £1299.95

Combination of best nighttime sensitivity in its class, HD resolution display and sensor, wide selection of brightness and contrast settings, quality fast optics, high magnification and a powerful built-in IR for a moonless night make the Digex a perfect tool for detecting targets at long distances.

The metal housing of the riflescope is rugged and light at the same time. The anti-wear coating will keep Digex’s decent external look for years of use.

The Digex riflescopes are supplied with a detachable high power 850 nm IR illuminator, the 850nm IR features long-range action. With this IR the hunter can observe animals staying unnoticed and without the fear that animals could be frightened away. Three adjustable IR power levels help choose preferred effective range and illumination level of an object observed. Adjustable power changes the operating range and illumination level of objects.

This new device offers flawless passive-mode performance in deep twilight, as well as dark nights, without the use of the IR Illuminator. High sensitivity in the range of 900-950nm allows using the Digex riflescopes with invisible IR Illuminators.

The middle part of the Digex body is a 30mm tube, standard for daylight optical sights. This form-factor enables the Digex to be easily mounted on to various types of hunting weapons using proven solutions.

 Don't want to tie up a rifle? Check out the Pulsar Forward F455.

Pulsar Forward F455 - RRP £1199.95

The Forward F455 enables users to convert their day weapon scope into a highly accurate NV weapon scope. This inline front attachment quickly and easily attaches to most weapon scopes, forgoes the need for re-zeroing and retains a shooters natural position.

Equipped with an interchangeable LED 940nm IR Illuminator, which offers quality long distance illumination for the already highly sensitive 1280x720 CMOS sensor, resulting in a night vision attachment with detailed image capturing.

The FN Cover Ring Adaptors (available separately) with four locking points attach the unit to the front of day scopes. Available in 42, 50 and 56mm, each adaptor comes with inserts to suit different size objective lens housings. Once installed on a dayscope they can remain in place for daytime shooting and come with an integrated lens cap. The F455 is optimised for dayscope magnifications between 2-8x.

Can I get a good NV Riflescope with a Laser Range Finder (LRF)?

Yes, you can! Pulsar have brought out the NEW Pulsar Digisight N450 LRF - and we are very impressed.

Pulsar Digisight Ultra LRF N450 - RRP £1379.95 NOW £1199.95

The Digisight Ultra LRF N450 takes all of the features of the popular Digisight Ultra N450 and ads a 1000m laser rangefinder to it. The 1000m laser rangefinder is accurate to +/- 1m and can be used in either Single Measurement Mode (press the button and take a measurement) or Scan Mode (constant measurements wherever the rangefinder is pointed).

The compact and robust bodyshell is fully waterproof (IPX7). A highly sensitive HD-sensor 1280x720 CMOS sensor and a 1024x768 AMOLED HD frost-proof display result in excellent night time performance and that is capable of detecting up to 550m. This new model has a native magnification of 4.5x and the 4.0x smooth digital zoom provides a total magnification of 18.0x. 2x and 4x fast zoom options are also available. Being Stream Vision compatible the unit has built-in video & sound recording.

General Starlight Copmany Inc. (GSCI) Advanced Photonics

General Starlight Company, GSCI Advanced Photonics

Canada based GSCI develops and manufactures some of the world's most advanced image intensified night vision and thermal imaging equipment. Each device is made to exacting standards, which is why they are chosen by many police and military divisions worldwide. The equipment is also widely used for hunting applications, giving the user excellent clarity, quality and continued confidence with a 7-year warranty.

More recently we have been finding a huge increase in GSCI units supplied by us to the hunting market, and it's understandable as to why these have become so popular given the incredible performance.

There are two stand out units that we advise for hunting, the PBS-14 and PVS-14C. These are handheld tubed night vision monoculars, which can be mounted to the rear of a parallax adjustable dayscope using a day scope adapter (DSA) to convert your scope into a night vision scope - very handy if you don't want to tie up a rifle to be a dedicated night shooting set-up.

GSCI PBS-14 NV Monocular - From RRP £2,229.95

The PBS-14 is a fantastic choice to use as a rear add-on, it is by far one of the best value for money rear NV add-ons on the market today - it uses a basic housing and lens to keep the cost down, but still offers the impressive image quality and nighttime sensitivity from the photonis tube.

What makes the PBS-14 stand out from the cheaper digital rear add-ons is the incredible build quality and simplicity - it's lightweight (330g), rugged, waterproof (IP66) and you can expect up to 40 hrs from a single AA or CR123A battery (you won't see runtime like that from a digital unit).

Clarity wise, the picture is incredible - we recommend the GEN2+ (Green Phosphor) if this is going to be used scope mounted for hunting, with an additional IR for that little extra ID / eye-shine you'll see much further than you'll ever pull the trigger on a safe shot.

GSCI PVS-14C NV Monocular - From RRP £3494.95

If you're looking for the next step up, the PVS-14C is the upgrade from the PBS-14 - it uses a higher quality housing improving the waterproof rating (IP67), plus different optics that will give you better image quality and nighttime sensitivity. Besides these differences in the casings, the PBS-14 and PVS-14C are the exact same in terms of size / weight etc.

What makes the PVS-14C an upgrade in terms of image quality, is the higher end tube options available - realistically you wouldn't want much more than the GEN3 or GEN3+ if you're using this as a rear NV add-on as you may find the unit becomes too sensitive (depending on what day scope this is going on, we recommend a parallax adjustable day scope with a low amount of coatings on the lens).

Essentially, the higher the 'FOM' factor the more sensitive the tube, the more sensitive the tube the less IR illumination you need. 

Both the PBS-14 & PVS-14C share the same technical data;

  • Optical Magnification: 1X
  • Objective Lens Focal Length: 27mm
  • Objective Lens F-number: f/1.2
  • Field of View (FOV): 40°
  • Focusing Range: 0.25m .. Infinity
  • Diopter Adjustment Range: -6 .. +4
  • Built-In IR Illuminator: Yes
  • IR-On Indicator: Yes
  • Automatic Shut-Off System: Yes
  • Any Polarity Battery Insertion: Yes
  • Stow Safety Feature: Yes, Optional
  • Power Source: 1pc AA or 1pc CR123
  • Battery Life: up to 40 hours
  • Environmental Protection: IP66 or Better (Optional)
  • Dimensions: 110x65x55mm
  • Weight: 330 grams
  • Operating Temperature: -40°C .. +50°C
  • Warranty: 7 Years, Limited

Using a Night Master IR Illuminator will enhance the image of your Night Vision Riflescope.

I'm looking for a Thermal Imaging Spotter, what would you suggest?

When it comes to Thermal Imaging, you definitely get what you pay for. 

Spotting is perhaps the most important part of night shooting, as without seeing something is there - how can you shoot? This is where having a thermal spotter becomes priceless, if there is heat to be seen you will see it. There is no escaping thermal imaging.

'Entry level'

Pulsar's Axion range of Thermal Imaging monoculars are very capable handheld spotters, despite the extremely compact size.

Pulsar Axion Range - from RRP £1159.95 - £2129.95

The Axion is an ultra-compact, lightweight, handheld thermal imaging monocular, that is available in three models; Key XM30, XM30S, XQ38 & XQ38 LRF. With detection ranges of up to 1350m and native magnification of up to 4.5x with optimal 4x digital zoom, depending on the model.

'Bread & Butter'

We seem to get asked lots "what is the bread and butter of thermal spotters?" and we always give the same answer. The bread and butter of thermal spotters is the Pulsar Helion XQ38F, by far the most popular monocular that we sell.

Pulsar Helion XQ38F - DISCONTINUED

The XQ38F has a great combination of wide field-of-view and useful magnification, which starts at 3.1x and increases to 12.4x with very good clarity, which means you can see more of what’s out there without having to constantly scan left-to-right. Did we mention? The detection range is 1350m, put yourself into a realistic situation - do you have much permission where you can see over 1350m in a straight line? The wide FOV definitely outweighs the need to see further than the 1350m detection range (in our opinion).

'High end'

There definitely is a 'high end' of thermal imaging spotters, but what exactly do you gain when you go for the higher end XP sensor? What you gain is a huge amount of clarity and field of view, although you tend to loose magnification... 

When it comes to the top end of thermal spotters, there are two stand out models.

Pulsar Helion 2 XP50 - RRP £3399.95

The Helion 2 XP50 has a generation 2 thermal sensor, providing even more detail in difficult environmental conditions such as cold mornings, rain or fog.

Pulsar Accolade 2 XP50 LRF - RRP £4649.95

This second-generation Accolade retains all of the tried and tested features of the original Accolade LRF XP50 but has the new <40mK NETD thermal sensor.

By now, most thermal users are familiar with the sensor resolution of a device e.g. 640x480, and also the pixel pitch e.g. 17µm. The improvement of these new Series 2 devices concentrates on a key specification of thermal sensor technology – the NETD value.

The NETD (Noise Equivalent of Temperature Differential), expressed in millikelvins (mK) is one of the most important parameters for thermal sensors as it describes their sensitivity. The lower the NETD value, the higher the sensitivity.

In existing Helion, Trail and Accolade series models the NETD value was sub 60mK. The new <40mK sensor, exclusively manufactured by ULIS for Pulsar puts Pulsar devices at the forefront of the market with the devices all featuring a better image in conditions where there is a low-temperature difference such as during rainfall, fog or cold mornings. These environmental conditions are the most difficult for thermal imagers and this new sensor will provide a clearer image for users.

Protect your gear

It's all well and good having the best gear possible, but is it protected in transport and can you keep all of it together? If not, we have the soltuion.

Night Master 'Night Ready' Handmade Rifle Gun Bag - RRP £129.95

The 'Night Ready' Rifle Bag has been designed with night shooters in mind. At 50" long, it can accommodate most rifles with a moderator fitted and the extended width means you can leave your Night Master light attached to the scope - it will also accommodate a large night vision / thermal imaging riflescope, such as the Pulsar Trail XP50 or Digisight N970 attached to a rifle.

Night Master Gun Bag

This custom-made gun bag has been designed exclusively for Night Master to carry all of your night shooting accessories. Two large pockets will hold a moderator, thermal imager, bullet pouch, multiple Night Master torches, LEDs and accessories, spare batteries for torches and equipment, knives, hats, gloves and still have space for more.

Our gun bag is definitely worth it's weight in gold.

We hope this has cleared a few things up, but if you still have any questions make sure to get in touch with us and speak to someone who uses the gear.

Why choose Night Master?
  • Price Match Guarantee
  • Honest, Knowledgeable advice
  • HUGE amount of items in stock
  • 5 STAR 'Excellent' Trust Pilot rating
  • 0% finance on UK orders over £275
  • FREE UK Next Day deliveries on orders over £40
  • Incredible after service and customer product support
  • Speak to someone who uses the gear for honest advice (Mon-Fri, 9:00AM-5:30PM)

Call us on 01535 610066 or 01535 611688 or email on if you have any questions and we'll give you the best advice on what we have to suit your needs.