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5 Best Thermal Scopes for Coyote Hunting in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

A,Camouflaged,Hunter,Kneels,Beside,His,Tracking,Dogs,And,RifleHow are you supposed to outsmart one of the most adaptable animals in the world? Coyotes aren’t known to just sit and wait around for food. No, they go and they take it. However, that food is often at the expense of you and your livelihood. Even if it isn’t, the way the population is growing, there will not be any deer left!

So, you need some tools to help you outsmart these night hunters. Well, then we have a list of reviews for the best thermal scopes for coyote hunting to find what fits you. Each hunter is going to want something different in their tool box after all.

Let’s dive right on into it.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
ATN Thermal Rifle Scope ATN Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Has a battery life of 10+ hours
  • Lighter than your average scope
  • 3x-6x magnification available
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Athlon Optics Argos BTR Illuminated Riflescope Athlon Optics Argos BTR Illuminated Riflescope
  • Waterproof
  • Shockproof
  • Fully multi-coated
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    ATN ThOR 4 Thermal Rifle Scope ATN ThOR 4 Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Wifi streaming capabilities
  • Duel core sensor for clarity
  • 3-inch eye relief
  • theOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Rifle Scope theOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Rifle Scope
  • Has a battery life of 10+ hours
  • Lighter than your average scope
  • Aluminum construction
  • Pulsar Thermion XM Thermal Riflescope Pulsar Thermion XM Thermal Riflescope
  • Waterproof up till 3 feet for 30 minutes
  • Can connect to your smart phone
  • Video and still recording available
  • The 5 Best Thermal Scopes for Coyote Hunting – Reviews 2021

    1. ATN Thermal Rifle Scope – Best Overall

    ATN Thermal Rifle Scope

     

    Starting out strong, we have the best overall product for you. It is set at an affordable price for a thermal rifle scope for starters, but it also has features that are going to make hunting at night even easier. The thermal rifle scope is great for all weather conditions, including dense fog and smoke. Temperature won’t be a problem with this thermal rifle scope as it is good in all kinds of climates. Because of the durability and the fact that it is one of the lightest scopes out on the market, it means hunting can happen for hours without fatigue. With, this scope you will also have to worry less about recoil messing up proper alignment with a zero-recoil function.

    Pros
    • Has a battery life of 10+ hours
    • Lighter than your average scope
    • Can withstand temperatures from -20℉ – 120+℉
    • 3x-6x magnification available
    • Advanced heat detection sensors for best input
    • Has a one shot zero recoil function to save you time
    Cons
    • Slightly more expensive than other scopes
    • Doesn’t ship to California
    • Bright lights at night can hurt the eye through the scope

    2. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Illuminated Riflescope – Best Value

    Athlon Optics Argos BTR Illuminated Riflescope

    The best thermal scope for your money is going to be right here. It comes in at our second best just because of the glass clarity and the heft behind it. If you don’t mind having more heft behind your scope, then look no further than right here. It has this amazing feature that is going to protect your lenses from getting gunked up with dirt and scratched up, rending them useless. Not only that, but this allows you to adjust ranges easily without having to stop what you are doing. All of that comes in handy when you are out in the field and need something now. The major outstanding point is that it won’t lose zero after just a few shots, making life easier for you and your hunting to keep going.

    Pros
    • Lowest price available for a thermal scope
    • Waterproof
    • Shockproof
    • Heat treated one piece tube construction
    • Fully multi-coated
    • 4x magnification
    Cons
    • Lens clarity suffers overall
    • Tunneling is often an issue after shooting
    • Bright lights at night can hurt the eye through the scope

    3. ATN ThOR 4 Thermal Rifle Scope – Premium Choice

    ATN ThOR 4 Thermal Rifle Scope

    Coming in at a number three spot, we have the premium choice. This is going to be on the more expensive end of the scopes that are listed. While it has outstanding features, it is also one that carries some weight behind it because of the added components it has. There are features that are not for those who just want to hunt and don’t want to do anything fancy. However, if you are looking for the longest battery life and the latest features for a thermal rifle scope, then you have found your match. If tech is right up your alley, then this is where you need to be as this thermal scope is packed full of new technology making it one of a kind.

    Pros
    • Has a battery life of 18+ hours
    • Wifi streaming capabilities
    • Duel core sensor for clarity
    • 3-inch eye relief
    • Ballistic calculator for the best shot possible
    Cons
    • Is the most expensive option out of the group
    • Not for the technology challenged
    • Not the best for day hunting

    4. theOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Rifle Scope

    theOpticGuru Thor LT Thermal Rifle Scope

    Coming in at number four, we have the theOpticGuru thermal rifle scope. It sits in at middle ground price wise with everything we have listed here. This thermal rifle is great for hunting in all climates and is lighter than the more expensive thermal scopes. If you aren’t wanting to hunt for too long, then this should be right up your alley. If you don’t hunt often and are just starting out, this is also a great scope for you to test the waters with. Made of aluminum, it is durable and can withstand various temperatures without breaking. If you are about keeping things simple and easy to understand, then this is the thermal scope for you.

    Pros
    • Has a battery life of 10+ hours
    • Lighter than your average scope
    • Aluminum construction
    • Uses ATN for locating thermal temperatures
    • Doesn’t need a lot of light to work
    Cons
    • Bright lights with this scope can be blinding
    • The clarity suffers from the top pick
    • One shot suffers due to recoil

    5. Pulsar Thermion XM Thermal Riflescope

    Pulsar Thermion XM Thermal Riflescope

    Here we have our fifth best thermal scope that is well worth your money. Even though it is lower on the list, it has features that can make hunting easier. With a range of four thermal colors, you can see where the coyote is and how far away based on those colors. If you prefer to use tech, then this is going to be a perfect scope for you without dishing out too much cash. The technology inside the scope can connect to your phone and capture video and still images, making group hunting easier.

    Pros
    • Has a battery life of 10+ hours
    • Customizable reticle options for easy use
    • Waterproof up till 3 feet for 30 minutes
    • Can connect to your smart phone
    • Video and still recording available
    Cons
    • Slightly more expensive than other scopes
    • Full of technology which can be tedious to keep up with
    • Ballistic calibrator doesn’t save from hunt to hunt

    Buyer’s Guide

    Knowing what thermal scope is the best for you is a great place to start. However, if you don’t know how to use it or what you are doing, then it won’t be helpful at all. This is where you are going to find the questions you need to ask yourself before you buy a scope. It will make things easier in the long run, and it will be helpful in finding what is going to suit your needs the best.

    Coyotes are adaptable to different weather and resources, making them a tough species to narrow down. You need something that can work through it all without bogging you down in items or features. Let’s look at what you need to know about how to get your hands on the right scope for you.

    Finding the Right Scope

    Let’s start out with what you should consider when finding the right thermal scope for you. First, you are going to want to know what time of day you are going to be hunting. If you plan on doing mostly early morning and evening hunting, then get a scope that can last all day without a charge and one that won’t blind you with what little light you have. Remember, coyotes are going to be creatures that rest during the day and hunt and move when it is cooler and darker.

    Here are some other things you should consider and ask yourself before buying a thermal scope:

    • What is the area you are hunting in like? Is it full of vegetation or is it open?
    • What is the climate going to be like? Is it normally dry or is normally wet enough that you need some form of waterproofing?
    • Do you want to go through different software to get the information you want out of your scope?
    • What season are you going to be hunting in?
    • Do you want a lighter-weight scope or a heftier one?
    • How strong of magnification do you want?

    Once you have taken all those questions into consideration, then you can move on to looking for a scope that is going to fit your needs.

    Sizing

    Scopes come in a variety of different sizes. You are going to have to look at which kind makes the most sense to you. Do you prefer more slender types or are you looking for one that has all the bells and whistles? This is also going to determine the type of magnification that you can get from your scope as well.

    Sizing is also going to affect the weight of the scope. The more you put into your thermal scope, the heavier it is going to be. If you plan on hunting for hours, the extra weight is going to become noticeable. A lighter thermal scope is better for hours-long hunting sessions as you could wait for hours before the animal shows.

    Coyote

    Image Credit By: mathey, pixabay

    Pricing

    The more your scope has, the more expensive it is going to be. The price doesn’t always equal better though. Notice our most expensive option doesn’t rank number one. There is a payoff, yes, but you can still get a great scope without dishing out too much money. Price is also going to come down to how often you are going to use it and where you are using it. If you are going to use something a few times, you don’t need the top-of-the-line scope as it will waste your money. However, if you plan on hunting for a long while, then get something that is going to last you season upon season.

    Tips for Buying

    When you go to look, you are going to want to consider what is the best deal for you. Mind the reviews that people give the products too. What is best for you may not work for someone else. Say you live in a wet climate, you are going to want to pay the extra money to get waterproofing.

    Here is a quick rundown of things to remember:

    • Know your rifle size and how you plan on using it.
    • Understand the different magnification levels (3x,4x, 6x, 8x, etc.)
    • If you get freezing temperatures or over 110 degrees check to see if your scope can handle it.
    • Look at the recoil and how it handles going back to zero after each shot.
    • Always understand that technology isn’t always better.
    • If capturing photos is a big deal for you, then get a scope that can send images to your phone.

    Battery Life

    Most thermal scopes are going to have some kind of battery. You are going to have to take that into consideration if you are going to be hunting for hours. Some batteries only last about ten hours while others last longer because they have fewer items in the scope that are powered. Consider how long the battery takes to charge as well. The longer the battery life the longer it will need to charge.

    scope crosshairs divider 2

    Conclusion

    With thermal scopes for hunting, the best one is ATN Thermal Rifle Scope. The reviews are in and we found that this is the one scope that can handle just about anything you throw at it and it is the best you can get for your money. It has the best recoil recovery, and it is still within budget to get anything you wanted to added to it. Hopefully, this has helped you figure out which model and all the features are going to work best for you. At the end of the day, it is going to be you and your rifle out there and you are going to want what is best for you.

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    Featured Image Credit: CLP Media, Shutterstock

    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.