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        What is an IR Illuminator?

        By bmatheus  

        Digital night vision has become a popular tool when hunting hogs, varmint and predators at night.

        What is an Infrared (IR) Illuminator?

        Infrared devices are used to emit infrared light into the invisible light spectrum but can be seen by special sensors. Though there are multiple IR illuminator forms, digital night vision commonly uses IR LED lighting. True IR illumination is only visible when used with special image sensor tubes and digital night vision devices. IR illuminator output wavelengths vary, resulting in either a visible red glow at the light source or are completely stealth. IR illuminators are beneficial for traditional and digital night vision devices because they provide additional artificial light to better illuminate targets and extend the device’s viewing range.

        How Do They Work?

        The infrared illuminator’s output power is measured by its wavelength and valued in nanometers. Nanometers are used to specify the wavelength of the IR that is the visible part of the light spectrum. It is always important to understand the light source’s nm strength—the greater the number, the higher the wavelength. IR illuminators may have the option of variable power or brightness level where the output source may be managed. In these modes, the lens area features a focus diopter to adjust the output’s beam for longer ranges.

        Digital night vision devices may include a built-in IR illuminator or a removable one. For example, the Pulsar Digisight Ultra N455 offers a removable IR. Built-in IR illuminators are specifically designed for the device at hand. Often, lower-powered magnification optics feature a weaker illuminator while higher-powered magnification optics boast a stronger IR. It is advised not to view targets at close ranges with a high magnification night vision device with a built-in high-powered infrared illuminator because it will perform poorly—a high-powered IR can blur your image. Buying a separate IR illuminator allows you to make brightness adjustment to avoid this problem.

        Use of an external illuminator can increase the overall detection distance of a night vision device. Before buying one, it is important to check that output power of the external IR exceeds the output power of the external IR (built in.) Otherwise, the external IR would not increase the detection range. Two popular illumination powers are 850nm and 940nm.

        Laser vs LED

        Two types of illuminating technology currently provide IR output—laser and LED. Given the same output power, laser illuminators can travel further than LED illuminators and thus further increase a night vision device’s viewing distance. Laser illuminators, however, must be diffused in order to be eye-safe so they produce a “grainy” imaging effect when viewed through a night vision device.  Laser IRs also offer a more focused field of view than LED. LED, on the other hand, costs less than laser, but cannot reach the same distance unless equipped with an exceptionally high output power.  Therefore, laser illuminators consume less energy than comparable LED illuminators of the same power.

        What is the Difference in IR Wavelengths?

        Visible IR 850

        The white light source produces a faint red glow, illumination is not visible to the naked eye. Most of the true day/night cameras with removable an IR have a great sensitivity to 850nm wavelength. 

        Invisible IR 940

        This IR does not produce a red glow, making it completely undetectable. Invisible IRs are highly sought after by law enforcement, military and railroad applications where red light is often used. The illumination range is 30–40 percent shorter, compared to 850nm wavelength.

        Now Shipping: Thermion Thermal Riflescopes

        (MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/05/31) – Pulsar brought true superiority to SHOT Show 2019, with the unveiling of the new Thermion Thermal Riflescope. Pulsar will begin distributing limited quantities of Thermions starting with XM models this month. Pulsar has set a new milestone with the Thermion with its traditional riflescope design.

        The cutting-edge thermal optic provides hunters clarity when hunting, day or night. Create memories by enhancing your hog, predator and varmint hunts with the Thermion Thermal riflescope.

        The Thermion will be available in five different models: XM30, XM38, XM50, XP38 and XP50. The XM models boast a 320×240 microbolometer resolution with 12μm pixel pitch and a full-color 1024×768 HD AMOLED display, delivering a crisp image with a detection range of up to 2,500 yards. The XP models are feature-rich with a 640×480 microbolometer resolution, 17μm pixel pitch, a 1024×768 HD AMOLED full-color display and detection range of 2,000 yards.

        Additional Thermion features include variable zoom, picture-in-picture mode, 15 reticles in 4 colors and 8 display color pallets. An integrated 16GB of internal memory allows you to take still images and record video.

        If you are a dealer and want to speak to someone about pre-orders or becoming a new Pulsar authorized dealer, please contact sales@pulsarnv.com. If you are a media member and would like to test and evaluate the Thermion please contact mediarelations@pulsarnv.com.

        Experience Thermal with the Accolade LRF

        By bmatheus  

        (MANSFIELD, TEXAS 2019/05/15) – Turn your hunt into a high-tech adventure with the Pulsar Accolade laser rangefinding Thermal Binoculars with 384 and 640 core resolution and a detection range of up to 2,000 yards. Accolade thermal binoculars feature a dual eyepiece helping to reduce eye fatigue during long scanning and surveying periods.

        Pulsar offers two laser range finding models; XQ38 LRF and XP50 LRF. Accolade XQ38 LRF models boast a 384×288 sensor with a 50hz refresh rate detecting detailed thermal images from up to 1,475 yards. XP50 LRF models feature a 640×480 sensor with a 50hz refresh rate for thermal ranges up to 2,000 yards and a 640×480 frost-resistant AMOLED display.

        Pulsar offers the highest level of image quality and eight custom color modes to provide flawless crisp clear images in virtually any condition. Record your adventure with the built-in video recorder and stream it through the Stream Vision App.

        All Accolades are now shipping and available for order. If you are a dealer or wish to become a new authorized Pulsar dealer please contact sales@pulsarnv.com or if you are a media member and would like to test and evaluate please contact mediarelations@pulsarnv.com.

        Double Down on Your Thermals

        The Pulsar Trail XP38 Thermal Imaging Riflescope and Helion Monocular Review

        Written by Brian Magee, Sightmark and Pulsar Pro Staff member.

        Most people consider buying a house or vehicle a major purchase. You spend time researching different makes and models that fit your wants and needs, trying things out and talking to others that have made similar purchases. When it comes to hunting gear, what amount of money constitutes a major purchase? Hundreds of dollars? Thousands?

        For me, when the time came to pick the perfect thermal imaging device for hunting hogs at night in Oklahoma, it was a major purchase. Spending thousands of dollars on a piece of hunting equipment is cause for doing a fair bit of research on what to buy. After countless hours reading reviews, talking to other hunters and even getting some hands-on time, I have come up with an incredible one-two punch which I believe is not only safer but has made me much more successful. My system consists of a handheld thermal monocular, the Pulsar Helion XQ50, and a thermal riflescope, the Pulsar Trail XP38. This combination has facilitated the demise of many hogs throughout the state of Oklahoma.

        Soon after my thermal imaging devices arrived, I pulled onto a hunting property in southwest Oklahoma.  I brought everything I needed to mount the scope to the rifle and get it zeroed… well, almost everything! When you are zeroing a thermal scope, it is helpful if you have something, –hot or cold– that produces a heat signature.  After searching the cab of the truck and through a heaping pile of hunting gear, I was able to come up with a lost package of hand warmers. I erected a crude range and within minutes had the scope zeroed. Only the long wait for sunset and quick meet-up with a friend remained—my Pulsar XP38’s maiden voyage was going to be a night hunt.

        The sun finally dropped below the horizon, leaving the landscape veiled in darkness; only faint moonlight remained. I headed out to meet my good friend and fellow firefighter, Chris Walls. The two of us set off for the hunt with only one rifle topped by the Trail XP38 to share between us—we would have to take turns. The Helion makes scanning the large alfalfa fields extremely easy. Like the Trail, the Helion has built-in video. The non-shooter was not only tasked with leading the stalk, but he was also responsible for capturing Helion video footage of the hunt. The Trail would capture thermal footage of the hunt, too, but with a reticle—great POV footage!

        A great deal of our hunting landscape is thick, brushy draws and wide-open winter wheat and alfalfa fields. Significant amounts of time are spent driving ranch roads and looking over these large fields for hogs. The Helion allowed us to quickly scan fields from the truck. We didn’t have to handle the rifles until hogs were located and we were prepared for the stalk. Our rifles stayed safe and secure and we didn’t miss anything hiding in the darkness thanks to the handheld monocular.

        In addition to making it easier and safer while searching from vehicles, a thermal monocular like the Helion is also incredibly beneficial when stand-hunting or on spot-and-stalk pursuits. During a stalk, whether hunting with a friend or on a solo trip, the handheld monocular can also be used to keep the hunter constantly informed about hog location, activity and even posturing—observing body language and movement on the fly can let you know the hogs are skittish and about to leave.

        If you’re hunting with a buddy, the Helion allows one person to keep track of the hogs while the other controls the rifle in a safe position until ready for the shot. Using a thermal monocular like the Helion also affords the opportunity to capture great thermal still photos and video via the onboard video camera. This is a great feature not only for reliving these exciting hunts; the footage can also aid in game recovery should your animal run off the field. Capturing footage makes it easy to go back and reference landmarks that can help in retrieving your animal.

        While stand-hunting, shooters can use a handheld thermal monocular to scan the area around their setup for approaching hogs or predators. The rifle can remain on the tripod or bipod, pointed in a safe direction, until the animal presents a shot. A compact thermal monocular like the Helion or Pulsar’s new Axion can easily be stored in a pocket or shared with your hunting partner to watch everything happen.

        Safety is always a top priority when hunting, especially at night. Using the monocular to scan fields and setups is not only safer, but allows you to be faster and more efficient when covering a great deal of ground with vehicles or ATV’s. Doubling down on thermal technology by using a monocular and riflescope truly makes for a deadly one-two punch!

        Chris was up first as a trigger-man and we located a single boar feeding in a native grass field along the edge of a creek almost immediately. Using the Helion, we easily navigated past numerous large round bales in a steady north wind. After cutting the distance in half, we reached a position that provided an excellent vantage point for me to film with the Helion and for Chris to get a good shot on the unsuspecting boar.  After confirming we were both filming, the 7mm WSM broke the silence and our first hog of the evening was down. The entire hunt was captured from both the perspective of the shooter and the spotter!

        Our celebration was short lived, as we quickly found ourselves preparing for the next stalk. Just a few hundred feet away was the entrance to a large alfalfa field. After scanning through several deer and rabbits, we located another lone boar in the very back of the field. This would be a much longer stalk, and although the wind was in our favor, the scattered turnips in the field tested our ability to stay upright through the trip hazards. As we closed the distance, we began to note the unbelievable size of this boar.

        We continued to close the distance, stopping to check our position every 15 to 20 steps or so, as the boar slowly fed and moved away from us. We closed to within 100 yards and stopped to set up. The big boar rarely stood still and seemed to take forever to provide a shot opportunity…but eventually he did, and we were ready. Again, the evening calm was disturbed by the Browning 7mm WSM. The boar buckled instantly and fell in the same hoofprints he had just made.

        What an incredible night!  Despite the wind and brutal cold, we managed to christen our new piece of gear on the very first night out. At home, I usually find myself getting things ready for work or preparing for bed when the sun goes down. I may have just become more of a night owl thanks to a little research, preparation, and Pulsar’s thermal imaging optics. I’m a fan.

        About Brian:

        Brian is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but has spent most of his life in the Oklahoma City area. He achieved a life-long goal of becoming a firefighter in 2003 and is now a part of the Oklahoma City Fire Department as a Lieutenant. His love for the outdoors, hunting and fishing began at a very young age thanks to a family who shared those interests. He grew up with a fishing pole in hand and began hunting with his dad around the age of 6. At the age of 14, he received his first hunting bow for Christmas and his love for bow-hunting was born. He has been bow-hunting for over 25 years and has had the privilege of harvesting many animals. While he spends most of his time hunting and fishing, reloading ammunition also ranks high on his list of hobbies. He is married to a very understanding wife and enjoys every minute they spend together.

        Getting into the Meat… and Guts of Organ Eating

        By bmatheus  

        Up until the past few centuries, hunters have been making use of their entire kill. Meat, organs and bones; every part of an animal served a purpose for human society for thousands of years. The advent of hunters and butchers alike only keeping the skeletal muscles for meat and discarding the rest of the animal is a relatively new phenomenon. This is especially common among hunters. With deer, even among muscle, certain cuts such as the meat from the shank, flank and neck are often avoided. All in all, this leaves good meat untouched and left to waste.

        Americans are particularly picky when it comes to meat, with most eating but a few of the generic cuts from any animal on a regular basis. Over time, people in the Western world have trended away from consuming “offal” meats; essentially, any part of the animal aside from skeletal muscle. This is largely due to the stigma that organs aren’t safe to eat or doing so is somehow barbaric and disgusting when in reality, people have routinely eaten organs as a nutrient-rich necessity, and even a prized delicacy, throughout human history.

        Unfortunately, many Americans do not have the option to eat highly nutritional organs on a regular basis, if ever. Most farm-raised livestock is fed on grain as opposed to grass, which results in relatively unhealthy animals with lower quality meat and, often, inedible organs. This leaves hunters with the greatest access to fresh, grass-fed animals, which, in America, are often deer. It is the privilege of hunters to make use of the whole deer and take part in the bounty of nutrients and health benefits the practice provides. In essence, hunters have the ability to consume a diet closely resembling early man’s.

        The most commonly consumed parts of any animal are the various muscles supporting the skeleton; however, from a nutritional standpoint, these cuts are the least nutrient-rich. In nature, predators go for the organs of an animal first upon making a kill and leave the musculature for last, since the organs are much denser in nutrients as well as various vitamins and minerals. The liver is the most nutrient-rich part of any animal and contains higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals than any other cut of meat or organ; however, venison heart is also nutrient-rich, is very easy to work with and is regarded as a good starting point when it comes to learning to prepare and cook organs. Sliced thin and cooked at a low temp for a long time, deer heart is said to have a taste and texture similar to cuts reserved for steaks or chops, making it an ideal for people who are new to the practice.

        Nearly all organs of a deer can be used for cooking but require various levels of preparation and care in order to be consumed. Among them, the most commonly eaten organs are the heart, liver, stomach and tongue. While other organs such as the lungs, brain, kidneys and intestines are not as commonly consumed, they are still edible and have plenty of uses for various recipes.

        Additionally, deer blood and marrow are often used in soups, stews and even sausages; however, hunters must bear in mind that organs spoil much more quickly than standard meat and are best if eaten within one or two days of the kill.

        By taking the daring step of using organs in cooking, hunters receive significantly more sustenance from each deer they kill, leave less to waste and truly optimize nutritional benefits.

        Do you save and cook the organs of your harvest? Tell us your favorite recipes in the comment section. 



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