Night time hunting can be a great thing to do and one that is really enjoyable and also successful. We’ve compiled a list of five different things to do to prepare yourself to go out hunting at night time.
Before you consider going out with night vision to shoot, you need to do some research first. It isn’t simply about going out in a field, making a scan of the land and then shooting a fox.
If you were fortunate enough to have received permission from the farmer to shoot over his field, then who is the best person to find out where all of the foxes are? What type of equipment do you need?
Tip 1: Stay in Communication with the Farmer
The person who is in the know is the farmer. He is on the land all of the time. He will be able to tell you where the fox hearths are located. Don’t hesitate to get as much information from the farmer that you possibly can – he is your friend.
Learn the lay of the land. The farmer might have told you where the foxes are, but you will be shooting at night. This is as much of a risk for night time hunting as it is for hunting at any time of the day and most hunters know that.
Tip 2: Go out to the land during the daytime for a visit.
Know the backstops, walk around. Safety is critical. It is important to be aware of any potential problems, like roads as well as other types of public rights of ways, where the buildings are, domestic pets (particularly cats), livestock (think of all the times that you have seen other eyes looking back at you at night, but it turns out that is a sheep), or the farmer who is out at night checking on his stock.
Look for indications of fox activity. Bones and feathers from victims of the fox, fox scat, fox scent (sweet musky smell), holes in fences, well-used pathways.
Once you know where the foxes are located, and the pathways that they use, think about where to position your truck. It is different using night vision compared to lamping. You are not looking for a fox, you are ambushing him.
Tip 3: Consider the position of your vehicle.
Be sure to cover all of the angles in terms of how you park your truck. Try parking close to trees, hedgerows, or a feature that is in the field. You might be surprised just how much your truck will blend in during the night. Even trucks that have chrome mirrors and bumpers or bright paintwork may blend in and totally disappear in the darkness. When you go to retrieve a shot fox, you might be surprised at the number of times that you need a torch to find your truck.
For the night vision shooter, using a laser range finder is a real asset. If you don’t have a range finder, go back to Tip 2, and then walk the distances. It is very hard to estimate the distance at night, especially using night vision. For measuring relative distances use geographical features and from that, you will be able to determine what a possible shot is given the limitations of whatever shooting equipment you use.
Tip 4: Know what your distances are.
If you don’t have a lot of experience with estimating distance, don’t hesitate to pace out different distances during your daily activities – make it a little game for yourself. For example, estimate the distances between lamp posts or parked cars, and then pace it out (one adult stride is about one yard). You might be surprised about the estimate your originally made. Distances are often deceptive.
With night visions, foxes won’t know what your position is. The only hint that they will have that you are in the area is that dull red glow coming from your infrared illuminator. However, there are many ways that you might give yourself away that you are not aware of.
Additional equipment like Eschenbach Bison 8×42 binoculars and the Laser Rangefinder Scout DX 1000 ARC are ideal for the job.
Tip 5: Think like the prey of the fox
Think that you don’t want the fox to catch you. It isn’t about the visual at night.
Foxes do have good eyesight. However, they have an even better sense of smell. Don’t go out smothered in aftershave when you are planning to go foxing (you are unlikely to meet someone hot when you are out in the middle of the field!). Avoid eating spicy foods (garlic is quite potent – after all, it is used for warding off vampires). A car air freshener’s artificial scent on a warm summer night can travel quite far.
The superior sense that a fox has in his arsenal is his hearing. So think about everything you are wearing – avoid wearing clothes that rustle or squeaky shoes. There are some waxed jackets that make a noise that appears to amplify at night whenever the sleeves move across your coat. (One thing that is ideal is deer hunter clothing.) Make sure that the platform that you are shooting from is sound-proofed and sturdy (use a rub mater or something similar on the touching surface) and whatever else you need on hand so you don’t need to clunk around opening car doors, or you can always ask your shooting partner to look for an important item.
Hunting at night could be considered a little less natural than hunting during the day, however it can really be a great experience and one that is very lucrative in terms of your hunt. Having the right gear and also a wise understanding of the whole process can make all the difference and really aid you in the effort.
So, if you are considering hunting at night, then take heed of the above advice and you will be able to do so in a very successful manner.