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Hunting 'yotes is a productive way to stay active between deer seasons, and night vision is a must-have hunting essential.
I compare the best night vision scopes for coyote hunting from digital to Gen 3 devices, affordable to costly units, and compact to heavy (but worth it!) scopes.
Best Night Vision Scope for Coyote Hunting
|ATN PS28-2||CHECK PRICE|
|Armasight CO-Mini||CHECK PRICE|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||CHECK PRICE|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||CHECK PRICE|
|Plusar Digex C50||CHECK PRICE|
|SiOnyx Aurora||CHECK PRICE|
|ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X||CHECK PRICE|
Coyotes have always been associated with the wild countryside of North America, but recently, they’ve been moving closer and closer to civilization in their hunt for food.
This means you may not need to travel far to hunt coyotes. While you may spot them during the day, they’re more active in low-light hours, and if you live in coyote territory, you’ll hear them especially active at night. This calls for having hunting optics that provides sight in the dark.
You can choose between the best night vision and thermal scopes for coyote hunting. Both technologies work differently, and thermal is the more expensive option. So, if you’re limited to a budget of less than $2000, night vision should be your first consideration - plus, they have longer battery runtimes than thermal.
All the scopes in my lineup are between digital and analog night vision. If you’re in for a productive Winter, get night vision and get hunting already.
Best Night Vision Scopes for Coyote Hunting Reviews
1. ATN PS28 NV Scope - Best White Phosphor
The PS28 is a night vision clip-on series manufactured by ATN. Though extremely expensive, it has a Gen 3 white phosphor autogated and thin-filmed IIT. With A-grade resolution, it may be one of the best clip-ons for turning a day scope into a night vision setup.
- Quick release mount
- Versatile mounting
- Auto brightness control
First off, the PS28 weighs 1.85 lbs. Since it comes under 2 lbs, it’s really not all that heavy, nor is it far off from the specs of comparable clip-ons. But, since I intend to be nit-picky about the nit-pickiest kind of things, it’s worth pointing out that you will be adding almost 2 lbs to your weapon setup.
The upside of its tank-like build is its impressive abuse-proof construction. The entire clip-on is waterproof to 10 m for 30 minutes. Not that I suggest you should be diving with it, but at least you know it’s incredibly forgiving for when you want to wait out the weather – just don’t catch a cold.
The PS28 like other modern clip-ons is typically mounted via a QRM (Quick Release Mount) to the rail or it can be equipped to the objective bell of your daytime scope. However, I'm disappointed that only the rail mount is included in the box.
ATN’s clip-on has a Gen 3 IIT with 64-72 lp/mm resolution, 50-hour battery life, and Automatic Brightness Control System for consistently bright images even in changing conditions. Crystal clear imaging is what you get.
Clip-on NVDs are no-nonsense optics, convenient, and provide instant NV to most daytime scopes. The PS28 is one such NVD that you must have if you want NV with whichever weapon you have in your hand at that point in time.
2. Armasight CO-Mini – Best Gen 3 (Clip-on)
Armasight has made a return to the market and all their optics are Gen 3. The Co-Mini clip-on sight is expensive but executes its job well with red dot sights or day scopes for short-range performance.
- Gen 3
- Manual gain
- Wireless remote
- Dual power option
The Co-Mini is a clip-on night vision sight that is seated in front of the objective bell of a daytime scope and shrouded with the included light suppressor. It can also be paired with a red dot sight that has night vision brightness settings. It’s set for a height of 1.5” above the rail and comes with a Weaver quick release mount.
The Armasight Co-Mini does not require you to rezero your day scope with use of the clip-on. I assume that it’s factory-collimated to be within 2 MOA or better out of the box and on the rail. It works well with day scopes between 1-6x magnification.
Though expensive, the clip-on is designed to provide short-range detection inside of 350 yards. Use of the included, detachable IR850-XLR Long Range IR Illuminator can boost performance to 550 yards (approx.). It has a Gen 3 tube with 64-72 lp/mm resolution, manual gain, and Bright Light Cut-Off. A wireless remote is included in the box and is a convenient tool to minimize user movement and quickly activate the sight from standby mode.
I really like the dual battery option which means you can use a CR123A battery for 45 hours of operation or a widely available AA battery for 24 hours of runtime. As a clip-on, I favor its compact size at 4.9” long, and the integrated rail allows for attachment of another accessory.
For nighttime coyote hunting, you need night vision. If you want the dependability of your daytime scope to get it done after dark, a clip-on is a must-have and the Co-Mini is worth it for the most serious of us.
3. AGM Wolverine-4 NL3 NV Scope - Best Gen 2
The Wolverine is a night vision standalone scope series offered by AGM. If you’d rather dedicate a rifle with its own night vision sight while on a tight budget, the Wolverine-4 NL3 is about as cheap as it gets for Gen 2+.
- Gen 2+ IIT
- Aluminum alloy build
- Quick release mount
- Automatic brightness adjustment
The Wolverine-4 is a passive night vision rifle scope with its Gen 2+ IIT. To get an upper-end Gen 2 scope with resolution of 45-51 lp/mm at Gen 1 prices, I think it's a steal. Granted, it lacks a lot of extra features, but its scaled down form is why it’s priced so attractively.
The scope is completely water-resistant, strong, and somewhat lightweight at 2 lbs (approx.) since it’s built with aircraft aluminum alloy.
It lacks manual gain, but you can’t have it all for the low price? To control the level of clarity and brightness of the display, it has an Automatic Adjustable Brightness feature which I know is typical of cheaper night vision optics. A mil-dot reticle with an illuminated center is the aiming point and I reckon you can get ½ MOA accuracy. Up for some practice?
This brings us to the mil-dot reticle and MOA turrets. Obviously, this reticle/turret system is not for everyone, but for those who don’t overthink it, it works especially well. I recommend the Wolverine for close to mid-range applications like home defense, hunting, and range work.
4. Sightmark Wraith HD - Best Digital
There is a new series of Wraiths, the Wraith 4K Max, but the Wraith HD remains a popular favorite among the masses and mine as a scope that usually hovers around $500. For the money and performance, it's one of the best digital standalone scopes you can buy.
- Digital scope
- 8x digital zoom
- Selectable reticles
- Video recording
- Older model
As I disclosed, it's not the latest and newest Wraith around, but it's a proven workhorse that's worth the money. Many have become confused about it's battery runtime being in the 2-hour range, but that would be the life of the external IR illuminator that's included. The Wraith HD runs for about 5-8 hours.
I really like it's performance for up to about 500 yards at mid-range magnification. It's repeatedly used to observe wildlife out to 700 yards and beyond, but max magnification does become extremely grainy. However, at night you're likely limited to a couple hundred yards with turning on the IR and getting closer.
As a digital scope, everything is available to you from digital adjustments to zero the scope to selectable reticles and reticle colors. You can video record and capture images, but the videos do not record audio - no biggie in my opinion.
I recommend the Wraith as a solid performer for varmint and predator hunting. It's simple and easy to use, and it offers digital features that I think is well-matched to its price point.
5. Pulsar Digex C50 - Best for 300 Blackout
Pulsar is one of those manufacturers that is always improving upon their available offerings. As products get discontinued, they replace them with better performing options. One such scope that is new to the night vision market is the Digex C50.
- Digital scope
- PIP mode
- Wide angle eyepiece
- High recoil resistance
The price is on the expensive end for digital night vision as there are cheaper scopes under $1000. However, Pulsar is an authority in the digital night vision industry and they have a track record of doing it well.
The C50 is a standalone riflescope complete with digital features from WiFi, 5 zero profiles, 3.5-14x variable magnification, and video recording. I think one of the best things I've always liked about Pulsar scopes is the PIP (Picture in Picture) mode. It's one of those features that once you've experienced it, you don't really ever want to go back to being without it.
The CMOS sensor has the new SumLight software. What this means is that it's extra sensitive to ambient light, and therefore, it somewhat acts as passive night vision allowing vision in the dark without the use of an IR flashlight. This can improve image quality without the degradation that you can quickly notice with typical digital devices.
All in all, the Digex C50 is a solid unit that delivers in both digital features and night vision performance. It's recoil-resistant and is a great scope for an AR-10. With the 29.5-degree FOV (thanks to the wide-angle eyepiece), it's comfortable to sit behind and scan the peripheries for bobbing heads.
6. SiOnyx Aurora - Best Under $1000
The SiOnyx Aurora is a digital night vision device, under $1000, and extremely versatile. It can be used as a monocular, head or helmet mounted, and weapon mounted. Having been recoil-rated for .223/556 calibers, it’s ideal for the AR-15 that you’re likely using for the hunt.
- Video/image recording
- Mounting options
- Compatible with red dots
- Battery life
- No included IR illuminator
Two things come to mind that may be a hindrance for varmint hunters: the 2-hour battery life and no included IR. However, both an external IR and USB battery pack can be purchased separately to mitigate for the lack of these features.
In everything else, the Aurora is a digital device with a CMOS sensor that is dual-use compatible, meaning, you can use it safely during the day and at night. With the digital tech, I like the user-adjustable settings, video recording, and image capture.
As a versatile monocular, it must have the foundational features that we require from an optic: diopter, manual and electronic focusing, and ¼-20 tripod threading. The Aurora has it all. I find the threading to absolutely vital because it's what allows for tripod, head, helmet, and weapon mounting. SiOnyx has their own weapon mount specific to the Aurora perfect for behind a red dot sight and I bought it and have used it successfully.
It does not have a warranty comparable to the big manufacturers in night vision, but it does come with some coverage (1-year) though limited. For under $1000, the SiOnyx Aurora is a versatile NVD for hunters and civilians.
7. ATN X-Sight LTV 5-15X NV Scope - Best for the Money
If you take a look at the X-Sight and the new X-Sight LTV side by side, you tell us which one you’d prefer? This is the 5-15x LTV model, but there is also a 3-9x LTV that offers the same high-quality performance.
- Enhanced NV
- Traditional body look
- Scaled-down digital
- Limited features
Obviously, the X-Sight LTV takes on a scaled-down platform that does away with live streaming, the rangefinder, syncing compatibility with ATN products, WiFi, and more. Instead, this is designed for the no-fuss hunter who wants a no-fuss interface for no-fuss performance.
The other losses it saw was also in weight and curves. The LTV is not as bulky and is incredibly lightweight at 1.7 lbs. This is the equivalent to most NV clip-on scopes like the AGM Comanche and ATN PS28, so to have a dedicated weapon scope weighing in as much as they do is worth noticing.
The LTV has the new Obsidian LT Core and QHD+ sensor with an HD display. Clarity is incredibly clear through the color display of Day mode and the black/white display of Night mode.
You have 5-15x magnification, multiple reticle patterns and colors, One Shot Zero, long battery life of 10+ hours, video recording to a micro SD card, and a couple other digital features. Not bad for “scaled-down,” right?
What to Look for in a Night Vision Scope for Coyote Hunting
Are all night vision scopes good for coyote hunting? Some are better suited to it than others, and some are more affordable than others. Here are a few pointers to get you started.
You can spend upwards of $2000 for a night vision scope for hogs, coyotes, and other invasive species. But, when you can spend anywhere between $500 to $2000 for a high-end digital scope or an upper-end Gen 2 IIT, why consider spending more?
The most basic of digital scopes will come in under $1000 and the higher-end ones that offer multiple features will run around $1000 to $1600.
When Gen 1 was only available in this price range, Gen 2 is now coming in cheaper than ever and still with all the newest cores and sensors needed for enhanced night vision quality. For under 2K, you don’t have to compromise for 20-30 lp/mm range resolution, you can get the 40-55 lp/mm range which is much closer to Gen 3 night vision than it is to Gen 1.
|ATN PS28||Under $5500|
|Armasight Co-Mini||Under $4500|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||Under $2500|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||Under $800|
|Pulsar Digex C50||Under $1500|
|SiOnyx Aurora||Under $1000|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||Under $800|
Standalone VS Clip-On
A clip-on scope tends to be more expensive than its standalone equivalent because of its versatility. It turns your daytime scope into a night vision scope, they’re easy to mount and dismount, and they usually don’t require you to rezero.
However, they tend to have image degradation due the image having to travel through several lenses before it reaches your eye. The clip-on and day scope optical axes need to be within 3mm of alignment, otherwise you will need to use different rings for the daytime scope.
Standalone scopes require its own weapon system. This may mean dismounting the day optic to mount the NV scope. This can be tedious work but quick detach mounts make it less so.
However, not all standalone NV scopes come with these types of mounts so pay attention to the included mount type when you buy. Once you have it on, you won’t need to deal with aligning axes like that of a day scope and clip-on, and you will likely have better imaging quality.
|Product||Night Vision Device Type|
|ATN PS28||Clip-on scope|
|Armasight Co-Mini||Clip-on scope|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||Standalone scope|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||Standalone scope|
|Pulsar Digex C50||Standalone scope|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||Standalone scope|
Night Vision Types
On average, there’s a tendency to lump a lot of device types under night vision. Thermal and fusion mistakenly make its way under this umbrella. However, I define night vision technology between two device types: active digital night vision and analog night vision.
What’s the difference?
Analog or passive night vision incorporates image intensifier tubes (IIT) that amplify light to provide vision in the dark. They are to be used in dark conditions to protect the IIT, are often very expensive, and can be further categorized by the quality of the IIT by generation classifications.
Active night vision incorporates a computer chip that provides a digital view in both day and night conditions. As a result, these devices are dual-use units that do not depend on ambient light to provide an image on a display. They usually offer additional smart features are more affordable than analog night vision devices.
|Product||Night Vision Type|
|ATN PS28||Gen 3 White Phosphor|
|Armasight Co-Mini||Gen 3 Green or White Phosphor|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||Gen 2 Green Phosphor|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||Digital night vision|
|Pulsar Digex C50||Digital night vision|
|SiOnyx Aurora||Digital night vision|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||Digital night vision|
In total, the night vision scope’s specs will determine its appropriateness and suitability for the hunt in regards to the terrain, detection range, and what rifle you can put it on. Knowing the specs can help to prepare for a hunt and to make the most of it.
|Product||Resolution||Magnification||Detection Range (Approx.)||Recoil Resistance|
|ATN PS28||64-72 lp/mm||1x||400 yards*||.308 Win*|
|Armasight Co-Mini||64-72 lp/mm||1x||500 yards*||.308 Win|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||45-57 lp/mm||4x||500 yards*||.308 Win*|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||1280x720 (display)||4-32x||300 yards*||.308 Win|
|Pulsar Digex C50||1024x768 (display)||3.5-14x||500 meters||Up to 375HH & 416 Barret|
|SiOnyx Aurora||1024x768 (display)||1-3x||300 yards||.223 cal*|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||1280x720 (display)||5-15x||200 yards*||Up to 375HH & 416 Barret|
*Not disclosed: guesstimate
Battery & Battery Life
On average, night vision scopes tend to share the same type of battery to power the night vision technology. Digital scopes usually have an internal, rechargeable battery that provides around 3-18 hours of runtime.
Analog night vision scopes can last up to 60 hours on a single CR123A battery. Some units allow for interchangeable batteries that includes AA.
|Product||Battery Type||Battery Life|
|ATN PS28||1x CR123A||50 hours|
|Armasight Co-Mini||1x CR123A or 1x AA||24/45 hours|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||1x CR123A||50 hours|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||Internal Li-ion||5-8 hours|
|Pulsar Digex C50||Internal Li-ion||10 hours|
|SiOnyx Aurora||NP-50||2 hours|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||Internal Li-ion||10 hours|
Weight & Size
It goes without saying that if you’re hunting and will be on the go, up and down, out and about, you’ll need to have a lightweight setup from your gear to your weapon system and that includes the optic.
Hunting night vision scopes should be lightweight and must complement your setup. Fortunately, the newest offerings in the market are coming in under 2 lbs, even for standalone scopes.
Not only is weight loss a trending feature, the body styles of NV scopes are also changing. They’re compact, sleek and slim, and are definitely less bulky than they used to be. They’re between 10-13” in length and are less than 3” wide. Some are taking on a more traditional and classic look like that of a daytime scope in the name of ergonomic styling.
These may be points to be aware of if you’re wanting a scope that has a familiar look, a compact build, and a light weight for hunting.
|ATN PS28||7.7 x 3.5 x 3 inches||29.6 oz|
|Armasight Co-Mini||4.9 x 2.7 x 2.2 inches||16.96 oz|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||12.1 x 3.7 x 3.8 inches||41.6 oz|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||10.5 x 1.9 x 3 inches||36.8 oz|
|Pulsar Digex C50||16 x 3 x 3.2 inches||40.5 oz|
|SiOnyx Aurora||4.7 x 2.1 x 2.5 inches||8 oz|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||13 x 2.2 x 2.2 inches||27.2 oz|
Warranties for night vision scopes will vary between manufacturers. It is rare to find a lifetime warranty on a night vision scope. Most will offer a 1–3-year warranty and there will be limitations regarding ownership, registration, and requirements of proof of purchase.
|ATN PS28||2-year warranty|
|Armasight Co-Mini||3-year warranty|
|AGM Wolverine-4 NL3||3-year wraranty|
|Sightmark Wraith HD||3-year warranty|
|Pulsar Digex C50||3-year warranty|
|SiOnyx Aurora||1-year warranty|
|ATN X-Sight LTV||2-year warranty|
Coyotes cannot see IR light as humans cannot see IR light. One thing to consider with night vision gear is the small red dot with IR units. If you can see it, you can be sure a coyote can see it too. As far as the beam of IR light put out into a field – no.
Image Credit: ATN
Dusk and Dawn. In the evening and early morning hours, coyote activity picks up as they search for food and prowl to stake new territorial claims. However, believe it or not, you can actually hunt coyotes all day long.
During the Winter, they’re active during the day a lot more than in other seasons. During afternoons, it’s more challenging. But coyotes are opportunists, and if they think an easy meal is nearby, they’ll come to your calls and songs regardless of the hour.
It really depends on what you’re willing to spend and what the conditions are for hunting. Many like to run thermal optics for detection and then use night vision for identification and shooting.
If it’s particularly dark out and difficult to get range with night vision and an IR, you can switch over to a thermal scope good for coyote hunting. Have both if you can afford it.
It is legal to hunt coyotes but whether it’s legal to hunt with night vision or thermal depends on where you are. You must check state and local laws and regulations regarding use of night vision equipment, artificial light sources, and type of weapon and calibers allowed.
While coyote hunting is considered allowable for all seasons, always check what the laws state before you head out.
Prepped for Night Hunting?
Just like any other type of hunt, you must be prepared for a coyote hunt.
While the laws are a lot more lenient on invasive species like hogs and coyotes, you still need the right type of gear to ensure success.
Night vision can guarantee that success you need even when the budget is strapped tighter than your belt. You don’t need to spend 5K on a scope. A solid $1000 give or take a few hundred will land you something for the hunt this Winter.