The Best Thermal Sight for Coyote Hunting: 5+ Reviews [2022]

Last Updated on August 3, 2022.

If you’re hunting coyotes, you’re most likely hunting at night. Also, coyotes are fast moving predators (or scavengers, whichever you prefer).

What’s better than night vision?

You need a good optic that generates a very clear picture in the dark and helps you overcome coyotes' natural camouflage. Additionally, your sight needs to help you hit moving targets.

That pretty much narrows things down to thermal sights

We’re here to help you narrow that down even further to the best thermal sights for coyote hunting.

There’s good news and bad news here.

Bad news: thermal sights can be rather expensive.

Good news: there are a lot of options. You can get one that truly meets your needs.

This article will help you find that thermal sight that truly meets your needs…

Best Choice

ATN ThOR 4 4.5-18x50mm Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope

Specifications:

Magnification:

4.5 – 18 x

Display Resolution:

1280×720 pixels

Resolution:

384×288 pixels

Pros:

  • Strong magnification range.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Tons of reticle options.
  • High-resolution video recording.

Comparison Table

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Table of Contents

Do you need a thermal scope to hunt coyotes?

Technically, no. You could hunt exclusively during the day or use a light. However, it can be difficult to spot coyotes, even in daylight. A thermal sight is the best way to spot coyotes, especially at night, because the thermal sensor creates a high-contrast image that overcomes natural camouflage.

Is night vision or thermal better for coyote hunting?

Thermal sights are better for coyote hunting than night vision. Most night vision technology amplifies light, which does very little to overcome natural camouflage. Thermal scopes generate an image based on differences in heat, which ignores camouflage. This makes it much easier to spot coyotes.

Some night vision technology detects infrared light, which technically means it uses thermal signatures to generate an image. However, it’s not quite the same as a true thermal sight, which uses a temperature sensor to generate an image.

Typically, thermal scopes produce a higher contrast image than night vision goggles and scopes. Hence, thermal sights tend to be better for coyote hunting. 

The best thermal sight for coyote hunting reviews: Shooting in the dark

Given that thermal sights are your best option for coyote hunting—even better than night vision—let’s get warmed up with these thermal sight reviews.

Overall Best

1. ATN ThOR 4 4.5-18x50mm Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope

The ATN ThOR 4 4.5-18x50mm Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope is the most feature-packed and cost-efficient option for coyote hunting.

Key Specs:

  • Refresh Rate:

60 Hz

  • Battery Life:

18 hours

  • Weight:

1 kg

Pros:

  • Strong magnification range.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Tons of reticle options.
  • High resolution video recording.

Cons:

  • Can be a bit complex to operate.
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The big deal with the ATN ThOR 4 4.5-18x50mm Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope is the feature set.

The capabilities are solid — 4.5-18x magnification and a wide 50mm objective lens.

This thermal sight also has better battery life than most: 18 hours of operation.

Additionally, it has more reticle options than almost any other thermal sight.

There are two thermal imaging display modes: color and black and white.

This thermal sight records video in 1280×960.

It’s a lot of stuff packed into something that’s roughly the size of a standard long-range scope.

However, it’s a lot of features to manage…

This sight can be rather complex to operate on the fly. It’s best to set everything up before you go out, that way you can adjust the things you want without messing with the other options.However, unless you believe that it’s possible to have too many options, this is definitely the overall best thermal sight for coyote hunting.

For long-range Sight

2. Armasight Contractor 320 6-24x Thermal Weapon Sight

If you prefer to keep your distance, the Armasight Contractor 320 6-24x Thermal Weapon Sight has the right capabilities to help you get your hits.

Key Specs:

  • Magnification:

6 – 24 x

  • Objective Lens Diameter:

50 mm

  • Weight:

2.02 lbs

Pros:

  • Powerful thermal sensor.
  • High magnification range.
  • Lots of reticle options.
  • Control knobs are easy to operate in the dark.

Cons:

  • A bit on the bulky side.
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The thing that makes this thermal scope special is the thermal core. A high magnification range isn’t all that great if the thermal core can’t sense heat signatures at long distances.

Armasight’s thermal cores are designed to be capable enough for flying aircraft at night. In fact, the older Armasight thermal scopes used thermal cores from aircraft thermal sensors. Sadly, they made the Armasight scopes very bulky.Anyway, the detection distance on this thermal sight is more than enough to make use of the high magnification range and multiple reticle patterns to ensure that you can see your target for long shots.

The other standout feature of this thermal sight is the controls.

All of the settings on this scope are controlled with knobs, like an optical scope, which makes it easy to change settings in the dark, when you can’t see buttons.

It’s a thoughtful design, backed by outstanding thermal capabilities. That’s what makes this an excellent thermal scope for anyone who wants to take long shots in the dark.

Budget Thermal Sight

3. ATN ThOR LT 4-8x50mm Thermal Rifle Scope

The ATN ThOR LT 4-8x50mm Thermal Rifle Scope is basically the Thor 4, but with fewer features and a lower price.

Key Specs:

  • Magnification:

4 – 8 x

  • Objective Lens Diameter:

50 mm

  • Weight:

1.4 lbs

Pros:

  • Decent magnification range.
  • Plenty of reticle options.
  • Long battery life.
  • Reasonably priced.

Cons:

  • Fewer features than pricier thermal sights.
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The magnification ranges from 4-8x. There are just as many reticle options as the more expensive ThOR 4. Additionally, the ThOR LT has the same two thermal display modes.

The ThOR LT just doesn’t have video recording. The battery life is also a bit shorter at around 10 hours.

However, the streamlined feature set does make the operation simpler. You can pretty much just set it and forget it with this scope. Also, this thermal sight costs roughly one third as much as the ThOR 4.

If you want a capable thermal sight without taking out a loan, this is a great option.

Compact thermal sight

4. AGM Global Vision Rattler TS35-384 2.14x35mm Compact Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope

The AGM Global Vision Rattler TS35-384 2.14x35mm Compact Thermal Imaging Rifle Scope is a nice compact thermal scope that retains almost as many features as a full-size thermal sight.

Key Specs:

  • Magnification:

2.14 x

  • Display Resolution:

1024×768 pixels

  • Weight:

0.91 lbs

Pros:

  • Compact form factor.
  • Impressive feature set for a compact thermal scope.
  • Exceptional display quality.
  • Includes an external battery pack to extend battery life.

Cons:

  • Short battery life.
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The magnification ranges from 4-8x. There are just as many reticle options as the more expensive ThOR 4. Additionally, the ThOR LT has the same two thermal display modes.

The ThOR LT just doesn’t have video recording. The battery life is also a bit shorter at around 10 hours.

However, the streamlined feature set does make the operation simpler. You can pretty much just set it and forget it with this scope. Also, this thermal sight costs roughly one third as much as the ThOR 4.

If you want a capable thermal sight without taking out a loan, this is a great option.

Value thermal sight

5. Burris BTS 35 2.3 – 9.2x35mm Thermal Rifle Scope

The Burris BTS 35 2.3 – 9.2x35mm Thermal Rifle Scope might not be the least expensive thermal sight on the market. However, it definitely offers some of the best bang for your buck.

Key Specs:

  • Magnification:

2.3 – 9.2 x

  • Display Resolution:

400×300 pixels

  • Weight:

23.2 oz, 660 g

Pros:

  • Useful magnification range.
  • Plenty of reticle options.
  • Four color palettes for contrast in any environment.
  • Includes a built-in rangefinder.

Cons:

  • Relatively short battery life.
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It’s clear that Burris invested in visual performance when they designed this scope.

There are 10 reticle patterns, which range from very utilitarian to super simple.

The display offers four thermal color palettes.Additionally, the image is clear enough to identify targets out to 200 or 300 yards, maybe even further, though that may be pushing the limits of the thermal sensor.

If you want to know how far away you can see, there’s a built-in rangefinder that takes the range estimation off of your plate.

Unfortunately, at 3 to 5 hours, the battery life is a little short. The video recording feature is also rather limited (to the point where some say this thermal scope has no recording).

Regardless, the feature set is simple enough that you can operate this scope with one hand. The price is right, too.

Thermal reflex sight

6. Sig Sauer ECHO3 2-12x Thermal Reflex Sight

The Sig Sauer ECHO3 2-12x Thermal Reflex Sight is basically a fully featured thermal scope without optical magnification. It’s excellent for close-range, fast-paced hunting.

Key Specs:

  • Magnification:

2 – 12 x

  • Display Resolution:

320×240 pixels

  • Weight:

14.3 oz

Pros:

  • Excellent for quick shots.
  • Tons of color palettes for usability in any conditions.
  • Multiple reticle options.
  • Impressive battery life.

Cons:

  • Digital magnification makes the image a bit grainy at maximum magnification.
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The ECHO3 does a lot of stuff, especially considering it’s a reflex sight.

This thermal reflex sight is capable of displaying 11 color palettes, multiple reticles, and it can record video.

Additionally, the battery lasts about 6 hours, which is longer than some larger thermal sights. Again, the capabilities are impressive considering how compact this thermal sight is.

The only real downside is that the magnification is digital. This makes the image a little bit grainy at maximum magnification.

However, if you’re using this as a reflex sight, you’ll probably spend most of your time at 2x magnification, where the image is clearest… Maybe the digital magnification is also kind of a feature, rather than a tradeoff.

The Final Shot

ATN ThOR 4 4.5-18x50mm Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope

Key Specs:

  • Refresh Rate:

60 Hz

  • Battery Life:

18 hours

  • Weight:

1 kg

Pros:

  • Strong magnification range.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Tons of reticle options.
  • High resolution video recording.

Cons:

  • Can be a bit complex to operate.
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Thermal sights are excellent for hunting nocturnal animals and showing off your shots to your friends. Thermal sights are also more reliable than night vision.

If you’re going out on night hunts, you need the best thermal sight your bank account will support.

If you’re still on the fence, get the ATN ThOR 4 4.5-18x50mm Thermal Smart HD Rifle Scope. It’s easily the best blend of price and performance.

Now that you’ve seen the light, get yourself a thermal sight, and head out for some hunting at night (nice rhyme, right?).