From Scouting To Retrieval

Thermal Monoculars Improve Hunting Experience

From pre-hunting scouting to game retrieval, thermal monoculars are a vital piece of gear for hunters.

There are an estimated 15.2 million hunting license holders in the United States. Whether someone’s a seasoned veteran that’s been at it for decades only recently started hunting within the past few years, there’s one often overlooked piece of gear that can play a vital role in the hunting experience — a thermal monocular.


There are few things worse than jumping up a deer when heading to the stand for a morning hunt — except maybe unwittingly stumbling upon a sounder of feral hogs, a bear or mountain lion. Thermal imaging is a helpful tool for scouting open fields or tricky terrain before crossing them on the way in or out from stand locations.

A quick scan with a thermal monocular will allow you to see what deer, or other animals, if any, are in the area you’re planning to hunt and easily track their movements without alerting game to your presence. Depending on what you see, you may opt to stop and wait until it leaves before proceeding to your stand.

Likewise, if you find yourself in the dark after trying to milk those last minutes of sunlight, a thermal monocular comes in handy for scanning the area before exiting the stand.

Thermal technology detects radiating heat off any warm surface and can function equally well during the day or at night. However, it’s worth noting that the greater the temperature differential between your target and the surrounding objects, the better a thermal device will perform.

Completely redesigned from top to bottom, the ODIN LT handheld scanner is the newest addition to ATN Corp’s thermal monocular lineup. At only .62 pounds, it’s lighter and ergonomically designed to be hand held or mounted to a helmet or headgear for observation. The ODIN LT is powered by single-use CR123A batteries, or you can double its operational time in the field with the optional extended Life rechargeable battery pack. The Lithium Ion battery will double the time you can use the ODIN LT while observing the scene. For those predator hunting all night and into the early morning hours, the battery can also be charged via the USB-C port linked to an external battery pack.

The ATN ODIN LT has been completely redesigned from top to bottom. This thermal handheld scanner is lighter
and ergonomically designed to be hand held or mounted to a helmet or headgear for observation.

During the Hunt

No one wants to raise their rifle every time they hear the leaves rustle or their eyes start to think that tall grass may actually be antlers. Unlike night vision scopes, which can sometimes light up the brush and make it difficult to see in certain environments, thermal technology can help users detect a heat signature around dense foliage.

Thermal monoculars also offer a safety advantage over night vision or thermal scopes because you can raise it to your eye without raising your gun and having to consider whether your muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. It’ll also save you the back pain from being constantly hunched over to look through your scope, especially for those using a tripod.

The ATN OTS-XLT line offers added features to enhance your hunting experience, including a built-in smart range finder and the ability to record video or take pictures. It’s available in either 2-8x or 2.5-10x magnification.

At just about 0.81 lbs., the OTS-XLT is a fairly lightweight night vision monocular
that’s already become very popular among hunting enthusiasts.

Game Retrieval

Any experienced hunter knows that when it comes to hunting, what you do after the shot can be just as critical to the success of your hunt as everything you have done before taking the shot.

In the case of deer, they’re incredibly tough and resilient animals. Fatally shot in the heart, a can still run for 200 yards. A thermal monocular comes in very handy when trailing or tracking. If you’ve ever shot a deer right at dark, you know that it can sometimes be challenging to track, and depending on what time of year and part of the country you’re in, leaving it to track until daylight breaks often isn’t an option.

If you made a good shot, then the thermal monocular will likely save you some time. While you should still get on the blood trail as you normally would, using a thermal monocular can help you scan the general direction the deer ran. You’ll be surprised at how much more efficient your tracking becomes.

Those looking for an affordable, entry-level model should consider the ATN OTS LT 160 3-6x. Powered by the Obsidian LT Core processor and cutting-edge sensors, the OTS LT offers sharp, crisp infrared monocular images in white hot or black hot with a human detection range of up to 475 yards. A long-lasting battery life of 10-plus hours will last you the duration of your hunt. ATN’s optional extended life battery kit and power pack can support your monocular for up to 15 hrs. Made from aluminum alloy, the OTS LT is lightweight, durable and weather-resistant.

The OTS LT is powered by ATN's new Obsidian LT Core and cutting-edge sensors
for sharp, crisp infrared monocular images in white hot or black hot.

If you’re someone that prefers all the bells and whistles when it comes to your hunting gear, ATN’s new OTS 4T Smart HD Thermal Monocular is for you. It’s essentially the monocular version of the brand’s best-selling ThOR 4 thermal scope, featuring a full suite of features and sensors to deliver enhanced imaging and range in dynamic conditions. With 16-plus hours of battery life, the OTS 4T is the longest-lasting thermal monocular from ATN. It also offers the ability to streams video at HD resolution and simultaneously record to the SD card inside.

ATN’s thermal monoculars range in price from $599 to $3,999. While prospective buyers may be reluctant to make the investment, ATN’s unmatched detection, recognition and identification capabilities sell themselves. Simply ask them a little about the applications they plan to use it and explain how their hunts will never be the same. For more information, visit