Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting: 2024 Guide

The ATN ThOR 5 320 Smart HP Thermal Hunting Scope is the best thermal scope for coyote hunting.

Its thermal imaging technology ensures crystal-clear visibility in complete darkness or observing through dense foliage. Additionally, its user-friendly interface and long battery life provide hunters with a reliable and efficient tool for tracking coyotes over extended periods in the field.

In coyote hunting, success is often determined by your ability to hunt under the darkness of night.

Thermal scopes become the hunter’s eyes, revealing the coyote through their heat signatures.

Get ready to dominate the night and become the ultimate predator!

Best Thermal Scopes at a Glance

Is a Thermal Scope Worth It?

A thermal scope can be a useful tool for coyote hunting. It allows hunters to detect animals’ heat signatures in low-light conditions or through obstacles such as vegetation.

However, whether or not it is worth buying a thermal scope for coyote hunting depends on several factors, such as your budget, hunting style, and hunting environment.

A thermal scope is valuable if you frequently hunt in low-light conditions or heavily wooded areas with limited visibility.

Additionally, if you are a serious hunter and want to improve your chances of success, a thermal scope can help you locate coyotes more effectively.

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However, a thermal scope may not be as necessary if you typically hunt during daylight hours in open terrain. It is also important to consider the cost of a thermal scope, which can be quite high compared to traditional hunting scopes.

Best Thermal Scope For Coyote Hunting
Thermal image of a coyote viewed through an ATN thermal riflescope

Night Vision vs Thermal Scopes

Night vision amplifies ambient light such as moonlight or starlight, whereas thermal imaging relies on detecting heat signatures.

Night vision is an excellent tool for hunting at night as it eliminates the necessity of using lights for scanning. Additionally, it produces clear and high-quality images, making it even more desirable for this purpose.

Thermal scopes can function where night vision fails because they rely on detecting heat instead of light. Moreover, they can detect residual heat from objects such as hoofprints and pawprints for varying lengths of time.

Unlike night vision, high-end thermal scopes can offer a greater range of vision, with some capable of detecting heat signatures a thousand yards away.

However, rain can affect thermal imaging, and the level of detail captured by the device may vary depending on the severity of the inclement weather.

if it bleeds we can kill it

Best Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting

Trijicon IR Hunter

The Trijicon IR HUNTER and its tactical counterpart, the REAP-IR, are impressive. They are straightforward to use and easy to zero, equipped with a 4.5X optical and 8X digital zoom, and offer a 7-degree field of view.

The Trijicon IR HUNTER also includes azimuth and elevation indicators, a stadiametric rangefinder, and a battery extender. This thermal scope is at the forefront in terms of performance.

The battery extender, which utilizes CR123 batteries, proves useful during longer hunts.

Finally, for those interested in recording their hunting experience, it also provides video functionality to record the hunt.

The Trijicon IR Hunter, without a doubt, is a higher-end scope and comes with an equally high price tag.

Trijicon IR-Hunter Type 2 Thermal Riflescope

at EuroOptic
Prices accurate at time of writing


  • Ease of Use: User-friendly design makes it straightforward to operate.
  • Easy to Zero: Simplifies aligning the scope with the weapon.
  • Optical and Digital Zoom: Offers 4.5X optical and 8X digital zoom, enhancing target visibility.
  • Wide Field of View: The 7-degree field allows for broader area coverage.
  • Azimuth and Elevation Indicators: Assists in making precise adjustments for shooting accuracy.
  • Stadiametric Rangefinder: Enables distance measurement to the target.
  • Battery Extender: Useful for extended hunting sessions, utilizing CR123 batteries.
  • Video Functionality: Allows recording of the hunting experience.
  • High Performance: Considered at the forefront in terms of thermal scope performance.


  • High Price Tag: A significant investment, making it less accessible for budget-conscious users.
  • Weight and Size: Depending on its build, it could add significant weight or bulk to the firearm.
  • Complexity for Beginners: While user-friendly, the array of features might overwhelm new users.

ATN ThOR 5 320

ATN’s latest release, the ThOR 5, comes with standard 12µm sensors across all models. These sensors offer different resolution options, including 320×240, 640×480, and an impressive 1280×1024. To ensure a seamless viewing experience, all models have a 60hz refresh rate.

One cool feature is the video recording, triggered by the firearm’s recoil. The recording begins when you pull the trigger, allowing you to capture your shots, whether they turn out great.

The ThOR 5 is also Bluetooth-enabled, enabling streaming to both iOS and Android devices. It supports MicroSD cards with storage capacities ranging from 4 to 64 GB.

While ATN claims a battery life of 10 hours, extreme temperatures can impact its longevity, causing it to drain faster.

With its exceptional image quality, the ThOR 5 thermal scopes provide sharp and vivid displays.

The detection range varies across models, starting at 820 yards for the entry-level version and reaching an impressive 4300 yards for the top-end model.

ATN THOR 5 320 3-12X

at ATN
Prices accurate at time of writing


  • Advanced Sensor Technology: Standard 12µm sensors across all models offer high-resolution options (320×240, 640×480, 1280×1024), providing clear and detailed images.
  • High Refresh Rate: A 60hz refresh rate ensures smooth and seamless viewing, critical for tracking moving targets.
  • Recoil-Activated Video Recording: Automatically starts recording upon firing, capturing every moment of the shot.
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth-enabled for streaming to iOS and Android devices, enhancing the user experience.
  • Storage Flexibility: Supports 4 to 64 GB of MicroSD cards, allowing ample video recording storage.
  • Exceptional Image Quality: Offers vivid displays, enhancing target identification and engagement.
  • Impressive Detection Range: Varies by model, up to an impressive 4300 yards, suitable for various hunting and tactical scenarios.


  • Battery Life Affected by Temperature: Although it claims a 10-hour battery life, performance can degrade in extreme temperatures.
  • Potential Complexity: The advanced features may require a learning curve for some users.
  • Weight and Size: Depending on the model, it might add significant weight or bulk to a firearm.
  • Price: Advanced technology like this often comes at a higher cost, which might not be suitable for all budgets.
  • Limited Battery Life: Even under normal conditions, a 10-hour battery life might be insufficient for extended use without recharging or spare batteries.

AGM Varmint LRF

If you frequently find yourself hunting in unfamiliar locations, you likely lack a reliable method for judging distances, especially at night.

This device ensures clear visibility. It is equipped with a 384×288 core sensor and a 50hz refresh rate. It boasts a 1024×768 OLED display, providing a high-quality viewing experience.

With a magnification range of 3-24x, the AGM Varmint LRF is particularly suitable for long-range shooting. It excels in open plains, making it ideal for locations like Kansas. This device would be my top recommendation for shooting at long distances in spacious areas.

Like the Rattler, it offers convenient features such as picture-in-picture mode, scene modes, various color palettes, and multiple reticle options. Consider this device as the long-range counterpart to the Rattler, sharing many similarities.

The laser rangefinder on the AGM Varmint has an impressive maximum range of 656 yards, with an accuracy of +/-2 yards at that distance. This level of precision is more than sufficient for any serious coyote hunter.

Like many other AGM products, this device allows video streaming and recording. However, its battery life is approximately 4 hours with the included battery.

Fortunately, it utilizes the widely standard 18650 battery, so you can carry a spare battery or two fully charged. At the same time, in the field, ensuring sufficient power throughout your hunt.

AGM Varmint LRF TS35-384 Thermal Riflescope

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing


  • High-Quality Sensor and Display: It has a 384×288 core sensor and a 1024×768 OLED display, ensuring clear, high-quality visibility.
  • Effective Refresh Rate: A 50hz refresh rate provides smooth imaging, essential for tracking moving targets at night.
  • Long-Range Magnification: With a 3-24x magnification range, it’s highly suitable for long-range shooting and is ideal for open plains.
  • Advanced Features: This feature includes picture-in-picture mode, scene modes, multiple color palettes, and various reticle options, enhancing the hunting experience.
  • Accurate Laser Rangefinder: This laser rangefinder has a maximum range of 656 yards and an accuracy of +/-2 yards, offering precise distance measurements.
  • Video Streaming and Recording: Allows for real-time capturing and streaming hunting experiences.
  • Standard Battery Type: Uses widely available 18650 batteries, making battery replacement convenient.


  • Limited Battery Life: Approximately 4 hours may require carrying spare batteries for extended hunting sessions.
  • Complexity for Beginners: The array of advanced features might overwhelm new users.
  • Size and Weight: Depending on its build, it could add significant weight or bulk to a firearm.
  • Cost: Advanced technology and features likely come with a higher price tag.
  • Specialized Use: Its design for long-range shooting in open areas may limit its versatility in different hunting environments.

AGM Rattler

If you prefer hunting primarily in close-range environments such as dense forests and thick undergrowth, the AGM Rattler would be an excellent choice.

The AGM Rattler is an exceptional choice for those who prefer lightweight rifles for close-range hunting in compact areas like dense forests and thick brush. It boasts a compact size, measuring 7.37 inches long and weighing less than a pound. This makes it ideal for extended treks where portability is crucial.

The AGM Rattler offers versatile customization options with five available reticles and the ability to switch between black, white, green, or red colors. Additionally, you can conveniently set the zero for up to five rifles, allowing you to swap the scope without needing readjustment. This makes it a valuable investment that can be utilized extensively.

Powered by two CR123A batteries, it provides approximately 4.5 hours of continuous runtime and features a 384×288 thermal sensor. If you anticipate being in the field for longer durations, you can connect the optional 5v battery pack, significantly extending its operational time.

The AGM Rattler includes two distinct scene modes: Recognition and Jungle. The Recognition mode enhances thermal gradients, sharpening the contrast between hot and cold areas. This enables you to accurately identify your targets, whether distinguishing between a coyote and a deer or counting the points on a buck.

On the other hand, Jungle mode reduces fine details while effectively filtering out small elements.

Overall, the AGM Rattler combines compactness, versatility, extended battery life, and advanced scene modes to provide coyote hunters with a powerful and adaptable thermal scope option.

AGM Rattler TS25-384 Thermal Imaging RifleScope

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing


  • Compact and Lightweight: It’s highly portable for extended treks, measuring only 7.37 inches and weighing less than a pound.
  • Customizable Reticles and Colors: This product offers five reticle options and the ability to switch between black, white, green, or red, providing versatility for different hunting conditions.
  • Multiple Rifle Zero Settings: The unit can store zero settings for up to five rifles, allowing for easy swapping without readjustment.
  • Sufficient Runtime with Battery Options: It has a 4.5-hour runtime on two CR123A batteries, which can be extended using a 5v battery pack.
  • High-Quality Thermal Sensor: Features a 384×288 thermal sensor for clear imaging in various conditions.
  • Advanced Scene Modes: Includes Recognition and Jungle modes, enhancing target identification and adapting to dense environments.
  • Ideal for Dense Environments: Specifically designed for close-range hunting in dense forests and thick brush.


  • Limited Battery Life Without Extension: The runtime is 4.5 hours without the optional battery pack.
  • Potentially Limited Range: Being tailored for close-range environments, it might not be as effective for long-range targeting.
  • Cost Factor: Advanced features and versatility might come with a higher price tag.
  • Complexity for Beginners: The array of features and modes might overwhelm new users.
  • Specific Use Case: Its design is optimized for dense environments, which might limit its versatility in more open areas.


The ATN Thor LT 160 3-6x is ATN’s cost-effective range. It received special recognition for introducing high-quality thermal imaging technology to the market at approximately one-third the price of most competing models.

Although its sensor’s resolution is only 160×120, the device compensates by utilizing a compact screen and eliminating unnecessary additional features that many users rarely utilize. Features like video recording, WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, and similar functionalities are absent.

This scope focuses solely on its primary purpose, resembling a traditional rifle scope.

Moreover, the ATN Thor LT 160 3-6x utilizes commonly used 30mm ring mounts, ensuring a setup suitable for almost any hunting rifle.

Although the scope’s detection range is limited, reaching approximately 450 yards in a low humidity setting, and its identification range is less than 200 yards, it remains a highly practical choice for coyote hunting, especially when utilizing coyote calls to attract them toward you, a common strategy employed by most coyote hunters.

ATN THOR LT 160 3-6X

at ATN
Prices accurate at time of writing


  • Cost-Effective: Priced significantly lower than most competitors, making high-quality thermal imaging more accessible.
  • Simplicity and Focus: Eliminates rarely-used features like video recording and WiFi, focusing solely on its primary function as a thermal scope.
  • Traditional Rifle Scope Design: Resembles traditional scopes, making it familiar and user-friendly for most hunters.
  • Standard Mounting System: Uses common 30mm ring mounts, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of hunting rifles.


  • Limited Resolution: Its sensor resolution of 160×120 may not provide as detailed an image as higher-resolution models.
  • Restricted Detection and Identification Range: The detection range is limited to approximately 450 yards for detection and less than 200 yards for identification, which may not suffice for long-range hunting.
  • Lack of Advanced Features: The absence of features like video recording, WiFi, and Bluetooth might be a downside for hunters who prefer these functionalities.


Choosing the best thermal scope for coyote hunting depends on your needs and budget. High-end models like the Pulsar Thermion 2 LRF XP50 PRO and Trijicon REAP-IR 60 offer superior performance and features, while the Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal provides excellent value for beginners. Prioritize factors like resolution, detection range, battery life, and durability to find the perfect scope for your hunting adventures.

Get ready to outsmart and outmaneuver your prey. Happy hunting!

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