By: Joshua Franklin
I think one of the biggest problems with hunting coyotes at night is that it is dark! What a shocker, right? When it’s dark, you can’t really see anything and it makes judging distance incredibly hard. Depth perception is almost nonexistent and when you’re spinning around in circles with a thermal scanner up to one eye looking for a coyote charging to the call, you have a hard time always maintaining bearings and thinking about known distances in the field as you’re looking around. So, how do you fix this problem? Do rangefinders work at night? Well, thankfully ATN has two different options available to us night hunters: The BinoX 4K and ABL.
The BinoX 4K is a handheld, binocular style of night vision that also has a built in Laser Range Finder (LRF). The cool thing about these units is, not only do you get the ability to utilize night vision in total darkness, but you can also range targets and communicate with weapon mounted scope. However, it isn’t JUST night vision, it also works just like the X- Sight 4K scopes and acts just like a pair of traditional binoculars in the daylight, allowing you to see beautiful 1080p resolution. The Bluetooth technology and the ATN Smart Optics lineup, allows you have the option to communicate between BinoX and your scope. This technology allows you to range a coyote that’s coming in, transmit that distance to the scope and using the BIX (Ballistics Information Exchange) built in to the scopes, it will automatically adjust your point of aim and point of impact.
The ABL is another option that is new this year. The Auxiliary Ballistics Laser Rangefinder is a weapon mounted rangefinder. The ABL comes with adapters that allow you to mount the ABL directly into the threads on the end of your X-Sight II/X-Sight 4K or ThOR 4. The biggest advantage to the ABL over the BinoX 4K for some, is that it uses the optic that it is attached to for its “vision” of what you’re looking at and seeing. If you were using a traditional handheld LRF, for instance, you don’t have any capability to see through the darkness to what you’re wanting to range the distance of. The ABL mounts to the scope and uses the image in the scope, whether it’s thermal or night vision, to allow you to range. That is probably the main advantage of the ABL over something like a traditional LRF for night hunters. If you are ranging objects or hunting in the daylight, both options are great and viable options for you, but the ABL weapon mounted laser rangefinder has the upper hand when it comes to ranging at night.
Once you mount the ABL to your scope, you can pair it to your scope via Bluetooth in the Menu System. You can then zero the ABL to your reticle by removing a single screw from the front of the ABL and exposing the red laser. Once you zero the ABL to your reticle in the scope, all it takes is the touch of a button to actively range exactly where your crosshairs are aiming and you will get an almost instantaneous readout on the display in the scope of the range that the target is at. If you’re utilizing the BIX (Ballistics Information Exchange) and the Ballistics Calculator of the scope, it can also adjust the reticle on the fly for the known distance and adjust your point of aim. This is critical if safety and making ethical, lethal one-shot kills are of the utmost importance like they are to me.
Knowing the distance of your intended target is half the battle when it comes to hunting, whether it is daylight or dark. It’s also ensuring that you’re taking a safe shot, to not under or over shoot the target and hit something you weren’t intending to. That is why ATN took great interest in giving their customers every possible tool available to make sure they get the most out of their optics and their hunting experiences. To make sure we stay safe when we hunt, have fun when we hunt and get the most out of every hunt that we can while using the ATN lineup of optics and accessories.