Lars Hove-Olesen: "Jagten dikterer dit nat-grej"

Lars Hove-Olesen: "The hunt dictates your night stuff"

Insightful, smart, creative and in love with the forest - this is how we would describe Lars Hove-Olesen, a hunter from Denmark and our HIKMICRO ambassador. We wanted to find out what Lars thinks about when he goes out to find new equipment and whether he would share them with other hunters. Read on if you'd like to find out what an army veteran thinks about when looking for new equipment.

The way through the darkness is sometimes blocked by night gear. There are many choices and if you do not choose the right equipment, it can be devastating for the hunt.

You are sitting in the hunting ladder, the late summer breeze glides over your face, it is your turn for a large Swedish keiler. Your gear is brand new, everything should be fine.

A weak puzzling from the hedge 50 meters in front of you signals a pig nearby, you pull up your thermal hand spotter in front of your eye and think, "I'll probably find you."

You put your 50mm thermal hand spotter up in front of your eye and catch a glimpse of large canines, but it quickly disappears again. Frantically, you grab your rifle with front mounted thermal optics and for a brief moment you see a giant pig disappear from your field of vision.

Frustrations and curses seethe through clenched teeth

The way around is confusing

Before you buy gear for hunting, a task analysis is in order. For many, it may be a foreign concept, it comes from the military world and is something that all units carry out before any task.

With a little rewriting to civil, we can rewrite the task analysis as the "hunting analysis" and pin it down in some relevant points for the hunt, thus ensuring that we buy the right equipment for the hunt we are now going on.

Hunting analysis is not a formal term, but a suggestion for an analysis could be these four points.

What is the expected hunting distance and what type of optics should you use?

  • Should you have 35 or 50mm hand spotters?
  • Should it be front-mounted 1x magnification optics or 2-3x magnification independent optics? Do you have an ordinary optic that you don't want to take off your hunting rifle.

What is allowed in the country you are going hunting in? Is it hunting in both daylight and at night, or just one of the two?

  • Daylight: Ordinary optics + thermal hand spotter?
  • At night: Thermal hand spotter + night optics or thermal?
  • Night and day: Thermal hand spotter + night or thermal independent optics, or front mounted optics?

Your budget, what can you afford?

  • Should you have a large or small thermal sensor in your opticians?
  • Do you need an external light?
  • Should your optician be with or without a rangefinder?

There are enough considerations to be confused about and if you want to avoid frustration on the hunting ground, then the above is definitely an important exercise to complete.

Is the highest focal length and largest thermal sensor always what you should buy?

If you are looking for thermal opticians, there is a difference in the price of opticians with a small and a large thermal sensor. Likewise, the price can vary between different focal lengths on optics with the same thermal sensor.

When we talk distance and the use of thermal equipment, it can be divided into the need to be able to detect the presence of a possible target or the ability to be able to identify the specific species and possibly gender of a possible target.

If you are to use the thermal spotter to exclusively detect a target, and then handle the rest through the rifle optics, then there is no need for a resolution that can distinguish a hair at a distance of 300m. Thus, the cost of choosing a thermal spotter is also lower.

As a rule of thumb, hand spotters with a focal length of 35mm can be used effectively for hunting at a distance of 300m. This is not to say that you cannot see the animals clearly or identify the species at longer distances, but if it is to be done from a safe and ethically sound basis, then the rule holds good.

The size of the animal obviously also has something to say in that equation, it is probably easier to determine the species between a piece of wild game and wild game than if you have to find the difference between a rabbit and a hare at 300m.

25 and 35mm hand spotters are best used in dense and closed forest terrain with shorter distances. Here, the wide focal length will let you monitor a wider section of the forest and let you spot the game before it gets too close. Many 35mm handheld spotters are also available with a large thermal sensor, so you can zoom in without loss of detail if you get out at slightly greater distances than usual.

If your primary hunting distances are 200m or longer, a 50mm focal length will be a better choice for a spotter and optics. Here, the high focal length and a large thermal sensor will provide better opportunities to determine species and sex at longer distances.

Spend time online, go to hunting fairs and look at equipment, and talk to a fellow hunter who already has some of the gear you're looking at. Make a decision on a weighted basis.

It is of course always up to the individual hunter to decide which gear to buy, but the hunting analysis can help you to make a good choice of gear that suits your hunting conditions.

The goal is the good hunting experience and meat in the freezer.

About Lars Hove-Olesen

Lars is a hunter, journalist and veteran from the Army.

"The joy of shooting arose as an 8-year-old via a Chinese air rifle and continued into adulthood, where service in the Army offered a great deal of shooting training and experience as a shooting instructor."

"The hunting sign came into being in 2004 and hunting is what forms the basis for shooting training today."

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