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Discussion Starter #1
Went to my friends place this weekend to do some pest eradication. We have a Gun and Light Hunt permit for hogs, coyotes and armadillos and were ready for anything. We baited up an area near the perimeter of his property and proceeded to splitting up wood for the winter.

When night came, we hunkered down and waited. None of the hogs or coyotes (our main targets) showed up but periodically I would go out on foot near the other property perimeter armed with my Olight M20 flashlight and the XDSC. Lo and behold I came across an armadillo. The first shot was at about 20 yards, as I wasn't sure just how close he would let me get before he started to run. Unfortunately, it literally grazed his shell and he took off. I was able to catch up after about a 30 yard chase. I stopped, aimed in and shot and hit him, but he scurried under the nearby fence and to the base of a tree about 20 yards away. He was definitely wounded, evidenced by the blood trail, but getting over the fence was not going to be quick or easy. By then my buddy had come over and we decided my buddy would put him out of his misery with the Sig556. A few seconds later, the armadillo shot up almost 2 feet when the 75 gr. .223 round hit him. It literally exploded and destroyed one whole side of the varmint.

The next night was much of the same, with no yotes or hogs showing so I prowled around the opposite perimeter of the property and found another armadillo. This one was a little less dramatic as I fired once from 15 yards and hit him just behind the neck. He ran about 20 feet and rolled over dead.

I have to say that anyone wanting to purchase a flashlight should seriously consider the M20 S2 by Olight, and the Fenix TK35. The TK35 is absolutely amazing at 820 lumens. Using the Fenix, we were able to illuminate our baited area sufficiently from about 190 yards!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, since the last outing I have made (2) significant improvements to the Night Hunting strategy.

1. Installed the LaserMax Guide Rod Laser. I REALLY like this thing for night hunting. At the range I was able to use it accurately out to 52 feet (the available length of the range). It worked well without fail or problem. The downside to range use: After 300 or so rounds, the laser seemed very dim. Turns out the dust from the repeated muzzleblasts had actually coated the laser aperture and degraded the beam. Solution: Wipe the lens every once in a while with a soft cloth, fabric or paper towel. More on the hunting aspects in a few...

2. Purchased a Laser Genetics ND3X50 Subzero. This is my new favorite toy for night hunting. It's a POWERFUL green laser that is adjustably collimated (spread out) and can reach distances of over 500 yards. The operation is simple with an on/off switch, and a bezel mounted slider to adjust the beam infinitely from minimum to maximum collimation. Basically, the ND3X50 directs this high powered beam of green light on to whatever area you point it at. Because the beam is adjustable, you can illuminate large areas or very small areas with great accuracy. The green laserlight makes the entire viewing are extremely easy to see, and vivid details are visible both with the naked eye, and using a rifle scope, or Eotech optic. I used this in a handheld fashion for the evening, but installed a 1" ring mount that allowed quick and easy installation to the foregrip rail of my Sig 556. Anyhow... On to the hunt results.

We set up shop in our usual area that overlooks the previously baited pond and clearing and waited for the hogs and coyotes. It was a VERY HOT night, in fact at Midnight it was still 80 degrees! The first order of business was to test the ND3X50 in conjunction with the rifles and the results were amazing. We were able to spot our 6" game camera from 350 yards on a tree with no problem. Additionally, in our adjacent horse pasture, we could see the animals eyes easily at 400 yards. Just for giggles, we used it to illuminate a telephone pole that we estimate to be about 800 yards out.

With the ND3 test a success, we began playing around with the LaserMax installed on my XDSC 9mm. In the dark of the night, the laser was actually visible out to 100 yards, although at that distance, the beam was probably 4"-5" in diameter. And I certainly wouldn't put any faith in a 9mm pistol shot at 100 yards with a laser, but it was good to know that the beam could reach that far. Of special interest was the fact that the RED Lasermax was very visible in areas that we were spotting with the Green ND3X50.

After about 30 minutes with no activity in our immediate area, I set out on foot for another perimeter patrol similar to the last hunt. As I 'shined' the horse pasture with the ND3x50, it was obvious the horses were aware of the light, but they did not spook. These particular horses spook pretty easily, so that was very reassuring. As I continued the scan of the pasture I noticed that all of the horse-apples were a very dark black color. Immediately after noting that color contrast to myself, I noticed a small whitish colored round pile about 100 yards out. To my delight, it wasn't a pile at all and actually moved slightly. As it turned, it became obvious that it was an armadillo. I pulled out my pistol, turned on the LaserMax and rapidly, but quietly headed in it's direction. I had to take a kind of flanking path towards the armadillo, since shooting directly at it would have been also in the direction of several vehicles and a few windows on the horse barn. As I flanked him, he didn't seem to notice the ND3 X50 light on him, nor did he hear me. He was obviously digging furiously at whatever food he was after, because I approached him from the rear and literally walked up to about 6 feet from him, with the LaserMax dot on his shell the whole time. I think the ground being a little damp made my approach possible, but I couldn't believe I was this close. Just as he started to turn, I fired and hit him just behind the head. He jumped up about 3 feet in the air, landed on his back and never moved.

After disposing of the carcass in our bait area, my friend and I began walking over to the other half of the property. We made it about 100 yards and I spotted another round white shell with the ND3x50 from about 60 yards. Again, we circled him to give us a lower ricochet liability. This one was oblivious to the light as well, but as we approached, he must have heard or smelled something. We were about 20 yards out, with the LaserMax trained on him when he shifted suddenly. I took that as my cue to shoot and did. It hit him, turns out it was about 3" low, and he bolted about 20 yards away then stopped in some bushes. With the ND3X50, we never lost track of him. My buddy caught up to him, while I kept the light on him, and finished him off with his Baby Browning .25 ACP.

All in all, I have to say that short of full on Gen. 4 NightVision, I am not sure how we could possibly improve our night-hunting arsenal.
 
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