The FLIR ThermoSight PTS233 Thermal Rifle Scope is a necessity when it comes to hog hunting.
What are the most effective tactics to battle feral hog infestations? Ranchers have tried virtually everything to combat the invasive pests, but only to see populations continue to grow.
Thermal imagery, though still a relatively new concept, could be the answer to ranchers' prayers. I had the opportunity to try out a great option in the FLIR ThermoSight PTS233 thermal rifle scope.
The FLIR PTS233 allowed me to hunt for longer hours and cover more area in search of big boars, sows and piglets. I was pleasantly surprised with the adaptability this scope offered in all hunting situations, in total darkness and even during the day.
It's powered by the ultra sophisticated FLIR Boson Core, which helps the thermal imaging process run smoothly and reliably. The uncompressed video signal, high definition display, and shot-activated video recording are all icing on the cake.
It was easy to mount on the picatinny rail of my AR, and before I knew it, I was experiencing everything a thermal imaging weapon sight has to offer.
Depending on temperature and humidity, the PTS233 offers eight different image palettes. Each offers great image quality and a range of preferences to give you clear vision of your target. You can pick from White Hot, Black Hot, Rainbow High Contrast, Ironbow, Sepia, Arctic and Outdoor Alert.
My personal favorite is Outdoor Alert, but did select Black Hot and White Hot on a number of my hunts, too.
Switching between each pallet is as easy as holding down the top arrow on the control pad. There's also a menu selection where you can toggle between pallets and enhancements to fit your environment accordingly.
The 12° x 9.5° field of view is awesome, and really helps dial in with better detection of what it is you're looking at.
Reticle Pattern Selection
Selecting the reticle is pretty darn important if you're trying to add contrast to your view. On the ThermoSight Pro PTS233, you have four different shapes to choose from, with three separate reticle color selections.
These provide contrast against your chosen color palette and give you such a crisp view of where the crosshairs land on your target. Personally, I preferred the largest crosshairs, which reminded me of a classic rifle optic. That's what I'm comfortable with, and I appreciated the ability to choose.
Long hunts at night are going to put strain on your eyes, and it can affect both your ability to move around in the darkness as well as continually peer into the scope.
There are 10 brightness adjustment levels on the PTS233, which will prevent that temporary night blindness during even the darkest of situations. If you choose to hunt during the day, you'll be able to brighten the screen and find clear contrast between heated objects and the surrounding world.
The battery life didn't seem affected much by my toggling, and I never saw the end of a battery's life while using it. I didn't run any marathon sessions, but still.
The Nitty Gritty
- Detector Type: 320 x 256 VOx Microbolometer
- Dimensions: 8.7" x 2.7" x 3.3" (220 x 68 x 84 mm)
- Weight: 0.65 kg (1.44 lbs)
- Optical Magnification: 1.5x
- Eye relief: 45 mm
Overall, I found this thermal scope to be a heck of a lot of fun to use, and an excellent tool for hog management on my ranch in west Texas. I found that things like high heat and humidity, common here in Central Texas, didn't even bother the scope. It performed to my expectations each time I used it, and any missed shots or opportunities were mere operator error.
I've thought long and hard about what I'd use once I decided to launch myself into the world of thermal nighttime hog hunting.
By all my accounts, the ThermoSight Pro PTS233 is the thing that's tipped me over the edge. Now I'm hooked, and the high-quality scope had a lot to do with it. Now that I've seen what the new standard is for thermal imagery, I don't want to turn back.