What are night hunting lights and how can they help produce a successful hunt? Here's some info for potential hog, coyote, or varmint hunters.
Quality night hunting lights can take a few forms. You could be referring to the trusty hunting flashlight or the headlamp version, but more likely it's the firearm mounted or handheld hunting light that folks mean when they discuss night hunting lights.
Since night hunting isn't legal in every state or for every game animal, it's reasonable to presume night hunting lights are a foreign idea to a good-sized group of outdoorsmen. The thought of spotlighting a whitetail deer in the pitch black darkness would almost certainly give most hunters a shudder; that's extremely illegal under almost all circumstances.
But truth be told, night hunting lights come in many solid brands and styles and are heavily used for predator hunting, varmint hunting, or invasive species eradication in many states, especially in the south and particularly for wild hogs and coyotes.
A good hunting light system will keep you in the field long after the sun goes down, and choosing the right light for your hunting preferences can mean the difference between success and failure. Hunting at night for coyotes, which happen to be very cunning animals, can be difficult to impossible without lights.
Hunting for coyotes or hogs after dark can be one of the most thrilling hunts that we have, but we learned long ago that it can't really be done without a way to see our target. Short of waiting for the fall Hunter's Moon, you're going to need one of today's modern night hunting lights because a handheld hunting flashlight doesn't always cut the mustard.
Green Light vs. Red Light
There are basically two colors of predator hunting lights to consider: red and green. These two colors have the least effect on coyotes and hogs. This isn't to say that you cannot use a regular white light, but if you do, you will notice right away that the animal is more aware of you and your position.
Most veteran hunters rely heavily on red because red light appears less intense to wild animals than the other colors. Other night hunters use green mainly because it is brighter to human eyes. Red appears the darkest, green is in the middle, and white appears the brightest. Depending on what you are hunting, you may need to see a further distance, and in that case green tends to be a better choice. This is especially true for night hunting darker colored animals, particularly hogs.
Night Hunting Lights
Some hunting lights come with great features like beam adjustment or beam intensity control. Almost all of today's night hunting lights have rechargeable batteries and most can be purchased separately. The drawdown on the battery can be significant, so spares may be a good option.
Entire brands or lines of products have been devoted to night hunting lights, and a few that have emerged include Wicked Lights, Lightforce, and Coyote Light. Anything from those reputable companies would do a night hunter well.
Maybe the best option for the predator or hog hunting enthusiast is to look for a quality night hunting light kit. Hunting critters at night is an excellent adventure, but it also comes with a few obstacles. The most obvious choice for night time hunting illumination is one that does not scare the animal, provides enough light to see, and hides the silhouette of the hunter behind it.
Here are a couple of choices among the many out there that come equipped with some great features, and for a full kit, are reasonably affordable.
This light doubles as both a handheld and a mountable system, and it comes with a high clearance mount for a rifle attachment. It comes with both a red and a green light filter so it can be used as the hunter sees fit for both predators or hogs.
It really packs a punch due to its powerful light emitter which can throw 1000 Lumens of light over 676 yards. It has five adjustable brightness options and is capable of a long extended runtime. It is also made from choice aluminum and is IPX8-rated waterproof.
Odepro KL52Plus Zoomable
This model comes with several customizable options. There is the typical red, green, and white LED combo, but it also is equipped with a IR850nm light, or an infrared illuminator.
It can also be attached directly to your rifle or shotgun with a picatinny rail mount, or attached to a scope or scope mount along with a quick release design so that you can get it into your hands quickly if need be.
Coyote Hunting Lights and Hog Hunting Lights That Work For You
Most night hunters would agree that you need to try what works best for your hunting style, especially since it can be a good idea to change it up in areas of high pressure. Coyotes and feral pigs can get wise to it quickly.
Most serious predator and hog hunters need a high quality plan, and a big part of that plan often includes night vision and thermal optics, which we didn't cover in this hunting light run through.
The length and the weight of the light that you use can be significant; a longer light is usually heavier. If you are constantly on the move, your rifle or shotgun can get a bit heavy.
The last things we'll suggest paying attention to include battery life, car charger capability, additional light color, and of course the warranty. The only thing that you will have to answer for in the field is how well a hunting light works for you when the moment of truth arrives.
Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our writers and editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.