Scanning Light Advantage: Fur-Fish-Game
Scanning Light Advantage
While calling at night some predator hunters just use their bright gun light to scan for eyes. However, a light that is made specifically for scanning would be a much better choice, and all scanning lights are not the same. It is a common misconception that brighter is always better with hunting lights, and some lights that are sold as scanning lights use high output LED's with smooth reflector housings and a magnifying spherical glass lens to concentrate the focus of the beam. While this may show eyes over in the next county, it also may have the undesirable result of "burning" the eyes and spooking the predator.
The objective of a scanning light is to continuously scan the calling area while looking for the reflection of approaching eyes. A lower-intensity diffuse beam will do this at surprisingly long distances. The Night Eyes Headlamp was designed specifically to pick up predator's eyes at over 300 yards, even if the center of the beam is not directly shining on the predator. The light has also been designed to minimize the odds of spooking the predator. The orange peel reflector housing fragments and diffuses the light beam and the fully adjustable brightness control lets the hunter dial up as little or as much of this diffuse light as desired. By keeping this minimal amount of diffused light on the predator conditions it to the light as it continues to approach. The predator gets use to the light and then when it is in shooting range, the hunter can switch on a brighter gun mounted light for positive identification and the shot. A Night Eyes gun mounted light will positively identify any predator at distances of 200 yards or more. Because the predator has been conditioned with the less-brilliant scanning light, the brighter shooting light does not immediately trigger the animal's photo-phobia (aversion to light), thus keeping it in range longer.
I am often asked if it is better to turn off the scanning light once the gun light is on the animal. Basically, it comes down to preference but because I am using a headlamp rather than a handheld light, I am able to leave the headlamp turned on when I switch on the gun light to make the shot. Not needing to turn off the scanning light gives me one less thing to worry about, and a halo shield on the scanning headlamp prevents unwanted peripheral light shining in the scope.
No lighting system, no matter how well designed, will make you a better hunter. You still need to be mindful of good hunting tactics. But ask yourself this: "Am I shooting as many as I could be, or are they hanging up and/or shying away?"
The goal is not just seeing the predator's eyes but to get them in close, and overpowering them with too much scanning light is not the way to do this. I guess you could compare scanning with a shooting light to hunting squirrels with a deer rifle. Sure, it might work, but there are better choices. Save the bright gun light for positive target identification and the kill shot.