Hog hunting demands the right equipment for the situation. There are many ways to take hogs: Stalking, blind over a feeder, push hunting, etc. Regardless of what you prefer, the right firearm and optics are paramount.
When I started hog hunting in November of 2014, I purchased a Tikka T3 Lite .243 WIN with a Nikon Pro Staff scope. Since it was cold, the hogs were primarily diurnal. That means I had plenty of light and was making long shots (150-300 yards). I soon got an AR-15 with a P-223 scope and was having a blast stalking. But soon, the cold weather made way for Spring. The hogs were still out but closer to dawn and late evenings. Finally, when the heat of summer hit, they turned primarily nocturnal. I adapted by getting a great tactical light and even a night vision monocular. This worked but I was aware that in many cases, the light spooked the hogs making my shots less than optimal and in some situations, I am certain hogs passed by me without me even knowing. I also didn’t like being rushed since once you turned that tac-light on, the hogs usually moved…and fast.
I knew it was time to start shopping for a night vision scope. That was the only way to keep my passion alive during the brutal Texas Summer.
So I researched. ..then researched. And, researched some more. I was looking to spend about $1000. I came upon the ATN X-Sight while searching and started really looking into it. Until I found the X-Sight I had not considered a day/night scope. Heck, I didn’t even think that once I mounted a dedicated night optic on my Tikka that I would be switching scopes every once in a while. Well, needless to say, I got the ATN X-Sight 3×12. I can safely say, after owning and using the scope since July of 2015 that it is the best purchase I have made in terms of shooting accessories.
The ATN-X-Sight is a day/night scope; one scope, dual purpose and deadly. I received it and had it mounted and had the firmware updated in an hour. The next day I headed to the range. I read the manual carefully and read forums to get an idea of any issues I may face. I had the scope sighted in at 50 yards within 15 minutes. Within a week I was in the field with it. I was hunting 4J Ranch on this first time out. I came upon a pair of sows feeding about 90 yards away from me. I proceeded to get my X-sight turned on and sighted in the targets. I then stalked to within 40 yards. Then, I let one of them have it. Boom! Bacon! This was a pitch black night…no moon whatsoever. Without the scope I would have never even seen them. After that, I was hooked. I have taken pigs up to 160 yards with it! It is an amazing device and I can’t imagine how I hunted without it.
I won’t go into all of the features here as you can easily access all the specifications on the ATN Website. I will however, highlight some of my favorite things about being an ATN owner:
- Excellent customer service – accessible, responsive and very good at what they do
- Active owners community – Their facebook page is a Godsend and all members are engaged, cordial and extremely helpful
- It came with an IR torch – albeit basic – it is adequate. I have since upgraded but the stock IR torch served me well
- Features – this thing does it all. My favorit feature is the HD recording. So cool to just hit a button and record the scope view. Reliving the hunt with friends and family is a great thing!
- Battery life – I use Lithium AAs – I get 11-15 hours per set. Awesome!
- Reticle options – Depending on the situation and shot distance, there is a right reticle in the library
- Night mode – White and green
- Tough – hog hunting and hunting in general will inevitably lead to bumps and drops – the ATN is rock-solid
- Day / Night – one scope for any situation
I can go on and on but those are the main things I love about it. It is seldom that I take time to write about equipment that I use beyond just general equipment lists and summaries. However, I truly believe in this product. What it is and what it will become. Since it is built on a software platform, the improvements and additions in terms of features is limitless. I am very involved in the owner’s community and will be an ATN customer for life.
If you are looking for a fantastic Night/day scope with unrivaled features for a modest price – look no further. I highly Recommend it.
Below are some vids I took with it:
Be sure and access the ATN Owner’s Facebook Page.
Now, get out there and get ya’ some bacon!