Is the era of thermal vision coming?

by Krzysztof Turowski
If you want to trigger a discussion, just ask which caliber is better: .308 or 30.06. You’ll get the rank of a real troll if you own a different caliber. However, the real contentious issue that can cause a big storm both in the network and outside of it is the topic of night vision and thermovision. You do not even have to ask about hunting – just ask what you think about thermovision? The amount of comments, discussions and disputes will be huge. Scroll down to the next part.
  The Christmas / New Year period is the time I spend with my loved ones, leaving my Instagram, Facebook or even a blog for a few days. However, I try to keep an eye on what’s interesting in the press, TV, social media or in the Polish Hunting Association (PZŁ) itself. I think the hunting theme of the year is ASF, which has been discussed for a very long time and everything indicates that it will not end soon. With the arrival of the ASFV virus a number of changes in hunting have occurred. Additional sanitary hunting took place in many hunting clubs, and the Polish Hunting Association bought 203 cold rooms to store the carcass of wild boars. This tool is necessary to fight the virus and according to the information provided, PZŁ already requested the purchase of another 200 cold rooms. The law has also changed and according to the amendment of the ordinance of the Minister of the Environment in the ASFV  zones it is possible to hunt boars with the use night vision and thermal scopes. This fact caused a huge discussion and divided hunters. Supporters of the nights vision scopes and thermal scopes talk about the huge possibilities that these devices give us. Their main advantage is the ability to very accurately identify the target and give an effective, safe shot. Opponents of thermal vision say that this is no longer hunting, because we do not give any chances to animals. Many says that hunting with a shothgun and brenneke when any scope was a dream. Times change, however, high-end binoculars and rifle scopes filled with noble gases, with backlight, rangefinder and communication with a smartphone. Today, according to the law, night hunting in Poland can’t take place without binoculars, weapons with a mounted optical sighting device and flashlight. The law itself does not define what kind of flashlight and optics it is. The law only says that the hunter must have such equipment at night. It does not have to be equipment from the top or even the middle shelf. It may well be binoculars from the city square market, flashlight in smartphone and a scope from the popular Chinese portal for 10$. Personally, I can not imagine how we can talk about safe and ethical night hunting with something like that, and I am much more able to understand the arguments of the other side, which in the thermal equipment is able to accurately recognize animals even in the biggest darkness. Hence, more and more voices about the fact that thermal and night vision can be legally used not only in the ASF zones, but also outside them. Scroll down to the next part.
The Polish Hunting Association (PZŁ) wrote on webpage about proposing a series of legislative changes aimed at facilitating the hunter’s fight against ASF, including the admission of thermal and night vision and artificial light for hunting wild boars across the country. PZŁ plans to even purchase thermal imaging devices to search for wildboars and conduct telemetry studies related to the movement of wild boars. Such a proposal was submitted to the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture. I wonder if such devices, just like cold stores, will go to hunting clubs and whether there will be funding for them. Even if co-financing is not going to be a huge change and a big step towards combining tradition with modernity is coming. I think that many hunters are afraid of such changes and can not see how the tradition of hunting can connect with modern solutions such as online hunting registration book or thermal vision. I heard opinions that it will not be a hunt, but a mass murder of animals. Probably the same arguments arose when rifles, binoculars or rifle scopes were used for the first time in hunting. Remember that it is not what tools we use, but how we use them testifies to us and our approach to hunting and game. Thermo and night vision will be useful not only for the hunt itself, but also for the inventory of animals or the fight against poaching. We will not stop technological progress, but we can use it to serve us and hunt. It is not the thermal scope that pulls the trigger – it is done by a man. Sometimes, when the moon goes down behind the clouds it’s better to be sure that what we shoot for is what we think we’re aiming at. Happy Hunting!

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