Foxing With the Starlight Night Vision Archer
As we move into December, this is a very good time of the year to start catching up with the foxes. Between about now and February the foxes are on the move and pairing up. When it comes to night vision equipment there is a vast amount of development and devices coming to market, but for me, the Starlight Night Vision Archer definitely gets the job done. My Archer is a D-grade and i don’t have any problems seeing out to 400–600 yards. I can also mag in nicely without losing image.
Even with all the latest kit coming out, the Archer is still up there with the best, in my opinion. During the time that I’ve been using the Archer, I have had some great results on all the permissions that I shoot – from game shooting estates to sheep farms and chicken farms.
I have been using it on both my rifle setups, both of which have different scopes. My .243 rig is fitted with a Nightforce SHV™ 4-14 x 56 and my .223 Super Varmint Tikka is fitted with a Hawke Sidewinder 8-32 x 56, which is the rig that I was using on this night.
I keep the Archer fixed onto the rifle and scan the surrounding area with the Foxpro Fireeye torch. This is very much a personal preference because I find that sometimes I can get out into an area and the foxes are already on top of you. In instances like that precious time can be wasted getting set up and I want to be ready to just turn on the Dragonfly & Archer, take the shot and get the job done as quickly and humanely as possible. Having said that, the Archer can be attached and detached very quickly and if you wanted to use it as a spotter and then attach it to your scope it can be done in just a few seconds. The Archer comes with a standard fitting that will accept various lenses in 25 mm, 50 mm and 75 mm focal lengths.
However, this particular night’s action turned out to be rather eventful. I started by scanning from my normal stands using the Foxpro Shockwave and lamping in between the stands. I was quietly confident that I was going see a fox as I’d seen a couple on this particular permission previously.
The one I picked up first was busy mousing away, so I decided to carefully and quietly walk towards it and set up the caller. As I was trying to position myself closer I lost sight of the fox. I gave myself a minute or two before deciding to head back towards the car and as I was heading back there was another fox about 20 yards away and looking directly at the caller from the neighbouring farm. This was extremely frustrating because I don’t have permission to shoot that land. Hey, what can you do? That’s the way it goes sometimes.
I continued lamping on throughout the night. Some of the permissions were completely fogged out, but us foxing types just keep ticking on.
I often find that doubling back on the permissions I shoot can often have great results. Tonight was one of those nights and I spotted Mr Fox curled up out of the wind up on a bank. The distance was only about 130 yards and it was now just a matter of getting set up, getting myself comfortable and getting ready for the shot. I switched on the Archer & Dragonfly, chambered the .223 Rem, 53gr Hornady V-MAX® Super Performance and got down behind the rifle. I gave a quick hand squeak to get his attention, placed the crosshairs where I wanted them and squeezed the trigger. Job Done! Another fox falls to the Starlight Night Vision Archer.
Archer Night vision Monocular Specifications
- Runs from 1 x AA battery
- Gold plated electrical contacts
- Military specification switches
- Very strong construction
- Long eye relief eyepiece fitted
- Interchangeable front lenses for higher magnification
- Tube generation:2+, High Definition, HyperGen, Gen 3
- Magnification (approx): x1 wide angle, x2, x3
- Field of view: 40, 20, 10 degrees
- Weight: 620, 682, 890 g
- Overall dimensions, mm: 128 x 78 x 50, 151 x 78 x 50, 172 x 78 x 62
- Diopter: +2, -2