Best Thermal Monocular for Coyote Hunting in 2024

Best Thermal Monocular for Coyote Hunting

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Coyotes tend to be more active at night because that’s when their vision is at its best.

If you’re serious about hunting coyotes, you’ll find yourself hunting at night or early in the morning to try and catch them when they’re most active. 

However, coyotes can see better at night than you can, so how can you take back the tactical advantage?

Enter thermal monoculars. In this guide, we’ll look at seven of the best thermal monoculars to help you decide which one is best for you.

Product Reviews

  • 256×192 infrared sensor resolution
  • 25 HZ Refresh Rate
  • Built-in 8GB Memory
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  • Only Works With Android Phones
  • 256×192 resolution
  • Up to 1300 meters detection range
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  • Built-in Rangefinder
  • Variable Magnification
  • Connectivity
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  • 4x Digital Zoom
  • 10 hour battery life
  • 16GB Built-In Storage
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  • Can Be hand-held, or head/helmet mounted
  • Hi-Resolution
  • Different Magnification Options
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  • 160×120 thermal sensor resolution
  • Highest-temperature target tracking
  • Image capture, video recording, connectivity
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  • 400×300 Sensor Resolution
  • Two Models with Different Magnification
  • Burris’ Lifetime Warranty
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1. AGM Taipan TM10-256 – Best Overall

AGM Global Vision Thermal Monocular Taipan TM10-256 Thermal Imaging Monocular for Hunting 256x192 (25 Hz) Monocular for Adults High Powered Thermal Imager Heat Vision Infrared Monocular Thermal Vision

AGM has an entire product line of thermal monoculars that range in price from only a few hundred dollars all the way to several thousand, but the TM10-256 is a reasonably-priced option with high quality and a feature set.

It’s compact, packed full of awesome features, and gives great images that can be viewed in real-time or recorded for later.

Features and Specifications

  • 256×192 infrared sensor resolution: Just like with any other type of digital optic, the resolution of the sensor makes a big difference in the overall quality of the picture. Compared to standard visible-light sensors, 256×192 may seem tiny, but in the world of thermal imaging, it’s respectable, particularly at this price point.
  • 25 HZ Refresh Rate: The refresh rate of 25 hz is absolutely sufficient for looking through a thermal monocular, especially at this price point.
  • Built-in 8GB Memory: The built-in memory is a nice thing to have, and in some cases can save you from ever having to buy a memory card to go with it, depending on whether you’re mostly taking pictures or videos.  
  • Wi-fi Connectivity: The AGM will connect to either an iOS or Android app and allow you to see on your phone what the monocular is seeing as well. You can use the feature to make normal use more comfortable, or you can set up full rigs with a large tablet to use as a monitor.


  • High sensor resolution, display resolution, and refresh rate.
  • Tough and durable construction
  • Detection range up to 410 meters for 6-foot objects
  • Wifi connectivity for monitoring and sharing


  • Other units have higher resolution
  • Affordable compared to other thermal monoculars, but still over $500
  • Not great for anything closer than ~10 feet


If price is not a consideration, the AGM Taipan TM10-256 is still a great option for a thermal monocular.

You should be able to use it to spot coyotes from at least a couple hundred yards, and it will absolutely do what you need it do.

When you add price back in as a consideration, the TM10-256 becomes a phenomenal option for a thermal monocular. 

AGM Global Vision Thermal Monocular Taipan TM10-256 Thermal Imaging Monocular for Hunting 256x192 (25 Hz) Monocular for Adults High Powered Thermal Imager Heat Vision Infrared Monocular Thermal Vision

AGM Taipan TM10-256

The price of AGM Taipan TM10-256 varies, so check the latest price at

2. InfiRay Xinfrared T2 Pro Thermal Monocular – Best Budget Option

InfiRay T2 Pro Thermal Monocular for Android, Thermal Imaging Monocular for Hunting, 2~15X Digital Zoom, Hotspot Tracking, 13mm Adjustable Lens, Support Android 9.0 and Above

Thermal monoculars are expensive. There’s not really a way to sugarcoat that: the technology is expensive to develop and manufacture, and it’s a niche product with niche appeal.

That said, if you are looking for a thermal monocular in the sub-$400 range, I don’t know that I would recommend anything other than the T2 Pro from InfiRay. 

Features and Specifications

  • Only Works With Android Phones: This monocular is so affordable because it relies on your smartphone’s hardware for a lot of the processing. By stripping it down to just the things that your phone can’t do, InfiRay has been able to keep the price down. Beware, though, no iPhone support, and some androids have trouble as well.
  • 256×192 resolution: The sensor resolution is the same as the TM10-256, and consequently the images are pretty good. Your phone will be processing the images as they come out, so be prepared for less battery life than you’re accustomed to.
  • Up to 1300 meters detection range: I have not had the opportunity to test that figure, but I would be highly skeptical unless you were “detecting” something like a commercial aircraft. Even so, the performance is perfectly good for coyotes within a couple hundred yards.
  • FOV of 13.6°: This is not as wide as you could expect from a 13mm lens focal length paired with this size of sensor, but it’s certainly usable and should be fine.


  • Convenient to use as long as you have a compatible android phone.
  • One of the most affordable ways to get thermal imaging
  • Limited only by your phone in terms of storage, display resolution, and battery life


  • Only works with android phones, and not all android phones
  • Requires interfacing with a smartphone in order to work
  • No magnification


As long as you’re aware of what you’re getting, this isn’t a bad option. If I were just shopping for something to help me around my property – finding leaks, catching predators, etc.

This could actually be a fantastic way to do that. For coyote hunting, though, I think you’d feel the limitations a lot more. 

InfiRay T2 Pro Thermal Monocular for Android, Thermal Imaging Monocular for Hunting, 2~15X Digital Zoom, Hotspot Tracking, 13mm Adjustable Lens, Support Android 9.0 and Above

InfiRay Xinfrared T2 Pro Thermal Monocular

The price of InfiRay Xinfrared T2 Pro Thermal Monocular varies, so check the latest price at

3. Pulsar Helion 2 XQ38 Thermal Monocular – Best Premium Option

Pulsar Helion 2 XQ38 Thermal Monocular

Alright, I know this product is insanely expensive, but it’s also one of the coolest pieces of tech I maybe have ever seen.

Not only does it have every feature in the book, but all of the features work perfectly and intuitively, with little to no fiddling.

If the idea of spending thousands of dollars on a thermal monocular doesn’t terrify you, this is an undeniably superior device.

Features and Specifications

  • 384×288 thermal sensor resolution: This is a much larger sensor than our top choice, and not only that, it’s paired with a 50hz refresh rate that gives you a buttery smooth and crazy sharp image.
  • Built-in Rangefinder: Even if you consider this as two devices in one, you’re still paying a hefty premium, but the inclusion of a rangefinder ups the value proposition of this guy.
  • Variable Magnification: You can go from 3.5x to 12x magnification on this device, so it will operate like a lot of riflescopes you are probably used to.
  • Connectivity: It can record internally, it can connect to a remote control, and stream live to your phone as well. 
  • 8 Hours Battery Life: The battery is internal and rechargeable and gives you about 8 hours.
  • Waterproof, temperature resistant: You can use the Helion 2 in temperatures as low as -25° Celsius.


  • 8-color viewing palette. Most people prefer either white hot or black hot, but it has 6 other settings you can use if you want.
  • Heat detection up to 2,000 yards (adult-sized target).
  • Waterproof (IPX7), dustproof, fogproof


  • It’s really expensive


Anytime you pay this much for a device, you want the device to be perfect. As close as it comes, the Helion 2 is not perfect.

Some of the Amazon reviews have mentioned that it’s weirdly cumbersome and glitchy to update the firmware on the Helion 2, but that is literally the only bad thing that I have been able to find anyone say about it other than the price.

Pulsar Helion 2 XQ38 Thermal Monocular

Pulsar Helion 2 XQ38 Thermal Monocular

The price of Pulsar Helion 2 XQ38 Thermal Monocular varies, so check the latest price at

4. Teslong 256×192 Thermal Monocular – Most Internal Storage

Thermal Monocular,Teslong Thermal Imaging Monocular Handheld Infrared Thermal Scope, Weather-Resistant Thermal Binoculars Short Range Thermal Monocular for Hunting, Outdoor Camping, Travel (256x192)

This thermal monocular from Teslong was a close runner-up as I was choosing best overall, and while the AGM won out, I would still recommend the Teslong if your priority is internal storage.

There are a few other aspects where the Teslong might come out ahead of the AGM, and I’ll do my best to cover those in this section.

Features and Specifications

  • 4x Digital Zoom: Digital zoom is more of a convenience than anything else, and the lens elements don’t shift to magnify the image, the screen just “looks closer” at the existing pixel data. This means the image will look increasingly more blurry and pixelated as you “zoom” in. 
  • 10 hour battery life: The internal rechargeable battery should last up to 10 hours between charges.
  • 16GB Built-In Storage: You can save over 10,000 images in the memory card, but please note that the Teslong doesn’t record videos.
  • 720×540 display resolution: You will see an image through the viewfinder that is incredibly sharp and clear. It’s a great resolution for this kind of device.


  • The internal memory is the highest I’ve seen, certainly on a device in this price range, but even more expensive devices don’t have this much built-in storage.
  • Long-lasting battery.
  • Solid detection and recognition distance


  • No smartphone connectivity via bluetooth or wifi or anything
  • No video recording
  • Rated as “weatherproof” as opposed to “waterproof”


At the end of the day, the Teslong is designed to be used on its own out in remote areas and then be brought back and have the images dumped onto a phone or computer after the fact.

In some ways this is good (long battery life, large built-in storage) and in some ways this is bad (no smartphone connectivity, no video recording).

Thermal Monocular,Teslong Thermal Imaging Monocular Handheld Infrared Thermal Scope, Weather-Resistant Thermal Binoculars Short Range Thermal Monocular for Hunting, Outdoor Camping, Travel (256x192)

Teslong 256×192 Thermal Monocular

The price of Teslong 256×192 Thermal Monocular varies, so check the latest price at

5. ATN Odin LT Compact – Best Resolution

ATN Odin LT Wearable Compact Thermal Monocular Lightweight Handheld (320x240, 2-4x)

The ATN Odin LT is a high-resolution device no matter how you measure it.

It comes close to the Helion 2 in its thermal sensor resolution, and has a 1280×960 display resolution, which is crazy high and allows for realtime viewing that is remarkably close to what your eyes see naturally.

This is designed for in-the-moment usability, not for recording photos or videos.

Features and Specifications

  • Can Be hand-held, or head/helmet mounted: The Odin LT is designed primarily with search & rescue, SWAT, and military operations in mind, so the ability to mount it on a helmet is one of its best claims to fame. All the other options on our list only offer tripod mounting in addition to hand-held operation.
  • Hi-Resolution: Despite being ~half the price of the Helion 2, it offers a similar sensor resolution and a superior display resolution, which allows you to see incredibly clearly and react in real time. While this may not be as critical for hunting coyotes, it’s still an advantage.
  • Different Magnification Options: You can choose between a 2-4x option, a 3-6x option, and a 4-8x option, depending on what distance you expect to be engaging targets. 3x is low enough to use in close quarters, while 6x is enough to acquire targets a fair ways out.


  • Having multiple models with different magnification ranges is a big deal
  • Has white hot and black hot mode options
  • Can be helmet-mounted for extended viewing
  • Replaceable CR123A batteries 


  • Battery life from CR123A won’t be as high as other options (~2,000mAh)
  • No connectivity or recording options
  • No other color modes besides white hot/black hot


The Odin LT is designed with a different focus in mind (operations), which does crossover with coyote hunting in some important ways and may make it the right fit for your style of hunting.

Because the Odin isn’t recording video or taking photos, you should get more life out of each mAh that the relatively small battery has to offer. 

ATN Odin LT Wearable Compact Thermal Monocular Lightweight Handheld (320x240, 2-4x)

ATN Odin LT Compact

The price of ATN Odin LT Compact varies, so check the latest price at

6. AGM Asp Micro TM160

AGM Global Vision Asp-Micro TM160 Short Range Thermal Imaging Monocular with Heat Vision for Hunting, High-Sensitivity Infrared with Distance Measurement and Wi-Fi Hotspot 6.3 × 2.4 × 2.2

Let’s say for a moment that the AGM TM10-256 is too expensive for your liking but you don’t want to be limited to using your thermal camera with an Android smartphone like the InfiRay requires you to do.

In that case, my recommendation would be to take a look at the AGM TM160. You take a hit on the sensor resolution and other aspects, but it’s still a solid option.

Features and Specifications

  • 160×120 thermal sensor resolution: This is where this monocular takes the biggest hit from the price difference. This is a big drop in resolution and it will make a noticeable difference in your ability to recognize different targets from distance.  
  • Highest-temperature target tracking: This mode highlights the warmest object in frame, and can be particularly useful for search & rescue operations, but could certainly come into play when hunting coyotes as well.
  • Image capture, video recording, connectivity: This monocular has most of the same capabilities as the more expensive TM10-256, so if those are non-negotiable for you, this can still be an option.


  • Wifi connectivity with smartphones
  • Video recording & image capture
  • Different color modes


  • Sensor resolution is lowest on list
  • Battery life is not great in practice
  • Detection range is not great


For coyotes, you can probably assume you won’t be seeing targets that are further out than 100 yards. For man-sized targets you’ll see out further, maybe like 200-300 yards.

This is the main drawback of the low sensor resolution – it just won’t pick up things that are below a certain size-to-distance ratio.

AGM Global Vision Asp-Micro TM160 Short Range Thermal Imaging Monocular with Heat Vision for Hunting, High-Sensitivity Infrared with Distance Measurement and Wi-Fi Hotspot 6.3 × 2.4 × 2.2

AGM Asp Micro TM160

The price of AGM Asp Micro TM160 varies, so check the latest price at

7. Burris Thermal Series Handheld

Burris Thermal Series Handheld Thermal Vision Device for Night Hunting, 3.3-13.2x50mm

I would consider this thermal monocular from Burris to be in a similar class as the Helion 2, but slightly inferior in every way.

The good news is that the price is also noticeably lower, so if you are looking for a mid-range device that looks and feels like a high-end device, then this is definitely worth considering.

Features and Specifications

  • 400×300 Sensor Resolution: While it looks initially like it’s a lot bigger than the Helion 2, it’s basically the same size. In the lab it’s probable that the Burris ekes out ~20-40 yards of recognizability, but in practice they will be identical.
  • Two Models with Different Magnification: The (significantly) more expensive model gives you a similar magnification range to the Helion 2 (3.3x-13.2x), or you can go with the 2.3x-9.2x model.
  • Burris’ Lifetime Warranty: This monocular definitely has the best warranty on this list. Burris calls it their “Forever” warranty, and the company has a fantastic reputation for honoring their warranties.


  • The Burris Forever Warranty
  • 400×300 Sensor Resolution
  • Different Magnification options


  • Won’t mount to tripod – intended for rifle mount
  • Pic rail mount is quite small, not much purchase. Some users have reported the optic not holding zero


If you want a thermal device that has the same emphasis on optical quality that monoculars have, but will also mount directly to a rifle to be used as a riflescope, then the Burris is probably my top recommendation.

Otherwise, I’d check a different option on the list.

Burris Thermal Series Handheld Thermal Vision Device for Night Hunting, 3.3-13.2x50mm

Burris Thermal Series Handheld

The price of Burris Thermal Series Handheld varies, so check the latest price at

Buying Guide

Thermal monoculars are  their own little world, and I want to explain a few of the terms that have been used to compare the different options on the list.

Best Thermal Monocular for Coyote Hunting

1. Refresh Rate

Refresh rate can either apply to the thermal sensor or the display (screen). It’s basically the same thing as a frame rate, but it’s specifically a measurement of how frequently the screen or sensor can scan from top-to-bottom per second.

So, a refresh rate of 25 hz means that the screen is being completely updated top-to-bottom 25 times each second.

For over a century the cinematic standard has been 24 frames per second. Anything slower than that and you’ll start to notice that the video starts to get choppy and jumpy.

There is such a thing as a refresh rate that’s “too high”, at least in my opinion, but you won’t run into that with thermal monoculars.

The highest I’ve seen is the Helion 2 with a 50hz refresh rate. The image you see will look smooth and more video-like than cinematic, but that’s not only fine, it’s preferable with a device for this purpose.

2. Sensor Resolution

Sensor resolution is critical to the success of a thermal imaging device. The higher the resolution, the more defined all the objects in the image will be. 

This is particularly important when you want to start seeing things from further away. It’s not very helpful to see a warm blob from 100 yards away if you can’t tell what the warm blob is.

When things are close (and therefore take up more of the image area), this is less of a problem, but the difference is still noticeable.

If you’re old enough to remember the old standard definition televisions, you can compare those with modern-day 4k TVs and get a pretty good sense of how important resolution can be.

The resolutions you’ll see in thermal sensors are relatively small (e.g. 300×200 compared to 3840×2160) but that means the leaps in quality between sensors make a massive difference.

Considering that the sensor from the Helion 2 – 384×288 – is as much bigger than the TM160 – 160×120 – as fullHD is than the old SD tvs, and you can see why it matters so much.

That said, not only do you get what you pay for but you also pay for what you get, and the higher resolution sensors tend to come with a hefty price tag attached to them, and they take more power to run, which drops the battery life as well.

3. Display Resolution

Display Resolution

This is easy enough to understand – it’s the screen that you’ll be viewing the image through. 

These are usually in a viewfinder where you place your eye to look at the little TV inside.

The resolutions on these may seem unacceptably small when you’re used to the numbers we talked about in Sensor Resolution, but keep in mind that the physical screen is also very small.

It’s fine for a phone to have a lower resolution than your big television at home, because your phone is so small that your eyes can’t really tell the difference anyway.

The same applies here, but even more so because some of these “screens” are literally less than a quarter of an inch wide. 

Granted, your eye sits very close to these screens, so much so that they fill up your vision, so you can’t get away with horrible resolution, but an image that would look soft or even pixelated on a big computer monitor will look nice and sharp on one of the viewfinder screens. 

4. Picture Modes

The availability of different picture modes can be a big deal to some folks and a complete non-factor to other folks. 

A picture “mode” is just a certain way of portraying the thermal information so that you can look at it with your eyes and understand what you’re seeing.

The most popular picture modes are either white hot or black hot. In white hot, the warmer the object is, the closer to white it will appear, and the cooler the object is the closer to black it will appear.

Black hot, as you can probably guess, is the exact opposite. Both of these modes do a great job of highlighting the warm objects and are perfectly usable in the vast majority of situations.

That said, there are plenty of other picture modes that utilize colors to highlight different hot areas and cold areas, and there are other modes that highlight specifically the hottest object in the frame or the coldest object in the frame. 

Please note that “picture modes” are also often referred to as “palettes.”

Each manufacturer has some of their own palettes and there is too wide of a variety to dive into all the different possibilities here, but some of the most common ones go from white → Red → Blue before diving all the way into black.

If you’re looking for heat signatures that are only subtly different from one another, a palette like that can give you a better idea of what you’re seeing.

5. Digital Zoom

I mentioned this in one of the product highlights above, but I want to dive deeper into this, and why I don’t feel like digital zoom is as important as a lot of people think it is.

First, allow me to explain how an optical zoom works. A thermal monocular is more like a camera than a riflescope, so I’ll talk cameras.

In a typical camera, you have a lens, which is an optical device that uses glass and prism elements to capture light and refract that light onto a sensor. 

Once the light hits that sensor, all of the raw image data is captured, no more can be captured, and the entire process becomes digital.

Digital zoom is literally the same thing as when you pinch-zoom on your phone. The image itself doesn’t become larger, you just see closer. Once you are zooming in tight enough, you start to see pixelation and blur.

Optical zoom, on the other hand, is done with the lens before the light ever reaches the digital sensor.

Optical zoom allows the entire sensor to be used in capturing the area you are zooming in on, so more precise raw image data is captured by the sensor. This is why optical zoom is so much better than digital zoom.

That said, digital zoom certainly has its place. Most importantly, if you are relying on your imagery in real time, a digital zoom can allow you to punch in quickly so you can focus and decrease your reaction time.

Less importantly but still nice, is that it saves you time when you want to share photos. 

Rather than having to send the full-scale photo to your computer, crop it, save a copy, and then share it, you can just punch in real quick and share the photo as-is.

So digital zoom is nice, but in most situations I would consider optical zoom to be superior when it’s available. 


Can You Use a Thermal Scope for Coyote Hunting?

Yes. A thermal “scope” is different from a thermal monocular. A scope is intended to be mounted on your rifle, and while you can certainly do that, I find it’s easier to use an NVD paired with a traditional optic on a rifle and save the thermal imaging for initial target acquisition like a pair of binos would be used in daylight.

Thermal scopes are not as useful during the day, and I don’t have a rifle dedicated to only night shooting, so for me an NVD on a QD mount makes more sense than a thermal scope. 

Is Infrared Better Than Thermal for Coyote Hunting?

In my opinion, no, infrared is not better than thermal. To be clear – high quality infrared is better than bad quality thermal, but if we’re talking similar price points or quality, I consider thermal better than infrared.

Something that blends well with the background in daylight (like a coyote, for example), often also blends well with the background in infrared. Thermal imaging highlights the temperature, which is the biggest difference between the coyote and his surroundings. This makes the coyote a lot easier to distinguish. 

What Is the Most Effective Coyote Control?

A properly-designed fence is the best way to keep a coyote out of an enclosure. Something as simple as a “coyote roller” along the top of a chain-link fence can keep a coyote from climbing it, while burying the fencing down a foot or so can help prevent them from digging under.


Thermal monoculars are a unique category of optical devices that are incredibly useful for coyote hunting.

Using a thermal monocular to spot a coyote, then using an NVD mounted on your rifle to take the shot is a deadly combination that can increase the number of coyotes you’re able to get each time you go out.

They take practice to use but once you get good with them they’ll really open up a world of possibilities for you.

Choosing the exact right one can be difficult, but at the minimum, you can rest assured that all of the products on this list will do what you need them to do. After that, it becomes more of a question of what else they can do and how well.

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