Useful tips for night hunting with an AR-15 rifle
Many AR-15 rifles are used for hunting because they have recognized benefits. But because their purpose isn’t for big games, using them will be harder than normal hunting weapons. So, grabbing an AR-15 rifle for night hunting is a lot harder. But it’s possible if you practice well and follow below night hunting tips.
Why we use AR-15 rifle for night hunting?
AR-15 rifles aren’t recommended for hunting. They use standard .223 caliber, so don’t have enough power to kill big animals with one shot. Their parts are designed for short- and medium-range shooting, as well as close quarter combats. Moreover, the guns make noise when firing and alert animals. Generally, if you want to be a professional hunter and don’t have another purpose except hunting, stay away from AR-15.
However, if you are a budget customer or already possess an AR-15, you can use it to hunt. You will have both a great self-defense tool and a big game weapon in one gun. AR-15 rifles have benefits that overcome their own disadvantages and become good hunting rifles.
They are very versatile. Armed with an AR-15, you will be ready for any situations. They are lightweight and compact, granting you more swiftly movements and reactions. It can save your life when you’re being attacked by bears or wolves during the hunt. When you are in a dense forest, AR-15’s short barrel and size help you avoid hitting branches and obstacles.
Moreover, these semi-automatic guns are the highest customizable firearm. They have the largest and most diverse population of accessories. Having a look at Amazon store, you can find stuff that improves the smallest aspect of the gun. Their weight allows you to pack as many parts as you want. With right extensions, an AR-15 rifle can have equal effectiveness as a normal hunting one.
Why and what we hunt at night?
It is clear that day hunting is more successful. You have enough light support to aim and shoot accurately. And you won’t put yourself at risk with hungry nocturnal predators. But it has something in exchange. During daytime, you can hunt only some species. Deer, bulls, and birds are the most common but they seem to be quite normal. Most of the interesting and unique animals, especially predators, will wake up and “work” at night. Therefore, night hunting is more rewardable and attractive.
The common targets for night hunting are the hog, coyote, whitetail, or even panther. Many people love hog hunting. These pigs provide delicious meat and their hunting process is quite challenging. Coyotes hunting and raccoons hunting are also fun. There are many special species that you can catch only under the moonlight, so night hunting, though it’s risky, is seductive.
6 useful tips to hunt overnight with an AR-15 rifle
Below are 6 things you should do to improve the successful rate of your night hunting.
- Buy a good night vision scope
A night vision scope can decide the result of your night hunting. These sights provide target image acquisition by amplifying the light from all surrounding sources. You will be able to see distant targets even in a dark jungle. They also make use of infra-red light from the environment to capture a correct image. Additionally, these scopes use phosphor screen and high-resolution lenses improve image quality. Therefore, night vision scopes often display black and white or black and green image, instead of a colored one. But you won’t need a colorful picture of a black, muddy boar. All you need is a clear view of the target and where their dead zone is. Then, you can shoot at grab them home.
- Use suitable caliber size
The standard caliber size for an AR-15 rifle is .223 mm. It is quite small and has average power rather than that of a hunting rifle. This is why AR-15 is claimed to not for big games. But successful AR-15 hunters reported to used this kind of caliber. Of course, they have to pick the right target – small animals and hitting the dead zone.
But an ideal round for hunting needs to be silent when the bullet is fired. Otherwise, you will alert and spook all animal in the area. Bearing this in mind, many hunters have tested many different types of projectile. And they pointed out that 300 AAC Blackout is the best cartridge for hunting with AR-15 rifles. The 300 AAC Blackout provides sufficient power to penetrate through animal’s skins while creating lowest noise. Unless you are shooting a black bear, it can take down any animal in the forest.
But it has a limit. The 300 ACC Blackout is suitable for short- to medium-range shooting. It will decline in speed and energy when traveling a long distance. Therefore, a 6.5 Grendel cartridge is more suitable for long-range shooting with an AR-15.
- Use a feeder light
The next useful tip for night hunting is using a feeder light. Animals have problem in recognizing specific shades of light, and we can make use of this. A feeder light allows us to see the target, but the animal itself doesn’t be aware of. So, we can bait it out and make shots easily. You need to buy types of feeder light based on which species you want to hunt. The green light is the most common, but it’s only useful for hog hunting. Red light can be used for baiting coyotes out.
- Always keep a tactical flashlight by your side
A tactical flashlight, or police flashlight, is an indispensable item in you kits during night hunting. It’s more powerful than you think. When your night vision scope or thermal optics fail or run out of power, a good police flashlight will be a savior. You can attach it to your AR-15 rifle, instead of holding it in your hand. With a flashlight as an extra light support, shooting in the dark is easier and more accurate. Switching to a medium light intensity – every good police flashlight has many output values- to misguide your light. Wild animals will see it as the moonlight and continue their work. Then, you can catch them off-guard.
- Learn the animal’s pattern
This is a fundamental knowledge for any hunter. Wild animals often gather in number around their feeding and bedding areas. You increase your chances of success by lurking in these locations. So, you must learn the pattern and the trails of the animal you want to hunt. For example, hogs often leave solid mud behind when they travel. Follow these signs you want to find their feeding or bedding ground. Remember not to stick to a heavily rooted field as the hogs will typically move to another place.
- Shooting from a blind with a bipod
Some hunters like stalking and hunting, some other find it more effective to hide and shoot from a blind. With an AR-15 rifle, you can easily adapt to both types. But when you decide to shoot from a fixed place, getting a bipod can be very useful.
As your shooting from a blind, you may wait hours for the target animal to appear in range. You then need to carry the gun on your shoulder for a long time. And it’s exhausted and inconvenient. You also can face rough textures when lurking, so that affects your accurate shooting. Therefore, putting your rifle on a good AR-15 bipod can solve the problem. The bipod provides stability and allows you to take many shots without losing accuracy. Staying in the blind and shooting with a bipod improves your night hunting performance and experiences.
Above are 6 useful tips for night hunting with an AR-15 rifle. They will help you have an easier and more successful night hunting. But, of course, your practice plays the most important role. Just practice hard and safely, you will soon be able to hunt at both day and night time.