Expensive predator hunting gear that failed in the field

Buying predator hunting gear can be tricky. If you haven’t seen or touched it before, you have to trust the reviews. You can check blogs like this one or search through a predator hunting forum, but never just “imagine” how great your hunt will be if you just buy it now.

The most expensive mistake I ever made.

Weep for me, brothers and sisters. I did not follow my own advice. I foolishly bought a Leupold LTO Tracker 2 Thermal Viewer.

$600 Wasted!

I read the reviews, and I foolishly ignored the one-star complaints. I imagined scanning for coyotes and then using my night vision scope (or red light) to target them. I dreamed of finding those miserable mutts that, although fatally wounded, bloodlessly disappear into the woods.

How was it for scanning?

I did see a deer 200 yards away. Yep, I even spotted coyotes 80 yards out. Oh, but I had no idea what I was looking at. The images were shapeless blobs. You have to hold the tiny screen an arm’s length away to see clearly. Seriously, I checked myself to make sure I wasn’t wearing a 1980’s Soviet Army uniform.

What about for tracking wounded coyotes?

Ha! A dead coyote and rocks or stumps (that caught a bit of sunlight) look the same in the woods. I quickly discovered dozens of potential coyotes that turned out to be nothing more than warmer spots than the ground they lay on. I couldn’t even find my LIVING German Shepard with the damn thing.

Blood? Blood’s hot, right? It will stick out like a white-hot arrow pointed straight at your target? Or, what about their paw prints? Their feet will warm up the ground as they run across it, right? Yeah, no. I would have been better off holding a broken microscope out at arm’s length searching for pieces of hair. The only real thing it was helpful for was estimating how long ago the puppy peed on the carpet. And that, not so much.

I lost a lot of money on this technoloical turd. It was worthless. I have only one reason to be somewhat happy. Look what they charge for it today:

Hey, don’t buy the damn thing!

If you use any of the links in my post to make a purchase, I get a small commission—at no extra charge to you. You buy this dreadful thing, and you will be sorry. Instead, read the one-star reviews—always an important tip—they tell you a lot more than a five-star review does.

Want to quickly scan with a wide field of view on the cheap?

Try these babies! I have far more advanced gear, but these dang binos are unbelievable. I can scan an entire calling area in seconds for over 150 yards and identify my target.

And bloody hell, they are CHEAPER NOW! Look what I paid:

One of my more useful purchase, even years later.

My second most expensive predator hunting gear mistake?

It isn’t for sale anymore, so I don’t have to include any links, but it was the Primos Alpha Dogg Electronic Caller.

It was never made to used in any of the following situations:

  1. The Cold.
  2. In rain or snow.
  3. At any volume over level 5.

It’s speaker began distorting sound during it’s first cold and snow day, seconds after being turned on too loud. $199.99 down the drain.

A shame because they make all the best hand callers. Including my favorite.

Research, research, research.

Read all the negative reviews. Is there a common complaint? Is that complaint relative to how you intend to use the product? If a product is expensive, find a reason NOT to buy it until you have a chance to try it yourself.

Now go put more fur in the back of the truck.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for ThePredatorHunter.com.

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