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Yukon Ranger 5x42 Digital Night Vision Monocular Review

Yukon Ranger 5x42 Digital Night Vision Monocular Review

Up until recently my son-in-law and I have used lamps to do our shooting, we are restricted to shooting at night due to the permission being a golf course.

The usual equipment we were using was a GL4 red LED, and my son-in-law a white LED lamp with a red filter. Over last Christmas we had the opportunity to try out a Yukon Ranger, with a view to buying - an offer we couldn't refuse!


The one thing that hit us straight away was the fact that no longer were we restricted to a short-range "bubble" of what we could pick up with the red or white lamps, as the Ranger can see out some 200 yards, all totally undetected. This saved a lot of aimless wandering, and probably for the first time we could actually practice stalking our quarry, and plan our approach rather than blindly wander about.

Something else has also become apparent as we've put the Ranger to use over the last few months, and that is the rabbits are definitely reacting to the red lamp. We have tried all the usual tactics, like slowly lowering the red beam onto the target, or shining it off to one side before gradually moving it onto the rabbit, but it seems the rabbits on this permission at least are spooked by a red light.

Anyway, the point is that we have been able to observe the rabbits' behaviour, which is something we were unable to do before, and it has taught us quite a lot.

Okay, down to the details. The Yukon Ranger gives you a rectangular greyscale picture, and it runs on 6 AA sized batteries, which gives a useful operation time of 3 or 4 outings at a couple of hours each outing. What will put a heavy drain the on the batteries is the use of the IR facility, and I've found I use this a lot, the normal mode not being a great deal of use. This may be down to me, but it's what I've found in practice.

As mentioned previously the Ranger can be used to spot quarry out to about 200 yards. At that range the resolution is not great, but it is enough to identify between a tree stump and a potential target, that is if you use the IR so as to detect eyeshine. There is also a brightness wheel to adjust the IR intensity.

One of the pitfalls with conserving battery life, especially as we use the IR practically all the time, is that after scanning I turn the monocular off, and by doing this when we need to re-acquire the target, or to scan again, there is a short time whilst the IR warms up. Another downside are the low profile operation switches. These can be quite hard to operate, especially if you are wearing gloves, and it can be quite frustrating as it's not always immediately obvious if you're viewing in normal mode or IR, unless you happen pick up a nearby object which will reflect the IR beam.


Something else to bear in mind is the fact that using this type of NV monocular will ruin the night vision in one eye for a good 30 seconds after using, as you will find you have a very dark rectangle in your eye! I have tried a makeshift red filter over the eyepiece to lessen that effect, but found it didn't help as it also darkened the picture as well.

Of course this will completely mess things up if after spotting with the Ranger you go straight to your scope. Finally, if you are the sort that likes shooting prone, or crawling, something hanging around your neck is not necessarily the best thing to have.

It may seem that I've picked on a lot of negatives using a piece of equipment like the Ranger, and obviously the same points may well apply to other alternative NV monoculars on the market. What I did find was it literally opened up our whole hunting experience, and brought to our attention things that we would have missed if we had just stuck to using lamps.

For instance, on our last outing I witnessed my son-in-law making a sweep with his red LED after I had picked up a target on the Ranger, which was about 40 yards away. He failed to see the rabbit because it had its back to him, and so he wasn't picking up eyeshine. This had happened quite a lot during the outing and at various ranges.

Depending on atmospherics, what you can see with a piece of equipment like the Ranger gives you a massive advantage over using lamps alone.

Would I recommend buying the Ranger? To be honest I was given the chance of buying it at a third of the RRP, so for me it was a real bargain. Normally, at its normal retail price of around £300 it's a very expensive piece of kit.

The thing is for another £100 it would bring it into the price range of the NS50 Nitesite Scope as reviewed elsewhere on Airgun Universe. The trade-off there would be extra cost against the usefulness of having NV combined with your scope.

As much as I like the Ranger I think the NS50 would be my final choice.

Search for prices on EBay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yukon-Ra...412480&hash=item3f6df05a22:g:JKAAAOSwJtdaBtJ6
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