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Hunting spotlights are often used in Australia to locate and track game at night. The bright light allows hunters to help target and shoot them accurately. It can be a handy confirmation identifying the “eye-shine” of a target. It could help you make sure you are shooting a feral bunny (pink or red) and not Mary’s little lamb (sheep have green). A great deal of Australia’s feral animal population are nocturnal and a good spotlight is usually essential kit.
Spotlights can also be used to scare off game or to signal to other hunters in a group. They can be vehicle mounted or handheld.
It is important to use spotlights with care, particularly near livestock. Shining them in the eyes of animals, domesticated or otherwise, can cause distress and may even be illegal in some areas.
Handheld spotlights are a popular tool for hunting in Australia, as they allow hunters to see their prey in the dark, or to track the movement of animals in the early morning or at night. They are also useful for locating game that is hiding in high grass or dense scrub.
One of the main uses of handheld spotlights for hunting is to locate feral pests such as rabbits, foxes and feral cats, as these animals are active at night and can be difficult to see during the day. Handheld spotlights can also be used to locate other types of game such as kangaroos, deer and pigs.
A useful feature of handhelds is that a lot of models can simply plug into a vehicles cigarette lighter socket. This removes the need for any special modifications to the ute or other mobile shooting platform.
Another handy use of handheld spotlights for hunting is to “freeze” animals. This can be done by shining the light in the animal’s eyes causing an effect of “stunning” the creature, effectively holding it motionless. This makes targeting the critter a lot easier of course and increases the chance of a humane dispatch of the animal.
In addition to hunting, handheld spotlights can also be used for other outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and search and rescue operations. They are also useful for security and surveillance.
Overall the handheld spotlight is a useful tool as it allows hunters to locate and track game in low light conditions.
Vehicle Mounted spotlights
Vehicle-mounted spotlights are spotlights that are mounted on a vehicle, such as a ute, 4WD or ATV, and are often used for hunting. These spotlights are used to help hunters locate and track game in the dark, or in low light conditions while having the increased mobility of a vehicle. They are particularly useful for hunting in open areas such as paddocks, mallee, and deserts.
Like it’s hand held counterpart one of the main uses of vehicle-mounted spotlights is for hunting ferals at night. These spotlights can be used to scan large areas quickly, making it easier to spot game that may be hiding in the scrub or under cover.
Another use of vehicle-mounted spotlights for hunting is to help hunters navigate in the dark. These lights can be used to illuminate the path ahead, making it easier for the hunter to navigate through rough terrain or dense scrub. This can be particularly useful for hunting in unfamiliar areas or terrain.
There are a plethora of brands on the market, however, as two of the best are made here in Australia we will limit our list just those.
In the game for over 35 years and with a great reputation, Lightforce not only make spotlights and vehicle mounts but also Nightforce scopes, driving lights and much more.
Located in Adelaide, South Australia, Lightforce export to around 50 countries.
Making spotlights for over 50 years and also with a great reputation, Powa Beam make quality spotlights and vehicle mounts.
Located in the bustling metropolis of Billinudgel, North of Byron Bay, New South Wales while the major components are made in Victoria, they also stock a variety of other products.
Halogen spotlights are the weapon of choice for many shooters. Reasons for this are the color temperature range they operate in.
Color temperature is a scale of color emitted by a light source and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The lower the temperature the “warmer” the light appears.
Lightforce halogen spotlights are around 3500 K whereas LED spotlights are around 5000 K.
Why is this a factor?
Most of Australia’s nocturnal wildlife have dichromatic vision, which means they can only see two primary color spectrums. Humans on the other hand have trichromatic vision which allows us to see three.
Foxes, for example, only see blue and green. This means that they struggle to see warmer temperature light. Hence halogens. Other advantages are that halogens can be fitted with color filters, red, amber and green are common.
Torches as spotlights
With the technological improvements in LED’s, using a torch as a spotlight is now a viable alternative to traditional spotlights.
Spotlight and LED Torch Pro's and Con's
A snapshot of the pro’s and con’s of an LED torch compared to a traditional spotlight.
Summary: Overall, the decision of whether to use an LED torch or a traditional spotlight for hunting will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the hunter.
- They are generally more energy efficient, allowing for longer use on a single set of batteries.
- They are also typically more durable and have a longer lifespan.
- LED torches are also smaller and more portable, making them easier to carry while hunting.
- LED lights also emit less heat compared to traditional spotlights which can be a pro when hunting animals that are sensitive to heat.
- They may not be as bright as traditional spotlights, making it harder to see in low light conditions.
- Some LED lights may have a different color temperature which can affect the color of the object that the light is shining on, this can be a con when hunting as the color of the animal may be different than what it appears to be when illuminated by the light.
- LED lights can be expensive to replace if they break or if the battery needs to be replaced.
Spotlight and LED Torch comparison
We are only listing one brand in this category for the moment and that is Olight. By all accounts their products are very good.
They are a company based in Shenzen, China but have an office in Sydney with the store website here: Olight Australia.
Check out the Javalot series.
In summary, a good spotlight for hunting in Australia would be:
- Locally made
- At least 100W
- Have a dimmer feature
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a hunting spotlight?
A hunting spotlight is a portable, powerful light that is used to locate and track game animals at night.
How do hunting spotlights work?
Hunting spotlights typically use a powerful LED or halogen bulb to produce a bright, focused beam of light. They can be handheld or mounted on a vehicle, and are powered by batteries or a rechargeable power source.
What are the best hunting spotlights for Australia?
The best hunting spotlights for Australia vary depending on the specific needs of the user. Some popular options include the Powa Beam 9″ QH 250W Spotlight and the Lightforce Enforcer Series 170mm/240mm Halogen.
How do you use a hunting spotlight?
To use a hunting spotlight, turn it on and aim the beam of light at the area you want to search. Look for movement or reflective eyes to locate game animals. Adjust the focus or intensity of the light as needed.
Are hunting spotlights legal in Australia?
The legality of hunting with spotlights in Australia varies by state. In general, it is legal to use a spotlight to locate game animals, but can be illegal to use one to shoot them. It is important to check the specific laws in your state before using a hunting spotlight. Be aware the rules for vehicle mounted spotlights can vary again.
Photo Credits: Powa Beam, Lightforce, Olight, Engin Akyurt | Unsplash