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jaybe's picture
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Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 817
Lights for Hunting

I will be headed to Wyoming for the October 15-21 Mule Deer season this year. In the past I have used either a hand-held flashlight or a head or hat-mounted light for getting into position before daylight - and also coming out after dark, if necessary.

Does anyone have any suggestions for products they have used that work especially well for this?

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3023
I bought my first Cabela's

I bought my first Cabela's XPG LED light a few years ago and can't believe how great of a light it is. I have 2 now and would buy another if one broke down. Super super bright on the highest setting and 2 other lower settings when that much light not needed and they last for a very long time. The only downside is they are probably a little bulkier than some of the others with smaller batteries.

Jaybe. please look at the response I made to your post in the LaCrosse boot thread.

I tried to make a link to the light but can't make it work. It's the one for 30 bucks but sometimes goes on sale for 20.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Lights for Hunting

Buy as many lumens as you can afford.  Trust me on this one.  I had an encounter with a grizzly one night and my partner with the little ballcap headlamp suddenly became very fond of the high-power Browning lamp I was wearing.  In terms of headlamps, I like Princeton Tec, and Browning has some nice bright ones -- and they're not as bulky as the ones with the big battery pack on the back of your head.

When it comes to handheld flashlights, IMO the best light on the market is made by Surefire.  They put out a tremendous amount of light in an extremely small package that only takes two CR123 batteries.  I've always been partial to my C2 or Z2, which put out 65 lumens with a Xenon bulb.  The company has since gone to LED on those models, which now boast 200 lumens.  But for Christmas my wife gave me a Surefire 6PX Pro, which gives you the option of either 200 lumens or 15 lumens.  The lights aren't cheap ($79 for the 6PX Pro), but they're worth it.  They throw out a LOT of light (in AK I could spotlight wolves across the airfield from camp with the 65 lumen C2), and the output is extremely high quality.  It's even all the way across -- no bright spots or filament shadows -- and unlike a lot of LED lights, it's a pure white light.  Some manufacturers boast a lot of lumens, but their LEDs are cheaper and have a blue tinge to them...or the light isn't even.

Surefires also have a reputation of being indestructible, even in the most severe combat abuse in the Middle East.  They also make a headlamp, but I've been reluctant to touch one...they're $139 or $185 and I'm afraid If I picked one up in a store I wouldn't be able to put it down.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2370
old review

I sure can't say anything bad about Surefire except they will cost you.  I think Streamlight offers every bit as good and bright of a light, soldier and cop proven, for less money.  Makes me wonder how any of us ever got out of the woods safely after dark back in the old days with those punny 2D cell or 2AA cell incandescent flashlights.  If your looking for something to get you out of the woods safely without killing your bank account then check out my review on this Energizer LED light.  But since we have the technology readily available to us today, all in all I do agree, buy the most lumens and the best flashlight you can afford.  Whatever you buy, make sure it's LED.

http://www.biggamehunt.net/forum/good-small-economical-flashlight

When it comes to flashlights for outdoor hunting or fishing use, think small.  Convenience of carry is key.  Also for most outdoor uses and even roadside emergency uses I think headlamps are your best bet.  Good luck.

WVbuckmaster's picture
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Joined: 02/20/2011
Posts: 19
Gotta Get

Browning Nitro.  enough said.  Best light in the industry.  IMO

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2370
Maglite XL50

Had a demo of Mags new XL100 over a year ago and was impressed with the output but thought the XL100 was way too over-complicated and had more features than a flashlight or it's user should ever need.

Mag got a little sense talked into them and finally realised that a flashlight doesn't need to be overly complicated.  So they now offer a simplified version of their first XL series and introduced the Maglite XL50 at the end of 2010.  Impressed with the output of 104 Lumens.  It throws a quality bright, pure white, wide light to and advertises distance of 134 meters.  Actually it throws a useful beam pretty far to about 100 yrds, but beyond that distance it's faint and not as useful.  Only has three features - high, low, and strobe.  Electronically activated tail cap switch and runs off of 3 AAA alkalines.  About 4.8 inches long and 1 inch in diameter.  Pretty compact and light weight.  Saw a demo earlier this month at night under a clear moonless sky away from any city light pollution.  Lights up  pretty sizeable area real well. 

Just picked one up at Lowes tonight.  Impressive for the money ($29), and has all the feature I want and need in a flashlight.  I did notice a few quirks - seems thinner gauge aluminum and doesn't feel nearly as solid as the original maglites, but to be fair it seems  solid enough and does result in less overall weight. Weighs about as much as a 2AA mini maglite, but it's shorter and wider.  Also the focus feature is pretty useless on this light and does nothing positive for the beam.  With the bezel tightened down all the way the beam is already adjusted about as good as it can get, so I see no reason to need a focusable beam in this flashlight.  Lastly, no lanyard, and no way to attach one either, not a real big deal for me though.  I'll test it out more this summer on some camping and fishing trips and see how well she really does in real use.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
Just bought a coleman max LED

Just bought a coleman max LED head lamp, its 108 lumen on full power. it puts off great beam of light out to 100 yards or so, its a really nice white light not a blueish tint like my other one( energizer). I'm very impressed with it for the $25 i spent on it.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2370
coleman vs mag

numbnutz wrote:

Just bought a coleman max LED head lamp, its 108 lumen on full power. it puts off great beam of light out to 100 yards or so, its a really nice white light not a blueish tint like my other one( energizer). I'm very impressed with it for the $25 i spent on it.

That's pretty good for the money.  Sound like it has the same performance as the Maglite XL50 for the same price.  Except the XL50 is a hand held light.  Mag boast a beam range of 134 meters, and that might be true, though misleading.  The beam will touch stuff out to 134M in pitch darkness, but realistically the useful light only projects out to about 90-100 meters max.  At 134M you can tell something is there, but it won't light it up much.  Still I've been very impressed and pleased with how wide an area this thing lights up and 100 meters is plenty of projection for a small light.  It outperforms my 3D cell Maglite with Mag LED upgrade by far.

ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
i have a cabelas alaskan

i have a cabelas alaskan guide model xenon/led light. it has both xenon and led bulbs, white xenon for serious lighting and green led's for  walking in to your spot in the dark. the green is supposed to not spook green.

but i tell you what spooks game every time, waving a darn flashlight around! keep any light pointed at the ground and if you move it to look at something, move it slowly, that's how you don't spook game!

i seriously need to buy another one or two of these lights, because i'm not sure i can live without them now. they are that good.

i'd rate them 9/10. they lose a point for being way too expensive for a flashlight.

groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2535
built in hat lights

I love, love, LOVE the ball caps with built in lights in the brim.  They come in balze orange and in cam patterns now too.  So they are perfect for hunters.

BECAUSE You have them always with you even when you don't PLAN to be out after dark.  I wouldn't want to do without mine and I highly recommend them. 

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