Jón Rúnar Guðjónsson, Stefan Orman
We’re extremely proud of the Pulsar family we’ve gathered over the years. The ambassadors who join us are not only avid hunters and keen equipment testers. They are also incredibly caring people who focus on nature conservation and conscious, ethical hunting. Today, we’re pleased to share thoughts by our ambassador from Denmark – Jón Rúnar Guðjónsson. Born in Iceland, he certainly has a lot to say about the importance of preserving our gorgeous wildlife.
To be a conscious hunter is to have unconditional love for nature and its habitats. It is an animal conservation activity that requires deep respect for the entire ecosystem. There are many decisions every human makes every day that impact nature. A conscious hunter does all in their power to preserve a good, naturally flourishing balance between the species and nature by interacting directly with the available knowledge at any given time. Their decisions are always based on the idea of natural preservation and positive evolution for each area and the species within. They also take good care in choosing the right equipment for making their impact as small as possible, aiming to leave a minimal footprint.
To obtain the idea behind being a conscious hunter, you need to practice being a very effective tracker, shooter, and nature lover. You need to understand nature on a deeper level than only as a spectator. You need to practice identifying the correct animal to harvest as fast as possible. Having the right equipment that you know how to use and being aware of its and your own limits is essential. This can only be attained by training and spending many hours in nature.
When you aim to be as conscious a hunter as possible, it becomes vital that you and your equipment are adaptable, durable, and perfectly functioning. This means that staying energized and hydrated, warm and dry is a minimum because to become a conscious hunter, you need to spend many hours in nature. This also means that the hunting equipment has to be able to withstand natural elements with hard wind, dirt, water, and changing temperatures. You could say that all the equipment has to be created on nature´s terms.
To be able to identify the type, age, and sex of an animal, you need good optics. Different species act differently in each area. In most cases, a quality thermal spotter is great for identifying species. In an area where there are a lot of fields, a wide field of view is important for the ease of scanning your surroundings. There, the image sensor is also critical because of the range. So, for fields, I recommend the Axion XG35 or Helion 2 XP50 PRO. With them, you can easily see movement from a long distance.
If your area is, for the most part, closer ranges with mixed wood, identifying is often easier because there is no or little grass, making the contour of the whole animal body visible. In the woods, the animals are not as silent as in a field, therefore, you don’t scan in the same way. When you hear a branch break or fur touching leaves when the animal is moving, spotting is easier because you hear them. Therefore, the field of view is not as vital (although still important).
Then there comes another factor – the lowest magnification of the unit. Starting at magnification x3, like the Axion XM30F, gives you good identifying opportunities at shorter/medium ranges, while the Axion XQ35 has a lower magnification at x2 and a better sensor giving you a better contour of the animal and better field of view. Both of these devices are very lightweight and compact.
For identifying with a riflescope, there are different units optimized for different situations. To start off, I don’t recommend shooting from distances longer than 100-120 meters in darkness. There are many factors that play a part when shooting, and darkness does not make things easier. As with the spotters, different units have different forces. The flagship at this time is the Thermion 2 XP50 LRF PRO, and it is the unit that gives the best identification all around.
However, there are situations where digital night vision technology is better for identifying. If an animal has laid down and heated the surrounding area with its body, the heat of the contour can be hard to see at the ranges of 80 plus meters. While the Digex C50 would easily see if it’s a fox, badger, or wild boar laying down. In high grass, though, the Digex C50 reflects the IR light or surrounding light; therefore, you cannot see if the wild boar is male or female. To understand that, you need to look at the shape of the animal. “A” shape, stronger, and compact body with a shorter snout will be a male, and the females typically have a more barrel-like body with a longer snout. The males often come alone or in small groups, while the females often come in groups and with young ones.
If your shooting position is high or you’re surrounded by higher vegetation, the Digex C50 and other digital night vision devices work very well for identifying and placing a good shot. If you are shooting from the ground and the range is a little longer, the Thermion XP50 PRO is the best. For stalking in the fields and shooting short to medium ranges, the Talion XQ38 is absolutely great. It has a small body, is lightweight, and features good quality for identification.
Remember, there is not one unit that is best for everything, so you really need to know your style and surroundings. Of course, the more expensive units have a wider range of usage because of lower NETD, bigger sensors, and better lenses. Simultaneously, the lower-cost units get more specified in usage with their natural limitations.
To me, conscious hunting is taking an active part in the flourishing thrive of the coexisting species. It is being aware of the needs and changes and playing an active role in creating the best possible future for the wild environment and all its habitats.
A conscious hunter takes an active part in keeping wild animals healthy in their hunting area by only harvesting the animals that can or should be harvested to keep others healthy and in a good reproductive number. I achieve this by always choosing the weakest animals first and having a good harvesting plan. Why the weakest animals? Because they are more unlikely to survive the winter.
Speaking of harvesting plans, it is crucial to remember that each area is different, and it is not possible to make one plan that fits all. There are a few rules of thumb, though. When you look at a healthy good hunting area in Europe, it should have mixed flora, fields, and forest. There should be about one buck for every 10 hectares. If you have 100 hectares in total, you shouldn’t harvest more than 3-5 bucks per year. For every buck, you should harvest one roe and one or two young ones.
If the area and the animals are healthy, every year should give you 10-15 young roe deer. If you hunt them according to my plan, that will leave you with 5-7 bucks in the area and the same number of reproductive roes. Typically, they will make double the amount of roe babies.
The numbers are just examples, but they are tested and recommended by biologists. There are different rules for every area, of course. In some places, you will only see people shooting older bucks. Others will choose a mixture. However, I find that in my case, if you only shoot older bucks, they usually don’t get older than the age of 3-5 years. If you shoot a mixture, you can get some very old ones (in buck terms), perhaps 6 to 10 years, which guarantees a mode diverse age range. This, in return, gives bucks more time to gain all the important knowledge – as they get older, they learn new things and still have time to teach the young ones. How else will they learn what to eat, where the road is, and how should they keep themselves warm?
If an older buck gets very aggressive and starts killing the young bucks or other species, a conscious hunter will often react to this issue. This also happens a lot with other species. Animals like foxes suddenly “see red” and just start killing for fun. Conscious hunters can spot this behavior and prevent it by keeping the number of animals at a good natural rate.
To explain what being a conscious hunter means to people who don’t hunt, I like to say that we are good readers of nature, we have a great understanding of it, and, unlike most people who only take a passive part in nature’s flourishing, we take a very active one. We also respect nature highly. I believe it comes from the deep understanding of nature we gain through hunting.
I also like to use a very simple analogy everyone can relate to. Before we learn how to read, we first must learn the letters. Try remembering how excited you were to know all their names! Later on, we learn to join letters into words, and the excitement starts mixing with pride – we feel like we already know so much. But suddenly, we see words becoming sentences, sentences becoming stories, stories becoming descriptions, emotions, and characters. At this point, some of us will feel like we know everything we need to know about reading. But others will continue unfolding more deeper layers of reading – ones that allow us to become doctors, lawyers, experts, and professionals.
A conscious hunter is like that person who never stops reading. We are always learning about new, deeper layers of and in nature. We don’t see animals as individual letters but rather as a part of a family of letters that create sentences that, in turn, are a part of nature’s story. We read tracks, animals, flora, and nature’s strengths and weaknesses.
A conscious hunter does all in their power to preserve a good, naturally flourishing balance between the species and nature by interacting directly with the available knowledge at any given time.
But being a conscious hunter isn’t always enough. To be truly conscious humans, we should think of the best way to coexist with nature every day, at every step. How do we use the resources we have access to in the best way? How are our food choices affecting the planet?
We should be conscious of how much meat we eat every week. We, humans, should take a good look at how we are getting our nutrients. For most of us, 250 grams of meat or 300 grams of fish per week is, in fact, enough to get the vitamins and minerals we need to keep a healthy body. Surely, that can be obtained in another way than meat and fish. And of course, the meat should be of good quality.
Being conscious of your way of living is good for everyone. Here is a simple thing you can do if you like our planet: always take a look at the date stamp of every food item you choose at the store. Always go for the oldest food – the one with the closest expiration date. If we all did that, the food producers would have more time to adjust to the actual demand, and less food would be wasted. It would really help our planet if everyone thought about how to use less by choosing correctly.
And of course, remember to have a lot of love and respect for each other, for nature, and for wildlife. Being truly respectful will help us all have a better today – and a better future.
Remember to have a lot of love and respect for each other, for nature, and for wildlife. Being truly respectful will help us all have a better today – and a better future.
Before purchasing any night or thermal vision device, please make sure you adhere to the local legislation and only use it when it is allowed. Our ambassadors come from various countries and travel a lot, which allows them to test different devices. We do not encourage or support the illegal use of our devices in any events. If you wish to learn more about export and sales restriction policy, please visit the following link: Export and Sales Restriction Policy.