Mark Lewis is a Welsh hunter, a true fox control expert, our brand ambassador, and now the star of the new Thermion 2 LRF XL50 video. Our first HD thermal riflescope was created for people like him, so the collaboration seemed only natural. Now, we’re sharing his thoughts about the shooting process, hunting in Mid-Wales, and some behind-the-scenes pictures from the gorgeous locations.
Aside from fox control, the other types of hunting I do are deer stalk hunting and wildlife management, wildfowling, duck and goose shooting, and so on. I also do extreme driven pheasant, partridge, and duck hunts. Then there is pigeon and crow decoying, walking up rough shooting, ferreting and rabbiting, day and night. And, of course, driven wild boar hunts, ibex, chamois, and barbary sheep abroad.
It is totally off the scale compared to previous Thermions. The quality of the image through the magnification range, and especially in poor weather conditions, is phenomenal. The biggest benefit of Thermion XL to me, being a professional fox controller, is the positive identification at range and the added advantage of the ballistic calculator, meaning that those lamp-shy foxes that refuse to call in and sit just on or over the limit can now confidently be taken.
It’s a great added extra as you can scroll through all the menus without moving your head or taking your hand off the forend of the rifle (maintaining firm stability), which saves vital seconds before taking the shot.
In the UK, the main quarry to legally hunt at night is the red fox. Deer and badgers can also be hunted but only under strict license as part of a licensed cull. There are different ways of going about hunting this animal and different methods that can be used. For myself, identification is KEY, especially at range, so I choose my devices accordingly.
Up until recently, foxers were mainly using thermal spotters to spot their quarry and a night vision scope to shoot as quarry confirmation was clearer using night vision. But now the Thermion 2 LRF XL50 has been launched with its 1024×768 high-definition sensor, which allows it to retain an astonishing level of image detail all the way through the magnification range. This way, improved focusing and much better identification abilities are achieved throughout the range, which is what the professional and recreational fox controller has been eagerly waiting for.
I really enjoyed the shooting process as it was so nice to meet and spend time getting to know everybody while introducing them to the beautiful country that I live and hunt in. During my long fishing career, I have always had photographers and film crews follow me to various destinations. But with my hunting, I have only had photographers accompany me on location for various magazine articles and never a film crew. This was extra special to me not only because it was at the amazing Sweet Lamb deep in the heart of Mid Wales, but it was for a company and product that I wholeheartedly believe in.
Some of my favorite memories of our time spent together were meeting and making friendships with everyone and the special set of skills that each person brought to make the whole production possible. The highs and lows due to the weather, the banter and all the laughs during the filming process, the bloopers, like falling over and sinking waist deep in a bog… But one of my most favorite memories was how everyone got together, how the film crew hosted a wonderful evening and made a magnificent meal for everyone involved. We were also privileged to be entertained by the owner of the guest house and sat and listened to an evening of live music.
I am very pleased with the final result, considering the horrendous weather we had over the weeks of filming – the heavy rain, howling winds and difficult lighting conditions. Even though we were searching for those lovely sunsets and fine weather days which we had in the weeks before, I think the whole film crew and the photographers did an outstanding job in depicting not just the picture but also the mood, the feel, and atmosphere of what Wales is actually like, making for an outstanding production.
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.