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ATN OTS LT thermal monocular: how did it perform out in the field for this reviewer?

ATN Europe has long been a ground breaker in the electronic shooting market with a range of night vision and thermal, scopes, monoculars and binoculars. Here's what happened when Joe Barton of ATN took one out in the field.

ATN OTS LT thermal monocular

Trying out the ATN OTS LT thermal monocular

On a recent weekend, whilst out foxing, I got the chance to try out one of ATN’s newest monoculars, the OTS LT.

Going out in the field

Leaving work on a Friday for many of us means one thing, an evening of shooting. This Friday was no exception for me. I had looked at the weather forecast earlier in the day and it did not look good. The prediction was for light rain early evening, turning heavy around 7pm, but as the clock turned to 4pm and the ground was dry I decided to take a chance. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Perks of the job

Just before walking out the door I grabbed (or should I say borrowed) a monocular for spotting from the sales team demo kit. It was the ATN OTS LT thermal monocular. This variant had a 320 x 240 12μm sensor and a 50mm lens giving a magnification of 6-12x. (I won’t get bogged down in the specifications as I am writing about the experience as much as the unit.)

As I was taking the half-hour drive to my permission I reflected on the weather forecast that I had seen earlier in the day and wondered how the thermal spotter would perform if the rain turned heavy as predicted.

Thermal preference

Thermal has now become my go-to preference because, as most people these days know, it is hard to hide from a thermal detector, even if your quarry is on the other side of a dense hedgerow. This is due to the difference in temperature between the branches and the animal. It only takes a small break in the hedge for the heat of the animal to shine through, making the heat source in the image unmissable, regardless of the time of day or night.

ATN OTS LT thermal monocular

The ATN OTS LT thermal monocular is perfect for the no fuss hunter who just wants to make sure they do not miss an opportunity

Setting up for the evening

I arrived at the farm just after 4:40pm with plenty of daylight left for a scout about before setting up in my hide for the evening. I parked at the back of the barns and with my .223 on its sling, caller around my neck, and the OTS in my pocket, I walked around to the field that borders the woodland. As I came around the side of the barn I stopped as I always do. At the corner, using the edge of the building as cover, I scanned along the hedge to the gate at the far end, around 150 yards away. Something on the other side of the gate moved that caught my eye; as well as it being obstructed by the gate it was too far for me to identify by eye. I reached into my pocket for the OTS LT and then I could see that it was a muntjac. Unfortunately, I think in my haste to retrieve the spotter from my pocket, I must have spooked her and as quickly as I saw her through the thermal she hopped over the fence back into the wood.

Last light

Shortly after this, as the sun was descending behind the silhouetted Welsh hills in the distance, I could see the ominous semi-opaque mist that meant the rain was arriving as predicted. I beat a hasty retreat to the fox hide and got inside just as the first drops started to land.

I spent the next hour scanning the fields with the OTS whilst sheltering from the rain in the hide. At times during this hour the rain became near torrential but using the thermal spotter I was still able to see the hares that were braving the weather at a distance of around 200 yards. The time was now approaching 7:30 pm, the sun had fully set and the rain was starting to blow through. I was hopeful that the foxes would venture from the cover of the woods.

I did not have to wait long, however the fox did not appear from where I had expected it. I had set up in the hide that faces the wood but using the thermal I had spotted a heat source tracking alongside the hedge to my left, two fields down. I started calling the quarry in and a vixen was swiftly dealt with.


The ATN OTS LT is a serious contender in the market with its 10+ hours of continuous use battery life, 12μm sensor giving fantastic image quality and a thermal detection range of up-to 1700 yards (model dependent).

This little unit is no slouch. The LT is the lite version of the OTS 4T model range and as such does not have photo and video capability. It’s perfect for the no fuss hunter who just wants to make sure they do not miss an opportunity.

ATN OTS LT thermal monocular