The pheasant shooting season is underway and gamekeepers are under pressure to keep fox numbers down. Paul Childerley tries out a new thermal scope from Pulsar, the XP50 Trail, with the help of Johnny Muston from R&K Stockcraft.

Paul Childerley is best known on Fieldsports Channel for his deer stalking but he also runs a partridge and pheasant shoot. This means he must keep on top of the local foxes to protect his birds to ensure that this season is a success.

The one issue that has always put Paul off going for thermal gear is being able to distinguish between a fox and the Chinese water deer on his estate, which is in Bedfordshire, heartland of this little deer. If there’s any issues with that, the thermal won’t be a long-term option for him. But could there be an answer on the horizon?

We are all familiar with night vision and even thermal imaging. The idea of being able to see in the dark and then see an animal or human glowing yellow through the darkness has been used regularly in movies and video games. But what would happen if you were to combine both systems into one and that movie effect could become a reality?

We may see the results soon as the concept is currently being tested in the US military. The idea is called Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA) technology and it would allow the user to use one display screen to switch between night vision and thermal. However, this is some way off from being available to use for pest control.

The BBC came closest to making the perfect hybrid in its show Planet Earth II. The cost of this setup is well out of reach for the regular shooter.

A BBC leopard

Currently, shooters must choose between one or the other. Pulsar is emerging as the big-name brand in the sector. Lee Adams in charge of marketing at Thomas Jacks, the UK distributor of Pulsar says: “We want to establish Pulsar as the ‘go to’ brand for night vision and thermal.”

For more about Pulsar, visit
R&K Stockcraft’s website is
Paul is also sponsored by Shooterking and Pulsar.
Visit for outdoor clothing
Go to for night vision
For more from Paul, go to

This film was first shown in Fieldsports Britain episode 410. To watch the whole show go to

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