If the varmint you pursue creeps, crawls or cavorts in the nighttime hours, you will need a hunting light. For many hunters, however, acquiring a special light for illuminating evening prey can be a costly endeavor. Commercial hunting lights can cost as much as a starter rifle or hunting bow, leaving many bargain hunters looking for a cheaper solution. Homemade hunting lights can provide a functional solution at a bargain price.
Sensor Feeder Hunting Lights
Purchase low-cost motion sensor lights (the kind used for home security) at any number of bargain retailers and cover the lenses of the security lamps with red cellophane to minimize animal reaction to the lights coming on. This solution can be put together for under $40. If the area is well-lit during the day, purchase solar-powered security lights instead for only a few dollars more. If the area with the feeder has no access to AC power or adequate daylight lighting, utilize a small car battery connected to a power converter for power and still keep the total cost less than $100.
Weapon-Mounted Hunting Lights
A weapon-mounted lighting assembly has to be lightweight enough that it doesn't affect the scope sighting and steady enough to consistently create illumination on your quarry when your weapon is pointed at prey. Unfortunately, professional solutions can be expensive. However, you can fabricate a moderately inexpensive alternative using low-cost "pocket" mag-lights and red-lens snap-in replacements. Use an inexpensive ring mount to attach the assembly under the gun barrel or mount it to the side of the barrel stock with an inexpensive C-clamp cushioned by felt.
LED Spot Hunting Lights
Spot hunting lights provide illumination for areas with high animal traffic, including feeders. You could spend hundreds of dollars on a professional assembly or build one yourself for a fraction of the cost. Utilize a weatherproof container for the housing and mount an array of inexpensive red LCD lights inside. Since these use DC voltage, use either a transformer to convert the voltage and step it down, or a long-life battery with a trickle charger for constant power. LED spots work better than many other lighting systems because they provide bright lights for your hunt but seldom spook wildlife.
Hunting Light Tips
For any homemade hunting light solution, consider the location of the light, the conditions under which it will operate and the quarry it is intended to illuminate. Weatherproof light enclosures that are located outside. Long-term enclosures should utilize painted PVC instead of plastic because plastics degrade. Most nighttime prey respond to unusual sounds, so make sure that anything that generates noise, such as a transformer or charger, is kept at a distance from the light target.
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