Hunting at night with a spotlight in some circumstances is legal, and in others, you’re a criminal. Hunting hogs, raccoons, predators, even scouting deer in the offseason, it all great fun but depends highly on your local laws.
When you decide that it’s legal and you’d like to give it a try, you’re going o need some bright lights. Big throwers for your truck, smaller torches and handheld lamps for running through the brush, it’s all necessary for nabbing the game.
When you start shopping you’ll realize the options are literally blinding! Here are five of the best spotlight for hunting we could spot!
Best Spotlight for Hunting - Comparison Table
(2) cr123 batteries
(4) D batteries
Size & Weight
The size and weight of the spotlight you buy is going to largely affect how well you use it in the field and the jobs it can be pressed into service for. The smaller torches are great for raccoon hunting, running hog dogs, and tracking wounded deer through heavy brush.
The smaller models suffer when it comes time to spotlight deer and find hogs in the next field over. Especially compared to an ultra bright spotlight that plugs into the AC adapter in your truck that can throw light 1000 yards into the night!
Decide what you plan to do and by accordingly. I’d recommend a large thrower for the truck, a smaller unit to carry through the woods and spot with, and a head lamp to be able to see tree roots and rock in front of you.
How Bright Do I Need?
Well, bright enough. There’s not a clear-cut answer and more is no always better.So many factors are going to affect how far your light throws and far you can identify targets is endless. You’re going to see guidelines but assume about three lumens per yard to identify targets and confidently shoot them in ideal conditions.
For a foggy, or moonless night double that, so you’ll need six lumens per yard for identifying targets confidently enough to shoot. The last thing you want to do is shoot your neighbor’s dog because your light was subpar.
You’re going to want a rechargeable model, even if you’re going to use your spotlight for tracking wounded game three times a season. The old-school models that take multiple D cell batteries are wasteful and extremely expensive. Having a rechargeable model makes using a spotlight much easier and cheaper in the long run.
Cost aside and the environmental effects aside, carrying multiple sets of D cell batteries through the woods gets heavy, clunky, and annoying. Spend the extra cash, which these days isn’t much, on a model with a rechargeable battery and a wall charger and an automotive charger. You’re going to need and want both.
Best Spotlight for Hunting Review
(2) cr123 batteries
(4) D batteries
This is one of the best single lights you can buy for hunting at night simply because of how versatile it is. Designed for construction and around the home use, this is a very bright and tough light that works great for hunting mainly because it’s rechargeable and durable.
It has a high mode of 2200 lumens and has three modes, a high medium and low that is activated with the trigger style switch. All in all, rechargeable battery included this light weighs in at 2.5lbs with a 9-inch reflector.
The battery will stay charged for a full 12 months. You could literally charge this light up at the end of the season, have it bounce around in your truck’s tool box all year, and then fire it up and use it. It’s good to go whenever you are.
- Extremely versatile
- Two handles are very usable
- Great battery
- Huge yellow housing
- Hard to keep it in the medium light power
This is the big gun. It only works when plugged into a truck or ATV that supplies this bulb with enough power. This light is too bright to be used on the cover or in the heavy brush because the wash out forms the light would be blinding. You can certainly use this on the edge of a field to spot deer raiding your garden.
This is essentially a corded street light shoehorned into a handle that you can plug into your console to point at deer. It puts out a whopping 8000 lumens light using a xenon bulb and gigantic reflector to produce literal daylight like a beam of light focused light.
The handle is easy to operate with a single hand and the bulb is expected to last a respectable 5000-hour life. When it comes down to it, you’ll use this light to find the animals and the smaller handheld lights to chase and kill them.
- Extremely bright
- Light weight
- Great thrower from the truck
- Uses a bulb
- Cord is short
If you’re going to get a small light to take with you when you leave the truck, this is one of the best. It’s small enough to take literally anywhere you go hunting, but still, plenty powerful to use for tracking and identifying targets.
It’s made by Gerber, the knife guys that have been making some awesome hunting equipment in recent years. This is a perfect example. It is a rechargeable spotlight that uses a rechargeable battery and three high powered LEDs to produce either 600, or 100 lumens of light.
This model includes everything you need to spotlight hunt, gig frogs or track dogs. It includes two chargers, one for the house, the other for the truck, and two filters for the light, one red and one green.
The rubber over-molded grip is extremely nice on hand and you can use this light for extended periods of time with the light trigger style switch on the front. This light is very nice for the money and every hunter should get one before they need it.
- Compact powerful light
- Includes all accessories you could need
- Rechargeable battery
- The lock is easy to engage
- The battery life is shorter than other models
Browning is a legendary company that now makes just about everything a hunter could need short of a truck and a license. They market tons of different pieces of gear and it’s all good. This is an example of one of their pieces of kit that are well worth the money and extremely useful.
This is one of the only decent disposable batteries on the market. It is made from a very high strength plastic that is durable and seals up tight so you don’t have to worry about dropping it and getting it water logged.
It has a huge comfortable handle with a lanyard, and huge trigger to turn the light on. The top has two eyelets to lash the torch onto a tent or branch to hold for light. That light topping out at 825 lumens.
The case can be had in a black or neon yellow model and others that are in various camouflage patterns. Despite the 4 huge batteries it holds it is decently lightweight and balances well in and you shouldn’t ever have any problems with this torch.
- Balances well
- Bright enough to use at distance
- Uses disposable batteries
Sooner or later you’re going to need to trail a wounded deer. If it’s not you, it’s going to be your buddy who guts shot a pig at night or wounded a deer or a raccoon that you need to find.
Technology can be a huge asset to this and this is a great example, it’s a light with an optimized color to make blood stand out.
It seems trivial, especially if you’ve ever been on your hands and knees looking for blood like a CSI cop! However, need this once and you’ll have it in your pack forever more. This is brought to the market b the giants at Primo's and is a LED spotlight made for finding blood.
It includes two power setting, one for looking for blood, and one for following trails that you’ve found. This saves power so you can take advantage of the Cree LEDs for as long as possible. They top out at 600 lumens and take 3 cr123 batteries that come included.
You can rely on this light, and have it with you all the time thanks to the included Cordura holster, it’s flat shaped and comfortable to carry and small to store in your pack. There’s no reason not o have this in your backpack.
- Cree LEDs
- Included batteries
- Included holster
- Optimized blood tracker
- Specialized light
- Square shape makes it hard to hold with wet or bloody hands
Best Handheld Spotlight for Hunting - Buying Tips
The throw of our light is important, but so is the clarity and color of the torch. You need a light that is powerful enough to identify the furthest target away you plan on shooting or identifying. It’s not simply enough to spot a target, you need to be able to identify it as an individual before you kill the animal.
Always buy a fixed focus bezel and make sure you follow laws on color and brightness regulations.
Do yourself a favor, buy LED. Not only does it use less power, have a brighter light, is smaller, lighter weight, and more compact, it’s much more rugged in the field.
You don’t have to worry about a bad hunt due to a broken or blown out bulb. LEDs are superior in a very way to bulbs and with prices coming down, there’s no reason to buy a bulb model.
Try and buy the most compact model you can Even if you’re buying a model for the truck or ATV, your arm will be less tired and be easier to maneuver with a smaller and lighter weight spotlight.
Newer LED models are much smaller and lighter, including the huge bezels that old models with a bulb needed to house gigantic reflecting cones.
Try and buy a model that includes not only a charging cable for the wall, but also for the adapter in your truck. Some companies won’t include it and you’ll have to buy a separate charger at a high cost if they offer it at all.
Take the time to make sure you have all the batteries, and chargers you need for a full night’s hunt.
If you need different colors for your light, make sure you can buy filters or change the colors electronically so you don’t have to buy multiple lights for different hunts.
You may never need it, but you may break your light and be out the money you paid for it. Worse, you’ll get a defective model and if you bought it from a fly by night, importer you’ll be out of luck.
If a company won’t stand by their own product, why would you spend your money on it? Spend your money on a product from a company that’ll have your back when their gear fails.
Spotlighting is one of those times when you need the right equipment. When you need a spotlight, typically any substitute or chance of replacement just won’t do. You’ll need to remember what you’ll use it for and how often to keep from overpaying. Some features and powers you simply don’t need, though it’s tempting to get them.
No matter which one you get, make sure you get a chance to use legally. Predator hunting, blood trailing whatever you plan on doing, keep it legal and get in the woods!