Not long after we got our first PVS-14 we went on a multi night camping trip. There was no moon and the stars were amazing. I took the dog on a walk while the wifey stayed all cozy next to the fire. I was running just the one -14 helmet mounted and didn't have a strobe or any IR stuff on the dog. He was off leash and in front doing his thing. I lost sight of him but didn't care because he never wanders off. After a while moving uphill through rocky brush he was moving kind of funny crossing in front of me and I called him over. He stopped and I had to do a double-take because this wasn't my dog - it was a coyote!
It took off in the brush. I had a Glock 17 in my holster ready to go but I needed to find my dog. I call him again and see another coyote moving in the brush. Now I'm concerned. Where the F is my dog? He's a big American Akita and doesn't bark. He might growl before attacking. I should've heard something especially from the coyotes, more so if some shit went down. I wonder if I didn't hear it over the noise I was making while walking.
I turn on the IR light on my helmet and start scanning. I can't see squat because of the brush, no moon, and from the illuminator giving that tunnel vision effect that's worse with a mono because your "dumb-eye" goes blind. I'm pissed off that I feel like I can't see anything with this expensive gadget hanging in front of my face. I'm looking around 360 when doofus comes trotting over with that stupid open mouthed look dogs have when they're having a good time. I'm like, WTF?!
I hold him by his collar and start scanning again. I see eyeballs. IR light is on and all I can see is what's in the tiny bright green circle in front of my right eye. I feel like they or Freddy Kruger could sneak right up on me. Fed up with this night vision crap, I flip it up, and pull out a big lumen flashlight. They scram and I finally can see! I look down at doofus and now he's got that dejected look because I just shit on his sandwich of a good time. I wonder if he even knew they were there or if he was having fun messing with them.
I head back to camp really bummed out that I wasted all this money on this PVS-14 because I couldn't see shit when it mattered.
Of course, I didn't give up on gen 3. I kept using it and learning on my own. NVD's aren't magic goggles. You have to gain experience by operating them a lot under different situations & conditions to become proficient using them. And you keep doing this, over and over, with all the new gear you keep getting, learning how to tie it all together.
At least that's my theory....