The most common vehicles used are light four-wheel drive trucks and utilities. A team may consist of three persons, the driver and the shooter and the spotter. The shooter and spotter stand side by side behind the cab, holding onto a bar at the front of the tray or on top of the cab, which allows them a good 360 degree view. The spotter sweeps the surrounding countryside with a powerful hand-held lamp with a tightly focused beam.
Spotlighting can be conducted by two persons where the driver operates the spotlight or alone where the driver spotlights using a remote mounted spotlight or automotive lighting and shoots from the driver's seat of the vehicle.
Experienced spotlighters can recognize different animals by the spacing and size of their eyes and the color of their eye shine. For example, eye shine is reddish in foxes and bluish in sheep; like sheep, horses and cattle have bluish eye shine but their eyes are wider spaced and larger.
The spotting and shooting often take place from the moving vehicle. Experienced drivers on familiar territory (such as farmers in their own paddocks) may turn off the vehicle headlights to minimize the distractions.
Spotlighting may also be used as a method of surveying nocturnal fauna. Repeated, frequent spotlighting may have a detrimental effect on animals and is discouraged.
Spotlighting is illegal in many states and provinces of North America.