Do you like adventure and challenge? Do you want to experience a different way of traveling? If your answer is yes, then you will be interested in the hunting trip that I and my two friends Webb Lucius and Aaron Joule had last month in the outskirts of Nizhny Tagil, Russia. Nizhny Tagil is a city located in the Ural Mountains, with a long history of metallurgy and industry, as well as many charming natural and cultural attractions. In this article, I will introduce you to how we chose Nizhny Tagil as our destination, what we saw, ate, and most importantly, how we used infrared binoculars for night hunting. I hope that through my sharing, you can feel our fun and excitement, and also learn about Nizhny Tagil, a little-known but worthwhile place to visit.
Before we started our hunting trip, we learned about the historical background of Nizhny Tagil. Nizhny Tagil is a city in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, located at the eastern foot of the Ural Mountains. It is one of the oldest metallurgical centers in Russia, and also the cradle of industrialization and tank manufacturing.
The history of Nizhny Tagil can be traced back to the early 18th century, when the Demidov family established the first ironworks here. The Demidov family was one of the richest and most influential industrial families in Russia, who developed many mines and factories in the Ural region, providing a large amount of metal and weapons for the Russian Empire.
By the end of the 19th century, Nizhny Tagil became one of the largest steel production bases in Russia, as well as a cultural and educational center in the Ural region. Many famous writers, artists, scientists and engineers emerged here, such as Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak, Nikolai Cherepanov, Nikolai Nekrasov and others.
In the 20th century, Nizhny Tagil played an important role in the Soviet industrialization and World War II. Here was established the Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), one of the largest tank factories in the Soviet Union. During the war, it produced more than 50 thousand tanks and self-propelled guns, providing a powerful armored force for the Soviet army.
After the war, Nizhny Tagil continued to develop into an important industrial city, while also retaining many historical and cultural relics. Today, Nizhny Tagil is not only a modern city, but also a tourist destination with a unique charm and style.
In addition to learning about the history of Nizhny Tagil, we also visited some local attractions and experienced the customs and culture of this city. Nizhny Tagil has many museums, buildings and natural landscapes worth seeing, which opened our eyes and increased our knowledge and insight.
First, we went to the Ural Vehicle Manufacturing Museum, which is a museum that showcases Nizhny Tagil’s achievements and contributions in tank manufacturing. There are various types of tanks and other military equipment here, from the T-34 of the Second World War era to the modern T-90. We can observe and touch these steel beasts up close and feel their power and charm. The museum also has an open-air exhibition area where you can see some abandoned or damaged tanks, as well as some tank sculptures and monuments.
Then we went to Lysaya Mountain, which is a small hill located in the center of Nizhny Tagil, and also an excellent place to watch the city panorama. We walked up the hill along the mountain road, enjoying the scenery and buildings along the way. There is a lookout tower on the top of the hill where you can see the whole Nizhny Tagil city area, as well as the Ural Mountains in the distance. We also saw a huge ski jump, which is a landmark building of Nizhny Tagil and also a venue for international ski competitions.
Next, we went to the local folklore museum, which is a museum that displays the traditional culture and lifestyle of the Nizhny Tagil region. There are many exhibition halls here, showing folk items and scenes of different periods and themes, such as clothing, tools, furniture, toys, musical instruments, festivals, weddings, etc. We can see how Nizhny Tagil people live, work, entertain and believe, and also experience some folk activities and games.
Finally, we went to the Demidov Villa Museum, which is a well-preserved 18th-century noble estate that used to be the residence of the Demidov family in Nizhny Tagil. There is a delicate garden here, planted with various flowers and trees. The interior of the villa has many rooms decorated with luxury, showing the living scenes and collections of the Demidov family, such as furniture, paintings, porcelain, books, etc. We can feel the wealth and taste of the Demidov family, as well as their impact and contribution to Nizhny Tagil’s historical and cultural development.
After we visited Nizhny Tagil’s attractions, we also tried some local delicacies and tasted the flavor and characteristics of the Ural region. Nizhny Tagil’s cuisine is mainly traditional Russian dishes with meat, dairy products, bread and vegetables as the main ingredients but also has some unique methods and ingredients that reflect this city’s history and culture.
First, we tasted dumplings, which are small buns made of dough wrapped with meat or other fillings, which can be boiled, fried or baked. Dumplings are one of the most common and popular foods in Russia, and also a specialty of Nizhny Tagil. There are many kinds of dumplings here, with different fillings such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, fish, mushrooms, potatoes, etc., and sometimes some cheese or fruit are added. We can choose to eat dumplings with different sauces such as sour cream, butter, sauce or pickles, and enjoy their aroma and taste.
Then we tasted sour cream soup, which is a thick soup made of sour cream, water, flour and other ingredients (such as potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, cilantro, etc.). Sour cream soup is one of the traditional soups in the Ural region, with a rich sour and milky flavor. It can refresh and invigorate the mind, and also replenish nutrition and moisture. We can add some bread crumbs or meat cubes to the soup to enhance the flavor and texture.
Next we tasted honey cake, which is a multi-layer cake made of flour, honey, butter and baking soda, with cream or jam in between. Honey cake is one of the oldest and most classic desserts in Russia, and also a specialty of Nizhny Tagil. There are many flavors of honey cake here, with different fillings and decorations such as original, chocolate, cherry, lemon, etc. We can enjoy their sweetness and softness, and also feel their history and culture.
Finally we tasted some local specialties of meat cheese and bread. Nizhny Tagil is a city mainly based on metallurgy and industry so people here like to eat some high-calorie and high-nutrition foods to replenish their strength and resist the cold. There are some special meats here such as smoked meat sausage ham etc., which are made of local pork or beef and have a strong aroma and saltiness. There are also some special cheeses here such as Ural cheese Nizhny Tagil cheese etc., which are made of cow’s milk or sheep’s milk and have different colors and textures. There are also some special breads here such as black bread white bread corn bread etc., which are made of different grains and leavening agents and have different shapes and textures.
One of us saw a fox that was moving quietly in the bushes as if looking for prey. We decided to follow it to see if it would lead us to discover more animals. We carefully approached it using infrared binoculars to observe its every move. We found it very smart it would stop from time to time using its ears and nose to sense the surroundings then run away quickly. We followed it for about ten minutes and saw a small pond where there were some ducks swimming in the water.
We were surprised to find that the fox also saw the ducks it began to slowly approach the pond ready to catch a duck. We also followed it close to the pond wanting to see how it would act. We saw the fox lying in the grass waiting for an opportunity. When a duck swam close to the shore the fox suddenly rushed out biting the duck’s neck then quickly ran back to the grass. We were shocked by its speed and skill and also cheered for its success.
We continued to use infrared binoculars to observe the situation around the pond and found that there were some other animals active near the water such as otters water rats minks etc. We felt that this was a good hunting place so we decided to stay here for a while to see if we could catch some animals. We put the infrared binoculars on a tripod using the video function to record what we saw. We also took out our rifles and bows ready to shoot.
We waited for a while and found a good target, a mink playing by the water. Mink is a very valuable fur animal, its fur is very soft and smooth, and can be made into high-end clothing and decorations. We decided to try to catch this mink, so we aimed at it with infrared binoculars. We chose a suitable time, when the mink was about to jump into the water, we shot and shot arrows at the same time. We heard two sounds and a dull sound, and then saw the mink fall by the water.
We ran over excitedly and picked up the mink. We checked its wound and found that it was shot in the head by a rifle, while the arrow pierced its chest. We felt lucky and satisfied with our shooting skills. We put the mink in a plastic bag and prepared to take it back as a souvenir. We also played back our video with infrared binoculars and enjoyed our hunting process and results.
Through this trip to Nizhny Tagil, we not only learned about the history and culture of this city, visited some interesting attractions, tasted some delicious foods, but also experienced an exciting hunting trip. We used infrared binoculars to observe the animal world at night, caught some precious prey, and recorded some unforgettable pictures. We felt that this trip was very meaningful and interesting, which opened our eyes, increased our knowledge, exercised our skills, and also enhanced our friendship. We were deeply impressed by Nizhny Tagil city and also interested in infrared binoculars equipment. We hope to have the opportunity to come here again in the future or use infrared binoculars to explore other places.