March 24, 2023, Friday, sunny.
I and my two friends Li Ming and Zhang Wei decided to go hunting in a national park in Nevada, USA. We are all nature and adventure lovers, and have some hunting experience, so we are full of expectation and passion for this trip.
We booked plane tickets, car rental, accommodation and hunting permits online in advance, and prepared necessary equipment and supplies, including tents, sleeping bags, food, water, maps, compasses, flashlights, knives, ropes, first aid kits and so on. Most importantly, we each brought a pair of night vision binoculars and a rifle. We planned to camp in the park for three days and two nights, enjoy the scenery during the day and use night vision binoculars to find and kill wild animals at night.
We left Beijing Capital International Airport at eight o’clock in the morning. After more than ten hours of flight, we arrived at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport around four o’clock local time in the afternoon. We picked up the rented off-road vehicle at the airport, put our luggage in the trunk and then drove to our destination. Along the way we enjoyed Nevada’s magnificent mountains and vast deserts, feeling the charm of the American West.
About two hours later we arrived at the entrance of the national park. We paid an entrance fee at the gate and received a park map and a rule explanation. The staff told us that hunting in the park requires following these principles:
– Only hunt in designated areas and only kill legal animal species.
– Do not use any form of light or sound to attract or scare animals.
– Do not capture or disturb any protected or endangered animals.
– Do not waste or abandon any killed animals.
– Do not damage or pollute any natural resources or facilities.
– Do not interfere with or endanger other visitors or staff.
We listened carefully to the staff’s guidance and said we would follow the rules strictly. Then we drove into the park interior.
There are many camping sites in the park for visitors to choose from, some are campsites with facilities and services, some are primitive camping sites without any amenities. We chose a primitive camping site near the hunting area, because we wanted to experience the real wilderness life.
We set up three tents on a flat grassland, which were our bedroom, kitchen and storage room. We spread sleeping bags in the bedroom, put food and water in the kitchen, and put other equipment and supplies in the storage room. We also used ropes and branches to build a simple bonfire platform, on which we lit a fire for warmth and cooking.
As it got dark, we started preparing dinner. We took out some cans, bread, cheese and fruit from the kitchen and placed them on a table next to the bonfire. We used knives to open the cans, tore the bread with our hands, bit open the cheese with our teeth, and then started eating happily. Although these foods were cold, they were already very delicious and satisfying for us after a long journey.
After dinner, we cleaned up the table and dishes, put the leftover food back in the kitchen, and zipped up the tents to prevent any animals from entering. Then we sat around the bonfire and started chatting.
Li Ming is a humorous person who told us many interesting jokes and stories that made us laugh out loud. Zhang Wei is a knowledgeable person who introduced us to many historical, geographical, cultural and natural information about Nevada and the national park that opened our eyes. I am a person who likes to listen to stories. I listened carefully to their conversations and occasionally expressed my opinions or asked questions.
In this way time passed quickly in laughter and joy. Unconsciously it was already past ten o’clock at night. We have to get up early tomorrow for hunting! So we decided to end today’s chat and went back to our own tents to sleep.
March 25th 2023 Saturday cloudy.
We got up at six o’clock in the morning because we wanted to catch some nocturnal animals before dawn. We put on camouflage clothes and vests hats gloves picked up night vision binoculars rifles then set off.
We walked along a small road for about half an hour came edge hunting area This an open grassland surrounded by tall trees used observe situation around found some traces sounds animals decided separate action increase chance success
Li Ming chose left direction Zhang Wei right I middle agreed meet here two hours later radio contact Then quietly into grassland
I walked about ten minutes found target It gray wolf hiding behind tree looking front immediately squatted down aimed head gently pulled trigger Bang gunshot fell ground motionless.
I happily ran over to check my loot. It was a male gray wolf, about 1.5 meters long and weighing about 60 kilograms. It had thick and soft fur, sharp and strong teeth and claws. It looked healthy and strong and would have been an excellent predator in the wild.
I used a knife to cut its throat, letting the blood flow out to prevent it from clotting in the fur and show respect for its life. Then I tied its limbs with ropes and carried it on my shoulder. I notified Li Ming and Zhang Wei of my situation through the walkie-talkie and asked if they had any harvest.
Li Ming said he had just shot a deer and was processing its body. Zhang Wei said he had not found a suitable target yet, but he saw some tracks of foxes and rabbits and was tracking them. We congratulated each other and agreed to meet back at the original location in an hour.
I continued walking on the grassland, hoping to find more animals. I used the night vision telescope to scan around, paying attention to any unusual sounds or movements. Suddenly, I heard a low and hoarse roar coming from the right. I immediately turned around, aimed my rifle at the source of the sound, and turned on the magnifying function of the night vision telescope.
To my surprise, it was a mountain lion crouching on a rock, staring at me. It had yellow-brown fur with black spots, about 2.5 meters long and weighing about 100 kilograms. It had sharp and curved teeth and claws, and a long and robust tail. It looked hungry and fierce and would have been a top predator in the wild.
We stared at each other, neither daring to move. I knew that mountain lion was a very dangerous animal, and if it decided to attack me, I might have no chance to escape or fight back. But if I fired my gun first, I might scare it off or hurt it. I was thinking nervously about my choices.
Just then, I heard Li Ming and Zhang Wei’s voices coming from the walkie-talkie. “Hey, are you okay? We’ve returned to the original location. Why haven’t you come back yet?” they asked. “Where are you? Did you encounter any problems?”
“I’m sorry, I…” I was about to answer them when I heard the mountain lion roar again, louder and more urgent than before. It leaped off the rock and charged at me. I had no time to think, so I instinctively pulled the trigger and shot a bullet at it. But because it was too fast, and my shooting was not accurate enough, I only grazed one of its front paws, causing no serious damage. It let out a painful and angry roar and accelerated towards me.
I backed away in terror, trying to avoid its attack. But because I was still carrying the wolf’s body on my back, my movements were severely restricted. I felt a huge force hit my chest, knocking me down to the ground. I saw the mountain lion open its mouth wide and bite at my throat.
“Help!” I shouted desperately, waving my pistol and knife, trying to fend off its attack. But its strength and weight were far beyond mine. I felt like I was suffocating.
At that moment, I heard two gunshots and saw two spurts of blood coming out of the mountain lion. Li Ming and Zhang Wei ran towards me from both sides and helped me up. “Are you okay? Are you hurt?” They asked with concern. “We heard you scream and rushed over. Fortunately, we arrived in time, otherwise you might have lost your life.”
“Thank you, thank you…” I gratefully said and touched my chest and throat with my hand. Besides some scratches and bruises, I wasn’t seriously injured. But I was still a bit startled. “This mountain lion suddenly charged at me. I couldn’t stop it.”
“This mountain lion is a female, probably protecting her cubs or territory.” Zhang Wei analyzed. “She saw you carrying the wolf’s body, probably thought you were a competitor or a threat.” He pointed to a distant thicket. “There is a litter of mountain lion cubs, three of them.”
“Really pity…” Li Ming sighed. “We accidentally disturbed their lives and made them lose their mother.” He looked at the dead mountain lion. “Although it was fierce, it was also beautiful. It has a beautiful and precious fur and body.”
“What should we do?” I asked. “Should we take this mountain lion with us or leave it here?”
“We should take it with us.” Zhang Wei said. “If we leave it here, it may attract other animals or humans to prey on or steal it. And we can also use its fur and bones to make souvenirs or crafts.” He said, and started to skin it with a knife.
“What about its cubs?” Li Ming asked. “Should we take them with us or release them?”
“We should release them.” Zhang Wei said. “These cubs have grown up a bit and can hunt and survive on their own. If we take them with us, it may cause them greater harm. And it is also a respect for nature.” He said, and walked towards the thicket, shining a flashlight inside.
Li Ming and I followed him, and we also saw the three mountain lion cubs. They had a similar appearance to their mother, but were much smaller in size. They were huddled together, making scared and helpless cries. Seeing us approach, they became even more nervous, curling up and exposing their teeth and claws.
“Don’t be afraid…” Zhang Wei comforted them gently, and pointed his finger to a distance. “You can go over there to find food and water sources. There are many other animals and plants there. You have to be strong and survive, not let your mother sacrifice in vain.”
After saying that, he picked up a piece of meat and threw it outside the thicket. “This is your food. You can eat some.” He said. “But don’t rely on what humans give you. You have to learn to hunt and survive on your own.” He said, turning around and leaving.
Li Ming and I followed him. We didn’t look at those cubs again, because we knew this was the best choice for them. We hoped they could adapt to the wilderness and grow up to be strong and free mountain lions.
We returned to where we started and put our trophies together. In addition to that mountain lion, we also had a wolf, a deer, two rabbits and three squirrels. These were all legal animal species that could be taken out of the park. We tied them together with rope and pulled them back to the camp site with a car.
Sunday, March 26, 2023, sunny.
Today is our last day in the national park. We packed up our tents and luggage early in the morning, cleaned up the camping site, and drove towards the park exit.
The park’s beautiful scenery includes lakes, waterfalls, canyons, meadows, and forests. We also saw some other wildlife, such as eagles, bears, elk, and squirrels. We took many photos with our cameras and marveled at the wonders and beauty of nature.
We arrived at the park exit around noon. We returned our hunting permits and handed over our trophies to the staff for inspection. The staff confirmed the species and quantity of our animals and gave us a receipt. They said these animals were legal and could be taken away. They also praised our hunting skills and courage, and congratulated us on our success.
“Thank you.” We said politely. “This was a very enjoyable and unforgettable trip. Your park is beautiful and your service is thoughtful. We hope to come again someday.”
“You’re welcome.” The staff said friendly. “You’re welcome anytime. Have a pleasant journey.”
After saying that, they helped us put our trophies into the car and waved goodbye to us. Then we drove out of the park towards the airport.
This hunting trip to the national park in Nevada, USA, was one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences of my life. I not only appreciated the natural scenery and cultural features of the western United States, but also experienced the fun and challenges of outdoor life and hunting. My two friends, Li Ming and Zhang Wei, and I also enhanced our friendship and trust, and spent an unforgettable time together.
Of course, this trip also made me deeply aware of the cruelty and danger of nature, as well as the impact and responsibility of human beings on nature. I encountered a mountain lion while hunting, and was almost killed by its claws. If it weren’t for my friends’ timely rescue, I might have become its dinner. And that mountain lion also lost its life because of our intrusion, and its cubs lost their mother because of our interference.
This makes me feel sad and guilty. Although we hunted legally, and didn’t waste or abandon any animals, we still caused some degree of harm and disturbance to nature. We should respect and protect nature more, rather than using or destroying it at will. We should coexist with nature harmoniously, rather than confronting or conquering it.