I am a professor at the University of Goldfields Australia, specializing in mining engineering and chemical engineering. Last month, my two colleagues and friends Roxanne Child and Woodrow Walker, who are also professors at the university, went on an unforgettable hunting trip to Leonora, a small town in Western Australia. We not only experienced the local history, culture and cuisine but also felt the thrill and enjoyment of night hunting. In this article, I will share our travel experience as well as the equipment we used, especially the cost-effective Chinese brand Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars which brought us much convenience and surprise.
Our destination Leonora is a small town located in Western Australia about 833 kilometers from Perth (the capital) and 237 kilometers from Kalgoorlie. It belongs to the Goldfields-Esperance region which is a mining center with rich history and culture. The climate of Leonora is arid (BWh), extremely hot in summer while relatively cool in winter with very little rainfall. According to the census data of 2016, there were 556 people living in Leonora with 27.6% being descendants of indigenous people.
The history of Leonora can be traced back to 1869 when European explorer John Forrest camped here and named a prominent hill Mount Leonora after his six-year-old niece Frances Leonora Hardey. In 1895 prospector Edward “Doodah” Sullivan discovered gold mines north of present-day town area triggering a gold rush that led to rapid development attracting many immigrants and investors over two years’ time period. The most famous gold mine was Sons of Gwalia gold mine which was once one of Australia’s richest gold mines where Herbert Hoover -the thirty-first President of United States- had worked before becoming president himself . In 1897 ,Leonora officially became a town and preserved many early buildings and relics.
During our trip, we visited some of the attractions in Leonora and experienced the local historical charm and natural scenery. The most impressive one was Gwalia Ghost Town & Museum, which is a well-preserved old gold mine and mining village that showcases life scenes and items from the late 19th to early 20th century. We also visited Hoover House, a luxury villa where Herbert Hoover once lived, and enjoyed a delicious lunch there. In addition, we walked along the Leonora Heritage Trail to admire some of the town’s historic buildings and landmarks such as post office, courthouse, fire station etc. We also drove along the Leonora Loop Trails3 to explore surrounding scenic spots like Malcolm Dam, Lake Raeside, Lake Ballard.
There were two reasons why we chose to hunt at night. Firstly because it’s quieter at night making it easier to spot and approach wildlife especially nocturnal animals such as Tasmanian devils, wildcats or rabbits; secondly because it’s cooler at night making outdoor activities more comfortable while avoiding daytime heatwaves and UV rays. Of course hunting at night has its own challenges and risks such as poor visibility or getting lost due to poor sense of direction so we needed professional equipment for safety purposes.
The equipment we used included firearms, ammunition, flashlights compasses water bottles first aid kits etc., but among them all infrared binoculars were crucial since they allowed us clear observation of animal positions movements even in darkness thereby increasing our accuracy rate success rate significantly. We chose Chinese brand Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars because they have many features advantages that satisfied us greatly.
Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars have several characteristics:
- They can provide high-definition images videos even in complete darkness allowing us see details features of animals.
- They can work under different distances magnifications with maximum visual range up to 400 meters maximum magnification up to 7 times.
- They can be connected to computers or phones via USB interface making it easy for us to store share images videos we captured.
- They can expand storage space through SD card supporting up to 32GB.
- They can enhance night vision effect with built-in infrared emitter and adjust infrared brightness sensitivity.
- They can record play sounds with built-in microphone speaker.
They are powered by built-in batteries with a battery life of up to 6 hours, designed lightweight durable waterproof dustproof shockproof weighing only 760 grams.
The use of Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars has brought us many benefits. Firstly, it allows us to see the shape and behavior of animals clearly in the dark, increasing our hunting pleasure and confidence. Secondly, it enables us to record our hunting process and results for easy review and analysis. Lastly, it allows us to share our hunting experiences and feelings with other enthusiasts for exchange and learning. In short, Wildguarder’s infrared binoculars are a high-value hunting equipment that is worth recommending to all night hunters.
We stayed in Leonora for three days, going out for hunting every night. Our hunting process, encounters with animals, stories happened during the hunt as well as harvest are listed below:
We left town at dusk by car heading towards Lake Raeside near a vast grassland suitable for hunting. We prepared our equipment including firearms, ammunition, flashlights compasses water bottles first aid kits etc., along with our infrared binoculars inside the car before finding a safe place to park before dark then walked into the grassland searching for animal tracks while observing surroundings through the infrared binoculars where we found some rabbits and kangaroos moving around on the field. We decided to shoot rabbits first because they were smaller targets easier to hit than kangaroos so we slowly approached one rabbit determining shooting angle distance then fired shots hearing its scream followed by seeing it fall down dead on ground afterwards putting it into a plastic bag placing inside car.
Next up was looking for a kangaroo which was much larger than rabbits making them harder targets but also more challenging prey using infrared binoculars observing their movements eating grass without noticing us approaching quietly trying not make any noise until about 50 meters away from target stopping aiming at its head then firing shots hearing loud bang seeing kangaroo falling down dead on ground afterwards dragging carcass back tying onto rear of vehicle.
Thus completing day one’s hunting task, we returned to the hotel in town handing over rabbits and kangaroos to the chef for processing while booking dinner for the next day. We were satisfied with our performance looking forward to hunting on day two.
We left town at dusk by car heading towards Lake Ballard near a forest and swamp area also suitable for hunting. We prepared our equipment same as day one along with infrared binoculars inside the car before finding a safe place to park before dark then walked into the forest searching for animal tracks while observing surroundings through infrared binoculars where we found some wild cats and marsupial wolves lurking around in trees. These animals were harder targets than rabbits or kangaroos because they were more ferocious, agile, and difficult to detect so we decided to shoot wild cats first since they posed great harm on local ecosystem and humans using infrared binoculars observing their movements quietly approaching until about 30 meters away from target stopping aiming at its head then firing shots hearing it scream followed by seeing it fall down dead on ground afterwards putting it into a plastic bag placing inside car.
Next up was looking for a marsupial wolf which is similar to dogs but larger and stronger being nocturnal predators attacking other animals including humans using infrared binoculars observing their movements waiting patiently in swamps until spotting one lurking around quietly approaching avoiding mud pits water holes carefully until about 40 meters away from target stopping aiming at its chest then firing shots hearing it roar followed by seeing it jump towards us trying attack us quickly firing several more shots luckily hitting its head making it fall down dead on ground afterwards dragging carcass back tying onto rear of vehicle.
Thus completing day two’s hunting task, we returned to the hotel in town handing over wild cats and marsupial wolves carcasses over to chef for processing while booking dinner reservations again for next day feeling satisfied with our performance yet also nervous under pressure knowing these animals are dangerous if not careful we could get hurt or lose them.
In the evening, we left the town and drove to a reservoir near Malcolm Dam, where there is a forest and grassland suitable for hunting. We prepared our equipment in the car as usual. Before it got dark, we found a safe place to park and walked into the woods to look for animal tracks. Using our infrared binoculars, we observed ducks and parrots moving around by the water or on trees. We decided to hunt ducks first because they are easier to catch and taste better. Slowly approaching the water’s edge so as not to startle them, when we were about 20 meters away from it, we stopped and aimed at one duck before firing our guns. The duck fell into the water then floated back up again; we went over to pick it up, put it in a plastic bag then placed it in the car.
Next, we searched for a parrot – colorful birds that can mimic human voices – using our infrared binoculars again until spotting one perched on a tree observing us closely. We quietly approached within about 10 meters of it hoping to take some photos but suddenly heard “hello” spoken by this clever bird which surprised us greatly! Unable to contain ourselves any longer with laughter at its greeting, we replied “hello” back only for it ask what were doing here? This made us even more astonished! When told that “we’re hunting”, surprisingly enough this cute little creature said: “Don’t shoot me!” Feeling amused yet charmed by its intelligence simultaneously ,we took several pictures of him/her while giving some food as reward instead of shooting.
Thus ended day three of our hunting trip; returning back Leonora’s hotel where chefs processed our duck meat while booking breakfast reservations for tomorrow morning too .We felt satisfied with ourselves yet also regretful since this was going be last day spent here in Leonora.We packed up all luggage readying ourselves to leave early the next day.
Through these three days of hunting, we experienced the thrills and joys of night hunting while also learning a lot about animals and nature. We believe that night hunting is a meaningful and challenging activity that can exercise our bodies and minds as well as increase our respect for the environment and life. We recommend those who enjoy hunting to try night hunting but be mindful of several points:
- Choose suitable locations and times to avoid disturbing local residents or other tourists.
- Prepare necessary equipment and supplies, especially infrared binoculars or other night vision devices to improve safety and efficiency.
- Observe local laws and regulations; do not hunt protected or endangered animals nor waste or kill them indiscriminately.
- Stay alert, calm, never take risks recklessly; seek help promptly when encountering danger.
- Enjoy the process of night hunting while protecting yourself, companions, as well as surrounding environments.
We spent an unforgettable three days in Leonora where we not only appreciated its history & scenery but also experienced the thrills & joys of nighttime hunts. We are grateful for locals’ friendliness & hospitality which made us feel warm & comfortable like home. Also thankful for our infrared binoculars which allowed us to see vividly beautiful animal scenes in darkness too! Hopefully one day we will return here again exploring more wonders on this magical land. We highly recommend readers experience thrilling yet enjoyable nighttime hunts believing you’ll have an unforgettable journey too! Finally wishing all hunters safe ,happy ,successful trips while coexisting harmoniously with nature&animals alike .