The forest at night is always full of mystery and charm, especially for those who love to hunt. Last month, my two friends, August Romeo and GilesBlack, and I decided to go on a night hunt trip to Apalachicola National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States. We wanted to experience the thrill and fun of tracking and catching animals in the dark, but also to enjoy this beautiful natural landscape. To make our night hunt smoother and safer, we chose the night vision binoculars of the Chinese brand Wildguarder, which allow us to see clearly in the complete absence of light. In this article, I’ll cover our night hunting trip in detail, including the history, sights, and cuisine of Apalachicola National Forest, as well as how we felt and said about our use of wildguarder night vision binoculars.
Before we embark on our night hunt, let’s learn about the history and ecology of our destination, Apalachicola National Forest. Located in the northwest of Florida, this national forest covers 632,890 acres (about 2561 square kilometers), making it the largest national forest in Florida and the only national forest in the United States located on the Florida peninsula. It is one of the most biodiverse forests in the United States, with more than 280 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 40 species of amphibians and 80 species of reptiles. It is also home to the world’s best restored endangered red crested woodpecker3.
The history of Apalachicola National Forest dates back to 1936, when the USDA Forest Service purchased large amounts of deforested and exploited land to protect and restore the pristine longleaf/clematoid ecosystem. This ecosystem once covered a vast area of the U.S. coastal plains from Virginia to Texas, but less than 5 percent of the area now remains due to overutilization and fire suppression. Longleaf pine is a drought-tolerant, fire-tolerant, long-lived coniferous tree that can grow to 90-120 feet (about 27-36 meters) tall and live up to more than 250 years. Clematace is an elongated, tough, flammable herb that can help maintain fire frequency and intensity, promoting the renewal of Pine and other fire-dependent plants.
Apalachicola National Forest not only has a unique terrestrial ecosystem, but also rich water resources. It includes four major basins: Sopchoppy, Ochlockonee, New River, and Apalachicola. The most famous of these is the Apalachicola River Basin, one of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern Hemisphere. The Apalachicola River Basin covers about 19 percent of Northwest Florida and provides about 35 percent of Florida’s fresh water. It supports a variety of aquatic flora and fauna, including blue crabs, oysters, shrimp, fish, turtles, dolphins and more2. It is also one of the most important mangrove reserves in the world.
After learning about the history and ecology of Apalachicola National Forest, we embarked on our night hunting tour. We chose nights when the moon is darker, which reduces the likelihood of us being spotted by animals and also increases the effect of our use of night vision binoculars. We brought our Wildguarder Night Vision Binoculars, a professional night hunting device that delivers high-definition images and video in the dark, with multiple magnification and IR illumination modes to choose from. It also has a built-in compass and GPS positioning function that helps us determine direction and location. Its weight and size are great to carry and handle, and it also has a long battery life.
We followed a path into the forest, intending to find some suitable spots for hunting. We first came to an open meadow where some deer and wild boar were foraging. We observed for a while with night vision binoculars and found that they were all vigilant and would run away whenever the wind blew up. We decided not to disturb them and move on. We then came to a small lake where some water birds and frogs frolic in the water. We took some photos and videos with night vision binoculars to document these beautiful creatures. We also spotted a tanuki lurking around the lake, seemingly waiting for an opportunity to catch its prey. We observed for a while but didn’t see it successfully capture anything. We felt a little pitiful, so we left some food for it and left.
We ended up in a dense forest with some large mammals such as black bears, jaguars, raccoons, etc. These animals are difficult to spot because they are good at hiding themselves and are wary of humans. We carefully searched every possible hiding place with night vision binoculars and finally found a black bear resting under a tree. It looks strong and cute. We used night vision binoculars to adjust to the optimal magnification and IR illumination mode and wanted to shoot a close-up of it. But the moment we pressed the shutter, the black bear suddenly raised its head and looked directly at us. It seemed to sense something was wrong and began to let out a low growl. We were so frightened that we quickly put away our night vision binoculars, turned and ran. Fortunately, the black bear did not catch up, otherwise the consequences would be unimaginable.
Although we didn’t hit any animals, we observed many amazing sights and creatures with Wildguarder night vision binoculars. We are very happy with this night vision binoculars, which allow us to see the beautiful nature even in the dark.
We also visited some of the attractions of the Apalachicola National Forest and tasted some local delicacies. Here are some of our recommendations:
Fort Gadsden Historic Site: This is a historic military site on the south bank of the Apalachicola River, once a fort built by the British and later occupied by the Americans, and in 1816 a fierce battle took place that resulted in the death of more than 300 fugitive slaves and Indians. There is a small museum that displays some historical artifacts and pictures, and a walking trail to walk along the river and enjoy the scenery.
Leon Sinks Geological Area: This is a geological wonder located northeast of the Apalachicola National Forest with a 4.9-mile (7.9-kilometer) circular trail that reveals multiple troughs of different shapes and sizes formed by the collapse of underground caves. Some sinks are dry, some are filled with water, and some are interconnected. It’s also a great place to observe wildlife, seeing deer, foxes, birds, butterflies and more.
Silver Lake Recreation Area: This is a family-friendly recreation area located southwest of the Apalachicola National Forest with a clear lake for swimming, boating, fishing, and more. There is a white sand beach by the lake, as well as some picnic tables, barbecue grills, awnings and more. There is also a campsite nearby where you can stay.
Seafood and BBQ with local specialties: There are many restaurants and snack bars around Apalachicola National Forest offering fresh and delicious seafood and grills. We tried some locally famous dishes such as oysters, blue crab, shrimp, fish, etc. We also tasted some local specialties of seasonings and sauces such as chili sauce, mustard sauce, barbecue sauce etc. We thought the food was delicious and affordable.
In this way, we introduce some of the sights and delicacies that we visited and tasted on our night hunting tour of Apalachicola National Forest. We hope you will feel the fun and excitement of us through our articles, and also have the opportunity to experience this beautiful national forest for yourself.
Through this article, we share with you our experiences and feelings on our night hunting trip in Apalachicola National Forest. We observed many amazing animals and sights with Wildguarder night vision binoculars, learned about the history and ecology of this national forest, visited some interesting sights and tasted some delicious food. We felt that the trip was well worth it, not only allowing us to experience an unusual adventure, but also allowing us to increase our knowledge and insight. We are very satisfied with the wildguarder night vision binoculars, it is a powerful, excellent performance and affordable night hunting device that we highly recommend to everyone who loves night hunting. We are also fascinated by Apalachicola National Forest, a national forest with beautiful nature and rich culture, and we look forward to exploring it again one day.