Last month, I went hunting with two friends Lester Lindberg and Dana Bacon at Laohutou Forest Park in Shijiazhuang, China. This was our first time to this place with beautiful scenery and abundant animals. We were full of expectation and curiosity. To increase the difficulty and fun of hunting, we decided to hunt at night, so that we could see more nocturnal animals, and also experience the thrill and excitement in the dark. However, night hunting also has many challenges and risks, such as poor visibility, unclear direction, more alert and fierce animals, etc. To ensure our safety and efficiency, we bought professional infrared binoculars online. It can let us see the outline and position of animals in the dark, and also let us observe their body temperature and behavior. These infrared binoculars played a very important role in our night hunting trip, giving us an unforgettable experience. Below, I will share in detail the process and feelings of our night hunting at Laohutou Forest Park.
Night hunting is a challenging and exciting sport. To find and shoot prey in the dark, you need a high-performance infrared binocular. We searched online for a lot of information about infrared binoculars, and found one called Owler1. This is a high-end product designed for night hunting, with the following features:
- High Performance: Achieves clear view up to OWELR1 optical zoom and 4X digital zoom allowing to zoom in or zoom out.
- Multifunctional: 3.9″ large view screen with high definition for binocular, which has photo, video and replay functions.
- Support Day or Night Use: Digital night vision binoculars for both day and nighttime use. Built-in 5W infrared LED and 850nm illuminator, allows viewing in the dark up to 500m/546yard.And IR light for easy adjustment.
- Ergonomic Design: 32G TF card included can enlarge the storage for your photos and videos. You can connect to computer with USB cable (included) to store/view photos and videos.
- Mountable Tripod Design: Features a threaded tripod mount for securing to your tripod (not included).
- Portable: Comes with an adjustable neck strap and a carry bag (color by random). Easy to use with 8 x AA batteries (not included) or your power bank (not included).
We were very interested in these infrared binoculars, so we placed an order online. A few days later, we received the goods. We couldn’t wait to open the package, take out the infrared binoculars, and install the batteries and straps according to the instructions. Then, we started our trial trip. We first adjusted the infrared binoculars to the appropriate focal length and brightness at home, then turned off all the lights, pulled the curtains, and made the room dark. Then, we put the infrared binoculars in front of our eyes, turned on the switch, and everything changed.
We saw things in the room that we couldn’t see before, such as cups on the table, paintings on the wall, slippers on the floor, etc. We felt very magical and fun, as if we had discovered a new world. We also took the infrared binoculars to the park and street downstairs to have a look. We tried it for about an hour and then went home. We were very satisfied and liked these infrared binoculars. It made us feel the mystery and beauty in the dark, and also made us full of confidence and expectation for night hunting. We decided to take it to Laohutou Forest Park and see if we could find and shoot the prey we wanted.
We took the infrared binoculars and came to Laohutou Forest Park. This is a natural reserve with beautiful scenery, pleasant climate, and rich resources at the junction of Hebei and Shanxi provinces, 150 kilometers away from Shijiazhuang. We chose a clear night and prepared to start our night hunting trip here.
We first stayed at the summer resort in the park and enjoyed a delicious farmhouse meal. The boss of the resort told us that there are many wild animals here, such as hares, pheasants, roe deer, wild boars, wolves, etc., but to shoot them, you need patience and skills. He also introduced us to some places suitable for night hunting, such as Laohutou, Fengwoya, Lima Cliff, etc., which are all places with steep mountains, dense forests, and active animals.
We listened to the boss’s advice and decided to go to Laohutou first to try our luck. Laohutou is the main peak of the park, with an altitude of 2017 meters. It is named after its shape like a lying tiger. We walked up along the mountain road, enjoying the sunset glow and the scenery along the way. We saw various plants, such as ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms, and rare wild flowers such as wild roses, lilacs and golden lotuses. We also heard various bird calls, such as eagles, pigeons, sparrows and other 29 kinds of birds.
When it got dark, we finally reached the top of Laohutou. This is an open grassland where you can see the distant mountains and stars. We found a hidden place, put the infrared binoculars in front of our eyes, and turned on the switch. Suddenly everything became different. We began to look carefully for the prey we wanted to shoot. We saw a pheasant pecking at grass seeds and quietly picked up a gun to aim at it. But before we pulled the trigger, it was suddenly pounced by a wolf. We were stunned and watched the wolf bite the pheasant’s neck and drag it away.
We didn’t give up and continued to look for other targets. Later we saw a roe deer poking its head out of the grass and quietly approached it. But before we were ready to shoot, it was suddenly rammed by a wild boar. We were stunned again and watched the wild boar pierce the roe deer’s belly with its tusks and run away with it.
We felt a bit frustrated and felt that we were unlucky and always beaten by other animals. We decided to change places and go to Fengwoya to try. Fengwoya is a cliff named after its many holes like honeycombs on it. We walked down along the mountain road, carefully avoiding other animals along the way. We reached the foot of Fengwoya Cliff, aimed the infrared binoculars at the cliff, and turned on the switch. This time we finally saw what we wanted.
There were many holes on the cliff, and many animals were coming in and out of them. We found that these animals were all small mammals, such as mice, squirrels, hedgehogs, etc. We thought these animals were very suitable as our prey, so we excitedly picked them.
A squirrel was eating nuts near the hole, and we quickly aimed at it. This time, we didn’t encounter any interference, and successfully shot it. We ran over happily, picked it up and put it in our backpack. We felt that we had finally succeeded, and continued to look for the next target.
We saw a hedgehog sunbathing outside the hole, and slowly approached it. This time, there was no obstacle, and we easily shot it. We ran over joyfully, picked it up and put it in our backpack. We felt that we were getting smoother and smoother, and continued to look for the next target.
In this way, we shot several small animals at Fengwoya Cliff and put them in our backpack. We felt that we had a good harvest and prepared to go back to the resort to rest. But before we left, we suddenly heard a loud roar. We were startled and looked up and saw an amazing scene.
We saw that there was a largest hole on the cliff, and a huge animal was rushing out of it with its teeth and claws. The animal had thick fur, sharp teeth and claws, and a long tail. Its eyes glowed red, and it looked very fierce and terrifying. The animal was what we had always wanted to see – the Siberian tiger!
We were stunned and couldn’t believe our eyes. It turned out that there were Siberian tigers here! It turned out that these small animals were all food for Siberian tigers! It turned out that this hole was the nest of Siberian tigers! We didn’t know what to do, so we just stood there dumbfounded. The Siberian tiger also saw us, let out a deafening roar, and rushed towards us.
We immediately woke up, threw away the guns and backpacks in our hands, and ran desperately down the mountain. We felt a strong wind pressure blowing from behind us, knowing that it was caused by the Siberian tiger jumping up. We didn’t dare to look back, but just prayed that it wouldn’t catch up with us. We ran for a while before we heard the Siberian tiger stop chasing us and let out a reluctant roar.
We breathed a sigh of relief and felt an unprecedented gratitude. We had just escaped from death and almost became the dinner of the Siberian tiger. We looked back and saw the Siberian tiger standing on the cliff, staring at us with alert and angry eyes. It seemed to warn us not to disturb its life again. We understood its meaning and also expressed respect and apology to it. We decided to give up the night hunting trip and go back to the resort to rest. We knew that this was the home of Siberian tigers, not our hunting ground. We should protect them, not harm them.
We came back from our thrilling night hunt and crashed on the bed at the resort. We were so exhausted that we nodded off right away. But we had restless dreams. We saw Siberian tigers in our dreams, they were showing their fangs and claws at us, like they wanted to gobble us up. We were scared out of our wits and tried to escape, but we couldn’t move a muscle. We just watched helplessly as they came closer and loomed larger.
Just when we were about to despair, we suddenly heard a crisp bell ringing. We opened our eyes and found that it was the alarm clock ringing. We breathed a sigh of relief and felt a bit lucky. It turned out that it was just a nightmare, not a real situation. We got up quickly and prepared to have breakfast. We hoped to use delicious food to dispel the shadows in our hearts.
We walked out of the room and came to the dining room. We saw that the boss had prepared a rich breakfast for us, with steamed buns, fried dough sticks, soy milk, eggs, pickles, etc. We felt very surprised and grateful. The boss smiled and asked us how our night hunting went last night. We told him embarrassingly that we didn’t shoot any animals, but instead met a Siberian tiger who almost ate us.
The boss was also shocked when he heard this. He said he had never heard of the existence of Siberian tigers here before. This was a very rare phenomenon. He said that Siberian tigers are an endangered species with very few numbers and very scattered distribution. He said that this might be a way for Siberian tigers to migrate or find new territories. He said that this was both good news and bad news for Laohutou Forest Park.
He explained that the good news was that this showed that the ecological environment here was not bad, and it could attract and accommodate large cats like Siberian tigers. This was of great significance for the protection and restoration of Siberian tiger populations. The bad news was that this also meant that the humans and animals here would face greater danger and conflict. If not managed and regulated, it might lead to human and animal casualties and ecological damage.
He advised us not to go to the mountain again today, lest we meet Siberian tigers again. He said he would report this matter to the local forestry department as soon as possible, and ask them to send professional staff to investigate and deal with it. He said he hoped to coexist peacefully with Siberian tigers, not to drive or kill them.
We listened to the boss’s words and thought they made sense. We decided to follow his advice and leave here today and go back to the city. We gained a lot here, not only the beautiful scenery and exciting experience, but also the knowledge and awe of nature and life. We hope that everything here can remain the same, not be destroyed by human greed and ignorance, and hope that Siberian tigers can live safely here, reproduce offspring.
We packed our luggage and said goodbye to the boss. We got on the car and drove out of Laohutou Forest Park. We looked back and saw the towering peak and the largest hole. We didn’t know if Siberian tigers were still there, or if they were still watching us. We felt a complex emotion in our hearts, with surprise, regret, admiration, and blessing. We prayed silently, hoping that they would be safe and happy.
This was our night hunting trip, an unforgettable and meaningful journey. In this journey, we not only experienced the charm and mystery of nature, but also met a precious and endangered animal – the Siberian tiger. They made us feel the power and dignity of life, and also made us realize the importance of protecting ecology and living in harmony. They are our friends and our teachers. They deserve our respect and love.