Hobart Quiller, Ernest Defoe and I are college classmates, and we all love hunting. During college, we often went to the nearby forests or grasslands to look for prey, enjoying the close contact and thrilling chase with nature. The three of us also formed a deep friendship because of our common hobby, helping each other, learning from each other, and competing with each other. After graduation, we went on different paths, Hobart Quiller became a lawyer, Ernest Defoe became a doctor, and I became a journalist. Due to the busy work and geographical distance, we rarely had the opportunity to meet or contact each other, only occasionally liking or commenting on each other’s social media. Last month, we finally had a rare opportunity to meet again and go to realize one of our dreams – go to Daxiong Mountain National Forest Park in Loudi, Hunan, China for hunting. This was an unforgettable trip and also a trip to revisit old friendships. Below, I will introduce in detail our hunting trip to Daxiong Mountain National Forest Park in Loudi, Hunan.
We chose Daxiong Mountain National Forest Park in Loudi, Hunan as our hunting destination because it has rich animal and plant resources and is a paradise for hunting enthusiasts. There are not only various rare wild animals here, such as clouded leopards, wild pandas, golden leopards, white deer, etc., but also various beautiful scenic spots, such as sea of clouds and frost, Chunji Gorge, Chiyou Cultural Experience Area, etc. We planned to stay in the park for two nights, visit these attractions during the day, and hunt at night.
For this trip, we made full preparations and arrangements. We booked the rooms of the Ecological Health Resort in advance online. This is a high-end resort located inside the park that provides comfortable accommodation and quality service. We also bought night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars in advance. These are essential equipment for night hunting that can help us find and track prey in the dark. Night vision binoculars can help us see the surrounding environment and animals clearly in the dark. Infrared binoculars can locate and track animals based on their body temperature, allowing us to find hidden prey in dense forests. In addition to this equipment, we also brought some necessary supplies, such as lighters, flashlights, first aid kits, kettles, food, etc.
According to the plan, we set off from Buffalo on a weekend morning, took a plane to Beijing Capital International Airport, and then transferred to Changsha Huanghua International Airport. After leaving Changsha Airport, we took a taxi and drove south along the highway. About two hours later, we arrived at Loudi City. In Loudi City, we changed to a local minibus and continued to drive south. About an hour later, we finally arrived at the entrance of Daxiong Mountain National Forest Park in Loudi, Hunan. At the entrance, we received the tickets and maps that we had booked in advance and took the sightseeing car inside the park to the Ecological Health Resort. In the resort area, we checked in and put our luggage in the room. It was already more than four o’clock in the afternoon at this time. We decided to take a rest first and then enjoy a local specialty meal.
Our tour experience in Daxiong Mountain National Forest Park can be said to be a feast for the eyes and taste buds. We saw various beautiful scenery and rare animals and plants, and we tasted various local specialties. Here is our tour record:
- On the first afternoon, we went to the Chiyou Cultural Experience Area, which is a scenic spot that showcases the ancient Chinese mythical war god Chiyou and the history and culture of the Xiangzhong region. We saw towering stone pillars here, carved with Chiyou’s image and legend. We also saw some sculptures and paintings that simulated ancient war scenes, feeling Chiyou’s bravery and majesty. We also visited a museum that displayed the folk customs and handicrafts of the Xiangzhong region, learning about the local customs and historical changes.
- On the first night, we went to the Chunji Gorge Scenic Area, which is a natural landscape composed of clear streams and spectacular waterfalls. We walked along the wooden plank road and admired the beautiful scenery of gurgling water and green mountains. We also saw some wild animals, such as clouded leopards, grasshopper birds, red-bellied pheasants, etc. They either shuttle through the woods, play in the streams, or rest on the rocks, very cute.
- On the second morning, we went to the Daxiong Peak Mountain Climbing Scenic Area, which is a mountain range composed of more than a dozen peaks, among which the highest peak is Jiulong Peak, with an altitude of more than 1800 meters. We took a cable car to the top of Jiulong Peak and overlooked the wonder of sea of clouds and frost. We saw patches of white clouds swirling among the peaks, forming various strange shapes. We also saw some branches and grasslands covered by ice and snow, shining with crystal light. We felt the refreshing breath and cold piercing of the top of the mountain.
- On the second afternoon, we went to the Chuan Yan River Primitive Adventure Area, which is an adventure place composed of turbulent rivers and steep cliffs. We experienced thrilling activities such as rafting and rock climbing here, feeling the power and charm of nature. We encountered some rapids and whirlpools in the rafting process, making us thrilling. We encountered some difficult sections in the rock-climbing process, making us challenge ourselves.
- On the second night, we returned to the Ecological Health Resort Area and enjoyed comfortable accommodation and quality service. We tasted local specialties here, such as pearl plum chicken, snowflake meatballs, cupcakes, Xinhua three-in-one soup, waterwheel duck, etc. These dishes are made from local fresh ingredients and have a delicious taste. We also drank some local specialty wines, such as Chiyou wine, Chunji wine, Daxiong wine, etc. These wines are brewed from local characteristic fruits and medicinal materials, with a rich aroma and a long aftertaste.
Our tour of Daxiong Mountain National Forest Park opened our eyes and satisfied our taste buds. We not only appreciated the beauty and wonder of nature, but also learned about the local culture and customs. During the tour, we also did not forget to look for some suitable places and prey for night hunting, preparing for our next night hunting activities.
We had two-night hunting activities, on the first and second nights respectively. This was an exciting and interesting experience, as well as an experience of reuniting old friendships. Here is our night hunting record:
- On the first night, we chose the Chunji Gorge Scenic Area as the night hunting site, because it has rich wild animal resources, and the streams and waterfalls can cover our sound and smell. We brought night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, and hunted in different locations. We used night vision binoculars to see the surrounding environment and animals clearly in the dark, and used infrared binoculars to locate and track animals based on their body temperature. We encountered some interesting and dangerous situations during the night hunting, such as being rushed by wild boars, accidentally finding a wild panda, being discovered and warned by forest administrators, etc. We also harvested a lot of prey during the night hunting, such as pheasants, rabbits, deer, wild boars, etc. We took them back to our place, cooked them in local methods, and enjoyed a sumptuous barbecue meal.
- On the second night, we chose the Daxiong Peak Mountain Climbing Scenic Area as the night hunting site, because it has higher challenges and more unknown factors. We also brought night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, and hunted in different locations. We used night vision binoculars to see the surrounding environment and animals clearly in the dark, and used infrared binoculars to locate and track animals based on their body temperature. We encountered some more thrilling and dangerous situations during the night hunting, such as being lured by a white deer to the edge of a cliff, almost being attacked by a golden leopard, accidentally breaking into the territory of a clouded leopard, etc. We also harvested some more precious and rare prey during the night hunting, such as white deer, golden leopard, clouded leopard, etc. These are all national first-class protected animals. We only took some photos and did not harm them.
We felt not only the mystery and danger of nature during the night hunting, but also the fun and achievement of hunting. We also deepened our understanding and friendship with each other during the night hunting. We shared our lives and work with each other, recalled the interesting stories and feelings of college days, and felt the long-lost intimacy and warmth.