I have always been interested in hunting, but due to work and life reasons, I rarely have the opportunity to experience the excitement and fun of it. Last week, I finally took the time to go hunting in Shuqualak with my two brothers, Gerald Rose and Clare Garden. Shuqualak is a small town in Mississippi, USA, with abundant wildlife resources and beautiful natural scenery. We planned to stay there for a few days, visit local attractions during the day, and go night hunting at night. As night hunting was involved, night-vision binoculars became an indispensable equipment for us. Night-vision binoculars allowed us to observe targets clearly in the dark, improving the success rate and safety of hunting. We searched for some brands and models of night-vision binoculars online and finally chose a cost-effective one. This night vision binoculars had the following features: high magnification, wide angle, low-light night vision, waterproof and fog proof, and rangefinder function. We set off on our Shuqualak trip with this binoculars.
Our destination Shuqualak is a small town in Mississippi, USA, about 200 kilometers from the state capital Jackson. Shuqualak’s name comes from the Native American language, meaning “the place of pigs.” This name may be due to the fact that there were many wild boars in the area. Shuqualak’s history can be traced back to the mid-19th century when it was an important cotton-growing area and railway hub. Today, Shuqualak still retains some historic buildings and features, such as the old train station, post office, and church. Shuqualak is also a place with rich and diverse cultures and customs, inhabited by people of different races and backgrounds who have created a vibrant and inclusive community. Shuqualak holds various festivals and events every year, such as the Spring Carnival, Halloween Parade, Thanksgiving Dinner, attracting many tourists and locals to participate. Shuqualak not only has a long history and culture but also has beautiful natural scenery. Shuqualak is surrounded by vast forests, grasslands, and wetlands, which are habitats for many wild animals. Here we can see various birds, mammals, reptiles, etc., such as deer, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, ducks, geese, eagles, cranes, etc. We can also engage in various outdoor activities here, such as hiking, camping, fishing, boating, etc., and enjoy the gifts of nature.
Our essential equipment for night hunting was night-vision binoculars. Night-vision binoculars are optical instruments that use low-light amplifiers or infrared illuminators to magnify dim light, enabling us to observe targets clearly in the dark. Night-vision binoculars have the following functions and advantages:
- Observe targets in low-light or no-light conditions, improving the success rate and safety of hunting. We can discover and track wild animals, such as deer, foxes, raccoons, etc., at night and also promptly detect potential dangers, such as snakes, wolves, etc.
- Measure the distance of targets, facilitating us to choose the appropriate shooting position and angle. The night-vision binoculars we used had a rangefinder function, which can calculate the distance between the target and us through laser or parallax method. This way, we can adjust the aiming point and trajectory of firearms according to the distance, increasing the accuracy and efficiency of shooting.
- Adjust the magnification and focus to adapt to different observation needs. The night-vision binoculars we used had multiple magnification and focus options, which can be adjusted according to the size and distance of the target, making the image clearer and more stable. For example, when we observe closer targets, we can choose low magnification and small focus to make the image wider and brighter. When we observe farther targets, we can choose high magnification and large focus to make the image larger and more detailed.
- Anti-vibration, waterproof and fog proof, adapting to harsh environmental conditions. The night-vision binoculars we used were made of high-quality materials and craftsmanship, with strong durability and reliability. It can withstand shocks and impacts and will not be damaged due to falls or collisions; it can prevent water and dust from entering and will not become blurred due to rain or humidity; it can eliminate internal fog, and will not fog up due to temperature differences or breathing.
Our night hunting trip in Shuqualak was not only about searching for prey, but also about experiencing the local culture and unique cuisine. Shuqualak is a charming and lively town where people are hospitable and eager to share their culture. The food here is also distinctive and mouth-watering. We tried several types of food that left a lasting impression:
- Roasted corn. Shuqualak is mainly an agricultural town, and corn is one of their primary crops. Locals use charcoal to roast the corn until it’s golden and crispy, then they add butter and salt for a simple yet delicious snack. We bought some roasted corn from a roadside vendor and enjoyed it while walking, savoring the sweetness and aroma of the corn.
- Fried chicken. There’s a restaurant in Shuqualak called “Big Mama’s” that’s famous for their fried chicken. The chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with a savory flavor that’s enhanced by their homemade hot sauce and honey. We had a delightful meal here and chatted with the friendly owner, who shared many interesting stories.
- Coconut rice. Although Shuqualak is not near the coast, they have many coconut trees. Locals use coconut water to make rice, then add coconut meat, peanuts, and green onions to create a fragrant and delicious dish. The coconut rice is soft, sweet, and has a rich coconut aroma that’s unforgettable.
- Cheesecake. There’s a dessert shop in Shuqualak called “Sweet Dreams” that’s famous for its cheesecake. The cheesecake is creamy, rich, and comes in different flavors like strawberry, chocolate, and mango, with various toppings and decorations. We tried several flavors and each bite was pure bliss.
Our night hunting trip wasn’t just about enjoying the natural scenery and delectable food, but also about experiencing the history and culture of Shuqualak. This town has a rich history and culture that locals are proud of, and they’re also innovative and progressive. Here are a few aspects of their history and culture that we learned about:
- Native American culture. Shuqualak’s name comes from the Native American language and means “fox place.” This was once a gathering place for Native Americans who lived off hunting and farming, and they created unique art and religion. We visited the local Native American museum and saw tools, clothing, jewelry, pottery, and more, which showed their respect and worship of nature and spirits.
- Colonial culture. In the late 18th century, Shuqualak was occupied by British colonizers and became part of the southern plantation economy. They grew crops like cotton, corn, and tobacco, and brought in many African slaves. We visited well-preserved colonial buildings like churches, courts, and schools, and saw the lifestyle and values of the colonizers.
- Civil rights movement culture. In the mid-20th century, Shuqualak became an important stage for the American civil rights movement, where many protests and demonstrations against racial discrimination and inequality took place. We visited the local civil rights museum and saw historic photos, videos, documents, and felt the hardships and courage of the people at that time.
- Modern culture. In the 21st century, Shuqualak has new opportunities for development, with modern factories, shopping centers, hotels, and more, attracting many immigrants and tourists. This town has a diverse and inclusive modern culture, while preserving traditional and unique local customs. We visited the local art center, library, sports stadium, and saw the creativity and vitality of the locals.
We had an unforgettable and meaningful night hunting trip in Shuqualak, where we not only enjoyed the natural scenery and delicious cuisine, but also felt the history and culture. We realized that Shuqualak is a town with profound heritage and distinct character, and also a town with an open mindset and enterprising spirit. We hope to have the opportunity to come back and explore more of Shuqualak’s charm.