Do you like outdoor activities, especially hunting? Do you want to experience a different kind of hunting that makes your heart race and your blood boil? Do you want to explore a place full of natural beauty and wildlife that makes your eyes widen and your soul shake? If your answer is yes, then follow me and my two classmates to the George W. Mead State Wildlife Area in Wisconsin for a hunting trip!
Morgan Houston, Judith Herbert and I are college classmates, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We are all outdoor enthusiasts, often go hiking, camping, fishing and so on. But our favorite is hunting, because hunting can make us feel the power of nature and the passion of life. We often go hunting in nearby forests or grasslands on weekends or holidays, enjoying the thrill of chasing targets and shooting guns.
This time, we decided to go to the George W. Mead State Wildlife Area for hunting, which is a wildlife reserve located in central Wisconsin, covering about 33,000 acres, with wetlands, forests, grasslands and other ecosystems. There are many kinds of wildlife here, such as deer, turkey, squirrel and so on. This is also a popular hunting destination, with thousands of hunters coming here every year.
We chose to go here for hunting for two reasons: one is because we wanted to appreciate the natural scenery here, feel the ecological diversity here; the other is because we wanted to challenge ourselves, try a new way of hunting – night hunting. Night hunting is a hunting activity that takes place at night or dawn. It is more exciting and dangerous than daytime hunting, because you can’t see the target and the environment clearly in the dark, so you need special equipment and skills to ensure safety and success.
To do night hunting, we bought two different types of equipment: night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars. These two devices can help us see the target and the surroundings clearly in the dark, but they also have their own advantages and disadvantages. In the next part, I will introduce in detail how we prepared for night hunting, and our hunting experience in the reserve. Finally, I will also share our fun of tasting local food after hunting. Please continue reading!
These two devices can help us see the target and the surroundings clearly in the dark, but they also have their own advantages and disadvantages. In this part, I will compare these two devices in terms of working principle, price, performance and application scenarios.
First, let’s see how night vision binoculars work. Night vision binoculars are devices that use infrared illumination technology, which can provide clear images or videos under the light of the moon and stars by using infrared lamps.
The advantage is that they can work without any auxiliary light source, even in completely dark environments. They can observe targets at long distances, and have a wide field of view. The disadvantage is that they cannot distinguish colors and temperatures well, and the images only have a single gray tone. In addition, night vision binoculars are heavy and clumsy, need batteries to power, and have limited usage time.
Next, let’s see how infrared binoculars work. Infrared binoculars are devices that use thermal imaging technology, which can convert the infrared rays emitted by the target and the background into visible light images. Infrared rays are invisible electromagnetic waves that are related to the temperature of objects. The higher the temperature of an object, the stronger the infrared rays it emits. Infrared binoculars can display different colors or gray levels of images according to the intensity of infrared rays, thus distinguishing the target and the background.
The advantage is that they can work in complete darkness, without any environmental light or auxiliary light source. They can also distinguish temperatures and colors well, and the images are clear and detailed. The disadvantage of infrared binoculars is that they cannot observe targets at long distances, and have a narrow field of view. They also cannot see through glass or other transparent objects. In addition, infrared binoculars are also heavy and clumsy, need batteries to power, and have limited usage time.
In summary, night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars are both suitable for night hunting, but they have their own pros and cons. We chose two devices to compare and test, and found their respective advantages and limitations in actual hunting. Below I will introduce our hunting experience in the reserve.
After we prepared the equipment for night hunting, we drove to the George W. Mead State Wildlife Area. We chose a weekend night to go hunting, because the moon was brighter then, which could provide some ambient light. We parked our car at the entrance of the reserve, took out our night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars, and started looking for a suitable hunting spot. We first walked along a small river for a while, hoping to see some waterfowl or animals near the water. We used night vision binoculars to observe the situation on both sides of the river, and found some ducks and otters playing in the water. We decided to try to shoot a duck, so we quietly approached the river bank, found a hidden position, and prepared to shoot.
Just as we were about to pull the trigger, we suddenly heard a loud scream, like that of a large cat. We were startled, and quickly used infrared binoculars to check the source of the sound. We were surprised to find that on the opposite side of the river in the woods, there was a cougar attacking a fawn. The cougar’s body emitted a bright white light in the dark, while the fawn was dark gray. We saw the cougar biting the fawn’s throat with its claws and teeth, and the fawn stopped moving after a few struggles. This was a shocking and amazing natural scene that made us feel the cruelty and wonder of life.
Because of the appearance of the cougar, we gave up shooting ducks plan, and continued to explore forward. We entered an open grassland, hoping to see some herbivorous animals. We used night vision binoculars to scan around, and found a group of turkeys feeding on the grassland. Turkey is a traditional American holiday food, and also a favorite hunting target for many hunters. We decided to try to shoot a turkey, so we split up and approached the turkey flock from different directions.
I chose to slowly approach the turkey flock from the left, hoping to find a suitable shooting angle. I used night vision binoculars to observe the movement of the turkey flock, and found that they did not notice my presence. I selected a larger turkey as my target, which was not far in front of me. I quietly crouched down, adjusted my gun and posture, and prepared to shoot.
At that moment, I suddenly felt something biting my right foot. I looked down and found a squirrel gnawing on my boot. I don’t know how this squirrel found me, or why it wanted to bite my boot, but its behavior made me feel pain and annoyance. I wanted to drive it away, but I was afraid of alarming the turkey flock. I had to endure the pain and continue to aim at my target.
Just as I was about to pull the trigger, I heard a gunshot, and then saw my target fall to the ground. It turned out that Judith had fired a shot from the right, and killed my target first. She ran over happily, picked up the turkey, and waved at me. I had to put down my gun, shake my head, and congratulate her with a smile. I also slapped the squirrel away from my boot, stood up, and followed her to find Morgan.
We met on the grassland, and showed each other our trophies. Judith killed a turkey, Morgan killed two squirrels, and I didn’t kill anything. We joked with each other and praised each other, and then decided to go back to the car to eat something and rest for a while. We used infrared binoculars to check if there were any other animal traces around, and found nothing unusual, so we took our equipment and prey, and walked back to the car.
This was our first hunting experience in the reserve. Although it was thrilling and unexpected, it was also fun and exciting. We felt the difficulty and pleasure of night hunting, and saw some rare and beautiful animals. We were not satisfied yet, and planned to set off again after resting for a while, looking for more targets and adventures. Below I will introduce our leisure activities after hunting.
After we enjoyed the fun of night hunting, we also wanted to taste some local food, so we drove to a nearby restaurant called The Brat House. This restaurant is famous for offering various flavors of bratwursts, as well as some other German-style dishes and beers. We entered the restaurant and found that the atmosphere was lively, with many people eating, drinking, chatting, and some music and TV shows playing. We found an empty seat and ordered some signature dishes from the menu. Bratwursts are a type of German sausage, usually made from pork or beef, with ginger, nutmeg, coriander or fennel spices added. They have many different varieties and traditions, depending on the region and method of production. Bratwursts are usually considered a simple snack that can be eaten alone or sandwiched in a piece of white bread with mustard sauce. In bars, they are often served with sauerkraut or potato salad, sometimes with a piece of black country bread made from rye flour. They are also one of the foods that Germans like to eat during soccer matches.
We ordered three different flavors of bratwursts to try: Fränkische Bratwurst, Coburger Bratwurst, and Nuremberg Bratwurst. Fränkische Bratwurst is a relatively long (10-20 cm), thick sausage that is characteristic of the whole Franconia region. It contains marjoram as a distinctive spice, and tastes similar to Nuremberg sausage, but juicier because of its size and thickness. Fränkische Bratwurst is usually eaten with sauerkraut or potato salad. Coburger Bratwurst is a sausage that originated in the city of Coburg and was first recorded in 1498. It is made of pork and at least 15% beef, and only seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon zest, and bound with raw egg. Coburger Bratwurst is usually served in a long bread roll with mustard sauce. Nuremberg Bratwurst is a small, thin sausage that is a symbol of the city of Nuremberg. It is made of lean pork and flavored with marjoram as a distinctive spice. Nuremberg Bratwurst is usually fried or grilled until golden brown, and placed in a round bread roll with sauerkraut or fruit jam.
We thought that all three bratwursts were very delicious, and each bite was full of juice and aroma. They had different textures and flavors, and we used bread and mustard sauce to balance their greasiness, and sauerkraut and fruit jam to add some complexity. We thought that this was a great way to experience German cuisine, and also a great way to satisfy our appetite.
This is the story of our night hunting trip in Wisconsin, where we spent a memorable and fun weekend, feeling the thrill and challenge of night hunting, and seeing some beautiful and rare animals. We used night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars to help us observe and hunt in the dark, and learned about the advantages and disadvantages of both devices and their suitable scenarios. We also tasted some local delicacies, which pleased our taste buds.
We felt that this trip made us more aware of the nature and culture of Wisconsin, and also brought us closer to each other. We were impressed by the wildlife reserves and German-style restaurants in Wisconsin, and also gained more knowledge and interest in night hunting skills and equipment. We hope to have the opportunity to come here again, and experience more adventures and fun.
Thank you for reading my article, I hope you also like my story. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave me a message. I would love to hear from you. Goodbye!