In my college days, I was in the same class with William Betsy, Daniel Blake and hunting buddies. We often went hunting together in the surrounding forests or grasslands, enjoying the close contact with nature and animals. After graduation, we worked and lived in different cities separately, and rarely had the opportunity to meet each other. However, neither of us gave up the hobby of hunting, we just changed different places and ways of hunting.
Last week, we finally had a rare opportunity to get together, and William Betsy invited Daniel Blake and I to go hunting in his Oklahoma City area, saying that there were many animals for night hunting, such as foxes, raccoons, and wild boars. Daniel Blake and I were so excited to hear about it that we immediately agreed to his invitation. We planned to stay in Oklahoma City for three days and two nights, resting and exploring during the day and leaving for hunting at night.
We were all well prepared for this night hunting trip. We reviewed Oklahoma City’s hunting regulations and license requirements, learned about local hunting seasons and restrictions, and purchased professional night vision infrared goggles, which are essential equipment for night hunting. It allows us to see the animal’s figure and eyes in the dark and helps us judge distance and direction. Of course, we also brought our most trusted guns and ammunition, as well as some other necessities.
During these three days and two nights, we experienced an unforgettable night hunting trip. Not only did we get a trophy full of trophies, but we also got to taste the great food of Oklahoma City. More importantly, we revisited friendships and memories from our college days and felt the excitement and fun of hunting at night.
This article is what I want to share with you our night hunting experience and feelings. I hope you will enjoy it and have a chance to try the charm of hunting at night as well.
Why did we choose Oklahoma City as our hunting location? There are three reasons. The first is because William Betsy lives there, he knows more about the local hunting situation, and it is also convenient for us to stay and transportation. The second is because Oklahoma City has a lot of animals suitable for night hunting, such as foxes, raccoons, wild boars, etc.. These animals are nocturnal and hard to see during the day, but they come out at night to feed and move around. We wanted to challenge our skills and courage and experience the different feeling of hunting at night. The third reason is that Oklahoma City’s hunting regulations and license requirements are relatively simple and flexible, not as strict and complicated as some other states.
According to the official Oklahoma City website1 The City of Oklahoma City allows regulated hunting for geese and ducks during the fall waterfowl season set by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC). Hunting can only be conducted through blinds in designated areas of Lake Stanley Draper and Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge (see Duck Blind Drawing). According to the ODWC’s official website23 , the 2022-23 waterfowl season begins Nov. 6 and runs through Jan. 30. You can shoot six ducks and five geese per day. A valid Oklahoma state hunting license and waterfowl stamp are required.
We chose Lake Stanley Draper as our hunting ground because of the number of ducks and geese roosting and feeding at the water’s edge. We extracted a blind location through Duck Blind Drawing and then built a simple shelter there to hide our silhouettes and sounds. We also prepared some decoys and whistles to attract the animals’ attention.
In addition to blind spots, our most important piece of equipment is night vision infrared goggles. This goggle allows us to see the animal’s figure and eyes in the dark, helping us to judge the distance and direction. It is the principle of using infrared emitters to send out infrared light, and then through the receiver to receive the reflected infrared light back, and will be converted into visible light displayed on the screen. In this way, we can see all the details in the dark without being detected by animals.
Of course, we brought our trusty guns and ammunition, as well as a few other essentials like flashlights, first aid kits, water bottles, etc. We all wore dark or camouflage uniforms to blend in with the environment. We also checked the weather forecast and the moon phase table beforehand and chose a clear and not too bright moonlight night to set out.
Our night hunt was both intense and exciting. We arrived at Lake Stanley Draper in the late afternoon, found our blind location, and started setting up our shelter. We covered our vehicle with some branches and sod, then set up a small tent with some canvas and netting with our gear and food inside. We also put some decoys, such as corn and bread, near the water to attract ducks and geese.
After dark, we began our night hunt. We put on our night vision infrared goggles, turned on our infrared emitters, and then quietly hid in the shelter and watched the movement on the water. We could clearly see a lot of ducks and geese swimming and pecking on the water, and sometimes making some calls. We imitated their calls with a whistle and tried to get them to come closer to our position.
It wasn’t long before we spotted a good opportunity. William Betsy grabbed his shotgun, pointed it at the goose’s head, and gently pulled the trigger. A shot rang out, and the goose fell with a splash. We clapped our hands in delight and then quickly ran out to retrieve the goose. This was our first trophy.
Over the next few hours, we shot four more ducks and two geese. Each time we shot, we had to be careful to control the sound and movement so as not to disturb the other animals. Sometimes we had to change positions to find a better shooting angle. We were all so focused and excited that we felt the time flew by.
Of course, night hunting is not all smooth sailing. Once, I was about to shoot a duck when I realized my gun was jammed. I hurriedly tried to change the magazine, but found that I had dropped it in the water. William Betsy and Daniel Blake both laughed at me and told me I was an idiot.
Another time, Daniel Blake was about to shoot a raccoon, but accidentally hit a tree. A squirrel suddenly fell from the tree and landed right on his head. He was so frightened that he screamed and then shook the squirrel off. William Betsy and I were laughing our heads off.
Such thrill and joy made us more intimate and relaxed. We not only shared our hunting skills and experiences, but also talked about the funny stories from our college days and how our lives are now. We felt like going back in time and regaining that innocence and joy.
In addition to hunting, we also enjoyed the local cuisine in Oklahoma City, which has a diverse and rich food culture with many different specialty dishes and flavors. We tried some traditional Southern American dishes such as steak, chicken fried steak, and fried onion burgers, as well as dishes from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East such as Vietnamese river noodles and baguettes, jalapeno stuffed peppers, and Lebanese kebabs and pancakes. We also found some organic and innovative restaurants that offer farm-to-table fresh ingredients and exquisite cuisine.
One of the restaurants that impressed us the most was a breakfast restaurant called Hatch Early Mood Food1 a breakfast restaurant. Located in the historic Buick building, this restaurant has a pet-friendly outdoor patio and also has some tables along the sidewalk. We had a hearty and delicious breakfast there, including blueberry muffins, bacon cheeseburgers, pumpkin pie shakes and more. We both thought it was one of the best breakfasts we’ve ever had.
Another restaurant that we raved about was a restaurant called Florence’s Restaurant2 a restaurant called Florence’s Restaurant. This restaurant has been open for 70 years and has attracted countless diners with its homemade rustic soul food and love of food. The restaurant has also been featured on Food Network, Fox, Oklahoma Gazette, Trip Advisor and more. It is a family owned and operated business that is very welcoming and friendly. We tried their best yam fried chicken and it was very tender and juicy.
Of course, we also ate a lot of other food, such as a bowl of aromatic beef river noodles in Asian District, a spicy and delicious jalapeño stuffed green pepper in Bricktown, and a fragrant Lebanese kebab and pancakes in Downtown. We raved about Oklahoma City’s food and found them to be not only tasty, but high quality. We also got a better understanding and feel of Oklahoma City’s food culture.
This is all we experienced and felt during our night hunting trip in Oklahoma City. We were very happy and satisfied and found it to be an unforgettable trip. Not only did we get a trophy full of trophies and taste the local food, but more importantly, we got to relive our friendships and memories from our college days and feel the excitement and fun of hunting at night.
There are no words to express our friendship and gratitude to each other. We thank William Betsy for the invitation and arrangements, Daniel Blake for his company and help, and myself for my courage and adventure. We promised to be in touch, meet and hunt more often in the future.
We also have a love and anticipation for hunting at night that is hard to contain. We feel that hunting at night is a special experience that allows us to get closer to nature and animals, to challenge our skills and will more, and to enjoy hunting more. We hope to have more opportunities to try different places and ways to discover more surprises and challenges.
Finally, we also urge our readers to also try the fun of hunting at night, while paying attention to safety and environmental protection. Hunting at night not only allows you to see a different landscape, but also allows you to feel a different mood. However, hunting at night should also comply with regulations and ethics, do not kill indiscriminately and do not destroy the ecology. Only in this way can night hunting become a healthy and sustainable form of entertainment.