I graduated from college with my classmates Wendy Max, Barret Geordie. We all like hunting, but after graduation we went our separate ways and haven’t seen each other for a long time. However, last month, we finally had a rare opportunity to go hunting together in the Mangshan National Nature Reserve in Chenzhou, Hunan, China, and experience the fun of hunting at night. Mangshan is one of the largest primitive forests in China, with rich wildlife resources, and is a paradise for hunting enthusiasts. We prepared professional night vision devices and infrared binoculars, which can clearly observe the movements and positions of animals in the dark, and then perform accurate shooting. This was a thrilling and challenging trip, as well as a trip to relive friendship and memories. In this article, I will share with you our process and feelings of our trip to Mangshan, Hunan, as well as the local delicacies we tasted. I hope you can feel our happiness and satisfaction.
Mangshan National Nature Reserve is located in the northwest of Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, China, about 80 kilometers away from Chenzhou City. It covers an area of 317.8 square kilometers. It is one of the largest primitive forests in China and one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas in China. It has rich wildlife resources, including national first-class protected animals such as golden leopards, clouded leopards, black bears, pangolins, etc., as well as national second-class protected animals such as wild boars, deer, macaques, white pheasants, etc. It also has many rare plants, such as ginkgo, metasequoia, yew, etc.
We chose this place as our hunting destination because it has unique climatic characteristics and rich ecological landscapes. It belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate, with an average annual temperature of 16.5°C, an average annual precipitation of 1600 mm, four distinct seasons and abundant rainfall. Its terrain is mainly composed of mountains and hills, with an altitude ranging from 200 to 1500 meters. The highest peak is Mangshan main peak with an altitude of 1501 meters. Its forest coverage rate reaches 95%, which is a natural oxygen bar. Its forest types include evergreen broad-leaved forest, deciduous broad-leaved forest, coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, etc., forming a multi-level forest structure. It also has many beautiful streams, waterfalls, lakes, caves and other natural landscapes, such as Mangshan waterfall, Baili stream, Yunnv lake, Wolong cave, etc.
This is a paradise for hunting enthusiasts because it has rich wildlife resources and beautiful natural environment. We can feel the charm and mystery of nature here, as well as enjoy the thrill and fun of hunting here. We can appreciate the forest scenery during the day and explore the forest secrets at night. We can find our hunting targets here and also encounter unexpected surprises here. We can challenge our skills and courage here and also relax our body and mind and emotions here. This is a place that makes us unforgettable and longing for.
Night hunting is a special way of hunting that requires us to have some professional equipment to find and catch animals in the dark. The most important equipment is night vision device, which allows us to see more clearly, farther and more accurately at night.
The principle of night vision device is to use a photom
ultiplier tube, which converts weak ambient light (such as moonlight, starlight, etc.) into electronic signals, then amplifies and displays them through an amplifier and display device, restoring electronic signals into visible light images. In this way we can see things that we can’t see normally like in daylight. Night vision devices have different generations and types according to their performance and price they can be divided into first generation second generation third generation fourth generation etc. We use infrared binoculars, which belong to the third generation of night vision devices they have the following functions and advantages:
- It can observe animals in complete darkness, because it has an infrared emitter, which emits an infrared beam that is invisible to the naked eye, illuminating the target area, and then receiving the reflected infrared signal through the night vision device, forming an image.
- It can adjust the magnification, according to the distance and size of the target, choose the appropriate magnification, so that the target is more clearly presented in front of the eyes. Its magnification can range from 2x to 10x, which can meet different needs.
- It can connect shooting devices, such as guns, bows, darts, etc., and aim and shoot through the night vision device, improving accuracy and safety. It has a special crosshair, which can be displayed on the screen of the night vision device, indicating the position and direction of the target.
With such a powerful equipment, we can be more confident and relaxed when hunting at night. We don’t have to worry about not seeing the movements of animals, nor about injuring other creatures or humans. We just need to focus on enjoying the process and results of hunting.
On the first day, we stayed in Chenzhou city for one night, prepared some food and water, as well as night vision binoculars and infrared binoculars and other equipment. The next morning, we took a local tourist bus and headed to Mangshan National Nature Reserve. On the way, we enjoyed the scenery along the way and chatted with other tourists. About two hours later, we arrived at the entrance of Mangshan, got off the bus, showed our hunting permits and ID cards to the staff, and then entered the reserve.
We followed a small road towards the main peak of Mangshan. On the way, we saw a variety of plants, some of which we had never seen before. We took some photos with our phones and wanted to check their names and uses when we got back. We also heard some animal sounds, some were birds, some were mammals. We observed them with night vision devices and found some wild boars, deer, macaques and other animals. We didn’t intend to shoot them because they were not our targets.
Our targets were golden leopards and clouded leopards, which are national first-class protected animals and also the most precious animals in Mangshan. They are very difficult to catch because they are very sensitive and alert and like to be active at night. So, we decided to find a suitable place to camp during the day and then go hunting at night. We found a place near a stream, set up tents, lit a fire, and made some simple meals. We ate and chatted, recalling the fun and experiences of college days. We felt very warm and intimate.
After dinner, we packed up our things and prepared to go hunting. We put on camouflage suits and protective gear, took guns and bows and arrows, and wore night vision goggles and infrared binoculars. We split into two groups, me and Wendy Max in one group, Barret Geordie and Geordie in another. We agreed to keep in touch with walkie-talkies and not to be too far apart. Then we each went in different directions.
Me and Wendy Max walked for about half an hour and found a leopard’s trail. It was a male adult leopard, with a strong body and bright fur. It was quietly approaching a hare, ready to attack. Me and Wendy Max immediately hid behind a big tree, used infrared binoculars to observe its movements, and notified Barret Geordie and Geordie with walkie-talkies. They said they also saw the leopard and were ready to shoot. Me and Wendy Max also picked up our guns and aimed with night vision goggles. Just as the leopard was about to pounce on the hare, we four shots at the same time and hit the target. The leopard let out a scream, then fell to the ground, not moving. We ran over happily, lifted the leopard up, took a few photos, and celebrated our success.
We continued to walk forward, hoping to find another clouded leopard. The clouded leopard is a rarer animal than the leopard, with a smaller body size, darker fur, and many cloud-like spots on its body. It is a very flexible and agile animal that can jump and climb on trees. Its food mainly consists of birds and small mammals. We walked for about an hour and heard a bird call. We looked carefully and found a clouded leopard hiding in the canopy of a big tree, ready to catch a bird. We hid behind the tree again, used infrared binoculars to observe its movements, and notified Barret Geordie and Geordie with walkie-talkies. They said they also saw the clouded leopard and were ready to shoot. Me and Wendy Max also picked up our bows and arrows and aimed with night vision goggles. Just as the clouded leopard was about to jump on the bird, we four shot arrows at the same time and hit the target. The clouded leopard let out a scream, then fell from the tree, not moving. We ran over happily, lifted the clouded leopard up, took a few photos, and celebrated our success.
The fun of hunting in Mangshan is not only to catch precious animals, but also to taste the local cuisine. Mangshan’s cuisine is a unique flavor that combines the spiciness of Hunan Province and the freshness of Chenzhou City, making people drool and unforgettable. We tasted the following local dishes in Mangshan, and they all made us enjoy ourselves and praise them.
Zilong County Pot Meat: This is a kind of salted meat made from pork, salt, pepper, star anise and other spices, put in a pottery pot, sealed and stored for a period of time, then steamed or fried and eaten. Its meat is tender and juicy, fat but not greasy, fragrant and spicy but not dry. It is a specialty of Zilong County and one of the famous dishes of Mangshan.
Yongxing Roast Chicken: This is a kind of chicken made from native chicken as raw material, marinated with secret sauce and spices, and roasted with firewood. Its skin is charred but not burnt, its meat is tender but not raw, its sauce is fragrant but not greasy, its spiciness is fragrant but not bitter. It is a specialty of Yongxing County and one of the famous dishes of Mangshan.
Anren Shaking Chili: This is a kind of cold dish made from Anren County’s unique shaking chili as raw material, mixed with oil, salt, vinegar, sugar and other seasonings, and shaken with chopsticks to eat. Its chili is red and bright in color, slender in shape, crisp in texture, and moderate in spiciness. It is a specialty of Anren County and one of the famous dishes of Mangshan.
These dishes are all what we tasted in Mangshan after hunting, in the local farmhouses or small restaurants. We felt that they were very suitable for our taste and appetite, and also very consistent with our hunting theme. We ate very happily and also thanked the local people for their enthusiasm and hospitality. We felt that these dishes were not only the pride of Mangshan, but also the pride of China.
This article is our harvest and feelings from our trip to Mangshan in Hunan. We experienced the fun and challenge of night hunting here, caught precious animals such as leopards and clouded leopards, and also tasted local dishes such as Zilong County Pot Meat, Yongxing Roast Chicken, Anren Shaking Chili and so on. We felt the charm and mystery of nature here, and also felt the warmth and emotion of reunion with old friends. We felt that this was a very worthwhile trip, and also a very memorable trip. We hope to have the opportunity to come to Mangshan again and enjoy the fun of night hunting again. We also hope that you will like our article and have the opportunity to go to Mangshan and experience the fun of night hunting. Thank you for your reading and support!