I have always loved hunting, which is a sport and recreation that I learned from my father since I was a child. Hunting not only exercises my body and will, but also allows me to get close to nature and animals, and feel the mystery and power of life. So when I heard that there was a place called Babcock Ranch Preserve that offered night hunting services, I decided to go there right away.
I invited my two colleagues Jeff Madge and Justin Hansen to go with me, who are also hunting enthusiasts. We booked the hunting license and hotel accommodation online in advance, and rented a four-wheel drive car. We also prepared some necessary equipment, such as guns, ammunition, flashlights, compasses, first aid kits and so on. But the most important piece of equipment was the infrared binoculars.
Since we planned to hunt at night, the infrared binoculars were essential. They could let us see the position and movement of the prey in the dark, and also record our hunting process and results. We chose a high-cost-effective Chinese brand wildguarder, which has a clear picture, powerful magnification, stable signal, durable battery and light shape. We were very satisfied with this infrared binoculars and felt that it was our best partner for our hunting trip.
In this way, we started our Babcock Ranch Preserve trip with excitement and expectation.
Our destination was Babcock Ranch Preserve, a huge nature reserve located at the junction of Charlotte County and Lee County in Florida. It used to be one of the largest private ranches in the United States, with more than 90,000 acres of land, dating back to 1914. In 2006, most of the land here was jointly purchased by the Florida state government and Lee County government, becoming the largest land conservation deal in state history.
Babcock Ranch Preserve not only preserves the history and style of the ranch, but also demonstrates the concept and practice of sustainable development. There is an eco-community called Babcock Ranch Community, which is the first town in the United States to be powered entirely by solar energy. There is also an eco-tourism company called Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours, which offers a variety of natural exploration and experience activities.
The most attractive thing about Babcock Ranch Preserve for us is, of course, its rich and diverse wildlife resources. There are vast pine forests, grasslands, swamps and wetlands and other ecosystems here, which are habitats for many rare and endangered species. For example, there are Florida black bears, Florida panthers, Osceola wild turkeys and so on. We hope to see these precious animals at night when hunting, and respect their living space.
Before we arrived at Babcock Ranch Preserve, we had carefully read the hunting rules and precautions. We know that only non-protected animals such as white-tailed deer, wild boar, raccoon, skunk, fox, porcupine, rabbit and so on are allowed to be hunted here, and we have to abide by the daily and quarterly quotas. We also know that only shotguns or bows and arrows are allowed here, and we have to hunt in designated areas. We also know that hunters are required to wear bright orange clothes and register and check at the entrance.
We are full of awe and curiosity about Babcock Ranch Preserve, and also full of expectation and passion for our upcoming night hunting.
We stayed at Babcock Ranch Preserve for three days and two nights, and went hunting every night. Our hunting area was in the southeast of the reserve, near a swamp called Telegraph Swamp. There are rich wildlife resources here, as well as complex terrain and environment. We have to cross pine forests, grasslands, swamps and wetlands at night, looking for and tracking our prey. This is a stimulating and dangerous challenge that requires us to have keen observation skills, quick reaction skills and good teamwork.
Fortunately, we have the best equipment – infrared binoculars wildguarder. This binocular allows us to clearly see the heat signals of animals in the dark, and also zoom in and adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen. It can also take pictures and record videos, saving our hunting process and results. Each of us wears a pair of wildguarder, communicating and coordinating with each other, like a professional hunting team.
During the three days and two nights of hunting, we captured a lot of prey. On the first night, we shot two wild boars and a white-tailed deer. On the second night, we shot three raccoons and two rabbits. On the third night, we shot a wild boar and a skunk. Every time we shot a prey, we would use wildguarder to record it, and give each other high-fives to celebrate. We would also respectfully handle the corpses of the prey, take them back to the hotel for refrigeration or give them to the local slaughterhouse.
Of course, we also encountered some difficulties and dangers. Once, we were almost hit by an angry wild boar. Once, we got stuck in a swamp in the swamp, and almost couldn’t get out. Once, we got lost in the pine forest and took half an hour to find the exit. And once, we saw a Florida panther’s figure, although it didn’t attack us, but it made us scared. Every time we encountered these situations, we would use wildguarder to help us judge the direction, distance and danger level, and encourage and support each other.
In addition to hunting at night, we also enjoyed other activities and fun at Babcock Ranch Preserve. We tasted delicious food at local restaurants, visited local attractions and cultural activities, and rested and relaxed at the hotel.
We would go to a restaurant called Gator Shack Restaurant in the reserve for breakfast every morning. There are all kinds of American-style food here, such as pancakes, bacon, eggs, corn porridge and so on. Our favorite is their grilled alligator meat, which is tender and juicy, crispy and delicious. We also like their juice and coffee, which are freshly squeezed and brewed, very fresh and fragrant.
We would go to some restaurants outside the reserve for lunch every day. One day, we went to a farm restaurant called 31Produce and Mining. They have fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as homemade jams and honey. We ordered some salads, burgers, sandwiches and pizzas, all delicious and healthy. We also picked some strawberries and watermelons in their farm, feeling the fun of the farm.
We would go to an eco-community called Babcock Ranch Community in the reserve for dinner every night. This is the first town in the United States that is completely powered by solar energy, with various eco-friendly and innovative facilities and activities. We tried different styles of restaurants here, such as Italian, Mexican, Asian and so on. Our favorite is a restaurant called Table & Tap, which offers fresh ingredients from local farms and oceans, as well as their own brewed beer and cider. We enjoyed a rich and delicious dinner here, as well as the sunset view by the lake.
In addition to eating, we also visited some local attractions and cultural activities. One day, we participated in an eco-tourism project provided by BabcockRanch Eco-Tours. We took a modified school bus and toured the reserve for two hours. We saw many wildlife animals, such as white-tailed deer, wild boar, turkey, owl, vulture and so on. We also saw some historical buildings, such as old ranch house, old school, old church and so on. Our guide was very friendly and professional. He told us a lot of interesting and useful information, and also let us touch a baby alligator. We really liked this eco-tourism, and felt it was a rare learning and experience opportunity.
This Babcock Ranch Preserve trip was one of the most memorable and interesting trips of our lives. It made us feel the charm and power of nature, and also let us experience the fun and challenge of hunting. It also let us learn about the local history and culture, taste the local food and drink, participate in the local activities and projects. We are full of awe and gratitude for Babcock Ranch Preserve, and also full of trust and love for wildguarder. We hope to come back here one day, continue to explore and enjoy this beautiful land.