I have always been interested in hunting, but I have never tried hunting at night. I imagined the excitement and challenge of looking for and tracking animals in the dark, as well as the fun and convenience of using night vision equipment. So, when I had the opportunity to go hunting with two American professor friends at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, I agreed without hesitation.
My two friends are Calvin Walkley and Doris Lloyd, both history professors at a university who are very interested in the culture and nature of the American South. They told me that Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is the largest swamp in the United States, with rich biodiversity and primitive scenery, as well as a long human history. They said that this is an ideal place for hunting, because there are many kinds of animals, such as deer, wild boar, birds, reptiles, etc. They also said that hunting at night is a special experience, because you can see some animals that are not easy to find during the day, such as foxes, raccoons, minks, etc.
To prepare for hunting at night, we need some special equipment, the most important of which is night vision binoculars. We chose the Chinese brand wildguarder’s night vision binoculars, because it has advantages such as high definition, low noise, long battery life, etc., which allow us to observe and aim at animals in the dark. We also brought some other supplies, such as guns, ammunition, flashlights, compasses, maps, food, water, etc.
We planned to stay at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge for a week, visiting some attractions and tasting some delicacies during the day, and hunting at night. We looked forward to this trip bringing us unlimited fun and unforgettable memories.
Before we started hunting at night, we learned a little about the history and features of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. This is the largest swamp in the United States, covering about 402,000 acres, equivalent to 1,627 square kilometers. Its name comes from an Indian language, meaning “trembling land”, because the surface of the swamp is composed of floating plants and soil that shake with the water flow and footsteps.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 with the purpose of protecting the natural environment and biodiversity of the swamp. It is considered one of the most primitive wetlands in the United States, with more than 600 species of plants and 400 species of animals, including some endangered or rare species, such as cougars, black bears, pelicans, cranes, etc.
The swamp also has a rich human history. As early as 2500 years ago, there were Indians living here, building some mounds. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Spaniards and British also came here, exploring and preaching. In the mid-19th century, the Seminoles resisted the pursuit of the U.S. army here until they were forced to leave in 1838. From the late 19th to the early 20th century, some white settlers also lived around or inside the swamp, grazing, planting, hunting and fishing. In the early 20th century, some logging companies tried to develop the swamp, but gave up because of high costs. In 1937, Walt Disney bought most of the land of the swamp and donated it to the government, establishing a national wildlife refuge.
We were very amazed and impressed by the history and features of Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. We felt that this was a magical and beautiful place, worthy of our exploration and appreciation.
To hunt at night, we need some special equipment, the most important of which is night vision binoculars. Night vision binoculars are devices that can see objects clearly in the dark. They use two principles: one is to amplify weak ambient light, such as moonlight, starlight, etc.; the other is to emit infrared light and then receive the reflected infrared light. In this way, we can see some details that are invisible to the naked eye, such as animal eyes, contours, fur color, etc.
This time we chose the Chinese brand wildguarder’s night vision binoculars, because it has advantages such as high definition, low noise, long battery life, etc. Its magnification is 4 times, field of view angle is 18 degrees, resolution is 640×480 pixels, noise level is less than 30 decibels, battery life can reach 8 hours. It also has a built-in infrared illuminator that can provide additional light source in complete darkness. Its weight is 1.5 kg, size is 20x14x6 cm, easy to carry and use.
We also brought some other supplies, such as guns, ammunition, flashlights, compasses, maps, food, water, etc. We put these things in a large backpack and took turns carrying it. We also wore some dark clothes to conceal ourselves in the dark. We prepared very well and hoped to achieve good results in hunting at night.
The process and harvest of hunting at night were very exciting and satisfying. We looked for and tracked animals at different locations every night, using night vision binoculars to observe and aim. We encountered many kinds of animals, some of which we did not see during the day, such as foxes, raccoons, minks, owls, etc. We also saw some large animals, such as deer, wild boar, black bears, etc. We tried to choose some legal and reasonable prey and avoid disturbing or harming some endangered or rare species.
Night vision binoculars were very important and useful for hunting at night. They allowed us to see clearly the position and movement of animals in the dark, judge their size and distance and choose the right time and angle to shoot. They also allowed us to keep ourselves safe in the dark avoid getting lost or encountering danger. Their performance was very stable and reliable without any failure or problem. They made us feel like we had a pair of super eyes that could shuttle freely in the dark.
We achieved good results in hunting at night, killing several animals every day. We took them back to the camp, skinned, cleaned and cut them, and then roasted or boiled them to eat. We also kept some animal skins and bones as souvenirs. We enjoyed the excitement and fun of hunting at night, feeling like we had returned to the primitive era, competing with nature and animals in a friendly and fair way.
We were not idle during the day either. We visited some attractions and tasted some delicacies at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. We explored the swamp’s waterways by canoe, watching various birds, reptiles and mammals, feeling the mystery and beauty of the swamp. We also visited some historical sites, such as Indian mounds, Seminole villages, logging company ruins, etc., learning about the swamp’s human history. We also went to some visitor centers and museums, watching some exhibitions and films, learning more about the swamp’s knowledge and protection measures.
We enjoyed some specialty dishes at local restaurants, tasting some of the flavors of the American South. We ate some barbecue, fried chicken, cornbread, vegetable salad, etc., all delicious and nutritious. We also drank some juice, coffee, beer, etc., all refreshing and invigorating. Our favorite was a dessert called pecan pie, which is a pie made with crushed nuts, syrup, butter, etc., very sweet and soft.
In the process of visiting and tasting during the day, we also met some local residents and other tourists, exchanging and sharing some experiences and impressions with them. We found them very friendly and enthusiastic, with deep feelings and respect for the swamp. They also expressed curiosity and appreciation for our night hunting, thinking that we were brave and interesting.
The night hunting trip to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was an unforgettable experience that made us feel the charm and mystery of the swamp, as well as experience a different lifestyle and fun. We not only appreciated the natural scenery and biodiversity of the swamp but also learned about its human history and cultural features. We not only enjoyed the excitement and challenge of hunting at night but also tasted the local food and drinks. We not only used the high-tech function of night vision binoculars but also respected the ecological balance and protection rules of the swamp. We not only enhanced our friendship and cooperation among ourselves but also made some new friends and partners.
This trip gave us a lot of gains made us have a deeper understanding and respect for the swamp as well as more confidence and interest in ourselves. We hope to have the opportunity to come here again continue to explore and discover more wonders and beauty of the swamp.