When you think of hunting, what do you think of? Is it the sound of guns, the prey, or the thrill? For me, hunting is a way of exploring nature and history, as well as a way of building friendship and trust with my colleagues. Last month, I went hunting with two colleagues Debby Chaucer and Lesley Eliot at Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area, which is a more than 35,000-acre wildlife management area in Hendry County, Florida, with a rich ecosystem and cultural landscape. We chose to hunt at night because we wanted to experience a different challenge and fun. To observe and catch targets in the dark, we used a very cost-effective Chinese brand wildguarder infrared binoculars, which allowed us to see animals such as wild boars, deer, foxes and so on clearly at a distance of up to 984 feet. In this article, I will share with you our experience and feelings of hunting trip at Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area, as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the history, attractions and food of this place. I hope you can find some interesting and useful information from it, and maybe also inspire you to try night hunting.

Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area is not only a good place for hunting, but also a good place to learn about the nature and history of southern Florida. This wildlife management area has diverse natural communities that provide important habitat for many rare and endangered animals. It also has a long human history, once being the site of a prosperous sawmill.

Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area is located in the western part of Hendry County and the northeastern part of Collier County in Florida, covering more than 35,000 acres. It is one of the largest wildlife management areas in Florida. Its name comes from the Indian language, meaning “big swamp”. It is one of the few places in southern Florida where you can see the pre-Columbian landscape. It has diverse natural communities, such as marshes, swamps, cypress trees, wet prairies, pine forests, oak forests and oak-palm forests. These different ecosystems provide rich food and shelter for many wildlife.

Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area is one of the most important wildlife conservation areas in Florida, providing important habitat for many rare and endangered animals. The most famous of these is the Florida panther, which is the only surviving subspecies of the jaguar in North America, with less than 200 individuals. This wildlife management area is one of the most common and active places for the Florida panther, and one of the main corridors for their breeding and migration. In addition to the Florida panther, this wildlife management area also provides habitat for bald eagles, roseate spoonbills, crested caracaras, black bears, elk, turkeys, quails and so on. This wildlife management area is also part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, attracting many nature and photography enthusiasts.

Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area not only has rich natural resources, but also has a long human history. This area was once inhabited by the Calusa and Seminole Indians. They used the swamps and rivers as sources of food and transportation, and established their unique culture and society here. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this area began to be developed by European immigrants, who established farms, ranches and sawmills here. The most famous of these was John Sears, who was one of the founders of Sears and Roebuck Company, and a wealthy businessman and philanthropist. He built a large sawmill in the northern part of Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area in the 1920s, called Sears Lumber Company. This sawmill produced a lot of lumber, which was used to build houses, bridges and roads in southern Florida. It also brought many workers and businessmen, forming a prosperous town called Sears. However, the glory of this town did not last too long, because in the 1930s, a fire destroyed the sawmill, causing many people to lose their jobs and income. As time went by, this town gradually declined and disappeared, leaving only some relics and stories.

Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area is a place full of charm and stories, which allows us to appreciate the natural beauty and historical depth of southern Florida. In our hunting trip, we not only saw many amazing animals and scenery, but also felt the culture and tradition of this place. In the next section, I will share with you our process and feelings of hunting at night, as well as how we used wildguarder’s infrared binoculars to enhance our vision and experience.

Hunting at night is a different experience, it requires us to use different skills and equipment, and also brings us different fun and challenges. In our hunting trip, we used wildguarder’s infrared binoculars, which allowed us to see the outline and eyes of animals clearly in the dark, and also allowed us to better judge the distance and angle. Here we share some of the tips and feelings we learned from hunting at night, hoping to help and inspire you.

First of all, we want to talk about choosing the right place. Hunting at night requires us to find a place with enough vision and cover, so that we can observe and shoot animals, while avoiding being discovered or attacked. We chose a location on a high ground, backed by a forest, facing an open meadow. This way we could see the animals moving on the meadow, and also hide our figure. We also placed some bait on the meadow in advance, such as corn, fruit or meat, to attract animals.

 

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Secondly, we want to talk about using the right lighting. Hunting at night requires us to control the use of lighting, so as not to scare or anger animals. We used wildguarder’s infrared binoculars , which have two modes: white light mode and infrared mode. White light mode allows us to see color images in the dark, but also lets animals see us. Infrared mode allows us to see black and white images in the dark, but does not let animals see us. We switched between different modes according to different situations. Generally speaking, when observing animals, we used infrared mode; when shooting animals, we used white light mode. This way we could ensure visual effect and shooting accuracy.

Finally, we want to talk about being patient and safe. Hunting at night requires us to have enough patience and alertness, because animals are more cautious and sensitive in the dark. Sometimes, we might have to wait for a long time before seeing the target appear; sometimes, we might have to face multiple targets at the same time; sometimes, we might have to deal with unexpected situations. In any case, we have to keep calm and focused, and follow the hunting rules and safety measures. For example, before shooting, confirm the target and background; after shooting, confirm whether the target is dead; when moving, keep the muzzle down; when encountering danger, ask for help in time and so on.

Hunting at night gave us a new experience, it made us feel the mystery and charm of nature, and also challenged our limits and abilities. We enjoyed the excitement and fun of hunting at night very much, and also appreciated wildguarder’s infrared binoculars for providing us with visual and shooting help. In the next section, I will share with you the food we tasted near Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area, as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the food culture of southern Florida.

After hunting, we did not forget to enjoy the food. Near Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area, we found some nice restaurants and snack shops, which let us taste the characteristic food of southern Florida. From barbecue to seafood, from salad to burger, we tried different flavors and textures, and also learned more about the food culture here.

The food culture of southern Florida is diverse and rich, it is influenced by different regions and ethnic groups, such as the Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico, Italy, France and so on. The food here has both the freshness and sweetness of the sea, and the sourness and juiciness of tropical fruits, as well as the stimulation and aroma of chili and spices. No matter what kind of taste you like, you can find suitable food here.

In our hunting trip, we went to several different restaurants and snack shops, each of which left a deep impression on us. One of them is The Smokehouse Grill, which is located about 20 miles southeast of Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area. This is a restaurant that specializes in barbecue and grill, it uses traditional charcoal oven to roast various meats, such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey and so on. It also offers a variety of homemade sauces and side dishes, such as honey mustard sauce, apple vinegar sauce, mashed potatoes, cornbread and so on. We ordered a platter, which had four different kinds of meat and four different kinds of side dishes, the amount was very generous. We loved the barbecue here, they were crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, every bite made us feel satisfied and happy.

Another one is The Fish House, which is located about 25 miles northwest of Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area. This is a restaurant that specializes in seafood and salad, it uses fresh local seafood to make various delicious dishes, such as steamed scallops, fried shrimp, stewed crab, oysters and so on. It also offers a variety of fresh salads and fruits, such as Caesar salad, Greek salad, watermelon, pineapple and so on. We ordered a seafood platter and a fruit platter, which had six different kinds of seafood and six different kinds of fruits, the color and taste were very tempting. We loved the seafood here, they were fresh and tender, melt in your mouth, each one had a different flavor and texture. We also loved the fruits here, they were refreshing and sweet, quench thirst and greasy, each one had a different color and aroma.

Our hunting trip at Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area was an unforgettable experience, it made us not only enjoy the fun of hunting, but also learn about the history, attractions and food of this place. We are very grateful to wildguarder’s infrared binoculars for providing us with visual and shooting help, and also very grateful to the restaurants and snack shops here for providing us with delicious food and service. We strongly recommend you to try night hunting too, it will bring you a new experience and challenge. Of course, you also have to pay attention to follow the hunting rules and safety measures to ensure your safety and health. We hope you like our sharing,and look forward to your feedbacks or suggestions.

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