Last week, I went hunting with two good friends, Osborn Gibson and Roberta Smith, at Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. We are all nature and adventure lovers, so we wanted to try the thrill and fun of hunting at night. We chose this place because it has a rich variety of wildlife and beautiful scenery, and it’s not too far from where we live.
We had to do some preparation work before we left, such as checking the weather forecast, printing maps, booking campsites, buying food and water, etc. There were also safety issues, such as wearing reflective clothing, carrying flashlights, following hunting rules, etc. We knew that hunting at night was not an easy thing, it required enough courage and skill, but we were looking forward to seeing some animals that are not easy to see during the day.
For this night hunt, we needed to prepare some special equipment, the most important of which was night vision binoculars. These binoculars allow us to see the outline and movement of animals in the dark without being noticed by them. We searched online for some recommended brands and models, and then went to a nearby outdoor store to buy three pairs. The clerk also introduced us to some tips and precautions for using them, such as adjusting the focus, avoiding direct light, cleaning the lenses regularly, etc. We couldn’t wait to try them out after we got them, and they felt very clear and convenient. We believe that with these night vision binoculars, our night hunt will be more interesting and successful.
We decided to leave on Friday afternoon and drove for about four hours to get to our destination. We set up our tents at a campsite near the edge of the forest, and then started our first night hunt. Before we left, we took the most important equipment – night vision binoculars, which allow us to see animals in the dark without being noticed by them. For the next few days, we used these night vision binoculars to track and shoot various animals, while also enjoying the local food and scenery.
We experienced the power of night vision binoculars for the first time during our first night hunt. We walked quietly along a small path in the forest, using night vision binoculars to look for targets. Soon we found a group of deer grazing on the grassland. They seemed unaware of our presence because our night vision binoculars did not emit any light. We decided to try shooting one of them, so we found a suitable position, put our guns on a branch, and then used night vision binoculars to aim. We chose the largest deer and then gently pulled the trigger. With a gunshot, the deer fell to the ground and the others ran away in panic. We ran over happily, confirmed that the deer was dead, and then dragged it back to the campsite. This was the first time we shot an animal with night vision binoculars, and we were very excited.
In the following days, we used night vision binoculars to hunt various animals such as moose, sheep, bears, etc. Sometimes we would encounter some dangerous or difficult situations such as animal attacks or rain at night. But we were able to overcome these challenges and enjoy the fun of hunting at night. We found that night vision binoculars not only help us see animals clearly but also let us appreciate the beauty of the forest. Sometimes we would see the moon and stars twinkling in the sky; sometimes we would see fireflies flying in the woods; sometimes we would see foxes and raccoons peeking out of the bushes. These are all wonderful sights that can’t be seen during the day; they are very interesting.
In Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, we encountered a variety of animals, some of which we were familiar with and some of which we had never seen before.
The most common ones were moose, which are the largest deer species in North America, with long legs and large ears. They usually live on the edge of forests or in marshes, feeding on grass and leaves. They are very alert and agile, and will run away quickly when they sense danger.
We also spotted some deer, which were tinier than moose, with brownish or grayish coats and white tails. They mostly hung out in the woods, munching on grass and fruits. They got spooked easily.
We also ran into some sheep, which were mountain critters, with thick wool and curly horns. They loved to chill on cliffs and ledges, nibbling on bushes and grass. They were very agile and tough, able to hop and climb on steep slopes. We used night vision binoculars to watch their moves, and then used rifles to blast them. We bagged a few sheep, one of which was a big male bighorn sheep, with super long and strong horns.
The most hair-raising encounter was bumping into a bear, which was a huge meat-eating beast, with black or brown fur and nasty claws and teeth. They could live in the forest or the prairie, eating animals and plants. They were very strong and mean, and would attack if pissed off or threatened. We stumbled into its turf while hunting at night, and it sniffed us out.
We used night vision binoculars to confirm its position, and then used a shotgun to shoot it. We were lucky to hit its head, making it fall down. This was our most dangerous and tense night hunt, making us feel both fearful and excited.
Besides hunting, we also tasted the local food in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, some of which we collected or cooked ourselves, and some of which we bought from nearby restaurants or shops.
We found some wild edible plants in the forest, such as wild mushrooms, pine cones, wild berries, etc. We carefully identified whether they were poisonous or not, then used knives or hands to pick them up, and cooked them after bringing them back to the campsite. These wild plants tasted very delicious and natural, making us feel the gift of nature.
We also used the meat of the animals we shot to make delicious barbecue, such as moose meat, deer meat, sheep meat, etc. We first cut the meat into small pieces, then marinated them with salt, pepper, garlic and other seasonings for a while, then skewered them with iron forks or bamboo sticks and roasted them over the fire. We also wrapped some potatoes, corns, onions and other vegetables in tin foil and roasted them over the fire as well. The aroma of these grilled meat and vegetables made us drool; they were very tender and juicy when we ate them.
Of course, we also went to some nearby restaurants or shops to try some local specialties such as steak, burger, pie etc. These foods were not very healthy but they were suitable for us who had consumed a lot of physical and mental energy. We also bought some local products such as honey, jam, cheese etc., as gifts to take home to our relatives and friends.
This hunting trip in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest was one of the most memorable and meaningful ones in our lives. We not only shot many animals but also tasted many foods; we also appreciated many sceneries. We felt the joy and challenge of hunting at night; we also felt the charm and mystery of nature. We also enhanced our friendship and trust among us; we also exercised our body and mind. We had a deeper understanding and respect for night hunting; we also had more confidence and satisfaction for ourselves. We hope to have the opportunity to come here again in the future or go to other places to continue our night hunting journey.