Lance Lyly, King Burk and I were good friends in college. We all loved outdoor activities and adventures, and often went camping and hunting together in the wild. After graduation, we went on different paths in life, and rarely had a chance to meet. Last week, we finally found a gap in our schedules, and agreed to go hunting in Tombigbee National Forest, to relive the old brotherhood.
Tombigbee National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in eastern and northeastern Mississippi. It is named after the nearby Tombigbee River, and is divided into two non-contiguous sections. We chose one of them as our destination, and booked a campsite online in advance. We also bought night vision infrared goggles online, because we planned to hunt at night, so that we could better observe and catch animals.
With excitement and anticipation, we set off. After a few hours of driving, we finally arrived at Tombigbee National Forest. The campsite we chose was located in a scenic spot in Tombigbee National Forest, surrounded by dense woods and clear streams. After we arrived there and settled down, we made a fire with firewood, roasted some meat and corn, and chatted while eating. We recalled some of the fun things we did in college, laughing so hard that we leaned forward and backward; we also talked about our current work and life, encouraging and supporting each other, feeling like we were back in the past, without any worries or pressure. After resting for a while, we found a suitable hunting area nearby, because there were many traces of wild animals, such as deer, rabbits, squirrels, etc. So we decided to go there in the evening, using the afterglow of the sunset for our first hunt. We hoped to catch some animals as a supplement to our dinner.
Tombigbee National Forest has a rich and diverse geographical features and ecological environment. It has rolling hills covered with pine and hardwood forests. It also has a variety of animals and plants, including some endangered species such as red wolves, black bears, bald crows, etc. It also has many historical and cultural relics, such as Indian mounds, Civil War battlefields, etc. Along the way we often saw some signs of these relics, which made this land bring us a lot of mystery. We also met some other tourists and hunters who greeted us friendlyly and shared some of their experiences and suggestions.
Under the guidance of the sunset, we arrived at the scheduled hunting area. We parked the car in a hidden place, then took out our guns and night vision infrared goggles, ready to start our night adventure. We wore camouflage clothes, hats and gloves to minimize our noise and smell. We put on night vision infrared goggles on our eyes, turned on the switch, and immediately saw a different world from the daytime. Everything turned black and white, but clearer and brighter. We could see all kinds of small animals hidden in the woods.
Then we started our night hunting mode. We searched for targets separately in the woods. We used night vision infrared goggles for observation and aiming, and used walkie-talkies for communication and coordination to keep in touch and exchange information. We were all experienced hunters, so we knew how to choose the right position and timing, how to control our breathing and heartbeat, how to stabilize our hands and guns, how to pull the trigger accurately. Although we encountered many different animals at night, most of them were not what we wanted to catch, while some were ones we didn’t dare to mess with. In the end we saw some deer grazing on the grassland. Their eyes flashed green in the night vision device. We quietly approached them, found a suitable angle, then shot together and knocked down two of them. We quickly ran over to confirm that they were dead, then dragged them aside for later collection.During the hunt ,we saw some rabbits jumping around in the woods.Their ears looked very big and cute in the night vision device.We also wanted to shoot them,but they were too small and fast for us to lock on.We had to give up this idea,and continued to look for other targets.We also saw some squirrels climbing up and down the trees.Their tails swayed in the night vision device.We thought they were very interesting,but not worth wasting bullets.We just took some pictures,and then moved on. We also encountered some dangerous animals that made us nervous and scared.Because we saw a black bear sniffing around in the woods.Its body looked very big and strong in the night vision device.We knew that black bears were an endangered species,and very fierce and powerful.We didn’t dare to disturb it,or shoot it.We had to slowly back away,and leave its territory.We saw a pack of red wolves running and howling on the grassland.Their teeth flashed white in the night vision device.Red wolves were also an endangered species,and very smart and united.We didn’t want to conflict with them,so we didn’t want to bother them either.We had to change direction,and avoid their path.
That’s how we ended our night hunt,and returned to our campsite.We put the animals we caught aside,ready to process and cook them.We cut open their skin and flesh,took out their viscera,then rinsed them with water,and cut their flesh into small pieces.We marinated them with salt,pepper,garlic and other seasonings for a while.We made a fire with firewood,put a rack on the fire,then skewered the meat pieces on iron sticks,and put them on the rack to roast.We turned them over while roasting,and brushed some oil and sauce on them,until the meat pieces became golden and tender.That’s how we had a barbecue feast after hunting,and then we went back to our tents to rest.
After getting up,we went to taste the local food.We searched online for some restaurants and specialties near Tombigbee National Forest,then chose some that we were interested in to try.For example,Mississippi’s traditional food,such as fried chicken,cornbread,mashed potatoes,carrot cake,etc.,we also ate some local specialties,such as wild turkey,avocado salad,pumpkin pie,etc.We thought these foods were delicious,sweet,sour,bitter and spicy,all kinds of flavors.We also drank some local drinks,such as iced tea,lemonade,beer,etc.We thought these drinks were refreshing,and could quench thirst and digest.
After eating and drinking,the hunting trip was almost over.We packed up our things,and took away our garbage,then drove away from Tombigbee National Forest.We chatted about our experiences and feelings on the road.This was a rare reunion after many years of separation.We hoped that we could find some fun in our busy and dull life.And we agreed to come again next time,to continue our new hunting trip.