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Snow sheep Kharaulakh ridge. Yakutia

Snow sheep Kharaulakh ridge. Yakutia

Congratulations Magidov Sobolev and Dyadchenko Nikolai Nikolaevich with a successful hunt for snow sheep Yakutia!
03.09.2019
КГО
The new record of Russia for shooting of marmots - 2010 m!

The new record of Russia for shooting of marmots - 2010 m!

I’ve got the marmot from the distance 2010 meters. The hunt took place on July 23rd in the Rostov region, Millerovo area, farm Hmagovo. I used 338 LM, 300 gr. Berger OTM, 910 м/с. ShmitBender 5x25x56 PM2. The gun GM from Gennady Kozhaev. The corrector was Vladimir Grebenuk. I set the previous record in 2011 and it was 1629 meters but in a couple of years it had been broken. The Club -2000 meters is opened now!
24.07.2019
Onward and upward on Jimara

Onward and upward on Jimara

We arrived to the hospitable  land of the North  Ossetia (Alania) where wanted to hunt for the Dagestan Tur and the Caucasian Chamois. Out team included me, the outfitter of this trip, the hunter from Nakhodka- Kanatakbek Kurmangaliev, the member of the MHC and one more hunter from Khabarovsk- Leonid Kazantzev. The guys were younger than I was but didn’t have such hunting experience in the Caucasus mountains.  I gave them some advices how to be in good physical form and what equipment was needed. They started to train in a half of the year before. Kanatbek hunted in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Altay but told me later that this trip had surpassed all the expectations about the complexity of the mountain’s hunts. You can see it if read to the end. It’s a great pleasure to meet old friends.  The staff whom I knew long years met us on the base “High Saniba”.  All people who work there take care about the guests and the whole atmosphere there is always very friendly.  We arrived to the base in the late evening but the traditional Ossetia feast waited for us.  The chief of the local hunting company Tzara Sozanov and his wife Natasha met us and  sat at the richly laid Ossetian table.  We had tasty dinner, talked about the past hunts and gave the hunters recommendations about the future ones. It is priceless to be surrounded by people who share your interest and are close in spirit. But it was too late and we had to go to bed and have rest before the next hunting day.  We decided to check guns in the morning while will be waiting for the guides’ arrival and then to go to the mountains. Next morning we got acquaintance with two American hunters who arrived earlier than we arrived. One of them Ron was 58 years old, he was in good form and was very friendly, another one was younger- 54 years old but he  was overweighed though full of enthusiasm to hunt in the mountains. So all together we went for hunt after the lunch. I’d been in Jimara not once and knew this region.   I'd climbed by one of its slopes  with the hunter Zhaysan Syzdykov and described it in one of my reports.  We came to the place where had to divided into two groups. I thought that my huntes and I would go the same way which I walked with Zhaysan. It was the hard way and hunters had to be in the good physical form.  We would ascend at night and the complexity level was even higher. I did it many times but even I  couldn’t imagine what would happen later. The Americans were inferior to  our physical conditions and the guides, after the  heated debates, decided to change the plan and to lead them along the most gentle slope. We got the most difficult route out of those I hiked in Ossetia. So we went. At 7 pm we  set the mobile camp, had short lunch and went to sleep. The fog  came down from the glacial  to the valley where we stopped and  our cloth got wet. We woke up at 10.30 pm , packed the clothe to the backpacks, left some equipment  in the cars which we closed and went to the mountains.  The stars glittered on the anthracite-black sky, the Gypsy sun slightly showed from behind the mountains and hid. I felt the scattering of boulders under the feet , which constantly touched the socks of mountain shoes. We had lights but didn’t use them because tried to observe the secrecy in case of meeting turs. In 40 minutes we came to the mountains foot and needed to climb 2000 meters. We began from the height 1000 masl. I saw several glacial afar. The guys didn’t know and I preferred not to tell them that the notorious glacial Kolka, which descended into the Karmadon valley, was behind the next ridge. I realized that we weren’t there but their looms reminded us how  formidable they can be. The valley ended and we began to climb. Good for us that it was night and we couldn’t see its steepness.  If I saw in in the daylights I couldn’t be sure that it’d be possible to rise by such vertical slope. We three and our  guides started at 11 pm and climbed at 6am. We clambered by the stone loose, slippery from the frozen condensate on the surface of the stones, and  sharp rocks. We supported and helped each other each time when the fellow who climbed first rolled back or when stones rolled under our feet. Our climb looked so, we made one step ahead and two steps back. Legs and hands were in high tension and the pulse was out of the norm. The most dangerous thing was that we did it all in the darkness. The guides lost the way two or three times and couldn’t find the pass among the rocks. So we  came back and went around. I have huge experience of climbing in the mountains of Kamchatka and Pamir but they always took place during the light hours but there we did everything at night. I organized many of hunts and spent lots of  hours in the mountains with the foreign hunters but had never been in such dangerous situation. I’m not sure that most of foreign hunters can stand of that.  Most of them in such situations would curse me in a half an hour after the climb have started and would go back to the cars. Unfortunately I had such experience too.  The only exclusion is the Norway hunters. They are very strong and endurance guys. Once I climbed the steep slope in the Sayan Mountains with the young Norwegian hunter. We carried not only necessary equipment but  several tanks of water because there wasn’t water on the top. But the situation there was better because we could cling to the tread of mountain boots. The mountains were covered by the forest and bushes. The landscape on Jimara  consisted of the rocks of different sizes from the huge stones to the gravel. I was happy that was accompanied by the young Russian guys (even with the Kazakh roots) and with the Russian hardening. At 4am we heard  a crash. The part of the glacier broke away and rushed down with the booming roar. It fell to the place where we left our cars. In a few minutes we heard one more crash. We all felt Goosebumps. We often stopped to take the breath because sometimes it seemed to me that my heart could break the chest. We went up to 3000masl. At 4.30 the guide who went with the American hunters contacted with us and told very mournful news which made us to think about the sense of life and reality. One of the American hunters died! It happened that according his health he had not even approach to the mountains. Silence fall, we couldn’t see each other but felt the tension and worried about our college- hunter. The guides in that group knew what to do in such situations. We stayed there some time trying to realize what had happened. After a pause and  we paid tribute to the departed in the world of "eternal hunt" hunter and continued our hard way. Life goes on and it doesn’t stop when somebody dies and we can’t change it We had to be in a hurry if wanted to be in the right place in the right time.    I remember the words of the well know song, written by Vysotsky. l   “And others will come and change the warmth   For risk and this trial of work   They’ll follow the abandoned route of yours” We went by touch to the top of the gorge Jimara  and soon noticed the lights of Vladikavkaz. The city lived its life, we trekked our way. At the sunrise we estimated what way we overcame yet. Somebody could be dizzy just looking at the way which we has passed already. Close to the top the path became more gentle but the height was 3500 masl and some of us felt the oxygen deficiency. We climbed at last. The guides observed the opposite slopes where as they thoughts males could be but didn’t find anyone. We went be the slope and some female turs with cubs ran across in 200m in front of us. We hid behind the huge stone and waited for males. We spent about an hour at that place. Piercing wind used any crack in our cloth and we was cold. When we made the decision where we’ wait for the males I insisted on changing the clothe to the dry and warm one which we had with us. I always try to take extra dry cloth when go  to the mountains and my experienced helped us that time. Suddenly we noticed the herd of 50 -60 males which moved to our side from the opposite ridge. Aslan and Jamal led the hunters to the shooting position while I stayed on the place and observed. I could see the river of turs which flown from the opposite slope. The river consisted of animals of different ages. The sight from the side was fascinating. The shooting distance was very comfortable about 70 metes. When the first trophy size male appeared from behind the slope Kanatbek shot and got his trophy. The animals ran to different sizes not understanding what was going on. Leonid shot twice and seriously wounded his trophy but it could ran behind the ridge. We didn’t find it that day. Then we made pictures, had short lunch, packed meat and went back to the camp. It wasn’t comfortable to stay there longer. It was out of the question to go down by the same way as we climbed.  The descend was even more dangerous  and we could fall into the gorge. The guides chose the next slope but even there the way down wasn’t the easy walk. The climb took us 7 hours and 5 hours we went down. We went with extra weight and carry meat. The guides detected birds which circled in the sky above the spot in the direction where the wounded tur ran. It’s a sign that the animal is over. We calmed Leonid who worried about this shot. Next day the guides found his trophy and took it to the base. Leonid got one more trophy Chamois at the last hunting day.Totally we trekked with backpacks 13 hours. In the conclusion I’d say the I had never had such hard climb in my life.  Even our guides didn’t expect that it would be so hard. The average angle of our climb was about 50 degrees and sometimes we crawled literally on all fours on the slopes and rocks on the 70-degree slope. BUT! WE HAVE ALL OVERCOME ON THE WAY TO THE TREASURED AND HONORABLE TROPHY!!! Thank you very much to our guides Aslan, Jamal and Giy. My personal thanks to Tzar Sozanov and his wife Natasha for their hospitality during that trip. The hunt didn’t take much time but has the highest level of complexity. I can’t compare any hunt with that one. Later I talked with some locals and they didn’t believe that we used that way and could climb there. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
19.07.2019
Photo report from under Heaven

Photo report from under Heaven

The readers of our magazine and members of the MHC know Asif Ilyasov by his rare articles and pictures in our edition. I like his photographs and was surprised to learn that he didn’t study how to make photo reports. He has the talent to see the world in an unusual perspective.Asif can really surprise you. Being a young guy , he focused his ambition on becoming the sportsman. He was born in Sheki, one among the few towns in Azerbaijan which located in the spurs of the North Caucasus. He dreamed to become the sportsman from his childhood and his parents Akif Gul oglu and Elena Grigorievna – encouraged his passion. Asif graduated the Academy of the Physical "and started to work in the Army Sport Club. He was involved in martial arts (Boxing, kick-Boxing, Taekwondo, Brazilian JIU-jitsu), and later became a member of Azerbaijan's national team in Rugby. Once taking part in one of the competitions he met his adherent and future business partner Faik Babanly. Faik was the champion of Azerbaijan and the winner of the international competitions in MMA. In a few years they both will organize the company which is well-known among the mountain hunters all over the world - Global Safari Azerbiajan. But before it they hunted a lot in their country and in other countries.Active sport life is short and once you have to choose what to do next. At 2003 our friends and one more guy Nariman Zulfigirov created the company "Musado". The main goal of it was to organize mountains hunting trips. They made hunts for the waterfowls and Dagestan turs. All rules and principles how it worked they learned from their own experience, from their own mistakes and achievements.In 2004 the friends hunted in Africa. They had chosen Namibia and were really surprises that hunting there wasn’t so easy as people used to think. It was a tough hunt and they spent lots of time looking for the trophies but came home very happy and with trophies. That trip helped them to understand what they needed.After that they had been in about 100 countries in Africa, North America, Asia, Europe, Oceania but feel the special love to the Black continent. If they want to feel how the adrenaline boils in the veins they fly to the jungles of South America. They are fond the hot, the abundance of poisonous snakes, when the only way to go ahead is to cut it by machete. Such conditions look very attractive to our friends because there they can check their skills to live, the Nature tests your ability to survive, your physician and physiological conditions. They both didn’t give up training and are in excellent physical form.The 16 years passed how they started their business and become the professionals. Now they can estimate the quantity of the trophy looking to it through the optics and even can define by the one look to the picture in what region of Azerbaijan and when it was done.In 2007 they created their own company Global Safari Azerbaijan. Most of foreign hunters including the members of our Club such as V. Reznik, S. Yastrzhembsky, V. Eliseev, S. Mazurkiewicz, W. Kim, V. Gorb, L. Palko, I. Rayevsky, S. Puzinkevich, S. Volochkovich, A. Kim, hunted with them. They have done a lot but never stop. The State gave them new hunting areas in 2018 what means new record's trophies and new responsivities and less of time. But they both try to find it for the hobbies. Faik is fond of taxidermy and think over the future compositions while hunting. Asif makes hunting movies and nice pictures. There are about 100 hinting videos in his collections and he can’t account the number of pictures.Asif didn’t study photography but get these skill during the trips. He was awarded and not once by the hunting magazines in our country and different counties too. It’s a pity but he hasn’t enough time to devote it to this hobby.I asked Asif about his dream and was surprised when knew that he wanted to hunt for the Golden takin. This animals inhabits in China and the hunt for it is prohibited. So the dream has to be unrealizable, but leaving hope.
16.07.2019
Анастасия Гансовская
The medicine kit which you’ll need to have in the Mountains.

The medicine kit which you’ll need to have in the Mountains.

From the editior: We wrote and not once what medicine the mountain hunter has to have in his kit but we all have our own preferences and understanding what they’ll need at first. Ali Aliev whom you all know shares his experience. The medical kit of the mountain hunter is the same like the kit of the usual hunter but with some additions. It’d be better to divide the medicine chests to the kits for the mountain hunts and universal kits. The last one has to be separated to the stationary kit which better to leave in the camp and the mobile one which you have always to take with you. You need to remember about all surprises which can happen in the mountains and about the situations when you can’t get the professional help in time. Thus the mobile medicine kit has to be the obligatory part of your equipment. I have repeatedly had to make sure of this. I have to add that the usage of some drugs ask for the special knowledge and skills. It applies to injections and surgical interventions. If you don’t know what to do, better not to risk or you can make harm. “Stationary”.   My Main Kit is based on the auto medice kit. I have the special box which was in the car which I’ve bought in Germany. The container is very sturdy and I always take it with me. The composition of the kit is so:   1.         Sanitizers – hydrogen peroxide (universal antiseptic broad spectrum, great for handling and washing of external wounds); as the additional stock – the pack of peroxide (peroxide tablets that can be diluted); Bactine (stronger medication for burns and abrasions and skin lesions); antiseptic plasters of different types and purpose (usually sold in sets); alcohol wipes (for wiping and cleaning the skin before the injection); wet wipes (for personal hygiene); furatsilin (for gargling and wound treatment). 2.         Anestatic and anti shock medicene – Spazmalgon (replacement of obsolete analgin – combined analgesic and antispasmodic: head, kidney, dental, post-traumatic pain); Ketonal (stronger pain medication broad-spectrum, effective, proven itself – in fractures and severe injuries); No-Spa ( from spasms of various nature); lidocaine in ampoules (local anaesthetic injections). 3.         From the heartache Validol- (a mild sedative with a vasodilator effect); nitroglycerin (stronger medication to prevent vasospasm, but you need to keep in mind that this drug usually causes a severe headache. 4.         Antipyretics – acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin (used also in the cases of the "mountain" disease and as a blood-thinning agent); paracetamol (analgesic-antipyretic, has analgesic, antipyretic and weak anti-inflammatory effect); "Coldrex", "Theraflu" and the other like these ones (comprehensive preventive medications, good for all types of colds and their symptoms). 5.         Against intoxication, acute diarrhea – activated carbon (enterosorbiruyuschee, detoxification and anti-diarrhea remedy, has a high surface activity, absorbs poisons and toxins from the gastrointestinal tract); amigal (the medicine which destroys all microorganisms, and protozoa); chloramphenicol (also destroys pathogens in the gut); the colibacterin bifidobakterin, bifikol, "Bifiform", "Linex" and analogues to choose from (an effective means to restore the normal microflora of the intestine, especially the last two drugs). 6.         From pain in the joints and spine (neuralgia, rheumatism) – Ketonal, diclofenac gel (effective analgesic); finalgon (vasodilator analgesic for external use, local action). 7.         From burns, scuffs – panthenol (used to accelerate healing in case of damage to the skin and mucous membranes of various origins: abrasions, thermal and sunburn, aseptic postoperative wounds, scuffs, dermatitis); cream "Boro Plus" (effective remedy for scuffs). 8.         Antihistamines – suprastin (a powerful remedy for allergies, insect bites and snakes, the first remedy for anaphylactic shock, unlike tavegil does not have a hypnotic effect). 9.         Antibiotics – Sumamed (a powerful broad-spectrum antibiotic from almost any bacterial infections, it relies antifungal drug fluconazole). 10.       Digestive enzymes – festal (a combined drug that will allow you to digest steel scrap, is very effective after eating in roadside cafes). 11.       Antihypertonic – andipal (helps to reduce blood pressure). "First aid" in hypertension – capoten. 12.       Sedatives – Valerian extract. 13.       From abrasions and wounds – ointment "Spasatel". 14.       Sunscreen SPF 30, protective lipstick 15.       Dressing material – sterile and non-sterile bandages, elastic bandages, sterile napkins, cotton wool, all kinds of plasters antiseptic, corn, water resistant and alcohol wipes for injection 16.       Tools – small surgical set: scalpel with replaceable blades, clamps, tweezers, the set of catguts with needles, a plait, sterile gloves, syringes for 2, 5 and 10 ml. 17.       Balm "Star» 18.       Baby powder   Mobile   Mountains don’t like when people treat them not seriously. I saw it and not once. The mountain hunt for the grouses didn’t foretell anything dramatic but it could be worse if I didn’t have the mobile kit. The hunting on the leks in the mountains isn’t the same like hunting on the plain. We spent 3 days while found the lek which was located on the altitude 2500-2600 masl and in a few hours walk from the camp and 1000 meters of the height difference. But it worth it. We left the camp at 2 am and rode by horses while it was possible. The animals fall deep into the snow and we had to ride around the most dangerous places. Suddenly on one of the rocky places the horse of my fellow stumbled and he could not stay in the saddle and fell under the hooves of a frightened animal. The result is a comminuted fracture of the tibia and tibia with the displacement of fragments. I estimated the situation and send the guide for a help. I asked him to take the evacuation equipment such as the piece of tarpaulin and the strap from the car. My friend ornithologist was in a bad condition. I gave him the couple of pill of Ketonal and fixed the unnaturally twisted leg. I did it with the help of the sticks and the belt. At the beginning he didn’t allow to make it and cursed loudly when I was doing it. I used Ketonal which had in the mobile kit. If you ask me how often I use it , I would reply – regularly. It’s not always me, but sometimes my fellows have head or toothache and it happens on the mountains. But non of them carries the same kit. I hope that this story will help them to realize how important it can be. The composition of my mobile medicine kit is a truncated version of the Stationary kit but with the bias to the survival. It fits in the small plastic case from the patches. The case burns well if I need it to make fire in the bad weather and contains 200 ml of liquid if I use it as the cup. Previously I used the soft waterproof bag but all pills in it , have been always erased to powder. Outside, the case is pulled with a rubber ring, which can be used as a plait or to fix something. My mini list of the medicine was made with the accounting of my weak points. 1) bandage elastic 2) bandage sterile 3) alcohol wipes 4) napkin diseminarea 5) duct tape silver as killers in American films, glue all 6) patches bactericidal, corn, different sizes 7) sunscreen cream with lipstick 8) gas lighter 9) Ketonal 10) and strong 11) levomicetin (12) andipal 13) paracetomol 14) suprastin 15) Riboxin 16) potassium orotate 17) trental     The last three are adaptogens and I have them just in case because need them only in the long trips which are organized on the height from 3500 masl. It took us 5 hours to pull down to the camp my friend ornithologist. But now I know that if you have to carry the man with the weight of 70 kg you need not less than six strong men. Most of the way we went by road though it was covered by snow.   Highlands. Unfortunately the adaptation skills of Home sapiens are not perfect because they evolved on the plain not in the mountains. For example one of the features of our body is to regulate the respiratory rate not by the amount of oxygen needed in the blood, but by the excess carbon dioxide in the body. It’s one of the reasons of the mountains disease. The symptoms are higher when the human exhausts himself with physical activities in the conditions of low partial pressure of oxygen. I belong to the type of people who often have such kind of problems. The first symptoms appear on the altitude from 3000 masl. I can’t stay on the height 3600-3800 masl (Alatau) without adaptation. Fortunately it’s the highest mountains in Kazakhstan where we can hunt but the mountains are not only in our Republic. I had to treat very seriously to the expedition to Nepal because the hunts there took place on the height about 5000 masl. I got the trophy on 5165 masl. Before the trip I needed to increase my cardiorespiratory endurance and hematocrit ( the number of erythrocytes'). The prep was conducted in three directions: the intensive training on the height more than 2000 masl., medical support during that period and intension training on the maximum altitude just before the trip. All those recommendation I’d received from the sport doctors and climbers. I has to note that the medicine mention below has to be coordinated with your doctor! Adaptogens:   1.         Multivitamin, for example, "Vitrum", vitamins will never be extra 2.         Ascorbic acid is a supplier of vitamin C for the body. 3.         Acetazolamide (diacarb, diamox) – diuretic (diuretic), which reduces intracranial pressure and allows to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of mountain disease. The presence of bursting headaches, increasing with strain, slopes, feeling of pressure on the eyeballs from inside the skull, nausea, especially vomiting indicate an increase of intracranial pressure and in most cases are an indication for admission. 4.         Dexamethasone reduces the severity of acute mountain sickness when you climb to the height of over 4000 m. Preventive treatment can be started a few hours before climbing. The drug relieves symptoms of acute mountain disease for several hours, but does not promote acclimatization. 5.         Dibazol – vasodilator with adaptogenic properties 6.         "Viagra" – a few years ago the scientists began to study the usage of "Viagra" as a preventive measure. The drug improves peripheral blood circulation, including in the lungs, its enzymes block vascular spasm (its’ not necessary to inform your partner about taking the drug) 7.         Calcium pangamate has a distinct antihypoxic effect; calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B3) normalizes metabolism. 8.         Potassium orotate normalizes the liver and heart, microcirculation in capillaries, is effective in frostbite. 9.         Glutamic acid is an amino acid involved in metabolic processes. 10.       Methionine – an amino acid that normalizes the liver in hypoxia, promotes the absorption of fats. 11.       Panangin – potassium-magnesium salt of asparagine amino acid, antiarrhythmic agent, conducts K+ ions, Mg2+ into cells. 12.       Riboxin stimulates the heart, enhances the action of potassium orotate, has a beneficial effect on the heart and liver. 13.       Trental (aspirin, Trombas, Cardiomagnyl) to thin the blood by increasing its viscosity due to dehydration. Telling the truth most of the hunters don’t need these medicaments even being in the highland. The carbohydrate diet is enough for them. We know that carbohydrate increase the resistance to hypoxia. Being on the height you need to take more glucose, sugar and other easily digestible carbohydrates, but not more than 300-400 g per day. I’ve mentioned already about training before the hunt and started in a month before the leaving and also took some medicine.   1.         Riboxin – active substance inosin, activates the process of blood supply to the heart muscle, improves the energy balance of the myocardium, activates metabolic processes in hypoxia, improves the elasticity of the heart muscle, etc. (2 pills per day, morning-evening). 2.         Folic acid (vitamin B9) activates an increase in red blood cells and cellular recovery processes (2 pills per day, morning-evening). 3.         Potassium orotate reduces recovery time, increases productivity, stimulates endogenous processes (2 tablets per day, morning-evening). 4.         Multivitamins Optimen American company ON, vitamins you can take any vitamins which suit you (2 tablets a day, morning-evening). 5.         Glucosamine is the building block of cartilage in joints (2 tablets daily, morning-evening). I began the active prevention in 4 days before the hike     1.         Diacarb (acetazolamide) – a diuretic of medium strength, removes excess water from the ventricles of the brain, as doctors say, It’s the base of the pharmacological prevention of mountain disease. The multifactorial effect of acclimatization made this drug very popular among climbers (125 mg twice a day, morning-evening). In some people, I am among them, it causes tingling fingers and toes, as well as changes in the taste of carbonated drinks. And don't forget to drink more – the drug is diuretic. 2.         Gencom – extract of the plant Ginkgo biloba. This dietary BAA improves the elasticity of blood vessels, blood supply and brain activity, reduces blood viscosity, increases the flow of oxygen to the organs, etc. (2 capsules a day, morning-evening).   I have some more drugs for the active therapy. 1.         Dexamethasone is a synthetic steroid. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, desensitizing, immunosuppressive, anti-shock and antitoxic effect. Pill №1 of the kit of climbers. Take one tablet (4 mg) every eight hours if symptoms occur. 2.         Paracetamol is a widespread non-narcotic analgesic, has anti-inflammatory properties. Take 1000 mg once a day.   The training and medical therapy made very good results. I didn’t suffer from the mountains sickness. I was tired a little bit but it was normal condition for a man who lost 3000 cal per day. There were 4 hunters in my group and we all were in similar physical conditions and age. The next one was Daniel- the doctor from Spain. He also trained for that trip and hadn’t any health problems. The other two guys Jorge from Catalonia and Enton from France were the mountains guides who were spending half of the year in the mountains. But they both had the mountains disease! They managed to resolve those problems when Daniel and I persuaded them to take pills. If we talk about the hunt in Nepal I have to mention some moments: take the sunscreen lotion more than F50, lipstick with F20 and festal. The food in the highlands is digested not so easily like on the plaint and better to help your intestinal by enzymes.   http://prohunt.kz/forum/forum35/topic2050/ http://prohunt.kz/forum/forum35/topic469/
14.07.2019
Али Алиев
Protection of the barrel and optics

Protection of the barrel and optics

We talk a lot how to clean the gun and how important to make it in time but forget about protection from the mechanical damage. The ordinary guy doesn’t understand what we are talking about. Who wants to damage the weapon?Though the loss of the qualitative characteristics of guns or even the complete failure of the barrel can be the result of the mechanical damages. The main trouble of all guns is the ingestion of litter (snow) to the barrel’s channel. It can rupture in the place of the jam because of the excessive pressure of powder gases.I have two rifles which have been broken by such reason. The first one is SKS which I spoiled being in the heart. It was fall. The hunt took place after the rain and I needed to go the number but slipped on the clay and the trunk buried into the ground. I had to cease and went to home but there were wild boars in the corral and I desired to continue. I broke the twig, wrapped a rag and cleaned the barrel how I could do in such conditions. We got trophies and I shot few times. But the gun was finished after that hunt. It gave huge dispersion on 100 meters and I didn’t understand that time what had happened.The second case happened with the smoothbore gun. We were driving the snowmobiles along the Akmolinskaya prairie and fall from time to time. Once I’d rolled over and scooped snow by the barrel. Then I fired twice and the trunk inflated. They say, it can be repaired but the danger, that It will break up, increases. Only then I realized how to avoid such situations. The easiest way to cover the barrels. I used the fingertip and duck tape but the best choice is to use the special covers. They unlike the other devises are reusable. You won’t take the roll of duck tape and cut the new piece after the each shot. I know three variants of covers: leather, rubber and neoprene covers. Everyone has their pros and cons. The leather ones look more rich and durable; the rubber covers made by the German company Wegu are more suitable, you can even shot without any aftermath if you have the recoil compensator; the neoprene goods tight fit and camouflage the barrel. They all work well and I used all variants, tried different forms and sizes with places for the sight or the muzzle brake. I suggest to tie the cover to the gun when you are hunting in the mountains because there are chances to lose it.I believe that we have to protect the guns by the special covers, except the cases when you hunt for the feathered game and have to be ready to shoot at every moment.Another problem is the damage of the optics, mostly scopes. Fallings from horses are the usual thing especially in the mountains. One of my Nicon crashed by negligence. It slipped off the rock shelf and hit the eyepiece on the stones, the lens broke (even the eyepieces were not protected).The second loss became my “Vortex”. I was going down from the slope sitting on the ass and used the rifle to brake. The lens was protected but the knobs for adjustments and lights were broken because there wasn’t the right cover.The most part of the optic’s manufacturers provide the special covers but I have just negative experience with them. I used plastic and aluminum ones which screwed directly into the sight. They protected just lens but not tube and knobs and most of them opened spontaneously and broke.My choice is the neoprene covers for the scopes and sights, most of them you can find in the special shops. There are different models which differ in colors, size and density. Such covers reliably protect optical devices from mechanical damage, knobs for adjustment from unwanted twists, and lenses from water, snow and dirt. Two year ago I designed and sewed the cover for the binocular and now it’s protected and is comfortable to use it in winter.
10.07.2019
The main thing is to put the correct task. Part 2.

The main thing is to put the correct task. Part 2.

In August 2017 when the hunting season for the mountain’s ungulates just started I put the ambitious goal to take five trophies of the Snow Sheep, permitted in Russia.I’ve got the trophy of Kamchatka Snow Sheep a year before and need to take others.Number 3It took us 8 hours to drive 70 km by a four-wheeler to the habitat of the Koryak Snow Sheep.I and Alexey Kim arrived to that camp in the second turn. Viktor Kim had arrived earlier and got his trophy of the Koryak Snow sheep already. Alex and I still had to do it. Next morning our team, which included me, the outfitter and guides, went for the hunt. We divided into several groups and each started to examine the definite hill. In 15 minutes one of us had detected the lonely sheep. The only demand to the future trophy was that it had to be not less than 10 years old because we didn’t have much time for the hunt. I and Vladimir (my guide) started to approach the male while another guide monitored it staying in the bed of the river. We climbed 400 meters and I started to look for the comfortable shooting position when the thick fog covered the hills and the rain started. I tried to find the male through the scope but lost it. It moved to three meters aside and we had to go down and ascended to the next hill once again. I approached it 460 meters. It stood near the rock like the aim in the shooting range. The only problem was that its blended with the natural relief thanks to its color. I made one but accurate shot and did the second one just to be sure. Then we made some pictures, took the genetic analyses and went back to the camp. There I knew that Alexey had got his trophy too.Number 4Last time I hunted in Okhotsk and managed to get only the trophy of the Kolyma Snow Sheep but the plan was to take two trophies. I couldn’t take the Okhotsk Snow Sheep. So I returned once again to finish what had started.Next time I visited the Khabarovsk region was October, 2017. I arranged everything with Alexander Malkov and we (I and my cameraman Alexander) arrived to Okhotsk. The weather was good and we could immediately fly to the Base camp. The flight by chopper took us 40 minutes. We spent two day there examining the territory but found just few tracks. It was clear that our chances to find a good trophy at that place were not high. So we asked for the helicopter once again and moved to another region.The traces of sheep presence had been noticed from the chopper while we were flying and it gave us hope. We landed in 60 km from Okhotsk.The camp was set in the very unusual place. The huge forest fire at the beginning of the last century had burned miles and miles trees. They died but remainded stand, amazing natural spectacle of the Apocalypse.We found lots of sheep tracks and dungs and even the places where they had rest. The first animal, it was female with a baby, we met at the end of the day. Later we detected several males but it became dark and we had to delay the hunt for the next day.It was hurtful to watch just females and young males on the Day#4. I full of thoughts that it was a mistake to hunt in that place and the best way out to leave it.Day #5. I stayed in the camp because wanted to have rest while the guides examined the mountains. At 8.30 am one of them –Sergey, told us by radio that detected the group of 7 males and some of them had trophy size. Our group marched 6 km with the climb 700 meters while he guided us by radio. We looked for the group about 15 minutes but they were out of our sight but fortunately we did it! The shooting distance was 680m. I fired and all group ran up to the mountains but one of them halted and stopped. In a few minutes another one stopped near it. What had happened? Could I wounded two males by the one shot? Probably the bullet went through the male and ricocheted. Later we knew that another male stopped because was very curious and wanted to understand what had happened with the leader. Than it followed the others. Thus, I got 13 years old male with the horns 82 sm.Number 5I had to change my hunting schedule because of the second visit to Okhotsk. At the beginning I was going to hunt in Yakutia in October but could arrive there just in November which was considered to be not the easiest time for hunting. I and my cameraman arrived to Yakutsk on November 17th and were informed that the average temperature was -30 centigrade. One more difficulties was that I could hunt just 8 days from twelve which we planned before.Yakutia is the coldest region on our planet and more than 40% of its territory located beyond the Arctic Circle. There are some places where the temperature could drop to -70 degrees Celsius. You one thing to know the theory and another one to feel it yourself.The local outfitter Alexander Motorin met me in Yakutsk. We needed to drive about 750 km by LandCruiser to the hunting area where he and his brother Konstantin organized hunting trips for the foreign hunters. They started to cooperated with our Club from 2017. The Route P504 is known as the Kolyma highway. That huge transport artery with a total length of 2032 km, stretches through the permafrost from Yakutsk to Magadan. It crosses lots of rivers and lakes. In winter the cars travel by ice and sometimes it ends very tragically. Some cars which couldn’t get out of ice and stayed there till summer. But the most part of the road has soil-crushed stone cover. The construction of the road began in 1932 by the prisoners of Gulag and used for the transportation of gold and coal from the local mines. The construction didn’t stop in summer or winter and thousands of people died there. In the conditions of permafrost all dead bodies were laid under the road’s cover and now that was is also known as the Road of Bones.The first night we spent in the village Handyga. All next day drove to the small village Nezhadnskoe, build near the big golden mine. The "filthy lucre" was found in 1951 and it became the point after which the village started to grow. At the nineties its population was about 2000 people but then the economy ruined and most of the people left it. It’s still active but resembles the ghost town.The last part of the road we were going to drive by GAZ -66 and Ural which belonged to the local guy Peter. The last 80 km we would have to move up the riverbed. That way was full of ice hummocks and it was dangerous to drive alone. The jammed car would frost in a minute and if it wasn’t pulled out immediately it wouldn’t drive further. Thus, we used three cars for safety. The locals suggested to start at early morning and spend the night in the village. It was the right decision because all next day we spent pulling out the cars from ice. By the way , that Ural hadn’t brakes because the brake pads would freeze to the disks and you could stop is just using the engine. And even that monster stuck few times. It took us 7 hours to cross the final part of the way. It was the late evening when we arrived to the camp, totally tired after the long and exhausted road. The total transfer time was about 40 hours. It was a pleasure to spent that night in the warm and comfortable cabin.Hunting in November is very effective because sheep used to go down from the mountains. But not all people can appreciate it because the average temperature is -35 -45C. The only positive moment is that air is dry and it seems warmer than it is.We spent daylight hours for the road and I had just one day for the hunt. And don’t forget how tired I was.We started at early morning and I was impressed by the number of animals! I had never seen such high population density of the mountain ungulates. Probably I saw something like that in the North Ossetia but not so. We detected some groups of animals which grazed on the hills just sitting in the camp. We drove about 3-4 km from the camp and spotted 4-5 small groups of animals. There were some trophy size sheep but we detected the definite group while driving to the camp and wanted to find it. The group which we saw, was in 5 km from the camp last time and we drove to that destination. We were lucky because the animals were on the same place. Four big males stood on the top of the hill. We decided to go around the hill and climb. The temperature was -37C and we had to ascend to 600 meters. My feet were cold but after the climb I was wet under the warm cloth.I detected the group of 4 males which moved up to the mountains. The distance between us was 535 meters.The breech bolt of the gun froze and I had to warm it. But I got my trophy from the first accurate shot.I had to note that mountain hunting in the frost -37C isn’t same like hunting in the normal temperature. Each mountain hunting is extreme but if you need to feel new emotions or increase the extreme level, I suggest to make it in -40C degrees. It'll be double extreme. I promise. Thank you very much to Alexander Motorin for the organization of this hunt. Everything was organized on the high level . The only complexity was in the logistic which took us 40 hours driving to the camp. But It worth it!
04.07.2019
Rain, Snow, Wind and Fog

Rain, Snow, Wind and Fog

It’s difficult to reply why some people leave their families and   cozy homes and rush to the places where they have never been before. Why they risk when nobody understand them and share their aspirations. Is it the instinct or their thirst for adventure. Probably they want to test themselves? Or that’s all together? I hunted in Russia lots of times and had collected the BIG FIVE in Africa. But in 2017 I slightly opened the door to the new world- The World of the Mountains Hunts. My friends-hunters have told me that mountain hunts stand apart from the others and demand on the hunter to be in a good l physical condition and to have the moral power. I decided to try. The geography of the mountains hunts is the whole world. And I decided to start this way from Russia. My country is the most suitable variant for me. The goal is to take all species which are permitted on this 1/6 part of the Land. In one year I’d been in the Gorny Altai where had managed to take the trophy of the Ibex. I visited Caucasus three times and add to my trophy list three kinds of Turs and two sub-species of chamois. The turn came to the Snow Sheep. I discussed all details with Alexey Podtyazhkin ( Ibex Club) and we solved to start with the Kamchatka Snow Sheep. The best time for hunting on Kamchatka is the begging of August when the weather is more predictable and we’ve booked that dates. Looking ahead, I’d say that the weather didn’t know that it had to be so. So, hit the road! The flight from Moscow to Petropavlovsk was on schedule and arrived on time. The first night I spent in the hotel just in a couple km from the airport (Elizovo)because the next day we flew to Tigil by the domestic airlines. There was the direct flight to Palana (it’s the place which we needed) but we couldn’t buy tickets beforehand though tried to do it in two month before the expedition. The risk not to fly anywhere from Elizovo is very high because everything on Kamchatka depends on weather. I was lucky and we flew in time. I has to note that the cost for the domestic flights, if you are not the local citizen, is very high. It’s about the half cost of the ticket between Moscow and Petropavlovsk, about 50K rur. The pilots on the domestic flighta were very experienced but the planes were very old. The planes resembled those that used for the touristic flights on Maldivas but only by its size. That technique is used for decades and I treated it like to the historical rarity and artifact. The first plane on which we had to fly, broke before we left and they gave us another one. We unloaded our luggage and put it on the next one. That procedure was done by passages. Then we prayed and flew. It was the exciting flight on a nine-seat plane. There wasn’t any sound insulation but I liked it. At last we successfully landed at the Tigil airport. That village is located on the north-west of the peninsula . Its’ population is about 1.5K people. The poor infrastructure causes a sense of deep sadness. However, this applies not only to the village of Tigil but to the whole Kamchatka. The distance between Palana and Tigil is about 200 km by the new built and good (if its’ possible) dirt road. Konstantin Kalin met me in Palana. This outfitter and the pro guy is a very good fellow. His wife accommodated me in the comfortable apartment where I spent the night waiting for the American hunter who would join us next day. We both would try our hunting luck on the fertile land of Kamchatka. The hunter would happen to be the 63 year old guy from Washington.   We loaded all things and equipment to the ATV and started. Our team consisted of nine people: the guide, cook Elena, Konstantin, me and Daniel). I discovered that this transport is the miracle of technology. It could overcome any water obstacles, cope with swamps and mud and hold steady on any surface. Looking how this iron giant stormed the barriers I admired that its constructor was the Russian woman. It’s true that… In Russ hamlets women are dwelling….. It took us four hours to get to the base which was not good, but was gorgeous! There were comfortable cabins with bed and linen, big dining room with the fireplace and nice bathhouse. The comfort level was even higher that we expected. We accommodated, tested the guns (fortunately everything was good), then had heavy dinner and went to sleep. We had to have the rest before the transfer to the base camp. Next morning we drove to the camp. Our way laid through the plain with some hills and it took us 9 hours. The Kamchatka expanses make the indelible impressions especially when you seat on the roof of the old, roaring ATV. It was warm and we enjoyed the trip, saw lots of bears which walked alone or with cubs. Sometimes the distance to them wasn’t more than 30 meters. We made stops for a lunch and fishing and arrived to the base camp which was ready and waited for us. It was located at the foot of the mountains. Our armored car sighed and stood on the siding. It was 3.30 pm. The camp’s organization is worthy of the highest praise. It was very comfortable tent camp set in the very picturesque place in the mountains. It consisted of the mobile kitchen with the stove which gave us its warmth during the cold days, the mobile bath and the Toilet! I and Daniel anticipated how we would come back to this nice camp after the long day of hunting. But there were some nuances…. The three guides waited for us in the camp. They made the survey while the weather allowed. The sheep were detected in three different places ten days ago but then the weather changed and nobody knew whether they’d be there or not. One more thing alarmed us that all these places were a day away from the camp. We had to make the decision quickly because according the weather forecast the storm would come in a couple of days. And we decided to go immediately and not to waste time. The plan was to set the camp as close as it was possible to the hunting area. Our group left the base at 4 pm. It consisted of me, three guides and two horses, loaded by all equipment. In an hour and a half my enthusiasm's gone downhill. The temperature was 25 degrees above Zero, no wind and lots of mosquitoes. We needed to go through the vegetation which didn’t make our movement easier. We overcame about 10 km, which was like the endless ups and downs , and went to the place at 10 pm. So we could set the camp, change the cloth and went to sleep looking forward for the hunt next morning. What does it mean “to be unlucky" We started at the sunrise. Now I accept with all responsibility that I've underestimated the Kamchatka mountains. I thought that I was very experienced after hunting in Caucasus with its steep slopes and rocky gorges, on the elevation of 3000 masl and more and mountains on Kamchatka (1300-1500 masl) which looked like hills, wouldn't be a serious problem. How I was wrong! The fact was that the half of the way to the top you had to move through the cedar woods and reindeer moss. Mountains of Kamchatka are steep enough and rocks are friable. It makes all your movements dangerous and tough. The first hunting day we spent looking for the sheep which were seen there in a week before. I didn’t know how much km we hiked but it took us eight hours. It was sunny and the average temperature was about 20C. It was windy on the top but not critical. I thought a lot about the preparation for this hunt and regretted that hadn’t gone to the gym and kept diet. I needed to prepare for a hard work not the light walking. Take it into account if you are going there. We didn’t see any sheep at that day but the weather forecast was good for the next one and we didn’t despair. But as I told you above the weather knew nothing about the forecast and didn’t know that it had to stick to it. The rain started in the early morning and wind which was like a breeze yesterday turned into storm. The tops of the mountains were covered with dense fog. It had no sense to hunt and nobody wanted to leave the tent. It lasted five days. Bad weather broke out in earnest. Rain changed the winds and vice versa. The fog covered the all mountains or uncovered some parts from time to time. The temperature fluctuated from the frost at nights to the warmth +7C during the day. After spending five days in the tent we knew everything about each other. We told all stories and looked through all photos in the phones of each other. We felt as if we knew each other for the whole life.   Most of the time we slept thanks to the rain and wind which sang their lullabies. I had to pay tribute to the Rangers. They used any minute or any opportunity when the weather was fine to view the mountains and find the animals but hadn’t seen anything. The silent tension reigned in the camp at last, we all thought about smth else. I estimated when I could visit Kamchatka next time because I had busy schedule and only logistic there could take eight days. There was one more problem. We took food for the limited number of days because thought that would hunt fast. But decided to stay there for the final, to trust for God and to hope for a good weather. Kamchatka’s surprises On the third day we were forced to cook hot meal once in a day and checked some places where could pick berries and mushrooms. Once we got out of the tent and saw the bear which stood on the hind legs and looked at our horses with the gastronomic interest. Without thinking twice, we brought down towards the uninvited guest a sophisticated vocabulary (profanity) of Russian language which we knew. It looked at us disapprovingly and withdrew. So we spent days waiting for the miracle, what meant for us - the weather improvement. Day #6. At the lunch time the rains was finished and our guides: Andrey and Evkumye went to the nearest valley. Sergey and I stayed in the camp, built a fire and started to cook. In an hour I noticed Andrey who was running to us and gesticulated. We switched on the radio and called Evkumye. He told us that found sheep and the weather would get worse soon. We didn’t wait any minute and trotted to him. We did run 1.5 km to the mountain! There was snow in the mountains at night and the sheep went down to the half of the slope and stopped to rest. It took us 40 minutes to climb the last 300 meters. Andrey and Sergey staid on the place while I and Evkumye crawled to the males. We were ready to see them every minute. So they were. Two young males (4-5 years old) stood in front of us on the opposite slope. The distance between us was about 250meters. They both saw to our side ready to ran. I and Evkumye looked for the third one which lead them. One, two minutes past but it didn’t appear. Nothing! We thought that it ran away by the other way. But suddenly the experienced PH spotted the male which laid down than the young ones in 160 m from us. I saw just its neck and head but we couldn’t approach. I got on my knees, aimed and fired. I missed it and the ram rushed up the slope after the two young animals. I set the bipod and fell to the ground. Then I caught the target on the cross hair when it stopped for a minute and turned to look at us. 210 meters. The shot! I wounded it and it sat down. One more shot. It fell. Thanks to my old Blazer R93! There was a second of the absolute silence and then it exploded with the cries of joy. We threw out all emotions that had accumulated over those days. The other guys joined us and we hugged all together and congratulated each other. The rain started when we were on the way back to the tent and didn’t stop till the end. We went back to base about 7 hours but it wasn’t a hard way. We all were in a high spirit and felt full of strength. The tasty dinner and warm bath waited for us in the camp. We spent that evening talking and telling stories. Then I went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. Next day the team with Daniel came back. They managed to get one sheep of two but took the nice trophy of Kamchatka Brown Bear. Our way to home was without surprises. We flew back to Petropavlovsk and then to Moscow. Thank you very much to Alexey Podtyazhkin ( Ibex Club), Konstantin Kalin and our guides Evkumye, Andrey and Sergey. And thank your very much to our cook Elena. You all organized everything well and I’ll never forget that time. See you again.
06.06.2019
Баран Марко Поло

Hunt of Sergei Yastrzhembsky in Pakistan

Hunt of Sergei Yastrzhembsky in Pakistan in November, 2018. The trophies – Blandford Urial and Sindh Ibex.
24.05.2019
КГО
Become a mountain hunter

Become a mountain hunter

Recently a young man wrote to me that he is fond of my hunting reports and read all of them, then he asked me to tell him how to become the mountain hunter. I was pleased and started to write him when understood that he knew nothing about hunting.  It confounded me.  I had so much to tell him and other guys like he  was. So I decided to write about this topic in details.My reader was interested in the reports which were devoted to the backpacking mountain hunts. I agree that most of them are filled by the harsh romance which attracts young hearts.  These kinds of hunts are the most difficult ones and demand all your strength , the hunter gains experience all of  his life taking part in such adventures.  I guess that the number of mountain hunters is just about 5 percentage from the total number of hunters, and only 5 percentage from mountain hunters used to hunt in such way.  It’s not the official statistic but commutating with other guys in the social nets and on the specialized forums  I can do such assumption.  But nothing is impossible.The “hunting gene” activates our passion to adventures, expeditions and other adventurous inclinations.  Most of us don’t understand why they can’t stay at home in the fall but it’s just their instinct.  The latent hunter can be determined by the passion for gathering mushrooms and berries, fishing and other behavioral symptoms that characterize him as a getter! This passion manifest with different force and lots of depend on the circumstances and heredity. My Dad being the scientist zoologist was absolutely indifferent to the hunting and was lifelong pacifist. But my Grandfather  from Siberia was the bear hunter and I grew up on his hunting stories , he  taught me to understand the Nature . I saw his trophies from my childhood.  The first gun 32cal. was presented to me by my Dad’s colleague when I was 12 years old and that guy become my Teacher. The next example is the former adviser to the President of Russia Mr. Yastrzhembsky.  He took part in his first hunt when he was more than 40 years old and fell in love with it. He is one of the famous trophy hunters now.  I just want to say that if you feel that this passion took possession of you in adulthood, don’t be afraid  the Nature takes its toll! The climbing to the hunting Olympus, mountain hunts are the top among all of them, require lots of investments and force, that’s why you have to be sure that it’s the right choice.  One thing is to read interesting, full of adventures and extreme romance, hunting report, lying on the soft sofa and the other thing to hike when you are cold, frozen, wet and had not strength to move.   I advise you to find real hunters, get on friendly terms with them and asked to takes part in one of their expedition like a helper or a cook. If you really like it and the predator in your heart will wake up, it means that you are on the right way. The next step- you have to become the Hunter! You need to study the hunting rules (hunting minimum), pass exams, read lots of articles about hunting ethics and culture and look through hundreds of hunting pictures. The second stage. The second stage is to buy the smooth –bore gun, which you can use for birds hunting in the mountains.  You can get the permit  for buying rifled-bored gun, which used for trophy hunts, just in three years. It’s very individual what kind of mark, model or type of the gun you’ll choose but if you are going to become the mountain hunter I advise you to take the double-barreled  gun.  It has to be light not more then 3 kg, 12 cal with the replaceable chokes.The producer isn't  important but  the gun has to be applied. Such rifle suits to all mountain's birds hunts, disciplines the hunter, teaches to shoot "seldom, but accurately".  In my opinion that you can use semi auto gun only for goose hunting but it’s difficult to find them in the mountains. The next question to choose clothes, boots and other equipment.  First of all you need to check and read lots of articles published on the specialized forums or editions. You can start from reading this information on our site in the section “Recommendations how to choose the equipment for mountain hunting, what, why and why”.  I’ll write just some words. The minimum kit  includes thermal underwear, the main jackets and pants warm suit with the top membrane, caps, hats, gloves, mittens, all goods have to have the protective coloration.  This kit isn’t enough for the serious backpacking hunts but you have time , three years before it, while you don’t have the carbine. The Boots. I offer to get mountain boots and rubber-plastic boots ( for rain and  the first snow). Later on you ‘d better buy three pairs of boots for different  situations and seasons. Don’t save on the purchase of good sporty socks and protective gaiters for the boots. You need to have a backpack from 30 to 40 liters,better to  use the goods from the well- known manufacture. It has to have single contoured aluminum frame bar. It can be adjusted to fit the shape of your back. Unlikely that you will hunt for several days at this period.   The same reason why you don’t need to waste lots of time choosing the tent.  You can get any double tent which suits for camping or hiking.  The recommended weight is about 3 kg. But take attention for the sleeping bag. It can be heavy but must be warm, with the comfort temperature not less then -10C. Also you’ll need to buy sleeping mat which mustn’t be heavy and has a suitable size.   Cooking kit: You’ll need to have outdoor cooking kit and gas stove. It’ll be enough.   Other equipment: knife – to your choice. My favorite knife is the Swedish mark “ Mora”.   Headlamp flashlight- I advise to buy the proven Amerina one by the Princeton tec. Don’t buy the binocular if it’s cheaper then 200$, The price for optics depends on its quality, you can’t see anything if buy a bad one. You’ll get to the hunting area by horses or car. You can rent the horse on the place but another question is with the car. There aren’t not lots of hunting area where you can drive by car.  Be ready to invest lots of money. There are not good righthand  suves anymore and the you don’t have wide choice now. The most budget one is the new UAZ “Patriot”. It’s not the ideal car but a good one. The used car with good tuning will cost you $ 12000-14000. The next variants are various jeeps from Toyota and Nissan. The best on is Toyota LandCruiser 200 GX. But it’ll cost from $ 40 000 to 45 000, if you buy the used one. You’ll use the car in your usual life for different  reasons that’s why I can’t say that this purchase is a pure hunting investment, but you need to know about it. All of the above gives you the potential opportunity  to hunt  in the mountains and beyond.  Primarily you can hunt for birds such as pheasant, chukar, snowcock then for ungulates: coral hunting which is practiced in some farms or for wolves. You can try to hunt for ungulates from approaching but there aren’t many places where you can approach 50-100m, I mean in Kazakhstan. While hunting in this period you’ll estimate your physical conditions.  The most important skill in the mountains is your endurance. You can make some easy tests, for the hunter who is in good physical condition the climb from the hotel Shimbylak to the Talgar pass (800 vertical meters) will take about an hour and a half, if it takes you more then 2 hours, go to the gym.  Make cardio trainings on the treadmill, an exercise bike or on the  ellipse.  Load your  legs. Read more about physical training in the topic "Physiology of sports, or how to prepare physically for hunting and traveling in the mountains if you are a city dweller." In three year you need to collect all papers and medical certificates and send them , using Gosuslygi site, to get the permit for the purchase of the rifled gun. The third stage. For the mountain hunt you better have the bolt-action gun with the mountain caliber: 7 Rem  Mag, 300 Win Mag. Choosing the carbine you need to know that about 90% of all guns, produced by well –known companies, have good grouping of shots for mountain hunts, about 1MOA (about 3 sm for 100m), so take into account just your budget and personal preferences.  My preferences are so, the first thing is the weight, all of my guns are less then 3 kg without the extra kits, then I pay attention to the modularity and the possibility to change the barrel and caliber ( it’s a very important option for Kazakhstan, where we can’t have more then 2 rifle-bored guns, but the additional barrels are not considered to be the separate one). All other things are not so principal. Such things like muzzle brake, mount for optics, the type of the bolt, the presence of detachable magazine and mechanical sighting devices, the number of cartridges in the store, the presence of antabokes, the type of shutter, the material of the stock  influence on the price and help the hunter. You have to choose the rifle scope too. It has to be with  high optical clarity and objective diameter which allows for quick acquisition of close quarter and fast moving targets. The objective lens diameter has to be from 40 to 50mm, plus tactical turrent shound for the vertical corrections. You'll need  to make the corrections fast because you can shoot for 500 meters or more. Better to choose the gun made be well-known companies form USA, Japan or Europe.  The Chinese rifles are not good quality yet and don’t suit for the serious hunts.  Also you need to buy the binocular with the rangefinder or just Range Finder.  These things like the scopes better to buy from the proven companies, though it’s not critical for the Range Finder, they are protected from the recoil of the gun and measure the distance well but the goods from the Flagman companies make it better. You have to make hundreds of shots to the paper to test run to yourself , to test all distances to 700 meters,   study how to use the ballistic calculator and understand the ballistic base.  You  will gain the skills of shooting with an tactical scope. “The blind aiming” trainings help  much.  Lying down you have to choose the aim by eye ( bush or stone), then close the eyes and point the gun to it, then open your eyes and make the corrections. At last the hand’s mechanics will follow the direction you’ve chosen. Now it’s time to become the member of the Hunting and Anglers Society.  It’ll help you to feel yourself the part of the huge hunting society and you can have the opportunity to hunt on the preferential terms in the lands of societies that make up most of the hunting areas in the CIS.  I’m the patriot of the “Tabigat” society, they have about 12 hunting farms in Kazakhstan, and suggest to enter in it.  We have few of hunting licenses for ungulates and one hunter has the chance to use it just once in thirty years. But your chances to get it from “Tabigat” is much higher.    Before the season.   Repeat the hunting minimum before the season. You need to make to remember the hunting rules,biology, ethics and hunting culture and hunting photography base.Check and test your hunting clothes and equipment in two month before the season.  The more I hunt in the mountain, the more I understand that  there is not the universal hunting outfit.  Mountain hunting season starts at summer and ends in winter, that’s why you need to have outfit for all seasons. Shortly about it.  •             synthetic  underwear (we talk about shorts to the knee and t-shirts; cotton is not suitable because it gets wet quickly and dries slowly) •             thermal underwear- two kits ( one – very thin synthetics for summer camouflage or protective colors, the second one -warm Merino wool or high-quality synthetics same colors •             pants- made from softshell fabrics or stretch synthetic ( for summer) •             pant for winter- softshell windproof fabric with fleece liner suitable for winter •             special winter pants- insulated with synthetics or down, required in severe frosts) •             waterproof rain pant with membrane fabrics, with  oversized leg openings with hook-and-loop adjustments allow the wearer to easily fit the pant over their favorite pair of rain boots/shoes •             jacket- softshell or stretch-synthetic for summer •             jacket – double softshell fabric or fleece ( summer-fall) •             jacket- insulated by synthetic or down with membrane ( needed in the severe frost) •             rain- jacket- made from membrane (you’ll always need it and I advise to take it to the each trip. Better to buy one or two sizes up) •             socks- pairs (two pairs from wool and two coolmax pars for summer) •             summer mountain boots-  non insulated with ankle boots  8’, with lug-andmini-bob tread for secure footing across a wide range of terrain •             ankle boots 14’ , insulated , the weight not less than 1000 gr.  Forged boot hardware offers corrosion resistance and swivels instead of breaking •             Softshell gloves - demi-season and for the  cold) •             Cap for summer •             Warm winter hat baseball cap with ear cover neck warmer •             Fleece cap (thin) •             Fleece cap warm •             White hunting ghillie  I agree that it’s a long list but I’m sure that you’ve bought lots of thing in three years before you’ve got the rifle bored gun.You’ll need to check all your equipment which you’ve bought during  last three years.  The Big Three has to be light and high technology. •             Hunting backpack for 1-2 days hunting. (30-40 Liters, with detachable waist belt and molle webbing •             Backpack for expeditions , it’d be good if you can change its size from 70 to 120 Liters) •             Light single layer double set tent , not heavier  than 2 kg  for summer and two layers tents for the fall. I recommend the Naturehike tents- the best ratio of weight, price and quality •             Sleeping bag ( you have one but better to buy one more warmer) •             Sleeping mat  ( I offer to buy inflatable lightweight mat, insulated with some filler, it will make your nights more comfortable) •             Accessories- trekking poles, sunglasses, multitool, knife, medical kit, flack I have to say that lots of articles devoted to this topic are published in “Magic of the Real Safari” on our site ProHunt.rzThis list isn’t full but all other things are not so important and you can hunt without them. So, you are ready for the Mountain Hunt. First years try to hunt with the experienced guides, follow them, watch them, look through the binoculars, look for the game through the optics though you can thing that it has no sense. Believe me, all hunters have been there, sooner or later the eye will learn to find the game.  You are just semi hunter without the skill to find the game by your own.  Remember about the main rules: The best approach is above from the leeward.  Wild animals hear, see and have the smell much better then you have, that’s why must not make noise, shine and smell. It’s not all what you have to have and know to become the mountain hunter.  This passion will require you to develop skills such as accurate shooting, reading animal tracks, the art of using decoys,  you have to have horse endurance and much more. The main thing is to believe in yourself and in your strength, listen to the advice of experienced hunters and guides, and you will succeed! Not a feather!
06.05.2019
East Sayan – under our feet

East Sayan – under our feet

The bare rocks of the the Sayan ridge sank in the milk of the low clouds,  whirlwinds moved fast along the fluffy gorges and flew up to the harsh "gendarmes" of gray granite. The hunters stood on the steep ledges, letting their faces to  the warm flow of the rising air.  They smiled happily and the amazing picture of the Yenisei River, trapped in the rocky gorge, opened under their feet. The professional traveler is always searching for the place, where no man had ever set foot, where human beings didn’t spoiled the masterpieces created by the Nature or God.  My family asked me, Why did I want to go to the Sayan. And I replied without hesitation: “ I want to see it!” The Sayan Mountains are very different, from the one side on the West, it has Mid Asian landscape but from the other side behind Altai, the Eastern Siberia is the Kingdom of the mighty Yenisei, which filled the space between the steeps.  The combination of the  severity of  rocks and the softness of  water, the turquoise of the sky and the emerald of the summer taiga haunts me from my last visit to the Baikal Ridge and makes me look for such places in different parts of the world. Last year I came across to the photo report of the Swedish hunter where he showed the unknown places of Russia. I took me some time to know what hunting place was mention in that report and who was its owner. I ascertained that that area was very popular among Scandinavian hunters and all good dates had been booked for the next three years already. I need to mention that I promised my Spanish friend to organize the hunt for the Altai Ibex but it was closed in the national parks of Kazakhstan and I couldn’t kept this promise. That’s why I suggested him to try to get the trophy of the Siberian Ibex. The outfitter recommended November as the best period but Jordy had lots of work at that time, that's why we had just one possibility to hunt in August. Fortunately we were able to  arrange it. We knew that Ibexes preferred to hide in the highlands at that time but it couldn’t stop us. The countdown to the end of August 2018 began. It took us long time to reach the place.  First of all we flew from Almaty to Moscow and then to Siberia, then we drove about two hundred km by car to the Yenisei River and several hundred km went upstream by high-speed boat. What could you feel when left the civilization and the nearest human settlement was in hundreds km from us? You are right- HAPPINESS!ACCURATE SHOT  The base camp was done in the Scandinavian styly, very clean. In the evening we got acquaintances with the guides and early morning went up to the mountains. The temporary camp was decided to set at the watershed, the tents, food and water had been delivered there already. We climbed and carried our sleeping bags and tents in the case if we had to move between bare rocks (goltzy).  We detected some herds of Ibexes when stopped for the first time. They included young males and female with cubs but it was a good sign.   Finally we came to the place where vertical one km rise started.  We made several stops and even drank tea while climbing. The  powerful thunderstorm with hail, thunder and lightning covered us on the top. We waited out the weather under the piece of polyethylene which our guide grabbed just in case. We observed Ibexes while ascending – some groups, from 2 to 15 animals, grazed on the  open spots after the rain.  In two hours before the sunset we reached the temporary camp. We didn’t have time to set the camp because went for the reconnaissance and encountered nose-to-nose with the group of young males which pose before us and went down in 200m lower. Suddenly the herd of males came out of the forest where we were going to spend the night. It included more than a dozen and a half of males from 5 to 8 years. I has to remind that the trophy of the Siberian Ibex is smaller than the trophy of the Mid Asian one. The champion of Altai Goat  has 135 sm, thought the champion of the Tian Shan has 160 sm. We weren’t upset by the absence of the old male because our adventure had just began and we took pictures and video with the great pleasure. The day came to the end, Ibexes grazed in 200m below us. Suddenly the group of animals led by the old male appeared from behind the cliff.  Its white neck was clearly visible in the twilight. We checked its size in the optics. It had the trophy size. Jordy decided not to tempt the fate and it was the professional decision. If you find the trophy , take it! I had to make video and assist him if necessary.  The goats huddled together but he made the shot at last. The Ibex fell like a log. Accurate shot! We were happy, hugged and congratulated each other.  We made the photo shoot in the last rays of the sun, cut meat and came back to the camp. That evening was continued in the culinary and folklore way. We cooked the liver and the tenderloin, drank  Rom and narrated hunting stories. ADVENTURES  In the morning we packed up the camp leisurely and started to descend , we had to make primary trophy processing and kept meat.  The sun was burning mercilessly. I didn’t know who that, but I tired more than in a day before while climbing. In the camp we had rest, swam and steamed in the bath. Our cook Vasily created culinary masterpieces and fed us in every way. In the evening we went for fishing with spinning rod. The locals treated it with some skepticism, but when r we caught excellent perches in a half an hour, they also armed with tackles. Next day Jordy decided to stay in the base he wanted to hunt for a roe deer in the evening. I and our guide Vasily went to the mountains at 5 am. The first aim was to get the mountain camp and take some things and food from there, the second one to move to another hunting area.  We rose by the southern slope, it was hard because we carried water. In the half way we noticed deer, two more males  fighted in the bushes and we could hear them. It was hard to scramble without the path but we did it in two hours. It was a pity that I didn’t understand well our outfitter and took not the right backpack. It seemed to me that we'd set the booth near the river and would go up for a hunt each morning, that why I took just the small assault backpack. If I knew that out trip would be in the trekking style I’d choose the bigger one. So, my backpack was covered by equipment and was bloated like a barrel. There was the climb once again. Sometime the path led by the ridge but mostly through the forest.  Taiga in this part was very different, sometimes it was light, nice and not cluttered but sometimes it looked like the dense forest from the horror. Trees were covered by lichens, overgrown with mosses and thickets of rhododendrons. In a couple hours after we left the first camp, the disaster almost happened.   We were walking and talking with Vasily when in twenty meters from us the bear rose up. It was the big, black male. I tear the rifle and click the shutter reflexively, the bear stood on the hind legs but then turned and ran away.  Nothing extraordinary, the bear slept when we disturbed it. We went on, when noticed something flashed  in the bushes in two hundred meters from us by the right side. The bear ran away to the left. I said to Vasily that something was wrong. We chose to come the open glade because there weren’t trees or bushes. I took off the backpack and we waited. Soon we saw  the crouching  bear, it tried to reach us behind the scrubs. We moved like the bullet to another side of the glade and the bear hid in rhododendrons.  Vasily was very surprise because it looked like the bear hunted for us.  “Let’s wait and see- I suggested.- If it appear from the other side I’d shoot”. In thirty seconds the bear came from the bushed definitely to our backpacks. I looked to his eyes and understood that he was thinking whom he would eat first.  I realized that I should pay two thousand dollars for the bear’s license and we’d lose two day going down and up and fired over the shaggy head.  He jumped up in surprise and rushed away.  Suddenly in three hundred meters the wolf, whom we also disturbed, pop up and disappeared in the forest while I was deciding to fire or wait for the bear attack. -!!!... !!!! – Vasily cried to side where the bear ran away.  It was the first time in his life when the animal behaved in such way and the third in mine.  Just imagine what can happen if we don’t have rifles? We took a little breath, cursed the clubfoot  and went on. It was the hot day and we drank a half of all water we had before we reached the camp. At 5 pm we set the camp and went to scout. Unfortunately we didn’t see anything at that day, just females with cubs. We were so tired that went to sleep after eat a little bit of soup. THE OTHER MAN We got up before dawn, drank the rest of the water and went to check other places. The mountain crest was littered by the burned woods. Probably the lightnings often strike here. To walk through such windbreak is a special pleasure. The grass brained the fallen trunks of the fir trees and you can fall and scrap your feet on the branches there. We tried to step on the trunks only and jumped from one to another like equilibrists. In few hours we observed several km of the rocky slopes where the Siberian Ibex inhabited but detected just females and young males.  According the map it wasn’t the main mountain massif there and I hoped that we’d move to the next location and tried to look for the trophy there because the next place looked more promising.  I hinted my guide about it but he avoided the question what looked strange.  At last he broke down and confessed that we couldn’t move to that place because  THE OTHER MAN was there at that time!  It explained the activity in the base camp and why the main manager was so mysterious and other things. It was shown on TV later. The guide felt very uncomfortable but I calmed him and said that we’d find our trophy here. And really at 9 am we spot a trophy size male in three km from us in the gorge.  We knew what to do next.  While I prepared Vasiliy distinguished the sleeping maral and it rose our mood even higher.  We just needed to came back to the tents, find water, shift the camp and spot this goat once again in the evening. And we did so!  TO FIND WATER Most of all I worried how we’d find water in the forest. I remembered Confucius’s words about the black cat but Vasily ensured me that we would find wet spots- the natural puddles. In Russian he called it “mochazhina” and it sounded similar like “urine” and  it confused me. Moreover I didn’t see any puddle while we crossed the forest, it was absolutely dry.  I was afraid that we’d lose the last strength trekking in the forest and wouldn't find any water. But we found it  in an hour when we went to the camp #3. The “mochazhina” was the ordinary puddle with green water. There were plantations of the wild blackberries and cowberry about it. We arranged a halt and boiled tea! It made us peaceful and calm.   Taiga around us was light. A thick carpet from mosses and lichens softened our steps,  mushrooms of all colors and shapes burned like the bright decorations on the green velvet of the grass, cranberries and stone berry glowed ruby color under the sunny rays.  Sharp pyramids of rocks stood under the crowns, like in the lost world of Cameron's "Avatar". Sometimes a stone capercaillie soared with the loud noise or  a flock of grouse flew with the thin squeak. I really wanted to believe that we were the  pioneers here. Though I realized that it wasn’t true. The forest saw people and not once. Vasily spent here more than thirty years.  We came to the small top and found the geodetic beacon there. It was settled in 1932. The time of the pioneers ended between 30 and 60 years of the last century, when geodetic and geological expeditions meticulously investigated and described in detail the entire territory of the vast USSR. The sharp whistle and movements in the forest interrupted my thoughts. “What’s going on once again?”  But it happened to be a musk deer- small deer with the long fangs instead of horns hid in the thicket, near the rocks. It stood there for a moment and disappeared in the twilight forest. -Taiga opens before you- said my guide with respect. - Ya, it opens- I agreed and joked-  but hope I won’t strangle in its arms. My friends say that hunting luck loves me but if you spend so much time in the forest as I, it will love you too.  One old hunter said that the God of Hunt pays us for doing good and because we  love Nature. I liked this thought but could devoted much time to  it because we arrived to the camp #3. It was about 3 pm. We set the camp , take on sleeping bags and fell asleep without hind legs. The body during the days of the expedition ordeal exhausted but isotonic “Isostar” helped much.  The humidity there was high like in tropics, we constantly sweated and lost electrolytes which had to be restored. I drank about three liters of water each day plus some tea and soup. I didn’t have appetite and eat just carbohydrate bars, chocolate and  rusks.  THE TROPHY I prepared everything for the evening hunt, cleaned the barrel of the rifle with the soft ramrod, greased the swivels with the lard and wiped lenses. We were ready.  It would became dark at 7.56 pm according my Garmin, but thanks the low cloud the twilight started at 7pm. The first males appeared in ten minutes but they all were too young.  They made strange maneuvers coming in and out from the forest in 60 meters below us.  They used to hide in the forest during the day because the sun beat down mercilessly. I guessed that it could be colder in the Zailiyskiy Alatau at that time.   It was almost the sunset but we didn’t see big males yet.  Suddenly the youth gathered together and moved to the other decay. We also decided to change the place and ran to the left, there was the slope with the dominant rock.  In the twilight I saw the trophy males which came from the wood and started to graze. We approached them and did it so fast that the sweat filled my eyes. I made the final approach alone, left the guide on the ridge.  The only thing which I worried was to have enough light to see the aiming mark ( I didn’t remember when changed the battery last time in my old Wortex). The information for those who needed: I used the rifle Christensen Arms custom carbon 300 Win Mag; Vortex scops Viper 4-16x50; Federal ammunition 180 gr Accubond; Kryptek gear; Shlumberjack carbine 2500 backpack; Harris bipod. There were two big males at first but I found just one when  reached the place from where I could shoot. I meant that I didn’t choice. I took the comfortable positon but at the last moment the Ibex jumped up and disappeared. I changed the position and spot the other goat. It was that the good-looker which we observed before. I took the aim at its shove and fired without hesitation. The males and a couple of females ran away just the one female left and watched to the bush. I looked through the sight and saw that I got it. Vasily shouted to shoot because it ran away but I showed him that we won! We made pictures before the sun went down, cut meat and hoisted the head on the nearest tree to prevent the wild animals would damage it. Then we gathered the last force and went up six hundred vertical meters along the slope which was covered by the thorny Bush. We arrived to the camp late at night.  The forest path was lit by the Moon and it wasn’t scary to go. We could only drink some “puddle” tea and went to sleep. In the morning we had to work once again, we packed the camp and went back to the trophy. It took us six more hours to get the boat. We stopped just once in Vasily’s cabin. In the evening after the bath we drank some wine, which Jordy took from Spain, and told our stories.  My fellow didn’t seat quiet too and got the good trophy of the Siberian roe. I had to add just one thing. Our outfitter was  Prohunt. KZ, thank you very much to them for this adventure.
29.03.2019
Али Алиев
I will remember it

I will remember it

December is the last hunting month for ungulates in Kazakhstan. This period is favorite among hunters and not only because of the last opportunity to close the license. The goats leave the hard-to-reach mountain peaks and go down to the leaf area at that time. It’s easier to wait out bad weather there. Though there are some animals which stay on the height if there are enough food and open places. I had one license for the Siberian Ibex and decided to hunt in Almaty region before the New Year holidays. I decided all organizational questions with my guide and started to prepare for the hunt. Day temperature was always below zero that’s why I chose the warm clothes from the activity range clothes. I use Kadog model of the well-known hunting brand Kryptek for many years. These clothes suit well for the cold weather, even -15C and keep you warm and dry, especially when you add sweat-wicking and breathable Merino underwear. My list of equipment: sleeping bag (one for me and another one for the guide, sun-glasses (must have), a couple of shovels and chains. I always use chains just for the back wheels, good winter spikes tires work well on the ice road. That’s all, everything is ready. Mountains wait for us. I picked up the guide at 10 pm not to waste time in the traffic jam. We drank some coffee and refueled the car on the way. The road was dry and comfortable in comparison with the way back, we talked and discussed plans for tomorrow morning. I’d been in that hunting grounds before and knew where we’d hunt. The only thing, which I worried, was the place near foothills where the river is covered by ice and it’d be difficult to cross it. We turned away from the road and put on chains just not to make it on the slope. There were not much snow in the gorge but we pushed through it few times. The chains helped us on the ice. It was strong and we crossed all dangerous parts without any problems. It took us three hours to drive to the base camp (the place where we were going to leave the car). There we drank tea and went to sleep. We had enough time and woke up with the first sunrays. Our plan was to track down animals. For the breakfast we drank tea and eat buckwheat with bear’s meat. We went to the mountains following the wild pig tracks and noticed two roe deer on the opposite slope. They lay across each other watching for predators. We walked about six km and gained 400 m altitude when used the binoculars. The first group was noticed in 3 km from us. It included 5 female goats and the young male. We watched for them for a while and went on further. Our goal is an adult male. There were some males here according my experience and guide’s talks. We saw the group of snowcocks while walking. It’s was interesting contrast when all northern slopes were covered by snow but you could seat and take the sun bathe on the southern one. We came down to the car and decided to change the location and drove to another gorge. The slopes there were steeper but I could observe more tracks there though they were far. We are the strong guys and used to conquer mountains. I gave my frame backpack to the guide and it helped us in future. It was sunny freezing day. We saw lots of tracks on the snow and the higher we walked the more fresh they were but didn’t notice animals. We walked about 15 km and climbed 600m height when saw the group of Ibexes. There were 3 trophy size males with good horns and three females with two cubs. They grazed on the opposite slope through the gorge. It was unusual that they were so close to the forest. I started to creep them up and shortened the distance to 500 m. It’d be possible to shot but I’d prefer to come closer and increase my chances to hit the aim. The unsuccessful shot could dream all your life time after time. I dislike shooting through the gorge because you don’t know how the wind will blow. It’s difficult to define its destination if there isn’t any grass on the slope. I snuck like a leopard and looked for the place where I could shot. There weren’t any big stones or trees and suddenly I thought about the backpack. It was a good idea and asked the guide to take it off. I measured the distance –about 380 m and angler of 35 degrees. The guide bent down the bush and put the backpack on it and I pushed the bipod. The constriction was so unstable but I didn’t have choice. The Ibex stood breast to me. The finger slowly pulled the trigger,The gunsight reticle waved in the right place. I shot! Silence! I heard the guide’s voice- Miss! How could I miss it? But the next moment he shouted- No! You got it. I forgot about cold, distance and thirsty. Looked to the animal through the scope sight, it was lying behind the bush. Other animals left the place slowly and disappeared behind the pass. I took the gun and went for the prey. The Ibex was dead. I asked him to forgive me and paid tribute to Bayanay. We pulled the meat down, drank tea and had a short rest. It took us time to cut the meat from the bones. They were too heavy to carry them to the camp. Then packed everything and went the way back. I was dreaming about future hunts and think about next year while coming back. This year is closed and I’d never forget how I did it
09.02.2019
Роман Полисецкий
Russian Mountain Hunting Award

Russian Mountain Hunting Award

Three years ago the Club of Mountain Hunters established Russian Mountain Hunting Award (RMHA). It’s awarded by getting 13 species and subspecies which inhabit in Russia. Eight people, from three countries- Russia, Belarus and USA became the winners. Two years ago we wrote about the prize and its history but the number of our readers and club members increased that’s why we decided to remind about this marvelous prize. This piece of art has the traditional form of Russian Ladle, made from crystal and decorated with silver-plated bronze. The metallic decoration is made in the form of rocks with the ram on the one side and the hunter on the other. The organizing committee decided to create the prize using historical traditions of awarding in the Russian Empire. The choice fell to the Ladle- the traditional Russian form. The ladle, has been the imperial or ambassadorial present, and sends us to the past of the our history. Such form was very popular in the Russian jewelry school in XIX-beginning of XX centuries, especially among the Imperial Court suppliers – Hlebnikov Ivan Petrovich and Ovchinikov Pavel Akimovich and others. We know about the royal insignias which were made in the Ladle form. During the First World War Nicholas II awarded the most distinguished military units by the Ladles with the composition “The hunter with the spear and the bear”. This silver-plated bronze decoration is made by Saint Petersburg Sculptor Vladislav Maslov, one of the most famous animal sculptor in our time. He’s known for his creatures made in the easel sculpture manner and for miniature sculpture. The crystal cup is produced in the Dyatkovo crystal factory in the Bryansk region. The prize is awarded for getting 13 hunting species in Russia. Kolyma Snow Sheep Koryak Snow Sheep (harvested on the Kamchatka Koryak Highland) Okhotsk Snow Sheep Yakutia Snow Sheep Kamchatka Snow Sheep Chukotka Snow Sheep ( harvested on the Koryak Highland in Chukotka) Caucasian Chamois Mid-Caucasian Tur Kuban (Western) Tur Mid-Caucasian Tur  Dagestan (Eastern)  Siberian Ibex (harvested in Sayany)   Altay Ibex (from Russia) The award conferment is taken by the Trophy commission of the CMH and is hand to the winners once in a year on the New Year Party, organized for the Club’s members.. Three people become the first nominee in 2016. Number One: Alexander Egorov- member of the Club’s Board of Trustees and the hunter who is well known among the hunting world. The last trophy in his list was Siberia Ibex. The other nominees are the living legend of the Mountain Hunts Hossein Golabchi and the CMH’s President Edward Bendersky. The 13th Edward’s trophy became Mid-Caucasian Chamois which he got in the Karmadon gorge. You’d read about Hossein Golabchi in our magazine N4/2015 but its’ useful to remind about him one more time. All hunting world knows him under the name Sudi, he is the Iranian- American. Mr. Golabchi is the owner of the most outstanding trophies of Marco Polo. There are about 50 rams and 30 ibexes on his account including 25 species and subspecies of Ibexes and 35 rams. Two more hunters became the nominee of the Russian Mountain Hunting Award in 2017- businessman Sergey Mazurkevich and Victor Kim - the Person 2017, according to our magazine. Sergey Puzankevich from Belarus became the second foreign hunter after Hossein Golabchi who won the Prize and became the owners of “Star of Glory” from the “The Magic of the Real Safari”. We regularly print his hunting reports and articles. The next one is Vladislav Reznik. Our readers know his articles and reports, which you can find in the magazine. Let us, introduce the last nominee in 2018 Alexey Sedov. This enthusiastic hunter is not known to the wide circle of our readers yet. Alexey, as Victor Kim, got involved into mountain hunting in the advanced age. Once, driving home from the traditional pen hunting, he got into the conversation with one of the experienced mountain hunter who suggested him to try. The companion told about all difficulties and excitement which each hunter meet and feel in the mountain. Alexey is from Sochi. His childhood passed in the mountains where they were tracking and training. But he never treated to the mountains like to the hunting area. After that Alexey decided to get comprehend the science of mountain hunting. All vacations were devoted to the mountain expeditions. In three years he conquered all main mountain ranges in Russia. Some of the hunts were successful from the first time, other places he visited several times getting experience from the each trip. Alexey’s caught “the mountain virus” which sends him to the new expeditions. We want to wish him new unforgettable adventures and great trophies. Prizewinners of the Russian Mountain Award Alexader Egorov Edward Bendersky Hossein Golabchi Viktor Kim Sergey Mazurkevich Vladislav Reznik Sergey Puzankevich Alexey Sedov Editorial Board heartily congratulates the successful hunters and wishes them to conquer new peaks!
07.02.2019
Магия настоящего САФАРИ
Crake

Crake

Once early summer I was walking with the dog in the fields when heard the sharp creaky sounds. What was it. I’d never heard such sounds before they were like frog’s croaking. They beckoned me and I started to sneak up through the thick grass toward the bushes between the field and the forest. One careless step could damage everything and my malamute, which followed behind , interfered me. He noticed that I was hiding something and wanted to know and I decided not to scold him, It’d be better. Sounds were close then broke and appeared in the other side. Somebody lead me a pretty dance. It wasn’t me tracking down, somebody was watching me. It was small but very tricky bird. Crex-crex. It looped like a hare. I tried to find it for an hour. Each time when the sound was near I hoped to see it but without any result. I was wet, sweated and bated by mosquitoes. It became darker and I came back. Going home I imagined woodcock or jack-snipe but they didn’t make such sounds. I wanted to know what was it and how to get it tomorrow. I was sure that I’d not calm down. I found all information at home. It was the landrail or sometimes it’s called corncrake or crake. A small hen is 20-25 sm. In Latin it’s called Crex-Crex. It leaves on foot from the pursuit and flies only in very dangerous situations and not far. I dreamed about its feather on the hat. Early morning I came to the place where heard the bird yesterday and went around all thickets and bumps. Nothing! I didn’t talk anybody about it but thought about it all day and was nervous. How to get it? I took the gun and went by regular route. The wild field was covered by blooming herbs. Their smells merged into a medicinal scent similar to cough syrup. Grasshoppers crackled and midges buzzed everywhere. It sounded like a real orchestra, the concert for the crake with the orchestra! He started to solo and louder than yesterday. The air rang from his singing. It’s possible to come close while it’s belling like to the capercaillie. It doesn’t see or hear anything at that moment. I read that that bird is very sly but couldn’t perceive that so. It turns the head to the one side but shouts to another. Why couldn’t It ran away or keep silence? It confused me. It was getting dark and mosquitos became crazy. I was tired but wanted to find him no matter what it cost me. I had to find another way how to get it, sat on the stone and found video with the landrail on youtube. When it was loaded the bird’s voice from the phone rang out to the whole neighborhood. Suddenly my brown One with grey flakes replied to it! I was shocked! The video worked like a decoy. The cheater was trapped. I took the gun and aimed. It looked straight to me and talked with the bird from my phone. I spend two days trapping it, dreamed how I’d get it and now was just sitting and watching him. I was happy! It tried to lead me away from the nest and I thought it teased me. Smart bird. It was the successful hunt though I came home without the trophy. I always follow the creak of the crake from that time and often fell into its trap.
02.02.2019
Горные системы Гиссаро-Алай и Памир в границах Республики Таджикистан

Forms of the Siberian Ibex in the Republik of Tajikistan

Distribution area of the Siberian Ibex in the Republic of Tajikistan includes two mountain systems: Pamir-Alay and Hissar-Alay (Fig. 1). Geographically they are separated by the Alay valley and the river Vakhsh with its upper tributaries – river Surhob and Kyzyl-Suu, flowing on the bottom of this valley. Hissar-Alay mountain system comprises four big ridges. Western and middle part include Turkestan, Hissar and Zeravashan ridges with their spurs; eastern part includes Alay ridge. Pamir includes numerous large and average mountain ridges, most often characterized by longitudinal direction. The ridges of Peter the First and Zaalay mountain ridge are placed in the northern part of the Pamir mountain system, eastern border is spread up to the Kunlun Mountains, southern part is limited by the Hindu Kush ridge; the western part of Pamir is considered to be Panj River. It should be marked, that significant geographic formations (valleys, large rivers), which can limit the movements of Ibex are absent in the area of Pamir highlands. Most rivers flow from the East to the West. Most ridges included in to the mountain system also have the same direction. Hence, from the geographical point of view, there are no prerequisites to divide the distribution range of the Ibex from the Pamir on different forms.   However, mountain Ibex from the Hissar-Alay and from Pamir possess clear morphological differences. The study and comparison of the significant amount of field data taken during the trophy hunts and natural observations allow to conclude that mountain system of Hissar-Alay is inhabited by the Central Asian subspecies of Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica alaiana); Himalayan subspecies (Capra sibirica sakeen) inhabits Pamir Mountains. Noted subspecies of the Siberian Ibex from the area of Republic of Tajikistan have significant morphological differences, which are better developed in adult males. Adult males of Himalayan Ibex are characterized by the dark-brown, sometimes almost black coloration of the dorsum. The tail coloration is from dark-brown to almost white color with a small spot of light fur around the tail root. The beard is brown with length of about 10-15 cm. Old males (10 and more years) have specific sidewiskers, which connect with the beard. After 4 years of life, the individuals of this subspecies of Ibex have white spot on the back, called “saddle”, which becomes larger with the ageing of the animal and sharp contrast with the general dark coloration of the body (fig. 2). A second small light spot on the neck after eight years of life appears in some individuals of this subspecies About 70% of males of the Himalayan Ibex have falcate shape of the horns, which are curved straight and back with a small breakup. About 20% of males have sable-shaped horns, which have more or less straight shape in the proximal and middle parts and curved to the back only on the tips. Males with spreading of the horns to the back or to the sides can be met in about 10% of cases. Adult males of the Central Asian subspecies of Ibex are lighter, grey coloration prevails. White spot on the dorsum is developed poorly and in some cases it is almost invisible on the generally light back. The horns of the adult males of this subspecies are almost always sable-shaped with a small breakeup (fig. 3). Some individuals with intermediate morphological features of both subspecies sometimes are met on the border of Hissaro-Alay and Pamir. These are transitional forms, as they are called. Such a phenomenon is often registered in nature and common for animals of the other species and subspecies of the hoofed animals such as Caucasian Turs.
09.01.2019
Юрий Морозов
Investment in to the future

Investment in to the future

 On the 12 of November I visited and spoke on the meeting of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, chaired by the Deputy Minister Ivan Valentik. The questions about the trophy hunt in Russia were discussed. The theme about funding of the protection and study of the rare animals at the expense of the limited hunt on these species was raised. We recon this them as relevant, and this hunt – rational. However, I would like to start from the different topic – from the project of the Club of the Mountain Hunters devoted to introduction of Chamois to the Krimea mountains. I was speaking about this topic on the meeting.     In my humble opinion, to the date (my friends-hunters agree with this point of view) a pleasant situation emerged to take care about the future, make the third step in filling of the Russian forests, mountains and plains by the hunting species of animals. But not for the soon hunt on them. I speak about long-termed future investments in to the remote future. Why this is the third step? I might be wrong, but the first step, as I know, has been done by the Glavohota RSFSR, which was spreading the animals of the hunting species at the Soviet period – wild boars, deers, beavers and other species along the suitable areas within USSR. Populations of the spotted deers, which are hunted in Tverskaya, Vladimiskaya, Moscow Districts and other central areas were established by the work of Glavohota in the European part of the country.     The musk ox has been introduced to the Yakutia, Yamal and Taymir. Tofay it is stable populations, which may be taken partly and spread to the other regions. The works on the introduction and reintroduction (it was called acclimatization and reacclimatization at the Soviet period) started as sson as the Second World War ended. However, we may see the fruit of this work even now, which, unfortunately, finished when the USSR fell apart. The second step, in my point of view, were the investments primary of the private and partly social hunting organizations in to the reproduction of the hunting animals. Though this work was held and takes place within the borders of the particular lands, it is impossible not to notice, that these lands are not surrounded by the fences and natural migrations of the animals beyond the borders take place naturally. Beaver expansion is very illustrative. These animals make some problems to the road crews, foresters and agriculture. However, the hunters didn’t stop on the simple feeding and curing of the animals. Enclosures with hoofed animals and safari parks started to appear in the country. In 2015 year (NN10,11) the magazine told in details about one very advanced deer park “Mushkino”, which is placed not far from Kaliningrad. The idea, as the one say, flies in the sky. Recently we reported, that the member of presidency of CMH Igor Dontsov rented the Zavyalov island for 49 years, which is placed not far from Magadan. He introduced here 25 musk oxes from Yakutia. There are mountains on the island, where the Snow Sheep and reindeer are planned to be brought and bred. We observed wales and a herd of sea-lions on the seashore when passed by the helicopter. A spawning river is present on the island, where Igor planes to build ECO hotel for the visitors were able to enjoy the beauty of the local nature, take pictures, catch the fish and have a rest. And now I would like to bring the attention of the readers that no hunt is planned on the island. Only in case if the regulation of the number of reintroduced animals is required. And it may take place not earlier than in 10-15 years. Probably more. Igor makes the investment in to the future, as it has been done by Glavohota in the past. I notice, that the level of consciousness of the hunters  evolves. It can be seen on the example of the Club of the Mountain Hunters, at the heart of which projects, which have nothing with the trophy hunt or maybe even with the hunt in general are developed. Today we can and have to invest these breakthrough projects. We have, because the government is not able to do it due to different reasons. Have to, because the “Red book” doesn’t solve the problems of the reducing of the number of species, which are included in to this book. Have to, because we are the citizens of our country. We have to think about the biodiversity and about the things, we leave to the next generations. That is why in 2019 year the CMH wants to start several programmes on the study and restore of the populations of several species of the mountain species and reintroduction of the one species in to tha suitable area with proper conditions. I am going to start from the last idea, which we were speaking about in the Ministry of Nature of the Russian Federation. The speech is about the creating of Chamois population in the Krimea. According to the opinion of the scientists, who study mountain hoofed-animals, Krimea mountains are ideal for this animal. European Mouflon has been introduced on the southern shore of Krimea at the time. There is no objective knowledge about the number of it’s population, because these kind of works were not held during the Ukrainian possession of the Krimea. Moreover, it is difficult to count the animals within the forest without snow. However, it is known, that Mouflon absorbed, what means that the conditions were suitable enough for this species. A great hope is present, that Chamois will like the conditions as well. By the way, it is not going to compete with Mouflon, because it prefers mountain landscapes with cliffs.  Competition with the cattle for the pastures is not foreseen, because there is no cattle-breeding in the areas of the Krimea mountains, which are suitable for Chamois. No hesitations, that the scientific work and understanding of all questions, including expediency and the practical abilities of the project realizations must be done at first. It is especially important, when the question about the introduction of the new for the area species is raized. For sure, the Chamois would be not dangerous competitor of the animals, which are already inhabit the southern shore of Krimea, but an addition to them. It should be understood, that a strict ban on the hunt of this animal will last for 20 years. At least for the time, when it will be clear that a stable and constantly developing population is established. Though. Only next generations of the hunters will discuss this question. Two more projects of the Club are devoted to reintroduction.  The Bezoar Ibex is placed in to the “Red book” to the date. This species inhabited all the territories of the Caucasus    mountains in the past. Due to different reasons, which are more hypothetical, it disappeared almost everywhere. Nowadays, the stable populations of this animal in our country stayed only in Ingushetiya, Chechnya, and in the part of Dagestan.   We want to try to renew the population of Bezoar Ibex on the territories, where it is absent now, but was before. The stuff of the Kabardino-Balkaria and Ossetia-Alania hunting societies supported this idea enthusiastically. The program suggests catshing of the alive animals with the correct age and sex structure. The speech is not about one or two individuals. An optimal group suitable for the reintroduction should be caught. The number of this group must be defined by the specialists. Obviously, such aprogramm requires serious scientific work – if there are suitable conditions for such an introduction today, aren’t there are any limitations? That is why we plan to invite the experienced scientists and experts. National and foreigners as well. In the case if the preliminary work will support the expediency of the project, we will move it. The work will be quite laborious and costly. I want to specify one more time: we are not going to do it because we are going to ask the permission for the hunt tomorrow. This is very long-lasted project as well. One more interesting odea, which was suggested by the Irkutsk scientists is devoted to Argali. Today, as it is known, this animal inhabits within the limited number in Altai and listed in the “Red book”. The excavations on Baikal peninsula Olkhon demonstrated that Argali lived there. It’s range was relatively large and reached almost Tuva. Today Olkhon  - is a Specially Protected Natural Area, which is naturally separated at the warm part of the year, hence, it is possible to try to resurrect Argali population here. According to the data of the Minostry of Nature And Resources of Russian Federation, the number of these animals in Russia raises and there are about 1200 animals in comparison with 600 in the last year.   Capture of some alive animals shouldn’t make the real impact on the population number. In case if due to some reasons it will be difficult to take the animals in Russia, we are going to discuss this question win colleagues from Mongolia. About the scientific part of the work: we were supported by the Irkutsk school of nature rangers.  It will be important and vivid work of the scientists and students. We should say, that these three projects is only a beginning. There are a lot of plans and ideas in future. For example, why do the Ural Mountains lack of hoofed animals?  Probably, introduction and reintroduction should be done there as well? But before we are going to stop on the listed projects and see how it is going. For us 2019 year in this sense – is a year of breaking through projects. Of course, these are not the projects of the single year. The period of the start of such a programs is about 2-3 years. Scientific data collection and it’s procession and estimation by the experts will be established at first and only then the catching of the animals and release in to the nature with monitoring. The readers might be qurious about the sources of funding for these projects. First of all, it should be said, that we don’t spek about the budget money. Many members of our club are eager to invest in to these projects. I have no doubt, that the umber of willing people, who want to support our ideas will be even more. We are not going to make obstacles for the aside charity. I will promise, that the funding will be fully opened and we will report about the each rouble, invested in to the listed projects. I would like to take the attention of the readers on the fact, that such a project initiate the hunting organizations. We are not a pioneers in this area. The hunters create the funds, make auctions where they sell hunts on the rare species of animals for study and breeding of these animals all over the World. The las auction held in the USA, where the “Green” move is much more powerfull than in Russia, the hunt on one of the rare species of Bighorn Sheeps was sold for 300 000 US Dollars! These money will be spend on the study of rare animals. One of the fresh examples – Tajikistan and Pakistan, where the great results were achieved in preservation and the following increasing of the number of Markhors because of the opened limited hunt on these species. In the past, these animals were under the pressure of uncontrolled hunt by the locals, which had low income. CIC and CITES initiated the program accepted by the Pakistan government. The main point of it was that the local societies were given 12 permits per year for taking of these trophy animals and priority in distribution of the money from the hunt sells between the local societies. Taking in account, that the cost of the Markhor hunt is about 150 000 USA Dollars for today, local population requalified from the illegal hunters to the devoted protectors of these animals from the predators and illegal hunters.        The same has been done in Tajikistan, where  the hunt for Markhors and Bukhar Urial for the long time was prohibited and they were listed in the “Red book” and were protected especially in the Nature reserves. However, there was no real result in the passive work. Finally, the government started to give the lands in to the hunt use and started to sell limited right on the hunt on these rare animals and made an economical tool for stimulation of the investments in to protection and breeding. As a result, the number of the Markhor in Tajikistan is estimated as 1900 animals for now. When CITES analyzed the work of the on the hunting lands, it legalized the export of 6-9 Markhors from the country from the 2014 year. I am going to give another one example. After the many-year limitation on the Argali hunt, the government of Kazakhstan decided this year to give 3 permits, which will be put on the annual auction SCI (International Club Safari, USA). The organizers guarantee the starting price from the 100 000 US Dollars per permission. It may be only suggested, what height will achieve the final cost, but I think, that it will be 200-250 000 US Dollars. The population in Kazakhstan is estimated in 16 000 animals. And, of course, limited hunt can’t make any harm. At the same time, trophy hunt will attract significant investment in to the protection  and study of Argali. According to this, I would like to say several words about the hunt on the rare species of the animals, what has been announced in the first part of the present article.   Such a theme mentioned in the traditional nature protection idea sounds like something blasphemous. However, the thought that, probably, the hunt, even limited, may be legalized leads to the almost hysterics in the minds of the inert thinking people. But when the speech is about the positive experience abroad – it is taken as it is, calm. But it is impossible to make something like that in our country. To tell the truth, this kind of hunt breaks the stereotypes and suggests new and effective mechanism of the fast increasing of the number of rare animals. On the meeting in the Ministry of the Nature Protection, which I was speaking before, were the members of the nature protection organizations, who told that budget funding on the protection, monitoring and study of the rare animals (besides several totem animals like the tiger, Far East leopard and Snow leopard) is obviously not enough. There is some work with animals belonging to the red lists in the Nature reserves, but mostly enthusiastic, because the money are enough et least for the salary of the stuff and the household requires. The question about the pilot project devoted to the Putoran Sheep has been raised. The situation which formed with this project desires better. But not because the project is bad, but due to the society, which didn’t hear us, what I told on the meeting. The society heard those, who published in the more accessible for the people mass media, but doesn’t know the details of the project of, driving by the cooperative interests, interpret them in the perverted form, or brings to the society one-sided information. As a result – the society heard only one side – the side of the opponents of the project. However, we didn’t put the hands down. I plan to organize the public press-conference and tell about the aims of the project and about the things, which stay behind our idea – about the scientific part and about those people, who will make it; about the funding of this work. One of the participants of the meeting suggested, that on some of the endangered species they work with large companies, including oil ones. These companies do not ask anything in return, but the CMH askes 6 Sheeps secretly. I objected that there is nothing hidden there. We say straightly that we would like to receive 6 permits (two per year) because this is the idea, which gave the positive result in the other countries and which, I am sure, will become the main in the business of protection of rare animals and the traditional approaches of the breeding of the rare animals will be changed. First of all, we should say, that the program was born after that, when the Putoran Nature reserve asked us to assist in the estimation of the range of the Putoran Snow Sheep, which spread far beyond the area of the nature reserve. If there is some work is held within the nature reserve, monitoring is totally absent beyond it’s borders. The “Putoran project” suggests taking part of the Taymir Nature reserves, scientific department of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Russian Federation and the Club of the Mountain Hunters. We have to read the petitions of some totally incompetence people, that the study of the animal, including DNA analysis is possible to make by the fur or faeces, without the kill. But here what is proclaimed by the experienced scientific expert: “The taken animal gives to the biological science more material, than the study of the alive immobilized animal. The taken animal gives the opportunity to make the full analysis of the external and internal parazites, including those, which are taken from the different organs, make the full morphological analysis of the tissues, including the skeleton, physiological state, study the microflora and feeding full enough, make the measurements of the body and fur at a good quality, take the material for the all types of physiological, anatomical and genetic studies. About the latter: there is not enough genetic material in the fur and faeces. It is possible to make only analysis of the mitochondrial DNA. The tissues of the animal allow to make mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (full genome sequencing) as well. This means that these methods widen the possibilities of the genetic study, what favors the precise definition of the species  of the particular population. Those, who argue with this, just don’t understand and don’t realize the importance of the scientific aims and tasks in the studies of the wild animals and their habitats”. The hunt on the 6 Sheeps can’t make any harm to the population. Moreover, only the old animals, which do not take part in the reproduction, are to be taken, only beyond the borders of the Nature reserve and only after the first study of the population condition. Besides that, the members of the CMH are eager to sign the document about the refuse of the possession of the trophy and will give it to the scientific organizations for the study. At first we discussed the budget of about 12-15 millions. However, the rate of the required work for reaching the full result is that large, that the sum raised in a short time to 40 millions! Modern drones for the estimation of the Putoran Sheep is supposed. The talk is not about the quadcopters, which can be bought in any shop. We talk about serious pilotless flights, which can be driven only by the certified pilots. The catch of the 12 alive animals is planned and further marking by the modern satellite sensors for the study of the migration processes in the population. This is large scientific work, which has been never done before – during the 30 years, for sure. Even now it is obvious, that the project will require about 60-70 millions of roubles. But this work will give the real result and we, and we, like no one else, are interested in the success. We want to make a scientific film, demonstrate, how this work is organized. Hence, we don’t reject the idea of realization of the “Putoran project” and we continue to consult with the Ministry of the Nature Protection of Russian federation. Numerous opinions were told on the meeting. However, most people proclaimed that it is a good project with obvious content, rights and duties of the sides, obvious and clear funding. Any work and any initiative have supporters and opponents – it is normal. We may be wrong. We can hear the advises. We are for the cooperation with the scientists, ecologists and the “Greens”. Radical points of view and approaches are always bad. Like from the side of the hunters, and from the side of the “Greens” as well. I always stood for the dialogue. In general, “Putoran project” is right, and, if so, let’s search the ways of the contact of the interests, but not the cause to proclaim the final war to each other. This is or country, our land and no one will make anything but we. No foreigners will help, or they will make everything rough in the self-interest. I am insured, that they would prefer if we would do nothing at all, for if it was no scientific, creative and business processes. It is easier to trough the Russia with grants, for the life stopped in it. We lose the experts, technology, competence and willing of work in case if we do nothing. It is obvious, that we are not able to solve all the problems and to release all the questions, but our initiative will become a good start for those, who decides to continue our work. We will feel no shame when look in to the eyes of the future generations and speak with honor about the things we have done for the biodiversity and for the rare and disappearing species of animals became common and abundant.     
16.12.2018
RECOMMENDATIONS ON FIELD EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

RECOMMENDATIONS ON FIELD EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

Shooting in the mountains has its own specifics which depends upon many factors: hunting objects, shooting distance, altitude, temperature, target elevation, wind force and direction, physical discomfort at the moment of aiming, fatigue, increased level of adrenalin and many others. Thereupon, the value of a single shot in the mountain hunt rises, so do the requirements to the firearms and field equipment. Some recommendations given below are based on our Club members’ personal experience of planning and participation in mountain hunting expeditions FIREARMS 1. HUNTING CARBINE Calibers from .300 to .338. Given caliber range enables shooting at great distances preserving sufficient amount of bullet energy for a guaranteed shooting to kill. The main cartridge brands are: .300 Winchester Magnum, .300 Winchester Short Magnum, .300 Weatherby Magnum, .300 Savage, .300 Ruger Compact Magnum, .300 Remington Ultra Magnum, .300 Remington SA Ultra Mag, .300 H&H Magnum. These enable shooting at distances up to 800 meters. Caliber .338 Lapua Magnum – to 1000 meters and more. Such a large selection of brands puts a question of an optimal gun choice. Basically, this should be non-semi-automatic gun with the accurate of the barrel to 0.5 MOA (minute of arc), that corresponds to the error of 1.5cm for100 meters (extreme vertical spread up to 0,5 MOA (minute of arc), which equals an error of 1,5 cm per 100 meters). It’s easy to calculate that ballistic tolerance for firing at 800 m will be about 12 cm which goes well into the overall dimensions of the game. The whole thing could be much easier if only this parameter affected firing accuracy. The rifles of .338 WM and 338 LM calibers being loaded and equipped with a telescopic sight will weigh about 10 kg or even more. This taking into account some extra equipment and ammunition will be significant burden even for a well-trained hunter. Rifles of .300 caliber are less heavy and some of them, made in Ultra light design, are almost “weightless”. However, firing such a lightweight guns has its own peculiarities. Aiming such guns is rather difficult because a heavier barrel is more stable while choosing an aiming point. Besides the recoil of .300 lightweight rifle is quite sensible that is definitely not a problem for an experienced hunter but for the novice this may represent a serious difficulty during aiming and firing. Hunting chamois the .243 caliber is also frequently used but in general, we can conclude that variations of .300 calibers are optimal in terms of bullet weight, energy conservation (sufficient to kill the animal) and shooting distance. As an example, we can recommend Orsis, Blazer, Sako, Heckler-Koch and Remington. Heavier rifles of .338 caliber include such brands as HS Precision, Accuracy AW, Barrett and others. These are specialized sniper’s firearms, the best of its kind in this class. 2. TELESCOPIC SIGHT In our opinion, they should be tactical sights allowing to introduce corrections with vertical (elevation) and horizontal (windage) adjustment controls. The scope must have variable magnification which will help to optimize targeting and firing at different distances. Probably, the top scope brands are Schmidt & Bender, NightForce, Carl Zeiss. Among Russian brands we can recommend Dedal. Maximum magnification is 25 times, sights with higher magnification belong to sport class and firing with these at moving targets is quite problematic, besides, such scopes are quite heavy which is not a positive factor for mountain hunting. The most important thing in choosing your scope is its metric values. Some hunters prefer centimeters, others – MOA, regardless of this it’s important to make proper calculations with the given scope. Optimal reticle design is Mil-Dot with transparent dots. Solid dots at significant distances may cover the target itself, making the targeting difficult. This reticle type also allows firing with deflection. Some words on thermographic and NVD scopes. It is well known that firing at night in the mountains is inadmissible. Most hunters agree with this statement. Therefore, it makes no sense to spare enormous sums of money to buy such devices, because the probability that it will be useless for you is close to 99%. However, during the last years a number of Russian companies made considerable progress in thermographic scopes production. Dedal, IWT, Infratech and Ukrainian scopes ARCHER are quite suitable for 200-800 m, but still these are rather expensive and virtually useless devices for the mountain hunt. 3. AMMUNITION According to the fact that firing distance will be probably of no less than 300 m, the ammunition has to meet high ballistic requirements like that of Scenar. Try to standardize your ammunition set. Fire all types of ammo you have on a shooting range at different distances and make all necessary calculations with corresponding ballistic tables. Different types of ammunition will have different trajectories, which may introduce certain degree of nervousness, unexpectedness and misses during hunting itself. 4. BINOCULARS It’s better to have one combined with a range finder. This type of device should be considered optimal, in other case you’ll have to carry both of them. Leica binoculars with 10 times magnification and built-in ballistic calculator allow getting all the basic shooting data: range, target elevation, air pressure and air temperature. 5. SPOTTING SCOPES Mountain game animals have perfect eyesight, are very shy and are sometimes very difficult to spot in the mountainous areas. While searching them, a hunter may travel up to 20 km a day. It is important just not to spot the animals but to determine their sex, age and to assess the quality of a possible trophy. For instance, many countries have certain restrictions and charge serious fines if juvenile animals are taken. To find an animal and to assess the trophy one can use spotting scopes with high magnification from 25 to 50 times. Leica, Swarovski, Carl Zeiss offer an impressive range of models. All these have high resolution coated optics, but when making your choice you still have to acknowledge the weight of certain model. Apart from the scope itself you’ll need a tripod and a tripod head. We recommend ball-head type Manfrotto 324RC2. Dealing with high magnification optics it is very important to lock the scope quickly and firmly and this model shows excellent performance in this respect. Choosing a tripod one should be guided by its compact size, reliability and steadiness. Too shaky tripod will flutter in the strong wind and will transfer its shaking to the optics which will seriously deteriorate the picture. As an alternative, one could use 25x telescopic sight mounted on a rifle or a photo camera with 30x zoom. A scope with lower magnification won’t give enough resolution to assess the trophy size over significant distances. 6. WRISTWATCH OF CASIO PROTREK TYPE This type of watch allows gaining necessary shooting data, works on sun batteries, has a light and secure watchcase. 7. WEATHER METER It is used to measure wind speed and direction. The Kestrel brand is considered the best of this kind. When shooting at distances less than 300 m wind corrections are subtle but ignoring them at greater distances will certainly make you miss. However, those hunters who have ever had mountain shooting experience know how difficult it can be to judge the wind direction by the bullet trajectory. Wind in the mountain gorge can easily change its direction to the opposite. 8. BALLISTIC CALCULATOR It may be installed into different platforms and mobile devices, like Getac p535f. The main requirements are waterproofness and usability. We can recommend a shock-resistant and waterproof case SLXTreme for IPhone 5S. Having this, you’ll get good quality camera, a navigator, a ballistic calculator and, of course, a mobile communication. You can download a ballistic calculation program specially developed by snipers of Special Task Force of Russian FSS for Windows mobile 6.1, IPhone and Android. For the details see the corresponding page of our site. 9. BALLISTIC TABLES For the convenience and as an alternative option we propose to calculate ballistic tables for principal values of elevation and distance. For example, 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500 m and distances from 100 to 800 m with a step of no less than 25 m. Such a table could be printed, put into waterproof cover and carried in your pocket all the time during hunting. The table may be printed on a metalized self-adhesive plate and fixed directly on a rifle. This way you will have a good prompt on basic shooting distances always at your hands. 9. OPTIC SCOPE COVER We have to add some important accessories to the firearms topic. The scope cover which also covers the rifle barrel is a significant element both in terms of protection and carrying convenience. Another useful item is tactical carry backpack which seriously improves fastening and carrying your gun during the prolonged day marches. Among the best of these are Russian T11 pack made by Group 99 Сompany. It is really useful and important detail for carrying your firearms. 10. MOUNTAIN SHOOTING STICKS The carbine should be equipped with mountain (extended) shooting sticks (Harris, CALDWELL) which enable shooting at wider angles, from lying and sitting positions. According to our experience we recommend all the beginners to include this type of shooting to the self-training program. Short sticks are of limited use in the mountains and a hunter will hardly benefit from it. Moreover, shooting upwards at wide angle on short sticks one can easily injure himself with the scope ocular because of its inconvenient position too close to the hunter’s face. Another common mistake in shooting with short sticks is hitting an obstacle on the bullet trajectory. The scope picture shows that the target is open and you can fire, whereas the barrel is actually much lower and bullet hits a rock or a grass clump placed right to the front of a muzzle. Be very careful and assure that there’re no obstacles. 11. GUN CLEANING KIT You should carry a cleaning kit: ramrod, cleaning rag and gun oil. Everything can happen to your rifle, most often the ingress of snow into the barrel may take place, so do always keep your gun in operation condition. 12. SOUND MODERATOR Sometimes hunters use sound moderator (suppressor or silencer). This device muffles and dissipates the noise, it being virtually impossible to reach complete noiselessness of the firing sound at all because of the ultrasonic characteristics of the ammunition. Using the sound moderator invariably changes the barrel ballistics – as a rule, bullets fall 15-20 cm lower than usual and there may be deflections on horizontal. You will need to recalculate the ballistic tables at all firing distances. And don’t expect that suppressor will make the shot totally silent, it would make it rather more inconspicuous for an animal and of course, it will considerably lower the disturbance factor compared to the usual loud and rolling mountain shot sound when fired without the suppressor. It is also necessary to know that after removal and the next turning of the sound moderator on the barrel, it needs in a control shooting and an adjustment of aiming point. 13. MILITARY TARGETING AND RANGING MODULES Say a few words about devices, which can be attributed rather to exotics than to anything being necessary. These are professional use military sniper modules. Among the most famous are laser rangefinders and targeting optics of American brand Wilcox and Swiss brand Vectronix. The devices like this are able to work at great distances, to calculate the target coordinates, azimuths and designations, transmitting this data to a variety of offensive weapon systems. The computational algorithms they use are excessive for hunting. Thus, being devices of special military purpose it’s almost impossible to buy them on a public sale. ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND GADGETS NECESSARY FOR THE MOUNTAIN HUNT Modern technologies are always one head ahead of us and gradually penetrate into all the fields of our life. Mountain hunting is not an exception. Below are some our recommendations on that matter. The most important element of the coordination iscommunication. 1. SET OF WALKIE-TALKIES We recommend each hunter to have a set of two walkie-talkies with extra batteries. It is always hard to tell in advance whether there’ll be any electricity network or a generator on the spot. Using batteries in such cases is safer. One can easily estimate the necessary amount of them for the trip. Local outfitters may have their own set of radio transmitters but you could hardly rely on that fact. Good coordination work before the start of the hunt is a guarantee of success. 2. SATELLITE PHONE There are several systems of satellite communication, the most common of these are Iridium and Thuraya. It’s better if you’ll type all the necessary contacts to the phone memory in advance. However, the satellite phone will work for no more than two days without being charged. 3. SATELLITE TRACKER In our opinion this device is rather more suited to long hunting trips. Depending on the setup mode it will work up to three months without a charge periodically transmitting signals of your location to a central control center or to mobile device. Modern models support text messaging which makes it a perfect tool for transmitting some important information. For example, it will be useful for a hunter to make some notes on a certain site or to request a weather forecast for the hunting spot. But the most necessary and important feature of the device is the transmission of an emergency signal. The principal factor of your safety in such kind of a situation is timely information on the details of an accident supplemented with exact geographical coordinates. To protect your tracker we recommend to put it into waterproof Aquapac or DRUPAK cases.. 4. MOBILE SATELLITE STATION FOR THE INTERNET CONNECTION It is very important to be well informed about the latest events in the country and the world in general. If you’re a businessman it is absolutely essential to stay in touch and to be able to run your affairs remotely. For this purpose we recommend to have a mobile satellite station. As with satellite phones the principal brands are Iridium, Inmarsat and Thuraya. They offer a range of devices providing stable Internet connection. Although the traffic speed leaves much to be desired it’s quite enough for the most basic purposes. 5. EXTERNAL ACCUMULATORS AND SOLAR BATTERIES One of the most crucial things with all electronic equipment is its recharging ability. Field conditions during the mountain hunt are mostly tough and very few places can provide you even with a simplest electricity network. That’s the moment to think of accumulators and solar batteries. There’s a plenty of variants on offer both of Russian and foreign brands. The models range from very light carpet-like to bulky suitcase-like with huge capacity allowing using them for many hours and even to power up the camp lights. In most cases you’ll be housed in some sort of a base camp, where you can leave your entire luggage and reach it, as a rule, using a car or a helicopter. Of course, you don’t have to carry all that stuff with you directly to the hunting site and it’s actually hardly possible. But creating comfortable conditions at the base camp where you’ll have a kind of command center and recreational area is quite reasonable. 6. PHOTO AND VIDEO Hunting, especially trophy hunting implies photo or video registration of the trophy taken. It’s a kind of mandatory ritual and you can’t go without it. Moreover, when entering a trophy almost all hunting clubs require a photo of a hunter with a trophy. With all these requirements a technical reliability question arises. With plenty of models on offer one should count for compact size, safe casing and good zoom. As we mentioned above an IPhone 5 in waterproof SLXTreme case is a good option. It’s well known that a picture quality taken with this model is quite reasonable; besides, the device has got a number of other useful functions being, in particular, a GPS-navigator. There are good reviews for Canon SX700 HS with 30x optical zoom. Despite its small size it manages to take excellent photos and, if necessary, to capture objects at great distances. It is also helpful in terms of assessing the quality of your future trophy. By the way, the Garmin Company has launched a line of GPS-navigators with built-in photo cameras. 7. GPS-NAVIGATORS They are very important accessories in the equipment of the mountain hunter. They solve a complex of tasks including navigation, reconnaissance, geo-positioning of the current location and notable events happened to a hunter. Base camp coordinate, the spot where the trophy was taken or a place where a cargo container was packed – all this and many other aspects require a precise GPS data. Nevertheless, have in mind that these devices are quite power-hungry and need a constant supply of batteries. 8. E-BOOK ON A NOOK PLATFORM Mountains are notorious with unpredictable and frequent weather changes. It is quite common to get several days of pouring rain, winds quall or impenetrable fog. The long days like these force a hunter to kill the time by all possible ways while waiting for the weather to improve. On these days one more gadget will be of great help to the hunter – the E-book on a Nook platform. It features considerable memory capacity and low power consumption. During the preparations for the hunting trip, you can download the books you want (fiction or documentary) and then enjoy them during the nasty weather. NECESSARY FIELD EQUIPMENT AND FIELD OUTERWEAR 1. BIG ROOMY HANDBAG The number one item in this list is a roomy handbag where you’ll place the bulk of your equipment. It should be a waterproof bag to securely cover all your goods. As an example we can name Tatonka Barrel L and handbags of Beretta Company. 2. BACKPACK It is another important part of the field equipment. Some details will be appropriate here. Today you can find lots of different models on market, but most of them are intended for mountain tourists and not all of them will be suitable for a mountain hunter. A hunter should have several backpacks depending on purpose. Some people classify backpacks by the volume: 20-30-40 liters and so on; others group them in terms of time of the hike: daypacks, two-days and many-days – there’re lots of other classifications. Each backpack has to meet the certain requirements depending on the tasks in a given trip. The basic requirement for all is water and moisture resistance. Despite all the assurances of Gore Tex manufacturer we strongly recommend additional rain cover which will act as an extra waterproof layer. Some backpack models are fully made of rubberized fabric. Backpack has to have comfortable frame and straps to evenly distribute the load. Special pockets and mounts for holding a rifle are very convenient. Always carrying a mountain carbine on a shoulder strap is a tiresome and exhausting work. Whereas, the rifle put into special pocket will improve the overall body balance and will evenly offload its weight over your shoulders. For example, the backpacks of different capacity made by “Group 99” company – is a very good option for mountain hunting. It is important to note and to list the most principal items for an autonomous many day march. These include: A one-person double-skin tent Sleeping bag Sleeping mat (ground pad) Extra set of clothes Water flask and supply of food Electronic devices, including parts of your firearms Ammunition 3. ONE-PERSON TENT We strongly recommend the hunters to have their own one-person tent. It should be equipped with the outer waterproof tent which will protect them from rain, dew and condensate. There are lots of different models on the market, but the principal criterion to be considered – it’s the weight of the tent. 4. SLEEPING BAG It is a very important part of equipment. After long, exhausting marches you’ll have to gain strength and to sleep well. For this you’ll need a sleeping bag which fits the local air temperature. The best option is to have a range of bags for different temperatures from -15, -25 to -40 or even -60°C. Austrian brand Carinthia, Dutch brand Arctic and Russian company BASK are all good enough to provide you with all sleeping bag models you’d need. Take with you only the bag which will surely suit to the expected conditions. 5. SLEEPING MAT It is another necessary detail for safe sleeping on snow or ground. These can be of manually inflated, self-inflated or foam types, made of polyethylene foam. It is important to choose the model of a sleeping mat as to reach maximum insulation properties as well as compact size and shape. At the base camp the camp bed is the best option. No sleeping mat can be compared to a camp bed in terms of comfort. But Iit is necessary to have both items as each of them has its own fdifferent aim. 6. PERSONAL FIRST-AID KIT The Companies as “Group 99” and “Transcript NPC” offer a wide range of individual and group first-aid kits. They are packaged in accordance with the most common potential threats to human health, but certainly each hunter will have to add some of personal medicines. We also recommend the hunters to add broad spectrum of antibiotics, medicines against cold and pain killers. There are some mountain specialties like Glycine and Aquagen which speed up the adaptation to height. 7. HIKING BOOTS It is hard to say what part of the field equipment is more important than others, but the footwear is vital one. Wrongly chosen footwear may result in bruises and corns and consequently, untimely end of hunting or even end in a tragedy. Below there is some advice on proper choosing of your hiking boots. Firstly, these should be specialized hiking boots on a Vibram outsole. This type of sole must have the right rigidity and an excellent grip with any surface. The boots have to be of moderate rigid, to fix an ankle properly and to be made using Gore Tex technology, i.e. to be waterproof. Better to buy boots half a size bigger than your actual foot size, this will allow you to wear thick warm socks and also will leave some space for the first toe – it is very important when descending a mountain slope. We recommend brands MAMMUT and LOWA. The specific trait of specialized hiking boots is a wide rubber strap, covering lower parts of a vamp and a toe cap next to the sole. Boots of these brands are easy to choose; as consultants on the spot will provide you with more than enough information on particular model they have. Travelling by snow-covered peaks requires hiking gaiters to prevent the snow or moisture ingress inside the boot. For some extremely difficult routes in the Pamirs or the Tien-Shan mountains one may need snowshoes or even crampons. However, while being in the base camp you’ll need another kind of footwear. There may be lots of different variants depending on the air temperature, presence of snow cover or if staying in a comfortable lodge. The basic thing is that this kind of footwear should be warm and comfortable and unlike hiking boots, not be tight on your feet, and boots should be quick to put on/take off. As an option, pay your attention to CROCS shoes, present in both summer and winter variants. At higher altitudes and low temperatures feather boots on a rubber outer sole can solve the problem. Lots of models can be found in specialized stores and Internet shops. 8. HUNTING KNIFE Unlike the plain hunting where one can meet the most diverse variations of a hunting knife, the knives for mountain hunt have to be light and compact. The knife in the mountains is a necessary tool for preparing food, skinning and butchering of an animal and for many other things. That’s why you don’t need those exotic machetes, Damascus and bulat steel. What you really need is a jack-knife with a blade length of 10-12 cm. Another good option is multi-tool Leatherman knives. 9. HEADLAMP That is a thing you must have any time, no matter what time of day you leave the base camp, and scheduled time of coming back. It is very difficult to move at night in the mountains. 10. ROPE No, we don’t mean dynamic rope, rather a small but strong “just in case” cord. Paracord bracelets are good option. 11. SUN GLASSES If the group plans to stay at elevations from 3500 m and higher, there is a great probability to get onto snowfields. On a sunny day the light reflection from the snow may lead to snow blindness unless you wear the sun glasses. It may take you just about 30 minutes to feel the pain in the eyes and temporally to lose your vision. Therefore, you should take all possible precautions and simple sun glasses, protecting the eyes from UV rays is the best option. In case of emergency, if you don’t have any glasses, cover your face with a kerchief or bandana and try to screw up your eyes leaving as tiny slits for watching as possible. It’s better to choose sport models or even special glacier glasses with blinders at the sides. Choose the model with rope for quick taking off. 12. KERCHIEF OR BANDANA This accessory came from the Middle East being sort of military symbol adopted by many modern armies. The main reason for becoming that widespread is in being versatile and functional. Arabian keffiyeh may be equally useful in hot afternoon and in freezing cold night. There are models made in white, red or green colors. Depending on climate, it will be useful to cover your neck, face or the whole head. 13. SUNSCREEM FOR FACE AND LIPS 14. CLOTHES Clothes are the most extensive concept. Cotton fabric, thick felt, cloth and beaver lamb all have become things of the past. Today we have light, membrane and multifunctional synthetic materials instead. The principle of five-layered clothing solves different tasks of insulation, transpiration, protection of our body from moisture, wind and low temperatures. Thermal underwear i.e. inner layer, Gore-Tex jackets, shell layer and warming middle layer – that’s the standard of modern outerwear concept. There is a plenty of possibilities, starting with Canadian Sitka, Austrian Carinthia, American 5.11 Tactical and ending with Russian brands like BASK and Group 99. We recommend trousers with knee-pads. During the mountain hunt you have often to crawl and fall to knees so knee-pads are very helpful in doing this. In general, we recommend the following set of clothes Underwear – no less than 3 sets. Better to choose seamless models which won’t bring any discomfort while being in a constant move all day long; Inner layer of warm underwear for everyday use – 2 sets; Warm thermal underwear for sleeping – one pair is enough; Multifunctional warm and light jackets of Polarteс or Softshell technologies; Down-filled vest; Waterproof jacket made of Gore-Tex membrane fabric; Wind stopper jacket; Leather Down jacket; Ghillie suit; Poncho shape raincoat covering the whole body; Base camp clothes; Warm trousers for low temperatures; Warm socks – 3 pairs; Warm hat or cap. Preferably not knitted one, because these are subjected to draughts. At extremely low temperatures it is better to have even two of them; Gloves. A thinner pair for everyday use and a pair of warm gloves for low temperatures. 15. FOAM CAMPING SEAT 16. TEST TUBES FOR GENETIC DATA COLLECTION You can get a plenty of those at the Club of the Mountain Hunters. If you don’t have any on the spot some small vials filled with ethanol will do. Russian scientific community will be thankful to you for genetic data collected from different mountain areas. 17. AQUAPAC WATERPROOF BOXES FOR DOCUMENTATION 18. EXTRA BATTERIES OF ALL TYPES OF USE 19. PERSONAL MEAL KIT It is made of titanium alloys or hard plastic 20. DUCT AND ELECTRICAL TAPE A versatile material useful for camping or repair works. 21. THREADS AND NEEDLES 22. LIGHTER 23. CHAMCAL AND OTHER WARMERS These devices will help to keep your hands and feet warm, to keep warm inside a sleeping bag or a tent. Now you see how impressive is the list of hunting and field equipment that you’ll probably need for a mountain hunting trip. Of course, these are just recommendations to have in mind and each hunter follows its own preferences and personal experience.
12.05.2015
RADIOCATIVE SUNLIGHT AND A BIT OF BIOCHEMISTRY

RADIOCATIVE SUNLIGHT AND A BIT OF BIOCHEMISTRY

The source of energy coming down to the Earth is quite dangerous for us and that’s not just the consequences of the sun stroke. The sunlight or, more correctly, solar radiation (not to be confused with ionizing radiation) – it’s the electromagnetic and corpuscular radiation of the Sun. Firstly, some words about more “enigmatic” corpuscular radiation. It is a part of solar radiation that consists mostly of protons and electrons emitted by solar flares. These high-energy particles form cosmic rays which, in their turn, interact with Earth’s magnetosphere and cause the well-known magnetic storms. Their effect on humans is not fully known except that hypertensive people feel themselves worse on these days, have headache, tiredness, high blood pressure. Today, scientists are able to give quite accurate forecasts for magnetic storms so that meteopathic people could know about solar flares well in advance. What’s for electromagnetic radiation, it works indiscriminately in three ways: – via sunbeams themselves; – via diffused solar radiation (after penetration through Earth’s atmosphere and reflection from clouds); – solar radiation reflected from the Earth surface. There are three basic components into which the sunlight spectrum can be divided – infrared radiation, visible white light and ultraviolet. It is well known that UV is deadly for all living things, it depends only on organism size and radiation dose. It’s the UV part of spectrum that is most dangerous to humans as its threat is the greatest. Long-term exposure to the sun may result in both sunburn and malignant melanoma – the skin cancer. The UV radiation power differs and depends, firstly, on geographical position – the closer to the equator the more power due to shorter distance after passing through the atmosphere through the atmosphere which serves as a natural “light filter”. Secondly, it depends on season due to the Earth’s axis tilt relatively to the plane of ecliptic and because of the snow cover presence (which reflects up to 70 % of UV rays). Thirdly, it depends on time of the day. When the Sun is at the zenith, sunbeams travel the shortest distance through the atmosphere to the Earth surface. At the 30° declination this distance is twice as longer and at the sunset the distance travelled is 35,4 times longer than at the zenith position. In the fourth place is cloudiness. And finally it goes the elevation of the irradiated object above sea level. Passing through the atmosphere (including the notorious ozone layer) and especially through its lower layers containing a suspension of dust, smoke and water vapors, sunbeams are absorbed and dissipated to a considerable extent. Consequently, the longer the distance to travel through the atmosphere and the higher the atmosphere pollution level, the lower the intensity of solar radiation. High mountains are the zone of high intensity solar radiation and UV activity. Bright daylight at high elevations can cause skin burns of first- and second-degree. UV induces skin irritation, redness and blisters. As a result, you may get discomfort, pain of different strength and if the sore is treated badly – blood poisoning and other grave consequences. Of course, hunters don’t stroll around in thongs at 3000 m elevations, but still one should always take care of bare parts of the body – face and hands. The simplest prophylactic measure is a sunscreen. The more its sun protecting factor (SPF) – the two-digit number of no less than 30 – the better it is. Another trouble is ophthalmia, snow blindness which is sunburn of the cornea and conjunctiva by UV rays reflected from snow, ice and water surface. During the most of the hunting season we are at risk zone because of the high intensity of UV rays in high mountains’ sunlight spectrum. It reflects manyfold from the snow and in a few minutes can cause burn of the cornea and if exposed longer to injure the retina. The structure of the eyeball allows reducing the amount of incoming light by means of miosis, nevertheless the risk of snow blindness is always present.The situation is the most hazardous at cloudy weather. UV rays are able to pass through the clouds without any considerable loss, and while your eyes try to adapt to lower contrasts and blurred picture, your pupils dilate to let more light inside the eye chamber. That’s the moment when the ubiquitous UV radiation strikes the blow. The basic symptoms of snow blindness include tearfulness, swelling of the conjunctiva, redness of white of the eye, “sand-like” irritation in the eyes, blurred picture and even total loss of sight. The history of mountaineering numbers a lot of accidents due to the loss of sight. This problem had existed since the earliest times of humans when our ancestors used wooden goggles with narrow slits, eye bandages made of leather with small holes and many other devices. Today, all these troubles are easily solved by sunglasses which can differ in the degree of UV protection. Sunglasses without UV protection can make the situation even worse because dark lenses cause pupil dilation which results in UV burn. By the way, the lenses may be totally transparent, not dark, and still be able to protect your eyes against UV. I use sunglasses with an extra polarized coating which blocks flares and reflections. I prefer warm-colored lenses (orange, brown) because they bring more contrast to the picture. “All of us need the Sun, but the excess of it may be dangerous or even deadly, – fairly says the director of Health Security and Environment department of World Health Organization Dr. Maria Neira. – Luckily, most deseases caused by UV, particalrly malignant melanoma and other forms of skin cancer and eye affections are 100% possible to be prevented by necessary protective measures”. Let’s summarize: use sunscreen with considerable SPF numbers especially if your skin is whiter than average; wear good sunglsasses when staying high in the mountains, especially near the snow fields, no matter how cloudy is the sky! Some words on biochemistry and biophysics Mountain hunters can remember those tears and despair caused by incredible efforts always needed for any move you make there (my personal experience says that the hardest of all is the “carrying-out” of the trophy). How does our organism react to physical load in the mountains? To answer this we have to be absorbed into the world of human physiology, biochemistry and biophysics. All the energy sources of our organism can be divided into several groups: turbo-reactive, comprised by the molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), reactive, consisting of phosphocreatine, fast, comprised by glycogen, slow – fats. ATP is the most powerful source of energy which gives its maximum just for several seconds. For example, during the snatch in the olympic weightlifting. Then, the ATP reserves are instantly exhausted and human cells begin to synthesize new molecules from phosphocreatine and the energy made this way will be enough for 7-8 sec sprinter’s spurt. Then, power is down again and it triggers anaerobic (oxygen-free) metabolism of glycogen which is preserved in the liver and muscle tissues. Glycogen energy will be sufficient for an hour. The side issue of this reaction is the lactic acid, which increases its concentrations in muscles, which leads to painful sensations. The oxygen will be needed again to remove the increased lactate. So, the glycogen energy is an energy of the oxygen paid in advance. Fats are the slowest sources of energy. To process them down to the heat the organism needs enormous (!) amounts of oxygen, which is hard to find in the tenuous air of the mountains. The muscle tissues in their turn can be divided into fast (phasic) and slow (postural), and they work (contract) respectively to their names. Fast muscles need anaerobic metabolism and, correspondingly, fast sources of energy. Slow muscles are more hardy and use the products of oxygen metabolism. Ordinary people living in the cities have equal rate of fast and slow muscles, whereas in well-trained sportsmen, like skiers, the rate of slow muscle may reach 90 %. It means that any of us, given proper training, has the chances to increase the rate of slow muscle tissue which is crucial for the mountains. There are, however, the opponents to this theory who think that only genetic background will determine whether you’re a sprinter or a long-distance runner. I think that truth is somewhere in the middle. So, where does the energy come from? Phosphocreatine, one of the ATP predecessors, is a product of protein group (if you want to be strong – eat meat!). Glycogen is a carbohydrate derivative (if you want to be sound – eat carbohydrates!). You need both vegetable oil and animal fat, you can’t become hardy consuming just one of them! The weight ratio of food for the mountain-lovers should be as follows: 1 part of protein, 1 part of fat, 4 parts of carbohydrates. The classic ratio is 1-1,5-4,4 but for mountains it is highly recommended to eat more carbohydrates which give glycogen – the best fuel for the ultimate physical loads. Another activity regulator of our organism is the adrenalin. Secreted to the blood flow it increases heartbeat, depth of inhale, blood is redirected to the muscles, our body feels at ease sometimes even experiencing euphoria. It is commonly observed during the hunt, when a hunter sees the game animal. Being in the adrenalin excitement a hunter may miss even from several meters and some trophy hunters even ask their guide to fire a shot, being unable to cope with hand tremor. I can’t speak for the others but for me adrenalin works as a powerful stimulator. There’s enough to see a tiny dot far away, near the horizon – and you’re on the move… Unfortunately, quite often it is difficult to reasonably assess your strength and possible consequences of such spurts. It’s generally fraught with different troubles, strengths fail you and you have to stray, you miss again and again, etc. However, it passes away with gaining some experience (closer to the end of season) and you even acquire some discretion… Finally, all those factors like oxygen shortage, muscles overload, calcium consumption during contractions, exhausted reserves of glycogene and slow synthesis of energy from fats cause fatigue. This simply means that muscles can’t keep the same efficiency during a series of repeated movements. Your only salvation is in training. This fights tiredness by increasing energy production, increases the size of cardiac muscle, increases the number of red blood cells, increases the muscle energy and strength, accumulates the extra glycogene, etc. Sadly, the training results are short-lived – without regular repetition all your “physics” will plummet to an average in about two weeks. Moreover, the geneticists have revealed direct relationship between physical abilities and genetic background. The presence of a certain gene like I-gene provides its owner with more strength. The scientific research of the genome in a group of recruit showed that soldiers having this type of gene can hold heavy weight 11 times longer, than their fellows with D-type gene. This feature has been revealed after the training course. By the way, those mountaineers ascending 7000 m peaks without oxygene tanks also have this type of gene. I don’t know what about you, but I don’t feel myself the happy owner of this type of gene. Genes determine the amount of prevailing fast and slow muscle tissues, it means whether you are a long-distance runner or not. And it seems that I was lucky in this respect. The hardiness during the mountain hunt is the key factor of success. And it depends, in its turn, on anthropometric parameters of a certain hunter. The more massive he is the harder is the hunt, even if he’s of an athletic type and has very few fat. The trick is that the muscle power grows proportionally to the squared section of the body while the body mass grows to the third power. That’s why almost all the iconic mountaineers were lean and sinewy. So, what forces us to overcome all those difficulties and suffer privations, to suffer from a stress and almost non-human physical loads? The physioligists have an answer because even the non-material satisfaction from a new “conquered summit” has its scientific explanation. During the physical activity our blood is richly supplied with endorphines (endogenous opiates or so called “hormones of happiness”), which effect the receptors the way morphine does: put us in good spirits, increase lucidity of our mind, make us feel better although the initial purpose of this hormones is anaesthetization. So, if you are tired a bit of the realities of this world, go out and clean your backyard out of snow. Endorphines will put you in good spirits and you’ll feel yourself a good guy. There exists a special term “training euphoria”, in our case – a mountain one. You can easily become addicted to it and if you’ll be forced to refuse it for some reason you’ll begin to feel anxiety and irritation. From my own can say that a mixture of adrenaline and endorphine caused by 3000 m elevation and taking the long desired and very hard trophy is something incomparable! I think that a man feels absolutely happy at this moment. A summary: there are several different sources of energy in our organism and these are renewable; we take the energy from food – fats, carbohydrates and proteins supply us with different components for our power system; to raise the threshold of your fatigability you need physical training on a regular basis; adrenaline and endorphine are not dangerous for your health and sometimes are even beneficial.
12.11.2014
Ali Aliyev
Mountains and Firearms

Mountains and Firearms

In the immense ocean of possibilities there’s a tiny island of the optimal firearms which is the most perfectly suitable for the “battle with mountain game”. Carbine It is clear that a rifle for the mountain hunt should not be too heavy but precise at the same time. Perhaps the most attractive rifles among the abundant instruments are the magazine rifles made by Christensen Arms. Their main advantage is in an application of carbon filled plastic in barrel production. The leer inside the barrel made of the best American stainless steel brand – the 416 R, while outer part of the barrel is reinforced with carbon plastic. The shooting practice of such a barrel increases by 25% comparable to that of full-metal barrel. Besides, because of the high strength and low rate of thermal expansion coefficient, even the barrels of moderate length (550-560 mm ensure fire accuracy up to by half of MOA (minute of arc). The whole rifle is assembled of the best units: the Remington 700 bolt, the trigger made by Jewel Company, which has a wide range of an adjustable trigger pull. Rifles have a non-removable magazine box of three-cartridge capacity. A set trigger may be provided as an option. Another important feature of these carbines is a very light carbon stock which doesn’t absorb moisture and has the same size no matter what weather conditions are. The caliber range may be wide but the barrels from .270 WSM to .338 LapMag and even .416 RemMag. are llyWeight ranges from 2,3 to 2,7 kg are produced commercially. Such lightness is caused by using titanium alloy in producing barrel extension and bolt mechanism. Talking about using titanium alloys in producing of hunting firearms, the Johann Fanzoj Company should be mentioned which at minimum for three years has been showing its hunting carbines at Arms & Hunting exhibition. Except for the barrel, these rifles are made fully of titanium alloy. Carbines are based on the most reliable and safe Mauser 98 system. They were specially designed for mountain hunting and being made in any possible caliber they seem to be unreal lightweight. They do weigh less than three kilograms. But these are custom-made items and their prime cost and price are quite impressive. However, one should have in mind that metalwork with titanium alloys requires very special machinery. Therefore, titanium details don’t afraid of corrosion. One of the titanium carbines was successfully tested in the Pamirs. There it performed excellently in winter highlands and a “six-hundred-meter” wild goat has become a trophy of Patrick Fanzoj. Without even a slightest risk being biased, I can recommend Semprio In-Line Repeater by German brand Krieghoff – the best choice for the most difficult mountain hunts. This rifle appeared on a gun market in 2007 and its revolutionary design was developed by young gunsmith Wolfgang Schmidt. I had a chance to shoot it in the Muller shooting center (near the city of Ulm) both in “video shooting cinema” and in 300 m shooting range. It was the 300 m range when all participants of the shooting test were amazed by incredibly high accuracy of fire. The “marksmen” have made five hits in 20 mm area. Converted into gun terms it means 0.3 minutes of arc. It’s a performance of the most advanced sniper rifles! It seems twice as incredible given that the length of the barrel is just 550 mm. It must be stressed that we used RWS cartridges of the new line of .30-06 Spring caliber with Target Elite Plus bullets weighing 10.9 g each. However, no cartridge can compensate the barrel flaws. The test allows confirm that barrels of the carbine are flawless. And there’s no surprise, because the barrels for the model are delivered by famous Anschuetz Company having an excellent production line of barrels. In 2011 a marked event took place – the Anschuetz Company independently entered the rifle market with the carbine of model 1780. The model is produced in quite serious European calibers: .308 Win, .30-06 Spring, 8Х57 IS, 9,3Х62. The company has made use of its experience in manufacturing precise barrels, bolt and trigger systems. Anticipating the approaching crisis the company aimed at budget firearms niche. And they have quite succeeded in it. Moreover, the carbines produced are very convenient for hunters. Constructors have managed to reduce the rifle weight by implementing of a straight-pull bolt action, in which metal knobs enter the grooves of the breech. That enabled to unload the breechblock and to make it of lightweight aluminum alloy. Rifle barrels of all calibers have the same moderate length – 560 mm. New models are equipped with closed trigger system which allows adjust the trigger pull. Carbine line is produced in four elegant stock models, traditionally made of fine walnut. Rifle weight is quite suitable for mountain hunt – 3.2 kg. Talking about weapons for the mountain hunt I must mention the ORSIS – a young Russian company, which produces tactical, sport and hunting firearms. They have their own production line of rifled barrels, which are made of American stainless barrel steel brand 416 R. The company produces two models of hunting repeaters and one of those models (Orsis Alpine) is specially designed for mountain hunting. It’s essential, that the carbine is made to fit the cartridges which support flat trajectory for bullets. The capacity of detachable magazine is three cartridges; in this case one more cartridge is in the barrel. The free-floating barrel of moderate length is lightened by cannelures, which also increase the speed of barrel cooling. The carbine is a bolt-action type, which, if rotated 90 degrees blocks the breech by means of two knobs. The brand design trigger system is of closed type and has the trigger pull adjustment controls. All metal parts are made of steel with increased to corrosion. Rifle stocks are made of laminated board of three optional tasteful colors. Front sling swivel is adapted not just for the sling itself, but also for mounting of light adjustable shooting sticks. The breech construction is specially designed to be fitted with the scope brackets. Talking further about precise bolt-action rifles, I have to mention hunting carbines made by Gottfried Prechtl Company, from the German city of Birkenau. I think that the main direction of the work of this company is manufacturing the most precise sporting rifles based on Mauser M 98 Magnum system. Using his own experience of a high-class rifleman and technological advances of the company, Prechtl made several changes to the classic Mauser design. The major changes weren’t aimed at simplification of the technological process and cost saving, but at increasing the reliability and accuracy of gun mechanism along with an absolute safety of rifleman. Because of the very high gas pressure during firing the modern cartridges, the diameter of firing pin hole was made 1.7 mm instead of 2 mm. The firing pin itself is thinner. The diameter of the bolt itself is 0.2 mm bigger which made the bolt stroke smoother. To fit the modern types of cartridges, the width of the magazine and the magazine well has been made 1 mm bigger. To increase the reliability of the spring, the length of the ejector was increased by 17 mm. Cocking piece design is renewed to increase the compatibility with closed-type trigger system. As on the last model of Mauser hunting rifle made in 1930, the rear part of barrel extention has a special groove which increases its reliability and additional safety of the bolt action. The corresponding knob is placed at the rear end of the bolt body. The bolt action and barrel extension are made of one piece of modern Swiss chrome-manganese file-hard steel with the ultimate tensile strength of more than 800 N/mm2. In my opinion, these are the best European hunting rifles. The guaranteed accuracy they perform is more than one half of minute of arc. This is also due to the barrels made by Lothar Walther. Stutzen rifle It seems to me that it a very useful tradition – to hunt mountain game with a single-barrelled break action stutzen rifles. Of course, being of one-cartridge capacity they need a lot of self-discipline and shooting accuracy. The main advantages include light weight, superior balance and dimensions if compared to “bolt-actions”, and as a result, much better manageability. Russia could hardly be called the motherland of stutzen rifle, however, this type of gun has its Russian manufacturers. For instance, in the last decade of the XX century the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant has developed and produced IZH 18 MN model which was classified as a European Kipplaufbuchsen-class – a prestigious single-barrelled stutzen rifle class. We must pay tribute to the high quality of barrels and, as result, high shooting accuracy provided the good quality cartridges. IZHMEKH produces these rifles in a wide range of calibers from .222 Rem to 9,3 х74R. However, the weight of our “break-open” is more than 3 kilos (3.2 kg) with 600 mm barrel length, whereas western analogs with equal dimensions are much lighter. Large German companies produce a number of single-barreled stutzen rifles with excellent design and very decent shooting characteristics. The Merkel Company manufactures rifles K-3 and K-4 which differ in caliber range. K-1 fits lighter, while K-2 fits heavier calibers. These stutzen rifles have external supercharger of action spring which ensures high level of safety. The models are equipped with set triggers which are necessary tools for high accuracy. Another serious German brand Blaser is also a manufacturer of single-barreled stutzen rifles which have a trademark K-95. These are lighter than Merkel’s because of the shorter barrel (50 mm) and are made for the cartridge range from .243 Win. to 8х57 IRS. The Krieghoff Company manufactures single-shot break-open stutuzen rifles under the label Hubertus. These rifles are made in different versions with lots of useful options. The caliber range is wide enough – from .222 Rem to 9,3х74R. Barrels are short – from 550 to 600 cm. The weight depends on caliber and ranges from 2.5 to 3.2 kg. For the sake of objectivity, I have to add that single-barreled break-open stutzen rifles are also manufactured by small European companies working for custom-made weapons. As an example I can name Johann Fanzoj and Werner Sodia from Austria, Thomas Spohr from Germany and several others. All the rifled weapons mentioned above are well-known to Russian hunters. But there’s a rifle type which has never been manufactured in our country being at the same time a rather widespread one in Western Europe. These are single-shot falling-block carbines. During the reloading the breechblock of such rifles slides down extracting the cartridge case at the same time. The breechblock length of these rifles may be less than the cartridge length. This action type is very similar to those used in heavy artillery. The cartridge case is blocked in the barrel chamber by the most of the breechblock front surface which sets against the rear part of the barrel extension. The system of this type enables to use the most powerful cartridges along with quite modest dimensions and weight of the rifle. The falling-block rifles are of very small size and of good balance, because the barrel is as close to the hunter’s shoulder as possible. This makes the rifle very dynamic and easily manageable. The rigid full-time fixation of the barrel in stock results in high shooting accuracy. The carbine can be reloaded quickly without changing its position in relation to hunter’s body. The structural strength of the action type guarantees very high resource (the shooting practice). European hunters consider these rifles optimal to hunt mountain game. No accident, that several well-known weapon companies (Lebeau-Courally, Verney-Carron and others) have mastered the manufacturing of falling-block action rifles. And finally, having a good rifle is not enough for a successful mountain hunt. Good optical sight, binoculars, range finder and optimal cartridges are absolutely necessary things. But, may be even more important thing – is to have good personal training, which can be divided into general physical training and special shooting training. The widespread notion that a person with a good rifle and up-to-date scope is automatically equals a sniper – is a delusion. Being a marksman is a kind of art. And one can’t master it reading special books. You can master it only practicing.
11.11.2014
Vladimir Tikhomirov
Temperature

Temperature

The like of us are quite often exposed to risk of being frostbitten or getting thermal shock while staying high in the mountains. If getting cold in winter is rather common thing for the numerous lovers of winter sports, but very few people were “lucky” enough to be tortured by heat. I’m one of those “lucky men”. It was at the beginning of 2000-s in the first half of August… The heat was torrid. We were invited to Boguty (mountains to the east of Almaty) for a mountain hunt and I set out there with my friend and a local guide. The level of our training and equipment was far from perfect, but it was more than compensated by youth and abundance of game. We could finish the hunt on the first day, but we did not manage to hit from 200 m. We travelled along the ridges a bit and made another attempt, this time scoring miss from 150 m. Later we discovered that our SKS scope was defocused. At about 6 p.m. we were quite far from the camp. We had neither water, nor food with us– we did not expect the hunt would take so long. Moreover, I had no headdress. Bathed in sweat and burnt by sun we finally met another group of “teks” (Mid-Asian Ibexes) and were lucky enough to take one of these right on the spot while the second one was wounded (of course this was mine) and ran down the gorge. It is well known that the hunting process induces secretion of loading dose of adrenalin, so I was overwhelmed with it and rushed after the wounded ibex. Besides, this was my first tek ever! Guys left to skin the animal while I was led further and further down the gorge by blood trail. During the search the fatigue appeared, soon the dehydration added itself to the situation (who’s been to Boguty mountains, knows about the considerable water shortage there). Finally, I found the animal and this fact inspired me greatly. I had no knife, so I shouldered it like the Samson. The ibex wasn’t that big, but I managed to do no more than 200 m up. Then, I began to lose consciousness, started seeing ring-like hallucinations, the nose bled… The darkness almost fell when I scrambled out of the ill-starred gorge. I read in the eyes of my friends that I looked everything else but normal – it was a mess of ibex blood and faeces mixed with my own nose blood spread all over my face and body. However, I didn’t give a damn about that at the moment – I was reeling and feeling nausea. I don’t remember getting to the car. I remember that I kept thinking about a bottle of beer under the seat and how greedily I would gulp it… This is how I experienced a thermal shock induced by heat, dehydration, physical activity, emotional outbursts and my own stupidity. Mechanisms of thermoregulation in humans Let’s start from the basics. The temperature of internal organs of a healthy man is a bit less than 37 degrees centigrade. The fluctuations limits are 35-42 degrees. If the temperature falls below 35 degrees we feel badly but the organism is still able to working (under certain circumstances). If temperature is above42 degrees centigrade, the blood proteins coagulate and the organism dies. Apparently, such a temperature sensitive organism should have an orderly system of “sensors”, analyzers and means of struggle for surviving. And, of course, we have them. In our everyday life we encounter with the elements of this system –nerve endings in our skin and a tongue constantly send the signals about temperature changing in the surrounding world. These are so called peripheral receptors. But it is also apparent that human body inner temperature is much more important than the surrounding one. At the end of 18th century the scientists discovered that the central thermo sensor was located in hypothalamus. One brave physiologist let to implant the real thermo sensor into his own brain to prove that brain receptors were more important than those in human skin. In order to lower the temperature inside but not outside the body he had to consume almost 10 kg of ice cream. The following reaction proved the crucial role of hypothalamus receptors. But let’s return to the periphery. Skin receptors can be divided into two groups – sensitive to warmth from 36 degrees centigrade and higher, and those sensitive to outer temperature decreases (from 35 to 13 degrees). These sensors determine the organism local reaction. If you wash your hands in a mountain stream they’ll turn red. The reason for this is that blood will flow to upper layers of your skin to neutralize the effect of cold water, but the internal temperature of your body won’t change. On the other side, despite the fact that a human with the inner temperature of 42 degrees will surely die, we can comfortably spent some pleasant time in sauna, where the temperature can reach more than a hundred degrees centigrade (the temperature when raw eggs at the same time cook hard boiled). We are saved from the overheating by the perspiration, when the surface of our skin as well as the whole organism is cooled. For the same reason, ascending the certain eminence we bathe in sweat and as a result of chemical reactions under such load our organism emits to 5 times more heat than usual. That’s why mountain hunters should use outerwear provided with additional ventilation abilities, made of quick-drying materials (some synthetic fabrics get dry 20 times faster than natural ones) with good ratio of moisture drainage because right after the overheating you may face freezing-cold wind squall and wet clothes may cause hypothermia (overcooling). Perspiration is not the only way our organism fights overheating. It also involved electromagnetic radiation (at low rates), thermal conduction – the process of energy (heat) transfer from one object to another (given that these are in direct contact), forced convection – the transfer of heat in mobile medium, for example in wind or water flow (thermal layer around your body can’t be formed in mobile mediums and heat loss goes quickly). However, the role of perspiration is crucial. It is driven by hormone adrenalin secreted when a body temperature rises or our organism is under the stress (that’s why your hands and forehead sweat when you’re scared). The perspiration can increase the heat loss up to 20 times! On a very hot day a person can lose 10-12 liters of liquid, especially under the forced convection – just remember the feeling of ease when you’re blown with a light cool wind. Therefore, don’t be shy to take off the outerwear during ascending – let the convection increase the thermoregulation process. If the day is hot and windless pour yourself with water – it will help. The water will evaporate from the surface of your body making it cooler. Otherwise, the sun, physical load, dehydration and absence of cooling may lead to thermal shock with a 30% probability to end up with a lethal outcome. The best anti-shock treatment in the field conditions is a rub-down with warm water (cold water constricts blood vessels and makes the situation worse). Acclimatization of our perspiration to the heat takes about a week at the same time with sweat desalination (you have to renew the salt balance constantly). During the intensive physical exercises we lose more water than we are able to drink, that’s why you have to drink as much as possible even if you don’t want it. Generally, having sufficient amount of salts and water our organism is quite able to cope with heat and mountains. Cold Our hunting season is to be in autumn and winter. At this time in the highlands one thing is on the watch for us – it is cold. With its strong claws it penetrates under our clothes and locks our movements and minds. Air temperature falls circa 1 degree with every hundred meters above sea level. It is simple to calculate, that having 10 C degrees below zero on a plain, we’ll get 30 C degrees at 3 km elevation! It is rather tolerable temperature if you have warm clothes and high-calorie meals and there’s no forced convection provided by strong wind. Paul Siple, a famous American explorer of Antarctica, had experimentally established the correlation between the wind strength and heat transfer (now we call it wind chill factor). Thus, 29 C below zero with the wind velocity 4-5 m/s feels like 44 C below zero, and with the wind 6-7 m/s feels like 66 C below zero and that is going to be enough for a naked skin to get frostbite in 30 seconds. If your organism gets cold, it would firstly sacrifice its limbs –hands and feet, because these lose the most of the body heat (due to the large surface area and very dense capillary network). There is another danger – a possibility to freeze to your beloved rifle with your naked hands. It happens because of thin layer of moisture on skin of your hands. In such cases servicemen recommend simply to urinate on that. By the way, cold and frost increase urine production – blood vessels constrict and the excess liquid is excreted. What a stress for the organism is all that mountain hunt! First prus uphill, sweat, lose liquids, overheat yourself, then you sit, freeze and lose your liquids again… Until the body temperature is higher than 35-34 degrees, the organism tries to resist the temperature fall of skin coverings. Firstly, the vessels constrict but when the temperature of the skin falls to 10 degrees they dilate again. In this case you feel severe pain (It is said that it is due to slow removal of metabolic products) and the skins turns from pale to bright red. Sometimes the process of vasodilation can be activated by physical activity of frozen limbs (remember the episode in Ryazanov film when the character was hopped around a Christmas tree repeating “Drink less”), emotional burst (induced by adrenalin) or by extreme actions like rubbing (medics don’t recommend to do it with snow but with a woolen cloth). Hearing about “cold” I often remember myself being at an altitude of 3000 m in winter, wearing rubber boots and wet socks. When the sun went down the temperature fell lower than -20 C below zero. My feet began to freeze. Finally, I understood that I needed to do something otherwise I would get frostbite. Luckily, I had an extra pair of woolen socks. I took off the boots. My feet “looked miserable” and absolutely lost the sensitivity. I wrung insoles, thoroughly rubbed my feet with a sweater and they returned to life in dry socks. But how painful it was! With each step it felt like you step on thousands of needles. When our body experiences considerable exposure to cold it tries to war itself up in the most familiar manner – by involuntary contractions of muscle tissues referred to as shivering. However, despite all mechanisms of self-defense, the cases of hypothermia in the mountains aren’t that rare. Among the most distressing things is a loss of sensitivity and muscle activity of hands, when a simple action like lighting a match turns into a challenge. So, before going hunting, prepare a fire in a base camp, who knows, maybe it will save your life. A year ago there was an accident on mt Khan Tengri, when a Polish mountaineer froze to death because he lost the plastic cover of his boot when lost sensitivity of his hands. There are several other symptoms of hypothermia: weakness, apathy, sleepiness. When the body temperature falls to 32 C the shivering stops, the energy runs out. At 30 C you lose consciousness. When the body cools down to 20 C, the heart stops beating. But most often we don’t follow this sad scenario – frostbites are much more common (mostly of limbs and face). This happens due to overall hypothermia, when tissues temperature falls lower than 0 C – ice crystals form inside cells, cell membranes break and tissues die off. Frostbites should be treated in hospital. The procedure is very painful and having consequences. After having some minor frostbite of my fingers in my young years (was having a climbing test held by pioneer organization) I still have troubles – when an air temperature slightly falls my fingers lose sensitivity. Fords and river crossing during the cold season are even more dangerous. Water of the mountain stream will cool down your body 25 faster than air. That’s why crossing the river on foot without safety equipment is very risky. With wet clothes on, your body will cool down 20 times faster than in dry clothes. So do always have an extra set of clothes and thermal underwear. In the conclusion – all the information in concise form: Physical activity during the mountain hunt in a hot weather may lead to thermal shock. To prevent it, use light air-breathing clothes, remember to wear a headdress, drink lots of water, don’t feel shy to take off some clothes for a better convection. If it’s possible, rub yourself with wet cloth – this will speed up the cooling process. During the perspiration you lose not just water but lots of salts (up to three tea spoons of salt during one hot day!). Take care of the mineral balance of your organism. Wear proper clothes according to season. During the cold one use thermal underwear – it will remove the moisture and will slow down the heat loss. An advice from personal experience: if it’s really cold and after a long ascends you’ll have to sit and wait on windy spot and you’re not sure in moisture-removal properties of your underwear use a cotton undershirt (as a “blotter”) worn between outerwear and underwear. Taking the undershirt off when on a spot you’ll reduce the heat loss. The colder it gets the more calories you need. Take enough high-calorie food and don’t forget about hot drinks. Climbing a mountain in winter you’ll sweat no less than in summer. Use special outer- and underwear with good breathing, wind-blocking and water-resistant qualities specially designed for mountain hunts. Watch your limbs when it is freezing hard. Low temperature blocks the sensitivity of nerve fibers and you can get frostbite without even feeling it.
10.11.2014
Ali Aliyev