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Hunting in Pakistan!

Hunting in Pakistan!

I don't know how other people plan their journeys but I often start to think about the travel when see the beautiful picture, made at that place. There are lots of accounts in Instagram where people post fantastic photos from the different and amazing parts of the Earth. Thus, I saw the picture of the Karakorum mountains and the Hunza river valley in Pakistan. And started to plan my trip to that place. Like most of people , born in the USSR, I didn't have the positive perception from Pakistan. My country took a side of India at that time which was in war with Pakistan for hundreds of years and we all imagined that country to be the mainstay of global terrorism and treated to its citizens as to the ruthless thugs. I realized that people who lived there were the same as everywhere but was anxious a little bit. Usually the acquaintance with the country starts from its airport. But 98% of the plane passengers were the locals and began to watch them in the flight. Some bearded men looked like Bashi-bazouks. But it was just my impression. I saw how carefully they treated to their relatives and realized that everything would be good. We arrived to Islamabad. I was surprised how polite and friendly the local customs officers were. They didn’t cavil me though I traveled with the weapon. Only in the mountains I realized that it was not the country which had the problems with tourism as my country had. The car was driving by the picturesque road from Gilgit to the Chinese border and the Hunza river valley and I saw hundreds of small hotels, guest apartments and touristic offices, which showed that the country was popular among the tourists. Almost all people spoke English! First impressions The mountain villages in the river valley looked like on posters. Probably thanks to the Islamic traditions they all were ethnic and very clean. People there didn't look like Persians, they had white skin, red or brown hair, every second had green eyes. I didn’t know about other villages but the most part of the population of Gulmit, where we stayed, was Tajiks. They spoke wahi, an ancient Persian language. They didn't profess radical Islam and women weren't’ obliged to walk with covered heads. They communicated with the foreigners, drove the cars and worked in the touristic industry. They all were very friendly especially when I told that I was from Kazakhstan. “Stan” there was a magic word. I think that wahi language was similar to to the language of Targariens. Probably the movie authors found it there. I couldn’t understand a word! But I studies a couple of them: shukari- a hunter, uksh- an Ibex, baff- good, luk- big... I need to say some words about the structure of the hunting farm or about conservation hunting. There is no hunting industry as we know it. The huge population of people and a small territory make it impossible. But there are wild animals which have to be protected. Pakistan was among the first countries which took the strategy “Hunting for the protection”. Prohibited measures didn’t work and the natives were exterminating animals for years. They needed meat for the families, used to hunt from the childhood or had other reason. Nobody could catch them. The animal’s density had fallen down in times. No world community, no the official authorities could do anything. The Government took the unprecedented measures and put up the International Hunting auction the one license for the markhor. The authority raised about 200K and gave the part of the income to the local community. The mountain part of Pakistan, the Himalayas is the motherland for lots of many small nationalities which peacefully coexist on the rights of limited self-government. The allocation funds to the Elders, leaded the Communities allowed to achieve the impossible to stop poaching! The peasants realized the value of the animal resources and had chosen roads, new schools, hospitals and other advantages instead of sheep extermination. Thus, the local communities became the outfitters. Our inspector Kamal Bey, accompanied us on the hunt, has confessed that poaching is still exists in the region. But it happens very rare. People have lots of weapon and there will always be individuals who put themselves above the interests of society. The taken measures gave the result. The density of the markhor population increased from 70 individuals to 2500. It was the same with the Punjab Urials and Sidh Ibexes. The authorities didn’t forget about the Pakistan hunters, the permits are divided between the natives, country citizens and foreigners. The price depends on the category, the lowest one is for the native hunters. All licenses are without the right to transfer. The outfitters earn money on the service and take part in the auctions. And there is the problem. The limit is approved in a month before the hunting season starts but the auctions are organized in two weeks before the opening of the season. The hunter hazards a lot booking tickets and making all papers beforehand. Moreover, you don’t know how much your outfitter will pay for the license. Our group, as many others were screwed. Our outfitter was able to buy only 3 licenses in the limits of our budget for four hunters and they all were in different places. Thus, my friend Jordy, a well-known outfitter from Spain, who organized that expedition, abandoned it in my favor but took part in the trip to make movie about our hunting. Two more Spanish hunters from Madrid met us in Islamabad and we all, accompanied by the local outfitter Razi, flew to Karakorum. The Gilgit airport is located in the deep gorge. I had never landed in such conditions. About 1,5 km we were flying in the stone tunnel between two rocky mountain ridges. After the landing I realized that if I came back alive, the trip would be lucky. The views around us were like on the Instagram pictures! I couldn’t but admire by Lombardy poplars, persimmon and quince trees, hung with fruits and watched how sunny rays reflected from the light rock and lighted the valley. I was in the golden kingdom of fall and incomprehensible in his greatness the mountains. We left Gilgit and drove by the new highway, built by the Chinese. It followed the ancient Silk Way. The road in the valley of the Huanza River is on top in my own rating of world roads. The photographers can understand what I’ve felt seeing the amazing views each hundred meters. I watch pictures which have been done on phone from the car and imbue with the greatness and beauty of these places. When the phone memory was full you, I began to pay attention to the people's life. The first thing I noticed was the absence of mosques. The most of people in that area are Tadzhiks and they practice Ismaili Islam with the spiritual leader Aga Khan the Fourth. This religious movement has definite features: that doctrine says about the cultural, ethnic and racial diversity, social justice, and so on. People there are very friendly and hospitable. The kunzite, it's the name of the valley inhabitants, are the longest-lived people on the planet. Most of them live to 110 years. I couldn’t understand how the natives adapted to the life in such severe land. They used quadrillions of stones and built terraces, fences, houses and shed. They are very hard-working people. Once we invited ourselves over to the weavers and know how they lived. They earned by weaving carpets. The family lived in a stone house with a couple of windows on the roof. They didn't make windows in the walls. One of the windows is a chimney, they heat the houses in the traditional way. The house is divided into two parts for men and women. They eat, what they grew on their own farm. Each family has a kitchen-garden where they grew potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. Most families have sheep or goats, the rich ones have cows or yaks. I liked their meal! In every place we stayed for a lunch, all dished were high quality. I tried lots of traditional cuisine but the karakorum cuisine is the best one. It's the mixture of the Indian and Turkish cuisine. All meal is bright but not heavy with the balance of protein and carbohydrates. It doesn't get old you can eat it every day. I ate there so much rice as had never eaten before. A standard meal on the local market for two persons costs one dollar. We try to hunt. We arrived to the valley and divided. Brothers Jorge and Israel drove with Razi to the Afghanistan border. Jordy and I and Salvatory stayed in Gulmit. (Salvo was our cameraman). We all accommodated in a small hotel with all conveniences even including Wi-Fi. The tourist’s season there was from May to September, that’s why we were the only guests and our hosts were happy to help us. The first day we waited for the permits and the inspector. According the local law all trophy hunts have to be done only with the participation of the official representative of the Wild Life Department. The only useful thing, we did, was the gun testing. After the lunch the local guys and Kemal Bey ( our inspector) left the village and drove to check the surroundings. They drove back in the evening and told that there was a group of Ibexes just opposite the village. We watched the group through the binoculars and found only young males and told Razi about it. The guides were surprised by our knowledge and skills to define the size of the trophies. When we had dinner and talked, I had insisted our our participation in the researching expeditions. The local guides had only one Chinese binocular for all and it wasn’t effective way of monitoring. They didn't expect such reaction. It seemed that they thought the hunter had to lay, smoke hookah and did nothing while they’d look for the trophy. Next morning, we all drove to the hunt on the old off-road car. It wasn’t the difficult process: to stop on the highway from time to time and to spot the nearest slopes. We saw 35 individuals during the morning hours but all of them were females. None of the worthy trophy. We couldn’t but drive back to the camp and discuss it with the outfitter. Nothing had changed during the evening and the next morning. It had no sense to stay on the place and we moved to the mountains. The climb should take us 4-5 hours to the Sherpa cabin, where we were going to stay and to spot from there. We ascended by the good path though there were some extreme places on it. I was shocked when saw how they did the entrances to the pasture through the rocks. How much labor and dynamite they used to build them? Our team consisted of me, my Spanish companions, Kemal Bey and the native guys who were porters and guides at the same time. It was clear for me when we reached the cabin that it was their first climbing. They were in jeans and snickers but not trained to such trip. Finally, I realized that they all were the beginners when saw what they had brought for cooking. It was a huge stove model with 20 L. gas balloon. It came me to the conclusion that all hunts, organized before, had been done from the highway. If it was so. Kemal Bey confirmed my hunches that it was the first time when the community won the right to organize the hunt. According to the Pakistan laws we shouldn't change the location or to refuse the hunt. You agree with these rules when take part in the auction. What could I do? The right answer was to look for the animal and to hunt! So we went on hunting. We reached the height 3700 masl and began to spot. There were animals in that area. I accounted several dozens of ibexes in that circus. There were good males but with horns smaller than allowed by the Pakistan rules. We still had time. To be continued...
12.07.2020
Titanium rifle made by Fanzoj company

Titanium rifle made by Fanzoj company

The rifle for mountain hunts, on the base of M98 system, is produced from the titanium alloy, cal. 300 WinMag. It's weight is just 2.870 kg. The barrel is from Nickel-chromium-molybdenum gun steel with the length 665mm. The magazine capacity is 3+1. Made by Johann Fanzoj (Ferlach, Austria). Constant striving to improvement and gun’s optimization is the main feature of “Johann Fanzoj” management team. One of the main direction in the company is the development of classical Mauser rifle with a longitudinally - sliding bolt, which was canonized in 1898. It’s easy to explain why they are adherents of this system. M98 has genius construction which allows to control the transfer a cartridge from the magazine and not matter what the shotgun orientation is or how fast you pull the bolt action. The system 98 has the most reliable locking of cartridges in the magazine among the same class rifles. The original bolt action has the third, emergency lug in front of the bolt handle, in case the primary ones fail under pressure.. It’s fixed in the back part of the receiver and activates when the breech bolt moves to 0,2mm back. One more advantage of this system is that the controlled-feed mechanism, consisting of a large, non-rotating claw extractor, engages the cartridge case rim as soon as the round leaves the magazine and firmly holds the cartridge. When the shooter tries to make pressure and to remove the cartridge, the hook of the bolt mechanism pushes it to prevent its slippage. It makes M98 one of the safest and reliable systems in the world. Not long ago, all rifles of “Johann Fanzoj” company was produced on the base of steel system M98. It’s evident that piece production allowed to improve guns’ quality in the comparison with the original a century ago drawing of the Army rifle M98. The manufacturer used not only good quality steel but provided less dimensional tolerance. The highest level of all surfaces treatment, especially the connected ones, allowed to increase the lifetime of their rifles. The company reduced the diameter of a striker and the place for it in the bolt action. This measure reduced the risk of breaking through the powder gases when primer exploded. The hole in the breech bolt displays torn gases to the side, perpendicular to the axis of the shotgun. The third position safety mechanism, rotated on a vertical axis on the right side of the trigger, adds more comfort when you use the rifle. The family hunting lands are located on the steep slopes of the Karawanken ridge and the management of the company realizes how important for the mountain hunting is the weight of the rifle and they try to minimize it.   If they tried to reduce the weight cutting the length and the diameter of the barrel it could damage its ballistic. Every hunter knows that each gram is very important in the mountain. It’s easy to understand the mountain hunters desire to have light and long-range weapons. Some hunters can say that the recoil depends on the guns’ weight and is stronger then the gun is lighter. But it’s not important in this kind of hunting because you feel real euphoria when detect the rare trophy and don’t pay attention to anything. The power of the recoil is important when you shoot with high tempo but it’s more actual for sport shooting than for hunting. In case you have some problems with the recoil intolerance you should order the rifle with a muzzle brake. All Fanzoj rifles have the elastic backing for such case. The company spent few years looking for the best decision how to reduce the weight. They rejected all variants connected with the lighten of a barrel or locking system. It’s unlikely to get accurate shooting with the barrel length less than 600-650mm. So idea was born to use titanium for producing almost all parts of the rifle, excluding a barrel. Not pure titanium but doped one. The history of this metal is very interesting. The titanium oxides were discovered in different minerals in the end of XVIII century. Then the titanium oxides was wildly used in the paint production (titanium white). Today about 90% of these oxides is used as the pigment in the paint, the fillers of paper and plastic. Only 10% of all titanium is used as metal. It became possible in 1925 after Dutchmen had invented that technology. Titanium is very light. Its’ density is 4.54 gr/sm3, steel has 7,8-7,9 gr/sm3. The pure titanium is soft and plastic but alloying adds it toughness. Its toughness, resulting in a cross section of equal weight, exceeds steel. Titanium is heat resistant and quite chemically inert. It is prone to oxidation but the process is limited to a thin surface layer. The mechanical processing of this metal complicates by the proximity of the forced yield strength to the tensile strength. Thermal conductivity of Titanium is in four times lower that steel conductivity. It means that it heats in the local cutting zone and became plastic. Metal sticks to the cutting tools and it leads to a catastrophic deterioration in the quality of the treated surface. Changing the geometry of the incision doesn’t improve the situation. The only way to avoid it is to reduce cutting speed and to cool intensively of the cutting area with an emulsion and to use of cutters with special coatings. You have to know that Titanium dust has the property of spontaneous combustion. It means that grinding needs special tools and ways. Titanium viscosity and thermal conductivity cause the problems in cases when parts of items rub each other. But telling the truth today we have some technologies which help to decide this problem. The Fanzoj management have found and attracted specialists who can produce rifles with the same accurance characteristics as heavy tactical rifles have. But they are much lighter. It happened four years ago when I tried the Titanium rifle, produced by Fanzoj company, for the first time. The first impression was overwhelming. Just imagine, the very serious bolt-action rifle with the weight 2.870kg! But the balance of the titanium rifle is moved to the barrel in the comparison with the original Mauser rifle. It only has sense when you shoot from the lying position or use bipods. The barrel is obtained by cold rotary method from Nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy steel used for the barrels of automatic guns of modern NATO Eurofighter fighters. These barrels are almost non-corrosive and have long lifetime due to its resistance to high- temperature erosion. This characteristic depends on nickel content which increases steel temperature. It also prolongs life time of hunting gun’s barrel. The production of all bolt parts from Titanium (except a striker and a spring) has led to reduction of strikers weight and time of the trigger system. It also helps to increase the shooting accuracy.   The shotguns vibrate when we are aiming and we try to catch the optimal moment to shoot. The faster we can shoot, the better. The lighter all parts of the trigger are, the rifle moves to the side less before the gunpowder combustion. They used special coats, sprayed in vacuum. The same covers, used for Formula 1 cars, allow to make all movement of titanium parts softer. Even the dry bolt moves easily. Stocks of Fanzoj rifles are made of natural walnut which dried in the natural conditions. We know that engraving and the inset of precious metals to Titanium is more complicated process that to steel but all rifles are decorated by elegant engravings. The top of the magazine is decorated with a Golden emblem of the company "Johann Fanzoj".
02.06.2020
Владимир Тихомиров
My first Ibex

My first Ibex

I wasn’t going to visit Kyrgyzstan but my friend Andrey invited me to join him  in that expedition. He told me that hunted there twice and wanted to try one more time. I took the invitation and decided to try my hand and to get an Ibex. I've hunted for marals in Kazakhstan for two times but it is not the same. The heights there are lower and we rode by horses not hiking. Andrey's  advised me to start to practice long distance shooting because it is the obligatory skill for each mountain hunter. I started to train in a year before, had treated your injured  leg, and practiced shooting on the shooting range in Pesochnoe. Then I bought all necessary equipment including some things which had never used before like special trekking poles, energetic gels and foot heaters. The wife gave me the special ointment for frostbite and burning at the same time. Spoiler: I used poles, gels and they helped a lot. But let’s I will tell everything by order. The flight from Saint-Petersburg –Moscow-Bishkek was on schedule and there were not any problems with flying with guns. The Custom Union rules allowed to organize everything without the custom. I didn’t need  to get any permits from Rosgvardia.  There was really nice VIP service at the airport in Bishkek . You pay 50$ and wait when the airport staff make all papers, put stamps and get your weapon. It took us about five hours drive to the Base “Archal” located near Kazakhstan border on the altitude 1900 masl. The base consisted of comfortable cabins made from the several twenty-foot containers connected by common hall and canteen. It wasn’t five star hotel but there were normal beds and hot batteries.   The only thing  caused discomfort was the toilet outside because it was cold to stay there long when the average temperature was - 10ºC. From the other side if I treat to that situation using  the philosophical approach, the half of the population in Russia live in such conditions all year around and don’t suspect  about another. Our camp cook Natasha was very professional and the only problem was that it was so tasty that I couldn’t but ate too much. We hadn't any meal problem. It was snowing when we arrived and our guide had got stuck on a car somewhere. He drove to the base at night and we moved gun’s testing on the next day. In the morning we drove to the  Sarlatur tract. The locals used the car which they called  “Tien Shan” and which was the hybrid of our GAZ -66 and Mercedec). It delivered us to the altitude 2900 masl, but then we should walk. It was snowing steadily. Everything was covered by snow and the mountains’ top were unvisitable because of a whitish fog. It was impossible to see anything there. It became colder while we were testing guns and suddenly the sun appeared.  We drove along the gorge and detected the group of Ibexes in one km from us. The guide pointed to the trophy size male and I agreed. My guide Sergey and I changed our clothes.  I was really surprised when saw Sergey put on the rubber boots. He was perfectly climbing in that boots, didn't  fell or slid.  I used special mountain boots, ordered in US and waited three month for delivery but didn’t feel as comfortable in them as Sergey in his rubber monsters.  I know what you’ll tell me that he had been born in that place and use to wear them from his childhood. But he was 63 years old when I was younger 50! I even lost 5 kg before that trip and was in good physical condition. The guide offered me one of his wooden stick before we started climbing but I refused because had my own special ones. I noticed doubt in his eyes  and asked what’s happened? He was a very delicate man and answered evasively that I could use what I wanted.  I didn’t know would I like my new poles or not because tried them for first time. I used trekking poles in Alps but walked on the trails and even rose one vertical km. It seemed that there wouldn’t be any problems. I smeared the face and lips with the cream my wife gave me, put on sunglasses, took the rifle, polls and standard set for long distance shooting which included a meteostation, binocular, a rangefinder, a calculator in the phone, energetic bar and shooting gloves.  There was one thing that I had never took before but added that time. I was a small shooting bag, I was going to put under the gun when would shoot. It was good that I didn’t take the backpack or I would die with it. We should overcome the distance about 800-900 meters up and it was much harder than to go same distance in Alps.  There were not any sign of trails. Everything was covered by snow which had the consistency of cereals. It wasn’t deep but I didn’t see where I step. The slope consisted of different size stones was hidden under the snow. I started briskly but  Sergey went ahead, and I fell behind. They warned me that he hiked fast but I didn't pay attention.  I tried to walk my own tempo but instinctively followed the leader. The guide didn’t go in his full force, but it was enough for me to lag behind him. We overcame about a quarter of the way when I felt sick.  I wasn’t tired and my feet didn’t hurt me but I couldn’t go fast.  I felt like after a knockdown,  and every sudden movement , every step reflected to my stomach.  I suggested to take a short rest but Sergey grimaced in annoyance and told me that there were just 200 metes left and our trophy would just behind the rock. I overcame the distance on moral and volitional qualities but nobody waited for us behind the rock. We couldn’t stay long on the top, It was too windy, and after the short discussion went to the next rocks. We both hoped the herd would be there. Walking to the scree I asked Sergey to give me his wooden stick, my metal ones made lots of noise. It was much more comfortable to descend using it! We reached the next rocks. Sergey looked out behind the stone and whispered that male was just in 100 meters from us! But if we try to go around the rock along the ledge, the animals would notice us.  The wind was  changing the destination very quickly, that’s why I offered to go to top and to fire from there. The guide managed to crawl to the top but there was not any place to observe and make a shot that’s why he suggested to creep to the ledge. We moved very slow, Sergey was the first and I followed him.  Suddenly I saw the herd, in 150 meters from us. There were two good size males and Sergey pointed to one of them. I aimed sitting on the knees though it want’ comfortable at all. My guide was nervous because goats could smell or notice us, and hurried me.  The chosen goat pushed the female goat to the rock and I lost the opportunity to shoot. I can’t say if Love save the world but it saved one Ibex! Sergey watched the scene from the different angle and advised to get another one. It stood on the scree with the chest to me and I agreed. Probably I was tired or used not the right position but I missed. At first we thought that I hit it but didn’t find any sign of blood and realized that I missed. We both were very disappointed and I couldn’t describe our feelings by literary words. We did such great job, ascended that top, approached the male and I missed! I was stifled with annoyance. The phase “Hunt is hunt” didn’t inspired at all and we went down. Sergey  ran ahead but taught me beforehand, how to go down by a scree. I was going down leaning on the stick from behind and I was thankful to him for this knowledge because didn’t know how to make it in the best way and was ready to use the fifth point. I had time while descending to analyze what had happened and came to the conclusion that the only reason of my failure was that I was in a hurry. I shouldn't have to listen to anybody while preparing for the shot and to use the support because felt tired. But in any case, it was my fault. Being in thoughts, I mused, stumbled, did a flip and hit my Blazer a stone. When I came back in a second I was happy to realize that didn’t damage myself. Sergey didn’t see what had happened. Soon I noticed him in 200 meters lower than me. He was waving me actively and I waved in response but he went on to do it as if calling me to go him faster. At last I realized that he found something and moved as fast as I could at that moment. Sergey stood on the ledge and showed me  to the herd which moved up along the gorge. There were two trophy size males. I laid on the stones and tried to measure the distance. Unfortunately my rangefinder was frozen and didn’t work correctly, later we understood that the problem was in a new battery. Ibexes were going up and reducing the distance. I chose the rock which the male would cross and measured the distance. The distance  was just 210 meters with the angle 28 degree. I added new data to the calculator, entered the vertical correction to the sight and aimed the male which hide behind the bushes or stones. At last it came to the open area and stopped. I waited the gust of wind abated, aimed the cross with the shoulder blade, hold my breathe and shot. We both heard the distinct slap and the male laid down! I reloaded the gun taking it in the sight but it wasn’t necessary. It was over. Sergey congratulated me with the accurate shot and I realized that everything was over and discharged the shotgun. We came to the trophy and Sergey was the first one who reach it. It was getting dark we had to be in hurry if wanted to make pictures with the trophy.  Looking' to the picture today I  don’t know who looks worse I or my trophy. Sergey stayed to cut meat and sent me to the Base. I  shoud have to be in a hurry because didn’t have the flashlight and was tired but in any case  I looked like a disabled person, going down with two trekking poles. The guys  who waited us near the car, switched on light to illuminate the road. I figured the star and the rock which would use if I loose the way while coming to the car. But it was not dark because of snow.  But one unpleasant thing had happened in any case. I slipped on the wet stone and fell, waited for a while and   went on going. Sergey overtook me when I wasn’t far from the car. He used the Ibex like an anchor because it slipped on snow and could be used like a sled or brake depending on the situation. At last we reached the car! All team congratulated me with the trophy. It was the they who informed Sergey about the herd which moved to our direction. I ate the energetic gel, we loaded all our equipment and the trophy and drove to the Base. Hot soup and fried meat waited for us there. We celebrated the birth of the new Mountain Hunter and I, from my side, thanked Andrey for his help because It was him who arranged everything. After a tasteful dinner  I went to bed and slept all next day. Andrey was going to get super trophy with horns not less than 140 sm. But there was not such size male and we decided to fly back to Sant -Petersburg. I write this report sitting in the airplane and feel and miss the mountains and want to come there back. I think that in a year I’ll try it once again.
16.04.2020
Владимир Львовский
Fall in Spain

Fall in Spain

The border between Catalonia and Valencia is so called the mountain region of Spain and very beautiful place. The weather, in the mid of November, isn’t comfortable. Rain drizzles from time to time and frost is in the morning.  My friend Sergey and I arrived from Belarus because wanted to get the trophy of the Beceite  Ibex, one from four species habituated in Spain. It’s always interesting to visit the new place, to meet new people and to get acquaintance with new culture… I had to mention that hunting lands, where we hunted, wasn’t large but the animals density was really high. We went for a hunt twice in a day, in the morning and in the evening, and I detected nine trophy size males while we were  looking for the best one and countless number of females with youngsters. Huntign in Spain isn’t difficult and all hunters know about it, but there are some moments which adds complexity to the hunting process. I talk about the great number of people who are hiking, driving bikes or picking up mushroom there. Telling the truth I was surprised  that picking wild plants and mushrooms is as  popular in Spain like in Belarus. Many years ago that mountain region was  densely populated with people and moving up and down in the mountains we noticed and not once the signs of former presence of human beings such as abandoned villages, detached chalets and haciendas, agricultural terraces, not talking about the old road system which still exists there. It’s not the secret why people left that area. It’s more comfortable to live near the sea because of the mild climate and it’s easier to farm there and to fish. But a couple of centuries ago it was dangerous to build settlements near the sea because the pirates made regular raids on civilians and people should have to hide in the inaccessible places. When the danger was over people descended from the mountains and all villages were deserted. The influence of the environmentalist lobby in Europe grows from year to year and it adds more problems to the local hunters.  We talked with the locals and they said us that the State authorities don’t allow them latitude, though the Ex-King of Spain is the  avid trophy hunter. We monitored the group of Ibex, which was going down to the valley, when noticed the car. The guided asked me to cover weapons just in case, though everything was legal and we had all necessary permits. That case reminded me, our ordinary Belarus hunter who is intimidated by lots of rules and different kinds of authority's control. The hunting legislation in Spain is the strictest one among other countries in the Western Europe and the guides there is the most terrorized ones.  There are three kinds of police which can control the law’s implementation in the hunting sphere. The demands to the hunting users include the installation of the informational boards,  making roads, salt licks, digging and maintaining fire reservoirs in the most remote mountain areas. It’s interesting to note that it’s prohibited to sow crops for feeding of the wild animals. They say, that it’s done to protect the local bio types, the less human beings interfere the wild nature the better. But the owners of hunting lands find ways around these restrictions. They rent the nearest land for farming. I could hardly believe that any vegetation grow on that inhospitable land. There were just macadam under our feet. It was morning when we detected the group of Ibexes on the slope. There was one big male among females and youngsters. The guide an I decided to ascend and to get it. The approach was easy because all slopes were covered by the thick forest consisted of pine trees and mountain oaks. It took us some time, to come to the place. But we didn’t find the herd  there. The guide wasn’t perplex at all and asked to follow him. We went through the bushes and came directly to the animals.  I had no idea, how he could find the way there. Unfortunately we saw just the horns because animals were hidden in the bushes and there wasn’t any opportunity to fire.  That morning we hiked about eight km. Then the rain started and we should come back because all ibexes disappeared in the thicket.  Next day we found the same group, the animals were moving directly to us.  It was about 270 meters to the male and I was preparing to shoot from the rented shotgun Browning X-Bolt.300 WinMag when the guide asked me to wait for a moment. He assured me that the male would come to us in any case. But we lost the best moment for shooting when the herd descended to our place while the male stayed alone for a moment. I observed it through the binoculars and didn’t notice that the rest of the group approached us 30 meters and considered us with the interest. They didn’t wait and signaled danger. My Ibex jumped aside following them. I didn’t have any second and should have to shoot. The distance to the goal was about 300-310 metes. I aimed, shot and missed! Few minutes I couldn’t see the male then found. It run behind the young males and wasn’t wounded. I aimed once again and shot. The goat ran to the forests and I decided that  missed  the second time.  But another guided who watched everything through the scope told me that I hit its belly. One of our team went to the place where we saw the goat last time while the others went back to the camp. The guide, who left, found blood on the stones but didn’t chase the ibex. He allowed the animal  to lay down somewhere. Our host in the camp congratulated me with the successful hunt and told that there wasn’t any case when they lost the wounded animal. Next day the young guide took  his hunting terrier and went for the trophy. He found it while we went for another hunt. Sergey took very interesting Ibex. It had small horns but all guides declared  unanimously  that it was the eldest male  they had ever got. It was about 15 years old. Thus we took two trophies of Ibexes and my friend shot two selective individuals.  There is an outbreak of epizootic among Beceite Ibexes .  The sick  animals looked unattractive, the bodies covered with scabs and they almost don’t have hair. They reminded foxes or wolves when they got scabies. Sergey took such two samples. The guided supposed those animals could hardly live more than one week. Recently there was an abundance of wild boars but most of them died because of African swine fever. Spain was one of the first countries in Europe which felt the consequences of epizootic. The only way to prevent the spread of the disease was to shoot boars. I want to share with some more notes which made during that trip. I consider the Spanish guides are close to the embodiment of  Ideal Guides as we all imagine them. They are professional,  correct and responsible. You have to respect them and to treat them as equal.  We accommodated in the ordinary farmer’s house and eat plain food but it was tasty and good quality. Each day we used clean car. Few words about the funny story that happened to us there. Before I’d get the trophy I asked the guide to cut me the piece of meat and he asked for what purpose.  The friend of mine lived in Barcelona and I wanted to present it to him. The guide smiled when heard my explanation and decided that I want to make fun on him. -          No. I want to make him a present. – I replied. -          A piece of meat? Goat meat? What harm has he done for you? Later  he explained me his reaction.  There were hungry times in the early reign of Franco. People should had to poach to survive and shot almost all chamois, deer and boars and only goats left. The reason was very easy. The meat of wild goat smelt so awful that nobody could eat it even being hungry. Only dogs and vultures could eat it. Two species of vultures habit that area and the guides are responsible for feeding them . As you guess we  moved to Barcelona without meat.
16.03.2020
Anniversary

Anniversary

The editor of our magazine Vladimir Tikhomirov celebrated his 80th anniversary on February 14. Our readers know him by his articles about hunting in Russia and Germany, and about European gunsmiths. But anniversary is the reason to tell about his life outside of hunting world and journalism. He was born in Moscow in 1940 but soon his family relocated to Kasimovsky district in the Ryazan region. The Great World War II had started in a year. After finishing school in 1958, he entered Moscow State University of Fine Chemical Technologies named after M.V. Lomonosov. Being on the third year of the University Vladimir chose the diploma’s theme which was devoted to the radiation chemistry. The head of the lab V.D. Orekhov advised him to listen a course of lectures in Fiztech. The practical part of the diploma was done in the lab of Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry. Being a students our hero was keen of sports such as gymnastic, athletics, ski, shooting and biathlon. Each time he should have to pass all exams in advance to take part in summer or winter training camps and was also responsible for the sport life in the Institute. After graduating the University he was assignment to the organization which made researching in the sphere of changes in the structure and performance of materials under the influence of ionizing radiation. All studies were done by the requests of our space and rocket industries. The young scientist needed to study all theoretical, and experimental aspects of the radiation physics that’s why he had no choice but to study the technical translation from English, French and Japanese. At that time he got acquaintance with the leading scientists such as A.P. Aleksandrov- the President of the Academy of Sciences of USSR, N.N. Semenov- the Director of the Institute of Chemical Physics, G.N. Flerov- the Director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and others. In 1971 he defended his PhD thesis in the chosen field. All his projects were connected with the usage of strong sources of ionizing radiation. Such work allowed him to have two month vacation per year which he spent taking part in the volcanic expeditions or in the hunting trips in different regions. Last twenty five years he hunted with dogs in the Altai Mountains. Several time he even worked as the brigadier with two local hunters. The hunters surrendered production to the state and it gave them the right to buy the rifled weapons. At the end of 70s he became the Member of the Academic Board of radiation physics of a solid body. He had lots of business trips to different scientific institutes in Russia and Soviet Republics. Vladimir was lucky to take part in variety of projects devoted to problem in the space and rocket industries. In 1984 he joined the scientific team of Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, leaded by now late Academic Y.M. Kolotyrkin. After the state coup he started the cooperation with two others Academic institutes. His income at that time was very low but continued to work thanks to different grants which allowed to survive but required a huge number of paper work. At the beginning of 2000s he left the science having more than 130 publish scientific articles and 35 certificates and patents. His love to hunting and nature found the reflection in his articles at the end of 70s when he started to write for the local newspaper. Later in 90s he began to translate hunting articles and joined as the interpreter to the team of the publishing house "Friend”. He has collaborated with many periodical hunting publications during the last years but in 2014 he became the editor of our magazine “ The Magic of Real Safari”. The Editorial Board congratulates Vladimir Tikhomirov with his 80th anniversary and expresses a special sense of respect. We all wishe him great health, long active years and positive events. Fabbrica Armi Luciano Bosis, Brescia, Italy Dear Mr Tikhomirov, We know that soon will be your 80th birthday. We are writing this letter to send you our birthday wishes and to wish you many years ahead of successful work due to your great professionalism, competence and kindness. Wish you the best, Luciano Bosis Gardone V.T. Italia. Caro amico! Accetta sinceri auguri per il Tuo glorioso anniversario! Per me è sempre stato importante sapere il Tuo giudizio da imparziale specialista con profondo talento di conoscenza ingenieristica che distingue le specifiche di produzione delle armi, e aiuta i lettori a fare la giusta scelta! Voglio augurarti salute, positività e successo nel lavoro. Für die Firma Peter Hofer Jagdwaffen war und ist es immer wieder eine sehr große Herausforderung, sich mit ihren einzigartigen Kreationen weltweit in den unterschiedlichsten Kulturkreisen zu etablieren. Die Mentalität und die Jagdgepflogenheiten des jeweiligen Landes standen für uns bei der Kreation unserer erlesenen handgearbeiteten Jagdwaffen stets im Vordergrund. Bereits seit dem Jahr 2000 ist die Firma Peter Hofer Jagdwaffen für viele sehr versierte Jäger und Sammler in Russland tätig. Schon zu Beginn seiner Präsenz in Russland hatte Peter Hofer das Glück, Vladimir Tikhomirov kennenzulernen und hat in all den Jahren ein sehr freundschaftliches, fast väterliches Verhältnis zu ihm aufgebaut. Für Peter Hofer gilt Vladimir als wohl der am besten informierte Jäger in Punkto Waffen und Waffensysteme. Herr Tikhomirov wird daher von Peter Hofer immer wieder zu Rate gezogen, wenn es darum geht, seine Texte in ein fachlich korrektes Russisch zu übersetzen. Oft ist es so, dass gewisse Fachbegriffe in anderen Sprachen nicht existieren und daher umschrieben werden müssen, oft wird sogar der deutsche Begriff verwendet. Der Wissensdrang von Vladimir ist ebenso grandios wie einzigartig. Wenn er uns in Ferlach besucht, ist er immer bestrebt, sein waffentechnisches Wissen zu erweitern und kommt aus dem Fragen häufig nicht mehr heraus. Jedes Mal, wenn ich ihn treffe, erfüllt es mich schon beim Händedruck und der Umarmung mit Dankbarkeit, denn ohne Vladimir Tikhomirov hätten die Leser unserer Artikel nicht so viel Klarheit über die komplexe Welt der Waffentechnik erlangt. Wir beten zu Gott, dass Vladimir mindestens noch einmal so alt wird und wir ihn noch sehr lange als tollen Freund und Lektor an unserer Seite haben, um dem hoch interessierten russischen Jäger auch weiterhin von unseren handgefertigten Kunstwerken berichten zu können. Wir wünschen Vladimir Tikhomirov auf diesem Wege alles erdenklich Gute zu seinem bevorstehenden 80. Geburtstag und bedanken uns für seine langjährige Freundschaft. Mit freundlichen Grüßen Hofer Peter It’s not easy for any company to open new markets with different cultures. But we always take into account the hunting traditions and the mentality of the country for which we produce our handmade production. We started to work with Russian hunters and collectors from 2000s. And from that time I was lucky to get acquaintance with Vladimir Tikhonov. Over the years, we became more than friends. He is the most qualified hunting expert, who knows most of hunting systems. I always consult with him when need to make the correct translation to the Russian language. He's one of the few, who understand how the weapon works and can explain it to readers. I can explain his unique knowledge by excellent technical education and his passion to arms. He is open to the new knowledge in this sphere. Each time I welcome him with gratitude because he helps our readers to understand clearly the most difficult aspects concerning to the hunting arms. I pray to the God that Vladimir will live at least as long and stayed my friend. I wish him great health and thanks to our longtime friendship. Your friend Peter Hofer. Our first meeting with Vladimir Tikhomirov, which happened several years ago, influenced me much. I realized that met the very experienced hunter who travelled all around Russia and was impressed by his rich inner world. He is the real collector and the keeper of the best we have in Russian culture and nature. Unfortunately the man in our modern life is far from the Nature and Vladimir is the best example of the man who not only knows much about it but respect it and can use its’ gifts. He is the expert in picking up wild plant, has deep knowledge about wildlife and vegetation. His respectful attitude to all life on the Earth is in his nature. I can characterize his treatment to the Nature just by one word “Do no harm”. You can listen to his stories endlessly and someday I want to read the book which will be devoted to him. Please accept my heartiest anniversary congratulations. I wish you great health and luck. Valentin Pazhetnov. My Dear Vladimir Sergeevich! We sincerely congratulate You on your anniversary and wish great health, endless energy, optimism and new plans! I couldn’t but admire your articles and deep knowledge of the hunting arms’ theme. Thanks to God I met you! I cherish our friendship and your support. Respectfully yours Ludmila Vlasaeva on behalf of the team of Schools of gunsmithing. L. Vaseva. First time I met Vladimir Tikhomirov was in 2006, on the high-precision shooting competition, organized by the Safari Club. I read his articles before but never met him personally. I know him as a highly qualified specialist in the hunting arms sphere. I know him as the experienced hunter, who fluently speaks several foreign languages, including German- the language of teh country where all leading arms industry is concentrated. He personally know the most of European gunsmiths. Not lots of people can boast of such a " portfolio” but at the same time he is one of the modest people I’ve ever met. I enjoy each times when can talk to you because each our conversation is useful and gives me a lot. Eighty year is the age of early wisdom, that’s why I wish you long life and great health. Michael Dragunov- the leading structural engineer of the Izhevsk mechanical plant, honored scientist of the Udmurt Republic. One of the most experienced and well-known gunsmith Vladimir Tikhomirov celebrated his 80th anniversary on February 14, 2020. We happily join to the congratulations and wish him great health, interesting projects and hundreds of exciting articles. Editorial Board of the magazine “ Kalashnikov» Many years ago I invited Vladimir Tikhomirov to be the expert in my hunting program on the radio “ Radio of Russia”. To say that our broadcast was bright and interesting would be an understatement. We all listened to his stories about the past, about adventures and hunters life in the Siberia or Kamchatka’s expeditions in a one breath, not to mention his memories about friends and colleagues, the world-class gunsmiths. I could tell a lot about him as about a family man, an experienced hunter who saw a lot, about the patriot who loves his Motherland or about the scientist who worked for the good of his country. But all these description could be united in one phase, he is the GOOD MAN. I’m grateful to Providence that could meet such a GOOD MAN as he is! I wish you great health, success in all your projects and one more thing which we always say in our hunting world “Best luck!” Respectfully yours Nikolay Mamulashvili, the political commentator of Radio Russia, author and host of the program " Hunting luck!» There is hardly to find the more open minded, curios person than Vladimir Tikhonov. Probably these features of the character helped him to become one of the best hunting arms expert in Russia. His professional knowledge makes a strong impression. This man is a walking encyclopedia All his articles are filled with love to Nature and men. Probable the time, he spent in Altai helped him to find the life harmony and at the same time he is very modest and friendly. His activity as the hunting expert influenced Russian hunting magazines. The most worth is the series of the articles published in the magazine ‘The Magic of the Real Safari”, where he describes his hunting experience, opens a deep layer of modern history, introduces his inner world, full of love and respect for all living things. He is the real Hunter in the best meaning of this word. Dear Vladimir Sergeevich! We thank you your high appreciation of our job and production and congratulate you with 80th anniversary! We wish you long life! Daniela Fanzoy, vice-president of “Johann Fanzoj” company! Dear Vladimir! I congratulate your with your anniversary! I really value our cooperation and enjoy our communication. I wish you great health, success and reliable partners! Respectfully yours Osvaldo Manzoni.
21.02.2020
Магия настоящего САФАРИ
About testing of hunting shotguns, the right to keep and bear arms and about nihilism in our Laws

About testing of hunting shotguns, the right to keep and bear arms and about nihilism in our Laws

Why our people don’t like others who have shotguns? It’s the rhetorical question, which gains popularity nowadays. Ordinary citizens, who know nothing about shooting, don’t like hunters and the official authority treats to them like to enemies, we can judge so according their acts. What is the reason? Let’s start from the excessively strict actions, which have to regulate the ways of shotgun usage. The shotguns licenses for keeping and bearing arms are issued by tate authorized bodies represented by departments of the Ministry of internal Affairs and Rosgvradiya, for getting it you have to have the hunting ticket, the license and hunting permit. Plus you need to have the license for keeping and bearing arms from Rosgvardiya. But there is one interesting moment! This license doesn’t give you the right to shoot! You can keep and carry your gun! But bearing shotgun doesn’t mean shooting. If we check the meaning of the word “bearing arms” in the Ozhegov's dictionary we won’t find it. According Russian dictionary “bearing arms” is the same like “carrying smth” it means that gun's bearing is the separate action from shooting. To bear, in Russian linguistic, doesn’t mean that you can use what you bear, to shoot in our case. It’s clear but it’s sounds ridiculous. You can bear arms, if you have such license, but you don’t’ have rights to use it. If you have rights to keep and bear arms you should have rights to shoot and nobody could argue it. Does it mean that you can shoot where you want? Does it meant that ROH (license ) don’t limits your rights for firearms usage? Does it mean that if you have such license, issued by the state authority, nobody could limits your shooting rights? Unfortunately its’ not true. We know about cases when the representatives of the authorities wrote administrative reports for shotgun's testing in the hunting lands. There are several cases of judicial practice when the authority have confiscated hunter’s weapons. We’ve analyzed those cases and the whole pictures looks so as if judges don’t try to get to the bottom of the cases but execute the order of another government agency for charges, penalties and the confiscation of the weapons. Probably it’s a new way of control of hunting or compulsory measures of reduction the numbers of gun’s owners. The friend of mine told me about the cases when the authority confiscated guns by somebody’s order. When one person wanted to have the gun which another hunter had, he paid for special people to organize the forced confiscation. You’ll be surprised when know that the authors of the restriction of testing guns in the hunting lands are the explanations given by the officials from the licensing and permitting department of Rosgvardia, those people, who give permits for having a shotguns. The Deputy head of L&P department of Rosgvardia A. Z. Dishekov wrote in his letter from 14.11.2018 №3/180000094299, that “ the term Hunting, doesn’t include the testing hunting weapon and shouldn't be organized on the territory of the hunting lands”. But we have to note that this Department is the structural unit of Rosgvardia, belongs to the Federal Executive authority and it doesn’t have rights to give the explanations of the Federal Law, especially which the question doesn’t belong to its responsibility. All questions about hunting are in the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources of RF. It means that all explanations given by the Rosgvardia offices aren’t legal. This is an abuse of authority. We can’t understand the logic of that letter. According the Law “ Hunting is the activity connected with finding and tracking and chasing of the object of the hunt (which belongs to the hunting resource), taking, primary processing and transportation ( i.5 art.1 FL “ About Hunting and hunting resource conservation…”) and it doesn’t include the words about shotguns’ testing, that’s why it can’t be done on the territory of the hunting lands. A.Z. Dishekov refers shotguns’ testing to the training activity. It’s really surprised. If you want to practice shooting you have to test the gun, to be sure that it works well, test it once again with the sight and to shot for the different distances. After that you can practice shooting. We admit that the link to the item 62.1 The rules of circulation of civilian and service weapons has done on purpose (resolution №814 of RF Government) but it has no connection with the shotguns testing. Only sportsmen, like pidgeon shooters pentathletes, biathlete can train shooting. Testing guns isn’t the same. For example the hunters wants to check the new gun, how it works and he has the right to do in during twelve days after the purchase. Where will he do it, if there is not the shooting gallery in the village or the town where he lives? We want to refer to the " Standard rules for safety when handling hunting weapons... on the territory of the RSFSR” from 05.05.1983. There we can find the definition of gun’s testing “ Gun’s testing has to be done in the special places or organized in the area enclosed by the natural ravines or shafts, in some cases it can be done on the open area but the hunter has to see the whole distance” . Why we ignore the experience of the previous generation of specialists? Why do we destroy everything to the ground and create the new acts which don’t reflect the objective processes in the society and are not logical at all. Why don’t we use the experience which we alreday have? It looks like somebody want to pressure and to influence the hunters. These people forget about historical reality. The Civil code of the Russian Federation obligations must be fulfilled properly in accordance with the requirements of the law or legal acts, if there are not equal conditions or demands, they have to be fulfilled in accordance with the traditions or usually imposed requirements. The definition of the tradition in such case is, the usual rule of conduct established and widely applied in any field of business or other activity, not provided for by law. It’s no matter is it fixed in the law or not. Let’s ask ourselves, who were the best snipers during the World War II? The right answer is Hunters who helped to neutralize the whole enemy units. How do you think, have the Siberian hunters had the special places for testing guns? They still don’t exist in the most villages of Siberia and Far East. Where do the small nations of the North test their guns, though their lives depends on their skill to use hunting weapon. There are not special shooting galleries in Taiga or Tundra but the locals check their guns in any case. If something is wrong with the gun’s sight when the hunter is in hundreds km from the nearest settlement of people, will he need to drop everything and to drive back to the special place to test it? It sounds absurdly! Does it meant that all Siberian and Yakutsk hunters are lawbreakers. Hunters always tested weapons in forests, ravines and swamps in the Imperial Russia and in the USSR too. There were not any problems with it. This process was logically and legally justified. One more question. Why do we destroy it? I don’t talk about the Siberia but nowadays our State don’t provide the normal conditions for hunters and other shooters to test the shotguns. There are not enough numbers of special places, shooting galleries in each settlement or each town. The todays’ legislation don’t take into account existing realities and don’t make the condition for the implementation of legal provisions. Where are new shooting galleries or special places? The classical hunting writers pointed to the fact that we have to take into account the historical customs of the locals. We all agree that hunting land is the area for hunting. It means that there we can shoot. If the hunter misses, does it meant that shot is illegal because he doesn’t have the trophy. It can be so, according to the logic of officers who treat to shotguns’ testing like to the separate kind of activity but not hunting. When USSR existed all hunting question were controlled by the Soviet power. I’ll show some examples of normative-legal acts established in the Soviet Union which have regulated the connection of hunting and shotgun testing. The model hunting rules of RSFSR have been validated by the Order 66 of the Main Department of hunting and nature reserves from March 1st, 1974. “According to those rules it was prohibited to bear with loaded guns, shooting in the populated areas, shooting to the invisible or unclear target, shooting to the sounds and rustles, under the height of human beings, shooting birds with the usage of the smoothbore rifles in more than 35 meters, shooting when being drunk. There was a remark to this point: Testing shotguns had to be done in the special places or in the places with natural barriers such as ravines and ditches, to prevent accidents, far from the people’s settlement. Somebody had to control the process while the gun’s testing. The shotgun’s testing was prohibited when organized in not special places or when the hunting season was over”.   It means that hunters could check their weapon in the shooting galleries and other places too. The new model hunting rules were ratified on January 4th, 1988. They allowed to test hunting weapon in the special shooting galleries, hunting lands when the hunting season was opened and the hunter had all necessary permits from Gosokhotnadzor. The hunter should have to comply all security measures to prevent any accident with humans or animals. Unfortunately all these rules had been cancelled. What did we get in return? The book, written by E.V Sheingold “ All about hunting weapons” was published in 1978. There is the chapter “ The Verification of shotguns in accuracy, sharpness and stable operation”. There we can find the detailed description of shotguns’ testing process and concrete recommendations. The author tells about the situation when shotgun’s testing is obligatory: after the purchase when you have to compare the factual results with data in the gun’s papers, cases when the hunter has to define the actual hitting results relative to the aiming point, when you test different types of cartridges, after the gun’s repair, if you change thy type of the cartridges, when you change the shooting buckshot to bullets. The test has to be done in the windless weather but in the season when you are going to hunt. If it’s windy you need to test the weapon the special fenced place or in the ravine. There are not any word about training shooting. The shotguns’ testing depends on the hunting season. It’s a technical reason. The testing process connects with the shotgun production and hunting. All these documents describes the testing hunting weapons. There is a remark in the edition, published in 1988, that shotgun test can be done only by hunter, not trainer or trainee. It is an independent type of shooting, and does not refer to training shooting. The new “Hunting rules” had been verified on November 16th, 2010 by the Order 512 of Ministry of Natural Resources. These rules don’t have the reference or the definition of the shotgun’s testing. But there we can find the restrictions, listed in the p.16 of the Section I “Generalities” and in the p. 53, of the Section VII. We don’t find there the prohibition to test guns in the hunting lands during the hunting trip or season. According our legislation, the shotgun testing isn’t prohibited and even officially provided and allowed. "Standard safety rules for handling hunting weapons and conducting hunts using hunting firearms on the territory of the RSFSR" 1983. It means that the given information about the illegality of the shotgun’s testing in the hunting lands does not comply with current legislation and existing customs of Russia. According to the well-known decree #288 from April 12th, 1999, Ministry of Internal Affair, about administrative regulations of the provision of state services for issuing a license to a legal entity for the purchase of civil, service weapons and ammunition, ratified on May 11th, 2012. And the addition #5 to the current Order , established form 2019, there are seven kinds of shooting: training shooting, training shooting, control shooting of firearms with a rifled barrel, checking the combat of weapons and their shooting, shooting competitions, performance of official tasks. Six kinds of shooting stipulates by the Order of the Ministry of Natural Recourses #19 from February 25th,2019. The instruction to the Order describes of accounting, storage, issue, use and transportation of weapon including hunting shotguns used as the service weapon, and special means. These kinds includes training shootings, studies, control shooting of firearms with a rifled barrel, shooting of weapons, checking how it works, performing official tasks in the departments of the territorial authorities of Rosrybolov (p. 2. 15 of the instruction). The instruction has lots of links to the Order #288 of Ministry of Internal Affairs of RF. It means that it helps to execute this Order #288. We also want to write how the another State Authority Rosleskhoz of RF treats to that situation, we can find this information in its Order #98 from June 17th, 1996. It’s written in the Chapter 7, about the procedure of testing barreled rifles, that all training shootings have to be done after technical checking and testing shooting. Thus it means that all explanatory information which equate testing shotguns as training shooting contrary to the norms Chapter XII and pp. 62 and 62 (1) of the Resolution #814. Hunting is separate from training shooting. The statement, that shotguns’ testing is regulated by p. 62(1) and has to be done only in the shooting galleries, is not true. This p. 62(1) doesn’t regulate the usage of hunting weapons. All these sections 62 and the Statement #814 is about the usage of hunting weapon on the hunt. It’s strange that “Rostec” is involved in resolving contradictions in the legislation. The specialists from the State corporation “Rostec” reported on the meeting, which took place on April 18th, 2019, that there are several problem areas but their correction doesn’t’ affect public safety, but can make life much easier for market participants. They pointed to the problem that shotguns testing before a hunt is illegal equated to illegal shooting. It was decided to make the special commission under the leadership of M. M. Khubutiya to define all problem questions in the weapon legislation, to prepare the proposals and to transfer the Government of RF. We can't say who had initiated such decision. What does Rostec have to do with shotgun testing? The citizen has two weeks to register the new weapon. He has two weeks to be sure that it works well, to check it, to identify hidden defects, to test it. After that he has to make the decision to register it or to give back to the shop or to replace it. The citizen should have to have the right to test the gun apart from time of the year and a hunting season. He mustn’t depend on the existence or the absence of shooting gallery in his settlement. He can use the special place somewhere on the nature but need to follow safety rules. We insist that the Ministry of Natural Resources has to reflect the information about shotguns testing in the Hunting Rules or better in the Law about “Hunting and conservation of hunting resources…” Why don’t they use the rules accepted in USSR? They still actual and reasonable. There have to be special places for gun’s testing in each hunting land. These place should be fenced by natural ravines or earthen shafts. We want to analogy with other implementations of legislative acts and responsibility for violations by citizens in other areas of daily life. It is necessary to correlate responsibility for violations of the administrative Code and the criminal code of the Russian Federation committed by both hunters and all other categories of citizens, including drivers. According to the statistic, there are from 23K to 25K traffic accidents per year. But no one has thought to deprive a driver of a car for a offence. We know about 24K cases of domestic violence when people use household utensils to make damage but we don’t treat to irons, pans and kitchen knives like to weapon. Why is there such discrimination to the hunters?
11.02.2020
Ski mountain trophy

Ski mountain trophy

When I remember my hunt for the Chamois in the Austrian Alps , it reminds me the ski mountain trip. I visited lots of alpine chalets and noticed and not once the small horns which decorated the walls of those nice apartments. Each time when I saw those decoration I asked myself where did they habitat? Rising the mountain by the ski lift I saw the hoof prints but had never seen the chamois.  At last I decided to hunt for that outlandish animal which habited on the slopes where we skied.  It sounded romantic, isn’t it? I got the chance to do it on the New Year Party organized by the CMH, when won the slot from the ProfiHunt company “Hunting for the chamois in Austria”.  I gotta hand it to the outfitter and personally to Artem Veselov, - all the conditions and wishes were  done in the full accordance with the slot. I wanted to take my family  and one more condition was that I wanted my daughter took part in the hunt. It imposed the restrictions to the dates of the trip, we could hunt just in the dates of the school vacations, though the Austrian consider August and November to be the optimal time for hunting . In a week before the departure Artem send me all recommendations and contacts of my Austrian PH Uve.  I contacted with him and discussed all details. He suggested me to rent one of the rifles which he had. and I’d chosen Blazer R93, cal. 300 WM. At the beginning we were going to hunt in the area which belonged to Uve, near Rissek but then he changed the plans and suggested to organize everything in the nearest hunting lands, which belonged to his friend Ulrich. It was October 5th, when we arrived to Carinthia near Muldorf. Uve waited for us at the place and accommodated in the cozy 100meters apartments with the valley view. Nice restaurant was located in the next house. The next three days should be devoted to the hunt. In the morning we had breakfast and I tested the gun. I was surprised by the way how we did it. We just descended to the valley, drove about 1 km from the highway to the small lake, surrounded by the the houses. The aim was put on the opposite side of the lake.  The way to Ulrich’s land leaded through the deserted rocks, covered by high coniferous forest. The parts of forest were changed by rocks and bright green meadows with cows. Sometimes we met wooden cabins. It was very picturesque.  Ulrich lived there with his wife, five kids and cows. He wasn’t at home and nobody left the home to say us Hello when we had arrived though all family members were in as we knew later.  We waited for the host, wandered around the yard and considered the antlers of different sizes which were everywhere.  Those animals were hunted by the host and his guests from almost from the house. Ulrich arrived in 15 minutes and told us that was reconnoitering the surroundings but didn’t find anything. He looked like I imagined. He wore Austrian hunting hat and leather trousers.  We discussed where we’d drive and moved along the deep gorge to the hunting land. In a half of an hour we stopped, hiked about 200 meters when the guide detected the chamois which grazed on the opposite slope in 400 meters from us. Ulrich was not in vain on checking the surroundings before our arrival.  We should have to descend along the slope and to go through the valley. It wasn’t hard and soon we came to the old hunting sit-in located near the cut forest but there wasn’t our chamois. We began to move to the right discussing where it could be and spotted the male on another side of the logged forest. The chamois moved from the one edge of the meadow to the other one and was in 100 meters from us. Uve referred to me that I had to decide what to do because it was the male (as I wanted) and had trophy size. I could hardly hear what he told me because watched the male which had good size and was ready to run away. Uve and Ulrich was really glad that I did the accurate shot because not all clients could fire accurately. But the distance  was just 100 meters… It was short and luck hunt but it was wild and honest hunt in the same time. We were lucky. I got really nice trophy, it’s horns were 23 sm each. We didn’t estimate its age but it was clear that it was old. That trip agreed my idea that the value of  hunting trips was not in only in getting trophies but in the opportunity to plunge into a new atmosphere. So we had enough time to travel around Carinthia and enjoyed the Austrian hospitality.
27.01.2020
China is Next Big Hunting Market

China is Next Big Hunting Market

A growing upper class in China is poised to be the next key market for growth in international hunting. At the November 2019 Convention and AGM of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA), safari operators learned about the expanding interest in hunting among the Chinese during a presentation from Jerry Li, CEO and founder of the new China Hunting Show. According to Li there is a growing segment of Chinese who actively hunt in China and now dream of hunting elsewhere. This growing interest led Li to launch the China Hunting Show in 2019, the first international hunting show held in China. He invited PHASA members to join him for the show taking place in March 2020 in Shanghai, China. Despite tight government controls on firearms and shooting activities, hunting and the shooting sports have become a growing interest among well-off Chinese citizens who are joining government –approved hunting clubs. Hunting opportunities in China are restricted to properties called hunting farms, which must be registered with the government. Li says there are 180 registered hunting farms throughout 21 of China’s 26 provinces. Local club memberships can run up to 13 000 members. Hunting is mostly for wild boar, with licenses issued by the local governments of each province. Who are these hunters? According to Li they are successful upper-middle to upper class professionals. “Chinese hunters are very wealthy,” he says. “They are the kind of people who do business through private banks and have lots of investments.” These hunters do not come from the long and established hunting cultures typically found among hunters in North America, Europe, Africa and other destinations. This market is at an early stage of development , but participants have a heightened interest in all things hunting, including traveling to go hunting and pursuing a variety of species. Many developing Chinese hunters are eager to create trophy rooms like those they have seen in books, but they don’t’ quite know how to go about doing it. That offers international hunting companies a unique opportunity to educate and mold a growing hunting community. “Chinese hunters trust outfitters from outside of China and they want to travel and hunt, “ Li told PHASA’s safari operator members. The first show took place in 2019, with outfitters from southern Africa, New Zealand and Canada among the international exhibitors. Jumbo Moore of Chapungu- Kambako Safaris exhibited at the 2019 China Hunting Show and says there is great opportunity in China as a developing market, but operators dealing with Chines hunters must be prepared to educate their clients. Chinese hunters are eager to experience different species, but they are not yet accustomed to the selective nature of trophy hunting. “Many of the just want to experience the bush and pursue whatever they may come across,” he says. “ They are enthusiastic but need guidance in developing their hunting skills and understanding.” Moore says that while there are some more experienced Chinese hunters, many Chinese clients would benefit from starting out with cull hunts first and then being guided to more selective forms of hunting. Li describes the China Hunting Show as an “international platforms” to communicate, serve and do business with China’s growing hunting industry. The show includes international hunting grounds, hunting products, associations and organizations, hunters and hunting agencies. He say the goal of the show is to promote and create commercial opportunities for the Chinese hunting industry as well as strengthen communication and cooperation with the international hunting industry. “We welcome partners from all around the world,” he says. “Our goal is to develop the emerging Chinese hunting market, spread the hunting culture in China and create business value for the developing industry in China.” For more information on the China Hunting Show, check out the website at www.chinahuntingshow.org.cn Li can be reached at jerryli@chinahuntingshow.org.cn.
21.01.2020
THE FIRST TIME IN THE WORLD: FIFTY!

THE FIRST TIME IN THE WORLD: FIFTY!

Edward Bendersky – the President of the CMH, has become the first hunter who got 50 mountain ungulates from the Capra list of CMH, and won the award “CAPRA of the WORLD. SUPER 50”.   Once Edward Bendersky has said that his life position is to set high goals and reach it. The mountain hunting becomes more popular among the hunter all over the world. They form specialized clubs and try to reach the definite levels. He also set such aims. From 2010 about 80% of all his hunts were for  the mountains ungulates. The collection grew fast and at last at the beginning of October, 2019 he became the first hunter who got 50 SPECIES, SUB-SPECIES AND MORPHS ACCORDING THE CAPRA LIST OF THE MHC! The lists of Ovis and Capra are in different hunting clubs too but there are two main differences.  According to the rules in the foreign hunting clubs the hunter can get the limited number of the mountain ungulates but no limits for shooting other species such as stags or others. The trophy commission of the CMH stroke down such restrictions and expanded the lists. One more moment which we had to mention is that about ten sheep from forty seven listed in in the GSCO are recorded in the international Red Book. Some hunters are lucky to take those species while it has been possible but none of the beginners can reach the level of 40 sheep now. The list of Capra GSCO contains several goats which can’t be legally hunted now. Who needs such guidelines nowadays? The CMH chosen another way.  The Club’s ratings include animals which belong to the same species or sub-species but taken in different regions or countries. The Club make the differentiations by subspecies, populations and morphs.  It gives the additional advantages to the hunters because they can get the new experience hunting in different regions and countries and communicating with new people. Such actions provide people who live in that areas with the job and help to save and protect the population of the animals because the locals who work in the local hunting companies begin to protect them from the poachers and wolves.  The protection of animals is one of the Club’s goal. The members of our Club can take 50 and 60 mountains ungulates because our lists are wider. The Club doesn’t compete with others and we open to cooperation and ready to contact.  We don’t mind if the members of our Club will be the members of others.  We respect the experience and status of our north American colleagues but out rules and rating tables are in priority for us/ Traditionally the American hunters try to outdo each other in hunting for sheep.  The expansion of mountain hunting has started from the USA but there are several species of sheep and only one kind of the goat (The goat of Rocky Mountains) inhabit there.  One of the most important American Grand Slam is for 4 sheep which inhabit in the North America.  But there are lots of mountains ungulates which belong to the Capra Group which inhabit in other parts of the world.  Hunting for some of them is even more hard and interesting than hunting for the sheep. They haunt  in the remote rocky mountains and hunting in such condition is really taught. Edward Bendersky estimated the level of complexity when hunting for  ibexes and elected hunting for the  Capra species to Ovis. He got the level Super 40 and took the new frontiers Super 50! The editorial of our magazine  and the Administration of the CMH congratulates The Presidents of the Club with the outstanding result and wish him new records and success  in the projects of conservation and enhancement of wildlife.
15.01.2020
Магия настоящего САФАРИ
Caucasus – My first foreign hunt (continued)

Caucasus – My first foreign hunt (continued)

День пятый.   Выспавшись в уютном доме после охоты на Кубанского тура, утречком выехали из села. Еще раз пристреляли винтовку, т.к. если помните предыдущие выстрелы серьезно отклонялись правее. Каково же было удивление и чувство удовлетворения, что интуиция не подвела, группа «пуля в пулю» из двух выстрелов отклонилась правее на пять сантиметров на 100 метрах, а это почти две угловые минуты!   Выдвинулись далее в новое ущелье уже ближе к самой высокой вершине Европы и России - Эльбрус (5642м). Считается районом обитания средне-кавказского тура, который является гибридом между двумя видами: западно-кавказским кубанским и восточно-кавказским дагестанским.     На этот раз к лагерю можно было доехать на машине, и мы ехали как на батуте по ухабистой дороге почти на новом УАЗе Хантере. Меня несколько развеселило, что новый продукт автопрома до сих пор имеет три ключа: зажигания, дверей и багажника. И у проводников это занимало некоторое время: правильно подобрать ключ для открытия багажника, к примеру.   Почти у окончания лесной зоны на высоте 2100м был небольшой лесничий домик из кругляка, где мы с Максимом и разместились, а наши проводники в палатке рядом. На ужин приготовили незамысловатое блюдо макароны по-флотски, но хочу сказать, что было невероятно вкусно и я уплетал порция за порцией. Проводник поделился одним секретом готовки: он использовал белорусскую тушенку.   На следующий день вышли в четыре часа утра. Взяв темп, шли по ущелью вдоль горной реки в темноте. После рассвета начали крутой подъем на правый склон. После взятия склона поняли, что подъём еще не завершился и мы всего лишь подошли к подножью другой каменной гряды, усыпанной небольшими камнями, среди которых были и «живые». Это усложняло подъём, но что поделать охотничий инстинкт хороший мотиватор. Мы взяли и этот склон поднявшись на самую вершину на 3300 метров. 1200 вертикальных метров за сутки мой новый личный рекорд подъема. Кроме трофея, которого не на всякой охоте добываешь, горные охоты дают еще один вид удовлетворения - это преодоление себя для достижения новых результатов и собственных рекордов.   На дальней точке перпендикулярного хребта проводник увидел отличного тура, который отдыхал на солнечной стороне почти у вершины. Обсуждая подход к нему, решили, что лучше ждать, другие туры и особенно самки, которые находились между нами могли спугнуть нашу цель. Возможно, что отдохнув, туры начнут подходить к нам или хотя бы перевалят на другую сторону склона. Прождали несколько часов, наблюдая за ними в трубу. На самой вершине они чувствовали себя в безопасности. Ожидание напрягало...   В какой-то момент самки начали переваливать на другой склон, и самцы не спешно последовали за ними. Мы быстро собрались и пошли за ними. Пройдя метров 700 по хребту мы начали спуск раньше, чем то место где спустились они. Спускались по кулуару к одному из плеч. Уклон кулуара был очень сильный в 40-45 градусов с глубоким снегом в один метр. Преодолев его, мы залегли на плече изучая склон. Гора была исполосована глубокими кулуарами и острыми ребрами. Но туров не было… Я нервничал, предлагал разные варианты продолжения подхода. Но Максим и наш проводник не приняли мои доводы и сказали, что нужно ждать снова. Здесь они были правы, это я привык всегда что-то делать, а часто нужно и полезно ничего не делать)   Хочу отметить профессионализм Максима и проводников, которые уже второй раз рекомендовали ждать, останавливая подход. Я бывал на других охотах, где проводники часто идут напролом и конечно, отпугивая животных. Вдруг мы увидели одного самца, но это был не тот. Через некоторое время как первый самец перевалил на другую сторону горы появился и наш тур.   Дул шквальный ветер: Кестрел показал 10 метров в секунду с порывами. Дистанция до тура 570 метров! До этого я стрелял 470м и это была новой дистанцией выстрела для меня. Сложные условия... я сменил позицию, чтобы найти более комфортное положение. Ждал... ведя перекрестье за туром, который медленно поднимался к вершине. Я ждал момента, когда стихнет ветер, уверен напряжение у Максима и проводника было на пределе, ведь мы проделали такой путь забравшись на эту высоту и вот он тур, но условия были тяжелыми. На этот раз они молчали, не напрягая призывами к выстрелу. У меня же напряжение как сняло рукой и пришло какое-то абсолютное спокойствие и хладнокровие. Пока вел его в прицел, в мозгу последовательно анализировались факторы стрельбы: ветер, техника спуска курка, давление ложа на мое плечо, дыхание. Периодически левая рука нажимала кнопку на оптике для определения новой дистанции для расчета правильной баллистики. С момента как я вел тура прошло аж 4 минуты, столько времени потребовалось, чтобы ветер стих до 3-5 метров в секунду. Мой охотничий момент истины наступил... я медленно начал сжимать курок... выстрел. Автоматом перезарядился. В оптику видел, как передернуло тура, и он пробежал метров десять к вершине, но не смог продолжить и развернулся резко вниз. Проводник  сказал: "попал, попал отправь второй, когда остановится" через метров тридцать тур остановился и я произвел второй выстрел в лопатку. Тур подскочил вверх и тут же бросился бежать вниз, но уже через метров 50 упал.   Все смотрели в свои оптические приборы, короткое мгновение молчания пока мы все осознавали, что произошло или пока эндорфины, не взорвали наш мозг... а дальше радость, эйфория всей команды от отличной и крайне сложной охоты. Чувство глубокого удовлетворения не покинет меня еще долгое время, точно могу сказать, что трудовые охоты дают особое чувство счастья.   С огромным чувством благодарности Всевышнему я сделал земной поклон. Я верю, что именно Его предопределением животные подходят и встают в удобную позицию и складываются все другие факторы для удачной охоты или наоборот и охота завершается без результата.   Обсудили как все у нас прошло. Ребята подшутили, что с выдержкой у меня явно все в порядке. Решили поторопиться, через час уже закат. Нам предстояло опять подняться по кулуару на гребень и попробовать обойти башню над нами. Напрямую к туру мы не смогли подойти, на плече на котором мы находились был резкий обрыв. При подъеме в кулуаре пригодилась треккинговая палка, совмещенная с ледорубом. При таком угле я цеплялся ледорубом за скалы, - что помогало держать равновесие и дополнительно использовать силу руки. Ледоруб также поможет вам при прохождении ледников или склонов с крепким снегом, где есть риск сорваться.   Перевалив за гребень, снова спуск по кулуару и балкону на другую сторону склона. Здесь, спустившись к подножью этой башни мы поняли, что не сможем пройти дальше для выхода на седловину за этой башней. Как в передаче "Что, где, когда" высказывали разные идеи, но в итоге с учетом вечернего времени решили, что наиболее безопасно вернуться той же тропой к базовому лагерю и на следующий день подняться к туру по той же балке, в которой он залег.   Часто я ловлю себя на мысли, что не хочу проигрывать взятую высоту и что хотел бы остаться там же, разбив флай кэмп, чем спускаться на базу и снова подниматься на следующий день. Но для этого нужно с собой брать бивак: мини палатку, спальник, также еду и запас воды если нет снега. Всего этого у нас не было. С другой стороны, это дополнительно около четырех килограмм веса на человека, которые нужно брать на такой случай.   Мы начали спуск к базовому лагерю в приподнятом настроение, ведь результат уже есть, и вроде оставалось лишь добраться до тура с другой стороны горы. По дороге наконец-то мы полюбовались Эльбрусом, который особо выделялся в этом горном массиве. Был шквальный ветер, такой, что мы просто не слышали друг друга, т.к. ветер тут же уносил наши звуки. Суровость заснеженных гор при закате солнца давала неописуемую красоту. И мы спускались окруженные красотой, поглощенные в свои мысли. Я шел с огромным чувством удовлетворения, я доказал сам себе, что могу преодолеть эти испытания - это закаляет дух мужчины.   На половине спуска уже пришлось включить налобные фонари, при спусках у меня часто начинают ныть колени, и чтобы избежать этого я ношу ортопедические наколенники. Также я применил новую тактику спуска с подпрыжкой, оказалась очень эффективно и в плане скорости, и в плане снижения давления веса на колено. Ведь тело еще не успевает полностью опереться на одну ногу, как ты уже ставишь другую ногу.   Хочу отметить, что на кавказских охотах впервые использовал 30-литровый легкий дневной рюкзак с функцией крепления ружья, весь этот вес уходил в тазобедренную часть и малая часть на плечи, что оказалось крайне удобным. Также можно складывать лишние слои одежды при подъеме и наоборот утепляться на засидках. Нести запас еды и утвари. Кстати, очень важно всегда брать с собой средний пуховой слой одежды (down insulation) как верх, так и низ, это жизненно важно если придется по каким-то экстренным причинам остаться на горе на ночь и в холод.   В тот день мы в итоге прошли 17,5 километров, взяли 1200 вертикальных метров. Весь поход туда-обратно занял более 17 часов. А количество эмоций нельзя описать цифрами, но оно точно зашкаливало, даже в сравнении с моими другими охотами.   Мы вернулись в лагерь, но хорошие эмоции не давали взять верх усталости. Мы все долго обсуждали прошедший день и другие охотничье дни. Я был очень благодарен Максиму и проводникам, вообще у них работа дарить чувство счастья, редко встречаются такие профессии в жизнедеятельности человека. Я понял, что важно ездить в такие поездки с аутфиттером, который имеет опыт оценки трофейных качеств животного, правильного подхода. Это не относится к нашим проводникам в этой поездке, но часто из-за наплыва охотников в ограниченный сезон, задача проводников бывает быстрее завершить охоту. Что я и доказал в своей другой охоте без аутфиттера, когда добыл не самый лучший трофей из возможных. В случае Максима это еще постоянный смех от шуток и обсуждения охот, этики, и других факторов нашего хобби. И к тому же он очень классный видеооператор с навыками охотника, ведь важно правильно подкрасться к животному. Успеть правильно поставить камеру и на животное и на охотника чтобы эффектно заснять выстрел и попадание, не говоря уже о съемке природы с дрона.    Мне повезло с проводниками: у нас не только религиозные и исторические тюркские корни, но и общая любовь к охоте и природе. Они очень постарались найти мне хорошего трофейного тура, завели туда куда никогда и не ходят ввиду сложности, но со знанием, что старые трофейные самцы всегда в тяжелых и безопасных местах.    Конечно, охота еще не завершилась, как мне казалось. Совершена простительная ошибка: доболтались до поздней ночи, что не позволило хорошо выспаться ведь завтра предстоял тяжелый день поиска и спуска нашего тура. По моей просьбе снова ели макароны по-флотски, понравились что еще сказать!   На следующий день снова в путь ранним утром. Один из проводников остался у реки, чтобы ориентировать нас в скалах наблюдая в подзорную трубу. Второй проводник, Максим и я начали крутой подъем. Недосып очень плохо отражается на выносливости, мой подъем был намного хуже, чем вчера и на одной трети я уже не мог не остановиться и не поспать. Передав, свои кошки проводнику я остался. Они вдвоем продолжили путь. Немного подремав, я начал искать их в бинокль и увидел, что они метров 200 от меня у подножия более отвесной балки и Максим уже возвращался в мою сторону, а второй проводник продолжал подъем. Когда Максим вернулся, он рассказал, что без кошек там делать нечего: замершие ручья и затвердевший снег с таким уклоном делали подъем очень опасным. Когда проводник уже спустился он сказал, что кошки были критически важным элементом успешного подъема и спуска, и пожалел о решении отказаться от предложенного ледоруба.   В общем героическими усилиями нашего проводника тур был спущен уже к вечеру. При этом большей части туши к большому сожалению спустить не удалось. Я подарил кошки нашему проводнику, это снаряжение может спасти жизнь когда-нибудь.   Мы сразу оценили трофейные качества. Это был средне-кавказский тур с рогами в 82 сантиметра в возрасте 13 лет. Красивые рога, с хорошей базой, я был счастлив. Сделав фотосессию, мы начали возвращаться на базу. Уже при спуске грусть начала подкрадываться ко мне, ведь охота завершилась, и я буду возвращаться к суете сует. Человек очень контрастное существо: с одной стороны, грусть завершения и не желание возвращаться к рутине жизни, а с другой стороны я уже начал скучать по семье, моим сладким детям.   Вернувшись, мы поужинали и собрав вещи начали спускаться. Мы покидали незабываемые кавказские горы и поселок Эльбрусский уже по дороге в Минеральные воды.   Хочу завершить свой рассказ стихом, который я составил из текста одной из книг горного охотника:   Я начал путь свой по земному шару среди гор и не представлял места, которые увижу и людей которых встречу и животных которых даст Аллах мне добыть!
25.12.2019
The Caucasus - my first foreign hunt.

The Caucasus - my first foreign hunt.

That trip was very exciting for me because I’d hunt abroad for the firs time. I hadn’t hunted somewhere except my country Kyrgyzstan before. I’d be accompanied by people whom I didn’t know but they all were professionals. They would assess my physical condition, endurance, composure, shooting skills and being patience in the harsh conditions. The Tyan Shan mountains near Bishkek are complicated with the average angles about 30-40 degrees but I didn’t know what to wait from the Caucasus. I knew from reports that hunting there was the most difficult and dangerous from the hunting trips in Russia. I thought about it and all other things in a few days before the departure. I consider myself to be the well-trained hunter, take part in all hunting seasons and visit the shooting range regular. I also studied all hunting disciplines: ballistics, equipment and trained a lot. I reduced the weight from 87 to 79 kg in a month before the expedition, in that way I could take 8 kg equipment more. In a few day before I left home, I got the message that Maxim Vorobyov, the founder and CEO of PRH (Professional Russian Hunters), would join me. It was the good news because it my first hunt abroad and I needed the support. That Day had come. I packed all equipment according my check-list and drove to the airport. I was minimalist and had managed to fit everything in one 85L backpack, 60L hermetic bag and 32L day backpack. It was uncomfortable in the Moscow airport that I couldn’t use the trolley when moving from on Terminal to another and had to carry all things sometimes. Next time I’d take the bag with wheels. If the reader allow I’d describe my experience of equipment’s usage because it can be useful. I met Maxim in the airport and we felt very easily with each other. So we'd talked about hunts till Mineral Vody where arrived at 4 pm. It was cloudy and it was going to snow soon. It took us several hours to drive from the airport to the village Elbrussky in the Karachay Cherkess Republic. But all the way to the place we talked with Maxim and the representative of the local outfitter and time slide away very deceitfully. They told me that I was the first trophy hunter from Kyrgyzstan who would hunt in that area. Next morning I got acquaintance with two our guides, tested guns in the distance 600 meters and moved to the gorge. We started climbing from 1600 masl and reached the Base camp, located on the altitude 2200 masl in a couple hours. The road headed throught the forest along the mountain river. I enjoyed picturesque view which reminded Issyk-Ata. I could call that trip as "the backpack hunting" with the note that we didn’t’ change the Base Camp. It was the evening when we set the camp. I didn’t want to risk and to sleep with snoring neighbor and set the individual tent. Before going to sleep we detected the group of Turs which stood on the opposite slope. It was the first time when I saw those animal and then snow started. That time I decided to conduct the experiment following the advice of Jason Herrstone - the founder of Kuiu company. I took lighter sleeping bag for the comfortable temperature 0ºC which weighted 660 gr instead of more warmer but more heavier one for -30ºC and 1500 gr. Jason suggested to sleep in warm downy clothes. The average temperature was -8ºC. I didn’t freeze but next time I’d take the warmer sleeping bag. In the morning I left the tent and was amazed by the beauty of nature. Everything was covered by snow and it was still going. The guides suggested to go on to rest because it had no sense to move somewhere in such weather. One more advice, if you aren’t going to change the base camp every day I’d suggest to take two-man tent because it is more comfortable . I enjoyed communication with guides and Maxim because it was the first time when I met people who shared my passion for hunting and nature. The mountain hunting isn’t hobby, it the lifestyle. I prefer staircases to elevators, keep the diet because can take more equipment, if I dont' weight much. I lost about 8 kg and could take “for free” the binocular and the gun. I’m sure that everyday habits such as watching the wind speed can improve the assessment skills. I don’t mention about the pernicious habits because it’s clear and it could cost you dearly in the mountains. When the fog lifted from time to time we could watch the groups of Turs on the opposite slope. They are bigger than ibexes but have shorter horns. You see large animal and its horns merged with the body. It’s much easier to detect ibexes in the mountains because of the protruding horns. There was the male which looked bigger than the others and we decided to approached him just to be sure. We couldn’t come close because of the relief and tried to estimate it from the distance 900 meters. Maxim and one of the guide told that it wasn’t bad but we didn’t’ shoot because the fog covered the males. Next day the snow was over but was foggy. We left the camp and went up to the river. It was so beautiful, the forest covered by snow looked like from fairy tale. We walked about 1.5 km when detected the group of males, which stood to our right, and began to approach. The fog played with us. There was a big dark male which stood out from the rest and we decided to take it. The fog showed me one of the drawbacks of my favorite optics Swarovski DS5. It didn’t measure the distance in the fog and I couldn’t account the ballistics. There weren’t adjustment to make it by hand. It was very tense moment when I was trying to take the comfortable position among the rhododendrons, I didn’t use to doing it at home because hunted in the rocky landscape. Taking the right positon is the skill which is very important for the mountain hunter and come with the experience. The fog, optics, which didn’t work well, and taking the position made me to feel tension. My fellows asked me several times to shoot because the males moved and could hide behind the rocks. The chosen tur had almost hide behind the stone when I managed to measure the distance, it was 470 meters. The optics showed the new crosshairs. I didn’t see the males head just one third of its body but I fired. The group ran to the right. It wasn’t clear if I hit or not but the guides told me that I did it. The male was leading the group when stopped for a moment and I shot the second time, aiming to its shoulder blade. Turs were large animals and my trophy ran some distance when stopped and fell to the bottom of the gorge. I was grateful to God for his mercy. It was my first foreign trophy. It was good 12 year old male with horns 77 sm and large base. The guides were surprised that it was Kuban not Mid-Caucasian Tur. The horn’s tips circled down like Ibex not along the body. The beard grew with chin, not on the sides. It wasn’t the surprise because we were on the territory where both species habituated. Western Caucasian Tur or so called Kuban Tur habitat in the western part of the Caucasus. Its areal is about 5 000 sq. km. Kuban Tur is named after river Kuban which started near the Elbrus peak. I was surprise by another thing. My first shot hit to back of its torso. The bullet deviated to the right and it was far enough for the 300 cal and the distance 470 m. The second one hit to belly though I aimed the shoulder blade. Then we remembered that the gun fell to the sight when we were watching turs in the first day and the sight was off. Later I tested it once again and we found that it shot at 5 sm to the right on 100 meters. I was lucky that could get the trophy at all. We made pictures, cut the meat and went down to the base. I was fully satisfied by the hunt. Later in the camp we made fire to dry the clothes and boots. One of the guides made skewers from the wooden sticks and we cooked tasty shish kabab from the fresh meat. The guys told me that American hunters had taught them not to salt meat at the beginning because it was too dry and add a little at the end. It was one of the most delicious shish kabab which I eat in my life. Next day we went about 12 km from the altitude 2200 to 2900 masl. My training and trekking in Kyrgyzstan helped me a lot because I easily walked with the guides and wasn’t’ tired, though I carried the backpack about 8 kg and the rifle. At home I trekked on the heights between 3000 and 4000 masl but the mountains in Karachaevo Cherkessia were in 1000 meters lower. There was enough oxygen and I felt better. I used crampons when crossing some sheer beams. I had the light model which weighted 420 gr. You must have crampons for mountains hunts in October-November and I made sure of that again later. We watched lots of animals on the each mountain. It was difficult to approach the groups because females signaled and the herds ran away. I used scope actively when trying to determine the size of the trophy. You also has to have it. It was my first experience when I used the scope together with the phone’s adapter. We made pictures, video and estimated the horns’ size on the phone’s screen. In the evening we went down to the Base camp, had rest and decided to go to the village just to move to the next gorge on the next day. We were going to find the Mid –Caucasian Tur. I got great pleasure from that hunt. It was difficult because of temperature, snow and fog. Those weather conditions added extra taste and challenged us. I will remember those nights in the tent in the mountains and other things. To be continued….
11.12.2019
Chamois in Crimea

Chamois in Crimea

Well- known zoologists V. Geptner, A. Nasimovich and A. Bannikov wrote the fundamental work of “Mammals Of USSR. Artiodactyls” and set up the idea to acclimatize chamois in the Crimea mountains. It was in 1961. At first glance it looks very attractive because the Crimea Mountains look like the Alps in Europe and we all know that chamois habitat there since time immemorial. Moreover we know that chamois acclimatized well in the New Zealand where they hadn’t dwelled before. The fact of introduction of this species to the new territory, allowed us to hope that they would settle in Crimea. We found the report about the expedition in Crimea written in 1858 by the zoologist from the Kiev University Karl Kessler, who wrote :”… the population of chamois in the Crimea mountains is much higher than the deer’s one”. Relying on this information and wishing to increase the number of biodiversity of mountains ungulates in Russia, the Club of Mountain Hunters considered appropriate to make the scientific research of this problem. We signed the agreement with the FSBI “Federal Center of the development of hunting” for making the preliminary researching of possibility of reintroduction of Chamois in Crimea. According to the agreement the officers of FSBI and other involved professionals had to make the analysis of the historical habitat of chamois in our country, in particular in Crimea. The specialists had to study the opportunity of (re)acclimatization of chamois in Crimea. They had to study special faunal sources and to make the analysis of documents but the most important thing was to define the optimal territory on the peninsular which will be enough or optimal for the acclimatization of chamois. The needed territory must have minimum number factors which can limit the population. For example there have to be small number or full absence of big predators and low anthropogenic impact, it must have lots of pastures and other analogies with the habitats of the Caucasian chamois. All desk and field works are finished already and main specialists (the specialist of the 1st category S. Ponomarenko, the leading specialist T. Sipko) prepared the report “"Crimea-the territory of the probable historical range of chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra L. 1758) and the prospects of its introduction into the established ecosystem”. In accordance with the 1st Part of the Federal Law #9 ,art. 33 from 14.03.1995 “About specially protected natural territories”, the introduction of living organisms , in order to acclimatize them, is prohibited on the territory of the Natural reserves. The only variant which we could use in the Crimean Natural Reserve was to (re)acclimatization. After we’d studied the historical literary sources and consulted with the specialists from the Crimean Federal University we excluded the possibility of habitat of chamois on the peninsular. We admit that Karl Klesser, whose report we mention before, was mistaken when called roes like chamois. Probably it happened because people from the Eastern Europe called roes like srnčy. It sounds like chamois in Russian. The data of the paleontological researches didn’t prove the idea that chamois habituated there before. It meant, that we can talked just about the introduction of chamois to the territory of the hunting lands. The specialists explored the potential biotypes for chamois habitat on the territory of the Natural Reserve and made visual estimations on the 130 km route. The most of pastures are used by the ungulates which historically dwell there such as deers, roes and mouflons. The density of their population is 64 animal per 1 thousand ha. The serious damage especially in winter is caused to ungulates by feral dogs. Moreover wolves came there in 2014. The rocks which are the natural shelters from predators occupy just small area which is not enough for the living of big chamois population. The idea of introduction of chamois to the area of Natural Reserves didn’t find the support. In the end of June the officers explored the territory of two hunting lands “Alushtinsky forest land” and “ Hunting area “The cold Mountain”. The route distance was 143 km. Alushtinsky hunting area- Demerdzhi Yayla is protected area and all kinds of hunting is prohibited there. It has good food supply and there are enough places where ungulates can refuge. According the forecast of our experts about 85 animals can habit there. The ridge Karabi Yayla can became the home for more than 100 chamois. Those two centers has square 4 861 ha and located in 4 km from each other. The micro population of 200 chamois could emerge in that place someday. We has to note that one of the specialists , the candidate of biological Sciences, head of the laboratory for monitoring of focal ecosystems A. I. Dulitsky, gave the negative estimation of the project of acclimatization of chamois in Crimea. His main argument was that the territory of the prospective acclimatization is too small and densely populated by other ungulates. The addition of chamois would lead to the ecological problems. He reminded about the unsuccessful resettlement of bison in Crimea. Now it’s clear that there not enough food for those animals on the peninsular. The FSBI “Federal Center of the development of hunting” wrote the report based on the researches they did. We print here the full version. Conclusion According the data received from the literary and questionnaire sources the Crimea peninsular is not the historical habitat of Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra L. 1758). The results of the researches didn't confirm the approval that Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra L. 1758) had dwell Crimea before. The following conclusions concerning the acclimatization of Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra L. 1758) on the territory of the Crimea peninsular made on the base of the modern explorations. They are: 1. The mountain ridges of the Crimean Mountains, located on the territory of the Natural Reserve, were examined in the period form 28th to 30th of May, 2019. They were checked by the following characteristics: food supply, interspecific trophic competition, the availability of places where you can hide from predators. On 28th of May,2019 they explored the mountain Malay Chuchel, Nikitskay and Yyltinskay Yaylas. The distance of the route was 91.2 km. The pastures on the mountains slopes are eaten by the ungulates which habitat there and the food supply isn’t enough for the new species. The population density of ungulates which reside in Yyltinskay Yayla is less than on the mountain’s slopes but there are not places where chamois can shelter from the predators especially from the stray dogs. Protective conditions are not well. The herbage in Nikitskay yayla is better than in other places and there are some natural rocks which can protects animals from dogs and wolves. That place can suit for the small population of chamois. On 29th of May,2019 the officers checked the western and southern slopes of the ridge Chatyrdag yayla with the top Eklizi-Burun. They trekked about 14 km and found lots of places where animals can shelter. There were many rocks and ledges. The natural competitors of chamois in that place are deer, roes and boars. There are enough food but only for a small group of chamois. The ridge Babugan Yayla has the most tough condition for the habitat of these ungulate in winter. The predators, which habitat there, are dogs, wolves, foxes and raccoon dog. Thus, after examining of all slopes the most suitable are Nikitsky Yayla, the southern and western slopes of the Chatyrdag Yayla ridge with the top of Eklizi-Burun. 2. The acclimatization process has much influence the well-established climatic and environmental conditions in the territory and we must realize that the resettlement of animals which have never habitat in Crimea before could cause great damage to the biocenosis of the Peninsula. The new species will add extra load on the forage base which is barely enough for the existed species. The specialists consulted with the scientists from the Tavrida national University and Crimean agrotechnological University. The scientific community is against the importation of chamois to the peninsular because this species will ruin the existed ego-systems and biocenoses. The multi-directional positions of the scientific community, ecological and state organizations can be the reason of negative situations and conflicts. Given the above, we can conclude that the acclimatization of Chamois on the Crimea peninsular is inexpedient”. The Club management analyzed the report of the specialists and the expert opinion of the zoologist Dylitsky and came to the conclusion that the project which looked very perspective doesn’t’ have sufficient grounds for implementation now or in the future. The CMH doesn’t seek to implement all its’ ideas if they aren’t supported by the Science. We know the cases when people, leaded by their own desires, made the illegal introduction of the alien species and it came to the dramatic ecological crisis if some regions. The CMH rejected such practice and implement the plans in accordance with the principle of " Do not harm”. That was the reason why we ordered the scientific research of this idea perspectives. We took into account all negative estimations and the project won’t be realized. But our readers know that it’s not the only projected under the auspices of our Club and we will keep you informed.
28.11.2019
How I spent the Summer and the Fall

How I spent the Summer and the Fall

The New Year Party was traditionally organized in December in the yacht restaurant Chaika. My fellow Sergey Mazurkevich with whom we seated at the table was awarded by the Russian Mountain Hunter Cup. I suggested to fill the ladle by Champaign and everyone had to drink from it to the winner. The sparkling wine symbolized all sweat which he shed in the mountains while had got thirteen trophies. When it was my turn to drink from the ladle I thought to myself, If I could take the missing quantity of trophies in a one year. After coming home I made the list and counted how much trophies I needed to finish the list. If I wanted to win the award I had to get 10 trophies! It was too ambitious goal. I’d been in Kamchatka twice and didn’t even see the sign of sheep. That experience didn’t’ t inspire optimism. Because if I wanted to achieve the goal I had to bag 6 kinds of snow sheep not counting the other ones species. But as they say, the eyes fear, the hands do or another variant - no harm in trying. My plan was to get six trophies in 2018: Kamchatka, Koryak, Chukotka and Yakutia Snow Sheep plus Sayan Ibex and Dagestan Tur. If I didn’t do it in the one year I would continue the next. I could implement the plan, not in one but in two years. And it hit off… I was training hard, went to the swimming pool twice a week, ran on the treadmill with 40 degree lift angle. I’d bought all necessary equipment which didn’t have and made the schedule of flights. Thank you very much to the Aeroflot team, everything was organized on the high level. Kamchatka Snow Sheep I was planning the trip to Kamchatka when encountered the problem which was called “ The World Football Cup in Russia”. Most of the airports in Russia had been closed for weapons movements. As one of my friend said, it didn’t bode well. But I had no choice. The only way which I could use was to fly through Novosibirsk. Fortunately there was the direct flight from Minsk to that town but I had to wait the connection flight to Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky for one more day   but it was the little thing. Before the flight I've recived the confirmation from the aviation security of the Novosibirsk that could fly with my weapon. After arriving to the peninsula I'd need to fly further to Palana. The problem was that there were not every day flights to that remote place and I'd spend three days waiting. But there's nothing to do we’d have to wait. I was going to hunt there for Koryak and Kamchatka Snow Sheep and had time limits. Thus, the adventure had started. The flight Minsk- Novosibirsk- Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was according the plan. I received the luggage, the gun. Suddenly when I was ready to leave the airport, I’d heard thee announcement on the loudspeaker that the flight to Palana was delayed till 3 pm, though it had to leave in an hour before our arrival to Kamchatka. It was the good sign. I could save three days and ran to the tickets office without hesitation. -Do you have tickets to Palana? - Yes, we have. But there are some problems with the plane. We are not sure if it can fly today. I didn’t care about those problems, called to the local outfitter, got his answer that we could fly earlier and changed the ticket. Then there were several moments which reminded me our Soviet Past. I’ve heard about it before but you will never understand or feel it until you find yourself in this situation. All passengers loaded their luggage to the plane by themselves! I’d hardly believe that it could be so. It was good that the locals knew the process and everything was done very fast in the routine way without any protests. The plane Yak-40 was elder than I but I knew those unkillable Soviet technics. Then we got into air pits several times while flew above the snow-capped mountains. The local outfitter met me at the airport and the ATV’s driver Michail, who happened to be my countryman, agreed to drive to the mountains immediately. It was evening when we arrived to Victor’s base. I saw lots of bears while we were driving and I made video with one of them from twenty meters distance. I has to note that it’s not really dangerous to make such videos when you are sitting on the ATV, which is like a tank. Next morning the Koryaks Anton, Viktor and Denis rode by horses to set the mountain camp. I spent that day having rest and checking/testing the rifle and wasn’t bored. The huge female bear with cubs passed near the camp and the big male followed them in a while. Viktor and Denis came back at the lunch time while Anton stayed in the mountains. His goal was to make the monitoring of the surroundings. We also packed all things, saddled horses and rode to the Base camp. All the way to the place I confronted with my horse Mashka. First time, she fell in the swamp and I flew upside down. Then Mashka noticed it and used this trick from time to time testing me. She could stopped on the dry road and kneeled down checking what I’d do. I had to show who was the master, she understood and took it. In the late evening we arrived to the place. The guys made everything in the best way we eat dinner and went to sleep. It was 6.30 am when we left the camp and started to climb under the cover of low hanging clouds. But suddenly the sky cleaned, all clouds lifted and the sun shined. The picturesque views appeared all around us. Almost immediately we detected the group of sheep in one km from us. Anton, our guide, suggested to come to the stone scree where the sheep would come later. Viktor stayed on the place to monitor the animals and to coordinate our movements be radio. We reached the needed place and waited. The minutes dragged painfully long but my doubts about the wisdom of that actions rose each second. Finally our patience was exhausted and we decided to go forward to the animals. The local mountains elves- pikas started to whistle from different sides. There was the full orchestra of them when we reached the big stone. We looked out very carefully and spotted a small bighorn beneath us. Anton connected with Viktor who told that there was the bigger one but it stood above us. We waited for while the second male would appear over the ridge. The distance was 300 meters. Probably it heard the whistle of pikas or smelt something but it began to move up. Being in despair I shot to the running goal and missed it. But there was a silver lining because suddenly the sheep stopped. Probable the shot echo confused it. It froze and began to listen. I measured the distance - 386 meters, made the correction, spin the reels on the scope and fired. We all heard the characteristic slap. It fell like a log into the gorge. The trophy Number 1 was taken! Kamchatka Snow Sheep The flight back to Petropavlovsk was in time. In a day my friend from Ukraine Jury with his grandson Egor arrived there. We all were going to drive by bus to the village Maysky and the by chopper to the Storozh River. Thus it happened and we could even set the camp before the darkness. In the first hunting day I saw four bears, one of them even came to 15 meters to my guide Vladimir. But he was so keen in examining the surroundings that I had to whistle to attract the attention the guide and the bear. When the wild guest understood that there were two humans against it, took the decision to leave and we went back to the camp with empty hands but without any problems. Next morning we decided to go to the Damn Nose, the place where Sergey Volochkov got the good sheep in the last year. My guide was sure that we’d find animals there. At first we climbed the slope then went down to the river and crossed it. I found the bear’s bed near the huge stone and a fresh pile of dung. None of us felt comfortable. We tried to hike making as much noise as it was possible. We talked loudly and stamped feet. Then we went up once again. 200 vertical meters and it wasn’t the easy exercise but at last we reached the glade- which was the home of pikas. They immediately let us knew that we were the uninvited guests. The next part of the way was the rise to the lonely rocks, my guide called them Mates, but I wasn’t sure that it was the official name. We'd done it and decided to drink tea which took with us. It was cold, the weather changed from rain to wind every fifteen minutes but we had to move further. In two hundred meters Volodya sat down and send me the signal. I saw the clear silhouette of the sheep which stood on Kirin, so the Koryaks called the ridge. The distance was 1100 meters. We relocated to the next slope and began to rise. The sheep was grazing on the slope moving from us. Volodya and I waited for a while and started to follow it. We roamed only when it couldn't see us. It appeared once again and we fell down like a log. It seemed as if it noticed something because looked to our side from time to time. The distance was 700 meters. I wished it was closer. That distance was exorbitant for the shot with the factory cartridge. Twenty minutes we were lying and waited when it’d hide behind the horizon than jumped up and ran after it. Suddenly the next bighorn appeared, we fell as if on cue and the fog covered us. Was it good or not? The name of the place was the Damn Nose and the name justified itself. All those actions took place on the height 2000 masl. It was dangerous to move with zero visibility but we hadn’t time to wait. Nobody was sure that the mountains would clear but we had to go down and marked the control points in the GPS in any case. But the fog lifted! We judged that the animals could be in a nearby valley and went there. Volodya suggested to make a stop and make the saltlick because took 5 kg of salt for those purpose. Soon the wind began to catch up with the clouds, spun in the rhythm of the waltz. We had to move faster if want to detect the sheep earlier than the fog would cover the slope. And Voloday found them and we all laid down once again to the ground. There were two adults and a young male below us in 175 meters. The youngest one watched to our side and obscured the old one. I needed to fire or they would leave. The first one made a step aside, the angle-30 degrees. I couldn’t take the comfortable position and decided to fire from knees. The Shot! The bighorn fell and suddenly nine of them appeared from behind the slope. O my God! We didn’t see them. They gathered into the group and didn’t know where to run. I pulled out the camera and began to make video. So they stood for a moment and slowly moved away. Then we made pictures and cut meat in "the very comfortable" conditions: rain and hail. It was really cold but we didn’t notice it and I was happy! In 2016 I visited Kamchatka two times. In the first visit I couldn’t even fly to the mountains. It was rain during all ten days and not the single chance to fly. At the second time I hunted in the Deep Cleft and didn’t see any male during 12 days. Each morning we climbed to the mountains and hiked not less than 10 km per day. And the last third attempt was successful. I got two sheep and one of them (Kamchatka Snow Sheep) got the Gold level. Thank you very much to the outfitter and very experienced guide Vladimir for that interesting hunt! Chukotka. The Koryak Snow Sheep. Few days of rest at home and next flight to Chukotka. After meeting at the airport we used the ferry to get to Anadyr. I was surprised by the capital of that Cold province of Russian. The town was like from fairy tale. The colorful houses and buildings, built on the stilts in that the edge of the permafrost, looked like toys. The sight of them cannot but please the eye even in the most severe cold. I was really lucky with weather. There were fogs and rains but it was utter nonsense for those region. The helicopter waited for us outside the town. The sky was overcast by clouds but the pilot told me that he knew what to do. Telling the truth I had some doubt but in twenty minutes we happened in the clear sky. The sun was shining and tundra shimmered with bright colors, as if it had been purposely dressed in festive attire. It was the paradise for the photographers. You don’t need to choose the angle and a perspective just push the button. The first day in the Base camp we had rest and tested guns. I can’t say anything interesting about it. Next day we moved to the mountains. It took us long time to cross the ridge, we saw several females with babies and wild reindeers. The guided told me that they had seen males a week ago but we didn’t’ meet anyone. My mood began to fall the memories about failures in Kamchatka came flooding back. After the lunch my guide Mikhail offered to check the next slope where he saw males last time and we found three of them there! How didn’t we notice them in the first time? The guides knew the territory pretty well and suggested to make the corral hunting. Timofey would pushed animals from that place while Mikhail and I wait for them on the ridge. They had to go there according the plan. An hour passed. The place, which we chose for the ambush, wasn’t comfortable. It was surrounded by thick bushes and I got nervous. Mikhail noticed my condition and said to be patient because the sheep would approach very close. And so they came. The distance was 100 meters. They crossed the pass and moved slowly to our side. -              Which one I must shoot? -              The first one. Seventy meters! The shot! I had the feeling that bullet hit to the stone and I shot once again. Stone! What an armor-piercing sheep was it! I was afraid that it’d leave behind the ridge and decided to fire the second one. The guided told me that they had one more license and the season would be closed soon. I made the shot and noticed that the first and the second one fell together. O my God! By the way the second one had bigger horns. Chukotka left a lasting impression and I want to come there back. Hope I can do it. Magadan. Kolyma Snow Sheep. I flew back home and checked my list. If I want to win the Cup, I need to bag Kolyma and Okhotsk Snow Sheep, Altay Ibex and West Caucasian Chamois in KCR. I bag the last trophy in Abkhazia but needed one more just for the safety sake, and decided to increase the rates! The process went, I had not to do it slow down. I found free time in my calendar and began to call to the local outfitters and tried to arrange the hunts. Thanks to my club fellows who gave me contacts. The first guy I remembers was Alexander Klazyn from Magadan. He is my countryman and i'd talked with him about the hunt before. It didn’t’ take us much time to arrange all questions and soon I flew there. After arrival to Magadan we sailed by boat to the hunting area. I had to confess that wished to leave that boat as soon as possible because didn’t trust the sea transport. I’m the man of land and hate when the deck moves underfoot and you move automatically. The rock looked very impregnable from the sea but it took us just two hours and we climbed 500 meters. We watched the group of young females while rising, they looked at us but were not afraid at all, as if they saw human beings at the first time. I couldn’t stop wondering the modesty of the feed base. The grass was almost not visible, there was only the cedar woods as far as the eye could see. If I hadn't seen the females sheep before I could think what we were doing there? Then we noticed the lonely male which stood in some distance and looked like entranced. It was the lunch time and the sun was already hot. My guide Vasily invited to have rest and to drink some tea. He promised that we met sheep after the breather and was right. First we detected two young males and then spotted the Big one which stood above us! It was huge, athletic “Man”. We didn’t’ need to estimate its horns. It was the real male! The shooting distance was 225 meters with the angle 90 degrees. I fired and missed, as I thought at the first moment but noticed the blood which fountained from its neck. I hit it but wanted to make the second shot just for safety but Vasily stopped me. We dropped backpacks and started to prepare for the climb by the vertical wall. It could be high and dangerous. But the miracle happened. The sheep made just one step and fell from the rock. My breath caught in my throat because I thought that it’d damage the horns. I come close with the sinking heart and found that they were intact! The right one was fine but the left one didn’t’ t have the tip but the male lost it not now. I got really nice 10-11 years old trophy! The Kolyma Snow Sheep is taken! To be continued.
29.10.2019
Standards of mountain trophy hunts

Standards of mountain trophy hunts

Dear Club members. We all have experience of taking part in hunting trips, organized on the different levels. We know positive and negative examples of the local outfitter’s work. Our proposal is to elaborate standards of the hunting trips organization which we are going to promote among our partners. We will be grateful for your suggestions. Edward Bendersky The important things which have to be known while organizing the hunting tripQuestions which concern the necessary documentsThe outfitter has to receive all permits for getting the wildlife products. All paperwork have to be filled in the names of hunters or the PH who will accompanied him.If the hunt takes place in the border zone, the outfitters is obliged to get the appropriate permits which allow to stay there from the local border service. The hunter has to provide the outfitter with the original hunting ticket and gun’s permit. It’s has to be done for handling the docs. Basic CampUsually tent camps are used as the base camp during the hunting expedition in the mountains. But there are some stationary ones too. The next recommendations have to be followed if you set the tent camp:- The preferable accommodation is one or maximum two hunters in the tent.- The most suitable variant of the tent is the one made be the Canadian company Cabelas. The produces noticed that the tent is good for the accommodation of 4 persons but according to our experience it’s ideal for one.- Better to use cots. There are several kinds of them which are compact and easy to transport- These kinds of tents has the extra space where the hunters can keep their boots- There has to be a spacious tent or double tent which can be used as a kitchen and a Wardroom. They have to be spacious with the high ridge. It’d be better if they have square or rectangle forms.- There has to be the collapsible dinner table for the team - It’s obligatory to have stove for cooking and heating during the winters, cold season.Kitchen- The cook has to have health inspection before the trip. He also has to comply with hygiene measures and to keep everything clean.- There has to be extra table for cooking in the kitchen.- The kitchen area is equipped with the two-burner gas stove. The usual usage of gas cylinders is about 4-5 per days.- The kitchen equipment includes all necessary tableware, plates of different sizes, salad bowls, plus several pans and a dripping pan for cooking and frying and a kettle. - The cook has to be responsible for making the list of products which has to include: potato, onions, rice, pasta, fish and meat teens, salt, pepper, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, sausage and meat semis, pickles, seasonal fruit and vegetables, greenery.- The cook has to buy bread, cookies, candies, jam, tea, coffee- Better to have variants of lighting: from generator or by the energy efficient fixtures- It’s good to have hand washing liquid with bactericidal properties in the camp- Paper towels- Disposable paper or cellophane tablecloths - Large strong bags for garbage - Water heating tanks- Cutting boards and a knife set- Matches or lighters- Grills for cooking meat or fish - Dishwashing liquid- Disposable cloth or sponge Equipment for the Base Camp- Gas generator for lighting and charging the batteries.- Separate toilet with toilet paper- Shower with special field equipment - Washbasin near the kitchen and in the camp with liquid- Hatchet and sapper shovel, an regular or gasoline saw- Medicine kit. Better to buy- Set of ropes- Salt for preliminary skin preparation- A tank for skull boilingNumber of Staff in the CampThe number of staff members depends on the number of hunters. We recommend to have one or better two PH / guides per hunter. There have to be a professional cook, taxidermist or the very experienced guide who will make the preliminary processing of trophy’s skins. The camp team has to be polite and attentive to the hunters and their attendants. Alcohol has to be forbidden in the camp. They mustn’t drink alone or with guests. The guides have to know how to work with clients as the PH.The Main Guide’s skills- To know the rules and hunting terms- To know how to fill all necessary papers- Good knowledge of the hunting area- To be experienced and to have knowledge about the hunting game: age and sex differences, behavior, ability to visually assess the size of the trophy. The distinctive feature of the Snow Sheep adults is the horn’s curl. It has to be near its eye.- The lifestyle and habits of animals depend on the time and the season. The knowledge of all of these nuances can help to choose the optimal way of hunting. How to approach and where to look of the trophy. It’s important to know that animals have great nose and the guide has to find such way of approachin when the wind blows from the animals. It’s known that wind blows from down to up during the day hours and revers the direction in the evenings. It happens because of the air heating. So it means that in a day hours it’s better to come to the animals from above. They have rest or pasture at that time and then move up in the evening. If you detect the trophy in the morning or a day you need to think over the ways of approaching from the leeward. If the animals don’t notice the hunter, you have plenty of time.- The guide has to know safety measures and be able to make first aid- The guide mustn’t leave the hunter alone in the mountains or far from the camp.- The guide has to adjust his pace of walking and climbing like the hunter, and not Vice versa. Too fast climbing will quickly tire the hunter, which can lead to negative consequences- The guide has to be able to remove the skin from the whole trophy or one the breast, so-called cape or just skull with horns. It’s very important to ask the hunter about it before. - The guide has to make the professional pictures of the hunter with the trophy. He stows the animals in the natural pose, cleans blood and cuts grass before the trophy. It’s better to make pictures when there is a piece of sky on the background it makes the photo more interesting and vivid. The hunter has to be posed with the back to the sun and none of shadows must be in shot. Try to make the picture with the whole animal body not just several parts. Nothing should obscure the animal and the hunter. There shouldn’t be chiaroscuro on the face of the hunter. It’s better to make lots for pictures with different sides and angles to choose the best one later. Don’t allow to make shot from above. The best pictures are from below or keep the camera on the same level with the trophy. The primary processing has to be done by the taxidermist or the very experienced guide- They have to accurately remove the skin from the skull. There are lots of small parts near its eyes and lips which can be easily damaged. They need to use sharp, small knifes.- To remove all meat from the skull and the lower jaw if the hunter asks- They need to boil the skull and take off the horn for further processing- To cut down unnecessary parts of the skull. But the guide has to know all variants how to make it and better to consult with the experienced taxidermists- To clean the skin by cutting all fat and meat- To salt and preserve the skin- The skull has to be wrapped in dense cardboard or cellophane to preserve small parts and bones of the skull before the transportation.
24.10.2019
Arms& Hunting 2019. International Show in Gostiny Dvor.

Arms& Hunting 2019. International Show in Gostiny Dvor.

All hunting fans waited for this Show because it’s the most interesting one. This the only exhibition where you can find everything what relates to hunting including arms, equipment and hunting tours. This Show is the best in our country but we can’t compare it with the international ones and people who try to do it, haven’t visited the Shows abroad. Our level isn’t the same like in other countries. There are some reasons why the number of international exhibitors, who present the foreign weapon, reduce from year to year. But our market is still interesting for them and they try to follow the events.On Saturday I had the meeting with Italian gunsmiths, who arrived to the Show just for the one day. The sanctions complicated a lot their matters with Russian clients. They noticed that booth payment is too high for the Show of such level. And I want to add that the price for the entrance ticket is also high.But in spite of it, there were crowds of people there in the weekend.The Exhibition organizers became the company “Kolchuga” and “ Russian Hunting”. 24000K people visited the Show during four days. Fifty-eight international companies from fifteen countries took part in the Show and 247 domestic firms. It’s a pity the producers of Russian Firearms were presented very poor. There weren’t the representatives of the “Kalashnikov” Concern and IMZ. I could hardly find the weapon made by “Orsis” and “Central design research Bureau of sports and hunting arms” companies. Vyatka-Polyansk gunsmiths with their usual assortment reminded me about the crisis in this sphere of production in our country. It has been a usual practice after the First World War to alter army weapon into the hunting arms but it isn't actual now and nobody needs it. The Austrian gunsmiths - Johann Fanzoj, Peter Hofer, Gerhard Fuchs, trading house "Springer heirs". , who make individual guns, were like a light in the darkness. There was several European grands too, like Beretta. Our bladed weapon was presented wide. We successfully develop in this destination. The foreign companies also showed very interesting collections. Also you can find there self-defense weapons, ammunition for various arms, sights of different types of devices, binoculars, rangefinders, weapons care products.The separate section was devoted to the hunting and outdoor equipment. Hunters could communicated with the representatives of the hunting outfitters and book trips. The main decorations of such Shows are works of the taxidermy studios. The members of the project “Culture of hunting life” launched their works on the booth of our magazine. They attracted visitor’s attentions and most of them stopped and discussed this very interesting theme.
15.10.2019
Владимир Тихомиров
For Meat. Part 2

For Meat. Part 2

It was the fifth day of hunting. I got up early, fresh and full of strength. Sleeping in the mountains has a beneficial effect to my health. My heart beat faster when I saw the tops, covered by snow. The dream vanished. For the breakfast I had fat with onion, the boiled eggs and opened a can of sprat in tomato, then had tea with snickers and that’s all. It was the first time when I’d boiled eggs in the hunting trip and some hunters could say that’s it’s bad luck but I’m sure that luck doesn’t depend on what you eat. My plan was to move slowly and to hunt just till the lunch time. It’d be ok if I saw something in the morning and then would go back. The goal was to see not to get the trophy. I turned from the main gorge to the smallest one, which was called Terspetak. Two groups of boars crossed the river just in few minutes before me, their tracks were still fresh and wet. I climbed leisurely, it was the fifth day and fatigue was making itself felt. The clothe soaked with sweat in the first day, didn’t have sour smell anymore as if all toxins left my body and now I emitted just spring water. My hearing had become so acute, thoughts cleared and the soul rejoiced. I mused what was more important on the hunt , meat or impressions? If I got the trophy in the first day I couldn’t see that beauty. So sometimes it’s good not to finish the hunt in the first day but from the other hand nobody wants to go home with empty hands. So I came to the conclusion that it was nice when you can spent some days in nature and then get the trophy. But it works only if you have time as I had in that time. I noticed several roes which grazed among the bushes. I spotted them without any tools, then measured the distance, it was 400 meters. It’s super. The vision, after few days of hunting, became sharper. I discovered one more thing that I became stronger each time when saw the hunting game, it was even easier to climb. I reached the jumper with the next ridge and detected two horned roes, watched them for a long. It was lunch time but they were not going to lie down and rest. I ascended along the ridge for the height but didn’t find any sign of the goats, though heard the rockfalls on the opposite range. I’m sure they were ibexes but couldn’t see them on the dark rocks. They were much darker in that part of the hunting ground, even the youngsters merged with the environment. Those mountains were their home and they were safe there. I marked the hill and decided to come to it, then to check if there was something and then would go home. I reached it and found one more upland, decided to go to it and did so four times. While having lunch at two o’clock I started to think over the situation and solved to stay there till the end. The further route leaded down what was much easier. I had just to go and to choose the way and to monitor the surroundings. Moreover I discovered fresh tracks on the opposite slope. They belonged to the group of fifty animals and animals were somewhere below me. The rocky visors didn’t allow to consider whey they lie. If I descend and took one of them I couldn’t carry it back, didn’t’ have enough time and didn’t want to spent night there. So I had to go further. I concentrated on the watching the other places. It was 3 o’clock when I had the second lunch. It was warm enough but the sun didn’t blind and I could see and define everything around. Moreover I noticed that after being few days in the forest became more attentive and could scan the surrounding more gentle. Thus I detected three females and the youngster, they had rest at the end of the ravine, I’d been there yesterday but didn’t reach that place. Today I saw them because I was much higher. Where were males? All animals, I’d seen during the day, were females only. That thought just flashed in my mind when I noticed two smudged blots with the horns! Ibexes. They were laying on snow, then one of them stood up and laid down once again behind the tree. They took the right position when had laid above the gorge on the slope and could see three exits from different sides while the high impassable rocks blocked the forth side. Those animals were very experienced, one of them laid and watched one side while another one controlled the other. Very effective cooperation. I’m sure that they survived because lived together, two pairs of eyes were sharper. One could sleep while another was on duty and vice versa. What I had to do just try to approach. It was possible because I was higher than they were and noticed them first. The slope, where we all were, wasn’t steep. It was the beginning of the bowl or circus, goats on the one side and I was on another. I decided to move down directly to them. At the beginning I went without hiding, then began to move from the tree to another one and checked if they noticed me or not. Then climbed over the bend and went directly reducing the distance. It was late when I realized that the best way was to descend along another bend and went on to move from tree to tree. Then there was an open area and the branch of the river. They laid on the right bank while I was on the left one. The only way was to cross the river , the distance in such case would be about 500 meters, the working one. I moved very calm, didn’t worry about the result though it was the first time when I saw such huge trophies. They still laid and didn’t give a sign that smelt me. They were too beautiful. My position was comfortable and I couldn’t but hit the mark from it. I had good tool but better to come close to be sure. I went to the big stone, which was the same size as I was, hiding behind it I measured the distance. It was 570 meters but the goats smelt me! They notice me, when I was crossing the open area, and stood up ready to run. It was time. I put elbows on the stone, bring optics and press gently down ... Not checking the result tried to move closer to make some more pictures but there weren’t any sign of them. I spent some time trying to define the direction, where they left but couldn’t do it. Very experienced males. I wasn’t going to kill them just make some pictures but they didn’t believe me. I had rest and monitored the crumbled slopes which surrounded me and decided to move back to the camp because was tired and had seen enough. I descended to the narrow part of the gorge and found the fresh tracks of goats, they passed there recently. Then I found the tracks of another herd, there were tracks of big males, I could judge so according to its size. I was examinng their footprints when noticed the motion with the side vision. The group of fifteen Ibexes ran up along the steep slope. The measured distance was 365 meters and they were not going to stop. The last goat in their chain was what I needed. It wasn’t the biggest one but suited to my goal. I stood on the one slope and the herd was on the opposite one. All I had to do was to take the gun, put off the cover, set bipod and measured the distance once again: 398 meters. It seemed to me that Leika worked slow but then gave the correction – 3.9 MOA. “So,- I whispered to myself,- there is the big rock, then the tree and then the Ibex.” It stood sideways near the Archa tree. It was getting dark and I could hardly see it. Then I aimed under its shoulder blade, hold my breath and pulled the trigger. But nothing had happened. I forgot to distort, not cocked the trigger. It took me 3 seconds more. The Ibex did two steps and was turning its back, then froze for a moment as thinking what to do next. If it did one more step I’d lose any chance to get it. It wasn’t possible to aim to the shoulder blade once again and tried to find its back haunch hoping the bullet would go across the body and damage the spin. It almost merged with the tree. The sight froze on the definite place, my pulse was absolutely normal, feet stood stable. The whole body was one with the stone. Exhale and the shot! The sweet sound of the hit reached my ears through the echo of the shot. According to the sound from AccuBond 140 gr. , the hit was accurate. In a second I saw that the goat stopped, then crouched, fell and tumbled down. It tried to stood up but the spine was damaged. Soon everything was over. I hoped it’d fall down to the bottom of the gorge but it got stuck. I congratulated myself with the good shot because wasn’t sure that could get anything that day. It was 6.30 pm. The hunting god awarded me for my patience and hard work during last days. The next thing to find it! The ground was frozen yet and shoes didn’t slide. It took me 45 minutes to climb to the place where the goat stucked, then I threw the carcass down and ran for it. This part of the process lasted less than five minutes. I only had to take out the insides, took its liver, heart and inner fat. The male wasn’t big but fat what meant that the winter would be cold. I went back to the camp not feeling tired. The female goats whistled to my back, irritated by the flashligh, while I was walking. Later in the evening I called the guide and he arrived in the morning. We went to the place where I left the trophy, cut meat and loaded it on the horses. It was the amazing final of those unforgettable hunt. The mountains attract people. We live and go away but they always stay.
24.09.2019
Дмитрий Савченко
On the top

On the top

It was dark and cold when my guide an I left the camp. The mountains covered by night kept silence. Using the flashlight’s rays like the Ariadne's thread we reached the tumultuous river and crossed it by the fallen pine. I felt myself like the funambulist who showed the tricks in the darkness. The hunt waited for us on another side of the river. We walk by the brushwood which is covered by hoarfrost and tend to the mountain from where the climb will start. All around us, illuminated by the monochrome light of our lantern, seems to be unreal, one-dimensional and flat. The beam of the lantern shows the fragments of foothill landscape: the gnarled bark of old firs, which were up against the pitch-black night, the tangle of branches of river willows, silvered by frost, the gray skin of belly boulders-stones, withered dry grass underfoot. The vapor of our breath in the cold air looks alive and voluminous. The body, heated by active movement, wakes up and breathes hard under the numerous layers of clothing. Trickles of sweat run along my back and I take off some extra clothe when we've made a short rest near the foothill. The perky stream murmurs on the pile of stone scree, like the staircase, calls us up. Let’s go! We go up along the streamlet bed very carefully, check each step to avoid slipping and getting your feet wet. The gelatinous water runs from the glaciers, frosts on the wet stones and grass and freezes icicles on the shallows. It’s so tasty and quenches thirst well. Soon we leave the foothills forest and ascend about half of km by the open area. Then the spring splits into two forks: the first one comes to the narrow couloir, the second has frosted and covered the rockfall be the icy glaze. We leaves river bed and scramble to the shore covered by the mangled forest. The low, thick birches creep by the ground because of the permanent avalanching and it’s really difficult to go through it. Twisted knotty branches and roots of trees tangle in the legs, whipping in the face, clinging to the rifle strapped to the backpack. We climb thirty meters then make a short rest to calm the heartbeat and attack them once again. Each assault finishes by the short stop and then repeats it. Forward only forward. This forest ends near the sheer wall on the top of which we see the small trees and thickets of Euphorbia. We have to scramble to the cornice if want to see the flat slope will is located behind it. The slope or so called hanging valley is the place where my guide has seen the grazing chamois. They are our goal. Pulling up on the roots of trees groping for support under our feet on small recesses and ledges, we carefully overcome this boundary. The heart beats faster because of the blood pressure or because I’m nervous waiting what will be next. The heart falls down each time when the stone under the feet runs down with the noise. At last we’ve done it but the slope is empty. It rises by the heavy wave to the mountain and goes to the next valley which we can’t see yet. We stops for a while, monitor the surroundings through the binocular and go on up with the hope. The slope gets steeper and it’s not easy to walk, each step cost us energy and we have to make stops each 40-50 meters. We’ve done it! But there are no animals on the next slope too. We comes to the place where the valley ends and camp among the rocks which protect us from the wind. Now I have time to look to the gorge from where we’ve come. It took us two hours. All under our feet covered by the light smoke and the river in the bottom looks like the vein on the hand. It reminds me the view from the plane. The century-old firs, yellow matchbox of our cabin and the thin thread of the mountain road look like toys. And only the massive ridges with the snowy tops stay very proudly. This is the beauty and power of the Caucasus! What to do next? I see that Sergey is also confused. We reached the last point where were going to find the animals. Chamois don’t like to graze on the tops and prefer to stay close to the foothills near the pine and fir forests. But we don’t see any of them and it means that our plan doesn’t work. There are two variants what to do. The first one is to stay there and wait if the chamois will come or to climb to the top and check the surroundings on the other side. The second way is more perspective but we are afraid of its steepness. Sometimes it reaches about 45 degree tilt. We realize that have to ascend but try to delay decision making and start to look through the binoculars. Suddenly Sergey detected the group of turs, in a half of km from us. The animals move to us side, but make stops for grazing. We have the license for this species and don’t want to lose lucky chance if there is a trophy size male. We both lay on the stones and monitor them. It’s the beginning of November. Turs had molted already and changed the fur to the winter one, of the dark sand color. They merge with the brown grass-covered slope, it is difficult to keep track of them. The herd stretched along the slope but we can’t find the male. It consists of females with babies and some last year youngsters. The group is leaded by the old female which moves ahead while small babies get in her way. Animals go against the wind and don’t smell us. We watch how they moved in 100 meters from us. I could see through the sight how the gusts of wind flutter their thick fur, and how their nostrils flinch when they sniff and even how the leader looks around. It’s a pity but there is not the trophy size male in this herd. Though it’s rut time and a male can be somewhere close, we have to be ready any time and check surroundings from time to time. When animals disappeared behind the mountain’s kink our group went on our climbing. We moved by zigzags putting the edge of the sole of the shoe in the rocky ground, leaning on a faithful pole and persistently climbed up. I tried not to look back because each time when I did it accidentally I felt that the current shot through the body, same feeling as if you were falling to an abyss in the dream. The steep slope under my feet runs down where you can hardly see the river and the cabin. It makes the illusion that the ground tilted like a sinking ship. There is no longer the usual level horizon, and someone deliberately increases and increases the angle to eventually shake me down into the bottomless abyss. I try to look just on the faded grass, stone’s crumbs and the grey top of the rocks which protrude from the snow. I’ve lost track of time and walk thinking about nothing. We concentrate on the only thing how to not to waste breathing. It seems very important. The peaks of the rocks come closer and at last I can touch their rough century skin. We did it. We reached the top where wasn’t going. I’ve found the support underfoot and now can look around. My head is spinning because of the height but then the feeling of the pure delight fills me with everything. My peak was the highest among the others and the Caucasus glistening with glaciers under the sun laid before me as if in the palm. The mountains stretched to the horizon alternating with narrow valleys and circuses. The shadow slopes, cut by the veins of clefts were covered by snow though the sunny ones were bared. I was impressed by the endless scale and monumentality of the mountains, they filled the whole expanse and caused both admiration and awe. The azure sky spread out of them and the lonely Griffon vulture circled above us. Sergey and I reached the end of the peak on all fours and looked behind it to the next side of the mountain, the sheer wall of which fall for a hundred meters down. The strange group of the black stones, on the next slope across the chasm from us, attracted our attention. We snuggled to the binoculars. So they were, Chamois! Five females pastured on the small piece of grass and lay down to have rest from time to time. Their thick winter fur made them look like funny toy balls on the thin legs. They all were black except the white undertails and heads. Small, black horns stucked upright like antennas and, curved into hooks at the ends. Soon we detected the male which looked like female but had the specific brush on its belly. It was nervous. The male ran up and down along the rocks as if protected the herd. Soon we understood what was going on. When our male climbed to the top and I was ready to fire another male appeared. It stretch the neck and trotted towards the goats trying to get acquaintance. The rut season was in full swing. The first male, the dominated one, ran to banish it. It chased it to the foothill, we could see them till that place, and ran back in ten minutes. The rival appeared several times and everything repeated. All that time I was laying on the stones waiting for the opportunity to shoot. There were several moments which bothered me to act. The distance was too long, the male was very active and I was afraid that it’d fall into the abyss. I hoped that sooner or later it’d leave the steep slope and moved to the snow plateau where I could take it. But it didn’t happen. The center of its attraction was the females and it was afraid to leave them. The “ladies” grazed to the same piece of grass and were not going to leave it. The hours went but nothing had changed. I put on some extra warm clothes and laid on the ground watching how my trophy ran up and down by the rocks trying to find and to banish the opponents. My fellow and I discussed all possible variants and went to the conclusion that none of them was worthy. The chamois would notice us in any case if we try to approach. We spent here three hours already.- Sergey grumbled watching the old male through the binocular. The object of our displeasure stood on the end of the rock and chewed a bunch of grass. If it rose in sixty meters up to the crest of the slope I’d fire without hesitation. “If it reach the crest, shoot it immediately”.- Sergey gave me advice. The goat heard his words and moved to the top. I strained and we hold our breath. But luck turned out from us and it stopped but didn't reach it. The slope on the place where it stopped was more flat and there was a chance that it wouldn’t fall down. "Well, that's enough, so we'll wait until night!"– the guide couldn’t suffer anymore. "Go ahead, take him down now!» The red square of my rangefinder laid on its black fir and measure the distance. It was 220 meter. I made all necessary corrections and prepared to act. The animal turned and I pulled the trigger without hesitation. The chamois, thrown by the shot, jumped and fall to the slope, raising clouds of dust on the dry ground. It was fading and inexorably slide down to the abyss. Sergey and I asked our gods to prevent it but they didn’t hear us and the trophy disappeared in the bottomless precipice. Later we heard the sound of the rockfall somewhere deep down. We’ve sigh heavily and started to descend wondering how much time and effort it would cost us to get the trophy up. Meanwhile the sun had long passed its Zenith and we realized that couldn’t come back to the camp till night. So it was.
15.09.2019
Дмитрий Каширин
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
Gym and Mountains. Part 2

Gym and Mountains. Part 2

Lactate (lactic acid), generated by our body in the result of anaerobic synthesis during the strength training, and hydrogen ions which acidify muscles (they bind oxygen) disrupt the process of the energy formation. The aerobic process of getting energy goes during the endurance training (usually about two hours in a gym). Lactate doesn’t form much in such cases. Your activity level, when you are hunting in the mountains, is much higher than in the gym and Lactate will generate. It means that in a definite moment the aerobic actively will transform into anaerobic ones, and low level of oxygen content is one of the reasons. If you didn’t train well before, the accumulation of lactate in tissues would lead to premature fatigue, you couldn't move. I guess most of you know that feeling when you can’t move and have jelly legs. It's dangerous because we can easily damage ligament and tendons in such moments. Next few days you feel cutting pains in muscles and it doesn’t’ add you extra speed on the slopes. All sportsmen, engaged in sports related with endurance, have strength trainings in their programs. I won’t describe in details the program of bodybuilding but can tell that the individual who is sedentary can increase the power indicators from 20 to 100% in a year of regular trainings. Some people who have gene I2 (responsible for outstanding physical abilities) can get even better results. The muscle memory forms on the initial stage. Each muscle consists of the thousands of muscle fibers. The percentage of innervating fibers isn’t high when you just starts to make the new exercise. Then in the process the muscle adapt to the exercise and more of them include into it. After these programs will burn into the brain, they are called engrams, and you could reach the first success in increasing of muscle’s strength. The further improvement can be achieved by training, sport feed or drugs. Engrams form when you train for endurance. Taking into account that we go up and down in the mountains, we have to use simulators which can offer same conditions. You can regulate the angle of inclination on the treadmill and the elliptical trainer and go up on the stepper. You have to remember that all simulators work with the definite muscles while we use all of them when climb or walk. It means that when you run, jump on the stones or fall into deep snow you stimulate the muscles about which haven’t suspect before. Some of us, who have been hurt while training, know that the injured parts lose strength and volume soon. If some of you break the arm, the most part of the muscle will atrophy in twenty day. The scientists say that two weeks without training is enough to lose the results which you’ve got training in a several months. It's proved that one strenght training per week is enough to stay in a good form. If we talke about trainings for endurance you’ll need to work harder. You have to remember about it and to find time for physical exercises in your schedule. You also have to know that muscles are in four times heavier than fat. I’d lost weight making aerobic exercises and swimming but then added a couple of strength trainings in a week. I was highly motivated because noticed the results, the body size decreased but I didn’t weight myself for a few months. Imagine my surprise when I did it and found three more kilos. The doctor explained me that the composition of my body had changed: the heavy muscle replaced the light fat. I didn’t expect it at all. The decision was evident to reduce the number of the strength trainings. I think to abandon them at all and practice CrossFit. This complex includes the strength part and a block of aerobic exercises. But you have to practice such sport, which are based on the training different parts of muscles in a short period of time, only after a long period of adaptation. The tempo of these exercises burns all glycogen in twenty minutes, the oxygen synthesis from fat demands time and lots of free oxygen, which isn’t in your body when we train in such intensive way. So you can fell dizziness, weakness, etc. The adaptation period will help you to increase the number of glycogen, which is the main fuel and feed in our body. It’s the derivative of glucose.Its chemical composition is carbohydrate. So you need to eat carbohydrate when train hard or when you are in the mountains. I’ll write about it in the article “Nutrition in the mountains”. One more advice, If you want to lose weight It’d be better not to eat fast carbs, including all sweets and flour products. They absorbed into the blood very fast and all extra energy which you don’t use are transformed into the fat. I advise to replace these products to the so called long carbs- different types of cereals. They are slowly digested and transfer to our bloodstream by doses and our metabolism works in the sparing mode. It’s known that our liver and muscles have the stored glycogen of 2000 Ccal, what corresponds to physical activity like running for 32 km. We have the stored fat for 70 000 Ccal but it’s more difficult to extract energy from fat because the one molecule from glycogen makes much more ATF ( adenosine triphosphate is an elementary energy unit in our body) than from fat. Oxygen delivery to our body in the mountains is limited by the opportunities of our respiratory and circulatory system and the low partial pressure on the heights. You have to remember that if you train regular for the long period, the glycogen level increase. It could increase in 100%. We know that oxygen, glycogen, fat, amino acids and proteins are important parts of the nutrition system but all chemical reactions are done with the help of enzymes – catalysts. The sportsmen have such active compounds in 2-4 times more than untrained people. The nutrition for our body is glycogen (carbs derivatives), fat acid (fat), amino acids and creatine phosphoric acid (as the part of protein). Biosynthesis-oxidation and energy production in mitochondria (energy station in the body cells), is due to oxygen and enzymes. The oxidative potential of slow twitch muscles (STM) is higher than the fast ones. It depends on the number of mitochondria’s because the all processes are in them. If you practice the endurance training the number of your STM and mitochondria’s would increase and the oxidative potential too. Oxygen is the main energy source in our body. It directly connects with the oxidative metabolism. The right level of O2 in our body will influence to the process of nutrition synthesis. And it depends on the respiratory and circulatory system. The optimal ratio of nutrients, enzymes, oxidative capacity and the amount of oxygen give the main indicator of physical capabilities, which is called maximal oxygen consumption (VO2Max). The scientists say that the muscle metabolism grows during the training process. The only limit of its growth is the lack of oxygen. Your body needs more oxygen for producing energy when you train. The respiratory and circulatory systems with the help of endocrine (controlling the release of hormones) and nervous systems increase the heart rates The changes in the circulatory system are quite significant. They tough the heart rate, cardiac output (the volume of blood transported by the heart per unit of time), blood flow (the capillary network), blood (volume and composition), systolic blood volume (the actual volume of the left ventricle), blood pressure. Maximum heart rate is a constant, calculated by formula 220 minus your age. It means that HR max for twenty years old men is 200 bpm but for the 40 years old man, it’s 180 bpm. When you train, the systolic blood volume and the volume of ventricle increase, the walls of the heart muscles thicken and the cardiac output grows and tissue are supplied by nutrients and oxygen. The output of metabolic products also grows. 80% of blood goes to the internal organs and 20% to the muscles when we are in the dormant state. When we are active, the blood formula changes and 85% from the whole blood goes to the muscles using the capillaries’ system. Trainings help to increase the network of these tiny vessels. Long-term endurance training changes the blood composition. At first the total blood volume grows due to the plasma. The total volume can increase to 30% or to 1.5 L. The athletes can notice the increase in the level of red blood cells especially if they train on the heights in the mountains. Our body reacts to the low partial pressure of oxygen at altitude. When we are actively move, the body produces lot of heat and part of our blood reallocates to integument and goes to the capillaries’ system. All of these factors plus the high oxygen ions , acidify the muscles, they don’t have enough nutrients. That is the reason why the sportsmen show not good results in all kinds of sports when it’s hot. Don’t be shy to take off warm clothes and membranes which slow the ventilation of your body. The overheat deprive of strength ourselves. Overheating leads to the heat stroke and it’s dangerous to the health and life. That’s why we don’t advice to use rubber clothing if you want to lose weight. Sweating isn’t the right way to do it. We have to lose heat by the conversion and emission. We lose not only water but sodium ions, chlorine and potassium when sweating. It has negative influence to our body. The blood thickens, the metabolic processes slow down. If you train regulary, your body adapt to it and release the hormones which delays the excretion of water through the kidneys, and binds sodium and chlorine. The professional athlete lose in 60% less of ions than the beginner. The ventilation increases in proportion to exercise. The ions H and CO2 inhibit the synthesis of ATF and the reduction of muscle fibers. We breathe more often to normalizes the process of metabolism. The sportsmen, who make breath exercises, have the increased chest and lung volume that grows their physical ability and endurance. The volume of respiratory ventilation of the professional sportsman, for examples the rower, can be more than 240L per minute. It’s in two times more than the untrained person has. All these changes, which happens with us when we regular train, come to the positive results and increase our cardiorespiratory endurance. You can’t get the progress without it, even if you have trained muscles. The right way to increase cardiorespiratory endurances is to train in the pulse zone, which is 70-80% from maximum. You need to make it not less than two times in a week. If you go to the gym, visit the high intensity group lessons such as trekking or RPM. You can also use any of the cardio machines and choose the effective load. Cardiorespiratory endurance allows our body to withstand long-term load. I prefer to visit the group lessons because it’s difficult enough to boost the pulse to 170 bpm when you train alone. The scientists suggested to use the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) to estimate the endurance. This the objective indicator shows your cardiorespiratory endurance and the speed of your metabolic processes when you are active. The high level of VO2Max means that you are more durable and your body needs less effort to satisfy the increasing demands of your body when your train or work hard. The untrained man could increase by 95% his VO2Max if he start to exercise. Six month training process, which includes three 30 minutes endurance trainings per week, will grow your VO2Max to 20-25%. In practice it means that your heart rate will be down. You will lose less calories training on the high heart rate because the cardiovascular and respiratory system will quickly restore after exercises (heart rate will decrease faster). After six month of active aerobic exercises I lost calories in two times less than when I started, but the intensity and maximum pulse didn't change. You can see on the Garmin diagram that I rode the bike in August in Spain and wasted in 40% more energy than when I rode the same route (similar time and speed) later. It’s not the limit. On average a man reaches his maximum is 18 month of regular trainings. You can see the progress if compare the heart rate in the resting state. The untrained person has about 70 bpm. I had 72 bpm when I’ve started and 56 bpm after the six month of trainings. The professional sportsmen have 30 bpm! But there is one unpleasant nuance. You would gain weight faster if you use to overeat because the hard trainings stimulates your body to hold fat. And you’ll need to work in two times harder if you want to lose calories. We know about fat guys who have been fitness gurus not long time ago. You need to adjust the diet if don’t want to gain extra kg. There are some exceptions but I’ll tell about them later. The highlands with its low partial oxygen pressure influences on VO2Max. The scientists with Griffith Paf have established empirically that the height to 1600 masl don’t influence to our VO2Max but every next vertical km deducts 11% from our VO2Max. Good news is that our body can adapt to it but not in the gym. I fully agree with the scientists physiologists Saltan and Rowell who say that the growth of our the capillary network in the muscles will lead to the enhancement of VO2Max. It happens because the muscles are provided by oxygen and nutrients. The adaptation of the skeletal muscles is the results of the increase in the number of mitochondria’s. The additional bonus is the reduction of the heart pressure, it’s very important for hypertensives because of increasing the capillary network and, a greater outflow of blood into the tissues. The adaptation speed depends on genes. Choose the right parents if you want to become the Olympic champion! The international group of scientist researched genotypes of three different groups of people: stayers, sprinters and non-athletes. They found the clear difference in gen NRF2 in one of this gene’s alleles. No sprinters, no ordinary people didn’t have such allele. I’ve mentioned above that we all have different numbers of slow and fast muscle fibers. But don’t despair we can improve our endurance by regular trainings. Probably you won’t become champions but feel better in the mountains. Differences in susceptibility to the training process depends on our individual features. The same exercises will have different effect to different people, that’s why we need the coach who can help and correct the process. Don’t forget about the “the principle of specificity». The test group swam in the pool for one hour several times per week during the six month. The average swimming increased to 18% while the running just in 2%. Train the muscles which you’ll need in the mountains, I talk about legs first.
15.08.2019
Али Алиев
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