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

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

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

Onward and upward on Jimara

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

Photo report from under Heaven

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

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

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

Protection of the barrel and optics

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

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

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

Rain, Snow, Wind and Fog

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

Hunt of Sergei Yastrzhembsky in Pakistan

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

Become a mountain hunter

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

East Sayan – under our feet

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