The topic of this post was to be determined by a poll, but it ended in a tie, so I’ll try to match the expectations of both parties in one go. Continue reading
A Cossack (left) demonstrating his flintlock gun to a Strelets (member of Russian Czar’s regular armed forces in the XVII century), armed with a regulation matchlock. A modern, but historically correct image by Nikolai Fomin, from illustrations to Mikhail Krechmar‘s book on Russian conquest of Siberia.
The use of flintlocks by Siberian frontierspeople was documented as early as the late XVI century, and if a Cossack could get such a gun, so could an average peasant from Central Russia. This supports the point made in the previous post.
Winter. Hunting. Freedom.
by Aleksei Morozov.
Condensed translation into English by the author.
Allow me, dear reader, to take you on an imaginary Russian hunt as it used to be 200 years ago. No, we shall not go coursing with borzoi dogs like the noble heroes of Tolstoy and Turgenev. We are going to hunt like the people who comprised 80 to 90% of Russians two centuries ago: the serfs. Continue reading
Czar Alexey Mikhailovich (1629-1676; r. 1645-1676) was perhaps the most sporting of Russian monarchs; the first Russian dedicated hunting book ever – “Урядник сокольничья пути” (The Master of the Way of Falconry) – is said to be composed by him personally, or at least at his direct and competent supervision.
Hawking and coursing, naturally, comprised the lion’s share of Czar Alexey’s sport, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t room for firearms. Guns were used to dispatch the cripples that escaped to water, and when waterfowl would not rise from their safe position in the middle of the lake, the Czar’s hunters would fire their guns at the birds, to make them fly.
At the End of the World.
(goose hunting in the Subarctic)
by Konstantin Samokhin.
Photo by Rinat Mustafin, Victor Kuzerin
Few things excite a hunter more than the sounds of a goose flock in the sky. In spring you feel the sweet anticipation of hunts to come; in autumn you usually ponder the frailty of existence. Somehow, goose hunting always makes one uncommonly philosophical. “Whither are you going?” – wonders a hunter watching a flock of geese on their way North. Continue reading