On the Threshold of Capercailzie Lek.
Text and photo by Alexander Prokhorov.
condensed translation into English by Aleksei Morozov
The night before another capercailzie lek hunt I seldom get to sleep. Continue reading
A lot of people from my “Legendary Russian Hunters” list will be from the Far East, for a good reason – the best way to become a legend is to hunt dangerous game, and in no other part of Russia are there so many tigers, leopards, and bears. But my next hero, a native of this land, never hunted big cats – for the indigenous peoples of the area it was a taboo.
Facebook keeps suggesting me an old Outdoor Life story about world’s most legendary hunters. Understandably, most people on the list come from either the U.S. or Britain and its former colonies. Yet, Russia has a number of hunters who deserve the status of a legend, and I’ll try to tell you about some of them. Today’s story is about the Jankovskis of the Pacific Far East, the land where the taiga meets the tropics.
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