The January 2016 issue of Russian Hunting Magazine was dedicated to the problem of hunting and rare species. The issue included my article on hunting in the USA’s natural reserves, which was one of the cover stories. As few outside the hunting world are aware of, strictly limited (and very expensive) trophy hunting is a viable way to finance conservation of rare species; Markhor in Pakistan is a prime, but far from the only, example. In Russia, trophy hunting made a big difference for Kamchatka brown bears, greatly increasing their numbers (Andrey Sitsko explained this paradox in May 2015 issue). But there’s still a lot to be done about the Russian trophy species, as testified by Mikhail Krechmar’s report, presented at the SCI convention this weekend.
Each issue of Russian Hunting Magazine contains condensed English translations of selected articles. This month Mikhail Kretchmar takes on the “Chukotka subspecies” of mountain sheep. The sheep hunters who boast of this trophy might not like it when they learn that a) the research that supported identification of this subspecies has been refuted; b) what is supposed to be “Chukotka sheep” is listed as endangered; c) the rams that outfitters sell as “Chukotka ram” actually belong to another subspecies that is not considered endangered. In the other story Maksim Levitin describes a new region for trophy hunting in Kazakhstan, which can offer a slam of 5 trophies – bear, ibex, moose, maral and roe deer – in one hunt. A great new opportunity for trophy hunting – be the first who collected “The Grand Slam of Kazakhstan” in one go!