Hunting in Karelia
Hunting tours in Karelia are arranged, as a rule, in Onega and Ladoga lakes, in Vodlozerje, and also in numerous rivers of the region. Nobody leave this place without trophies! Of course numerous touroperators take into consideration another factor. This is food, three meals a day here, and all dishes are excellent and include list of recipes of only Karelian cuisine. Another component of hunting – is obligatory presence of hunter-guide, who will not only show the most inhabited places, but also explain, how to reach them and in which way one should hunt this or that animal. It is allowed here shooting bear, elk, hare, wolf, capercailye, black grouse. Hunting is carried out both on the territory of usual places, and the guarded zones, for example, in the private farm “secular”.
By the way foreigners, coming to these places, must draw up the policy SITES for all trophies except el, and also have licence for import of arms. A hunter will have to pay on average from 400 to 3,000 rubles for a trophy (fell, antlers or scull of animal). And for residence – about 2,000 a day.
By the way, the periods of hunting in Karelia are fixed by the Department of protection, control and regulation of using hunting animals and Karelian State enterprise “Karelohota”. When prolongation of terms of hunting wild hoofed animal, backlog of licences, granted for hunting in this season, are true for the term of prolongation without additional notes and corrections. Hunting bears by “oats” is arranged from 1 to 31 September. As a rule, firms grant their clients five-days tour. Speaking of this beast, it should be noted that it is the big beast of prey, vigorous, fast. The weight – 140-415 kg. Its colouring varies from black to straw-colour, on the chest there is often a white “necktie”. It dwells in the forests. Omnivorous, the main feeds are sappy rhizomes of plants, berries, nuts, acorns. It kills boars, salmon, calves of other hoofed animals, migrates much in search of feed. By winter it builds up fat (to 150 kg) and dens for hibernation. In the places with rich harvest of the main feeds livestock collect, reaching density 10 individuals in 10 sq km, the average density is 4 individuals in 100 sq km.
From of old hunting bears was considered to be “tsar’s”, as this animal is not mass object for hunters, and not everybody have the courage to hunt bear. In connection with it, we advise nervous people to resign this type of hunting. Those, who venture on such risky step, should remember that it is necessary to put on clear, without smells, clothes. But above all – don’t smoke on the way! And in order to bag this trophy, hunter must have self-restrain and composure, as otherwise the tragedy can happen. By the way, such hunting bear is notable not only for its poignancy, but also for romanticism in some way. During hunting a man becomes an accomplice of natural forest life. During several hours, lying in wait for his victim, he can watch at the same time, how hares run past, can see wolves, raccoon dogs, foxes, hear, how bears whistle.
Hunting these animals “by bait” begins from April, 17 and finishes in May, 17. In such cases a bait is prepared beforehand. It is, as a rule, a young calf or young pig. Having killed it, the beast run away into the thicket (fir-wood or alder forest) at once. Knowing about it, hunters should set branches of meadow-sweet in 15-20 m from the carcass.
Poles are cut down rather far from the place of hunting, the hunters should work as quietly as possible. Meadow-sweet is placed in such a way that lying carrion can be seen well, branches, hindering the survey, are cut off and taken away. The hunting is arranged in those evenings and nights, when wind blows from the dead-body in hunter’s direction. Before coming out to the killed animal, bear passes round the place of its feast in order to make sure of safety. The smell of the carrion hinders him to nose out a shot, lying in ambush. For taking supper the beast comes at night, seldom in the twilight, that’s why shoot is considered to be difficult. Good electric torch, which is put on in the moment of shot, is a good help. The electric torch or lamp-headlight is fastened to the barrel of the gun. It is better to do it beforehand and the axle of aim should be in the center of the alight circle. The hunters sit on the meadow-sweat not earlier than in an hour after sunset. And the last, it is very risky to hunt without dogs!
Hunting bears is arranged even when it is dormant. This period lasts from January, 1 till February, 28. It is one of the most extreme kinds of hunting this animal, as the in-toed, for which hunters are in the watch at the lair, springs out and rushes to them. When the beast’s lair is found, than they hunt by short-term exhausting or force the victim just at the lair. It should be reminded that bear seems so clumsy only by appearance. In reality it moves quite quickly and can make 60 km/h. Hunting in group of three is very convenient: two of them – with rifles and the third – holds dogs.
If necessary he can fell the trees at the lair, which hinder shooting, he helps to hound out it to the visible place after successful shot. It is strongly recommended to go to the lair before dawn in order to be in the place at dawn. Elk is the biggest representative of Russian fauna. Its length – 2-2.5 m, the weight – about 300 kg. The head is humpbacked (reaches tierce of the body), decorated at bucks by paliform antlers. The prevailed colour is dark-brown, the legs are high and slim in light-grey hair. It is spread in the whole forest zone, it prefers copses. It feeds on sappy motley grass, branches and bark of asp, willow, mountain ash, piny needle.
It keeps in groups, reaching 15-20 individuals. Breeding period begins in August - September and it is accompanied by breeding roar, fights of he-lambs. In May, after 250 days of pregnancy, she-lamb gives birth to one or more often two lambs. Till autumn they go with mother, feeding on its milk and green forage. By October (the beginning of procuring shooting) young lambs weight 60-80 kg. As a rule, by December - January adult he-lambs shed their horns.
In Karelia the season of hunting lamb begins with November, 1 and comes to an end on December, 31. It is carried out basically at night. During the roar (the best time for hunting) near twilight bulls begin uttering groans, turning at times into real roar. And not casually such kind of hunting was called “on roar ": the animal is easy to be found out by its uttered sounds. Besides lambs graze at the same place.
Having caught lure, lamb gallops through a wood in his side with roar. Thus it tries to make as much noise as possible, breaking branches and trees by its horns. This hunting is interesting also in the possibility, that the animal may appear in fifteen meters from a hunter, and see this wood giant so close as it is practically impossible to do during other shooting.
It is possible to kill the lamb on the spot, only having hit it in the chest, under a shoulder-blade or in the neck near the withers, but the animal, wounded in the stomach or back, if it isn’t worried, as a rule, goes away for 2-4 kilometers, lies and bleeds to death, so next day it won’t be difficult to find it by the tracks or with the help of the dogs. If the lamb is pursued, it can go away rashly for 8-20 kilometers. It runs away with a broken back or forward leg for a greater distance, and then it is impossible to stop it to hit without dogs.
Hunting birds is not less interesting. Hunting blackcocks lasts from May, 1 till May, 10 and is called “on current”. It is connected with the fact that snow almost disappears by this time, making numerous channels. At this time blackcock more often flies down on the ground to display. As a rule, they can be seen on large glades among the mixed wood, in the birch forests, in the clean moss bogs, and sometimes - on the river coasts, not flooded by water, or in the extensive arable lands, adjoining to a deciduous wood. One prepares for hunting beforehand: sets the frames for the future tents in the most probable places of the bird's display. For this purpose it is enough to drive five-six branches or sticks into the ground or snow, having joined their ends from above.
It is necessary to braid densely the bottom part of the tent with branches in order blackcocks, running on the current, not to see the hunter sitting in the tent. It is necessary to make several small apertures for supervision and shooting In the walls directed to the current. The distance of a true shot (35 m and are nearer) is useful to be designated beforehand by twigs, driven into the ground or snow. It is important to remember: frames of the tents, set beforehand won’t draw attention of displaying blackcocks.
One should come to the display at night in order to sit already in the tent, pitched nearby, an hour before the first gleams of the dawn. One shouldn’t roam about the place of displaying even in darkness. The matter is that the part of cocks quite often spends night near to the place and appears for displaying before others. If the hunter was late, and blackcocks already started singing, he should whisk without noise in order not to disperse displaying cocks which quite often fly away at the sight of a man. And in addition: one shouldn’t shoot she-blackcocks as well as he-blackcocks, having flying the first, otherwise the whole display will fall apart. Hunting capercailye, coinciding with blackcocks’ in time, is similar. Only it is not necessary to prepare a tent for the bird. Hunting hares is usually carried out with hounds. In Karelia “hare season” opens on October, 15 and comes to an end on February, 28. The first period of hunting is considered to be the most successful because the leaf fall comes to an end, exposing the panorama of hunting footpaths where the grass will wither by this time and this will enable to discern hare tracks on the ground. This kind of hunting is called “by blackpath ".
Before the dawn hares lie in the ravines and in the boundaries of the broken fields, in the tall weeds or thickets of little bush. Just by this moment one should wait with hounds in the place of hunting: it is easier to dog to sense fresh traces not got cold yet. The best weather for beagling by “blackpath” is cloudy, warm, and the main thing, windless: in the windy weather their race is heard poorly, and hare twists and winds much, leading the hounds far away. The success of beagling depends in many respects on faultless knowledge of the place. It is very important to remember the habits of hare and orient oneself in the place, correctly determining, what direction the pursued hare will take and where it should run across. So, the hare, noticed on the forest edge, aspires to get quickly on the open place. In the wood, as a rule, it keeps under pursuit no more than one - two circles, preferring visible places to thickets. The hare crosses wide glades without fear, willingly runs on roads and tracks of cattle and soon gets out on in field where it circles much. And it passes ravines in the least abrupt places, in the presence of friable snow, willingly profits by roads used frequently.
Can you send details for May bear hunt in Karelia??Thanks
May 7-15 desired