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Why hunters from all over the world come to Belarus

Hunting technologies didn’t change much over hundreds of years. In the Middle Ages, it was a royal privilege in our land. Nowadays it’s luxury pastime. Many Belarusians and foreigners are ready to spend their money to get these incomparable feelings.

Oleg Krivenia, hunter:
Grouse shooting is very exciting. Just imagine: early spring, you sit in a tent for a very long time and then comes a grouse and settles down with noise.

You can feel genuine feeling to beloved hobby in each hunting story of Oleg Krivenia. This man is a hereditary hunter. He knows the laws of forest from childhood. He has been a professional hunter for almost 40 years already. A private museum in his house makes you feel the atmosphere of wild nature and human passion. Here you can find the inhabitants of Belarusian foresters. Oleg is especially proud of elk and deer horns. There is also a collection of weapons. You can see a skin of a bear brought from Baikal.

Oleg Krivenia, hunter:
It’s most likely that everything started spontaneously, not according to a plan. Just got an animal and stuffed it. I chose a beautiful room where it’s good to meet and to discuss results of hunting. I’ve been collecting all these exhibits for 25 years.

People from Poland, Russia and China sat at this table for many times. The language of hunting is international. Its ways often lead to Belarus. Great variety of animals and ways of hunting, comfortable cozy houses and trained dogs let foreigners to feel the spirit of Belarusian national hunting.

Mikhail Gorbach, hunting engineer of Grodno forestry establishment:
There are some positions that you won’t see in Europe. For example, wood grouse shooting in autumn and woodcock shooting in spring. Duck shooting. You can go wolf hunting in Belarus, while wolf is a Red Book animal in Europe.

Grodno region, that is a visa-free zone, will be visited soon by two groups of hunters from Finland. Preparations of a place with hooves are under way now. It’s a novelty. Deer and fallow deer are raised here on the territory of 130 ha.

Ivan Mezio, hunter:
I always go duck shooting, boar hunting, coursing when the season comes. I can’t live without it.

Let’s check. First let’s try hunting from a hide. From this deer stand you can see a meadow where a family of deer is enjoying the sun. You can’t shoot a random animal. Our instructor defines the target. Soon we notice the hooves at the disposal. The main thing about hunting from a hide is patience. Don’t hurry to shoot because you can frighten an animal away. The deer we’re waiting for must come at least 50 meters closer.

It’s possible to spend here even 5 hours. The method of chasing animals is far more quick and lively. Here you have to move actively and make decisions quickly to hit the target with a bullet of 16 calibre.

Bison is a dream of hunters from all over the world. You can find this exclusive trophy only in Belarus. The population of bison is considered to be the most promising in Belarus.

Alexander Sasimovich, chief specialist of fishing and hunting farm:
One of our clients was Belgian, another one was Lithuanian. I asked the tour operator to take commemorative pictures where hunters show their trophies. How many pictures do I have? Many. The whole apartments in the city is full of the pictures hanging on the walls.

Alexander told that 6 foreigners were brave enough to pick a fight with Belarusian giant in 2016. Collectors equate a bison’s head with trophies of elephant, rhinoceros and leopard.

The only reason for killing this Red Book animal is its flaw. 

Alexander Sasimovich, chief specialist of fishing and hunting farm:
Hunting service is controlling the situation and finds ill bison that are of no value for the population. We take a photo of them and appoint a committee. 10 people sign an agreement. Then it goes for approval to the National Academy of Sciences and to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus. We can shoot the bison only with their permission.

Now it’s clear why bison hunting costs €12,000. It’s the price a foreigner pays for taking only a head and wool – it’s everything that you can bring across the border. It’s strictly forbidden to take meat away from Belarus. This is the price you pay for a priceless trophy.

People also come to Belarus to enjoy another rare type of hunting – with crossbow.

Vitaliy Duduk, hunter:
When you kill an animal with a bolt, it doesn’t have such a hydraulic impact like in case you use a bullet. It means that an arrow goes through soft tissues and makes a big wound tract, so the animal doesn’t feel so much pain.

Vitaliy became keen on missile weapon two years ago. This type of hunting is a real science. First you should prepare a place. A tristend is fixed on the tree. With its help a hunter climbs up the tree 8 meters high. He uses a rope to raise a crossbow. It’s very comfortable to wait for a boar or a roe while sitting so high. Results depend on acumen.

Vitaliy Duduk, hunter:
When you want to get a trophy of an animal, you can beckon it. Look, here is a female roe.

The bolt flies at the speed of 118 meters per second and struck it through. Crossbow is forbidden in many countries, but Vitaliy thinks that it’s a fair way of hunting.

Vitaliy Duduk, hunter:
Crossbow hunting requires more time and energy. At the same time, it’s more interesting because it looks like you are equal to an animal. The distance here is 20-30 meters.

In the Middle Ages hunting was a royal privilege. It became a part of image of Belarus. It’s scientific-based that competent approach to hunting tourism is a way to make a population of animals better. The money from hunting goes for saving endangered species.

 

Not violence but law of nature: why hunters from all over the world come to Belarus; rules and cost of killing bison