Spring hunting in Astrakhan: past and present

Spring hunting in the Astrakhan region opened last from 13 to 28 March 2009

Spring hunting in Astrakhan: past and presentPhoto: Dicl Daniels

Here and March … Nights are increasingly going back to his happy childhood and adolescence. Mentally move from snowy Kaluga blows cold spring wind my small home – Astrakhan.

Here, every day is warmer, although ilmenite, lakes and small Eric still under the ice. But the sun every day recaptures have winter water. The skies are increasingly heard roll back with vengeance wintering geese and geese, duck north. There comes a time to spring hunting. And after all those years in the spring hunting of drakes and geese opened…

Mid-March 1961. School break. The industrial community of Petroleum, located on the shores of Mother Volga. Songs sung in the great river, without which there is no Russia, has not blocked the cascade of reservoirs. Only just begun debacle. On the banks of the resin Kulas, preparing to close fishing in vobla nurse. And the air smells of watermelon on the shore. On the snow-covered fields were first thawed. Snow swollen. Melting right before our eyes under the warm spring sun. The air is clean and fresh. In a strange, located north of Astrakhan Aksaraisk have not found gas. It does not start its extraction and processing, with the time change beyond recognition, not only nature, but also the life of Astrakhan.

It’s almost a month since returning from wintering swans, geese, ducks and Geese. Villages on their way to the north all the birds seen during daylight. The whistle of wings is heard everywhere. He rolls from the sky, standing over the river, at times drowning out the noise of the ice floes. The whistle of wings and conscription quacking ducks impatient heard from the fields.

We, three friends, classmates, wade in muddy dirt road under the melting snow. We go to Ilmen rising above the reeds with a beautiful name «Laptev». He is closer to our village, and further, rising above mounds, there ilmen «Mugs»To the right – «Nikanorovsky».

All we’re going to hunt, clutching homemade bows. Occasionally side ilmens shot rang out and the birds soar over the reeds. Suddenly we notice that from the Volga flies some flock. Birds still difficult to discern, but heard them all growing cries: «Key weekend, Key weekend». Ukolke rushed to hide in the reeds.

A flock of sag. Already evident that these birds are larger than ducks, geese but smaller. And the color of some festive. Here they are above us and seems to have filled the whole sky. Seeing us, they eagerly echoed. It’s definitely not the geese and ducks. Spellbound we look into them. They fly high and not falling over ilmenite. Chest and Neck strange birds brown-red. At the boundaries of black and red colors visible white stripe. The trunk is black and white, a small beak, the neck is rather short.

At home my father explained that it was the red-breasted goose. Extract them, he could not, and had to see. So I took my first encounter with this amazing bird. In those years, red-breasted goose has wintered in the south-west of the Caspian Sea, and therefore they can be seen during migration.

Spring in that distant year, and remember that I almost got a real duck. It was during one of our children discourage Ilmen «Laptev». We were there with Sasha Lavrentiev. A flock of ducks covered us all in the same ukolke reeds. We had to pull our bows and arrows sent in this pack. Arrows flashed the air in front of a flock, we reached the top, and then fell, one of them hit the bird. It is, of course, could not and could not harm a duck. But we cheered and shouted excitedly to each other that nearly produced game!

Red-breasted geese in the spring is no longer met. They told us our fathers and grandfathers-hunters pulled through our seats a week. They can be found here and in the late autumn, when they fly for the winter. (Red-breasted Goose has long been listed as endangered, and hunting it is prohibited. – Ed.)

Spring hunting in our area open. However, not all of our fathers and grandfathers hunted spring drakes. Many people these days are caught gravid pre-spawning pike. It was not in our area and the spring goose hunt. Gus took our seats on the non-stop in the sky. I remember only a few cases of their production in the spring. And our local hunters hunted five drakes for Zorka. Of course, we condemn shooting sotnia flocks of migrating ducks. For podmanivaniya drakes used decoys and stuffed ducks. Most often they are self-made of wood, but some hunters were rubber.

None of my fellow hunters are not proud of trophies, each extracted as much as was necessary for the sustenance of his family. There was among them, and shooters. The gun could be bought in a neighboring village shop Tatar-Bashmakovki. But to become a hunter, it was necessary not only to pass ohotminimum, but also to have the support of the hunting team, which at that time existed in almost every business. In the markets of the extracted amateur hunters were not allowed to sell the game. At the same time, the ducks and geese can be purchased in shops where the game was sold, mined in the spring industry hunters, who in those years worked in grass-roots collective.

Spring hunting is prohibited in the Astrakhan region since 1976. And this difficult decision was made when scientists estimate Astrakhan Reserve waterfowl were more than ever.

Honored ecologist of the Russian Federation, PhD and Senior Fellow H. Rusanov Astrakhan Nature Reserve in the media have repeatedly stressed that Delta was not only favorable environmental conditions, and increased land suitable for nesting. This was due to shoaling and partial drying of the delta because of the lowering of the Caspian Sea. Now, the Caspian Sea level has risen. Fell several times nesting game. Most of the recent past hunting lost its importance for the reproduction of gray geese, mallards and coots. At times it reduced the number of waterfowl breeding. Spring hunting for a new Regulation is expected in the region in March. Meanwhile, the remnants of nesting in the area of ​​gray geese on the breeding grounds disperse. In the second half of March of the geese begin to lay. Birds tied to nests, their guard. Therefore, may fall under the shots of hunters.

Spring hunting in the Astrakhan region opened last from 13 to 28 March 2009. Then it was allowed only in hunting farms to meet a number of requirements. First of all, the farm had to have a sufficient number of stool pigeons. I need a base for maintenance, education and reproduction of stool pigeons. It needed a hunter service and staff capable of controlling the territory of the hunting area in hunting season.

As it is estimated the officials of the regional service of nature and environmental specialists from a number of game farms, attempts did not pay off. There were shots of flocks, and got shot at not only Drake and duck. Hunt practiced without stool pigeons.

In 2010, the spring hunt in the area did not open. With such a request to the head of the region if requested service of nature and the environment at the initiative of users of hunting grounds and hunting enthusiasts. The Governor supported the proposal and signed the corresponding resolution of the government of the Astrakhan region.

So this year, the hunt is not opened. While some of the hunters, functionaries from hunting and gentlemen businessmen from hunting crave it. They’re waiting for spring hunting. The open spring hunting in the region are the individual leaders of the Astrakhan ROO «Regional Society of Hunters and Fishermen», Heads of organizations in the field of hunting tourism. And they emphasize that without opening the spring hunting is difficult to teach hunters the right to hunt. They say the growing ethic of hunters. In addition, the majority of fans can be distinguished from the drake duck. Hunt out of the hut with a stool on the drakes, they say, teach. According to them, not all take advantage of the right to the spring hunt, and so all who flew a duck and goose are not dispersed.

At the same time they consider closing spring hunting in unfair decision. Indeed, in the same period in the neighboring regions of spring hunting is conducted annually. That can be heard in the spring shoots in remote lands.

Vyacheslav Mihaylov29 March 2011 at 16:09

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