In the land of the lotus

The solid impenetrable thickets of reeds and rushes, shallow ilmenite and meandering channels of the Volga delta are ideal for breeding, feeding and rest numerous waterfowl.

In the land of the lotus

In addition to ducks Volga delta and trophies are geese. Photo by the author

In the fall to native birds added yet flight path, and raise in secluded Ilmen flock of mallards or Teal in a hundred or two heads — not rarity. It would seem that with such an abundance of game hunting is an almost trivial matter. An no in October-November, when the opening is already «died down», not so simple.

It so happened that for almost ten years, we go to one and the same place the bottom of the Delta — on Igolkinsky old bank. The main object of hunting there is a mallard. Previously, the district was still a lot of teal, but the in recent years their number has decreased significantly. Sometimes a lot of Pintail and Gadwall, but these types of span, go to They might not Every year.

Not often As there are also production dives in mostly red­head young, brooded, probably in vicinity of the base. A these ducks congregate en masse on peals Caspian kilometers Twenty-lower base. So the main object of our hunting always remained Mallard. AND But on her classic hunting stuffed in October and November is often completely ineffective.

It all depends on the weather. However, all in the last year this time it was the same — clear sky, bright sun, constant wind. AT this weather kryakovaya duck flies very reluctantly, and and on-site night daily feedings prefers darker move. AND if on Vecherka still possible to find an intense year after sundown on deep twilight, and good shooting 10-20 minutes, then all morning is rarely more than 2-3 attacks.

However, teals and can help out Pintail with gray, but as I I said, not always manages to these ducks matched by time. So it is possible from dawn to dawn to sit in reeds stuffed animals and day wait on the strength of only a dozen raids. But at night op fattening and kryakashey whistling wings over the base can easily deprive sleep. This very quickly leads to thoughts that it is necessary to diversify the hunt. AND the best way to do so than hunting entrance until invented.

What is she like? AT a few words: it is the same samotop, only boat systematic combing land with vypugnut duck on purpose sure shot. It is best suited for such hunting Kulas — narrow light punt with sharp nose and stern, although there are with transom for easy motor. Kulas could go on the smallest places, it is easy to push through a thicket of cattails (Chakan is local), cane and other aquatic vegetation, it is easy to disguise cane.

Local hunters to move on Kulas used a long pole — standing repel them from the bottom to small places them on the same rake up deep. A We somehow managed raftovym familiar or catamarans paddle. Everything same, just sitting.

Hunting with Kulas best together. One pushes the sixth or paddle, and second sitting with gun ahead. You can hunt and one, but this requires special skills as in firing, and Administration, in general, whimsical craft. A Kulas control is not easy, especially at first.

Due to a completely flat bottom, he accelerates hard, no matter retains direction and rather slow to respond to control actions. Recent literally have to make every stroke or a push from the bottom, as in boat during hunting should be conducted along the border of the growth of reeds, which is rarely a straight line.

Bulrush, cattail that, he’s Chakan — This is the second important part of hunting entrance after Kulas. It is growing at Chakan shallow water, usually between reeds and clean water, and often forms a whole in the wall hundreds of meters long and more than fifty wide.

By border pure young Chakan growing especially thick wall, and inside older often falls, and It is growing so tight. Therefore, in the wall portions are always almost pure water, especially on border reed. Here on They kryakashi zhiruyut in Throughout the day, at the slightest danger hiding in Chakan creases or under cane. AND the denser the wall, the denser a sitting duck. However, in secluded ilmens duck day feeling relaxed and to clean water. But just before until no or see hear the boat.

If in Ilmen Chakan not, and she has nowhere to hide it is not all smashed on the shot. Therefore hunting Entrance suitable only those ilmenite, which grows Chakan. An exception — when the line cane heavily indented capes and tight deep courtyards. AT these places can be expected to raise a duck shot. Also promising for our hunting may be small and narrow meandering channels. Their love and mallard it happens that hides up the latter, often taking off almost from the boat. But so there is not always.

Hunting with entrance, you have to put up with the fact that the bulk of the game goes without a shot. AT very wide walls Chuck 30 meters wider, often do not kryakashi fly or take off, missing Kulas. As if you do not quiet pushing, still hears the duck boat and He is trying to sail away.

Three out of ten will miss the boat or take off without waiting for you to dotolkaetes them. AT Generally, when the wide wall Chakan on Shot rise in 2 average of 10 kryakovyh. When the wall for 20 meters, these statistics will be better. A there are places — usually secluded courtyards, — at that day-to- day of call in store. the main thing — the right to enter.

Bypass Ilmen should always start with lee, quiet walls. Windward mallard not loves very much. If you have a card or you have already been in these places, it is necessary to submit, where Currently the most quiet courtyards. AT these courtyards duck will accumulate faster than most.

AND You’ve got to plan your movements so as to come into places of capes and not along the opposite wall of reeds, especially if in ilmen This place is narrow. Sometimes it even has to cross the chistinu, leaving at the opposite wall. But otherwise Mallard such secluded courtyards shatters as soon see the boat at the opposite wall.

On the contrary, one good approach can give the crew a couple of successful doublets. AT successful case of fire, of course, but Shooting with Kulas is worthy of special attention.

Kulas in Depending on the width of the roll, or boat, or very rollers. What It has easily roll with on board board up certain, quite large angle. Turn something completely it difficult, Here fall out — much easier. All movements in the Kulas should occur as close as possible to the little vessel axis, and Shooting requires special diligence. It is best to shoot in general sitting or lifting slightly «sitting» from banks, poluprisede.

Jumping with sweeping reversals in side soaring duck excluded. If the wind allows bypassing Ilmen in either way, the so better to go to the wall Chuck had a natural eye (to shoot with right shoulder — left). AT Otherwise, the cost to the bank (bench boat) to deploy an angle to the arrow to sit wall as possible frontally. And, of course, much depends on the rower.

Even we can say that from the rower depends almost everything. He must maintain a maximum Kulas silently. He is not must move away from the wall on a pair of three meters — This allows the boat to remain in Reflection on the walls as viewed from the water opposite side ilmenite.

Otherwise, if a narrow and ilmen you move away from the wall clean water, a duck the opposite wall will begin to scatter. AND Kulas pressed against the Wall rower also not must — it interferes with the arrow to shoot because of the high reeds that later sees soaring duck. However, over the grave in work on the literal sense Kulas pushing rower is often rewarded with a trophy.

The thing is that somewhere in half of the duck sitting small flocks — 3–4, sometimes more birds a patio or bending of the wall. AND very rarely such a flock takes off all at once. In most cases 1–2 birds climb shots from the wing already, or even much later. Often, after a successful first shots even have time to recharge and take another trophy.

Find battered bird in reeds — an art. As for the search of birds knocked on their own, then He begins with clearly remembering directions. Better with reference to Kamyshinke concrete or other landmark. And it is necessary to take into account that the boat continues to move after the shot. The correct direction — it is three-quarters of a successful search. Just because reeds very bad review. AND if in Chakan still be seen in average 3–4 meters, and may even get lucky and duck fall to chistinku then the reeds can only be seen at his feet.

By the way, so a sure shot at such hunting in When the duck flies over the reeds, — not within 25 meters. Otherwise, just look hard. It’s all about pure bat bird. Wounded animal, if not down to clean water away from the reeds, it is possible to take only chance. A for a successful search, in addition to the right direction, as it is important to equip.

Even if a duck fell into and lining Search a difficult, it is better to remove his jacket because wander reeds hot, leave gun and boat bring a pole or paddle, because muddy bottom is easy to stumble and extra point of support is useful to you much more guns.

A push is necessary. To Kulas not ward off the wind during searches of poultry, according to zhahnut little «with the field!» or just, and deep with ducts sometimes pushing over better than row and paddle up the bottom is not get. Yes, also push bulrush Vecherka to have. Nice to hunt much time to diversify, especially when the outcome has already been achieved.

500 hoses and ducts small rivers are accounted for Delta great Russian river Volga.

1 000 000 ducks dozen species to late autumn is held in the Volga delta and Shore of the Caspian Sea.

Subtleties CLOTHING

The most convenient way to such hunting wear waders. AT they roll your boat and on small ilmens height Bolotnicov usually enough to move freely on foot firebox, muddy bottom. Sometimes it comes to depth belts and even chest. Deeper — it makes no sense to hunt, because the water is not deep Mallard He loves, but It will still be the place where the shoe is not exactly enough, and push the boat across to the Chakan bat is not a bird be able to.

Therefore, a need waders or, most conveniently, by chemical-pants set. They can be worn directly on the boots, and in place of boat they occupy relatively little. Not plus will have boat light machete. They hacked through convenient Chuck and especially through the cane, when it is necessary to push through the thicket Kulas. Be sure to take with either a spare paddle, or even the top six — Kulas push in bulrush sixth easier than a paddle.


In the Volga delta is the northern border of the lotus globe. Area thickets of rare plants, preserved with pre-glacial period, there is approximately 7–10 thousand hectares. In the summer of great in meter diameter circle­ite, leathery leaves reign over the water. AND everywhere on high stems, raised thousands of amazing colors thin and a delicate aroma, reminiscent of the smell of almonds.

Alex Popov11 September 2014 at 00:00

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