So what is hunting?

In recent years, much is written about the problems of the Russian hunting. The authors examine various aspects of the development of hunting. Not being a specialist in this field, I venture to Express the opinion, taking the point of view of the layman.

So what is hunting?

photo: Michael Semin

First of all let’s understand for yourself what is hunting? By definition of V. I. dal: «Hunting fishing, baiting or shooting of wild animals». A few years ago I showed a draft of an article by M. P. Pavlov. He was fundamentally do not agree with V. I. dal and offered his interpretation of the concept of hunting. «Hunting is search of habitats of wild animals, knowledge of their habits and acceptable methods of production…» – wrote dear M. P. on a piece of paper and put it under my nose, as a warning.

Logic is the chain: hunter–hunting–hunting farm.

For many years the basis of hunting was considered as protection of hunting grounds.

For example, Bibikov D. I., and F. R. Shtilmark thought «a simple and effective way of improving the productivity of populations of game animals – protection of habitats and the animals themselves in combination with biologically reasonable withdrawal that meets one or another phase of the movement in the number» (Bull. MOIP, 1–1982).

With them was disagree with. Politik. He wrote (1982) that «the priority of the biotechnology activities they replace the problem of protection of lands».

Since 1959, the Western Siberia expedition worked in Biological Institute SB as USSR. The expedition conducted research in the area of about 10 hectares. S. Pelicaric wrote, based on the findings of the expedition: «…in natural conditions, when observed over sufficiently long periods, including enabling, and extreme conditions, the fertility of wild animals and plants is equal to or close to the dimensions of their natural mortality». And then concludes: «…further the development of hunting must go through the intensification of» that is with the help of the widespread and in-depth development of biotechno.

As far as I know, the founder of biotechno is P. A. Manteuffel. He developed a course for high schools «Fundamentals of biotechno» that was never published. Apparently, someone really didn’t want a scientific approach to intensification of hunting has become known to the masses of hunters and hunting specialists.

Meanwhile, P. A. Manteuffel showed the impact of animal agriculture, livestock, hay, new water, peat, timber-rafting, burns and other anthropogenic factors. P. A. Manteuffel understood biotechno as the science of breeding in natural conditions wild game species and other beneficial animals and their rational use.

The main objective of biotehni – identification of favorable and unfavorable factors of environment and the study of the mechanism of their effects on cultured animals, and the impact of these animals on the environment. The successful development of biotechno is that this science is inseparable from the broad practice of the various branches of national economy («Fishing and hunting» No. 7–1982).

Interestingly, all these scientific developments are widely used abroad. Management measures plus security grounds lead to great results. This much has been written and is being written. The density of game in Europe is so high that it is not necessary to look at the risk of life, while savoring subsequently all the hardships and privations endured by the hunters. But there are some other hunting, hunting is not in Europe a means of survival, as happens often with us.

So what is hunting?

photo: Michael Semin

While hunting «over the hill» is a fairly lucrative sector of the economy. Behind examples far to go it is not necessary. A couple of years ago, Mikhail Kozhukhov told on your show «In search of adventure» farmers living next door to us, in Finland. They grow wild boars, constantly feeding them in natural conditions. Kabanov then shoot from the towers for the hunters. Currently taking of trophy fangs. Farmers receive money for the trophy and sell the meat of wild boars in the EU.

In Canada, the muskrat is served in restaurants, but it is, at best, is dog food. Such examples can be cited. But «finished off» me a story about hunting in America. Imagine a steppe or Prairie. On the prairies, is asphalt road, which impinges on the barrier. Hunter leaves the car at the gate, goes to the booth, pay money, get paid for the number of pheasants and happy going home. What would have in similar conditions? Probably, the guard would be drunk, shot pheasants, and the booth was dismantled and taken to their «Hacienda».

If hunting – a sector of the economy, it must first invest, and then with a reasonable management to receive dividends in the form of products of hunting. The measure here is the product, expressed in rubles per unit area, i.e. the productivity of land. In the late seventies it, the average for the USSR was 36,98 RUB with 1000 ha.

At the same time in Lithuania it was equal to RUR 274,9, Latvia – 339,4 RUB, Estonia– 368,1 RUB., ie 7–10 times higher than the national average (I. Lvov, 1982).

In our troubled times, perhaps nobody is able to say, what is today, the productivity of hunting grounds in Russia.

The positive experience of hunting the world has gained considerable. A lot of writing on this topic known to us, and, I hope, in the world, Professor, doctor of biological Sciences V. Dezhkin. Indeed, the experience of development of the hunting economy of America, very interesting. Innovacionnykh articles V. Dikina I was curious to know what such pragmatists, as Americans, voluntarily and unselfishly engaged in bioteknia, and not hundreds, not thousands, but thirteen million enthusiasts. The numbers quoted by me below, taken from publications by this author.

How we carried out biotechnical activities? I was told, a very curious incident that occurred twenty years ago in one of the primary hotcollection. True or fiction, I don’t know. The Chairman of hotcollection, let’s call it Pokazujemy, really wanted to get the title of honorary member of the hunters and anglers. Notes the only hunting magazine about his best practices attracted the attention of high officials.

Based on this primary hotcollection it was decided to conduct a large-scale seminar. But, we have to happen, boar and grouse in that year, whether posibile, or decided they’re hungry to change the seat, and the President, vested with administrative authority, found an ingenious way out.

So what is hunting?

photo: Michael Semin

As a result, the members of hotcollection I had to go to the market for pig’s feet, and then, move on all fours and swearing, «to tread» and «stuff» the boar trail «blanks for aspic». Others were sent to foreign lands, rich in grouse, to collect its droppings, with the subsequent laying it on the pebbles. «Focus» passed. The boss was delighted with the traces of the seat of the game. As a result, Pokazuje received the coveted Honorary member.


Take for example the state of Michigan, which borders Canada. The size of the state 251,5 thousand sq. km Population of 9.5 million people, the population Density of 37.7 people/sq. km In the state of hunted deer in 1996 839081 person on migratory birds – 106951 hunters, terrestrial game birds – 240248. The hunters in this state has been spent on the hunt of 1.86 billion dollars. Popular there, as we do, hunting of hare and woodcock. The cost of providing hunting per resident of the state amounted to $ 195.7 dollar.

The 49th state of America – Alaska. The total cost of providing hunting amounted 712,9 million dollars. The people of the state – 599 thousand people, the Territory – 1519 thousand sq. km population Density – 0.39 persons/sq km, which is comparable with some Russian territories. The cost of providing hunting per resident of the state amounted to 1190,1 dollar.

The cost of deer hunting in the United States amount to a total of 10.3 billion dollars, to migratory birds nearly $ 3 billion and on the hunt for local game birds – 1.9 billion dollars. The number of canadian beaver is 6–12 million head, production 700–800 thousand individuals (basher, 2001). The number of elk – 1.2 million individuals, the production of several hundred thousand a year. White-tailed deer, there are 33 million individuals, producing around 2 million head (Danilkin, 2004).

In Russia officially is produced 3.9 thousand red deer and ROE of 17.5 thousand annually (Ulitin 2001).

On farm lands in North America tens of millions of pheasants, Virginia and California quail. Wild turkeys in the grounds there are 5.6 million individuals, for comparison, in 1973 there was 1.3 million head. All in all, USA in the hunt involves 14 million people. They get 60–65 million ducks, geese, pigeons, 55–60 million pheasants, partridges and quails, bringing the state big revenues through taxes.

Why no comparison in our favor? Undoubtedly, the negative role played by natural factors. South of the 48th parallel is 33% of the land in America about 100%. Role plays and mosaic lands. In the USA the quaint mosaic of fields, interspersed with protective ramasami for animals and birds, and we have rectangular contours of the huge fields separated by narrow furrows. Rare huge ponds with a large evaporating surface. Treeless shore field streams and rivers.

Meanwhile our landscapes 70–80 years ago were very similar. Not casually in the Russian literature of those years is the description of a great number of partridges, quails, hare.

In the U.S. from 1938 to 1966 was bought from farmers, to return to the wild nature, 420 thousand hectares of wetlands, spent 25 million dollars.

Taking into account inflation, it is necessary to multiply this figure by 5, then we will receive the amount corresponding to today’s purchasing power of the dollar. In Canada, the foreclosure process pereobrazhennya land from farmers began in 1967, was allocated $ 50 million. Interestingly, one of the very known American actors, paid 32 thousand dollars for illegally drained the swamp near his ranch. And we have «pimples on the bare ground» build cottages in the water protection zone and the bailiffs can’t or don’t want anything to do with them.

From 1936 to 1960 in the U.S. was built 1665000 reservoirs, 3034000 erosion of dams, levees, systems changes, 1564000 water tanks for cattle. Along the shores and roots of the dams are sown and planted forage and cover plants. There is a public organization «Ducks without borders» (Duks unlimited), which annually conducts biotechnical activities to improve nesting and protective properties for water birds on the waters of the U.S. and Canada — $ 35–$ 40 million.

What do we see? Huge areas of land reclamation channels disfigured forests and meadows that flood fit again. Overgrown and covered with silt the lakes and oxbows, which no one thinks to clean. Farm built on the banks of ravines and rivers. In the spring the manure is washed into the hollow by the waters of the river. Summer camps for cattle are located in floodplains.

So what is hunting?

photo: Michael Semin

We tried to acclimatize dozens of species of animals, in most cases, to no avail. Perhaps the best result was given by the acclimatization of the muskrat, which is not true, for example, about the raccoon dog. Not only that, this predator destroys a lot of the nests of waterfowl, apparently, not without his help tick-borne encephalitis are widely sweeping the country. Millions of dollars from the sale of pelts of this animal, and remains expected.

The Americans also brought many different animals and birds, but has taken root and multiplied only the pheasant, which was first introduced in 1773. From 1938 to 1967 in 27 States were produced 393,3 thousand pheasants. The annual shoot is 10–12 million units. From 1941 to 1970 in the U.S. were consumed 415 million pheasants and 5 canadian provinces – 8 million pieces.

In the USA there is a well-established system of nature protection. Led is the Service fish and wildlife of the Ministry of interior of the United States. A budget of twenty years ago was 1 billion. The funding is provided through excise taxes on sales of sporting arms and ammunition, 11% and 10 % tax on pistols and revolvers (Act Pitterman– Robertson from 1937).

Interesting data results in the log «Expert» (No. 10 of 2000). It turns out that passenger air service in the world unprofitable. The airlines get profit at the expense of services.

It may be wise for our scientists-economists, if they still have any in the field of hunting, to develop the concept of development of the hunting economy with global experience and with numbers in hand to go to the Council of Ministers. Officials give no emotions, and economic feasibility.

On funding of the Department for the protection and development of hunting resources Ministry of agriculture of Russia in 2003, in terms of dollars, spent 23 million, despite the fact that the land area more than in the US, 2 times.

In 2001, in the U.S. there were 44 million 300 thousand anglers, of which aged 6 to 15 years 10 million 300 thousand 34.1 million adult anglers spend on fishing equipment 41.5 billion dollars, which gives «economic boost» in sum 116,1 billion. The share of the fishermen-tourists accounted for 7.3 billion dollars. Activity fishing generates in the country 1068046 jobs with salary 30.1 billion dollars. From fishing comes taxes amounting to 7.3 billion dollars (How many of us anglers and how much they spend on fishing means, I guess, even approximately, nobody knows.)

Unfortunately, our attitude towards fishermen and hunters is a bit different. Remember the proverb «fish Yes finished birds – to lose days». May devil-may-care attitude of our government towards the problems of fishermen and hunters is related to our culture.

And with all due respect to biologists-hunters, they are not so many managers in the organization of hunting, how many biologists.

So what is hunting?

photo: Michael Semin

Once, in a private conversation, I asked the then Dean of the faculty of wild life management, V. Melnikov about what it would involve to study on hotface professionals from other industries, for example, economists, giving them the opportunity to get second higher education hunting for three years.

Mr. Melnikov indignantly looked at me and said:

«We prepare specialists with academic education». This situation reminds me a lot of scientists, agronomists, Universities still teach the works of academician Williams, promoted the tillage of the earth. However, world experience of the farmers of our «advanced» Director of agricultural enterprises, farmers say that the rights was a national academician Terence Maltsev, who advocated no-till treatment. Is it because agriculture is on the decline, what agronomists do not learn what is needed?

Realizing that the study of three different chemistries is extremely important for higher academic education, still believe that in modern conditions there are lots of items that future organizers of hunting in very handy.

And yet, what is hunting? I would like to hear the opinion of scientists.

Alexander Guriev November 2014 at 00:00

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