28.02.2010

Hunting extreme of Kazakhstan

By Sergey ABAKSHIN

Hunting is even worse than imprisonment

A. S. Pushkin

As a matter of fact, there are plenty of extreme sports in Kazakhstan. To cross a street on pedestrian crossing in rush hour, to live a month on government employee salary, to walk home through depressive thus criminal district – all of this is both scary and dangerous and breathtaking. However, there are not much things could be compared with hunting by adrenaline focusing and extreme in Kazakhstan.

2010 02 28There is lots of money rotating in hunting business, which are sometimes reaching astronomic volumes. At that the truth is that hunters’ composition is very variegated. The wealthiest, however not the most respectable and authoritative part of hunters society is various oligarchs, mini-oligarchs and half-oligarchs.

Such hunters have ammunition, which is worth that much, that common hunting enthusiasts couldn’t ever afford themselves a rifle. The very rifles are going by prices for tenth and hundreds of US dollars. Why a rifle costs is thousand times more than Kalashnikov submachine gun, is hard question, but we will try to. Construction and arrangement, special blends of steel, handcraft, hatching, incrustation, special ammo, dominant name of manufacturer. As the result the rifle is becoming not as an item of killing of animals, but as a piece of art.

So, the oligarchs are armed, equipped, are able to fly helicopters around national parks and shoot animals, which are added to international Red List; there are luxurious joy therapists are waiting for them in heated bathes in hunting castles, and jaegers are serving them as a doughboys – but they are still not respected. Because when everything is given to them like a piece of a pie, then there is no struggle for hunter’s trophy. At that all visible attributes of success are too not considered. Besides, an oligarch can open a can with his artwork knife: by seeing this normal hunter would perceive this as a third advent of apocalypse.

Considering that many oligarchs have from 3 to 5 expensive rifles, since different wildfowl requiring different weapons, they really are becoming expensive valuable treasure chests. Also there are hugely expensive hunting knives and daggers with laser fluting, bespoke watches and class rings with diamonds. Thus the presence of multiple bodyguards are vindicable in many things.

Also there are foreign hunters. By the first stance it is Germans for some reason. They are totally unadmirable about freedom and wilderness of Kazakhstani nature, ability to hunt the animals and birds which can’t be encountered in Europe. They also like exotics such as falconry. Foreign people are paying a lot of money, but they expect complete commitment. If oligarchs are pretty stupid by hunter’s laws, then foreign hunters from developed countries are effeminate.

In neighboring Kyrgyzstan on Southern shores of Issyk-Kol lake there is an entertainment for reach clients to hunt down on grunting-ox (yak) with bows. Kazakhstani oligarchs are enthusiastically torturing poor beast until they would finish it with tenth arrow or telling Kyrgyz jaegers to finish it to free yak from tortures. Foreign tourists are not involving in such an entertainment since may years spent alongside with Greenpeace have taught them not only to be afraid of treehuggers’ revenge but changed their mind.

There are also poachers, but in Kazakhstan this feature has more of social reasons than purely criminal or psychological. If hunting is more of a meantime spending for thousands of townsfolk, then in Kazakhstan for significant category of people is a source of food products for families and additional sales income from animal furs and antlers. However, even complete poacher, if hunting is a source of income for him, wouldn’t harm nature as much as common oligarch who is shooting every living things only for fun and satisfying his hunting instinct; at least given the story with big men from Kazakhmys Corporation. Not only an airfield and dozens of support structures were built for them in a nature reserve, but also dug out a ditch around Kopkol pluvial type lake. The one who gave this order wasn’t probably realized that shooting migrant birds from trench would be more comfortable, but the lake itself will certainly die from such technical advances.

As for common and normal hunters in Kazakhstan – they are from middle and sub-middle class, who are distressing by licensed shooting of marals, wolves, wild boars and bears. To be precise, they are rather changing their working stress on extreme one than distressing.

For the beginning – the state highway police: these tricky men could always find a way to get their bribes from hunters moving by 4×4’s. If hunters wouldn’t be armed by nature of the process, they would be probably completely undressed. Aside from bribery and extortion of road police, Kazakhstani roads are an extreme kind of adventures by itself in distant regions. There are Camel Trophy stages on every bit of the road, on which in many cases the one finds himself unable to refuel, get technical aid or call for tow truck.

Private parks jaegers can decline common hunters to places officially permitted to hunting, just because they didn’t like them or such orders were given from their boss. Local half feudal toparches are acting like fully legitimated kings. Bands of local toparches are smaller and thus afraid of oligarchs’ ones, when they go hunting, but happily scaring common people. Official nature-preserving authorities in such regions are extremely weak and pursuing basically background functions.

When a hunter is offering to go for a “war with wild rams” for his buddy, there is absolutely no mistake. Hunting for wild rams is when both sides are armed. We are now talking about criminal on peripheral territories. Lack of employment in many places and lack of willing to change common lands for suburbs of Almaty and Astana is pushing part of local people on bandit way. Only the fact that hunters are armed is usually allowing solving appearing conflicts without victims. As a rule, a team of hunters has budget on road police, on jaegers and on rural people, to give everybody what they need and all can be take their own way peacefully.

It is worth to remember about purely landscape and climatic challenges while hunting in Kazakhstan. In the morning you have a nice day, but tomorrow it will be hardly snowing. Or saline grounds are becoming so marshy after rain, than even Japanese offroaders are useless.

But when hunters are returning on their islands of civilization alive, where it is still electricity, hot water and kind of a law on the streets, then they remembering good moments first: wild boar fangs were missed after all, a hare on broiling rack was perfect with good vodka, and nymph from distant motel wasn’t surprised with any disease. An employer is not appearing as a complete sadist, and drab existence can be suffered until next hunting expedition.

9 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Ай да Пушкинт, ай да сукин сын!..

  2. Лена

    Сергей, вы стреляете в зайчиков?

    Не ожидала.

  3. Умный

    А я еще знаю историю, как одного банкира на охоте за кабана сразу с трех стволов приняли.

    Опасная это забава — охота олигархов.

  4. timur

    а где факты, имена, фамилии? без этих данных это просто писанина.

  5. Умный

    Тимуру.

    Вы из себя простачка разыгрываете или реально предъяву кидаете?

    У нас в стране за нарушение личной тайны сейчас 5 лет дают.

    А когда у человека охотничье ружье за $100 тыс. — под «личную тайну» подпадает все.

  6. Anonymous

    Татишева вспомните. Как его Муха вальнул чужими руками:(((

  7. Ыбырай Алтынсары

    Такмади его вальнул. И сам жывой и богатенький бизнюк счас

  8. Anonymous

    Да... С братками был связаны наши банкиры всю жисть.

  9. Anonymous

    Зима закончилась... кажись...