"And Russia is, like, a Third World country?"- that was the question I'd once received from a PH, while driving upon a dusty rural road in one of the African destinations. I can't actually remember if I felt offended at the moment. But - yes, most probably. However I sadly have to admit that Russia is a very undeveloped country in terms of hunting legislation and public opinion. In the end of 2018 we've seen a great public uproar as an answer to the article published by one of our Russian clients who had a vast experience of international hunting, Mr.Vladislav Reznik.

At the present moment Russian legislation forbids hunting of any kind for the endangered species. Mr.Reznik offers to start restricted hunting for several species on that list. He assumes that the trophy hunting would allow to finance and develop the natural habitat of the animals and provide for future species population growth. However the public response showed that many people here couldn't know less about trophy hunting and the way it works for the conservation. The feedback questions were: How come the hunters can save the nature? Isn't killing in order to increase the population unnatural and impossible?! Dramatics followed on. If we speak for short, here is a way to object: the trophy hunter pays for the hunting trip, which includes a license cost, environment management tax, wages of the professional hunters, guides, cooks ets, and a part of the amount goes for the hunting region development. If the species brings money, the locals start to care for it. The hunters and the guides are the first ones to provide for wild species well-being and breeding. Rudely speaking, if the animal costs nothing - there is no protection at all (the state services underperform), and the locals prefer to kill the wild species for meat instead of using the farm animal. The wild one comes for free and there is no profit in protecting it.

In the perfect world the whole arrangement works as following: the hired staff performs their work: develops the hunting region (roads, protection, sustainable consumption), keeps the population record and controls its growth. We, the human beings, affect natural resources, therefore we need to know how many animals need to be culled to allow others to breed. We need to know what amount of animal resources might be taken away without affecting the natural system. The example of proper selling the hunting licenses for endangered species can be seen in Mongolia and Pakistan. In these countries the trophy species are sold at a very high price, and this vast amount of money is used for developing the hunting regions.

And this is the whole point of the offer. We need to understand finally that we are in charge. We provide for conditions in which the wild animals dwell. We affect them every day, taking away their forests, fields, water sources, air, food - and that means taking away life. It is us, the people who use vehicles for transportation, build the infrastructure, use all the resources and produce waste. No matter if you sit on a couch all day long or run in the park, no matter whether you are vegan or meat lover, no matter whether you wear fur and leather or prefer synthetics all over - all of this doesn't matter at all. It is us who pull the trigger each and every day, killing indiscriminately, baste the young and the old. We take away their habitat and their lives basically just by being human. Each and every one of us is a poacher. So it is finally time to thine own self be TRUE. If we cannot change the system, let's learn to be partners: we are the ones in charge of taking away lives, but we are also the ones providing for life. Taking care and investing in living, consume thoughtfully and feel gratitude. We need to start thinking and understanding. In order to eliminate poaching we need the right laws and the right decisions providing for the interests of all parties. The hunters stand for nature, for animals and for the healthy and honest arrangements. Yes, the hunters kill, but they do it with all responsibility and NOT unreflecting and weak-willed, as all the others do.

The trophy hunters are ready and willing to invest the wild nature of Russia: invest the anti-poaching, sustainable consumption and hunting grounds development. All of us as the society need to undertake a commitment to repair what we've done to our nature.