Hunting in Belarus

 

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Introduction

The world hunting community has been unaware of Belarus for a long time. However it is a country with a unique natural habitat, attractive for true admirers of exotic adventures.

The most luring feature no other country can boast of and, moreover, lots of foreign hunters are interested in, is complete authenticity of wild animals, inhabiting forests, swamps and fields of Belarus. There are no farms specialized in growing partridges, quails or hares here, because there is no need in it. The wild life of Belarus, as it is, is rich in various species in their natural habitat. And true hunters appreciate it a lot.

To enter the country you will need a passport and a visa. You must obtain a visa in advance to visit Belarus. Visa validity dates are strictly enforced; you should request a visa of sufficient length to allow for changes in arrival and departure plans. Visa processing time is 5 days, fee is $140 for US citizens.

Hunting season

Bison: October 01 – March 31
Moose: September 01 – December 15
Roe Deer: May 15 – December 15
Wild Boar: May 15 – January 31
Red Deer: September 01 – January 31

Trophy

European Bison

European Bison

Among wild animals, European Bison (Aurochs) is considered to be a symbol of Belarus. Being extremely rare species, it can be found in some National parks. Nevertheless, Bison hunting is allowed and represents one of the most exotic Belarusian hunting attractions.

Shoulder height 6-6-1/2 feet (1.8 to 2.0 m). Weight 1750-2000 pounds (794-907 kg). Females are considerably smaller, weighing 1100-1300 pounds (499-590 kg). Wisent is the largest European game animal. Both sexes have a high hump on the shoulders and a short, broad head that is carried low. The body is relatively narrow, especially in the hindquarters. There is a mane of coarse, woolly hair on shoulders and neck, a short beard and a tasseled tail. Color is a uniformly dark brown. Both sexes have short horns that curve out and up from the side of the head. Compared with North American Bison, Wisent is a taller, longer-legged animal with weaker forequarters and stronger hindquarters, and it has straighter horns, a shorter mane and a longer, bushier tail. Lives in herds of 10-30 led by an old bull. Old animals of both sexes are often solitary. Mates during August – September. Shy and difficult to approach in the wild. Inhabits deciduous forest with scattered open glades.

Red Deer

Red Deer

The antlers of this large specie are usually darker than those from other Red Deer. The European red deer is adapted to a woodland environment. Only the stags have antlers which start growing in the spring and are shed each year, usually at the end of winter. Most European red deer wear a reddish-brown summer coat, and some individuals may have a few spots on the backs of their summer coats. European red deer have a relatively long tail compared to their Asian and North American relatives.

Roe Deer

Roe Deer

Shoulder height 25-36 inches (64-92 cm). Weight 44-81 pounds (20-37 kg). The smallest and most elegant native Deer in Europe. Coloration is rich reddish-brown in summer, with a gray face, white chin and black muzzle band. Rump patch is obscure. Winter coat is grayish-brown, with two white throat patches and a prominent white rump patch. Tail is small and white, invisible against the rump. Antlers have a very rough burr (coronet) around the base, and grow so closely together that the coronets usually touch in mature animals. Usually solitary, but tends to form small groups in winter. Both sexes have a doglike bark when alarmed. A large caliber is not needed for these small animals, those in the .243 class being just about right.

Wild Boar

Wild Boar

Belarusian Wild Boar is distinguished by its remarkable tusks dimension: just try to imagine a hunter’s joy and enthusiasm when his trophy collections enriched by exclusive tusks of 250-270 mm (10 inches and more).

Wolf

Wolf

Wolf  hunting is perceived by many people as a real challenge requiring exceptional courage. Gray Wolf is the largest wild member of the dog family and is the ancestor of the domestic dog. It has heavy frame, long legs, large feet and thick, bushy tail. The skull is especially large, with powerful jaws and large, well-developed, meat-eating teeth. The fur is moderately long and thick.

Hunting territory

Bison can be found in primordial state only in some are as of Belarus (south of country in the valley Pripyat’ river and south-west of Belarus close to Brestat the Poland border).
For Moose, Red Deer, Roe Dee, Wild Boar, Wolf  hunting there are good areas all over the country.

Hunting

Bison

Bison

Bison hunt is done from a blind or by stalking.

Moose

Moose

Moose hunt is done from a blind or by stalking. Lure hunt possible in September, driven hunt – in October or December.

Red Deer, Roe Deer

Red Deer, Roe Deer

Deer hunt is done from a blind, by stalking (September – December 15), lure (September). It is possible to organize driven hunt for Roe Deer (October – mid December). The driven hunt is not very complicated. Local professional hunters knowing the forest regions perfectly to predict a favorite escape direction; and it’s possible to do a driven hunt with a minimum of hunters.

During deer mating season hunting with a call may be carried out. Hunters call deer males imitating female voice. Usually a Stag in lure runs directly to the call sound so it’s better to be ready, otherwise the Deer will notice the trickery and run away. The best way is to hunt in two: one calls, another shoots. If the Stag only answer a call but does not approach to, it’s necessary to go directly to it, cracking twigs and branches. Red Deer stag, thinking that a rival comes to it, runs itself to the hunter and usually stops approximately 300 feet (100 m) away. If the hunter chooses the right place the shot will be successful. The best time is in the morning and evening.

Hunting from a blind is also organized. The blind is a tower, so it’s harder for the Roe Deer to smell and/or hear a man. At the same time the hunter sees farther ahead.

Stalking hunting game is considered to be more active. Stalk is carried out only at dawn: the early morning is the time when all hoofed mammals are more relaxed in comparison with day or gloaming. It is very important to choose your outwear correctly. The fabric should be light, warm and silent. The color has to be natural.

Wild Boar

Wild Boar

Wild Boar hunt is done from a blind, by stalking or it can be a driven hunt. Usually hunting from a blind is organized at feeding places, sometimes close to the animal paths, and in addition near pools and stagnant basins where the wild boar takes its slush baths. A moving boar produces much noise. Before leaving a forest the animal calms down and starts listening and smelling for a long time. If it doesn’t feel anything then the boar enters the open space. All you need to do at that moment is to aim well.

Stalking hunt is mostly organized in twilight. A wild boar produces a lot of noise when eating. Following this noise, a hunter approaches the animal keeping against a wind.

During the driven hunt the beaters try to push wild boars to shooters who are waiting for the animals. If shooters stand in places with insufficient visibility, the beaters make less noise. That way the boars come slower and a shooter has more possibilities to hit the trophy.

Wolf

Wolf

Wolf hunt is organized in winter using the flags. It’s the most effective method of hunting. A gamekeeper examines the region within which Wolves are probably sleeping and by the number of entrance and exit traces determines a presence of the Wolf inside. After this hunters put up a cord with flags around this area. Red and/or yellow flags are hung up at a height of 10-14 inches (25-35 cm) from the snow at well visible places. An area of 2.5-3 miles (4-5 km) in circumference is ok. The hunters are assigned with shooting positions within the area, some 100-130 feet (30-40 m) away from the flags. The beaters get down to work. It’s not recommended to do a lot of noise. Sometimes it’s enough to cough a little bit. That way animals are not really afraid and will try to escape without rushing, enabling a hunter to place a good shot. Sometimes baits are put up prior to the hunt keeping the animals within the selected area.

Route

You will need to arrive in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. It is possible to do via Lufthansa through Frankfurt, via Aeroflot through Moscow, via CZA (Czech Airlines) through Prague and from other cities.

Accommodation

  • In Minsk hunters can order apartments from standard to luxury or just stay at a hotel.
  • The hunting camps are comfortable wooden houses with all the necessary facilities.

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