The main reason for the prohibition of spring hunting in the RSFSR in 1970, author of «The ban spring ohoty- big trouble,» Mikhail Pavlov (№ 7 of the journal in 1970) recognizes the «erroneous views of individual zoologists or just nature lovers on the causes of the poor state of the hunting industry» . It is interesting that the author does not deny the fact of a significant reduction in stocks of certain species of game, especially migratory, but for some reason does not admit that it can serve as a basis for closing the spring hunting. The most significant of them cited the arguments in favor of spring hunting — hunting opinion of the Kirov region: 80-85% of the respondents were in favor of hunters opening of the spring hunting. Later M. Pavlov admits that every hunter looks at the rules of the hunt «with its bell tower»: if one sought the prohibition of hunting with a greyhound and husky, the other equally vehemently oppose hunting without dogs, and so on.
It is a pity that he and Mikhail Pavlov was unable to rise above these local reasons. Condemning the «little to suppress the hunting rules of shooting ducks and woodcocks in the cold winters in the south of our country,» he did not think that in the case of prohibition of a winter hunting any southern hunter with the same base as he would complain that » winter hunting ban — big trouble «and that he de» affects the most intimate interests of hunters. «
How, then, to solve the question of who owns the priority right to migratory bird hunters whether the places where they nest, or those where they hibernate, or «owners» of flight paths? Obviously, the rules of hunting should be determined not by the interests of individuals or groups, but some general principles. In our opinion, the basic principle should be how to improve the performance of the local hunting grounds and hunting grounds all over the country as a whole.
M. Pavlov rights, arguing that the lack of hunting leads to stabilization of the game at a lower level than the capacity of the land allows. However, it fears that the game reserves do not have enough mastered, — doubtful. The excuse of the spring hunting grouse he points out that in the Kirov region at one of the autumn hunting he nedopromyshlyaetsya. From my own experience I know that in the neighboring Komi grouse foraged very effective in «productive» years in the autumn, at the decoy.
Autumn hunting with us longer than in most countries. If the season is cut due to the reduction of stocks of game, so the question arises: whether to hold on to the spring hunt, reducing the autumn, or better leave alone the fall season? Economic considerations speak in favor of the second option.
All kinds of game have natural enemies, which remove some of the «harvest» of game, regardless of the hunter-man. The magnitude of the losses from predators game depends mainly on the «population density victims», it is easier to say — on the level of stocks of game, and the number of predators in nature is defined and regulated in the first number of the animal species on which they prey. Our well-known zoologist AA Sludskii found, for example, in Kazakhstan the ratio of the number of wolves and wild antelope (Saiga and gazelle) is somewhere between 1: 100 and 1: 1000. It is known that the female saiga antelopes and gazelles bring 1-2 calves a year and a wolf — from 3 to 8 puppies. Under such circumstances, maintaining a constant ratio of predator — prey is only possible due to the higher mortality of the predator, the main cause of which is obviously hungry. Nature itself dictates that reduce the number of predators, and with it the loss of game they can be a simple biotechnological technique, make sure that the most difficult period in the life of a predator (winter), the number of game was minimal. It’s enough to the entire annual shooting game in the autumn, and the remaining producers did not bother until next fall.
In this hunting activities and feed the funds will be spent game the most economical. Most animals feed our latitudes deficiency is found only in the winter. Take for example grouse or black grouse in summer they eat the flowers, leaves, berries and seeds of various plants, food is plentiful and they supply it immediately restored. In winter, the existence of these birds depend on flower earrings alder and birch, a limited supply of them in the spring is exhausted, because new earrings instead eaten can not grow in the winter. «The economic cost of» a bird or animal, through the winter, apparently, is much higher than it was before the onset of winter, while "use value" It remains the same. To maximize the production of game hunting areas with all the «harvest» should be removed in the autumn. Obviously, this is one of the basic principles of sustainable hunting.
When autumn hunting game birds both sexes are produced in equal measure. As part of our game animals have several types of polygamous birds — the capercaillie, black grouse, woodcock, snipe, ruff, in populations where there is a surplus of males than needed to ensure the breeding standards. This fact justifies the spring hunt in the currents. In Central European countries (East Germany, West Germany, Czechoslovakia), where grouse little autumn hunting them is forbidden, and hunting is permitted current. Similarly, in the US hunt for wild turkey is only permitted in the spring, on the displaying males, for paid licenses, the cost of which, incidentally, is the cost of the license for the deer. For spring hunting monogamous birds, which include all of our waterfowl, most waders and of upland game — grouse and partridge all, there is absolutely no reasonable justification.
Last autumn, a special meeting was discussing the issue of conservation measures geese, stocks are dangerously melting. As such, and with ducks, the situation is no better. At the moment, the issue of opening of the spring hunting of waterfowl, even if the span is clearly inappropriate. On the other hand, it is difficult and the decision on spring hunting currents, such as the hunting grounds in the public creates preconditions for mass poaching. If only the hunters will have the right to stay in the hunting grounds with guns, shots, no matter where they were sent, they will not be to attract public attention.
We believe that spring hunting should not be allowed «in general», but can be resolved without serious consequences in such farms, which keeps track of game and possible effective control of hunters. The reason for the shooting to be a one-time license for the male capercaillie, black grouse and woodcock. On the same conditions, you can probably avoid hunting and drakes with a decoy or a decoy, but only in the later stages, when the ducks already sit on the eggs.
In contrast, M. Pavlov, I believe that the prohibition of hunting must not «be local and intra character», but just the opposite: the ban should be shared, and the farms are allowed considerable deviations, if they do not contradict the policy of hunting legislation as a whole, and justified local conditions and the desire of hunters.
A. Semenov-Tyan-Shan, a senior fellow at the Lapland State Reserve, Sc.D.