Forgotten Spring

Forgotten Spring

Few people remember that the first time banned in Russia spring hunting in 1957. By the time of the poacher-turned free-rider I-Hsia in zapravskogo quite legitimate hunter experienced almost four years. At the time taken in the ranks of members of the society of hunters is very simple. You turned sixteen, got a passport and go to the district society of hunters. They present their most important document, plus two pictures of three to four cm and six rubles. Instead, you get two small cardboard booklets: a hunting license and membership card society of hunters. According to these documents in a hunting store, or a sports recreational goods you sell any smoothbore gun and gunpowder. Stop. With gunpowder had its own problems. For Moscow and the Moscow region hunters had a special point at which the powder was sold. Near the platform Construction of Balassa-hinskogo railroad among the marsh boardwalk booth stood. To her it was necessary to run on the platform of stlanyam to quickly take a turn, which reached eight people. After the presentation of a membership card and eight rubles a ticket made a mark on the sale of your two hundred grams of smokeless powder «Falcon» and given a metal cylindrical shaped jar full of hunting fortune. It is spring. In the autumn of history repeats itself. Near the turn Gomozov speculators current businessmen who were selling homemade shot, but it is decent, priced at nine rubles a kilogram, packaged in paper kulёchki. Buy fraction could be in store for five rubles forty kopecks. But as always before the hunting season shot the desired number was not provided. Having overcome all these difficulties, I loaded the spring, assuming good shooting. But it was not there. Suddenly announced that the greater part of European Russia and Siberia, the spring hunting of birds decided to close. While I was in college, and at the end of April to the end of the course at the end of June, I had to go through practice that students are always met with enthusiasm. It was a wonderful time for the student the opportunity for free, at public expense, to visit various cities of Russia, and even the Soviet Union. Choose from a list of any city, is recorded in the dean’s office, receive a mission and her money and go for three or four months to either side of your soul. Of course, I wanted to celebrate spring hunting practice. The ban spring hunting in Siberia included the Novosibirsk region. In neighboring Tomsk region in the spring hunting allowed under the old rules. Well, I decided — I’m going to practice in Novosibirsk, and there I shall reach by train and on foot Marsh go to the Tomsk region, which will be legally and from the soul hunting. For a ticket to Tomsk I had no money. The city and the rest of the Siberian city of east dekanatskom not listed. These are the dreams and plans were the young fanatic.

About ten days before the May holidays, I took the train Moscow — Novosibirsk compartment car and drove east across the great country. Spring floods raged and I are not breaking away from the window, four days from morning to evening looking at the flooded meadows and forests, wooden houses and residents on boats. The weather was gorgeous, as often happens at the end of April. We pass the southern Urals, and began Baraba Baraba Lowlands, consisting of all the lakes, birch groves, meadows and steppes. Geese and ducks flew straight through the cars, oblivious to the noise and the roar of the train. Many hundreds of them bobbing on the waves of the countless bodies of water, and I eagerly looked out the window unprecedented number game. Here is a bird’s «Eldorado», worn in my head. But, remembering the ban, I regret swallowing.

In Novosibirsk, I lingered long. Kozhsyrevoy converged on the factory where I had practiced, introduced his superiors, and I lived in the hotel «Siberia» at the expense of the plant. I spread out the map in the room, I do not remember what the scale, where the river was like a whip, and the city placed on the non-existent river bends, but there was a north and south and, most importantly, clearly defined boundaries of the regions. I found their miserable financial resources — enough money only to the district center Swamp and back. The practice did not provide patrols outside the city. I assess their food stocks. It was in my backpack and a half kilograms of pork loin, two loaves of black bread, salt, sugar, two packs of tea, a dozen blocks concentrate cocoa cream and a pound of fragrant biscuits Moscow. All this was bought back in Moscow, as I was warned that the Novosibirsk — a city hungry and half-empty stores of meat and dairy products will be almost impossible to buy.

Early in the morning in a deserted car I went to the bog and drove 160 kilometers in four hours and, somewhere around 11 am, got off at the station, next with nothing remarkable village. He pulled out his compass, to determine where the north, and down dale, hit the road. Weather spoiled me. The sun was shining and was warm. I walked across the meadow on the dried up with the aftermath of the fall is not very heavy backpack and a gun in the bag. Moving about two kilometers from the station, he assembled the gun, put the cartridges and continued on his way. An hour later, I suddenly stumbled among birch groves on the land, which is no end in sight. It’s home country at the call of the party and the government began to shag. I really forgot about it, and has now received the artifact on the forehead and the legs. And I looked left and right, and it turned out to circumvent the work of man had no chance, and went straight. For two hours, I kneaded the mud plowing and finally came to the Kolka, which is perched near a lonely cabin. While went, sweating more than once, and very thirsty. With a water I had, and I decided to go up to the hut to ask for a drink. Climbing two steps of the porch, I knocked on the door. Behind it I heard footsteps, and a rough male voice asked: «What do you want?» «I have some water to drink» — I replied. «Now you stebanu Zhakanov through the door, immediately drink rashochetsya», — said the voice. I shied away from the door after this «warm» Siberian hospitality. Then he looked at the long domushku until it disappeared behind the bushes. After an unsuccessful attempt to quench your thirst, I got on track and stomped on the virgin snow. Soon they began to come across a puddle, and I’m happy drunk meltwater. The matter progressed in the evening, and we had somewhere to stay for the night. I was in almost continuous strip of pins to go among them was relatively easy. Choosing a small clearing on the edge of which there was a big puddle, I stopped for the night. For starters threw a large bonfire in the soldiers’ pot boiled water and threw three dice concentrate cocoa. Then, cut a slice of bread and a piece of pork loin, tightly biting and washed down all the high-calorie drink. Then he increased the area of ​​the fire, giving it a rectangular shape, and continued to burn dry trees, which was next to a dime a dozen. While the fire was burning chopped twigs and scored them a whole bunch. Bonfire went bankrupt, I removed the coals and warmed the ground paved with fines twigs and dry grass. Then he took off his boots, put the bag under his head, a bed jacket and placed next to a loaded gun, and, covered with a cloak, fell asleep. I slept well, but I have about an hour of the night awakened by a scream, and then almost passed me right in the pool, one after another ran three hare. At Whites started the second rut, and oblique shouting bad voice, but here there was a wild laughter, mixed with the cry, which I started. Climbed hell in the head, I do not whether it’s the devil? But then I realized that it is the male ptarmigan suggests night terrors. Having dealt with these noises and screams, again, I quickly fell asleep, but about three o’clock in the morning woke up again. So soon dawn — I thought, and decided to wait for dawn. Wait a long time I did not have. Zachufykali, murmured grouse and stunned their sound could not understand and decide in which direction I should go and where the center of power. So in all the books written. Birds murmuring on all areas where loud where quieter, closer or further away. I tried to move from one group to the other birds, but when they heard me, they fell silent, flew to another place. Every now and then I heard the sound of birds flitting, flapping wings, the ups and hiss kvohtane teterok, warning their cocoons. But none grouse did not let me on the shot. I circled and circled the Bereznyak, stumbling in the dark branches and stumps, splashing through puddles boots and legs tangled in the grass. It was all to no avail. A strange was current. The whole forest was buzzing grouse mutterings. Kosaca gathered in groups of eight — ten birds arranged small fight, fled, muttering again converge. Then heard the crackle of heavy wing beats. Sometimes the top of a birch dumped more cock, fell in the middle of the group, and began challenging khekal rolled into mumbling. A little bewildered newcomer local cocks squeezed around the ring alternately and joined with him in the fight. Flashed white undertail and underwings, occasionally fall feather. Ripe cranberries on dark sizom re adorned Kosaca frontal bone and struggled, sparing no effort and pen. In the end, the «local» assailed the stranger, and he ran away into the bush. From grouse mutterings boiled whole forest. I get tired, running from one group to the other birds, and without firing a shot. Dawn inflamed and tired of the constant jogging, sto- len and observations, I sat on the edge of a small gully, near the ravine, a little rest. But I sat down on the dry grass on the opposite edge of the slide to see the ballet of cranes. About a dozen birds in fifty meters from me were walking through the meadow, making short run, had pitched ridiculously long legs. Then, bowing as if made overtures, and circling around a girlfriend. Females carefully and it seemed to me, graciously watched the cavalry and incentive eyes accompanied by his pirouettes. Here are a couple up into the air and threw back his long legs, pulled past me. I raised the gun, aimed it, and then dropped it without a shot. I felt sorry for these great and funny birds, which, by their celebrated spring, I was not hungry and cranes I did not need. In addition, the cranes were not considered game birds, although during Aksakov had a different opinion, especially among the peasants.

I returned to the place of their encampment, and did not understand where is the middle, where the edge of the current grouse. For a long time to recover from what he saw abundance of birds and gave comparisons with land near Moscow. At one time, our family lived in the village Lobanovo with a cascade of ponds and surrounded by cherry and apple orchards and a large park. Birch forests and woods rather, is one kilometer — half from our house. In a coppice of my acquaintance was driven grouse. I’m writing a familiar word without quotation marks, because we are quite a long time to know each other. In the fall, starting in September, when I often left to wander with a gun on the near and distant copses, do not forget to wrap up rivulet Gnilusha necessarily visited my friend Kosach. Knowing my temper «horned» Tulku, closer than a hundred meters, he would not let me. Flickering white podhvostem, he rushed to a nearby tree, sat down at a large birch, and without losing sight of me, sent in my address at the swearing grouse language. I knew him for an excited and angry tone of an old grumbler. It is not trying to get to the cautious bird, I left casually glancing at large Kosach. This went on for two years.

The rooster flew to the clover, with the oat stubble, then with pea residue field, regularly leaving me without a shot. Yes I have not tried to shoot. Somehow, he never stayed in a flock, and lived Odinets. I’m just pleased to see the beautiful bird hunting game and it was already hunting for me. Because it often happened, ran for the local poor lands thirty kilometers, I have not seen a single glance or a decent shot Dichin. And here the sea of ​​Kosachev if you try to hut — in one morning you can take five krasnobrovyh beauties. But then again, there was another controversial idea. Here I have to shoot a bunch of birds, and that I will do with them. In the backpack I still full of food, you can survive a week. What and how to cook wild game only I knew about. In Deva game it was also nowhere to go. Neither friends nor relatives in Novosibirsk was not listed. The hotel tinker with game it was impossible. I still somehow embarrassed silence. All morning I heard nowhere close or distant shots. Around me I reigned only birds and animals. It is unclear why, but I got sick to go on to the lake in the Tomsk region in which, perhaps, I was. Regional border areas are not marked. Meditate for half an hour so I spread the fire, tightly eaten and drunk, tea, I went to the station.

After the May holidays arrived my colleagues in practice, two guys: Jack and Gene. They spent the time at home and slowly appeared in Novosibirsk. That’s right, in practice, students are their own masters. The hotel we were placed together in one the cheapest room. After a few days of practice, which we quickly got bored, we decided to change the situation. After my story about a trip to Marsh guys query in Siberia «Pampas». One of the local hunters, whom I met by chance on the street, he advised us to go down to the pier Post Obi. There, as if there is a military-hunting and hunting base and the huntsman. Yes there all know he said, and disappeared among the pedestrians. And the next day with the river port city in the evening we set off on a boat down the great river. Passengers were twenty and most crowded on deck, but when it got cold, and it began to snow, some of them came down to the hold. Boat went up to nearly four hours overcame 60 kilometers. In complete darkness with spotlight arrive at your destination. The gangplank, which were presented to the two boards stuffed with bars on them, climbed the steep and slippery bank. In the spotlight were flying large flakes of snow and blowing cold north wind. The boat turned around and walked away from the shore in the darkness. At aunt, who went with us, we asked, where is located the river station. The aunt grinned and pointed her hand towards a nearby barn on the Jurassic. Here’s a station! And, taking the heavy bag and disappeared into the night. We entered into the «Station», which really turned schelyastym barn. On three of its walls were nailed not planed boards depicting shops. Rest of the night we spent in the «bungalows», constantly soaking up friendly workout, pat and homo-pyvaniem freezing limbs. About five in the morning, when it is thoroughly dawn, we tried to find a hunting base, or at least the huntsman. The gun was in my one and we are represented in this case geological and razvedyvatel-ing group, which conducts research in the floodplain of the Ob River. However, we did not have to lie, because the signs and traces of the hunting base residence rangers we have not found. Not relying on no support, we have decided on their own to go to understand. Before it was close and we have already seen large and small lakes with beaches, overgrown with willows, willow bushes and clumps of reeds. Without hesitation, we began to roam the floodplain, which struck us abundance-flight game. Various species of ducks flew north over the flock flock. The most cautious were mallards, and the most daring and rather carefree, teals. Above all we pulled geese. Birds flew wave after wave with small breaks. After strolling along the floodplain of the hour and a half, and so watching the game, my colleagues are very hungry. Moscow has long and products were eaten together and we went to the Siberian rations. Well, you give us something to shoot, started strongly asking me starving students. To persuade a long time I had not. After a few futile shots at Mallard and Pintail, I finally flown from a bevy of close teal drake garganey managed to knock. «That’s stew» — I said, and gave to his friends oschip beautiful bird. Lit the fire, I pulled out a backpack soldier bowler, millet, salt and spices. During cooking my companions sat around the campfire and licks when the broth splashes out with the grains from the pot. In one of three healthy boys teal broth — was something. Krupa seethe fast, and we decided that the stew is ready. Somehow I cut the carcass, and take turns slurping a concoction with a spoon, we barely Zamora worm. Hunger saved us a loaf of black bread, which disappeared without a trace under the young strong teeth as hot shanezhka. The meat was tough and undercooked. In wild birds in the spring of the meat is always strong and fall apart easily. This is not a domestic duck or chicken. Game flight training in the spring of last year, and every day the young bird becomes an adult. So we bit off, but hardly torn from bones and bite off half-baked meat floss, strained working jaws. One could assume that we ate good. Belly of a real hunter must always be tightened.

Time progressed in the afternoon, and we were reminded that although river station was presented schelyastym barn, but there was no timetable passenger. It is hung next to the sign nailed on the front of a marina Mail. It is not surprising, but the boat came almost on schedule, just half an hour too late. In the evening we were in Novosibirsk.

That’s how I celebrated the spring hunt in Siberia in 1957. Why closed spring hunting in most parts of the country that year, I did not understand. This was especially true in Siberia. Local residents are not very excited about it, and apparently they had more important things. During two trips to the Siberian abundant in game space, I have not heard a single shot outside. The reason for the ban, I do not know. Maybe it was a tribute to Western European countries since the summer of 1957 in Moscow, preparing to host the World Festival of Youth and Students of the initiative, NS Khrushchev, who loved to swing. How, for example, to move the maize to the Arctic Circle. Or an evil man, the enemy hunt, told him the idea to present it in a civilized ruler. There are only puzzles that have not been solved so far.

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