Theatre shaggy litsedeev.

As Finns taught Europe to receive mutual pleasure of communicating with wildlife.

I talked a lot about Alaska, about how it is designed for the business vision of the bears, but it turned out — no need to fly around the planet in order to marvel at the Bruins. At 750 kilometers from St. Petersburg, exactly at the Finnish-Russian border, enterprising Finns ply unprecedented thing in these places — photo safari on large carnivores: bears, wolves, wolverines.


The initiator of the fishery became Lassi Rautiainen, a person already legendary, lively classic nature photography, created a fair amount of fotoshedevrov published almost three dozen books; self obsessed photographer, he gave a chance to a variety of fellow hobby to make your best shot. Commemorative article about him in «National Geographic Russia», and the most nimble already visited his fotougodyah on the border of our homeland.

Lassi interested in photography, had a small advertising agency, and once back in 1991 organized the experimental photo safari for a few tourists from Sweden and Norway. It went, and ten years from Lassi no competitors, and now in Finland, about 25 family business built on organizing photo safari in the year for them come 5500 visitors and the turnover of the business, according to Lassie, about 5 million euros (more than 200 million).

In Lassi 20 skradka in different places nonrandom talked a lot about Alaska, about how it is designed for the business vision of the bears, but it turned out — no need to fly around the planet in order to marvel at the Bruins. At 750 kilometers from St. Petersburg, exactly at the Finnish-Russian border, enterprising Finns ply unprecedented thing in these places — photo safari on large carnivores: bears, wolves, wolverines.

there the forests and swamps.

Expenses from Lassi considerable: as a bait for eagles and golden eagles, three or four visiting his site wolverines, five wolves (there are in Finland about 150, in the neighboring Leningrad region — 200) and a dozen bears from spring to autumn laid 20 tons of profit. This — the waste of fish processing plants (head, ranges and salmon offal), meat (pigs from local farms, who died not from disease and medications are not stuffed, and waste meat plants), as well as dog food, willingly eats forest brothers. On the territory of its base camp is a trailer-refrigerator — it freezes grub for forest visitors dining.

It is noteworthy that foreigners come to Finland to shoot it Russian bears. Finns says with a smile, that the Finnish shooting clumsy one Western television announced filming in Russia — bears Well Russian brand. Bears out there, really, come on gratis grub from Russia, he told Lassie, but rather lie in a den at home — wood there burelomistey and smaller roads.

Lassie, as a man of the Finnish hinterland, is no stranger to hunt — walks and bird and elk, bears and wolves but for him — a «sacred cow», sacred beings, worthy only of poetry of the photographer, not the passion of the hunter. Laments that pressure farmers (bears, of course, ply domestic reindeer) and supported by hunters (bear hunting in Finland prestige) two years ago to increase the quota to shoot — until now the population has not recovered, his bait visits noticeably smaller bears, the sooner.

One can not but be touched that Environment — safari without exception and damage. Well, imagine — I saw it with my own eyes — in a forest clearing in the 10-15 meters from your skradka appears hairy mother with four cubs, incredibly touching polutodovichkami who are constantly in fear (to save all of the younger generation kosolapikov) climbing trees and staying there to rebound anxiety (adult brown lose the ability to climb trees, allowing bearish tribe fruitful and multiply — cannibalism among bears common). It appears another mother with a four-month-same hooligans who organize hilarious slaughter each other — go to war brother against brother. The passion and the sincerity with which they tuzyat each other, forced to recognize and Stanislavsky — «I believe!» You will be very difficult to explain to the son or daughter who will be with you to witness a fierce battle, it’s just a game, no harm and offense.

Fotosutki photo safari at the Finnish organizers are about the same — 200-250 euros. In Lassie in 2012 was visited by 450 people from 22 countries — who at night as our neighbor in skradka, arrived from Helsinki (600 km one way) to the nine-year son, an avid photographer who for three or more. Business — Family: Son helps his father to feed themselves hairy, the daughter of Anu prepares delicious edibles, his wife Barbara, there is always a concern — wash dishes, tidy, postirushku venture. Lassi is also always in the case — two-legged and four products to buy and sell: 65 kilometers to the district center, to appease customers, keep track of everything, with lectures in many countries to act, to take pictures for the new book.

Guests can treat the owners not only bears. There is also a smoke sauna and snowmobiles in the winter and fishing, of course. In Finland, 188 thousand lakes, and one of them is the parents Antti farmstead, one of the guides Lassi. The lake is 3 kilometers long fishes only a family — and their guests, like me; we pulled a couple of hours trolling two generously perch and pike one who Antti immediately expertly butchered.

NOT ONLY A bad example is infectious

The success of the company Lassie did not leave impassive other «hot Finnish guys» — and one of the most successful was the Markku Maat.

Markku served on the Finnish-Russian border, was promoted to sergeant. When it’s time has come to reflect on nekazennoy stage of his destiny, purchased from Finnish Oboronservis in 1991, building a frontier post in the bear corner 2 kilometers from the Russian border and figured how to make a living?

What to do after service of the Russian border guard Sergeant? It works as a security guard in a shop, she scolds Gorbachev and Yeltsin, but opening their own business in a nightmare he did not prividitsya. Because it is clear as day (political officer explained) — the businessman has a bloodsucker and exploiter of the labor of the righteous will not acquire chambers stone, property is theft, and therefore steal the loot and dekulakize nakulachennoe. Since time immemorial — the empire in 1917, famously destroyed hoping to «take everything and divide» had finally just what to put on myself. And now I think the vast majority of their heirs only of kormnoy dolzhnostishke in which all, Gazprom, and the state as a business «prigolubit» that for the year as much as 300 thousand business owners shut and cursed the day when heeded calls for independent activity.

This is a huge country on this side of the border, but Sergeant Markku served on the other side, and so started a business that provides allowances for him and his wife Oily, several guides and attendants, workers kitchen and maid in his hotel (8 people in his work in the summer, and one helps sell tours in winter: Markku foreign languages ​​does not know, and most of the clients — foreigners). To him from all over Europe prirodolyuby and pay good money for the chance to see the bears are not in a zoo and in the wild. Total for the season (from April 15 to August 10) guests spend at Markku 1,500-nights — each of which costs about 200 euros. The price depends on the «package» — one or two in the room, shared skradok (two of them — on 9 and 12) or a professional photographer in the 1-2 (of 17 pieces). That is per night admire clumsy and other forest brothers in skradka Markku can up to 50 people.

GOOD sitting

Skradka is located in picturesque places, background stands the marvelous northern nature in all its glory. It is either a forest glade, or marsh, or lake, or the rocks. Skradka — construction utilitarian: plywood (to allow their winter move, latched on to a snowmobile), inside covered with foam for some no heat, there is a mini-suite (often very primitive), professional — two beds, three sides » loopholes «for lenses with a place under the stands, among them the little window, double-glazed windows with reflective glass, so that the animal could not see the person. Over skradka sometimes very tall plastic tube sticking out — human spirit draws to inaccessible to bears’ noses height (though there is still a person smells, so it is rather an architectural extravagance). In Markku professional skradka two sleeping bags and escort you to bear backpack with a thermos, sandwiches, cookies (at Lassi grub you have prepared before leaving to take pictures with a sleeping bag, you can take or rent from the owner). You bring up exactly to any skradka or a kilometer and a half along the path we must walk through the forest.

Skradka first one did for their understanding, and then type structures nekustarnogo began to do one of the photographers — in the winter time, many thought through, makes to order; Beast on these strange objects are not paying attention.

The beast in the forest bolder than in the open (eg on a swamp). Lassi says, are found in the county bears, which are so afraid of a man that comes to fertilizing only when there are no people in skradka. Go ahead polutoragodovalaya adult bears — curious and risky because skradka to come closer. Less fear of the beast in the morning — I put the alarm clock at 2.30, and from the neighboring Swiss skradka then showed footage — 2 nights (nights a white) one meter from my skradka was hardened Michal Mikhailovich; I missed it, but mummy with two pranksters filmed in the same meter from skradka immediately upon waking, half past two in the morning.

Wolves kept at a respectful distance and came closer to midnight; According to Lassi, and they are becoming bolder, and bears in the fall, when necessary Kosolapov batten to hibernation — and then the famous battle with the Wolves bears manage to remove 30 meters from skradka.

Despite the early emergence of the beast (in June in the forest — is from 5 pm), desirable aperture optics — 2.8 or 3.5, but less pretentious technique before dark (if in the white nights arrive) will remove such footage that comrades rest with amazement and envy. Lens, the banner thing better than 200 millimeters or more, although the animal sometimes comes to the most skradka; in late morning bear paw on my beat bast hut … The coolest fotomany (they fotomeny) come with doroguschy «vosmisotnikami.» German Willy, a professional photographer, to his 800-mu showed head — only 2300 euros … equipment from Lassi can be rented — it is convenient and not wasteful (50 euros / night for a fast lens 200 millimeters).

Alas, for the entire season from neighboring Russia to Lassi and Markku comes just a half-dozen customers — deprive ourselves, brothers, inexplicable pleasure. I’m telling you that and relish poshastal Siberia and Alaska in all its glory repeatedly overlooked …

In grub bears, wolves and wolverines Markku not skimp — the night is spread over 100 kilograms. But a full house and full — visit his forage area of ​​30-40 different bears, wolves and wolverines prefer to stay close to his second tourist center — Boreal Wildlife Centre near the town of Kuhmo.


Season from Markku ends August 10 for a simple reason: 10 days later, on August 20 in the region begins bear hunting (lasts until the end of October). Overfed during the summer on the gratuitous grub clumsy suddenly discover that the freebie is over and knocked about for a few days once the bread places, empty-handed wander into the jungle on both sides of the border — to August 20 not to become easy prey for hunters.

Hunting — not an enemy and not a hindrance. In a country of 300 thousand hunters, it is 6% of the population — more than anywhere else in Europe. Annual contributions to the hunting grounds, which pays wishing to hunt — 28 euros (about 1,200 rubles). On the hunting club (in the country of about 4 million, each hunter 20-30-40) is given unprecedented in our part of the number of licenses for ungulates — in the central and northern provinces of the country are rarely less than half a moose on the hunter has to often — for moose a hunter, and sometimes more. And shoot the paddock and from the dogs. In just one year in Finland, 69% of whose territory is covered by forests, produced 50-70 thousand moose (in the neighboring Leningrad region, on the territory of four times less — 800-900, and post-harvest population on this side of the border — 11 and 12 thousand heads). Bears in the Leningrad region, about 2500, produced about 100 a year (with a limit of 170).

Bear Hunt in Finland carried out with the dogs, the use of bait is prohibited, as hunting is prohibited in the oats, the use of grenade lamps and other artificial lighting and night sights. On any hunt is prohibited weapons with the shop for more than three rounds.

I remember, I showed me once hunting Finns trick — oatmeal box is fitted by a thread on the perimeter, regularly checked; If the thread stronut — looking track, and if you do not moose and bear visited Polyushko — come with dogs and set off on the trail.

Locate the following, hunters must immediately identify — Do not bear (it is impossible to shoot with cubs), that is dealt with traces — there are no traces of a number of young animals. When the dogs begin to bark beast vigilantly watching the trees, which can not be seen whether the cubs. If, however, despite all precautions, hastily produced a bear — the trouble: the investigation into the hunt inspectors umuchayut and deprive license for 3-5 years. So mined usually young bears, the mother of cunning and know how to escape from the hunters.

And to us — weak?

The nature of Finnish Karelia — identical to ours. Wood, however, virgin — no trails, mushroom pickers nahozhennyh-berries-nicknames. And because our neighbors are guessing as to feed themselves and nature to please, and thousands prirodolyubov unforgettable experience of a lifetime grant.

I looked at all this, and according to his custom raged. Few in Russia backwoods? The population of the add all entirely occupied labors in the workplace or the local people, no power over them are not interested in tourists and take place in the forest accompany skradka do, spread fertilizer, feed-water tourist souvenirs they cope. Troublesome. It is better to eat vodka and Gorbachev-Yeltsin curse because luck robbed.

…We were at the Lassi and Markku three days each with my friend Kostya Shatenevym, wildlife photographer desperate, and his son, Michael, father’s passion fully inherited. Kostya so «hooked» on the Finnish photo safari that travels to our neighbors several times a season. And now I just enjoy the dream again in the near clumsy. All these photos taken in places I have described for 6 days spent there. Wonderful and memorable as our wild northern taiga and its furry inhabitants.

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