What is hunting all about? We used to hunt for life. Luckily, technology and civilized society has saved us some trouble, so no one is bringing up the alternative of chasing our own food or dying. Like fishing, hunting has turned into a long-standing tradition, so now it is more like laying back at home or getting into the woods to meet your own self. We all know legends and stories about hunters, they are as ancient as my grandma’s grandma, and yet after all those years and all those changes, this business is still very much alive. Just like my grandma. Although it’s not a matter of life and death any more, it is still such a thrilling experience.
This country is a privileged place for hunting for many species of animals, including bison, elk, deer, wild boar, and roe deer; spring hunting for wood grouse and black grouse, as well as for waterfowl, for gray partridge, for woodcock is arranged as a routine every year. The total area of Belarusian hunting grounds is about 17 million hectares. More than 50 species of animals and birds are allowed to hunt on the territory, and this can be done almost the whole year round. This means that even the real connoisseurs of hunting in this country will find so many furry or feathery reasons to be pleased.
The most common hunting area of the country is a National Park called Braslav Lakes. Here, hunters are offered more than the first 26 hectares of hunting grounds and a huge variety of animals and birds, which are allowed to hunt almost all year round.
However, this is far not the only hunting area, Belarus has several hunting farms, with vast territory and a wide range of animals offered for hunting in the relevant season. You have to apply on the hunting farm website in advance to get a permit for hunting. Some of them can even arrange hunting tours and get your visas done, as well as the hunting weapon admittance, etc. They’d usually arrange a decent hunting upon request, drive hunting or hunting with flags, individual from the tower or from approach, roar and groan, prepare all the necessary documents for the weapon and the trophy, provide visa support and organize a transfer to the place of hunting. The cost of such 3-day tours depends on the animal species and starts from 200 € for hunting excluding trophies. Living and meals included. Moose trophy will cost you from 550 €, red deer trophy – from 570 €, wild boar trophy 100 €, European roe deer trophy – from 80 €, wolf trophy 400 – 500 €, beaver trophy 50 €, wood-grouse trophy 450 €, grouse trophy 150 € spring, 50 – 80 € fall, other fur and feather also available. In order to arrange hunting you have to choose an animal and/or a season and study the offer of the hunting farms, apply 1 month in advance, come and enjoy the action.
An undoubted, legendary leader among animals available for hunt (we can hardly call it a prey) is the European bison. The cost of it as a trophy is around 6000 €.
The European bison is the national animal of Belarus. It is also the heaviest surviving wild land animal in Europe; a typical European bison is about 2-3.5 meters (7 to 11.5 ft) long, and 1.5-2 meters (5 to 7 ft) tall. European bison were hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 20th century, with the last wild animals being shot in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the southlands of Belarus in 1921. Soon after that, these species were kept alive in captivity, and have since been reintroduced into several countries in Europe. They are now forest-dwelling. Till now, it has been classified as vulnerable species. In the past, especially during the Middle Ages, it was commonly killed for its hide and to produce drinking horns. The bison hunt is the most exclusive and prestigious, since no more than 10 permits are issued per year throughout the country.
Hunting season for most species in Belarus is September through December, from the last days of summer till first signs of snow. Specific terms on each species for the current year are posted on the hunting websites.