This kind of hunting has been a problem in Russia ever since the country opened to western hunters. It was so widespread for a while the US Fish & Wildlife Service made a point of letting us (and others) know that airborne-assisted hunting is illegal under Russian law. This, of course, raised the specter of Lacey Act convictions, which can arise when a US hunter shoots game overseas in violation of local law and then attempts to import it. To my knowledge, no American hunters were actually convicted of Lacey Act violations back then, but there was a lot of talk of undercover agents being sent into camps to document illegal use of helicopters.
Russia-bound hunters need to know that the same rumor mill is at work again about undercover agents and Lacey Act convictions. A reported focus this time is on agents who overtly sell helicopter hunts. Agents who do so, we are told, could feel the full sting of the Lacey Act, as the act clearly allows for felony sanctions if commercial intent can be proven.
We aren't playing goodie-two-shoes here at The Hunting Report by bringing this up on the eve of the hunting conventions. We are earnestly doing just what we always try to do - namely, "serve the hunter who travels." `Nuff said?