You may recall there was some question earlier in the year whether there would be a fall season at all due to Russia's new system of setting game quotas. Last year, the Russian government required the Ministry of Agriculture, which oversees hunting, to submit hunting quotas and game survey results to the Ministry of Natural Resources for review and confirmation before the hunting season could be opened. The new requirements caused the cancellation of last spring's bear season and played havoc with hunters' plans for the fall season. This year, thankfully, the spring bear season went off as planned, though with a reduced quota, and now the fall season is expected to open as scheduled.
According to Melnikov all the quotas were set and all the necessary documentation was sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources in early July. He was confident that the quotas would be accepted with little to no changes. He went on to explain that many of the problems encountered last year are not an issue this time because everyone involved now knows the process and how to move things forward. Melnikov was 99 percent certain that paperwork would be signed for an August 1 opening. It's worth noting that representatives of FORT, the Federation of Hunting and Angling Tourism, were also optimistic about the season opener.
As for the quotas, Melnikov said there were no big changes in quota numbers or allotments for sheep. Moose numbers were also good, and fall bear quotas should be more than sufficient for most operators.
There is one problem related to hunting in Russia however. Mavial/Magadan Airlines, which had been providing air service between Anchorage and Petropavlovsk, has gone belly up. That is complicating the travel plans of........(continued)