The decree eliminates the uncertainty and hand-wringing surrounding this destination since the 2005 spring bear debacle, and basically assures a spring bear and fall ungulate season for 2007. The decree also establishes a brown bear quota of 600 permits for Kamchatka and 600 for Koryak to be evenly split between the spring and fall seasons, thus eliminating the 20/80 split that left so many bear hunters without a hunt this spring. Other quotas are as follows: Moose: in Kamchatka, 50; in Khabarovsk, 400; in Koryak, 60; and in Yakutia, 120. Snow Sheep: in Kamchatka, 100; in Khabarovsk (Okhotsk), 50; in Koryak, 50; in Magadan, 80; and in Yakutia, 400. Tur: Dagestan, 150; mid-Caucasian (Kabardino Balkaria/Nalchik), 90; Kuban, 90 in Karachaevo and 10 in Krasnodar.
Reports on this year's fall season are that everything has gone smoothly, with the only glitch occurring in Yakutia where the local game department was late issuing licenses. That forced a number of hunters to leave their sheep trophies for shipment at a later date.
Kondratov says the changes in the Ministry's season decree and quota are a direct result of FORT's lobbying efforts this year to accelerate the communication process between the various government agencies involved. Our hats are off to them.
The only bad news Kondratov had for hunters next year is that prices on hunts using helicopters are likely to go up due to rising fuel costs. He says most outfitters tried to keep their prices level this year but that increases appear unavoidable for next season.