Elsewhere, I also checked in with Vladimir Melnikov, director of the hunting department in Russia. Melnikov said he was using his vacation time to attend SCI, as he has been working non-stop to implement new hunting regulations and procedures in Russia. He says hunters can travel to Kamchatka this year without any worries about last-minute closures, as procedures are now in place to ensure that the season opens on time and permits are issued promptly. The next problem he has fixed his sights on is wresting control of CITES permits from the Ministry of Environment, which he says is controlled by anti-hunting sympathizers. He wants these permits transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, which oversees hunting. Melnikov says he would also like to open bowhunting and handgun hunting in Russia, and is in the process of researching how other countries regulate these activities.