After two harrowing years of disinformation and misinformation, justice prevailed in Houston on Wednesday. We at the Hunting Consortium placed our faith in the American judicial system and the common sense and reason of 12 citizens of Houston. Speaking truth to power is never easy, but in the United States of America it sometimes works.
For the record, neither I nor any of my employees has ever violated any law, Russian or American, intentionally, and we never intend to. We operate in a highly regulated industry with a myriad of rules and regulations as carefully and with as much diligence as possible. We arrange trips in more than 54 countries around the globe, so this is no easy task.
The trip we arranged for Mr. Dan Duncan and his friends in 2002 was set up as a normal trophy moose, caribou and sheep hunt, just as were the rest of the 50 or so trips we arranged that year in the Russian Federation and the several independent republics of the former Soviet Union. After the hunters arrived in the remote Koryak Autonomous Region of the Russian Far East, they were enlisted to participate in a meat-gathering shoot (not hunt) on behalf of the poverty-stricken native village of Tilichiki, which had been without supplies for some time. [The late 1990s and early 2000s were very difficult times in Russia, after the collapse of Communism, which caused a breakdown in the supply system to remote villages.]
Meat-procurement shoots were a regular practice in those years as a way of overcoming shortages. These shoots were conducted with the use of helicopters and snowmobiles,........(continued)