A Warning About Exporting Hunting Trophies from Belarus


Published: October - 2012

Exporting hunting trophies from Belarus could be a problem for traveling hunters. In our January, 2012 issue (see Article ID 2766) we detailed a report from subscriber Jan Kristian Østergaard on a European wisent (bison) hunt he took in Belarus in January, 2011. We reported in that story that, as of December, 2011, almost a year after the hunt, Østergaard had not yet received his trophy. It was the only negative on the hunt, and the holdup, Østergaard told us, was not with the outfitter, Belhunt (www.belhuntservice.com) but with the government agencies that had to inspect the trophy (the skull with horns and teeth) before releasing it for shipment. At that point, Østergaard had been promised his trophy would be released by December 15, 2011.

On August 27, 2012, we received an email from Østergaard telling us he had just received his trophy. "One day I read about Stalker Group Ltd in Russia, and Anna Chepiga," he writes. "She has been in contact with all the parties in Belarus and with the Danish cargo firm Agility, and she was able to get all relevant persons in Belarus to work for this case, so now my trophy is finally in Denmark. Without her help my bison would not be in Denmark today. So my best advice to all who want to hunt in Belarus, especially for bison, get in contact with Anna Chepiga from Stalker Group."

The Stalker Group is, apparently, a new hunting and fishing booking agency in Moscow, offering trips in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and across Russia. They have a website in passable English, www.stalker-group.com, phone numbers are (from the US) 011-7-495-755-4851 or 495-755-4852. Their fax number is 011-7-495-604-4868; email is info@stalker-group.com. If any other subscriber has used their services, we'd like a report.

In Østergaard's case, all's well that ends well, but anyone considering a hunt in Belarus needs to be aware of the potential difficulties in getting your trophies home. Of course, Belarus isn't the only destination offering wisent. Our 2003 story (Article ID 1145) on wisent hunting lists Poland,........(continued)

 
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