The wolf habitat in Russia covers massive territories from the Russian western borders to the Pacific Ocean shores and from the edges of Arctic Tundra to the grasslands of Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The increasing number of these highly-adaptable animals has been a threat to Russian game and livestock for decades. The largest wolf weighs around 220 lb and may reach about 7 ft.
The Wolf hunting tradition
Wolf hunting is an old tradition in Russia, whereby most hunters, especially in the European part of Russia use a unique wolf hunting style that is perhaps not common in other countries. The pack is encircled with a 3 mile long tether with flags stitched to it after every few feet. Wolves tend to stay for several days in the encircled area because they have the ability to retain human scent for days. Hunters can immediately start hunting for the wolves, whenever the wolves have been flagged. Hunters need around five days to successfully hunt the flagged wolves. While the wolf hunting season is opened year round, the best time is between January and February. In addition, the January wolf hunting trips can be combined with boar hunts and driven moose.
How the wolf hunting is prepared
Although preparation for the wolf hunting can take a great deal of footwork, the success rate of these hunts is very high. Hunting wolves in winter is conducted by using special flags and baits. After eating the bait the wolves tend to stay nearby. This allows hunters to place a tether with red or yellow flags around the area. The flags can be hung at visible locations in the snow. Hunters are then assigned shooting positions, preferably 100 to 300 feet way from the flags. Then beaters are used to make the wolves run towards the hunters.
Wolf hunters are paid in Russia
Since Russia is dealing with a wolf population problem, wolf hunters are paid to help combat the problem. According to a recent story in the New York Times, wolf packs have been consistently moving closer to the Siberian towns to prey on domesticated reindeer, livestock and horses. As the problem keeps escalating, the Russian municipalities and republics have kept increasing the bounties for hunting wolves in Russia so as to help control the issue. While republics across the Siberian region offer bounties, Russian municipalities throw in incentives to support the program. For example, Yakutia offers $660 for every adult wolf pelt and Verkhoyansk municipality in Yakutia adds an extra $300 for every wolf pelt. Other towns have been said to offer bonuses in the thousands to their top wolf hunters. With over 4,500 wolves, even animal rights groups have also acknowledged that the population of wolves in Russia is a little too high.
Wolf hunting is so popular in Russia. You can visit Russia by getting a visa from the nearest consulate or embassy. With its heavy frame, it resembles the German shepherd dog with large feet, bushy tail and long legs. Hunting for the intelligent European wolf is challenging because the European wolf is more aggressive to humans than the American wolf.