After reading on the Internet with the expected forecast for the next day, decided to pave your way in the village of Nastasiv. Volodya many times hunted in those places. Morning friend the chauffeur dropped us off at the turn to the village. We went from the main highway, crossed the landing and out in the field. All around was more like January than March. Frost slightly burned skin, and the wind continued to grind snow, sometimes turning the smooth surface of the field in the frozen sea ripples. Is it only the sun that morning then winter fairly high up in the sky, warmed gently.
The plans for today we had to overcome 5-6 km fields, and ravines, and then turn to the village and from there by bus to return home. After about a kilometer of the field, we turned to a narrow valley. In the middle, a glimpse of the snow-covered riverbed of a small river. The far slope of the valley is overgrown with bushes, above which rose a curly pine. In the middle — the smaller vegetation. We started the descent, weaving between bushes. The closer to the end of the slope, the speed is higher, but, fortunately, and shrubs less often, so down we flew without incident. In the distance could be seen standing group of pine trees. We have outlined the place of the upcoming dinner. But there still had to reach.
The entire valley length and breadth were full of rabbit and Fox tracks. The impression was that after the end of the hunting season, all the beasts moved here. Talking, we slowly moved the banks of rivers up. Volodya remembered an interesting incident that happened with him on the hunt in these places.
- Remember the hare.
“Long ago it was. The fraction then rolled themselves. Cut pieces of lead wire was filled in between two turrets, carved on this case is made of good steel, were included drill press for a few minutes — and shot ready. The quality in hardness and servicesto does not yield the industrial, especially it is well known that rolled shot not an example of a slaughter than cast. Dad sent this shot in popular at that time, a dozen brass case ammo. Five pieces gave me five tucked into his bandolier. Here we have a plowed field. There was no snow, but frost for a week stayed the night. And the day the sun again raised the temperature to above zero. Neither winter nor autumn. Each step on the frozen plowing loudly heard around, so the hares, who by this time had already become white, rose far beyond even triple the maximum distance for a shot with buckshot.
I kept the pre-war German “Simson” sixteenth caliber and for training conducted each raised rabbit, mimicking the discount, aiming and mentally quick and at the same time smoothly press on the trigger. That’s a big hare got up with dad on the left. He was, as usual, today, in the distance, beyond the reach of the shot. I raised his gun, continuing his training, and was just about to put the front sight between the rabbit ears, suddenly sounded random shot (the old “Simony” “famous” feeble descent), and lo and behold, the hare was thrown through the head, fell and didn’t even flinch. The father turned, saw the hare, looked at me and apparently could not believe my eyes. After standing so for some time, he went to the hare. I’m checking the weapon, replaced the cartridge in the left barrel (that he fired a stray shot), threw the gun on the shoulder and began measuring steps to determine the distance to the hare. Go proudly and loudly counting the steps. Finally, he caught up with the hare and louder say:
— One hundred thirty-two.
Father seriously asked:
— You shot?
— I, — I answered. We began to carefully examine our prey from all sides, hoping to find the wound or pellet, which was lucky for us. But all in vain. On the skin there is no damage. Even at home, when he skinned the hare again made sure that the body has no wounds. Only on the second day, when the father went to work, I have probed with your fingers every inch of hare fur and found a pellet that got stuck in the fur on the back of the neck. It even the skin is not pierced. It turns out that the trophy was produced only blow a big enough shot in the neck. That’s how it is on the hunt.”
- On a halt.
Vladimir continued to move to the target in the course of rising on the slopes of the valley, going down. Here and pine. Have you decided where the dining Parking. From the wind it was protected by bushes, but at the same time, the March was brightly lit by the sun. He cleared a place for a bonfire, in half-meter layer of compacted snow was not easy. Concerted action, multiplied by many years of Hiking experience, and in a few minutes the sky was already rising white smoke, and flames licked the bottom of the pot, which was preparing mulled wine. I asked Vladimir to tell about hunting the Fox, in which he participated a few weeks ago. Something about her I’ve heard, but it was interesting to learn more details.
- Remember the Fox.
“In February, opened up in our area hunting for a Fox and stray dogs, however, under the control of the staff of the huntsman and shooting cards. But you can hunt on Saturday and Sunday. Instead of a shotgun took makakalaro “Czech zbroevka”, pre-zeroed at the distance of 100 meters. Skiing did not take, as traveling to new places and did not know that the hunters will gather at the base of Ranger Andrew. Although, as it turned out, romance was not too much. Gathered us four. Huntsman Andrew wrote shooting card, checking before that the payment of contributions uoor for the year and read a short briefing on safety. Took two dogs and went.
The beauty of the area amazed. Blue skies, snow-capped hillocks spurs Podolsk plateau and the yellow of the reeds and cattails in the valleys pleasing to the eye, and blotches of black trunks of alder added to all this landscape a special charm. It came from “scratching” the first valley, called “Pants”. It really reminded gently placed on the snow pants, only a kilometer. I was put on a number on the mane just in the middle of “leg”. Dogs are regularly “scratched” the reeds and cattails, as clearly testified sine wave oscillations of the tops of the plants. Dogs, as they say hunters, “cenacoli”. Andrew, Taras and George were walking down the edge, sometimes going into the low reeds in the hope to kick Fox right out from under him. The going was hard. It was clear by how slowly they were moving, and as long as I’m breathing, making a dash down the snowy hill to your room.
The beaters and dogs were left to me the 300 meters, as behind Taras had two large dogs. They ran right at him, not noticing the hunter, as we all were in white camouflage. I began to apply signs of Taras, pointing at the target behind him. Finally, he realized and turned around. But instead of firing immediately, while feral dogs was in range shot by shot, began to hastily reload the buckshot. Guess I just wanted to make it for sure, but the moment was lost, and two shots in pursuit to no avail. A few minutes later all gathered at the dog tracks and found out that the canister that had been shot Taras, went rarely, writing the furrow to the right and to the left is clearly larger than the wolf, the track is one of the dogs. We moved to the next valley. This week and three more next valley were taken stray dogs just as would a real hunters: the little one, “scratched” the reeds and bushes, and the larger one was on the edge, ready to pounce on the prey kicked.
Tortured by snow and failures, we sat down on a fallen alder to rest and eat. Speech again went about shooting at stray dogs, which you had to shoot, because they not only terrorized prey in the surrounding fields, but also geese and chickens in the neighboring villages. Yura asked why I didn’t fire a rifle, and I answered that on the line of the shot was Taras and our dogs. Where fly a bullet, catching a branch or stem, no one knows. Sitting was cold, and we decided to check another valley. Long and narrow, it coincided with the direction of the base.
On the way, kicked a few rabbits, but, respecting the law, one did not fire. The guys were a little forward. I dressed more for sedentary hunting, the going was tough. Hardly moving the legs, I cut the turns of the valley, dreaming of a mug of hot tea. Peripheral vision I see at the top of the hill some movement. Look, it’s Bunny ears are flying right at me. Fell into the snow. Took the hare into the optics of the sight. He ran for 40 meters and sat down. See, I was one of those birds that we raised earlier. Rabbit sat just on the horizon between the white snow and blue sky. In a sixfold increase eared looked so big and beautiful. Finally, the hare understood the situation, and in a few jumps disappeared in the bushes. Up not wanted and, as it turned out soon, didn’t have to.
Active firing, and the shouts of my comrades made me take a closer look at the countryside. Suddenly thought, do shoot my rabbits? But no. See, Fox is in full swing knocks them on the slope just me on a cross shot. Caught her in the optics, make a pre-emption on the body forward, gently lead, pull the trigger — not falling. Looked away from the sight to assess the situation in General terms. Fox continues to run on solid ice crust on top of a hill and has already become practically theft. I racked the slide so fast that he wasn’t expecting. Now caught in the crosshairs already the head of a Fox and pulled the trigger. Again to no avail. Escorted a sad glance, a coveted prey, which almost hid behind the top of the hill.
But, at the last moment as a normal motorsa has a Fox tail and disappeared. Spark of hope lit up again. I stood in my makeshift blind. Something red is seen on the snow. While he climbed the hill, came other hunters. Fox was lying stretched out as if in flight. Andrew picked her up by her hind legs and said, “they Shot everyone, and no one from Fox shots did not fall at once will get on the basis of skin and figure out who won”. To carry “not” production nobody wanted, so they threw lots. Rightly fell on the youngest — the gamekeeper. Based on after Andrew quickly and expertly skinned it, turned out that it was only one through-hole and is the size of 5.6 that was just me. And before that, having in his heart the hope, I ran to the nearest store and brought what is necessary in such cases, especially as the work was done and considerable transportation foxes and skinning”.
- Closer to spring.
So, drinking hot mulled wine and razomlev in the sun, in conversation did not notice how the time ran. On the bus in Nastasiv we have not had time, and next wait too long. But there were still two options.
The first is to return to the Central road down the valley, but against the burning wind.
The second is to continue driving up the valley to the next large village, from which home you can get there either by bus or suburban train, but there is more than 10 km, We chose the second option. Moving away from the pine trees just a short distance, saw the hare coming down the hill into the valley, but, seeing us, turned and galloped away. After hundred meters again raised the hare. This actually popped up almost from under the ski.
And after half an hour noticed to the right on the hill mouse the Fox. Before it was 250 meters. Transfixed, we had the opportunity for five minutes to observe the process until Fox gets a whiff of us and ran away. So we continued to move North-West, taking in the surrounding beauty, reading the traces of animals and gradually approaching the endpoint of the route.
Suddenly, through the noise of the wind he heard strange sounds coming from above. We looked up and saw the sky in neat formation, flew a small group of storks. This is probably the first. They were flying low and fast. More admiring, I even forgot about the camera. And people indifferent flying in the blue sky these beautiful birds. So the heat is not far off.