Do you believe that Siberian Tigers can imitate the bugle of Manchurian Wapiti – not well enough to fool a trained human ear, but well enough to occasionally call in a rut-crazed bull? When you’ve read this story to the end, you’ll learn the correct answer – and learn six other amazing facts a hunter must know about Primorye.
1. Primorye is where the Taiga meets the Tropics
Located on the Russian Pacific Coast, Primorye features a unique combination of landscape and wildlife. Where else can you find tropical lianas wrapped around Siberian Cedars, and the animals you’d expect to see in India – such as Leopard and Tiger – exist side by side with Moose, Sable and other denizens of the Far North? All right, as a matter of fact, one can find similar flora and fauna in the two Koreas and Manchuria (North-eastern China). But only in Russia there are ready opportunities for hunting Chinese Roe Deer, Manchurian Wapiti, Manchurian Sika Deer, Amur Brown Bear and Himalayan Bear, with Ussury Boar thrown in for a change.
2. Primorye is home to the biggest wild pig on Earth
Ussury Boar that inhabits Primorye is often called the biggest subspecies of wild boar on the planet. They were recorded to grow as big as 500 kg., and unlike the “Hogzilla” and other stories about the US semi-feral hogs, this is a doubtless scientific fact. It’s not surprising, really, if you consider that hog hunting is a daily occupation for tigers, piglets and yearlings being their staple food. If you’re a Primorye pig, and don’t want to end as tiger meat, you’ve got o grow big and bad enough, and if we’re talking about a full-sized mature boar with razor-sharp tusks, even the tiger leaves him alone. Ussury boar hunting is offered by every outfitter in Primorye, but mostly as a miscellaneous hunt; if you want to target the species deliberately, use our chat system to contact the outfitters.
3. Sika deer antlers in velvet were once the most sought-after trophy in Primorye
As you can guess, this is because of the traditional Chinese medicine market, where Wapiti and Sika Deer antlers in velvet once fetched a good price. Actually, the medicine that is made of it really works, and Manchurian Sika Deer antlers were especially valuable. Thankfully for the deer, the agent of the medicine is now extracted from antlers sawed off domesticated deer on deer farms, and the Manchurian Sika Deer thrives in Primorye. Even the greatest environmental threat of the area – logging – doesn’t hurt them so much, because it leaves open spaces that offer lots of fresh grass. Manchurian Sika Deer today may not be the most valuable – but, along with Chinese Roe Deer, it’s one of the rarest trophies in modern record books.
4. Amur Brown Bear is as big as Kamchatka Bear
Of Russian bears, Amur bears are second only to Kamchatka bears, and that in the width of the skull. The weight and size of skin are almost the same. The reason Amur bears are not as popular as Kamchatka brown bears is that they are much more difficult to hunt. Kamchatka offers lots of wide open spaces, where you can see the bear from afar and evaluate its trophy characteristics. Primorye is covered by dense vegetation, and these methods are not possible. The only reliable method of bear hunting is baiting. Waiting for a big one to come can be quite an experience, especially in the spring season. Food is scarce after a long winter, and there are many creatures willing to claim their share of the bait, from the Himalayan bear to the Wan (the lord), as the Chinese call the tiger. A big brown bear knows that only too well, so he usually lies in wait somewhere near the bait to guard it. That means you’ve got to be triple careful when approaching your stand. And that you can expect a lot of unusual encounters when you do. Talk about mixed feelings when a Himalayan bear comes in hoping to steal a bite, and the big brown roars out “Hey, buddy, you’d better leave this alone…it’s MINE!” from the bushes some 50 yards behind your back.
5. Russia is the only place in the world where you can hunt Himalayan Bear
This interesting subspecies of bear is mostly associated with India. It was a popular quarry for British colonial hunts in the days of the Raj. However, the historic range of Himalayan bear was far greater. Like many species we’re talking about in this story, it had once covered a vast territory from the Himalayas to Primorye. But with the development of Chinese civilization, and the change of landscape as more and more land was plowed, it became extinct in many areas of modern China, and survived only in Manchuria, Korea and Primorye. To our knowledge, big-game hunting in in Manchuria, as in most of China, and in North Korea is banned wholesale, and in South Korea hunting is strictly limited. Only the Russian territory of Primorye offers a ready opportunity for a Himalayan Bear hunting. BookYourHunt.com now features a few outfitters from the area, most notably Sinegorye that ensured great trophies and experience for such well-known trophy hunters as Rex Baker, Kenneth Barr, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, and Alexander Egorov.
6. Siberian Tigers sightings are commonplace in Primorye
Both Siberian (Amur) Tiger and Far-Eastern (Amur) Leopard are listed as endangered. The leopard population is actually in a very sorry state, and one could roam the Primorye Taiga for weeks without as much as seeing a track. Tigers, by contrast, are fairly common, and official sources estimate the population numbers of over 500 tigers, and enjoying sustainable growth. This made possible, in no small degree, by decisive joint action taken by Chinese and Russian governments to curb illegal killing for the Chinese traditional medicine market. In 2016, not just one, but two different tigers were sighted within the city of Vladivostok – the regional capital with half a million population! There’s no guarantee you’re going to see a tiger come to your machan, just like in an old Indian hunting book (and if one does, remember that killing a Siberian tiger in Russia is a crime that may put you behind bars for 5 years). But seeing a track, or hearing a tiger roar, is something you can hope for.
7. Tigers can call in Manchurian Wapiti bull by imitating their mating call
Manchurian Wapiti hunting in the rut is a special thing. Many hunters called it their most exciting hunting experience ever. When a cold front moves in, the voices of dozens of bulls thunder over the taiga. It takes an outstanding caller to convince a bull to come in for a fight, and connect a hunter and a bull in a convenient location for a shot. But wapiti habitat is also tiger habitat, and you’ll have to watch out who actually answers your call. This is because Manchurian Wapiti bugle is a special sound, quite unlike anything that an American Elk makes, even though the species’ genetics is very close. Manchurian Wapiti, as well as the Maral Stag and other Asian relatives of the Elk, lack the “whistle teeth”, and their mating call is more like a two-note roar. That makes it easy for a tiger to imitate, although they say that the tiger lets out the notes in the wrong order. Still, the cats can fool a bull wapiti now and then. Will the hairs stand on the back of your neck when you realize that it’s not a deer that has just answered your call?
If these seven amazing facts don’t make you want to go hunting in the Primorye area of Russia, I don’t know what will. Explore your options with BookYourHunt.com!