Kazakhstan Offers a Wealth of Largely Undiscovered Hunting and Fishing Opportunities

By Dmitry Lee

image008 (2)The world’s ninth largest country has, of course, a range of climates supporting a variety of animal life, making it an ideal destination for hunting enthusiasts. Kazakhstan offers almost any kind of hunting out there at any time of year.

The peak season for hunting in general is from August until January, which is why EdgeKz decided to dedicate this story to winter hunting in the country of the Great Steppe.

To begin with, it is important to emphasize that Kazakh authorities have always been concerned about the problem of poaching in the hunting industry. For example, in November, the Ministry of Agriculture issued an order prohibiting hunting from February 16 until June 14 – during the spring. In addition, the ministry imposed a limit of five animals per species per hunter, with an exception made for commercial hunters.

Kazakhstan is also a young country, and despite having the best of intentions, foreign guests admit that hunting in Kazakhstan may seem a bit more … adventurous … in terms of organization. This can be annoying or exciting, depending on how you look at it.

“The standards of organization are just different from what I am used to seeing in Europe,” said Pavel Dragan from the Czech Republic, who hunted in Kazakhstan in the fall of 2015.

“For instance, when we go hunting, the itineraries and all the maps are well thought out, we know exactly where to lure and from where to expect our prey. Here, it can be a little chaotic. I am referring to wild boar hunting. But actually, because of that, it seemed even more exciting. It’s safe, just rather unpredictable,” Dragan concluded.image006

Among the best places to hunt in Kazakhstan is one of the hunting and fishing bases in the Balkhash area called Zavidovo.

“The most popular place for hunting is the Lake Balkhash area, where our base is located,” Alexandra Kochergina, tourism manager at Zavidovo, said. The base offers hunting options for both locals and foreign guests.

“To be precise, we organize trips to the Karoiskoye hunting ground,” she said. “We do hunting from feeders, from the ground, from towers and on horseback with dogs. The Balkhash area has the largest population of wild boars and the most enviable trophies. We also organize hunts for pheasant and hare with dogs.”

As wild boars are quite aggressive by nature, the Zavidovo staff promises the hunt for them is the most extreme and exciting.

“When these animals feel danger, they first of all try to attack the aggressor. They don’t think clearly and it often doesn’t matter whether there is a bunch of hunters with guns and dogs or another animal – they just charge and often resist to the last breath,” Kochergina explained.

The base offers a number of boar hunts, with the most popular being a hunt with dogs, although, Kochergina warns, boars may seriously injure dogs or even kill them.

“These animals are quite unpredictable so hunters must be very well prepared prior to embarking on such a hunt,” she said.

During other seasons the base offers duck and deer hunting with decoys, camouflages and various methods and strategies.

image004“Duck hunting is the most popular type of hunting. I think every hunter has hunted ducks at least once in their lives. We can help organize a trip with dummies and camouflages and share our knowledge for hunters to have the utmost fun.”

As for other great places for hunting, Kochergina mentioned East Kazakhstan.

“In the East Kazakhstan region there are good outings for bears and Siberian stag. These are usually three- to four-day trips on horseback. And, of course, one of the most popular hunting trips in the winter is in Northern Kazakhstan. Stalking roe can be really exciting too, or hunting wolves on snowmobiles.”

Winter fishing on Balkhash

When it comes to quality fishing, a real fisherman must rarely be scared by the weather, or any other factors for that matter. There are some extreme cold lovers among fishermen, there are old-school fishermen and those who love to use new gadgets and gear for trips out in the cold. However, they all have one thing in common – they all want to catch as many fish as they possibly can on each trip.

“Balkhash is the largest freshwater lake in Kazakhstan and it has the largest variety of fish. The winter season is perfect for roach and crucian carpimage007 and fishing for carp is better closer to the spring season, around February to March. Also, our experts found a place where there are outlandish snakehead swimming, and they can be as heavy and huge as seven kilograms in total,” said Kochergina.

The hunting base at Zavidovo also offers comfortable accommodation in its cottages and traditional cuisine to pamper even the most spoilt fishermen. The base also offers tents with heaters and gear on a wild river for those who like to test their limits.

“Our tents can withstand even the harshest weather conditions in the region – no snowstorms or gusty winds can threaten those inside. If a person goes on a trip with our specialists for the first time, our specialists will show and teach everything and even reveal all their fishing secrets, like how to find the best fishing spots,” the manager assured.

Prices

Hunting trips for wild boar cost $350 per animal unit, according to Kochergina, and there is a fee of $128 for one animal that goes out separately to the state. Accommodation in a regular hut costs $102 per night or in a comfortable inn at $137 with three meals per day. Hunters must have their own guns with licenses. Zavidovo doesn’t issue licenses for weapons, but can help with fishing licenses – the cost is $4.80 per 10 kilograms.

For more information please contact Alexandra Kochergina at +7(705) 249-4499, email at zavidovo_kz@mail.ru or visit their website: http://zavidovo.kz/podvodnaya-ohota/

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