Benjamin’s best hunting

Benjamin’s best hunting. 

Benjamin is a young Belgian man. Who own an acrylic paints production business and also he is a successful hunter. Mainly he hunts deer’s or elks. But he was dreaming about a real hunt in the high mountings. 

After searching through YouTube he gets inspired by Seladang outfitters. And even though this French company offer maral’s hunting in Kazakhstan much more expensive than Elk hunting in Europe, they still have enough clients, since there are more and more people who prefer to hunt in natural conditions at the remote and wild locations. 

Benjamin prefers to trust a French company, since they guaranteed to the clients to be at the place in time and with all necessary equipment and people. 

Well, in fact it’s not always come out the right way… 

So, on September 8th Benjamin, his father and a ph Nicholas arrived to Almaty airport. Our company Pro Hunt was in charge of taking them to a National Park Kolsay Koldary.   

This park was chosen for a reason. The thing is that foreign hunters prefer to hunt at the 

Special Protected Areas since population of animals are much higher there comparing to the private outfitters ranches. The reason is that many National Parks had been previously protected as National Monuments by governmental regulations. The licenses for hunting in National Parks usually booked a year in advance with non-refundable deposits. 

So our guests arrived around midnight and right from the airport we took them to the park. Next day by early morning we got to our chalet. 

Benjamin tested his carbine. He appears a very good sharpshooter, and had an experience as a horse rider and overall was in a good athletic shape. Unlike his father, who was a nice man of course, but not athletic. Apparently he paid for his son’s hunt and now wants to see his child in action. And for himself he wanted to catch some trout out of the river. We didn’t like the idea to have an old gentleman with us in the mountains, but he who pays the piper, and we are just the executors. 

So we mounted the old man on a horse and went deep to the park. After just one kilometer Nicholas play the hunting bugle and surprisingly we’ve heard a response from maral! -It’s fantastic,- exclaimed Nicholas. I spent in Altai  a whole month last year and just three times marals replied to me. After another kilometer we notice a pretty big bull with two cows pastured in 700 meters from our path. But the spot wasn’t very convenient and we decided to go farther on a plateau. By 5 pm we unpacked and put on our tents. 



The spruce forests lay down the hills from south-east and the glaciers of Kungei Alatau ridge  hit the plateau from south. The Kyrgystan was right behind it. 

In 400 meters a few young ibexes were staring at us without any worries. They got bored soon and left. 

Next morning at 5am we went hunt. Anticyclone brought a warm breeze from Takla Makan desert and it was not cooperative. The wind blows our scents to the forest and marals could easily detect us. 

Maral can smell the human from the one kilometer of distance. We were planning to split into two groups and take the observation positions on a top of two hills. But one bull messed up all of our plans. He came out of the forest not far from our campsite. The hunt could be over right there just one hour after it started. But Benjamin didn’t like this idea. He wanted it to be more challenge. So maral just sing for us a few wedding songs and slowly went back to the forestJ 

That afternoon we saw at least 7 bulls. They were calm and seems hasn’t see much pothunters in their life. That’s another benefit of hunting in a National Parks. 

Next morning we rode a few kilometers among the edge of a plateau and saw few animals. But our clients were too excited and euphoric from seeing that much trophies around so they decided to take as much as possible advantage out of their tour. 

Down the hill by the river we noticed a boar’s family. 

They didn’t pay any attention to us and it could be an easy dinner for us. But clients didn’t want to make noise and scary the marals. It kind of disappointed the gamekeepers who were dreaming about a hot dinner since the beginning of our trip.

For the first two days the weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm daytime and chili but dry nights.   Benjamin was happy and even his dad get used to the horse and didn’t show any sign of fatigue. 

But! The third day brought a little cloud that became bigger and darker and bigger and finally its started raining and later snowing. We hoped to wait until is over in a tents. But our gamekeepers were insisted that we have gone down to the campsite. They were saying that all animals’ notice us and we won’t find them here anyway. Besides it is a chance that snow won’t end soon and then we all in trouble.

Clients weren’t happy about this decision but didn’t argue. And we all started slide down the hill. Now I understand that gamekeepers were trying to protect themselves from a nasty weather. They equipment wasn’t that good as a client’s so they used this trick to go back and spend a night in more comfortable conditions and let horses to rest and has food. Our way back wasn’t that lovely and pleasant no one was joking or laughing anymore. People were disappointed and upset. I realize that it was a mistake and we shouldn’t listen to gamekeepers. 

Next morning from our campsite which in the bottom of the canyon we saw a few bulls in the binocular but they were uphill! And the hill was too steep and the horses are too tired. The clients were really unhappy. So I realized that it’s not wise to hang around with such big group of people and I advised Benjamin’s father to stay at the camp and do some fishing. He agreed and I need to say that we had a tastiest trout to dinner! 

Benjamin, I and two more guys went back to the mountains trying to find a bull. The rain was so heavy that even a Gore-Tex waterproof boots were throughout wet. 

The huge bull was lying at the opposite hill making a donkey like sound once in a while. The distance is 700 meters, too far. 

Later we met another bull he was just across us, about 100 meters away. But Benjamin wanted the previous one, since it was bigger. We spend a night at the tents on a hill. The night seemed endless to me, I couldn’t sleep. The marals were whistled around us the whole night and one of them sounds like a donkey. 

Next morning we went back to the hill, there was a few bulls that pass by close to us, but Benjamin didn’t take a chance. He was waiting for “his donkey”J) 

Everything was wet around us. Water was in our boots, it was dripping along our backs. Besides we run out of drinking water. And if we are like  marals could lay down in a wet grass, we still couldn’t eat this grass in order to get waterJ). 

Benjamin decided to use the fact that marals don’t smell good in raining conditions and creep around the hill. We were sitting and waiting for gun shot. And when we finally heard it, its sounds like music!!! Like a best music in the world! 

We were jumping up and and down and hug each other like a best friends, even though just a few hours ago we basically hates each other. At the dinner time Bejamin said that it was the  best hunt in his life. 

The trophy weighted 14 kg! 

After this journey I started to think that it’s may be  time to change my job. Later I changed my mind thoughJ