For long, the maral has been the most desired take for inhabitants of Altai where many petroglyphs (rock carvings) with the maral hunting scenes dating 2nd or 3rd century BC survived. The indigenous people valued and respected marals more than, for example, bears or moose. The maral hunting was traditional occupation giving meat, skin and medicines in plenty.
These days the maral hunting hasnít lost popularity in Altai and it is becoming ever more popular. Today it can be called a purely male sport where the hunterís award is not just severe romance of adventures and great trophies but also a lot of unforgettable experiences for a lifetime.
Maral Is an Embodiment of Altai
The maral is a particular species of a red deer and itís the main ornament of Altai fauna. The sense of excitement, awe and admiration will seize you when you see this animal. This is a big, strong and graceful animal, its mass can reach from 300 to 350 kg (660 to 770 lb), body length is 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) and height at the withers is 1.3 to 1.6 meters (4.2 to 5.2 ft).
Maral Hunting Permissions and Restrictions
There are two licensed hunting seasons for maral males (females hunt is forbidden). The first one is spring and summer when hunting farms obtain a small number of licenses for the maral hunting in June and July to get valuable frontal antlers. The second season is autumn and winter. Local hunting administrations determine terms and number of animals for shooting.
Features of the Maralís Behavior
The maral is a fearful and secretive animal, it is not domesticable. It is able to smell hunters miles away, and if necessary, it can escape before a hunter will have time to reach his gun. During the mating season, from September to November, marals lose their vigilance and roar attracting females and entering into competition with other males, making it much easier to hunt them down.
Maral Hunting Methods
There are some traditional methods of the maral hunting: ambushing, hunting with dogs, hunting in the mating season and hunting by means of salt earth. In Altai it is also practiced to lure marals with a caller which is called ďabyrgyĒ in the local dialect. It is a kind of wind instrument made of birch bark which sounds like the maralís voice.
Winter Maral Hunting
Long strong legs allow marals to move very quickly and easily even in dense forest. In the winter it is much more difficult for marals to move through snowdrifts on the slopes and in the taiga. Moreover, in the winter you can easily track down the animal.
Value and Use of the Trophy
The main values of the successful maral trophy hunting are meat and antlers. Young (spring) velvet antlers of males contain pantocrine with unique rejuvenating and healing properties that is used in medicine. New antlers start growing in May. By the winter season they turn into impressive branchy horns being a magnificent trophy. Skin and fat are also valuable.
Our Offer To YouWe offer an organization of maral hunt in Altai and West Sajan Mountains
|Hunting location||Season||Approx. cost|
|Altai||September-October||from 5 400 euro||more info|
|Sajan||September-October||from 5 400 euro||more info|