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At the spurs of Sikhote-Alin

What to do in the winter? Go to a holiday home? No! … It is not in my nature! And the thought occurred to me: “Let me go to the taiga, I will wander after the boars.”

I found out from a friend of forester where it was better to go, asked for a carriage on a nearby collective farm, and went to the spurs of Sikhote-Alin.

The narrow road, covered with snow, on which the contour of the old ski track could hardly be read, was compressed on both sides by stepped bushes. She led me to the ultimate goal. There was a small hunting hut here. She was heavily littered and smoked. Soot hung from its walls and ceiling with a fringe.

The first day I devoted to cleaning the premises: swept the floor; shelves for food and the wall, near the couch, covered with newspapers. Created, so to speak, home uyug. Worn out pieces of leather and shreds of boar wool testified to the quick hunting of people who visited me before.

There are a lot of old animal paths and fresh tracks around the hut: “There is a beast!” I wonder.

With these thoughts, I spent the first night – a quiet, mysterious, filled with exciting soul expectation.

The next day I went to the taiga. The terrain was completely unfamiliar to me. But the hunter must be enterprising and quick-witted, be able to navigate according to such signs, which the other will not notice. I discovered the profile of old trails. They could barely guess under a layer of snow. They were laid on the southern slopes of gentle ranges, covered with rift forests, but mainly cedar and oak. These were the main hunting paths. There were hunters in the month of December, when there was still little snow. Sometimes from the paths to the side, fresh bales on the trees went away, and I, guided by them, walked and studied the reason for their appearance.

Wild boar tracks

Three days later, I already knew the surrounding area so well, as if I had been hunting here for a long time. I left the barrack long before dawn and returned at dusk.

During the day, I wandered a lot of places and, of course, was very tired. But he was alert and happy. Every day I gained experience and new plans appeared in my head.

But there was no success in the hunt. It was clear, quiet weather, characteristic of these places. Frost reached 45 °. In the still air, there was a distant crash of knots that had broken from trees and the sound of a tireless woodpecker. I had boots with felt soles on my feet. I walked barely audible, creeping gait. I managed to find completely “warm” footprints. I started the pursuit persistently and persistently, with all the precautions, given the good hearing and the delicate sense of smell of the boar. And it is not easy. No joke to say, no smoking all day! Sometimes it seemed to me that I was about to overtake the beast. The beds were so fresh that the moisture in them, left on the boughs, and the litter did not even have time to freeze. But alas! The tracks led me to such a thicket through which it was impossible to wade.

Having taken a fresh one, not more than half an hour ago, in the morning, I decided to follow it to the end. He led me along steep ridges, through deep cuts, climbed into a thicket through which it was impossible to pass. I went around these places, crossed the trail and persistently pursued. At times, the taiga silence was broken by the strong, sharp, rattle-like voice. These tireless scouts taiga-their cry equally serve both man and beast. They remind man of the appearance of the beast, and the beast of the appearance of man. He and the other know the meaning of this scream and become more cautious.

Climbing up on one of the ridges, I stopped in indecision. The trail went back to a deep hollow, and the sun was already low. Having lost hope to overtake the beast, I wanted to turn back, but at that time I heard a familiar Kedrovka roulade in the direction of the track. But before the bird could be silent, the forest announced a hollow sigh. I knelt down and saw a wild boar, flickering among the fir shoots. He was leaving with a noise that resembled strikes in a receding drum. I managed to shoot him twice after him. I had almost complete confidence that the bullets that I had fired did not overtake the beast, but I could not restrain myself and followed him. When I, finally. I realized that further pursuit was useless, the last sun glare had already disappeared from the forest and there was a gloomy silence.

Taking the direction of the path leading to the hut, I went straight. Inspired by the pursuit of the beast, I did not calculate the time required for the return trip, and I had a rough idea of ​​the distance to the hut. Meanwhile, the night was fast approaching and in deep gaps, compressed from three sides by ridges, lay an impenetrable blue. From a quick step, as far as deep snow allowed, my clothes became wet from sweat, the windings on my legs were covered with a layer of ice balls. Continuing the path in a straight line, already in complete darkness, I climbed into the thickets of a young Pikhtach.

They stood in front of me by a dark wall on which the gray patches of snow cushions stood out. Stretching out my arms to protect my face, I opened the fir branches and moved forward at random. Sometimes large snowballs fell on my head, under the weight of which I squatted to the ground. Spinning overgrown, I lost direction and did not know where to go. Through the small windows above his head one could see the deep sky.

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