INTRODUCTION: This winter has been a successful season for most hunters in the taiga - or bush- around Lake Baykal in Soviet Siberia.
INTRODUCTION: This winter has been a successful season for most hunters in the taiga - or bush- around Lake Baykal in Soviet Siberia. There are more than 2,000 hunters' points and 60 hunting bases in the area.
SYNOPSIS: For centuries Siberia has been noted for its furs. Despite the area's industrial development, hunting, fishing and reindeer herding are an important part of the region's economy.
At the turn of the century some of Siberia's animals were in danger of becoming extinct, especially the sable, one of the most valuable fur-bearing animals in the Soviet Union. For years scientists and sable experts have worked together to save the species. Now, thanks to their efforts, the animal is found again in Siberia-and in substantial numbers.
Mikhail Kunitsyn comes from a family of hunters well known in the area. Every season he delivers an average of 50 sable pelts.
Day after day he roams in the taiga checking the sable traps. A gun shot can spoil the animal's fur.
Hunters in this area have their own ways of finding the animals. They are familiar with the traces and know the animals' behaviour. And they must be enduring and patient.
Siberia's furs are very popular both in the Soviet Union and in auction rooms abroad.