Today, June 5, World Environment Day, Nikolai Alexandrovich Sorokumov, Chief Specialist of the Directorate of Biological Resources for Specially Protected Natural Areas and Natural Parks of Yakutia, spoke about his daily life, which is sometimes associated with danger.
Man and nature are an inseparable link.
I was born in the city of Yakutsk, but grew up in the Abyisky district. From a young age, I loved the natural sciences, I read many encyclopedias about wolves, I was literally interested in this animal and, in general, I saw different animals, I studied their tracks, I spent all my free time in nature. Being in nature made me feel at home. And gradually I began to realize that my life had to be connected with the taiga and the animals. But at that time I did not even know that there is such a profession – hunter.
In 2006 he entered Yakut Agricultural College with a degree in hunting and fur farming and two years later received a diploma. And in 2009, I got a job at the Abyi Nature Conservation Inspectorate as a SPNA. As soon as I learned that there was a free vacancy, I flew home to find work with great pleasure. Here I started working under the supervision of a specialized senior state inspector for nature protection, Vladislav Parfenievich Alexandrov, who became the first and main mentor in my work. Here I was involved in supervisory activities in the field of environmental protection in protected areas. My mentor was strict but fair. I came to work as a 20-year-old with no work experience, I did not really know how and I did not know anything, honestly, it was very difficult for me at first. Vladislav Parfenievich taught me everything: environmental protection, to know the current legislation governing the field of nature protection and hunting, to work in harsh field conditions, to understand technology, to drive a car and a boat and most importantly , never be afraid of difficulties.
In 2012, I transferred to Gosohotokhrana GKU as a hunter, headed by Yegor Yegorovich Antonov. Then, in 2014, he received higher education in absentia at the Moscow Institute of Public Administration and Law. In Gosokhokhokhran, he got a job in the big predator department, my colleagues and I hunted wolves using the flag method, which was introduced in 2013 as a new effective method of fighting wolves. It was Yegor Yegorovich who introduced the wolf hunting method to democracy, which is still used successfully by wolf hunters. Here, my previous experience in the north was very useful, we traveled on snowmobiles, we hunted wolves in the cold of winter, regardless of the time and the difficult climatic conditions. I was soon transferred to the Directorate of Biological Resources and Protected Areas, as “Gosohohokhrana” was to be included in this institution. In the Department of Livestock, I continued to work in the Department of Protected Areas under the leadership of Sargylana Grigoryevna Mikhailova. He oversaw licensing activities and visits to Democratic protected areas, and also participated in winter travel accounting in protected areas, regulating the number of wolves and bears. Sargylana Grigoryevna taught me how to properly maintain the documentation, to write reports, I gained a lot of experience under her guidance. Also, I will not forget how my colleague Maria Ivanovna Kapitonova constantly supported me. However, I really missed the previous field work, so I decided to go to my colleagues in the Hunting Department under the leadership of Innokenty Ivanovich Semenov.
What do hunters do?
We have a very large and necessary range of tasks. Not only do we strictly control hunting, we catch poachers, but we keep records with the animals and monitor their migration. We also carry out craft measures for the conservation of nature and animals and the improvement of their productive properties. We also make salt lizards, we put salt there, which is vital not only for the moose, but also for other animals. In addition, hunters prepare food – hay, straw and oats – so that wild animals do not starve in the winter. In winter, we do winter route accounting: we determine the number of tracks in a specific area and then, using a special formula, we calculate how many animals have left these tracks.
During the years I have been working as a hunting inspector, I have seen several high-profile cases of the latest high-profile: last year in the Nyurba area of a protected area, where there was a zone of absolute calm. established, we caught violators of environmental legislation. After this case, my last name sat firmly on the hunters and discussions took place on social networks. They say about me that I am very strict with hunters. We act strictly within the law, we always try to communicate calmly with people, to explain to them clearly which articles of the Hunting Rules have been violated and what the consequences may be. You should always communicate with the hunter, not everyone knows the correct interpretation of the laws. Therefore, I believe that precautionary conversations with hunters should take place constantly, whether he has broken the laws or not. Only then does the hunter have confidence in the inspector.
During the first year of my job, they tried to hit me while I was guarding the confiscated goods. To be honest, I was very scared then, but I did not break out and defended my case to the end. The most dangerous cases of course occur during the detention of poachers. These people are capable of taking hasty actions to avoid punishment.
I’m glad that there are a few young people among the offenders, we are mainly dealing with middle-aged and older people.
The Zapad task force helps fight poachers
I grew up in the far north, where we had the largest Yano-Indigirskaya wild reindeer population. This species became extinct, and was pure poaching. I grew up knowing that I did not want this situation to happen again. Now my work is entirely devoted to the study and protection of wild reindeer migration routes (RSD) in the territory of the republic.
In 2019, a special purpose “Zapad” detachment began work on Yakutia territory to protect the wild reindeer of the Leno-Olenek population with the support of the World Wildlife Fund of Russia (WWF). By order I was appointed Deputy Chief.
In 2020, Kasyan Fedorovich Novgorodov, who worked as a state inspector of protected areas in the Oleneksky region, joined our team. He, like me, is a student of Vladislav Parfenievich Aleksandrov. Despite our advanced age, our mentor raids with us, the three of us were the main backbone of the Special Team. Vladislav Parfenievich has vast experience in criminal and administrative matters, in a short time the “West” became an example for other regions, proving its effectiveness.
Today the task force has good results in terms of identified violations. For two years, the West Task Force inspected more than 400 people hunting in deer migration areas, examined and inspected more than 150 vehicles, uncovered about 200 violations, seized more than 50 carcasses of illegally hunted deer, and transferred 6122 to the Home Office. pieces of wild reindeer horns, cases of many materials with evidence of a criminal offense.
I was very lucky with my mentors, because at their stage they were all very good and right teachers for me, they helped and continue to help in the conquest of the profession, they made me purposeful, they instilled a sense of responsibility for life in this land.
My career started under the leadership of Vladislav Parfenievich Aleksandrov and to this day he is by my side as a senior colleague, mentor and father. With him I gained experience in the supervisory field, I learned how to deal with offenders, be patient in everything and get the job done in the end, no matter how difficult it is.
Unfortunately, Yegor Yegorovich Antonov is no longer with us. It was a great loss for us novice hunters. He became a mentor not only for me but also for my colleagues. Under his leadership, I became a hunter, he told me to be constantly engaged in self-education – to read professional literature, to study. So, at the behest of my mentor, in 2019 I graduated from the postgraduate program in ecology and environmental management. Yegor Yegorovich treated each of us like his own children, he took care of everyone and we, I will not be afraid of that word, we looked at him as an image.
The same can be said for Innokenty Ivanovich Semenov, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Biological Resources and Protected Areas. To us, it’s like a “living reference book on the hunting economy.” He gives us his knowledge, rich practical experience, teaches everything and we grow and evolve thanks to Innokenty Ivanovich.
I am very happy that on my way I was lucky enough to meet strong, wise and reputable mentors. Thanks to them, my favorite thing has become my job. And, despite the difficulties and risks, I do not see myself as an expert in another field.
On this occasion, during a professional holiday, the staff of the Directorate of Biological Resources, Protected Areas and Natural Parks sincerely congratulates Nikolai Alexandrovich on the award of the “For the qualifications in the field of protection of hunting resources” award. We wish you further success and achievements. Happiness, health and prosperity!