We worked for years putting together a solid Russian hunt; and we have it! What distinguishes our outfitted Russian bear hunts and Snow sheep hunts from Russian hunts offered by others– is our joint careful professionalism and attention to details. We stress the need for excellent organizational skills, and the results have borne great fruit. The guides and the outfitter have been called some of the very best that our sheep and bear hunters have seen- anywhere. Trained by an Alaskan outfitter here in the US, our outfitter is qualified as a US guide and outfitter, which truly elevates him well above the typical Russian trapper who has turned “entrepreneur”. He is also sufficiently capitalized, which again most Russian outfitters are not. This means better equipment, better safety and better coordination with our own home team. And that professionalism shows in the equipment, organization, fine base camp and our extremely high client satisfaction. Indeed the one word that is uttered almost unanimously by every one of our clients, is the single word- “professional.” (A word you will NEVER hear about most Russian “outfitters”)
Most of our hunting clients feel our Russian bear and sheep hunts are one of their finest hunting experiences. Our outfitter is getting grades of excellent to excellent plus, from both our bear hunters and our sheep hunters. One group of 5 sheep hunters took 12 snow sheep (perfectly legal) on a deep expedition into Siberia. We are close to 100% on sheep and are about 160% on bears (due to most of our hunters taking a second bear). Sheep have been in the 34 to 43” range, but one hunter missed a sheep estimated at 46” or slightly more- a probable world record!
Here are just a few quotes from our clients:
LARRY H .: “Butch it was wonderful!! It exceeded all my expectations! Not a single surprise in the whole trip. I took two wonderful bears, both with exceptional hides. A great adventure. Super food. The Russians were extremely accommodating. You made my trip an easy and enjoyable experience!”
BILL L .: “Butch-Flawless! I would have to rate this trip as one of, if not my finest ever! Butch, I cannot say enough about the planning and the execution of all details. I took a super bear, and it got a bit exciting at the harvest as he rolled to our feet and then got up!! Excellent guides, excellent food. They met us right at the airport as you promised, helped us thru customs, exchanged money and got us onto the copter. Guides were great as you said, food was sensational. And bringing my bear back in was no problem with the documentation you gave me and that you had the Russians give me! Use me anytime as a reference!”
As to bears, virtually every bear hunter who wanted a second bear has taken one or turned down numerous bears! Bears taken here will average around the honest 8 foot mark, (not with the phoney stretching so prevalent with big bears!), with enough pushing up to 9’ to keep it interesting. We expect the best advice we can give anyone is to tell you, expect to see 30 to 100 bears, and be prepared to shoot anything in the 8’ or larger range. Several of our 2006 hunters saw over 100 bears apiece, with two guys seeing close to 120 bears! AND YOU CAN EVEN TAKE A SECOND BEAR FOR JUST THE TROPHY FEE!! That must be pre-booked and the trophy fee banked with us in advance, however.
We expect the success to continue to be virtually 100% (and many take a second bear). We tell most of our hunters that a few bears will go over 9’- in fact my spring 2004 clients took several just over that mark, in less than 3 days of hunting! These are truthful unstretched measurements, not the baloney so often claimed! It is easy to stretch hides a foot or more-it is almost expected in the trade-but we refuse to be anything but accurate in our reporting!
The proof is in the success our clients have experienced. However— we have found every Spring is different- some Springs seem to bring out more big bears- or at least result in more big bears being killed- then other years. No way to know, but we feel very confident telling you to expect to go home with your big brown bear! Check out the pictures and we think you will be pleased with what you see there! Several of our coastal hunters saw well over 100 bears apiece! That is a bunch of brownies!!
Here is a quote from our spring client Jack W., who also took his wife as an observer/fisherperson:
“Russian Bear hunt was GREAT!!!!!! We would highly recommend the outfitter and you, Butch,
to anybody. You both made this a truly trip of a life time!” Jack also told us “I lost count after
seeing 104 brown bears!!” and– “The wife took the biggest fish of her life!”
Our client Dave C. in the Spring took 3 bears, two in his first 24 hours, then a 9 footer that should go high in the SCI book. Other comments were “smooth trip”, “flawless”, “very well thought out”.
One group of recent clients took 5 bears for 3 guys in about 3 plus days! They came home a week early- wearing huge smiles. All of them spoke of the flawless planning; the fact that they had been prepared by us for every eventuality; that with our documentation and instructions the importation of their trophy hides and skulls went smoothly, and that everything was organized and as represented!
We here at Hunt Nation annually send from 12 to 20 clients to Russia, and we know exactly how to iron out the wrinkles so your trip is also “smooth sailing”. Butch himself has been twice to Russia, so he knows what is needed for a good operation! We do all the paperwork from visa – to gun permits – to invitations -through equipment lists – and helpful suggestions. We send you a detailed package carefully designed to answer virtually every question that you might have. These written materials come from our own Russian hunts, and represent the straight goods on what to expect.
Over the past 16 years our Russian outfitter has constantly updated equipment and facilities and has steadily been searching out new bear and sheep areas within his nearly ¾ million acre concession. If you elect to do a Spring snow machine bear hunt, he has spent a good deal of money buying new snow machines of high quality and reliability. Most of the machines are now in very good condition. He combines this with excellent Russian guides who have been trained to track bears, judge size from foot prints, and who can think in terms of feet, not meters, while judging bears.
On the Spring Coastal hunts, he has very good motors and solid boats, ranging from 15’ rubber Zodiacs with Yamaha motors to bigger aluminum sea skiffs. The coastal and tidal estuary areas you will hunt by using a boat to get to different areas. So boats are only for transport. Once at your destination, you will then proceed on foot to check out areas not visible from the boat, or you may climb, sit and glass. You may walk a little and glass a lot, or walk a whole lot-every area and every spring are different! But expect to walk and be in shape. You may spot bears along the coast or while floating. You can then stalk them. Normally you may also travel by boat or copter to a spike camp, where you typically spend several days. This is true also on the snowmobile hunts.
Success is equally high on both the snow machines and the coastal boat/walking hunts. It is solely your matter of preference. We are 100% opportunity on bears, on both means of hunting, and big bears come off both hunts! You normally hunt several different areas and from several spike camps. You may be choppered in, or go by boat, depending on the area.
On the sheep hunts (remote helicopter fly-ins) he has excellent facilities and capable and fit guides as well. And if you need to be moved due to a lack of rams, he does it by helicopter usually, and does it AT NO COST TO YOU!! We know of no-one else who does that. His sheep hunting is the finest in Russia, in our judgment. He normally will be hunting the Yakutian subspecies of snow sheep. He actually hunts 3 different species of snow sheep (Yakutian, Okhotian and the newly recognized Kolyma subspecies), but Yakutian is considered generally to be the largest. We expect the normal 100% success on sheep, assuming the hunters are in reasonable sheep shape and that weather cooperates. John C., one of our most recent sheep hunters, recently sent Butch a replica of his snow sheep horns to show his appreciation for a great hunt! This is without a doubt THE BEST SHEEP OUTFITTER IN RUSSIA! All fair chase and he has some of the best areas and best equipment!
Each year we personally meet with our outfitter at one of the sport shows and we use the off-season to “brainstorm” changes and upgrades for the upcoming season. He then does the same with his guides, looking for suggestions and comments for the upcoming season. This insures quality hunts for clients! Be aware, that in many areas of Russia, especially on some parts of Kamchatka, the bears have been seriously over-hunted. The necessary age structure is not present. Butch flew many, many miles there by private helicopter, looking for big bears, and after seeing several hundred bears, felt the situation on much of Kamchatka was not conducive to producing big bears with consistency. Since then, that judgment has been confirmed by the fact that many Russian outfitters will no longer allow you to take a second bear on Kamchatka, plus fall hunts in some areas have been banned.
Our outfitters mainland area is so vast, in contrast, that we will be taking second bears for many decades to come, as much of the country is still unexplored! We think the ability to take a second bear is critical in terms of giving our clients choices. You can take two bears in Russia for no more than one would cost in Alaska. This bear hunt is a real bargain, especially given the extreme success and the great facilities. The sheep hunting may possibly be the biggest bargain of all. Why spend $25,000 or more, plus big money for hunting licenses and for expensive air charters for a North American sheep, when for about half of that you can take a snow sheep and have a great adventure at the same time??! And besides, what a kick to tell people that you got that snow sheep or that bear, in Siberian Russia! Every year he is continuing to explore fresh areas and we think he will be re-writing the sheep and bear records for years to come.
In years past, you normally flew from Anchorage on Magadan Air, which flew once a week (usually on a Fri or Sat.). It was a relatively short 6 hour flight or so. However, Magadan Air closed shop, and as of NOW there are NO flights to Magadan from Anchorage during the Spring bear hunting! Later toward summer, yes, but not in time for these hunts. . You now have two choices; fly to Moscow and then onward; or fly to Seoul, Korea and then onward.
Some of our clients decided to stay and spend a couple days sight seeing in Moscow. We are not encouraging that– as safety for your money and firearms is an issue there. We prefer you be routed thru Moscow or Seoul and immediately onward to Magadan when possible; but often overnighting in Moscow is mandatory. The outfitter will have a representative meet you in Moscow and they will get you to the domestic airport and will get your guns admitted.
We suggest for planning purposes that you allow 14 days- bad weather can affect flights. Hunt duration varies but averages 10 days of hunting- early success by everyone can shorten it a bit. Exact hunting dates float to coincide with the plane flights. You must arrive in Magadan on the first day of those dates, then depart Magadan on last of those days. We have a good experienced Russian travel agent to assist you. Fares change constantly, but expect to pay about $1800-$1900 to Moscow, and $800 Moscow to Magadan. Butch has flown to Siberia thru Seoul and on to Khabarovsk with no problems in the past. Currently besides Aeroflot, other airlines flying to Moscow include American out of Chicago; Singapore Air out of Houston, and there are others. Moscow has a new ultra modern airport called Domodedovo.
Base camp is quite comfortable, and the food there is truly excellent. Your helicopter flight to your own spike camp is included in the pricing, as is your hunting license. There are approximately $255 in charges and costs for your visa and gun permits. We assist you with all documentation including visa’s etc.
If you want to take- or at least have the option of taking a Second bear ($6900) (or for that matter a second sheep)–that can be arranged and we hold that second trophy money here until you finish your hunt, less the license cost. You take animal #1, hunt for animal #2-if you see an animal you want and take it, we send the trophy deposit on the second animal to the Russians, otherwise we return it to you, less the license and CITES fees ($1000 on a second bear). Any overnights in Moscow or Magadan are normally at your expense.
Other miscellaneous airfare charges (approximate) :
International Baggage: 50 pound per bag limit (Russia is 45) -2 bags plus 17 pounds for a carry-on.(domestic- Russian baggage costs-unknown- best guess about $100)
Extra bags $100/ 50 lb. Maximum or other charges apply.
Per Gun $140/rndtrip; $40 per fish rod
NOTE: Because of a terrorist incident at the Moscow airport in February of 2010, it has become very difficult to transport your own guns– in fact it is virtually impossible unless a “special” Russian person accompanies you on the flights- not feasible. So for 2011 they have rentals for you. It certainly eases your travel and expedites things greatly. It will save you excess baggage charges of around $600 or more between al the flights. Fifty pound weight limit, one bag. They have two Remington 700 bolt actions in 300 Win Magnum with Leupold scopes, and two European rifle similar to the Remington, also in 300 mag, also with Leupold scopes. We do urge you to sight them in for yourself on arrival at camp.
NOTE: It may be possible to bring your gun in via the Seoul routing. Check with your ticket person!
Gun rentals will be $300 and $10 for each bullet (it costs $8 per shell in Moscow plus they have to bring it all the way to camp with many required permissions) They do not earn anything on it.
PRICING FOR 2016/17: ON ALL SPRING HUNTS: ALLOW FOR 10-12 DAYS OF ACTUAL HUNTING. Allow 4 to 6 days for travel and delays. ALL DATES ARE APPROXIMATE!
|BROWN BEAR HUNTS|
|SPRING BROWN BEAR HUNT
(AS BEARS LEAVE DENS-SNOW MACHINE HUNT)
APRIL 30 – MAY 13
|SPRING BROWN BEAR HUNT
(AS BEARS LEAVE DENS-SNOW MACHINE HUNT)
MAY 12 – MAY 25
|SPRING BROWN BEAR HUNT ON THE OKHOTSK SEACOAST
(WATCH FOR BEARS SUNNING)
MAY 24 – JUNE 04
OBSERVERS: $400/DAY. SECOND BEAR $6900
Price includes: 1 x 1 guide service, lodging, meals in camp, license, transport during hunt and trophy prep. This hunt is accessed via Moscow where you clear customs and fly to Magadan the next day. Outfitter’s representative will “meet and greet” you, at the Moscow Airport, to assist you through customs and get you to your hotel. We have sent many clients here with a track-record of high-success bear hunts which spans the last 10 years! We have had clients see over one hundred Bears in one hunt!
BROWN BEAR—FALL Currently available only as an add-on trophy of opportunity with sheep. We have found that big bears in the fall are much more difficult to locate, so we suggest trying for a bear only as an add on to a sheep hunt-with us holding your bear deposit- that way- no bear- we refund!
|SNOW SHEEP HUNTS|
|YAKUTSK SNOW SHEEP HUNT||AUGUST 1 – AUGUST 15||26,500|
|KOLYMA SNOW SHEEP HUNT||AUGUST 16 – AUGUST 31||26,500|
|KOLYMA SNOW SHEEP HUNT||SEPTEMBER 1 – SEPTEMBER 16||26,500|
Note: Dates can be moved 1-2 days according to air flights schedule
Duration of all hunts is usually 13 days including travel to and from base camps.
*- prices are the subject to change without notice.
SNOW SHEEP HUNTS- The newly recognized SCI Kolyma sub-specie is AVAILABLE. The Yakutsk sub specie is also available. Combo of both is possible with planning (can also combo Yakutsk and Okhotsk). Aug 1 to mid October is time range. Hunts are about 12-13 days, a week longer for any of the 2 specie sheep hunts. In all you can hunt 3 species of snow sheep here!
Please inquire if you want all three. We can organize such a 3 specie sheep hunt provided enough people want to go. Most of these sheep have never even seen a man! Our man dominates the record books on these 3 sheep species. A second trophy sheep is sometimes available- so ask if interested. Adding a bear is also possible. A $1000 non refundable deposit is required on the bear to secure the permits, CITES and other bear documents. You deposit the trophy fee with us, and we refund it, less the $1000 permit, if you are unsuccessful. Otherwise we send it to the Russians.
** On snow sheep hunts: transportation tofrom base camp by helicopter, from base camp to spike camp is included.
*** On brown bear hunts: all transportation (by helicopter, snow machines andor boats) is included in the price
- All transportation during the hunt – including copters
- All necessary Russian export documentation for trophies including CITES
- Your hunting license, bear and/or sheep license and permits
- 1X1 Guiding
- Interpreters (these are shared in base camp normally)
- All food and lodging during hunt
- Trophy care and preparation (You will bring your trophies home with you!)
- Flights to and from Russia- AND Magadan. Normally leave Fri or Sat and return 14 days later.
- Extra luggage charges (note-currently Magadan Air allows 2 fifty pound bags and a carry-on.)
- Rifle transportation fee charged by Magadan Air ($140 round trip currently-$40 for fish rod)-NOTE-with the new rifle rentals you avoid this charge!
- Accommodations and meals in town before and after the hunt
- Meet and greet in Moscow and hotels/meals/transfer in Khabarovsk and Moscow.
- Any requested transfers by copter. (If outfitter wishes to move you by copter that is at his cost.)
- Passport and visa expenses and gun permit processing (approx. $300)
- Tips for guides, skinners, cooks etc. and money for shopping
- Flight from home to Anchorage and your hotel in Anchorage
- Any Fish and Wildlife import fees/expenses.
NOTICES: Deposit of 50% of the hunt price is required to book your hunt for the current year. 25% should be paid before January, 15. The final 25% is paid by wire transfer not later than 30 days prior to the hunt.
Deposits are non-refundable. There is exception – when a hunter has found a person to replace him/her for the same hunting tour not later than 60 days before the hunt starts. Deposit can be transferred for the next year (years) In case we are notified not later than 9 months before the beginning of the hunt (unless other conditions have been mutually agreed upon). When moving a hunt, a Client should pay a penalty $500 (deducted from deposit). We can move your hunt only once.
WE DO IT BETTER! We have an agreement with the Russians, so that we can monitor your actual whereabouts and the progress of your hunt in Russia. We have them send us periodic reports as to your status. If you are delayed on entry due to weather-we are told of that. If you take a bear, we are told of that. When you arrive, when you depart- we are told. We will e-mail your family with those updates if you ask us to do that. In short, we think no-one does Russia better than Butch Manasse Outdoor Adventures!
Hunt Nation will furnish you with detailed documentation to make your entry and exit from Russia a breeze. We supply you with a pre-trip letter detailing many small facts you should know. We send you an FAQ list- a list of frequently asked questions. We send you detailed explanations and the required importation forms so your animals can be brought back to the US directly with your luggage as excess baggage. We explain how customs, USDA and USF&W operate and what contacts you need to know. We supply you with SCI scoring forms and a list to give you an idea of where your trophy might rank. We supply you with suggestions for field evaluation of potential trophies. We give you a detailed equipment list with numerous hints and suggestions. In short, we have tried to anticipate virtually every question and eventuality.
We work closely with our Russian friends to iron out any potential bugs. We will meet with them annually to go over the territory being hunted, the past years success and any necessary changes, and to make plans for the current year and the year to follow. This hand- on approach gives us an edge and helps to make sure you get the best possible hunt. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and are constantly reviewing the operations and even the materials and we add and supplement our existing information regularly. We have even arranged for an excellent travel agent to assist you with your Russian plane reservations.
JOHN C.- “Butch- I worked hard and got one heck of a sheep. Good guides, good operation, solid with no problems. Very willing people and just a great trip. I am sending you a replica of my sheep horns as a way of saying thanks!” (this was John’s 5th hunt with Butch Manasse Outdoor Adventures so far). He took a serious trophy- a Yakutian sub specie of snow sheep-Congratulations John! Nice replica you so kindly sent me to commemorate your hunt!
LARRY H.- “Butch it was wonderful!! It exceeded all my expectations! Not a single surprise in the whole trip. I took two wonderful bears, both with exceptional hides. A great adventure. Super food. The Russians were extremely accommodating. You made my trip an easy and enjoyable experience!”
BILL L .- “Flawless! I would have to rate this trip as one of, if not my finest ever! Butch, I cannot say enough about the planning and the execution of all details. I took a super bear, and it got a bit exciting at the harvest as he rolled to our feet and then got up!! Excellent guides, excellent food. They met us right at the airport as you promised, helped us thru customs, exchanged money and got us onto the copter. Guides were great as you said, food was sensational. And bringing my bear back in was no problem with the documentation you gave me and that you had the Russians give me! Use me anytime as a reference!”
KEN K.- Ken could not be reached as this was written-but his wife via e-mail had this to say:
“Butch thank you so much for keeping me informed about Ken and his progress and success. The two bear hides look great and are already at the taxidermist. Ken raved about you and the entire trip and the fact that everything went smoothly in spite of some bad weather. I just wanted you to know how happy he was about the entire hunt and the people involved.”
We book up these hunts earlier each year – word is leaking out on these great hunts and clients are telling friends-so-if you want to go, this is the time! With US currency continuing to slip world wide, prices are volatile, but we will honor any bookings at the current prices. We have a concern that if this trend continues these hunts will continue to get more expensive-so a wise man will make the decision to go NOW! Just call us- we will make your Russian adventure easy.
MOSCOW ROUTING OR SEOUL ROUTING: You will be met by our OUTFITTERS representative in Khabarovsk (if going via Seoul, Korea) or else in Moscow. They will help you with the plane transfer. He will meet you at the gates at Customs and help with any transfers to the hotel or to the next plane. In Moscow you use the domestic airport ( Sheremetievo airport in Moscow) to fly to Magadan.
Alternate Route is Seoul, Korea to Khabarovsk to Magadan. Check pricing both ways.
THIRD ALTERNATE ROUTE: Plans are afoot for resuming the Anchorage route (much shorter and cheaper). But whether they fly in time for spring bear hunts is unknown. Check it!