Sitka Gear
Russia for moose. Would you?
Moose
Contributors to this thread:
BowmanMD 14-Feb-24
Bake 14-Feb-24
IdyllwildArcher 14-Feb-24
fuzzy 14-Feb-24
KY EyeBow 14-Feb-24
Bake 14-Feb-24
Bou'bound 14-Feb-24
Buckdeer 14-Feb-24
bghunter 14-Feb-24
spike78 14-Feb-24
huntr4477 14-Feb-24
Grey Ghost 14-Feb-24
redneck hunter 14-Feb-24
wildwilderness 14-Feb-24
Buffalo1 14-Feb-24
fuzzy 14-Feb-24
ki-ke 14-Feb-24
fuzzy 14-Feb-24
fuzzy 14-Feb-24
kyrob 14-Feb-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 14-Feb-24
bghunter 14-Feb-24
Dale06 14-Feb-24
Huntcell 14-Feb-24
Nyati 14-Feb-24
Mule Power 14-Feb-24
Aspen Ghost 15-Feb-24
fuzzy 15-Feb-24
Scoot 15-Feb-24
RonP 15-Feb-24
Dollar 15-Feb-24
DanaC 15-Feb-24
Nomad 15-Feb-24
JTreeman 15-Feb-24
Bowbender 15-Feb-24
BTM 15-Feb-24
GUTPILEPA 15-Feb-24
soccern23ny 15-Feb-24
Will 15-Feb-24
fuzzy 15-Feb-24
Scoot 15-Feb-24
APauls 15-Feb-24
Bou'bound 15-Feb-24
tobywon 15-Feb-24
carcus 15-Feb-24
air leak 15-Feb-24
drycreek 15-Feb-24
greg simon 15-Feb-24
BowmanMD 15-Feb-24
hdaman 15-Feb-24
Beendare 15-Feb-24
BoggsBowhunts 15-Feb-24
Nomad 15-Feb-24
Smtn10PT 15-Feb-24
Rob in VT 15-Feb-24
BullBuster 15-Feb-24
Tilzbow 15-Feb-24
HUNT MAN 15-Feb-24
70lbDraw 15-Feb-24
DonVathome 15-Feb-24
Catscratch 15-Feb-24
BowmanMD 15-Feb-24
APauls 15-Feb-24
Rob in VT 16-Feb-24
Bou'bound 16-Feb-24
Rob in VT 16-Feb-24
BowmanMD 18-Feb-24
RK 18-Feb-24
Bou'bound 18-Feb-24
bowonly 20-Feb-24
ki-ke 20-Feb-24
fuzzy 20-Feb-24
IdyllwildArcher 20-Feb-24
APauls 20-Feb-24
fuzzy 20-Feb-24
BowmanMD 20-Feb-24
Huntcell 20-Feb-24
Beav 20-Feb-24
spike78 20-Feb-24
x-man 20-Feb-24
Bou'bound 20-Feb-24
bowonly 20-Feb-24
grossklw 20-Feb-24
maxracx 20-Feb-24
IdyllwildArcher 20-Feb-24
Shaft2Long 21-Feb-24
Dale06 21-Feb-24
montnatom 22-Feb-24
Nyati 22-Feb-24
BowmanMD 22-Feb-24
Bou'bound 22-Feb-24
BowmanMD 22-Feb-24
Bou'bound 22-Feb-24
BowmanMD 22-Feb-24
Nyati 22-Feb-24
standswittaknife 22-Feb-24
APauls 22-Feb-24
Bake 22-Feb-24
Nyati 22-Feb-24
Thornton 22-Feb-24
Bou'bound 22-Feb-24
Catscratch 22-Feb-24
Mule Power 22-Feb-24
LBshooter 22-Feb-24
fuzzy 23-Feb-24
Bou'bound 23-Feb-24
Mint 23-Feb-24
fuzzy 23-Feb-24
Aspen Ghost 23-Feb-24
Bou'bound 23-Feb-24
BowmanMD 26-Feb-24
Bou'bound 26-Feb-24
Aspen Ghost 26-Feb-24
Nyati 26-Feb-24
bghunter 26-Feb-24
fuzzy 26-Feb-24
Dale06 26-Feb-24
Nomad 27-Feb-24
BowmanMD 27-Feb-24
Mule Power 27-Feb-24
tobywon 27-Feb-24
BowmanMD 27-Feb-24
Matt 27-Feb-24
Stayfit 27-Feb-24
BowmanMD 28-Feb-24
soccern23ny 28-Feb-24
Hancock West 28-Feb-24
Aspen Ghost 28-Feb-24
Hancock West 28-Feb-24
Hancock West 28-Feb-24
Matt 28-Feb-24
Hancock West 28-Feb-24
Teeton 28-Feb-24
DanaC 29-Feb-24
From: BowmanMD
14-Feb-24
Several years ago I put a deposit down for a moose hunt in Kamchatka for this October. Reputable outfitter, good reviews. Obviously the political climate in Russia was a little different a few years ago than it is today, but the outfitter has successfully had multiple groups of American clients come and go without incident, zero issues. So my question is: would you do it? I'm not personally too worried about it but my wife is definitely not a fan. She puts up with me going lots of places, but does not want me going to visit Putin and his gang. Understandable. I certainly don't want to become the next Brittany Griner, especially since I'm a straight white married Christian male. Pretty sure Biden would leave me there to rot rather than trade me for a Russia arms dealer. I wouldn't have a chance. So there's that. I think things will be fine, but there's always a chance of things going sideways. I am NOT traveling with a firearm (or illegal drugs), maybe my bow. I have an exit clause with the outfitter, so I can get my deposit back if I decide to back out.

What would you do?

From: Bake
14-Feb-24
I'd go. I went in 2018, which was definitely a different political climate. But I'd still go. I would definitely look hard at rules if you were taking medications, etc. I took some medications in 2018, but no one ever looked either. . .

I think maybe I've read too many Tom Clancy novels, but it was a little nerve-wracking at times, crossing in and out, etc. The official Russian agents at the border were a humorless lot :)

I do have a couple stories. One was an agent at airport security that let me pass through even though I set off the alarm :) And another was a 6'5" recruiting poster Russian military at an airport that pulled me out of line to check my carry-on. He kept saying "It's Ok. It's OK" And I'm thinking "Dude you're a giant. It may NOT be ok!"

Be warned that MANY of the people do not have any English, which is somewhat intimidating at times

Be

14-Feb-24
Russia regularly grabs American citizens and uses them as leverage to get Russian citizens released. There is no way I would set foot in Russia, Iran, or North Korea as an American citizen. Do you have a passport for any other country?

Side note, I have a friend of a friend who described going on a "moose hunt" in Russia. The Japanese guy that was with killed 3 bulls in a day from the chopper. They left 100% of the meat in the field and left with the antlers.

14-Feb-24
Definitely go. They know who are operatives and who are not. They won’t mess with a hunter

From: fuzzy
14-Feb-24
Absolutely

From: KY EyeBow
14-Feb-24
Hunting aside, why would any of us want to stimulate the Russian economy given what they are doing to the Ukranian people? No way in Hell would I go for that reason alone! My 2 cents

From: Bake
14-Feb-24
Landing in Petropavlovsk was a little surreal as well, as you could see many parked fighter jets and hidden (from the air, covered with dirt, trees and bushes) revetments which I'm sure were from the Cold War days. I bet I saw 15-20 fighter jets parked just while taxiing in. That's when it really hits that you're in Russia :)

From: Bou'bound
14-Feb-24
Depends on how you prioritize hunting in your life and how much respect you have for those people in your life who matter to you. I would not go.

From: Buckdeer
14-Feb-24
I would go to the Yukon,they just got a german resident today for gummi bears

From: bghunter
14-Feb-24
Nope. Isnt worth the risk, nor supporting Russia.

I would go to Alaksa or the Yukon Instead.

Just my two cents.

From: spike78
14-Feb-24
Just walk in and say I love what your doing in that little corrupt country next door.

From: huntr4477
14-Feb-24
Just wear your MAGA hat, you'll be fine.

From: Grey Ghost
14-Feb-24
There is exactly nothing that would make me desire to go to Russia,

14-Feb-24
A guy might be safer in Russia than some of our diverse liberal sh_thole cities. Just saying........

14-Feb-24
I would go for a sheep hunt..... maybe I should look into that, probably some deals going on with lack of travel. I would stay on the far West side of Russia though (And yes I can get an Australian Passport, may help make me look less attractive as a target)

I don't think I would go for a moose though, lots of options for that in North America.

From: Buffalo1
14-Feb-24
I have had conversations with hunters who went to Russia and had unbelievable hunts. When it came time to settle up at the end of the hunt, prices changed and "Russian inflation" occurred. The hunters are yet to receive their trophies as "Russian inflation" occurred again.

Hearing these type of stories does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about wanting to hunt Russia.

From: fuzzy
14-Feb-24
I don't need to make a "social statement" with my hunting adventures.

From: ki-ke
14-Feb-24
Fuzzy

How is that even a logical response to the OP’s question? Where did you read that he’s hoping to make a social statement? Sounds to me like he wants to kill a moose in a place that historically has big moose. Stay on topic…..

From: fuzzy
14-Feb-24

fuzzy's embedded Photo
fuzzy's embedded Photo
ki-ke I already responded to the OP question, second response was to this:

From: fuzzy
14-Feb-24

fuzzy's embedded Photo
fuzzy's embedded Photo
This is my logical response to the OP:

From: kyrob
14-Feb-24
Saw on news today where a guy from Texas was sentenced to 21 years in a penal colony in Russia with hardly any evidence against him.

14-Feb-24
Hell no. Not worth the risk as a white United States citizen Christian male. 3 things against ya there.

From: bghunter
14-Feb-24
I am sure you are a well traveled person, however if you haven't checked this out, might be worth it.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/RussianFederation.html

From: Dale06
14-Feb-24
A friend went on a bear hunt there 7-8 years ago. The political climate was far better then. He said he would not go back today.

From: Huntcell
14-Feb-24
You realize flying soviet aircraft was sketchy before Feb 22 now its down right scary after sanctions. there civilian aircraft fleet is not well maintained after sanctions were impletmeted, last thing you want to do is board a jury rigged maintained plane or helicopter.

The number of domestic air craft incidents continue to escalated .

It should be an adrenaline filled trip before you even find a moose.

Your itinerary will be longer as no US or European carries are going to Russia these days.

Update insurance and will!

From: Nyati
14-Feb-24
No way in hell at this time

From: Mule Power
14-Feb-24
That’s like asking if it’s OK to eat a Mountain House meal that was previously a mouse nest. I would book with Shawn Raymond at Yukon Big Game Outfitters.

From: Aspen Ghost
15-Feb-24
A few years ago, yes. Not now. They are looking for Americans to hold hostage right now.

From: fuzzy
15-Feb-24
Some interesting points made. I'd still go if I could.

From: Scoot
15-Feb-24
No chance in hell.

From: RonP
15-Feb-24
i would not take the risk in this political climate and with the war going on. plenty of other options. i'd be surprised if you get your money back, keep us posted.

From: Dollar
15-Feb-24
Friend has been going salmon fishing every year till Ukraine.He spoke with the outfitter and they agreed it was not a good time to go back and returned his yearly deposit.Hoping to resume the trips but not till things improve.He loves the trips and adventure but he comments on the aircraft used for transport.He knows nothing about aircraft but noticed the condition.Says paying the balance has never been a problem. Also says the bear awareness is funny in that in Alaska the guides are kinda know it all on their approach and act like nothing will happen.In Russia at least where he has been going the guides completely ignore the bears.

From: DanaC
15-Feb-24
Too much of my money would end up in the hands of a government bent on oppressing the free world. Screw that.

From: Nomad
15-Feb-24

Nomad's embedded Photo
Nomad's embedded Photo
Be sure to take advantage of the free candy too!

From: JTreeman
15-Feb-24
I’m a pretty adventurous traveler and it’s a hard pass for me at this point, even if it was free.

—Jim

From: Bowbender
15-Feb-24
We're basically in a proxy war with Russia. Why would would someone even entertain the thought.

From: BTM
15-Feb-24
Nyet! Nyet! Nyet!

From: GUTPILEPA
15-Feb-24
NOWAY!!!!!

From: soccern23ny
15-Feb-24
There was a group of republican congressman that spent July 4th with putin in russia.... very patriotic Americans they are..... so if you want more money to go to the Russian war machine go for it.

And only a small chance you end up being accused of espionage and end up in a hard labor camp for 20 years

From: Will
15-Feb-24
I wouldnt put myself in Russia. The Risk Reward is way off.

From: fuzzy
15-Feb-24
Any trip poses risks. The risk/benefit ratio is high on this one. If your personal rating includes the valuation of risk as a positive influence on the intensity of the experience, that shifts some of the potential risk onto the benefit side. If you have "a lot to live for" ie a young family, social obligations etc you can't morally take extreme risks. If extreme risk intrinsically stresses you then you won't enjoy it. For most of my life I had family and social obligations and a certain amount of fearfulness for my own safety and comfort. At this point I'm looking at a realistic 0 to 15 years left to experience life and a low likelihood of enjoying any degree of physical comfort during that time. I still retain my intense interest in adventure and exotic wild places. If I had the chance and the money I'd stock up on anti inflammatory meds and go for it.

From: Scoot
15-Feb-24
"Not worth the risk as a white United States citizen Christian male."

Brittney Griner was a couple of them and look where that ended...

From: APauls
15-Feb-24
What do you have to win? A moose. What do you have to lose? The rest of the one life you'll ever live on earth.

You have the ability to get your deposit back and go hunt moose in North America? This is a no-brainer in my books. Besides the rest of my life in the balance I've also got kids depending on me though. You literally have the ability to remove all of that risk and get the same reward......just saying.

From: Bou'bound
15-Feb-24
“No go” is a “no brainer” even if You paid in full and had to swallow it all. It’s just money and it’s just a moose and the money factor is zero.

From: tobywon
15-Feb-24
Listen to your wife on this one I'd say. No way I'd put myself in that position for a moose when there are alternative options. It may be a great adventure while you are there, but I'm sure it wont be a great time for your wife and family worrying while you are away.

From: carcus
15-Feb-24
We have great moose hunting here in North America, no go no brainer as others have posted

From: air leak
15-Feb-24
Your wife is worried and doesn't want you to go to Russia... And you ask here on Bowsite if you should go...

Do you think that little of your wife's feelings??

From: drycreek
15-Feb-24
No

From: greg simon
15-Feb-24
He did not ask if he should go. It sounds like BowmanMD is perfectly capable of making his own decisions. He asked what you would do!

Me personally, I'd go.

From: BowmanMD
15-Feb-24
Brutal honesty. I love it. Thanks for the replies. I wasn’t expecting anybody to sugarcoat it. I think that the likelihood of anything bad happening is very low but certainly not zero and undoubtedly up a notch or two versus staying in North America. Is it worth the risk? Still trying to figure that one out, which is why I asked thoughts from you guys on here who have experience with this stuff. I’ll talk to the outfitter this weekend at the Western Hunt Expo and keep thinking on it. Lots to consider. And unfortunately this whole mess with the Ukraine doesn’t appear to have any end in sight for the foreseeable future. Also, for the record, my wife and I have a great relationship and her opinion DOES definitely matter so it’s an ongoing conversation we’re having (but I’m not going to let her read this! lol)

From: hdaman
15-Feb-24
Nope!

From: Beendare
15-Feb-24
Informative thread…..after reading the links….I wouldn’t do it

15-Feb-24
I’d 100% go, but only if I could spend a few days in Saratov where my most-recently-immigrated ancestors came over from in the Ellis Island days. Since they’re nearly the only “strain” of mine to immigrate here after the 1700s I’m partial to wanting to visit Russia one day and to me it would be worth the risk. I’d definitely weigh the comments of Bake and those who had actually been there done that in the recent past heavier than those who have read an article or watched a news article on a WNBA player with drugs and said absolutely not. I don’t think straight white Christian males are the targets of Russian intelligence…. After all, Russians are typically straight white Christian males. I doubt they’d see you as a cultural enemy and would likely do the opposite, so I’m unsure why that narrative came about. I’d be waaaaay more nervous about being persecuted as a straight white Christian male in the US than I would be in Russia…

From: Nomad
15-Feb-24

15-Feb-24
Russia doesn’t just grab U.S. citizens out of the blue. The basketball player was blatantly spitting on their laws by bringing pot into their country. She’s actually lucky she got caught in Russia and not some other country.

Anyone that is being held has an affiliation to the U.S. government. Be assured of that. Of course they and out government deny it. It’s been a game we have played for decades. And those guys knew if they got caught what would happen. They most likely got traded in a game and we’re outed by our own government.

From: Smtn10PT
15-Feb-24
I have a friend that went to Russia in 2021. He had an amazing hunt and killed a giant bear. I made arrangements to go the following year, but due to the circumstances over there my hunt never happened. Ive stayed in touch with the hunt planner and emailed him as recently as this January. He was still not comfortable bringing clients over there and said it would be best to continue to wait. I ended up snagging a cancellation hunt for Alaska instead.

From: Rob in VT
15-Feb-24
Hell No.

From: BullBuster
15-Feb-24
Unless it has changed in recent years, they don’t allow bowhunting in Russia

From: Tilzbow
15-Feb-24
Not a chance.

From: HUNT MAN
15-Feb-24
My business partner went this last fall. Bowhunted for moose and bear. No problems on the trip other than lots of travel. He kill a giant moose and bear.

From: 70lbDraw
15-Feb-24
Keep in mind the current status of our airlines and recent “incidents” they’ve experienced lately. That alone is what keeps me from going anywhere I can’t drive to.

From: DonVathome
15-Feb-24
You can always go later, I would back out if I could get my money back. I am willing to put up with a LOT, and take risks, but even without your wife not being happy I would suggest back out. Happy wife happy life. This is like a second good reason to back out (wife).

From: Catscratch
15-Feb-24
Big horn sheep, vodka, tight little Russian blonds.... yes.

Moose and moose knuckles... no.

15-Feb-24
Ask Ripcord or Global Rescue if the evacuation insurance is good there. And go

From: BowmanMD
15-Feb-24

From: APauls
15-Feb-24
This argument is funny from a logical perspective.

On the outfitted hunt side of things you have all the usual risk metrics and you could grade the trip on a scale of 1-100 and it could be 90% good, or 70% good or anything in between or all over the map. That’s just outfitting, business and hunting.

The going to Russia part is like playing Russian Roulette with a 1,000 round revolver. 999 People are going to tell you it was a great time - a thrill in fact! Whether or not you run into friends or relatives of that one really depends on your connections. Those who have gone and come back - sure - it was great. The fact that anyone else has been grabbed or that any outfitter in Russia has said they are not comfortable bringing people in says enough for me. The fact that a businessman on the other side says don’t come…..yikes. I think in NA we are so insulated from real risk that we don’t even know what we are talking about. For some reason it reminds of Mike Tyson’s quote: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” In this case though, you’re SOL and no one is coming to help.

From: Rob in VT
16-Feb-24
I bet Aleksei Navalny would have an opinion if he wasn’t dead.

From: Bou'bound
16-Feb-24
Did he get a moose?

From: Rob in VT
16-Feb-24
No, he was assassinated in a Siberian prison by Putin.

From: BowmanMD
18-Feb-24
Talked to the outfitter at the Western Hunt Expo this weekend. They had 5 groups of hunters this last fall and multiple groups last spring. Zero issues. Still thinking…

18-Feb-24
You definitely do not want to hunt moose in Siberia

From: RK
18-Feb-24
Last Spring? Almost a year ago. What's happened with Russia in the last year?

Like most things. Not an issue until it becomes one

I just could not do it to my family but everyone is different in that regard. Not wrong or right, just different

Good luck no matter what you decide

From: Bou'bound
18-Feb-24
You’re going or you would have long ago put it to bed.

Does whatever it is that has you questioning the decision look like it is going to go away and be a non-issue soon?

Good luck and most of all be safe. Bring home a biggun

From: bowonly
20-Feb-24
BowmanMD, I'm not sure from your description if you are planning a bow hunt or a rifle hunt, but you did mention taking a bow. Bow hunting was not legal in Russia in the past, but lately there has been at least one successful bow hunter in Kamchatka. I don't know if that was by special permission or if Russia is now open. Can you share what you were told?

From: ki-ke
20-Feb-24
Apologies for the callout Fuzzy!

From: fuzzy
20-Feb-24
No worries and thanks for the PM. I should have referred to the comment I was replying to.

20-Feb-24

IdyllwildArcher's Link
The Russian Govt just snagged another American.

And a few days ago, Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of Russia's Joint Chiefs again threatened Kyiv, Berlin, London, Washington DC, and New York with nuclear weapons.

From: APauls
20-Feb-24
That's one of those deals where your outfitter is like: "yeah no problem come bow hunt Russia this is Russia we do what we want when in backcountry do not verry about it." Border agents sees a bow and decides to pull a guy aside and you don't see the light of day ever again. They spin it to make you look like a spy and now you're a chip albeit a small one in a very large game.

From: fuzzy
20-Feb-24
Always wanted to be hung as a spy. Well, hung anyway. .....

From: BowmanMD
20-Feb-24
"Bow hunting was not legal in Russia in the past, but lately there has been at least one successful bow hunter in Kamchatka. I don't know if that was by special permission or if Russia is now open. Can you share what you were told?" The outfitter has taken multiple bowhunters since the first one a few years ago and they told me that there were no issues with bringing a bow. Don't even have to declare it, just include in checked luggage. Personally, I'm debating whether to bring it or not. I'd prefer to use my bow, but I also want to avoid ANYTHING that would make me stick out traveling through airports.

From: Huntcell
20-Feb-24
Unless you have Slavic or Mongol origins your going to stick out. Plus Americans smile to much & have a positive demeanor, ya your going to stick out Americanski!

From: Beav
20-Feb-24
I would go!

From: spike78
20-Feb-24
I’m guessing Russia threatened nuclear attacks because NATO is knocking at their door but I could be wrong.

From: x-man
20-Feb-24
Boggles the mind to think anyone is even questioning this...

From: Bou'bound
20-Feb-24
Ask yourself Why would you not go?

If the answer to that is going to be removed from the set of potential issues soon then have fun and go. Just be sure!!!

If not wake up and stay safe and hunt somewhere where the drama with the hunt is in the field not in your head and heart.

Wife's cool enough with it you'd go??

From: bowonly
20-Feb-24
Thanks for the reply. There was a brief window in the early 1990s where some American bow hunters I know of successfully hunted Far East Russia. Kamchatka has been very intriguing to me ever since, but technically bow hunting became illegal, if it ever was legal. In Russia, who knows. It will definitely be an adventure hunt. If you approach it that way and you enjoy that type of adventure, then go and enjoy. Just be sure and tell us how it went!

As too just putting your bow in checked baggage and remain undetected, I had two experiences this past year in Canada where the x-ray showed my take-down recurve bow. I was accused of smuggling a crossbow in my checked baggage. As far as I can tell, crossbows were not illegal. They just were not used to seeing something like that. One agent made me unpack my bag. While I was allowed to go on unmolested, it did give me an uncomfortable feeling of "sticking out". And that was just in a mildly socialist country!

If they do make an issue of your bow, just invoke the term "Olympics". Russians apparently have great respect for the games and it worked in Moscow for getting one of those Americans through customs back in 1991. Hats off to an adventurous spirit and good luck to you, sir!

From: grossklw
20-Feb-24
Man you've got bigger balls than I. I can't even fathom how someone would even consider it, I'd just go to Canada or Alaska and sleep like a baby; why even deal with the unnecessary stress involved? If it goes great, awesome you kill a big bull and bring it home. If it goes poorly and you get snatched up...you may never see your wife or kids again, no chance for me.

From: maxracx
20-Feb-24
I would go to Yukon.

20-Feb-24
spike, the point is not why he did it. The point is that he did it at all. This is a foreign nation threatening the free world with nukes. The only countries doing this are Russia and North Korea. Both are run by autocrats who hate the USA and both arrest US citizens on BS charges.

From: Shaft2Long
21-Feb-24
I’d go.

From: Dale06
21-Feb-24
Been there on business in the 90s, and early 2000s. No way in hell I’d go there for any reason in this political climate.

From: montnatom
22-Feb-24
I've been offered a half price fishing trip with Oceangate in their new and improved Titan. My wife insists I go...bowsite, should I go?

From: Nyati
22-Feb-24
Again , as I’ve stated there’s no way in hell I’d go to Russia for anything now. We’re in a proxy war with them. A woman from CA just got arrested in Russia because she had donated to a Ukrainian charity in the past. They would love to announce to the world they caught an American with a weapon in Russia

From: BowmanMD
22-Feb-24
She was also a Russian citizen with dual-citizenship in the USA. More to the story than just a simple donation to a Ukrainian charity.

From: Bou'bound
22-Feb-24
What dates are you going to be gone. Who is the outfitter.

From: BowmanMD
22-Feb-24
End of October. Wade Lemmon Outfitting

From: Bou'bound
22-Feb-24
Nice. They will have it logistically squared away and most likely any Russia political issues will be resolved by then. Seven months is a long way off.

A moose Is a great reason to go. They grow big over there like nowhere else.

From: BowmanMD
22-Feb-24
I honestly doubt anything is going to be "resolved". I think that this mess between the Ukraine and Russia is going to go on for a looooong time. But I really have given this a lot of thought, and I still am. I'm not 100% in yet. But at the same time, I think it's like not going to Chicago because there are all these carjackings and murders that happen there. Or not going to LA or San Diego because everybody is homeless living on the streets doing drugs. The problems exist, but only for a very small subset and risk is very low. I know it's not the exact same since we're talking about a communist country with an unpredictable government, but normal life goes on everyday there and I really think the risk is low. We are flying from Istanbul to Moscow where we will connect and fly to Kamchatka. I'm not hanging out in Moscow or doing any sightseeing, just flying through. Visas and everything will be approved and in place before we go. I'm going through the list of previous hunters to get a feel for their experience. Still going in with both eyes wide open, but I just don't feel like the risk is that high. Obviously hoping I'm not wrong.

From: Nyati
22-Feb-24
Good luck

22-Feb-24
Russia targeting US Pats... a ballerina who reportedly gave $50 bucks to a charity that supports Ukraine. You would have to be absolutely out of your mind to attempt this.

From: APauls
22-Feb-24
Bowmad I clicked on your handle and it looks like you have a son? So you're legitimately debating risking never seeing your family ever again, and not only leaving them, but leaving them without YOU for an adventure in Russia to shoot a moose as opposed to getting all your money back and having an adventure in North America and shooting a moose....this is the question? I've done some dumb things in my day, but even considering your wife doesn't want you to go the fact that you're still considering it honestly blows me away.

From: Bake
22-Feb-24
Not to derail the thread, but makes me wonder. How many would go to Pakistan to hunt a markhor if they could? Some of the common African countries aren't very politically stable. How about Mozambique, or Zimbabwe?

From: Nyati
22-Feb-24
That’s kinda different. While things can go sideways in those countries we aren’t in an active proxy war with them. I hunted in South Africa in 1994 when Apartheid was ended then again Zimbabwe in 1999 when Mugabe was starting his takeover of white owned lands and had zero problems but they were internal conflicts but weren’t at war with another country that USA was funding. They weren’t taking American prisoners either

From: Thornton
22-Feb-24
Tucker Carlson seems to be quite pleased with Russia.

From: Bou'bound
22-Feb-24
I can't validate this but i heard it is MDs conscience talking to him about this idea.......

It's easy to sum it up when you're just talking about a moose. We're sitting in here, and I'm supposed to be the one with common sense, and we in here talking about a moose. I mean, listen, we're talking about a moose, not a person, not a job, not a family issue, we talking about a moose. Not a person Not, not … Not the kids that you love that you go out there and die for and work every day like it's your last. We talking about a moose. A moose. We talking about hunting a moose.

Not the kids, but we're talking about moose hunting, man. I mean, how silly is that? … And we talking about a moose. I know I am supposed to be here to support you. I know I'm supposed to let you lead by example... I know that............... And I'm not............. I'm not shoving it aside, you know, like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I do............ I honestly do...................... But we're talking about a moose hunt man. ..What are we talking about? . A moose? We're talking about a moose, man. We're talking about a moose hunt. Not a game.....not a game.........we talking about a moose.

We're talking about moose. We ain't talking about the family. We're talking about a moose hunt, man. When you come to me to help you, see me support don't you? You've seen me give everything I've got, right? But we're talking about moose hunting right now. We talking about a moose hunt...........

Like I said I can't validate it is accurate, it sounds a little like Allen Iverson back in the day though.

From: Catscratch
22-Feb-24
Lol, I couldn't read that without hearing it in my head as Iverson! His voice and accent perfectly! Well done... well done.

From: Mule Power
22-Feb-24
There are unhunted monsters in the Yukon. So why? I don’t think some people can fathom civilizations where they don’t value human lives. Would you go hunt moose in China or North Korea? Pakistan? And we’re not even at war with them. Well, we are but…..

From: LBshooter
22-Feb-24
Go to Russia and get a moose. However, putin is looking for more pawns to jail for currency against America. If you don’t mind sitting in a jail for a few years then go, lol .

From: fuzzy
23-Feb-24
There is a big difference between "I wouldn't go " and "you shouldn't go". I understand the first one but the second one mystfies me.

From: Bou'bound
23-Feb-24
If you walked up to a guy on a standing on the railing of a tall bridge and he said he was considering taking the plunge to a possible demise and he asked if you would jump would you only tell him you wouldn't?

From: Mint
23-Feb-24
I had traveled to the Soviet union about 15 times as a tour guide in college when Reagan was President. With Biden as President I would never go. Once when we were driving from Leningrad a huge 400 class bull elk was standing in the road. The Russian Guide told me the russian elite had a hunting preserve nearby.

From: fuzzy
23-Feb-24
Boubound actually yes probably

From: Aspen Ghost
23-Feb-24

Aspen Ghost's Link
Below is what the state department says. Please read the entire link. I cannot imagine why you are even considering it. Of course the guy making money off you says it's safe so maybe you should listen to him instead.

Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.

From: Bou'bound
23-Feb-24
Here is the rest of the link

Unless you have a good reason to go, such as moose hunting, Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism. U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited, particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, due to Russian government limitations on travel for embassy personnel and staffing, and the ongoing suspension of operations, including consular services, at U.S. consulates.

There have been numerous reports of drone attacks, explosions, and fires in areas in Western and Southern Russia, particularly near the Russian border with Ukraine, as well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the event of an emergency, U.S. citizens should follow instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately.

In September 2022, the Russian government mobilized citizens to the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, subject them to mobilization, prevent their departure from Russia, and/or conscript them.

U.S. citizens should note that U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia, and options to electronically transfer funds from the United States are extremely limited due to sanctions imposed on Russian banks. There are reports of cash shortages within Russia.

Commercial flight options are extremely limited and are often unavailable on short notice. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements as soon as possible. The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens to depart the country and transportation options may suddenly become even more limited. Click here for Information for U.S. Citizens Seeking to Depart Russia.

U.S. Embassy personnel are generally not permitted to travel on Russian air carriers due to safety concerns. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded the air safety rating for Russia from Category 1 to Category 2 on April 21, 2022, due to Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport noncompliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. aviation operations into, out of, within, or over those areas of the Moscow Flight Information Region (FIR), the Samara FIR (UWWW) and the Rostov-na-Donu (URRV) FIR within 160NM of the boundaries of the Dnipro (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

The right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not consistently protected in Russia. U.S. citizens should avoid all political or social protests and not photograph security personnel at these events. Russian authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who have participated in demonstrations and there are numerous reports Russian nationals have been detained for social media activity.

Country Summary:

U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private citizens engaged in business who are visiting or residing in Russia, have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials, and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion.

Russian security services may fail to notify the U.S. Embassy of the detention of a U.S. citizen and unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance. Russian security services are increasing the arbitrary enforcement of local laws to target foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable.”

Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, singled out U.S. citizens in Russia for detention and harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and convicted them in secret trials or without presenting credible evidence. Furthermore, Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia to perform work for or volunteer with non-governmental organizations or religious organizations.

There have been multiple security incidents in southwestern Russia related to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government declared martial law in Russia’s regions bordering Ukraine (Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov, Krasnodar) on October 20, 2022. The martial law regime allows the rapid introduction of restrictive measures such as curfew, seizure of private property, restriction of entry/exit and freedom of movement, internment of foreigners, forced relocation of local residents, and restrictions on public gatherings. U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to these areas.

Recent legislation has expanded the ability of Russian authorities to detain, question, and arrest individuals suspected of acting against Russia’s interests, including posts on personal social media accounts, engaging with foreign and international entities, discrediting the Russian state or military, as well as advocating for the rights of LGBTQI+ persons.

Terrorist groups, both transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs and systems, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. Travel to the North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mt. Elbrus) is prohibited for U.S. government employees and strongly discouraged for U.S. citizens.

The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya – that Russia has purported to annex more recently. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in these areas. Russia staged its further invasion of Ukraine, in part, from occupied Crimea, and Russia is likely to take further military actions in Crimea, and the four other Ukrainian oblasts are the subject of intensive fighting. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in these regions, particularly against those who are seen as challenging Russia’s authority.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continues to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts partially occupied by Russia – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya, although the ongoing conflict severely restricts the Embassy’s ability to provide services in these areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Russia.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

Familiarize yourself with the information on what the U.S. government can and cannot do to assist you in a crisis overseas. Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance. Review the Traveler’s Checklist. Monitor local and international media for breaking events and adjust your contingency plans based on the new information. Ensure travel documents are valid and easily accessible. Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Country Security Report for Russia. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

From: BowmanMD
26-Feb-24
Well, I contacted the outfitter today and canceled for this fall. I'm still ok with going, but sat down and had the heart-to-heart with my wife and she was VERY strongly opposed to the whole thing. She has always been very tolerant of my passion for hunting and adventure, and has never complained or nagged. This was the first time that she has ever expressed such strong emotion about anything like this. So, even though I'm comfortable with going, I'm not comfortable going if she's not comfortable with me going. So that's it. Guess I'll be looking for another option this fall! Thanks for all the input. And now Bou can sleep well again at night knowing that I won't be jumping off a bridge or rotting in a Russian prison! (Kidding of course--I appreciate the concern from/for a fellow bowsiter!)

From: Bou'bound
26-Feb-24
Great prioritization

Great things are in store for you on plan B whatever it may be.

It would have been sad to lose spousal support for your hunting passion over this. That’s priceless. Sounds like you have a first class goodnone there and she’s smart too.

From: Aspen Ghost
26-Feb-24
I hear there's great bear hunting in North Korea.

From: Nyati
26-Feb-24
I think that’s a wise decision. Any other time it would be a great adventure. Things could have gone ok but things could have went very bad too. May be able to pickup a cancellation deal in AK, NWT, or Yukon

From: bghunter
26-Feb-24
Smart move.

I would reach out to Cabelas, I think I saw a cancellation Alaska Moose hunt on their site.

From: fuzzy
26-Feb-24
This is probably why I go thru so many wives. ??

From: Dale06
26-Feb-24
Sounds like a good woman you have for a wife.

From: Nomad
27-Feb-24
Yup! All kidding aside, smart decision! Good luck with plan B this fall.

From: BowmanMD
27-Feb-24
I'll figure something out. I always look for adventures that "speak" to me and that was Russia, so I'll have to see what's next. I've done Alaska several times and the Yukon, both of which were really cool, but I'm ready for something a little different (yet preferably not a communist dictatorship). Maybe NWT? It's kind of late notice for this year, but I've got a few feelers out to see what I come up with. I still haven't heard from the outfitter yet about refunding or forwarding my deposit. I really feel bad about canceling on him with such short notice, but we had discussed from the very beginning how we could pull the plug at anytime if the political situation wasn't favorable. Hopefully he will honor that. I'll keep you posted.

From: Mule Power
27-Feb-24
So your wife agrees with us. Since you were actually considering it I think you should let her, or us, make all of your decisions. It’s Russia man!

From: tobywon
27-Feb-24
Great, now I can pick up a nice cancellation hunt in Russia...just kidding.

Sounds like you are ahead of the game already having the wife that you have.

From: BowmanMD
27-Feb-24
She's definitely a keeper and no doubt that I married way, way up. And for the record, I did NOT let her read anything on this thread!!!

From: Matt
27-Feb-24

Matt's Link
Link to an article titled "An ex-KGB agent says every American that Putin can imprison is 'an asset that you can trade' as Moscow detains a US ballerina"

Probably not a good time for an American to go to Russia.

From: Stayfit
27-Feb-24
You need to do an integrity check if you consider spending a dollar in Russia. It may be small and seemingly insignificant but your actions speak so loudly we can't hear all the justifications you (and others) post.

From: BowmanMD
28-Feb-24
No integrity check needed here. But if and when I do go, I'll make sure to cancel my lunch date with Putin. I'm pretty confident that the working class Russian citizens like the guides and people in the local communities aren't the problem.

From: soccern23ny
28-Feb-24
Well actually some of the local people are the problem. Many support rhe "special military operation". Regardless of propaganda and controlled media that is the case for many

From: Hancock West
28-Feb-24
Controlled media soccer? Really? Look at cnn, msnbc, cbs, & abc to name just a few. 95% of the media carries the water for the democrats. Wake up and smell the coffee.

From: Aspen Ghost
28-Feb-24
Serious idea for you Hancock. If you think Russia is better, you should move there and give up US citizenship. It is actually pretty easy to do. Go for it. Save your family from growing up in the evil US.

From: Hancock West
28-Feb-24
Serious idea Aspen Ghost. Better head back to eye doctor and get a better script. I said "95% of the media carries the water for the democrats". As a result, ALOT of it is propaganda. JB & BO let Russia walk all over Ukraine, not once but twice! Who loves Russia. As i said before, wake up and smell the coffee.

From: Hancock West
28-Feb-24
Its clear Russia treats their citizens worse than the American goverment does but its also clear our media suppresses facts and pushes propaganda. Aspen you can take your Russia comment and stick it in your @ss.

From: Matt
28-Feb-24
There is a massive difference between a biased media and a government-controlled media.

From: Hancock West
28-Feb-24
Again for the 3rd time i dont support russia. I support our veterens, Israel, a secure border & a strong military. Our media suppresses facts & pushs propaganda to achive a desired election outcome. Thats bad... period. For the record we are still the greatest country in the world but were not headed in the right direction at this time.

From: Teeton
28-Feb-24
I would not go to Russia if the hunt was free. I have a friend that has dual citizenship, Poland and USA. He has a house 30 miles from Russia. He keeps trying to get me to go hunting over there with him in Poland. I have not taken up his offer. He doesn't have anything good to say about Russia when he was a kid in the 70's or now.

From: DanaC
29-Feb-24
"There is a massive difference between a biased media and a government-controlled media. "

Really? I see no difference at all, except who exactly 'sets' the bias. Either way, objectivity is down the toilet.

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