The Russian military units stationed in Poland had separate hunting grounds designated for themselves, on which their officers could hunt. We bordered on two such circuits. They were hunted by officers from two different air units. These were 100% forested circuits.
Very often our neighbors rushed to our area to silently shoot a pheasant or roe, or in the Oder's embankment to hunt for ducks, which were then quake. Periods of protection were generally not observed. Many times we saw them from a distance, but each time they managed to hide in the forest constituting their perimeter. Complaints to the garrison headquarters did not work, because we could not give any further information about any of them, and that's what their "demand" demanded.
In March, one Saturday morning we went with our father to hunt for drakes. It was sunny but windy and cold. We walked along the bank of the river with wicker, and our Saba shack raided on the border of water and bushes. At that time, it was allowed to shoot spring drakes, which required a lot of control, because the ducks were already paired together and together they were flying. They only shot to these drakes, which inadvertently drifted away from their partner. Somehow this morning we could not find a duck. We did not give one shot. We came to the conclusion that the wind and the wave of water in the river caused it to move the ducks to the surrounding swamp. We set off, so towards the nearest one. Saba moved reluctantly into the rushes, for there was still ice in them, which broke under her weight and hurt her paws. Only this water in the middle of the reservoir was already thawed. After exploring, unfortunately without success, a few such places, we decided to return home, but before that we decided to look at one more, bigger than the others. Going out into the open space, we heard a shot. Someone was shooting over the stagnant pool where we were about to go. None of our hunters were entered in the book of trips. We stepped back into the bushes and through the binoculars I began to observe the rim of the pond from which they were fired. At some point something shone in my bulrushes and immediately disappeared. I focused on this part of the area and saw a Russian hat about my skin. I saw the flash again - the sun was reflecting off the varnished visor of the hat. This time I knew that the owner of the hat would not escape us. It was too far to the forest, and in addition we were between him and the forest. We separated with my father and hiding behind the bushes, we started to walk from both sides, the edge of the pond towards him.
After passing several dozen meters, I saw a military off-road vehicle hidden in dense thickets, popularly known as a "swab". No one was with him. I remember the number of the Russian registration and moved on. After a moment I heard the sounds of conversation. It turned out that my father had already arrived. Poachers were two, as it turned out, Russian officers in the rank of captains. I just heard the beginning of the discussion. Establishing military stages was not a problem, because for some reason, all Russian officers on hunting hunted slightly worn out uniform uniform shorts as hunting clothes.
When the culprits saw that there were two of us and when I told them that I had saved the registration number of the vehicle, they would have lost theirs. When asked what they were shooting at, they showed the mirror of the water, where, at a distance of about 30 meters, a mallard duck lay outside the frozen reed belt. "Lord, empty sobaku" - one asked my father that he sent Saba for help. This one after the previous waders was shaking with cold and bleeding from mangled paws. Do not you see that the dog is fed up? Father answered him. The latter said without hesitation that in that case he would go to the water and actually began to undress. He stripped naked, but put on his hat. Slowly, wading through the breaking ice, he walked towards the shot bird. After a while, he came to a place where the water reached down to his breast. Just a step and disappeared under the surface of the water. He apparently went to one of the pits, which were full at the bottom of this bog. Cap floated on the surface of the water, and the owner was not there. After emerging, he floated back on his wet head. He swam to the drake and did not know how to get to him. "Take him in your teeth," I shouted at him. To my surprise, he did it and with a duck in his teeth began to flow to the shore. We all burst out laughing. The second captain immediately took a pile of dried grass and some sticks that he set on fire, so that his fellow colleague could warm up a little at the symbolic fire. We helped him and after a while a large fire started to blaze. The "retriever" in the same underwear tried to warm up at him, burying at the same time in a military bag, which for years serves the Soviet army as a backpack. After a moment, he pulled out a military canteen and took a sip from it, then he let out a loud breath, handing the canteen to my father. Father, and after him and I refused to eat. For a moment he insisted on trying a good spirit, but we were not persuaded, so the second captain took the canteen.
"Say better, why are you hunting here? This is not your area, and this time you will not get out, because we know the registration number of your car. We will make a formal complaint to your command, "said my father. They began to explain the unfamiliarity of the area, the bad map and ask them not to report matters in their command. Soon the captains left. We also returned home for a late dinner, with the decision to report this incident to the Russian command right on Monday morning. Late one of our other neighbors knocked on the door late in the evening. We were a bit surprised by such a late visit. It was not easy to take him in the doorway, so he was invited inside. This man was em-eryt and, as everyone else knew about it, he worked on the side of trading with Russian cerium. He helped them liquefy things (mainly gold) that they brought home from their holiday trips. After a few words, he asked us if we were both hunting today (while defining the hunting area). When we responded affirmatively, he revealed that he had come to us at the request of Major, hunter of the local Russian hunting circle. The major asked for the opportunity to meet, to discuss cases of violating the borders of our circuit by hunters reporting to him.
Earlier, my father, as the president of our circle, wanted to talk to him about it. This one, however, always excused service and lack of time, and this time he invited us both to himself (officers with families lived outside the barracks) and not to the office in the barracks? And he reportedly insisted that this meeting be held with him? It was suspicious - probably captains caught by us had to ask for help. We agreed and the next day, around noon, together with our neighbor, we knocked on the door of the major's companion.
The host opened the door for us and invited us inside. We were surprised to find that this is not the same major with whom we had previous contacts. It turned out that our host is recently in Poland. He took over the hunter's function after his predecessor, who after 5 years of service returned to the womb of "Matuszki Rossiji".
In the hall waiting for the culprits, or two captains. After the welcome, we were invited to the main room, to the table, which sagged from the weight of various drinks and masses of delicacies. I knew that in the Russian house the invited guests were very lavish, but this time I was surprised by such abundance. Apart from "Stoliczna", there were some Armenian cognacs and Georgian wines to choose from. Unfortunately, there was no air spirit. The appetizer was caviar, sausage, fish in tomatoes and oil straight from the can, and just a little drenched herring from the barrel. For this delicious, black wholemeal bread. Only bakers can do the baking. We were asked to take places and we started talks, preceded by the obligatory hundred "Stoliczna" for "the best man", that is for friendship. The captains played the role of cupbearers, making sure that our glasses never dried out.
After a moment of casual conversation, we went to the proper topic of the meeting. The captains cordially apologized for the incident yesterday and vowed that they would not do more. They said (and the major confirmed this) that they have been in the local unit for only a few weeks, moved to Poland from central Russia. They were both pilots of helicopters. They were afraid that after we reported yesterday's history of the command, they could convict themselves back to their place, somewhere in a field garrison on the border with China.
All Russian officers treated their stay in Poland as a distinction and a lottery fate. They received assignments for a maximum of 5 years. During this time, they traded on power. They brought gold, colored televisions, and cameras to Poland, and some even smuggled diamonds. They were transporting furniture, bed linen and other scarce items back without paying for them either in Poland or in Russia. It was officially all of them, as their resettlement property. With us, all these things were highly deficit, but not available to them at all. During the holiday, they sold it all at home and using a good ruble to dollar ratio of 1: 1, exchanging rubles for dollars at once. After returning to Poland, they did shopping at "PEWEXIE". Goods from "PEWEXU" were transported to Russia for the next holiday, and so on and on. Only when they left Poland permanently took things bought for themselves. They gathered this property during their entire stay. In Russia, prices for Western articles were shocking. I know the case when one of them bought 100szt on the Polish bazaar. plastic advertising bags of the German chain of stores "ALDI".
He paid for 10 PLN / each. He rolled it into a thin roll, went on holiday to Russia and sold it there for 1 ruble per piece. He brought back US $ 100. During this time, the dollar on the black market "walked" for PLN180. A nice profit?
No wonder our captains were so afraid of the report. They could forever lose the opportunity to earn a lot of money and the chance to make a living after returning home. There was no such chance with the Chinese. They were really terrified by the potential consequences of their jump, why I was not surprised at all.
We felt sorry for them. In total, for one hunt they could pay a very high price. We only asked them to promise that it will not happen again in the future. It was evident from their reaction that a great stone fell from their hearts. The party stretched until late at night. Major Witia, (at the end of the evening, we were already by name), while saying good-bye, he would like to invite us warmly to hunt their circuits.