If you have ever dreamed of hunting a Kamchatka brown bear, one of the four sub-species of moose in Russia, or a majestic snow sheep with a bow and arrow, then that dream could soon be a reality as archery hunting is now permitted in Russia for the first time in recent history.
In August of 2019 amendments to Russia’s Federal Law on Weapons were passed by the Russian Federal Assembly and approved by The Kremlin, effectively legalizing hunting with bows and crossbows beginning on January 30, 2020. Prior to the recent amendments, archery gear was classified as “sport weapons”, which means their use was previously only permitted for competitions. Bows and crossbows are now officially classified as “hunting weapons.”
It is expected that the minimum draw weight for bows will be 60 lbs. and 95 lbs. for crossbows. More details about archery hunting will be available once the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources finalizes their new regulations.
SCI will be sure to provide updates for our members regarding the regulations for international hunters who wish to import archery equipment into the country as more information is available. Russian citizens with hunting licenses and weapons permits will be eligible to purchase archery equipment and they will be required to register their bows, but the permitting process is not expected to be as stringent as it is with firearms.
Considering the lack of experience Russian outfitters have with guiding clients on archery hunts, prospective hunters should exercise caution in booking hunts in the near future. It is expected that the most reliable outfitters in Russia will take some time to acclimate their techniques and services in order to ensure they can offer a good experience with the best possible chances of a successful hunt.
SCI Members should take advantage of the free Hunter Information Service and Hunter’s Travel Assistance Hotline when considering a bow hunt in Russia, or any hunt around the world.