Life of polar hunters on Pyasina river is a permanent struggle – facing hard working conditions in the Arctic climate, as well as challenging issues such as lack of infrastructure, difficulties in marketing their products and environmental changes.
In the Soviet times reindeer hunting in Taymyr gained industrial scope. Hunting spots for 50-person teams were built along the river Pyasina. During the short navigation period from the end of June until mid-September, coal and firewood, diesel fuel for generators and food are supplied on barges by the Piasina River. Fish and venison were taken out by the same barges. In the periods of intense hunting, helicopters were used as well. Around 5000 heads were shot every season. It is said to have been more than the meat output of all the reindeer husbandry in the USSR combined. Meat was used to produce elite sausage and jerky, and skin from deer tibia was used to make boots and souvenirs.
The collapse of the USSR brought the collapse of the established hunting system, Now you can see a lot of abandoned hunting spots along the river, but there are also signs of revival.
Modern hunters are real fans of tundra life, loyal to their trade, who don’t imagine themselves living in an urban environment. Among them there are a lot of indigenous people for whom this way of life is a revival of their traditions.