Hunting in Azerbaijan
Hunting waterfowl is mostly regarded as that for ducks, coots and geese. The pintail, wigeon, whistler teal, tufted duck and sometimes shoveler (Anas clypeata) belong to real, or river, ducks. Different methods are applied, some of them being used long before people started to use rifles in hunt, such as placing models and the imitation of duck screams.
Swimming ducks can be reached wherever water is enough for them to gather in a very big flock. Taking a chance in the coast flora, a hunter reaches as close to water as possible and has ducks fly up. Sometimes one can hear them quack on a pond or marsh; therefore, a sportsman/ woman must distinguish between different species from their voices. Another method is to hunt from a small boat on the river because ducks often neglect a boat coming down the stream.
Such sea ducks as the eider, scoter, as well as tufted duck, pochard and golden eye, belong to diving ducks. They are usually hunted on large lakes and lagoons. Flying up, they turn against the wind and take a run on water because their wings are not so big and strong as those of ducks eating from surface, which fly up jumping over water.
The peak to hunt diving ducks is late autumn, when freezing wind starts blowing from the North, and ducks fly south with it. It looks like these brave and fast birds appear with severe storms, which make them happy.The pre-dawn half-dark, waves crashing against the beach, and ice-covered models are attributes of special open-water hunt with plenty of models required: ducks fly in big flocks. After their eating place is found, models should be positioned. An enough space of clear water for the birds to sit is needed as between models and the hunter's hut. A good hut is to completely hide the hunter. It must be built before ducks come. It is very important because, while some ducks such as the tufted duck and diver are easily enticed with models, others are hardly tricked. By the way, as ducks are naturally curious, models can be very simple: white rags or paper pieces on water are enough sometimes.
The most popular way of hunting ducks, coots, and geese is that from an open re=d shelter in mornings and evenings, when waterfowls start flying, and hunters scare them up from 5-6 boats and hit.
Sitting in a hut, the hunter must watch ducks come. If they decide to sit on water, they start to hold out their legs in advance. If their legs are up, ducks are just flying around the models and speeding. However, some species may come differently.
If hunt is not very intensive in the area, the pochard willingly comes to high concentrations of models. Sometimes it air-dives in zigzag from a height, but oftener flies several check circles gradually coming down, and a hunter must be patient not to scare birds too early. The tufted duck seldom flies high, but it often disappoints hunters sitting away from models, farther than the shooting distance; if birds sit so, they can be enticed with imitating their voice similar to soft cat murmur or waving a kerchief over the hut or hidden boat. The tufted duck is very curious, and any movement attracts it if not human.
The waterfowl is hunted
- in the Azizbekov district (Pirallahi Hunting Place)
- in the districts of Imishli and Sabirabad (Sarisu Hunting Place)
- in the district of Yevlah (Varvara Hunting Place)
- in the districts of Imishli (Sherbet-Gobu Hunting Place)
- in the district of Jalilabad (Zavvar Hunting Place)
- in the district of Neftchala (Ghirmizikend Hunting Place)
- in the district of Khizi (Yashma Hunting Place)