It is impossible to avoid recalling the past, i.. foundation of the Hunting Association ...

The first Russian association was Moscow Hunting Association named after Emperor Alexander II, established in 1862. It was followed by the foundation of Kazan Association.

At that time in Ukraine landlords, merchants and other noble people, calling themselves free hunters, shot any live animals for their profit. It was difficult for genuine hunters of the time to do anything to save birds and animals. Free hunters, mostly small manufacturers, making their living by supplying the shot game to the Kyiv market, devastated its suburbs and made local intelligent amateur hunters think about the organization of an association for game protection.

The organizer of the hunting group was landlord and factory owner, citizen of Kyiv, KobetsY..

In early 1886 the group applied to the tsar about establishing a hunting association in Kyiv. And only 5 September 1886 the permission for opening a "Branch of Kyiv Emperor Regular Hunting Association" was granted. Thus for the first time in Ukraine, under the tsar Decree in 1886, the association of hunters was founded.

By 1 April 1890 the association consisted of 84 persons. The biggest number of members of the association was 418 persons.

After the revolution of 1917 he association became accessible to masses. The Decrees established the basics of public reserves and preserves for saving rare endangered species ofbirds and animals. The association of hunters faced a complicated task: not only to renew, but also to reproduce the hunting fauna of Ukraine. To work more successfully it was necessary to found the Hunting Association.

Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association, the largest and most popular public organization, was started 10 July 1921 in Kharkiv. Then, on the initiative of the existing at that time Hunting Centre at the People’s Commissariat of Farming (PCF) UkrSSR, the first general meeting was convoked. During the event hunters and fishermen united into All-Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Union (AUHFU).

...Delegates of eight province organizations came to Kharkiv. They united 45 thousand people that had been acting separately. However, they laid the basis for uniting the forces.

The general meeting was attended by: Donetsk association of regular rifle and dog hunting; Ekaterinoslavsk province association of rifle and dog hunting; Zaporizzhia province branch of hunting union; Kremenchug province hunting union; Nikolayev province branch of labour hunting union; Odessa province hunting union; Hunting and fishing union of Poltava province; Kharkiv province association of amateur rifle and dog hunting.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of Volyn, Kyiv, Podil and Chernigov provinces – total 40 delegates.

The general meeting unanimously decided to establish All-Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Union and its Articles of Association. This was a milestone in the life of Ukrainian hunters and fishermen.

The first presidium chairman of the Central council of AUHFU, elected at the general meeting, was Victor Averin, famous and active statesman, scientist and journalist.

The first positive results of uniting hunters and fishermen appeared in less than a year. “Hunting and Fishing” magazine was published by Elizavetgrad hunting and fishing association.

It was the first periodical in Ukraine, which soon gained popularity not only in the province but also in other regions, and had a serious cultural and educative impact. Nature corners and nature museums were created everywhere; active members of the union and teachers gave lectures and talks on nature protection topics for the youth.

At the II general meeting of AUHFU on 19 March 1923 the new hunting Decree draft was discussed and the Articles of Association were amended. At the time the union comprised about 80 thousand members, and its infrastructure was being formed rapidly – reserves, preserves, demonstrative and model hunting and fishing farms, nurseries of game and fish, fur animals and hunting dogs, and shooting galleries were established, hunting and fishing courses were opened on behalf and under the agreement of the People’s Commissariat of Farming.

In 1924 the delegates of the III general meeting of AUHFU elected Kirill Holod to be the presidium chairman of the Union Central council. As of 1 October 1926 the union included over 100 thousand hunters and fishermen. By the following year the union consisted about 150 thousand members.

In 1928 some 168 thousand nature-lovers were members of the union. Among them farmers – over 68 percent, workers - 14, officers – 13, handicraftsmen – 1,7 and other – 2 percent.

In the late twenties – early thirties the structure and hierarchy in the system of the union were changed repeatedly due to the changes in the administrative and territorial division of the republic.

The main point was that the union of voluntary defenders of hunting fauna operated, grew in quantity and quality, strengthened and played a significant part in solving social and economic development issues.

In 1933 a terrible fatal disaster swept over Ukrainian land. All-Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Union was also impacted. That tragic year forests and fields and meadows were devastated. There were practically no animals for hunting because of horrible famine reigning then in Ukraine.

As early as in 1931 All-Ukrainian Union was reorganized. First it joined All-Union association and was officially called All-Ukrainian Cooperative Hunting and Fishing Council.

Two years passed. In 1933, due to political horrors the association was actually liquidated. The resource-and-technical base of hunting and fishing farms with the value of seven million roubles (big money at time) was given to the competence of "Soyezmekh", which did not last long either. Instead of it there was established "Zagotzhivsyrie". Its tasks were to stock cattle and fulfill the plan at any price.

These hard and tragic events in the history of All-Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Union lasted until the Great Patriotic War.

But irresistible, permanent craving for hunting lived in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people. It has been passed down by generations, from grandfathers and great grandfathers.

Involuntarily people recollected the basics of activities of the former hunting and fishing union (AUHFU), especially the favourable twenties, when the members of this really democratic organization strived for being actual masters of the grounds, cared of multiplying natural wealth, constant protection and reproduction of wild fauna.

After adopting the resolution of the republic government in 1946 on establishing Ukrainian voluntary hunting and fishing association the renewal of the authoritative public organization, which had been known for its noble deeds in nature protection, but had become a victim of Stalin exaggerations, began. In the history of the association it was a tough challenge from both contemporary political system and the epoch.

Thus, a new, so-called post-war, stage of establishing and developing Ukrainian hunting and fishing association started.

The convocation of the 1st post-war general meeting of Ukrainian hunting and fishing association (UHFA) was preceded by thorough arrangements made by the organizing group, which included Griva V. D., Zerov . ., Kalashnikov V. D., Kotvitsly I. V., Radchuk V. V., Sakhnovsky G. D., Shevniuk . T., Shipulinsky . N.

The first chairman of the UHFA Republic Council was a former front-line officer Radchuk V. V.

The first general meeting of UHFA, held in Kyiv 13-14 June 1947, adopted the Articles of Association and defined the ways and directions of renewing the Association.

At the time of convoking the meeting the Association consisted of 41 thousand people, and the resource-and-technical base included several workshops for hunting rifle repairs, 21 shops selling hunting and fishing goods and other fixed assets for the amount of 12 million roubles.

By the second meeting (December 1951) the number of members of the Association increased nearly by four times and was 153 thousand people.

At that time 65 registered hunting farms of the total area of 784 thousand hectares were organized .

In the registered hunting farms 14 lodges were built, 248 boats were bought, 90% hunting farms were su0pplied with vehicles.

On the basis of hunting farms several lake farms were founded, berths were made. Hunters – members of the Association killed 3825 wolves and 8,6 mln. martens. To enrich the hunting fauna of the republic 268 pheasants and 104 Daurian partridges were brought in 1951.

Within 4,5 years of the Association activities the hunters shot and gave to the authorities furs for the amount of 8,8 mln. roubles. 17 sport shooting stands were built.

The Association sales network expanded to 86 shops and "Okhotpromsnab" storehouse was set up. The currency of the Association consolidated balance-sheet as of 01.01. 1951 was 21 mln. roubles.

With the time, along with the post-war renewal of the economy of Ukraine, improvement of common welfare, the Association grew and strengthened.

It was favoured by the democratic UHFA organizational structure, a number of resolutions of the Ukrainian SSR government, aiming at multiplying and protecting hunting fauna.

In 1958 scheduled V general meeting of the UHFA was carried out. It elected a new chairman of the Republic Council, Shevniuk . .

That general meeting approved 7-year development plan for the Association hunting and fishing farming that was successfully implemented.

The essential point in the activities of the Association at the time was registering users of hunting grounds, liquidating depersonalization in respect of the hunting farms and grounds. As of 01.01. 1966 UHFA had 46,5 mln. hectares of registered grounds, or 85,9% of total hunting grounds in the republic.

The area of registered hunting farm grounds reached 9,5 mln. hectares, while primary hunting groups had 37 mln. hectares of registered grounds.

By the end of the seven-year period the number of registered hunting farms increased from 200 to 570; the grounds were supplied with 100 gamekeeper units, equipped with 20000 feeding racks and feeding grounds, 28000 solonetz and 800 ponds. The gamekeeping service was set up with the staff of 593 and over 2000 volunteering gamekeepers.

It was at that period of time that elements of the scientific approach to the industry management began to integrate more actively into the organization and running of hunting and fishing economy, first seminars and experience exchange programs were introduced.

The work was mostly focused on setting up a sound forage reserve for feeding hunting animals. Therefore the Association hunting funds were increasing.

1965 was a milestone for the Association due to putting into operation UHFA "Sokol" plant for manufacturing hunting and fishing goods.

A number of model hunting farms were organized by common public forces.

In 1959 hunting farm "Katerinka" of UHFA Nikolayev region council included fifteen hundred Mongolian pheasants, 13 roe deer, 200 hares and 50 foxes.

With the arrival of I. Y. Kotsiubinsky, the farm chief gamekeeper, genuine master of grounds, the farm became to transform. In early 1966 it included over three thousand pheasants. The farm bred over 400 roe deer, 800 hares, 2 elks, and the number of foxes halved.

Hunting farm "Shandorovskaya dacha" of Vinnitsa region council the livestock of deer rose from 100 to 300 within seven years.

Hunting farm "Pavlogradskoye" of UHFA Dnepropetrovsk region council was established in 1960. First it was practically deprived of game. In 1961 it was supplied with 30 wild boars and 8 deer. As a result of biotechnical measures in 1966 there were 180 wild boars, 15 deer, up to 500 hares, partridges and roe deer on the grounds of this farm. The farm constructed a hunting house for 0 people.

From 1961 to 1965 Ukrainian hunters were given licenses to shoot totally in the republic 2727 roe deer, 200 deer, 110 elks and 1876 wild boars.

Earlier these species were prohibited for shooting, as they were endangered in Ukraine.

The Association worked on supplying and distributing hunting fauna, saving hunting animals during floods, as well as at the time of creating large man-made water reservoirs of the Dnieper.

Within seven years the plan of stocking furs was overfulfilled. Hunters did away with wolves on the territory of the Crimean, Zaporizzhia, Kirovograd, Kherson and Khmelnitsky regions, and all in all they killed 5300 grey bandits. The number of qualified hunting dogs increased from 294 to 1300.

The quantity of fishing farms increased from 41 in 1959 to 184 in 1965, sport fishing bases from 24 to 55 respectively. In some regions new boat berths were built, among which was a well-equipped berth of UHFA Zaporizzhia city council, for 1200 boats.

The Republic council and region councils of Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association paid a lot of attention to capital development. During seven years the Association fixed assets increased by almost 5 times – from 700 thousand roubles to 3 mln. 300 thousand roubles. In 1959 the Association owned only 36 buildings of UHFA district and city councils. In 1966 the Association already had 9 buildings of region councils and 160 buildings of district and city councils, constructed with their own forces and at the expense of the Association.

The most productive and efficient was work in Zaporizzhia, Kharkiv, Poltava, and Dnepropetrovsk region councils of the UHFA. The UHFA shop network expanded and consisted of 177 in 1967. The Association incomes were growing.

In 1965 they were 2 mln. 307 thousand roubles, and in 1966 – 2 mln. 980 thousand roubles. The UHFA carried out active and focused mass, propaganda and education activities.

As of 01.01. 1967 the UHFA consisted of 452816 people, united into 10309 primary hunting organizations.

As it was stated at the VII UHFA general meeting, held in 1966, at the time the Association established itself as one of the largest and most popular public organizations.

Positive role in improving general level of UHFA hunting organizations activities was played by the widespread, at the time, socialist competition movement, directed on fulfilling and overfulfilling of production plans, on servicing hunters and fishermen. At that time the best regional organizations of UHFA were: Dnepropetrovsk (chairman Petrovsky . V.), Zaporizzhia (chairman Khynin . .), Kharkiv (chairman Lopata G. B.), Poltava (chairman Shylo . I.), Cherkassy (chairman Drozdov . P.), Sumy (chairman Ivanov . P.), Vinnytsia (chairman Menchinsky G. I.), Khmelnitsky (chairman Guliayev . S.).

8 August 1969 the Council of Ministers of UkrSSR approved the document: "Provisions on hunting and hunting economy of Ukrainian SSR", which gave a new impulse for the development of hunting as an industry of economy and generally encouraged the development and improvement of activities of Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association.

The seventies were marked by active implementation of the requirements of these Provisions, which at the time were really innovative. They introduced distinct differentiation of hunting grounds in accordance with the form of property. They accelerated the rate of establishing natural preserves, reserves, constructing animal farms and game nurseries, open-air cages with a wide range of biotechnical facilities, planting protective trees and forage fields.

Management of the hunting economy in Ukraine, control over its performance, in particular, the use of hunting grounds, arrangement of hunting trade, development of hunting sport, compliance with the established procedure of stocking, processing and selling hunting products, as well as issuing of hunting cards and levying of the state duty for the right to hunt were given to the Ministry of forestry of UkrSSR. The Rules and terms of hunting were improved.

VIII general meeting of UHFA, held in 1971, was noted for the change in management (Yurko G. V. was voted the chairman of the UHFA Republic Council) and improvement of the UHFA organizational structure. The Articles of Association, amended at that general meeting, though somewhat copying the Articles of the reigning party of the time, provided for democracy and strict executive discipline as regards fulfillment of decisions of the Association governing bodies of all levels. In 1971 6-storied Republican Hunting and Fishing House was put into operation in the centre of Kyiv. It has seated the Association headquarters – UHFA Ukrainian Council.

Regarding the development and activity of the Association the 70-80s were the most favourable years for improving all aspects of UHFA operations. With the time work experience was gained, a school of experts and managers of different levels was formed.

From 1973 to 1984 the Association was headed by . V. Nikolayevsky. Being an experienced specialist, biologist, efficient manager and leader, he put significant efforts to raise the work of the Association onto a higher level, scientific. In close cooperation with the scientists of the best hunting farms of the Association the developments and recommendations of 32 contract projects of various directions in hunting economy were implemented.

At that time a number of young specialists in hunting with specialized higher education were trained. Among them were Shchuliar N.S., Avdeenko Y. P., Zhuk S. ., Naumov N. ., Rubets V, V., Tomina N. ., Shybeniuk V. ., Gorobchenko L. ., Sas V. ., Klimenko N. ., Lushchiak . N., Prus S. I., Ugliar R. Y., Shchegelsky V. ., Solomin S. G., Avdeev . S., Zaklekta S. V. and others.

Test and model, hunting farms Verkhnedubechanskoye, Dymerskoye and "Fazan", established at the UHFA Ukrainian council, became the school of innovative expertise and places of holding theoretical and practical seminars for the Association employees.

During that period a serious and effective part in training medium level employees and gamekeeping staff was played by permanent advanced training courses at Lviv forestry technical institute and Zaporizzhia state university. Indeed, as it became clear later, those years formed the UHFA gold reserve – specialists and managing staff.

From 1984 to 1994 UHFA was headed by . P. Korzh, experienced business manager, enthusiast and patriot of the Association, who contributed a lot into strengthening the infrastructure and economic state of the public organization. Nearly all regional centres became profitable due to self-supporting and financing.

By the end of the 80-s to perform more focused work on improving hunting and fishing economy keeping the Association established 26 hunting and fishing production complexes of UHFA regional and Kyiv city councils, 513 hunting and fishing farms. The quantity of members of the Association reached 632 thousand people, and the area of registered hunting grounds 45,6 mln. hectares.

Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association attained its top popularity. The number of admissions was limited by the regulative rate, recommending to have at least 100 hectares per hunter.

The growing power of the organization was confirmed by annual increase in the number of essential hunting species, outcome of hunting products from 1 thousand hectares of grounds, investments into protection and reproduction of hunting and fish fauna, using investments, products turnover, receipts from all activities, improvement of efficiency etc.

It was a considerable result of hard and creative work of several generations of staff, managers and public. Solid basis for further development and prospects of UHFA was laid then.

However, in early and especially in mid-90-s Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association underwent significant changes. In August 1994 delegates of the meeting of the UHFA Ukrainian council voted for Shpygalo V.Y. as the presidium chairman.

Social and economic situation in the country led to new approaches and attitude to organizational grounds of public institutions, required flexible approach to interaction with state and especially authorized bodies in the field of hunting economy.

The agenda included the issues of developing new Provisions of hunting economy and procedures. These circumstances demanded to focus attention and efforts of the largest possible number of members of the organization on the Association activities under market economy conditions of the young independent state, achievement of consensus in relations with respective state authorities.

But everything happened otherwise. The alterations, made in the UHFA Articles of Association in a forcible manner, violated democratic principles of the Association activities, the introduced authoritative techniques led to bureaucracy and abuse. The mistake of the contemporary UHFA Ukrainian council presidium was in canceling a scheduled general meeting of UHFA in 1996.

Because of the shortsightedness in the moist responsible period of its history Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association for almost 10 years worked without its superior governing body – general meeting.

As a result – as of 1 January 2001 the number of members of the Association reduced to 335 thousand people, the area of registered with the Association hunting grounds – to 37.3 mln. hectares, hunting farms of the UHFA Ukrainian council – Dymerskoye and Verkhnedubechanskoye were liquidated, a range of structural subdivisions were not subordinated to UHFA any more.

By February 2000 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine had established legal, economic and organizational principles of activities of legal entities and individuals in hunting sector and hunting itself.

Persistence and legislative initiative of the People’s Deputy of Ukraine V. Y. Shpygalo, who headed the Association at that time on a voluntary basis, accelerated the adoption of the Law of Ukraine "On Hunting Economy and Shooting".

general meeting of UHFA, convoked in April 2000 in Kyiv, provided detailed analysis of the situation in the Association.

In compliance with the requirements of the time, introduction of the Law of Ukraine "On Hunting Economy and Shooting " notable amendments were made in the UHFA Articles of Association, new UHFA presidium and Ukrainian council were elected.

For the first time a biologist and hunting expert Nikolay Shuliar, who had been working as the chairman of Kyiv regional council of UHFA, was elected the chairman.

... For its over 80-year history the Ukrainian Hunting and Fishing Association has actually proved its capacity and right to be among the leaders in the nature protection and hunting and fish fauna increase.

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