Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) Movie Script

This is the village of
Bakhtia In Siberia.
Although it looks like winter to us,
it's already spring here.
The village is located
In the heart' of Siberia...
and we should' keep In mind
that this colossal landmass...
is one and a half times
the size of the United States.
The endless wilderness that surrounds
this place is known as the taiga.
No roads or train lines traverse it'.
There are only two ways
to reach this outpost'-
one is by helicopter, the other by boat.
The expanse In the foreground
is not solid' ground..
but the frozen-over Yenisey River...
one of the largest'
waterways In Siberia.
It' is only during
the few Ice-free months of summer..
that boats can also reach Bakhtia.
Of the 300 or so inhabitants
of this village...
a handful of them make their livelihood
as professional trappers.
One of these men is Gennady Solovyev.
Here he makes his way
into the wilderness...
across an enormous frozen river
He wants to show us
an essential tool of his profession.
An animal would approach
and begin twisting the bait.
The pressure is very light.
will just keep my hand in it.
Let me show you.
See how light it is.
There you go. The animal is trapped.
This is how disarm the trap.
take away the bait.
Remove the wooden linchpin so that
squirrels or mice don't steal them...
put everything under the roof,
and that's it.
Until next season.
You are no hunter Without a dog.
This one has short hair
because a Moscow dog breed is mixed in.
Here, take a look at Zeena,
her male partner.
He is a smart-looking one, no doubt.
But he's stopped working in the taiga.
He is not interested in hunting animals.
A freeloader, not a real dog any more.
But he gets all the appropriate perks
a dog is entitled to.
He chases after bitches all he Wants
and gets the best food.
Have one male dog
who has really earned his keep.
Now he is retired from active duty.
He is a pensioner.
And I'll keep feeding him
for as long as he is alive.
Come here and eat!
The snow crust after a good frost
is very tough.
No, don't think it'll support moose
and other big ones.
But it is tough snow crust all right.
It's great for bears and wolves
to really get around.
But the poor moose have had it.
If the snow is deep, they won't get far
on this kind of snow crust.
Anyone can take advantage
of their helpless condition-
anyone who is hungry or Wants
to make extra money- people, mean.
This is the best time of the yeah.
for Gennady to find'
the perfect piece of wood..
for the making of his
all-important skis.
Here you are deciding
if the fiber will be straight or not.
See, it's a bit twisted
and kind of leans to the right.
If it's shaped like this from the top
along the center...
it's straight fiber all right.
If it's slanted a bit,
it means it's twisted...
and you're going to get
a propeller-like board.
A good wedge is a man's savior.
In the olden days, a villager wouldn't
have much by way of tools-
just a club and wedge.
The wedge should have a gentle slope
and be very sharp.
Make your wedge steep
and the wood will eject it.
Of course, a good craftsman
will make good skis using good wood.
Getting around in these
is sheer pleasure.
You might have factory-made ones.
If you and go into the
Woods, you'll drop
dead from fatigue
after 15 kilometers.
You won't be able to move a leg.
Me, I'll just keep on skiing
Without a care in the world.
"Without moss and wedge
to earn his bread,
the carpenter would
long be dead. "
True, you can't do much
using one wedge.
Take several of them,
and you can gradually lift anything.
You can lift a house.
mean anything.
It's so powerful.
Try to split a tree like
this Without a wedge.
There's no way.
You're not upsetting the fibers.
On a disk saw, if you
don't pay attention
where you're setting
the board...
it'll out laterally through the fibers,
and you've had it.
A ski is very thin-
about two millimeters near the nose.
If the board isn't straight-grained,
it'll start to bend and that'll be it.
As they say, you can take away
anything from a man-
his wealth and health and suchlike-
but you can't take away
his craftsman skills.
Once you learn a trade, you always know
your trade for the rest of your life.
You agree?
Naturally, you pick up things
from others as you go along-
a bit here, a bit there,
add your own little improvements.
You've got to see something.
Someone's got to tell you something
and you will know.
You can't reinvent the bicycle.
All these techniques have been
invented long before your time...
honed to perfection over the centuries.
The Ice covering the river
is still solid...
making it easy to travel
the vast distances...
the trappers need to
prepare for their work
Unlike sport hunting...
preparation for professional trapping
is a year-round job.
This is Anatoly Blume.
He's tending one of his huntng cabins.
Here, he removes the winter snow
so that the roof will not cave in.
Firewood must be collected' now
so that It can dry during the summer
Each hunter has a base hut...
and a number of additional outlying huts
that need to be maintained
That's a bear's trail.
He is out of his lair now.
Remember we talked about
the snow crust- that
it's strong enough for
the likes of him?
Well, he's out and he'll go
and hunt some moose or deer.
Guy needs his grub, right?
All the provisions here
have to be secured against bears.
They don't use glass for the windows...
as glass is easily broken
during transportation or by bears.
These are the claw marks
made by one of them.
In spring,
with the sun higher upon the horizon...
the snow becomes wet
and river water seeps through the fee.
In the fall, the river will ice up
when fully flooded.
After snow falls, the
water will drain...
and the ice will be forced down
by the snow.
A crack will develop through which
the water will flow under the snow..
And this water will never freeze.
If you ask me, industry and perseverance
is top of the agenda.
Doubt if anyone would agree.
But we all agree that greed is
the trapper's worst quality...
which and my friends despise.
Can tell you that.
That's for sure.
Making a few coins at any price.
Setting up traps up until-
up until the thaw...
even when all you get
are pregnant females.
Arming traps too early.
It's only a few days into October,
but that guy is already arming traps.
They tell him the sable isn't
coming out properly yet. it's black.
"So what?" the guy would say.
"Only a couple of coins,
that's true, but in my pocket.
Otherwise the sable will run
to someone eases territory. "
We despise this kind of trapper.
Here, Gennady builds one of his traps...
In the same simple manner
they have been built' for ages.
Grandfather's traps- Whoever invented
them, his name is long forgotten.
So many centuries have passed,
but we still use them...
unable to invent something new.
It is April, and the weather is warm,
plenty of daylight...
the mosquitoes aren't out yet-
time for trappers.
Those living off trapping and wanting
to earn a bit to go out to the Woods.
They will go into the taiga
for nearly four weeks...
setting up their properties,
storing food and suchlike.
Some will make new (koolyomka traps.
Others will drive new paths
through the taiga.
In short, folks are out working.
Will come in the fall and finish it.
It'll be a proper (koolyomka trap, all
right, While now it's just a spring job.
We do have these large
territories, you see...
so need to make a thousand of these,
give or take.
Gennady marks the
location of his trap...
so he can find it at the beginning
of the hunting season.
His territory comprises
of some 1,500 square kilometers.
This area was consigned to him
during Communist times...
when he trapped for the state.
came north in 1970
and was immediately employed.
They told me to get ready.
They gave me traps,
advanced some money, issued a gun.
And me and my partner- we were both 20-
boarded a chopper.
They showed us our site
and just left us there.
We didn't have a radio.
We didn't have anything.
They promised to bring some food
by New Year's Eve...
a stove and some other stuff.
We didn't have anything.
My partner somehow
didn't prove equal to the challenge.
Was left alone.
They didn't bring anything
at the promised time.
Well, things happen.
It's aviation after all.
It's a long story, but survived-
interestingly enough.
It was not like that island on TV
where they're all heroes...
and catch and share crabs or scorpions.
Me, was really struggling
for dear life...
because snow fell
and had no winter clothes.
There was no stove in the hut.
Just bread rusk to eat.
Was lucky to have a good dog.
She really fed me.
Thought was a hell
of a seasoned trapper.
But when it really came down to it,
it turned out was a complete novice.
That was my initial season.
Was flown in on August 5
and brought back on February 20-
some season.
Well, matter of fact,
I don't think I blew it.
The hunters return to the village.
Here, the kids enjoy a last chance
at Ice-skating before the thaw
May 1 marks a big day for Russia.
It is their traditional Labor Day
and marks the end of the winter.
Winter is burnt In effigy;.
The appearance
of the first geese flying north...
is a sure sign of spring.
This is followed quickly
by May 9, Victory Day -
the day the German army surrendered..
bringing an end
to the Second World' Wan
This marks an event of epochal
proportians In Russian history...
as more than 20 million Russians
lost' their lives In this wan
Every family lost' someone.
This sign marks a residence
of a veteran, a war hero.
Everyone yelled and shouted.
We screamed, "Hurrah!"
asked, "What happened?"
They said, "Yell hurrah. it's victory!"
Then Stalin spoke on the radio.
His Russian wasn't too good.
We came out into the street
in the morning-
overwhelmed by memories of the war,
he can no longer speak
As if responding to the shots
fired In celebration...
the fee of the Yenisey River
begins to break
An entire landscape
starts to move north...
towards the Arctic Ocean.
Spring is the time to
build' dugout canoes.
This man, Gennady Tiganov...
belongs to the get native population
of this part of Siberia.
He is their last' remaining
expert' boat builder
Tools and techniques being used
are all traditional
It' is essential to hollow out
the precise amount and no more.
Markings point out
the positions of dowels
which will be driven
into the hull.
From the inside, this tells the
boat maker how deep he can carve.
One of the last steps
is the widening of the canoe.
Exposing the body to heat
makes the shape of the canoe permanent
What remains is a layer of tar.
The hunters head
out to test their new
canoes with some fishing
and duck hunting.
This week-long expedition
Is also the first time...
these pups are being taken
out into the wilderness.
The nets have been out overnight'...
and, by morning,
Ice has formed around them.
But it's a good time of year
for catching pike and other fish.
The most dellicate fish will be smoked
for the season to come.
Summer brings an abundance of life.
This is a sable In short summer fur.
Come winter, it' will be
the main quarry of the trappers.
Even though the hunter
does not want to go for the reindeer...
his dog can't help but give chase.
He has no chance, but try he must.
Preparations are in full swing
for the upcoming trapping season.
This means stocking up
on as much fish as you can catch...
to feed both man and dog.
Some of the pike can be real specimens.
Negotiating the shallows of the river
becomes a real problem.
The propeller has to be protected
Summer Is the season for the hunters
to help each other build' new cabins.
The real challenge are the mosquitoes-
clouds of them.
Honestly, mosquitoes
are all right for me.
When you're busy,
you don't notice them that much.
Here are the nails.
You drive them in, leaving the tip.
And then you twist it, and that's it.
The hunters are so
self-reliant that they
make virtually everything
Chain saws are one of the few
modern tools they use.
All right, the Window to Europe.
Moss and earth. In the cities,
they have special insulation.
Here, moss and earth are the insulation.
We usually do it in the summer
after piling up logs in the spring.
By early summer, the log frame is ready.
You now have to cover it to protect
it against rain, to let it dry...
so that the hut is ready
by the start of the trapping season.
For good measure, we'll dig a cellar...
to store potatoes, onions.
On a warm day in a windless place,
the mosquitoes bite like crazy.
The best place is in the wind
close to your home.
The mosquitoes bite.
This dog is eaten up by mosquitoes.
As there is no corner drugstore...
the hunters have to make
their own insect repellent'.
The bark of birch trees
can be processed..
to produce a tar
which is equally as effective out there.
I'll cover his face with tar,
and it'll be okay.
Use almost half a
liter of fish oil or
some other kind of oil
for a glass of tar.
In the evening,
you have to go to the bathhouse.
Dogs stink with tar.
Their owners stink with tar.
Gennady now resumes
the making of his skis.
They make special skis for every season.
Even in the fall when the snow cover's
thin, it's hard to move Without skis...
because you Walk knee-deep in moss
and, later, in snow.
Small skis are great for this.
That's why they make them crude-
strong and small.
Here is quite a thin board.
If it were not made
from a straight-grained
wood, it would have
broken at once.
He puts the tip of the plank
into boilling water for a few hours...
In order to make it pliable.
He passes this age-old' technique
on to his son.
Now look, Kirill.
You don't press here.
You press on the ski here. Get it?
And you have to apply pressure smoothly
for the wood to get used to it.
See how it bends?
If you press too quickly,
it opens cracks.
So take this and lift it slowly.
Slowly, slowly, okay.
Lift some more.
The point of the ski is sharpened
after bending.
If you start bending a sharpened ski...
the tip will be here
and the ski will crack here.
That's What you'll get.
You understand?
The bend doesn't lose its shape.
You temper it, then keep it
for some more time in this frame.
And that's it. It will never unbend.
From further upriver comes driftwood
The villagers gather it'
as free firewood for the winter.
The few remaining Ket people
earn money this way.
It's one of the few menial jobs
left for them.
They ha I've largely forgotten
their traditional craftsmanship...
and most of them
have problems with alcohol
am making skis. have bent the tips.
Only don't have a jack plane.
When get one, I'll finish the job.
Only a single old Ket woman is left
who still remembers the old ways.
These mysterious dolls
are protective spirits.
During day, they sleep...
but at night they awaken
to guard the home.
That night', her son is careless
with a cigarette butt...
and their house catches fire.
Yet, another loss
is more painful for him.
It's a shame don't have my doll.
My house burned to the ground
together with the dolls.
Our old folks have all died.
And there are not many young people.
In the old days, we lived in tents
and the young learned from the old
Now you see a lot of that is forgotten.
- You see we're drunk
and we do odd jobs.
- Hey, you!
- Hey, shut up! Shut up!
- What?
The Russians are to blame!
Without the Russians,
there wouldn't have been vodka.
No, it's our own fault.
Some people live well.
If you want, you can live and work.
If not, What else can you do but drink?
As for who is to blame, don't know.
It's a tough question to answer.
Summer In Its fullest display-
swallows, boats.
Daylight lasts 20 hours.
This is the time
when big ships show up...
some of them even tourist cruisers.
It's gardening season.
Greenhouses are being fixed
and manure spread
With the days so abundantly long...
vegetables grow here
at an incredible rate.
One of the first signs that the
short summer Is coming to an end..
Is the chipmunks out
collecting pine nuts.
Humans do the same In their own way;.
There are few cones this year.
The trappers can estimate
from the number of cones...
whether ifs going to be
a good hunting year or not
as the nuts are a staple food
for the sable.
Grinding the cones
makes It easier to get the nuts...
which provide another food source
for the hunters during the winter
Pouring the grounds into the wind...
is similar to separating the wheat
from the chaff.?
Now the first rains start'.
Summer will soon be oven
So while the river is still navigable...
a strange visitor arrives with company
It' is a candidate seeking reelection.
For four years, people
In Bakhtia have not
seen a single politician
caring for them...
but, here now there is one campaingning
vigorously for their votes.
He promises transparent government
and the expunging of corruption-
a clean leadership once and for all
But' he does not fail to deliver
the goods anyway-
sacks of wheat for his constituency
and even a little snow
Only the young people
seem to be able to get into the groove.
And now the candidate
bursts out In song himself..
backed by his cheerleaders.
The voters, apparently
couldnt' care less.
Fall has arrived
It' is time to harvest...
and begin serious preparations
for the fast-approaching cold.
Days grow short',
and fishing is good now
At night, the trappers go out
onto the river.
Every type of fish has Its specific time
when it' comes close to the shore.
The only species of fresh water 000'
can be stalked now..
using almost prehistoric tools.
The light of the fire attracts the fish.
Storms from the north suddenly set In.
The clouds carry rain
that falls for weeks...
and this is important for the hunters.
The level of the river rises...
and now they can transport'
their heavy gear into the wilderness.
The most important' things, like bread
are loaded last'.
The trappers order bread In advance
from the bakery.
Half a loaf per day will do.
And now comes the moment of departure.
Good luck. Come back healthy.
Don't worry about us.
We'll be all right.
Keep your fingers crossed
that we come back.
The occasion is celebrated with vodka-
vicious as jet' fuel
I have tried all sorts of jobs
here on the collective farm...
but hunting is the best-
just the ticket.
Nobody tells me What to do.
can hunt or rest.
Am my own man.
And hunting is great fun.
Now out on their own...
the trappers become
what they essentially are- happy people.
Accompanied only by their dogs,
they live off the land.
They are completely self-reliant.
They are truly free.
No rules, no taxes, no government...
no laws, no bureaucracy
No phones, no radio.
Equipped only with their individual
values and standard of conduct.
Mikhail Tarkovsky-
from the family of the famous filmmaker-
knows what it' takes to live out here.
And the first thing is to be able
to ha navigate the river in high water
Anatoly Blume sets out on a different'
tributary of the Yenisei;...
and Gennady and his son
on their respective branch of the river.
It's tough going.
In some places, the
rapids are so strong...
that the outboard motor
cannot overcome the current.
So you have to have these long ropes.
Sometimes even the two of us
cannot drag it against the current.
It's a very hard river to run.
The rapids are so strong that you can
only cover 25 to 30 kilometers a day.
Gennady's son sets out
for his own territory further upriver.
"Every man has his own destiny;,
his own plan, his own Territory..
says Gennady In a pensive mood
You bring the main supplies to the huts
on the bank when the water is high-
grits, food for the dogs-
and you store it all safely up high.
At this time of year,
the bears are still around..
posing a threat to the
trappers' provisians.
Bears are the real enemy
of the trappers...
wreaking all kinds of ha vac
to both hut and trap.
This is a bear's work.
You often feel,
to hell with your skin or meat...
as long as you keep away from my traps.
It's attracted by the smell.
It knows it can't find any food...
but it goes in and smashes
everything all the same.
So you check the huts, fix the traps...
and you may catch
some fish or fowl as well.
Gennady rewards his dogs
with the neck and feet of the woodcock
For now the river still flows free...
but the first signs of
frost are appearing.
The trappers rush to catch
as much pike as they can...
mostly for their dogs.
Half a dozen pikes like these
for every hut is just about enough.
Mikhail has his own unorthodox
fishing techniques.
The bears are no longer around
having gone off into hibernation.
Pro visions now can be stored
? easy reach.
The only threat are mice...
and the plastic will per vent them
from getting up the tree.
You see that everything
is going forward as it should.
It gives you a sense
of a job being done.
It is not you who is doing it,
but you still feel part of it.
Half-frozen water or slush ice
is called shuga.
This one is still soft with snow.
You can still ride in a boat on it.
We are moving from early to late fall.
The boat runs to deliver supplies.
You are full of worry-
anxious to get the supplies...
not to drop them in the water...
to make it to the hut, put the hut in
order and move oh to the next one.
We are moving deeper and deeper
into the fall season.
This bright weather and light frost
comes as a relief after the rains.
There is nothing like
warming yourself and
having a cup of tea
to make you happy
it's not like anything else.
When came here, had a feeling
that my dream had come true.
You enjoy the beauty of nature,
and you do your job at the same time.
That's why they all end up
by being hunters.
Because hunting brings you closer
to the taiga than anything else.
Here we are. Another hut is ready.
Turn the bucket upside down
so it doesn't fill with water.
Everything hangs in its proper place,
and I've made the cabin ready.
Inside the hut everything also hangs
from the ceiling- grits, sugar-
so that the mice don't eat them.
Everything is fine.
Have split firewood and stacked it.
The food is here.
In short, I've put another hut in order,
thank God.
Come on, Reddie.
The onslaught of Ice
puts Mikhail boat In leopard;.
It's time to secure it for the winter.
Mikhail uses a different', more
recognizable type of traditional trap.
This is called an ochep- a steel trap.
It acts when the animal steps in it.
When the animal begins to struggle...
the end of the ochep is released,
and it jerks up.
Then neither a fox nor a marten
nor a mouse will get to it.
You try to put it closer to the edge...
but make sure it isn't thrown down
by the wind or snow.
The branches protect the trap
from getting snowed over
The enormity of solitude sets In.
His only companion is his dog.
For the hunter, of course, the important
thing is that the dog works for him.
But you become attached to it.
Sometimes the dog
becomes a member of your family.
The dog feeds us.
You are no hunter Without a dog.
At three months,
can tell a good dog Without fail.
The puppy begins to stalk the cat,
sniffs at its footprints.
It attacks chickens- anything.
If you want to have a good dog,
take puppies from good dogs.
And of course,
it depends on how you bring it up.
If you take a good puppy
and put it inside
and keep it there
for six months...
surely it won't make a good hunter
when you take it into the taiga.
An all-purpose dog is hard to come by.
If a dog likes to chase moose...
there's no way you can force it
to chase squirrels.
If the dog hears the squirrel,
it will bark a couple of times...
but won't go looking for it.
So if you are unhappy with such a dog,
get yourself another one.
If that one does not suit you,
get yet another one.
The more dogs you change...
the more chance you have
to get a dog that's just right for you.
Had about four.
Typically, good dogs don't live long.
Out of these four,
only one survived till he was 1
The rest died in their prime-
ages four to five.
My last dog was a bitch called Smoky.
It happened that a bear
came to the village.
When the bear roared,
all the village dogs vanished.
Released my male dog...
but he just barked at the bear
a couple of times and fell silent.
Sensed that there was
something wrong.
When reached the place,
heard my bitch, Smoky...
coughing and spitting
out the bear's hair.
She bit him several times,
and then she squealed and Went silent.
By that time, was already on the spot.
Saw the bear lying on the cow path
tearing at my clog.
Approached the bear
and took aim at his head.
But before pulled the trigger,
he heard me and raised his head...
and shot him in his front paw
The bullet made just a scratch.
He Went for me.
He was so close, nearly touched him
with the barrel of my rifle.
He approached me,
and shot him point-blank.
The bullet pushed him back. got him.
Smoky was still alive.
The male dog was torn to pieces.
Grabbed Smoky in my arms...
and then I saw that her belly had
been torn and her bowels were out.
Thought I could still save her...
and ran to the nurse Without
paying any attention to the bear.
Ran about 30, 40 meters
before saw that her head drooped.
She was gone.
Was oven/vheirned with sadness.
Back In the village.
Like the trappers out In the taiga...
the villagers must also
be completely self-reliant.
Because no supplies can be
brought In during the winter..
they must make everything they need
by hand
You see, we drop the net,
and the net goes down.
If you feel the rope doesn't play,
don't pull too hard.
That's it.
We wait for pike
or whatever fish we can catch.
Temperatures have dropped by now
below minus 50 degrees...
and the days are growing short'.
The Yenisei River
is completely frozen oven..
but still provides fish In abundance.
We feed fish to the dogs...
and we eat it ourselves round the year.
Sometimes we fry it,
sometimes make fish soup.
There is nothing like fresh fish,
whatever kind.
Lenok. That's a great fish.
Pull some more.
We see something there.
A lot of good fish!
See how much fish!
Cover it up so it doesn't freeze.
Out In the taiga...
Gennady negotiates his territory
along his frozen tributary
From here,
he will branch out to hum' sable.
Everybody specializes in sable
because squirrels are cheap.
And as for ermine, you are lucky
if you can get one or two.
This one will be rejected
because it's too small.
They now accept only large ermine.
And the prices are ridiculous.
A good big ermine is about 125 rubles.
Of course the sable feeds us.
Prices seem to be going up,
and money is losing value.
Now have to pay 1,500 rubles
for What used to buy for 20 rubles.
The traps are laid' out
along loops that take a day to travel.
This way;, he can safely reach
one of his outlying huts by nightfall
This contraption- the lid,
the sticks and all-
and the footprints near
the trap attract him.
This is how you set up the (koolyomka.
The triggering DE vice of his trap...
is a primitive
yet sophisticated mechanism.
This (koolyomka near the hut
traps some animals every year.
The difference between
a dead fall trap and a steel trap...
is that a sable that is hungry
will ignore the steel trap...
but the trick does not work
with the (koolyomka.
Whatever he does, once he pulls
at the bait, it comes down oh it.
The pelts have no bloodstains.
The animal is as good
as if it were alive.
It's a humane method
because it kills at once.
Come to think of it,
we are all killers or accomplices.
Even those people who are kind-hearted
and tend to pity everything.
Why? it's very simple.
A farmer keeps a pig...
but he knows in advance
What he keeps it for.
In order to kill it
and to eat it or sell its meat.
And even the person who is sorry about
all this buys the pork from him.
And the trapper
is the same as that pig farmer...
only he is- how would you say it-
more honest.
Actually, it's not even about honesty.
This man knowingly raises-
I used to raise cattle, and I could
never bring myself to slaughter them.
Because there is, say, a bull.
You raise him for two years.
It comes to you expecting you to show
affection or give it some treat...
and instead he gets a
bullet in the head.
In the taiga, the Wild animal knows that
no good can come from me, from a man.
He tries to escape.
Here, it's about who outsmarts whom.
Hundreds of kilometers away
is Anatoly's hut.
He Is In the middle
of his trapping season.
While we see
that he has no shortage of fish...
it is conspicuous how little
he gives his dog for breakfast.
It all depends on how a man
treats his dog.
Some guys almost eat
from the same bowl with the dog...
and allow it to sleep
with him on the bunk.
But for one think it's wrong.
Don't allow my dog in
even when it's very cold outside.
He has his katukh, his shelter.
Think all he needs is to be fed.
He should eat his fill in the evening,
but not too much in the morning...
so his belly doesn't
drag on the ground.
Trappers make a big mistake when they
beat their dogs for touching the traps.
Of course you have to punish them
and show your displeasure...
but beating alone
won't keep a dog off the traps.
It comes to be afraid of the owner.
It stays clear of the trap
in the presence of the owner...
but when the owner looks away, or at
night, he is sure to steal the bait.
And if it's afraid of the trap,
then it will stay away.
It's easy to train them.
You set up a trap specifically for dogs.
Let it spend some time in the trap...
and realize that it's not
a pleasant experience.
Otherwise, it will be endless trouble
for the hunter...
and he won't get along with his dog.
It will be afraid of
him and sneak out at
night to make the
rounds of the traps...
and waste the hunter's efforts.
In short, you'll have no end of trouble
with your dog.
If you do it right, your dog loves you
and it's afraid of the traps.
What more do you need?
The snowmobile is another one of the few
modern conveniences they employ;...
but, In this terrain, it has its limits.
Continuing his rounds on skis...
he resembles prehistoric man
from a distand' Ice age.
Day In, day out - it is the same routine
of hard work In severe conditions.
But out here,
the trapper is one of the fem.
to witness the beauty of space,
cold' and silence.
Imagine, after being exhausted
at the end of a hard day...
you are coming home to this.
In the little remaining daylight, he
cannot possible return to his main hut
His only recourse is to fix this one.
Because Anatoly spent much of the next
day repairing his outlying nut..
It takes him until nightfall
to find' his way back to his base hut.
It is the last day of December..
and unusually mild'
at 33 degrees below zero.
Anatoly like all the other trappers...
will return to the village
for New Year's E I've.
The voyage is 750 kilometers
along the frozen river...
and we should note that Anatoly's dog
never rides on the snowmobile.
He covers the entire distance
running behind
At night', he is still running.
Finally, the village of Bakhtia
comes into view
And here comes the dog.
The dog must be hungry!
Of course he is.
He hasn't eaten for over a day.
Hey, come here.
For Gennady and all of them,
this is a happy return.
Christmas Is celebrated In Russia
on January 6.
The entire village participates.
The stay for the trappers
will be a short' one.
After a few days and nights...
they will return to the taiga
for the remaining months of winter
This is the life they love.
Well, we're alone again.