Interesting facts about the royal hunt Source
Hunting was one of the favorite activities of many Russian princes, and then the kings. There are a lot of fascinating stories about how the rulers of our state hunted at different times. Falconry in Russia was known in the IX century. Moreover, trap falcons were valued very highly. For example, during the Mongol yoke, part of the tribute to the Russian princes paid the Horde with falcons. A good bird was equal in value to three thoroughbreds.
Falconry in our country reached its peak during the rule of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Being a great lover and connoisseur of this type of hunting, Aleksei Mikhailovich even wrote “The Falconry Way Striker” – a book with a detailed description of the rules of falconry. The king himself knew his every hunting bird and personally assigned names. In modern Moscow, near the Riga station, there is a small church in the name of the martyr Tryphon.
An ancient legend is associated with the construction of this temple. Once, while hunting Ivan the Terrible, the falconer Trifon Patrikeev accidentally missed the beloved royal gyrfest. The angry king ordered Trifon to find the bird within three days. The hunter traveled all the nearby forests, but did not find the gyrfalcon. And the time allotted by the king came to an end. The exhausted falconer fell asleep under a tree, reading a prayer to his heavenly patron, the martyr Trifon, before he fell asleep. And when he woke up, he saw royal gyrfalcon on the tree. In gratitude for the salvation, the falconer built a temple on this site.
Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov, distressed by the fact that there was no good hunting dogs on the royal kennel, sent messengers to the Russian North in 1619 with the request to select the best dogs for the royal hunting. A special diploma was issued to the messengers, which ordered the local authorities to promote this event in every way. Alexander II preferred bear hunting. Moreover, on this mighty beast, he did not walk with a rifle, but with a spear. The first bear young Alexander got in this way in 19 years. This method of hunting was very risky, despite the fact that Alexander Nikolayevich was insured by the shooters. In 1872, one of the “royal funs” almost ended in tragedy: a wounded bear rushed at the emperor and only a well-aimed shot of keeper I. V. Ivanov saved the monarch’s life. For Ivanov was made a special medal with the words “Thank you”.
The rabatins with whom Alexander the Second went to bears are still preserved in the Gatchina arsenal. For Alexander the Third a whole hunting palace was built in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It was at this time that bison were brought here from the Caucasus. There was a tradition here – the hunter who killed the first and last deer for the season, had to drink a bottle of champagne with a gulp, which was poured into a special horn. Passionate hunter was the last Russian emperor – Nicholas II. In the “Journal of the Imperial Hunting” were carefully counted trophies. So from 1886 to 1909. Nikolay personally shot 104 bison. This is not surprising, the special court service was engaged in the organization of the imperial hunt. The English Ambassador D. Buchanan recalled that during a joint hunt Nikolai personally shot 1,400 pheasants in one day.