Baku, Azerbaijan – Hunting Republic

Michael and I were up early and out for our second full day in Baku!

Our walk was to visit Old City, Baku.

On the way, Michael and I stumbled upon a store that lined an entire block.

The store was called Hunting Republic.

This store was walking into an animal lover or anti-hunting supporter’s worst nightmare….

This was a hunting gear and clothing supply shop for those who hunt big game animals for sport.  This was a shop with taxidermy animals on display – animals Michael and I respect and admire that were shot dead for sport, stuffed into statues and mounted like trophies.

A snow leopard – once on the endangered animals list – hangs on display attacking a mountain goat!

Even poor little butterflies were on display…

That’s not Hugh Jackman’s wolverine on the back of the bear rug!

Even fish made their way into the store!

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Aykhan A. Ahmadov, is the weapons expert who manages the store. Aykhan was very nice, respectful and passionate about hunting. He explained hunting is part of the Azerbaijan culture. As well, Azerbaijan is a destination for those who want to hunt in the Caucasus Mountains.

It was not my place to start a debate about the ethics of intentionally killing animals for sport.  My heart was sick.  But out of respect for Aykhan and how hunting is part of his life, both Michael and I stayed silent.  My Uncle Donnie was a hunter.  He hunted deer and snared rabbits.  But that was for food – not for sport.  The deer meat and rabbit meat was consumed.

Aykhan was very eager to show us his inventory!

This is a typical traditional Azerbaijani knife that was once worn everyday by Azerbaijani men.

Traditional decorative sword made of Damascus steel:

This sword was worn by horse riders as it was made with light and flexible steel:

This statue shows both the everyday knife and the long sword worm by horsemen.

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Decorative knife with gold inlay:

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Guns anyone?

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How about an AK-74? No, not an AK-47 – an AK-74….

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Osama bin Laden had an AK-74, if that sorta thing matters to you…

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How about a sniper rifle?

More guns!

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Michael asked Aykhan what would happen if someone killed a person with a gun purchased from the store.  Aykhan replied that when the gun is sold, it is registered for hunting.  If a person kills a person with a gun purchased from the store, the police puts them in jail.  The store is not held liable.

What kind of bullets do you need to kill a bear?

These kind:

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What kind of bullet kills a human?

This kind:

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I can’t remember what Aykhan called this bullet. This bullet explodes inside a person…very deadly…

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Well, that’s it!  If you’re in need of hunting gear, this is the place to go!

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S.

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