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Maria Butina Enjoyed Hunting Pheasant Near Elk Point

Boy, there’s gotta be a promo for South Dakota Tourism in here somewhere….

Maria Butina didn’t spend all of her time in South Dakota making speeches to impressionable young people. In the fall of 2014,* the accused Russian spy picked up a shotgun and went pheasant hunting:

Maria Butina, "Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota," Kalashnikov, April 2016. Screen cap 2018.07.19.
Maria Butina, “Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota,” Kalashnikov, 2016.04.17. Screen cap 2018.07.19.

In April 2016, the Russian gun journal Kalashnikov (apparently separate from Concern Kalashnikov, the gun manufacturer) published Butina’s “Охота на фазана в Южной Дакоте”—”Pheasant Hunting in South Dakota,” a pleasant little essay about her experience flying into Sioux Falls in the fall to engage in our favorite fall pastime. Butina spoke fondly of our fair state, writing, “The frosty air and the very smell of the local flora reminded me of my native Siberia.”

Butina didn’t name her hosts and hunting companions, but they appear to be all guys, and she says her U.S. comrades (товарищи—tovarishchi, yes, literally, comrades) landed a reservation at one of the best hunting lodges near Sioux Falls.

Naturally, I’d love to know who her hunting pals were that lovely day. Maddeningly, the social-media-savvy Butina only got this 300-pixel-wide image of the whole party. Let’s try zooming:

Maria Butina and South Dakota pheasant hunting party, in Kalashnikov, 2016.04.17.
Maria Butina and South Dakota pheasant hunting party, in Kalashnikov, 2016.04.17.

There’s Butina, her left from center, in the plaid scarf. The tall guy behind her left shoulder could be her boyfriend and big South Dakota connection Paul Erickson. But the other guys… crowdsourcers! Magnify and enhance! Readers, do you recognize any of those lucky fellas?

MRO—hey! That looks familiar!

Missouri River Outdoors, screen cap from "Happy Hunters" photos, 2018.07.19.
Missouri River Outdoors, screen cap from “Happy Hunters” photos, 2018.07.19.

Missouri River Outdoors lies right on the Missouri River just south of Elk Point. That’s some fine country Butina got to tromp around in for four hours with her shotgun and a bunch of guys.

Butina’s article includes one more photo, but remarkably, the fellas are all looking away from Butina, and the camera:

Maria Butina and hunting party near Elk Point, SD, fall 2015.
Maria Butina and hunting party near Elk Point, SD, fall 2014*, in Kalashnikov, 2016.04.17.

Well, at least we know our fellas weren’t totally distracted from the business at hand by the only lady on the hunt.

Update 2018.07.20 12:28 CDT: An interpid reader goes surfing and finds Butina went hunting at MRO on November 9, 2014. Missouri River Outdoors has a Facebook album of 77 photos titled “Stickney Grp. 2014” that features Butina’s lead photo in much better resolution:

Maria Butina, Paul Erickson, and the "Stickney Grp", Missouri River Outdoors, Facebook photo, posted 2014.11.09.
Maria Butina, Paul Erickson, and the “Stickney Grp”, Missouri River Outdoors, Facebook photo, 2014.11.09.
Maria and Paul, armed and dangerous... but don't worry: the guy at left is texting FBI headquarters, letting them know he has eyes on the suspects.
Maria and Paul, armed and dangerous… but don’t worry: the guy at left is texting FBI headquarters, letting them know he has eyes on the suspects. MRO, FB, 2014.11.09.
Hunters in Stickney grp 20141109
—Go ask her if she likes chislic.
—I’m not gonna ask her; you go ask her.
No, you!
Maria Butina and hunter from Stickney grp, MRO, FB, 2014.11.09.
—So do you know Vladimir Putin?
—If I told you that, I’d have to kill you.
There was at least one other woman at the lodge that day, keeping an eye on this stranger from Russia. MRO, FB, 2014.11.09.
There was at least one other woman at the lodge that day, keeping an eye on this stranger from Russia. MRO, FB, 2014.11.09.

 

19 Comments

  1. grudznick 2018-07-19

    I am unsure about all the fuss about how supposedly pretty this young woman is. She’s a redhead and not nearly as pretty as young Dr. Bosworth was. Prettier than Ms. Hubbel, yes.

  2. scott 2018-07-19

    How many hunters did she offer to have sex with?

  3. grudznick 2018-07-19

    Lots, I’m sure.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-19

    If you fellas will turn on your scanners and ID some of the fellas in the above pictures, maybe we can ask them.

  5. owen reitzel 2018-07-19

    wonder how many rubles she charged?

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-20

    Good eye, James! Same cap, scarf, earmuffs… if you’re right, then I may have the date of the hunt wrong. She may have taken that photo in fall 2014.

  7. leslie 2018-07-20

    Ammosexuals thrive on misapplication of the 2d amend. Gun manufacturers have liability protection and cannot be sued. Republicans take advantage of guns as a wedge issue for votes while NRA is going international to sell more military guns to new markets like Russia. And Russia sexualizes guns so it can infitrate western democracy freedom with spies targeting Republicans. And hated trial lawyers searching for deep pocket liability of mega-corporations in Sin City seek justice for mass shooting victims at the country music ‘good ol’ boys’ fest (undoubtedly unarmed concealed carriers could have fought back with RPGs perhaps.) They could have used overwhelming force and taken all 50 floors DOWN in self defense. And the lawyers for the hotel/mob shield themselves from liability by doubling down and SUING their victims 1st because despite lax luggage security in the comped room for the rich ammosexual accountant on a losing jag fueled by alcohol/drug anesthetization. Some storyline, eh Republican gun nuts? REGULATE GUNS!

  8. mike from iowa 2018-07-20

    Kinda OT, but a Russian and his wife were charged with running a sex trafficking ring out of Miami’s Drumpf Tower. Drumpf has sold many condos/apartments in Florida to Russians for cash only.

    Drumpf porperties in Florida are magnets for wealthy Russians wanting to have anchor babies which don’t offend wingnuts because they are white, not POC.

  9. jerry 2018-07-20

    As all this white guys look alike. they all look Russian to me, especially that little fat dude on the end, could be Stalin.

  10. Sam@ 2018-07-20

    CIA knows who they are by now. I can not wait see who else gets charged

  11. leslie 2018-07-21

    May 7 Mother Jones pictures (fotodate unknown) the “Stalin” individual in a video with metal glasses and a blue right pinkie ring. “Russian Sniper Rifle NRA Promote[d]”, David Corn.

  12. chris 2018-07-22

    @Leslie: I don’t think that old guy is who you are suggesting.

  13. leslie 2018-07-22

    Perhaps. Same nose, pinkie ring? Same red head promoting the new Russian sniper rifle. I wonder if ammosexuals would be comfortable calling it a sporting rifle like they insist of ar15 variants. I have seen such .50 cal monstrosities in sporting goods stores I think. Rhino hunting?

  14. Cathy 2018-07-25

    http://www.leadercourier-times.com/news/article_39836d36-904d-11e8-9a87-f33537834536.html

    Caption for the photo: Missouri River Outdoors – hunters

    This group of hunters shows off their birds in November 2014 at Missouri River Outdoors west of Elk Point. Not all of the hunters could be identified by press time, but they include, standing from left, Frank Stickney of Elk Point, unidentified man, Earl Miller of North Sioux City, Kevin Connelly of Elk Point, unidentified man, Maria Butina of Russia, Paul Erickson, formerly of Vermillion, Bill Heubaum of Yankton and George Madsen of Sioux City; and kneeling, unidentified man.

  15. jerry 2018-07-25

    Great link Cathy. Good news on the names as well as we know that for each of them there is an R in front of their name, signifying Russian.

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