At the beginning of the XX century, there were no significant changes in the state of hunting compared to the XIX century. The government of Russia continued to be indifferent to this branch of the national economy, which in the XVII century played a decisive role in state revenues.
However, a significant part of the Russian population depended on hunting, which gave the main income. Income from hunting in Russia before the First World War amounted to 100 million rubles a year, including fur production — up to 40 million rubles.
According to the Irbit Fair Committee, the production of sables in Russia in 1903 amounted to 25,500 pieces.
In the Tobolsk province at the beginning of the XX century the main objects of hunting were squirrel, ermine, hare, fox were hunted, and in the tundra—arctic fox; sables, columns, otters, wolverines, lynxes, wolves, brown bears, sometimes chipmunks and occasionally river beavers were also hunted. Polar bears were hunted in the north of Obdorsk.
Hunting began in October and ended in April; in summer, foxes and young arctic foxes were caught from burrows, feeding them until winter, when the animals grew fur.
In addition to fur trade, the population of the Tobolsk North was engaged in crafts and reindeer husbandry; for people who lived along the Vakhu and Yugan rivers, hunting was the main occupation. The Nenets, who inhabited the territory between the Taz Bay and the Yenisei River, extracted mostly arctic foxes.
The main income of many hunters was the crafts for squirrels that lived in forests up to 65 ° C. S. (rarely found to the north). In the "harvest" years, up to 250 thousand squirrels were extracted along the Vakhu River per year, up to 100 thousand along the Yugan River.
Polar bears were found in the north of Yamal, near the mouth of the Gulf of Ob, along the Malygin Strait and on the coast of the Kara Sea. In 1909, 25 bears were shot in these areas, in 1912 — 78. Bear skins were sold for 70 rubles apiece.
Some of the Tobolsk hunters hunted not far from home (30-50 km), others left their homes several hundred kilometers away. Hunters loaded a cauldron, a kettle, rye and fish flour, dried fish, fish oil and tea onto a dog sled. During the hunt, men often ate squirrel meat.