‘The bow stretched and in a moment the blunt arrow whizzed vertically up into the trees, a moment later the man relu ctantly picked the arrow, looked up and walked away. The bird flock in the canopy was momentarily silent and then flew way. The hunt was not successful and the birds escaped. The hunter then turned a trapper as he went about setting several small and big traps along the fields and forests. He came back the next day to check. It was the same story e ither the animals outwitted the traps or there were none to get trapped.’The Eastern Ghats north of the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh (AP) has some of the finest forests tracts in the r egion. The forests in AP, especially in the Papikonda hills which also include the Papikonda National Park (1012 sq. km) are contiguous and relatively dense covering an area in excess of 10,000 sq. km. If one observes these forests from air or using Google Earth, they look like a large chunk of uniform green that isdense and pristine. There are also few patches of existing and abandoned ‘Podu’(shifting agriculture) practi ced by several indigenous groups who sustain their existence based on cultivation, gathering and selling forest produce. As one moves north of Papikonda hills into Araku valley and Odisha’s Koraput, Malkanagiri and Rayagada districts, forests give way to open hilltops covered with grass, phoenix bushes and fragmented patches of forests along the slopes. Thesehills were used as a lair by Maoists until recently, when they were largely flushed out of AP.