April has come and gone and I hope hunters have some funds left to spend on hunting, after the recent tax season came to an end. I have a feeling that lots of extensions were filed this year. TODAY, MAY 1st is when the USFWS starts accepting CITES application permits for Argali and Marco Polo Sheep. Most permits should be sent in before mid-May to insure they get an Import permit. Your name must first be listed on the CITES export list from the Argali/MP country of origin before you can be issued an import permit for the USA. For any hunter still wanting to book this year and obtain one of the few permits issued by USFWS, there is still time to book a hunt with us. For all currently-booked hunters, this is your reminder to send in your permit application!
MARCO POLO SHEEP
Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 6.26.19 PMWe have a couple of 2013 hunt dates available in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (October and November or January) where we can handle a couple more hunters, so anyone getting a major tax refund (not likely) or who have been putting off making a decision on a hunt (more likely) or who has been worried about traveling to a country with a “stan” in it (most likely), should contact us today. I won’t even mention what many spouses think of such trips but that is a whole other can of worms. Honestly, the most “dangerous” thing I’ve experienced in Central Asia are winter road driving conditions and the effects of high altitude. Last year, we outfitted 15 Marco polo and Hume Argali hunters and all were successful. All of these hunters easily imported their rams into the US or Canada. Only 1 of the 15 hunters for 2012 had his ram shipped and it is home also. The others all brought them home on their return flight as checked luggage.
Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 6.26.13 PMIbex hunting in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is the best value in Central Asia. I will be in Kyrgyzstan starting early October to help guide 3 different hunts. We are hunting many new areas again this year. Last year, the longest Ibex taken was 54” and we hope to find a bigger one this year. These September and October hunts are rugged, but with nice weather and huge Ibex. The cost is $9,000 USD. For hunters wanting an easier hunt, we can do an Ibex hunt in November in our Marco Polo area, where the terrain is less rough or we also offer less strenuous and less remote hunts in Tajikistan, closer to Dushanbe. These hunts are also less expensive at a cost of $7,750, but the size of Ibex is not as big as in Kyrgyzstan. Most of these Tajik Ibex will be 38-45”. Wild Boar can be added for a small trophy fee and there is also good hunting for Chukar.
EASTERN TUR IN AZERBAIJAN:
Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 6.26.05 PMTur hunting in Azerbaijan is one of the best-valued mountain hunts, period. We have two hunts this year, August 20-28th and Sept. 5-15th where we could handle one or two more hunters per hunt date. We can also add a hunt starting Sept. 15th or even later. These hunts require 2-4 hunters per date, in order for the logistics to work. Last year, I personally hunted Tur in early November. We had “good” weather for a hunt this late, but the guides recommend earlier hunt dates as there is more horse feed and less snow/ice. There is always the chance for fog in the Caucus Mountains, but that is mountain hunting. I don’t recommend hunters go in May thru early August, as the Tur have poor capes. Yes hunting is easier, but without a good cape the animal does not look as good mounted.
Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 6.25.58 PMLast Spring, we purchased 4 Bighorn Tags in Northern Alberta. We do two 2-week hunts; 2 hunters per hunt. Hunt dates are August 30-Sept 15 and Sept. 15-30. The season goes until Oct. 15th, so any hunter not successful on their first 2 weeks, can come back Oct. 1-15 for no additional cost and stay until they harvest a ram. These hunts are expensive and the guides and I will do all we can to ensure a successful hunt. The rams are typically 7-10 yrs old and 31-35” with most scoring 150-170. The long time average is in the upper 150s. We don’t hunt a park boundary, so we don’t depend on migration to push sheep into the area. There are always legal rams in the area; it is just a matter of hunting hard until one is found. We have one opening still available this year, Sept. 15-30. Call Bryan for pricing and to discuss the hunt. Hunters need to be fit as some backpacking can be required.
LONG-RANGE SHOOTING COURSES:
Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 6.25.50 PMLast year we had many hunters miss Marco Polo and Ibex. I highly encourage hunters to take a 2-4 day course before hunting in central Asia. Over 50% of our hunters miss shots, 350-600 yards and much of this could be prevented with proper equipment and training. I will personally try to make at least 1 or 2 courses between mid-May and late July. Please call or email me if you are interested and I’ll provide dates and course details, so we can pick the best one to fit your needs and schedule.
Each newsletter, I like to talk about a great product for hunting. A couple years ago, Rick Dunkerley, from Lincoln, MT, gave me one of his light weight hunting knife sets to use. It includes a larger skinning knife (orange handle so it does not get lost), a small knife for doing eyes/ears/toes and a compact flat diamond, all in a nice leather case. I’m also a fan of the Havalon Piranha knife with replacement razor blades, but you can’t use it for big, rough jobs or put any pressure on the blades as they break. The Dunkerley is nearly perfect (except a hunter has to sharpen the blade) and the only knife set a hunter would need, 95% of the time. It is the best all-around knife set I’ve ever used for hunting. I also have a Kauffman knife set, which is equally good, but it does not come with a sharpener and is slightly heavier. Please visit his website www.dunkerleyhandmadeknives.com or just email Rick Direct at: email@example.com or call him at: 406-210-4101
Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter. If you have questions about any of the adventures listed above, please call or email me immediately.