We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that the New Year will bring many exciting hunts, great health and happiness to everyone.
The show season is upon us soon. The Dallas Safari Club convention starts next week. We won’t exhibit there, but our Office Manager and hunt consultant, Amy Martin Shaffer, owner of The ProHunt Concierge, will be at booth #612/613 with Michel Mantheakis Safaris. Amy is a professional hunt planner who assists hunters with the booking, planning and organization of international hunts. She will also have information on the Asian hunts we offer.
The first show we’ll exhibit at is Grand Slam Club, starting Jan 9th, booth 336. Our next show is Safari Club International, booth 923, which starts Jan. 23rd. The following weekend, we will exhibit at the Wild Sheep (formerly FNAWS) show, booth 819/821. All of these conventions take place in Reno, Nevada. In mid-Feb, we will exhibit at the Eastern Wild Sheep show, Lancaster PA. Bryan will be giving seminars at both Wild Sheep and Eastern Wild Sheep. We hope to see many of you at one or more of these Outdoor trade shows.
Asian Mountain Outfitters has been operating in Central Asia for more than a decade and we had a great all-around 2012 season. We wanted to update everyone on the affordable and world class, high adventure trophy hunting available through our organizations in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia. If any of you are looking for a last minute hunt, we still have Ibex and Marco Polo hunts available this January and February in both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The temperatures are cold, but for serious hunters, this is an excellent time to burn off winter and Holiday fat. All remaining hunts are being offered at a minimum 15% discount. Call or email for details. All hunts can be arranged on short notice as permits are available in both countries.
Our last two Asian hunters for the year, Colt Foster and Bruce Morgan from Alaska, hunted Marco Polo sheep in Tajikistan and returned home about 10 days before Christmas. They were accompanied by Colt’s father, Dan Foster, a well-known AK taxidermist. Colt and Bruce both shot beautiful rams, 56 ½ and 57 ½, both with very big bases and good horn confirmation. These rams are great representatives of Tajik Marco Polo. This group had opportunities on very big Ibex, but due to difficult shooting (long range and steep shot angles), they did not connect. Shooting is very tough in this country and hunters need to be proficient to 500+ yards. All of our hunts in Tajikistan are conducted with Jeep and lotsof hiking. This is 100% fair chase hunt with no animals being shot from a jeep and all hunts are 15-17 days transition between groups. Also, there is no additional charge for 60” and larger rams. About 25% of our hunters will shoot at or kill a 60”+ ram. For hunters wanting to challenge themselves and for huge Marco Polo, this Tajikistan hunt is the real deal. All hunters will have an opportunity to hunt Ibex also, should they desire to hunt them. This is the 3rd year in a row we’ve worked in this area and we are 100% kill on all Marco Polo. In fact, we have another hunter going in mid-January and we’d like to send one other hunter with him.
In mid-late November, Ryan McClennon, from Alberta, shot a 56” Kyrgyzstan Marco Polo (Hume subspecies). This is the longest ram shot in this camp, since 1982! His Brother, James, shot a 51” monster out of the same herd, just seconds after Ryan dropped his 56” “Polo.” Both brothers also harvested very nice Ibex. Ryan’s sheep may very well be the longest ram taken this year in Kyrgyzstan and both rams scored over 200 SCI. All of our other hunters took rams averaging in the mid-40” range. We took 10 hunters and killed 10 rams for 100% kill. Kyrgyzstan rams typically average 7-8 inches smaller than Tajikistan Marco Polo.
All of our Kyrgyzstan Ibex only-hunters had opportunities at Ibex, but two missed and went home without an animal. Again, having the right rifle/scope combo and knowing how to shoot it, is imperative. In many ways, Ibex are more difficult and challenging to hunt than Marco Polo . The biggest Ibex shot this year was 54” and should be a top 5-6 all time, SCI Mid-Asian Ibex. It was shot in an area we are just starting to explore; a vast and un-hunted area in Eastern Kyrgyzstan. We have only scratched the surface in this area and didn’t even hunt where we planned, as the horse “trail” was washed out from summer rains; we ended up just backpack hunting the fringes. On this hunt, two other 50”+ ibex were seen; we are looking forward to hunting this area in 2013 with some fit and adventurous hunters. One of the hunters took a trophy Ibex double-header while just day hunting from spike camp. One was a 9 year old and 46 1/2” long. The other was a heavy and broomed 10 year old, 45” Ibex.
All of our Mongolian hunters took 1 or 2 Ibex each; it is a great country for a variety of hunters as it is not as difficult as Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan hunting and the Outfitter and guides are very professional and many speak English well. These hunts are conducted in September and October using jeeps and foot hunting. There are two species of Ibex in Mongolia: the Altai and the Gobi. Hunting both animals on one hunt is the most economical way to hunt this country, due to the distance, time and expense of getting to Mongolia. Hunters start in one part of Mongolia and move to another. It is a great all-around hunt and reasonably priced.
Our 4 Azerbaijan Tur hunters were all successful with 30-35” Tur and we’ll give a full hunt report in a few days. We feel that Ibex and Tur are the best values in international mountain hunting. We are also pushing Pakistan hunting a bit more. This country often gets bad press as not being “safe”, but the hunters receive a guarded escort to the hunting camps; we are not aware of any international hunters who faced any threats or danger. I feel that the most dangerous parts of hunting these Central Asian countries are the bad roads and often poor drivers. There are some good Urial and ibex hunts still available in Pakistan, late Feb and early March, 2013. A couple of our hunting friends just returned from hunts there and have nothing but good things to say about the quality and quantity of game and the kind people and good outfitters. I have two great contacts in this country and their English is exceptional. Again, I will discuss these hunts in the next newsletter, but please call anytime for more information on these hunts.
More updates to follow in the next few days!