Marco Polo Sheep


Kyrgyzstan, Marco Polo, Tajikistan

 

Marco Polo Hunting in
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan

 

 

Marco Polo Hunting Overview

poloMarco Polo hunting is very physically demanding and hunters need to be experienced mountain hunters. All hunters need to bring an Iridium Satellite phone and Western (AK/BC/MT) style hunting equipment.

We have some of our own vehicles (Toyota Land Cruisers) and Western hunting equipment on most hunts. Our partners are reliable and experienced local outfitters who provide local guides, assistants, cooks, vehicles, horses, camps, food, lodging and interpreter (one per camp). They acquire the local licenses/tags/permits and Russian CITES, where applicable, for the hunters, and they are politically well connected.

We can also arrange to have an English speaking, US or Canadian, experienced guide (all have been involved with many successful sheep hunts in NA or abroad) to accompany you in additional to the local guides. In the past, we recommended this service to most of our hunters, but after many years of taking hunters to this country and with our full time English speaking partner, this service is not a requirement, but this service we are providing is unique for this type of hunt. Most other operations just set up the hunt with the local outfitters and stay in camp, but don’t actually accompany you and almost never help guide. This is especially helpful if you wish to harvest a very large animal, want help with the trophy judging and the shooting process, especially if is your first time to Asia, as most of the local guides do not speak English.

Elevations vary, depending on location. Base camps are between 10,000-12,000 feet with hunting up to 13,500’. Most people do not get altitude sickness, but a medication called Diamox can be taken to alleviate most symptoms. We also recommend that our clients take Wilderness Athlete’s High Altitude Advantage. Arriving in good physical condition will help also. On the first day or two of your hunt, we try and take it easy so that you can rest up and adapt to sleeping and hiking at these higher elevations and conditions. Common effects of this elevation include: shortness of breath, elevated pulse and blood pressure, headaches and a tired feeling. After a few days, most people adjust to the altitude and see noticeable performance improvements.

Kyrgyzstan Marco Polo hunts

Marc's Marco PoloKyrgyzstan Brochure: Kyrgyzstan Marco Polo Hunting 2016
Season – The  fall hunting season starts August 15th and lasts thru November 30th. Winter hunting season starts in early January and lasts thru end of February. Most of our hunts take place in late October, November and January due to rutting periods and better sheep concentrations.

Hunt Area – The hunt is conducted in mountainous areas of Issyk-Kul or Naryn regions. It takes about 8 to 16 hours to drive from Bishkek to camp depending on time of the year, weather, etc.

Hunt Conditions – Good physical condition is mandatory. Base camps are between 10–12,000’ feet and the hunting takes place from camp elevation up to 13,500’.  The air is generally very dry; however the biggest challenge (especially on winter hunts) is to stay warm. You will need a good mat and sleeping bag to keep warm and dry, as sometimes you will stay at fly/spike camp for a couple of days. We provide Hilleberg tents and compact stoves for these excursions.

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Trophy Quality – Most of the Kyrgyzstan Marco Polo Rams (Hume Argali) taken, range between 44”-52”. Rams of over 53” are rare, but some areas will produce them. Rams over 55” have been taken, but are exceptional and should not be expected on any hunt. Some areas have bigger rams than others and some areas have more animals than others. Kyrgyzstan hunts are typically more enjoyable than Tajikistan hunts (horses and lower elevation & shorter drives), but Tajikistan produces larger rams. Kyrgyzstan also produces better/more Ibex on average. For hunters that seek really big rams, greater than the low-mid 50” range, they should consider hunting in Tajikistan as the rams there are of the true Marco Polo Variety and are larger.

The Hunt – Generally, especially on the cold, late season hunts, we’ll often come back to the base camp at night, but spiking out is an option for the more prepared, adventurous and ambitious hunters looking for big rams. Spot and stalk hunting is the preferred method of hunting as it allows us to judge the animals with spotting scopes, before making the final stalk. Hunters typically see many animals on Marco Polo hunts, including Ibex. On a typical day, hunters could see several hundred Ibex and Marco Polo, but in some areas, hunters might only see 10 animals in 1 day. Game densities and ram size can and will vary with location. We will put hunters in the areas to best meet their hunting goals and physical abilities. Due to the difficulty and longer distances (250-550 yards) of the rifle shots required, many hunters miss game. We highly recommend taking a professional shooting course so that you have the skills necessary to use a rifle and scope with custom reticule and/or turret and so you don’t miss.

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Ibex – Most Ibex shot during a Marco Polo hunt will be In the low to mid?40” range, although 50” Ibex have been taken. The biggest Ibex are taken in our remote, Ibex only areas. Most hunts involve lots of horseback riding and hiking. Later hunts will have snow. You’ll find these people to be exceptional horsemen, and in some cases, they can get the hunter right to the animal, with horses. Vehicles are used on some of the hunts, but because of the terrain, horses and walking will get hunters to the larger animals.

Sample Itinerary – Kyrgyzstan Marco Polo 15 day trip

  • Day 1 arrive Bishkek early morning and go 1/2 distance to hunt area (4-6hrs)
  • Day 2 drive rest of the way to camp (5-10hrs) check rifles and relax
  • Day 3-10 hunt Marco Polo and Ibex
  • Day 11 drive to Bishkek
  • Day 12 fly home

Price and Hunt Details

  • Hunt Dates
    • Fall October- November 30
    • Winter January 10 – February 28
  • Duration
    • 8-10 hunting days 12 day trip
  • Price
    • Marco Polo only $29,500 includes a U.S. or Canadian Guide ($5000 value) with no guide price is $25,500
  • Deposit – 50% to book, balance due 90 days before hunt
  • Additional Species
    • Ibex – $5500 trophy fee
    • Wolf – free
  • Additional U.S. or Canadian Guide – $5000 plus travel and lodging or for group of 2 hunters, $2500 per hunter plus travel and lodging for guide.
  • Refunds – If you stay for the entire duration of the hunt and do not have an opportunity at a good representative animal, you can come back during the same hunting season for $3000 or receive an $8000 credit towards a future Marco Polo hunt.

Hunt Includes

  • Travel and permit arrangements
  • Firearm permit
  • Meet and greet at airport
  • All hunting licenses, tags and permits
  • Area fees and taxes
  • Russian Cites and Vet Cert
  • English Speaking Interpreter
  • Local Guide and assistant per hunter
  • Food and Lodging during hunt
  • Transportation during hunt
  • Trophy prep

Tajikistan Marco Polo Hunts

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Tajikistan Brochure: Marco Polo Hunting in Tajikistan with AMO 2016

Season – Fall Season typically runs September 15-December 25, with Winter Season running January 10-February 28. Most of our hunts take place in late October, November and January due to rutting periods and better sheep concentrations.

Hunt Area – Most drives to the hunt areas take 18-25 hrs, from Dushanbe by way of 4×4 vehicles. Typically you will be hunting at 10,000-14,000 ft up to 16,500 ft.

Hunt Conditions – Good physical condition is mandatory. Base camps are between 10–14,000’ feet and the hunting takes place from camp elevation up to 16,500’.  The air is generally very dry; however the biggest challenge (especially on winter hunts) is to stay warm. You will need a good mat and sleeping bag to keep warm and dry, as sometimes you will stay at fly/spike camp for a couple of days. We provide Hilleberg tents and compact stoves for these excursions.

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Trophy Quality – Most of the Tajikistan Marco Polo Rams taken, range between 52”-58”. Rams of over 53” are rare, but some areas will produce them. Rams over 60” have been taken, but are exceptional and should not be expected on any hunt. Some areas have bigger rams than others and some areas have more animals than others. Vehicles are used on many of the hunts but because of the terrain, hiking will gt you to the larger animals so you need to be in very good shape to get to the best rams.

The Hunt – Generally, especially on the cold, late season hunts, we’ll often come back to the base camp at night, but spiking out is an option for the more prepared, adventurous and ambitious hunters looking for the biggest rams. Spot and stalk hunting is the preferred method of hunting as it allows us to judge the animals with spotting scopes, before making the final stalk. Hunters typically see many animals on Marco Polo hunts, including Ibex. On a typical day, hunters could see several hundred Ibex and Marco Polo, but in some areas, hunters might only see 10 animals in 1 day. Game densities and ram size can and will vary with location. We will put hunters in the areas to best meet their hunting goals and physical abilities. Due to the difficulty and longer distances (250-550 yards) of the rifle shots required, many hunters miss game. We highly recommend taking a professional shooting course so that you have the skills necessary to use a rifle and scope with custom reticle and/or turret and so you don’t miss.

ibex-in-tajikistan

Ibex – Most Ibex shot during a Tajikistan Marco Polo hunt will be In the 38-45” range. The biggest Ibex are taken in Kyrgyzstan in our remote, Ibex only areas.  Vehicles are used on some of the hunts, but because of the terrain walking will get hunters to the larger animals.

Success – 2014 11 hunters took 11 rams between 52-58″.

Sample Itinerary – Tajikistan Marco Polo 15 day trip

  • Day 1 arrive Dushanbe and spend night in hotel/B&B
  • Day 2 drive to Khorog (13-16hrs) in Toyota Landcruiser
  • Day 3 drive to base camp (6-8hrs) check rifles and relax
  • Day 4-12 hunt Marco Polo
  • Day 13 drive to Khorog
  • Day 14 drive to Dushanbe
  • Day 15 fly home

Price and Hunt Details

  • Hunt Dates
    • Fall September 15- December 25
    • Winter January 10 – February 28
  • Duration
    • 8-10 hunting days 15 day trip
  • Price
    • Marco Polo only $42,500
    • Marco Polo & Ibex $46,500
  • Deposit – 50% to book, balance due 90 days before hunt
  • Additional Species
    • Ibex – $4000 trophy fee
    • Wild Boar – per request
  • Additional U.S. or Canadian Guide – $5000 plus travel and lodging
  • Refunds – If you stay for the entire duration of the hunt and do not have an opportunity at a good representative animal, you can come back during the same hunting season for $3000

Hunt Includes

  • Travel and permit arrangements
  • Firearm permit
  • Visa Support (invitation letters)
  • Meet and greet at airport
  • All hunting licenses, tags and permits
  • Area fees and taxes
  • Russian Cites and Vet Cert
  • English Speaking Interpreter
  • Local Guide and assistant per hunter
  • Food and Lodging during hunt
  • Transportation during hunt
  • Trophy prep
  • VIP Transfers through Dushanbe Airport