Hunting in Iran

 

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Introduction

Iran is a country in southwestern Asia, located on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. It lies at the easternmost edge of the geographic and cultural region known as the Middle East. More than half of Iran’s international border of 4430 km is coastline, including 740 km along the Caspian Sea in the north and 1700 km  along the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the south. Bandar-e-Abbas is the largest harbour in the south of Iran located on the Strait of Hormoz, the narrow passage separating the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea through which tens of oil tankers are heading for various destinations in different corners of the world everyday. Iran is one of the countries that have all four distinguished seasons. Iran’s variety in terms of temperature, humidity and rainfall differs from place to place and season to season. Length of the seasons differs in different regions.

One of the world’s most mountainous countries, Iran contains two major ranges of mountains, the Alborz with the highest peak in Asia west of the Himalayas, Damavand (18 605 feet or 5671 m above sea level) and the Zagros that cuts across the country for more than 1600 km extending from north west to the south east of the country. The peaks exceeding 7545 feet (2300 m) in these two ranges capture a considerable amount of moisture coming either from the Caspian Sea southward or the Mediterranean eastward. Mountains are habitat to seven distinct and internationally recognized species of wild sheep, Persian Ibex and the secretive leopard. The valleys below them are home to Goitered and Jabber Gazelles, preyed upon by the fastest land animal – the Asiatic Cheetah. Forests are home to Red Deer, Roe Deer, Persian Fallow Deer, Brown Bear and some of the largest Wild Boar in the world.

Due to the black market of cartridges in Iran, the government requires that you save your empty cases for proof of use. 20 rounds of ammunition are allowed per rifle, 100 rounds per shot gun. The .243 is the minimum legal caliber for Iranian game. 30-06, .270, and .308 are common calibers with local hunters. If very high velocity rifles are to be used, we recommend that the medium weight partition bullets be used. The 264 Winchester Mag, 270 Weather by Mag, 7 MM Rem Mag,7 mm Weather by Mag, 8 MM-x 68S and similar high velocity flat shooting calibers are highly recommended.

The clothing should be neutral bush colors, i.e. drab green or dark khaki commercial camouflage is useful. Lightweight binoculars and a good camera are musts for hunters who want to get the most out of their trip. A good spotting scope is recommended.

Hunting season

The season usually runs from October 20 to March 21 for big game hunt. There is no restriction on date for Wild Boar hunting.

Trophy

Armenian Sheep

Armenian Sheep

Shoulder height 28-32 inches (71-81 cm), weight 100-140 pounds (45-63 kg). A graceful sheep with relatively long slender legs. General color is reddish-tan with a narrow grayish-white saddle patch. Underparts, lower legs and muzzle are white, chest is dark brown. There is a narrow brown flank band and brown markings on front of the upper legs. In winter, there is a short black ruff on the lower neck and brisket. No bib. Horns are supracervical, curving above and behind the neck.

Bezoar Ibex

Bezoar Ibex

Shoulder height 30-37 inches (76-94 cm). Weight 100-200 pounds (45-90 kg). Bezoar is a handsome animal, its blackish-brown markings contrasting with the lighter body color. Summer coat is reddish-brown, turning brownish-gray in winter, with old males ashy-gray. Underparts and back of legs are white. The dark blackish-brown areas include the face, throat, chest, dorsal stripe, shoulder stripes, flank stripes, front of legs, and tail. The chin beard is long and black and, in old males, as wide as the chin. Callouses develop on the knees and sometimes on the chest. Males have large, laterally compressed, scimitar-shaped horns. The front edge is sharp, forming a keel for some distance, above which are bold, sharp-edged, widely separated knobs.

Esfahan Sheep

Esfahan Sheep

In winter, males have a full-length blade neck ruff extending to the brisket. There is no bib. Saddle patch, muzzle, chin, throat and lower part of legs are white. The horns appear to be of two types: those from the Mooteh Wildlife Reserve, about 80 miles (130 km) northeast of Esfahan, are supracervical or perverted, which is to say they curve above and behind the neck as do those of Armenian Mouflon; those from the Tange-Sayad and Kolah-Gazi wildlife refuges that are within 90 miles (145 km) southwest and southeast, respectively, of Esfahan are cervical, with the tips growing inward toward the neck the frontal-orbital horn edge is rounded the frontal-nuchal edge is sharp.

Eurasian Wild Boar

Eurasian Wild Boar

Iran has some of the largest wild boar in the world. Our professional hunters will guide you into some of the best hunting ground and guarantee record size trophies. Wild Boar safari can be organized in combination with bird shooting trips, or big game hunting trips.

Goitered Gazelle

Goitered Gazelle (Persian)

Shoulder height 25-29 inches (64-74 cm). Weight 50-75 pounds (23-34 kg). This is the typical Goitered Gazelle. The short summer coat is dark sandy fawn or sandy rufous; the longer, rougher winter coat is much paler. The flank band is indistinct, but the pygal stripes are somewhat pronounced. Underparts, inner legs and buttocks up to base of tail are white. Tail is long and black on the upper surface, dividing the white rump area. Facial markings are indistinct in adults, with the muzzle blaze fading into white with age and the dark lateral eye stripes incomplete. The horns of the male average 12-13 inches (30-33 cm) in length, although larger specimens have been recorded. Favors higher elevations.

Kerman Sheep

Kerman Sheep

Kerman sheep is believed to be a hybrid between Laristan Mouflon (O.o laristanica) and Blanford Urial (O.v.blanfordi), which occurs naturally in the Kerman region of southeastern Iran. It has 54 or 55 chromosomes and produces fertile offspring. Its winter coat is darker than that of Laristan motion, and there is a white saddle patch but no bib. A black neck ruff is present, extending the full length of the neck in some animals but limited to just the lower half in others. The horns are homonymous showing a flat frontal surface with sharp corners.

Laristan Sheep

Laristan Sheep

Adult rams can measure as much as 32 inches (81 cm) at the shoulder and weigh up to 140 pounds (64 kg). This is a thin-haired desert race with a short black ruff on the lower neck and breast. There is no bib. The summer coat is straw brown, turning darker brown with a narrow white saddle patch in winter. The horns are homonymous and have a flat frontal surface with sharp edges.

Persian Desert Ibex

Persian Desert Ibex

This Ibex has been classified in the past as a Bezoar Ibex. It generally weighs considerably less than Bezoar Ibex because it is found in the desert regions of Iran. GSCO considers it to be a transition species between Western Bezoar Ibex and Eastern Sindh Ibex, which are confined to Pakistan.

Red Sheep

Red Sheep

Shoulder height 29-32 inches (74-81 cm). Weight averages 110 pounds (50 kg). Red Sheep is believed to be a hybrid between Armenian Mouflon (О. о. gmelini) and Trancaspian Urial (O.v. arkal) that occurs naturally in the Alborz mountains of northern Iran and the Kavir desert of north-central Iran. Its offspring are fertile. As a hybrid its characteristics will vary. Saddle patch and bib maybe present or not and neck ruff and horn configuration are variable. In the western part of its range, where it blends with the pure Armenian Mouflon, the horns are predominantly supracervical, curving above and behind the neck and there is usually a saddle patch but no bib. In the east, where it blends with Transcaspian Urial the horns tend to be homonymous and there usually is a white bib but no saddle patch. In central parts of its range both homonymous and supracervical horns can be seen, as well as intermediate types. General color bright brown or tan with individuals varying from very light grayish brown to bright reddish brown (the “red” in its common name is misleading because other types of sheep may actually have redder coats.) Underpants are white.

Shiraz Sheep

Shiraz Sheep

There is a rather dramatic difference between Esfahan Mouflon and Shiraz Mouflon. Generally the horns of Esfahan Mouflon more resemble the horn configuration of Armenian Mouflon found to its north. The horns of Shiraz Mouflon more resemble the horn configuration of Laristan Mouflon found to its south. Over time, Shiraz and Esfahan Mouflons seem to have developed their own distinct characteristics and warrant separate trophy classifications.

Transcaspian Urial

Transcaspian Urial

Shoulder height up to 39 inches (99 cm), weight up to 200 pounds (91 kg). A large bright-colored, very handsome Urial. Adult rams have a white bib and a long, white neck ruff; immature males have a smaller, dark neck ruff. Upper parts are uniformly tawny-brown. Rump patch, muzzle, belly and lower legs are white, and there is darker stripe separating belly and upper body. No saddle patch, but some males have a dark shoulder spot in winter coat. The horns are rather long and homonymous growing in a tight circle or forming an open spiral. The frontal horn surface is flat, with sharp angles and distinct ridges, triangular in cross section.

Hunting territory

You may be hunting in one of many different states and areas of Iran.

Armenian Sheep

Armenian Sheep

Armenian Sheep can be found in the northwest area of Iran; the areas are the Angoran preserve and Marakan preserve.

Esfahan Sheep

Esfahan Sheep

Esfahan Sheep hunt takes place in the central west Iran near the city of Esfahan. The Shiraz is located in the southwestern part of Iran near the city of Shiraz near the Persian Gulf.

Kerman Sheep

Kerman Sheep

Kerman Sheep hunting is available in the southeast of Iran, northeast of the city of Kerman.

Laristan Sheep

Laristan Sheep

Laristan Sheep are located in the southeast, in an area south of the city of Kerman.

Persian Desert Ibex

Persian Desert Ibex

Persian Bezoar Ibex can be found throughout all of these areas.

Red Sheep

Red Sheep

For Red Sheep hunts take place in the central north area. The preserves are called Vargin and Parvar.

Transcaspian Urial

Transcaspian Urial

Transcaspian Urial hunting is available in the northeast area of Iran. Some of the preserves are called: Tandore, Hydare, Salok and Sarygol. This area of Iran holds Pure Transcaspian Urial, no hybrids.

The hunting areas are in lightly vegetated hills between 4500 ft and 9000 ft (1370-2745 m) in altitude.

Hunting

You will be transferred from the camp mostly by 4×4 vehicles and then complete your spot and stalk hunt. As with sheep hunting you will be glassing canyons and ridges for sheep and then planning a stalk. Horses may be available in some camps. In most of cases the range for shooting is something between 490-820 feet (150-250 meters). But sometimes it is possible to get closer.

Route

You will need to arrive to the international airport of the Iran capital – Tehran.
Depending on schedule and area to be hunted, you will spend the night in Tehran and then travel the next day to camp or possibly travel directly from airport to hunting area.

  • Average hunt takes seven days: Two travelling and five hunting days for every single major trophy.

Accommodation

The camps range from simple guest houses in the game reserves, with electricity, hot shower, and comfortable camp beds down to local hotels or rustic brick houses. You will try the delicious Iranian cuisine.

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