Hunting in Tajikistan

 

tajikistan_01
tajikistan_02
tajikistan_03

Introduction

Welcome and enjoy the natural beauty, traditional hospitality and great hunting adventure that Tajikistan has to offer!

Tajikistan is a small republic in Central Asia, bordering Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Afghanistan. The 740 mile (1200 km) border with Afghanistan is demarked by the river Panj and the Amu Daryo, better known as the Oxus. Most of Tajikistan’s land area is mountainous, ranging from the Fann Mountains in the west to the rocky heights of the Pamirs in the eastern region of Badakhshan. The highest mountain is Peak Somoni (Samanid) at 23 400 ft (7495 m). This mountainous country offers great hunting for the magnificent Marco Polo Argali which have the longest horns of all sheep and beautiful Mid-Asian Ibex.

This region is often described as a “Polar Desert”. It is high and dry, and can be cold and windy. Bring a good wind breaker and layered underclothing with you. Temperatures: October 60 F (+15 C) daytime, falls down to 30-41 F (0 to -5 C) at night. November 30-50 F (0 to +10 C) daytime, and during nighttime 5-14 F (-10 to -15 C). December -4 F (-20 C) daytime, -31 F (-35 C) at night.

You will need a visa to visit Tajikistan. You can apply for your visa at the nearest Embassy or obtain your visa on arrival at Dushanbe airport. After the hunt is completed, the trophies are left in Tajikistan and then sent to the hunter.

Hunting Season


In Tajikistan hunting is possible from September till December, also in the end of February – March. Best time is October – November, and end of February – March, because it is not very cold at this time of the year and the rams have their beautiful winter coat.

Trophy

Marco Polo Argali

Marco Polo Argali

Marco Polo Argali also called Pamir argali is named for Marco Polo, 13th century Venetian merchant and explorer, who was the first Westerner to record its existence. Shoulder height 44-46 inches (112-117 cm). Weight up to 300 pounds (135 kg). A large, long-legged, light-boned argali with the most spectacular horns of all the world’s sheep. The summer coat is a light, speckled brown, with the face, chest, underparts, rump patch and legs white. In winter, the upper parts are a somewhat darker brown and there is a full white neck ruff extending to the brisket. The winter hair is much longer, making the animal appear larger and heavier than it is. The long, slender horns are homonymous, forming 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 open spirals, and triangular in cross section with a sharp orbital-nuchal edge. The longest sheep horn ever recorded (75 inches or 190.5 cm) (Rowland Ward, 1895), is from Marco Polo; however the largest circumference for this race is only 17 inches (43 cm), with 14 to 15-1/2 inches (36-39 cm) usual. Horns and skull together will weigh only about 25 pounds (11-12 kg), the horns’ slimness making them seem longer than they actually are. Marco Polo is one of the finest wild sheep and is one of the world’s very top hunting trophies. It lives at high altitudes that not all hunters can cope with.

Mid-Asian Ibex

Mid-Asian Ibex

This subspecies can be the largest in size and grow the largest horns. Males can weigh as much as 285 pounds (130 kilos), or even more. Its coloration is very different from that of Siberian and Gobi Ibexes. In winter coat, most adult males are a cinnamon-brown color of varying intensity, becoming browner and duller on the flanks, shoulders and thighs. There usually is a dark, well-developed dorsal stripe, and also a light-colored saddle patch that can vary in size, shape and location. A very dark flank band separates the brown flanks from the whitish belly. There is a distinct brown band on the front surface of the forelegs, a lighter one on the hind legs. The head is lighter than the flanks – actually somewhat grayish – and the beard is brown. However, there is a good deal of individual variation in color and markings. Horns are very long and relatively slender with comparatively small cross ridges.

 Hunting territory

With its highest peak at 25 000 feet (7600 metres) and 90% of the country covered in mountains, Tajikistan does not only supply incredibly stunning views, but also some of the toughest hunting terrain on the planet. Only the brave and well fit sportsmen dare to give it a try. Windy weather and low temperatures make your trophy even more well-deserved. The hunt is organized at 14000 - 16400 feet (4200 - 5000 m). Main hunting areas used are near Hot Springs camp and Karakol lake camp (Eastern Pamir).

Hunting

4×4 jeeps are used to find the animals. The hunt starts in the morning and you spend the day looking for the trophy males at the hillsides and feeding areas. The stalk is completed on foot once the desired trophy is located. You have to be fit for this part of the hunt. Be ready for the long range shooting, up to 400-500 yards/m. In the evening you will return to the base camp.

Route

The city of your arrival is Dushanbe, from Dushanbe you will be taken to the camp by car. This transfer is quite long and tiresome but they help to adjust to the altitude slowly. The way from Dushanbe to Hot Springs camp will take about 18 – 20 hours with one stop – overnight in Khorog town.

Accommodation

There are several hunting camps, among the best camps are Hot Springs camp and Karakol Lake camp (Eastern Pamir). Tajikistan camps are located at 12000 to 13800 feet. A group of hunters staying on camp usually consists of 2-3 hunters.

  • Hot Springs: It is a warm, clean and comfortable camp with separate areas for dining, bathing and sleeping. Also it has electrical generation. You will even find a swimming pool and billiards there. It is the best camp that can be built at such an altitude.
  • Karakol: The accommodation in Karakol Lake camp is not as great, but the trophy size of Marco Polo rams is the same as in Hot Springs. This is a comfortable hunting house.

Every camp has a satellite-phone or radio station, and a medical kit.

Related items

Hunting in Kazakhstan  Hunting in Kyrgyzstan  Hunting in Mongolia