Hunting in Turkey

 

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Introduction

Explore the country that builds on old and rich history, and at the same time is a member of modern world. Turkey represents a cultural mixture, a synthesis of east and west, while it geographically bridges Europe and Asia. This country combines natural beauties with its 10 000-year-old heritage thus giving a unique opportunity to learn and enjoy the life and culture in so called Asia Minor. From the Taurus Mountains of the Mediterranean to the Mercan Mountains of Eastern Anatolia and the Kackar Mountains of the Black Sea region, this area is inhabited by many game species such as Anatolian Ibex, which is indigenous to Turkey, Anatolian Chamois, Anatolian (Konya) Sheep, East Anatolian (Armenian) Sheep, Mid-Asian Brown Bear and Anatolian Wild Boar, Anatolian Red Deer, Roe Deer, Wolf and Lynx.

Although Turkey is situated in large Mediterranean geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate. The diverse nature of the landscape, and the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, result in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall. In summer, temperatures can get as high as 95-104 F (35-40 C), while winters can be cold (as low as 5 F or -15 C). Spring and autumn are usually rainy, but it can be sunny and warm until late October. The official language is Turkish. English is widely spoken in major cities. Standard time is East European zone time (GMT +2 hours). From the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October Daylight Saving Time is observed. Voltage is 220-240V, continental plugs (two-pin) are used.

Americans and U.K. residents need visas. Visas are good for three months. There is a non-refundable processing fee of 26 USD in cash or money order for single entry or 87 USD in cash or money order for multiple entry, payable to Turkish Consulate General. Australians and Canadians do not need visas and may stay for three months. Most travellers can purchase a visa at any port of entry, but you must have cash. If you’d like to avoid the delay of purchasing a visa when you arrive, you can apply online.

Hunting season

Armenian Sheep, Chamois, Bezoar Ibex: September 15 – December 1; August 1 – March 31. The best dates for Ibex are in the end of December as the Ibex exhibits a special color during the rutting season.
Red Deer and Roe Deer: The best time for the hunt is from mid-September through mid-October, when the bulls start roaring in rut.
Wild Boar: Hunting can be organized all year around. Best  time for driven hunt is between October 1 – March 31 and for the high seat between May 1 – October 31. Best time for stalking is between December 20 – March 31.

Trophy

Bezoar Ibex

Bezoar Ibex

Bezoar Ibex rank up there with the best and is one of the most sought after trophy animals in the hunting world. It has the world’s longest horns in relation to body weight (140 lbs or 63 kg), and it is the most handsome of the Ibex species with horns as long as 55 inches (140 cm). Being spectacularly beautiful, Bezoar Ibex is considered by many to be the best looking of all the Ibex family.

Hybrid Ibex

Hybrid Ibex

A cross-breed between Bezoar Ibex and domestic goat has recently been recognized as a subspecies by both Grand Slam Ovis Club and Safari Club International, but counts only through Capra super 20. A great variety of color variations as well as physical characteristics, including horns may exist from this cross-breeding. Horns are scimitar-shaped like that of Bezoar, but are generally wider and flaring in appearance and lower in profile than that of the pure Bezoar Ibex. Facial shape and profiles will more closely resemble that of the domestic goat including long, sloppy type ears.

Anatolian Chamois

Anatolian Chamois

This animal is solely indigenous to Turkey. Shoulder height 28-30 inches (70-76 cm), weight about 80 pounds (36 kilograms). General color is a dark, smoky brown with a broad, black dorsal stripe. Neck and legs are blackish-brown, being darker than in most European races. Underparts are pale, rump is white. Throat, lower jaw, and front of face are white, and there are dark stripes across the eyes to the muzzle. In this subspecies the horns are relatively short and thin.

Armenian Sheep

Armenian Sheep

This is one of the two subspecies of Mouflon that inhabit Turkey. Shoulder height 28-32 inches (71-81 cm). Weight 100-140 pounds (45-63 kg). 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. The horns reach a top quality length up to 39 inches (100 cm). The number of licenses is restricted.

Konya Sheep

Konya Sheep

Shoulder height about 30 inches (76 cm), weight about 110 pounds (50 kg). Overall color is reddish-brown, with the chest and front of upper forelegs a darker brown. There is a narrow brown flank band and a grayish saddle patch. Underparts, rump patch, lower legs, muzzle, area around the eyes, and inside of ears are white. No bib. As in Cyprian and Armenian Mouflons, the horns are supracervical, curving above and behind the neck.

Anatolian Red Stag

Anatolian Red Stag

This is an intermediate species between European Red Deer and Asian Maral which has the characteristics of both. Although its roars resemble those of Red Deer in the rutting season, its facial structure, fur and horns are more similar to those of Maral. An adult male weighs about 660 pounds (300 kg). The rutting season is between September 15 and October 15. Hunting of this species, banned in Turkey from 1937 onwards, was for the first time permitted in the 2004-2005 season by the amended hunting law. Because it was not hunted for many years its trophy value is very high and our clients have obtained trophies of horns weighing 14.5 kg.

Wild Boar

Wild Boar

Wild Boar inhabits all but a few parts of Turkey. Turkey is unsurpassed in terms of both population and trophy quality in Europe. As much as it is a rarity, tusks measuring up to 11.81 inches (30 cm) have been collected on several occasions. However, tusks up to 9-10 inches (25 cm) can realistically be expected, while the average size can be considered at around 8.27 inches (21 cm). For individuals who hunt for the size, stalking in moonlight is a more productive way to hunt. For those who seek the company of fellow hunters as well as the joy of hunting, driven hunts can be organized.

Anatolian Roe Deer

Anatolian Roe Deer

Shoulder height 25-36 inches (64-92 cm). Weight 44-81 pounds (20-37 kg). The smallest and most elegant native deer in Europe. Coloration is rich reddish-brown in summer, with a gray face, white chin and black muzzle band. Rump patch is obscure. Winter coat is grayish-brown, with two white throat patches and a prominent white rump patch of erectile hairs that can expand under stress to form a large white disk. Tail is small and white, invisible against the rump. Normal antlers of a mature buck consist of a main beam directed upward, with a lower forward tine and a higher rearward tine making three points to a side. (However, non-typical antlers with  4-5 points on a side are not uncommon.) Antlers have a very rough burr (coronet) around the base, and grow so closely together that the coronets usually touch in mature animals. The skull is broad, with a compressed muzzle. Usually solitary, but tends to form small groups in winter. During the rut in July and August, a buck will be with a single doe (unlike other deer species, which escort several) and will fight intruding males fiercely. Active mainly at night, spending the day in cover. Senses are well developed. Shy but curious. Both sexes have a doglike bark when alarmed. The female makes a whistling noise during mating season and to call her fawns. This is one of the most popular hunts in Turkey owing to the perfect quality of the trophy and restricted licenses.

Hunting territory

Bezoar Ibex

Bezoar Ibex

The species maintains good numbers throughout the country and is widely spread along the Taurus range that extends from western Mediterranean all the way through east. Different populations are also found in almost all high and extensive mountain masses of eastern Anatolia. There are about 30 different spots in Turkey, where Ibex hunting is allowed for trophy hunters.

Hybrid Ibex

Hybrid Ibex

The animal occupies several different locations in one district of Turkey and shares the same habitat with Bezoar Ibex in some areas. Nevertheless, they live in completely isolated populations.

Anatolian Chamois

Anatolian Chamois

The species inhabits the northeastern part of the country and also some small pockets of mountains in the eastern provinces. However, until recently, hunting for this species was allowed only on the Kackar Mountains which form the northern section of the Anatolian mountain range. With the opening of new areas in the eastern parts, new spots for the trophy hunters became available.

Armenian Sheep

Armenian Sheep

The habitat of Armenian Sheep covers the open mountain area (up to 9840 feet or 3000 m), the rocky and dry grounds of Van and Agri regions.

Konya Sheep

Konya Sheep

Bozdag Mountains are the only place where Konya sheep and Armenian Sheep can be hunted as it is the last refuge of these rare animals. The hunting grounds lay around 5400–6000 feet (1645-1830 meters) and can easily be reached from Konya with a short car ride of 45 minutes.

Anatolian Red Stag

Anatolian Red Stag

It can be successfully hunted in Mediterranean Region, Black Sea Region and Central region.

Anatolian Roe Deer

Anatolian Roe Deer

The West, Middle and East Black Sea regions as well as the eastern Mediterranean region are the habitat of Anatolian Roe Deer.

Hunting

As each area has its own characteristics, the ways the hunts are carried out also vary. As a general rule, the mountain hunts are almost always conducted on foot. The hunter and the guide can drive around the territory and glass the hillsides until the desired trophy is spotted. After that the stalking part begins.
As for Wild Boar hunt, night hunting from a high seat during the full moon and driven hunts are available.

Route

Many international companies fly to Turkey, including Lufthanza, Turkish Airlines, Air Berlin, Condor, Austrian Airlines etc. You will need to arrive to the International Airport of Antalya. After going through the necessary custom formalities you will be transferred to the hunting area. The recommended trip duration is 7 days itinerary with 5 hunting days.

Accommodation

Accommodations differ depending on the hunting area. While in some areas it is possible for our hunters to be accommodated in the best nearby hotels or village houses (Konya sheep, Hybrid Ibex), in others, you need to stay in tented camps or small hunting cabins (Bezoar Ibex, Anatolian Chamois).

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