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Hunting for the Arak and the Armenian mouflons in Iran

The hunt for the Arak and Armenian mouflons was organized in the Markazi province, in the mountain chain “Seven Peaks”, near the town Arak. That was the central plateau with several mountains chain which crossed each other and went from south to north-west. That place was know becuse the migration ways of two subspecies of mouflons: Armenian and Esfahan. The state hunting area are about 98 K acres and are well guarded. Since the beginning of time that land was inhabited by wild sheep. For the dozens years the local scientists made there the researches, monitored the population of those animals. Video- monitoring and the collection of the genetic material are one of the most popular ways of studying. The result of those long-term research is that the Iran scientists have discovered several hybrid specimen which has genetic and morphological differences from the Esfahan and Armenian mouflons. They named that new subspecies after the capital of region – the Arak mouflon. Not all hunting clubs admit it as the separated species but the CMH has decided to add the separate line in our rating tables, devoted to that subspecies of mouflon.The mountain massif there isn't high, just about 2600 mals. The mountains are cut by the thick layer of rock formations. It looks like the huge staircase where the wild sheep and ibexes inhabit. The plateau on the top is flat and covered by grass. We drove through there and observed lots of animals in different places.We watched the great number of females with lambs. It was the sign of high density population. I noticed several Bezoar Ibexes which grazed in the same area. The main external differences of Armenian mouflon from the Arak one is the bright black line on the breast. The Arak mouflon doesn’t have such or it’s barely noticeable. There are some differences in the horn’s forms and their growth direction. The hornsof the Arak sheep growth down while the Armenian mouflon's horns which growth back. The local guides identify them visually . The two kinds of males can be in the same group. It’s a common fact that these two sub species live nearby.I took the male of the Arak mouflon in the first hunting day. It was 11 years old male with 80 sm horns . The locals told me that I was the first hunters who got that kind of animal there but better to check it. Hunting for the Armenian mouflon wasn’t so easy. The first time I fired from the distance 730 m and hit above the aim. Later we detected one more group leaded with one-horn male. There were two more males and one of them had the distinct black line on its neck. I took it from the distance 430m. Suddenly the fog covered the valley and we lost the trophy. It took twenty minutes to change from the sunny day to the fog and snow storm. We inspected each part of the slope but couldn’t find it. Later in the camp I check video which we made, identified the landmarks and estimated where it should fall.Next morning the weather became even worse. It was snow and cold. We went to the mountains because needed to find the sheep. We were afraid that the predators could find it first and eat it. We climbed to the big rock and then we divided into two groups. The first one went up to the place where I had been before and I began to descend looking for the sheep’s tracks. I couldn’t hardy express my emotion when I found it. The predators found it before us and ate the back part of the sheep. It could be the fox, which I had seen before. Fortunately the front part wasn’t damaged and I could make pictures and took it. It was wind and cold. The clothe became wet and my hands ached from the cold. But I did it! We carried the trophy to the car, it was 12-13 years old male. Its horns were smaller than the Arak sheep had but the horns’ base was thicker. They were different in the comparison with the horns of the previous trophy.

Hunting for the Shiraz Mouflon in Iran

It was 2011 when the hunt for a shiraz mouflon was open for the last time.  I was lucky to get one of two hunting licenses for this animal in 2020. The hunt was organized in the Brunei Mountains. It took us about 11 hours’ drive from Teheran to the Base camp. Mountains there weren’t high and we drove a lot.  There was a chance to get the trophy in the first morning but we decided to go on  and to look for the bigger one. Next day we climbed to the highest peak and began to monitor the surroundings.  I detected two males and got one of  them. The  shooting distance was 420 meters.

Alpine Chamois in Slovenia

That successful hunting trip was organized by Andres Lillemäe - the Deputy Director of the Estonian  Hunting society. The expedition took place on the north of Slovenia not far from the border with Austria and Italy. We got the male of the Alpine Chamois.  Everything was organized on the high professional level. We met the Director of the Slovenia Hunting society. It was the rut season and each day we watched lots of animals but none of them had trophy sizes.  Mountains there aren’t steep but we had to go through the  dense woodlands  and our clothes had been damaged.  At the end of the second day we detected nice male. The distance to the animal was about 500 meters but we approached 280 meters. I did the accurate shot. The male was wounded and tried to ran away but I got it by the second one. It was twilight and we decided to take it next morning. The local guide  was very professional and worked hard. He did his best  in that trip.

Hunting for the New Zealand Tahr

The second day of our trip to New Zealand was devoted to the hunt for the Tahr. The habitat of the animals was far from my hotel and we used the chopper to reach the top of the mountain. The hunt was easy because we needn’t climb by foot. There we detected the group of males and I got my trophy from the distance 200meters. After it I took the additional trophies of the wild goat and the wild turkey Miriam. Thank you very much to  Sergey Yastrzhembsky and to Ludmila Baranova (Stalker Group) for the organization of that hunt.

Hunting for the New Zealand Chamois

I left Moscow on December 19 and arrived to Queenstown on December 21.  It was a short hunt because on the next day I took the last twelfth Chamois from the MHC’s trophy list. I used the rented gun, because travelled just  with the hand luggage, cal. 30-06. The shooting distance was 200 meters. In addition to that trophy I got the 15 years old American bison and 12 years old Black sheep. Thank you very much to Sergey Yastrzhembsky and to Ludmila Baranova (Stalker Group) for the organization of that hunt.

Kuban Tur

The hunt was organized in the Aksai mountains of the KCR.  It took us about 3 hours to climb the altitude 2600 masl.  It was about +10ºC with the gusty wind.  I carried the backpack with the sleeping bag, mat and another equipment in case if we slept in the mountains. Fortunately we didn’t do it. We detected animals on the place where  expected to find. The shooting distance was 553 meters at the angle 25 degrees. I did the one but accurate shot. The used gun was "Orsis" 300WM, bullet Norma Nosler Accubond 11,7 gram. I made 22K steps in that day!

Hunting for the Isfahan Mouflon in Iran

The hunt for the Isfahan Mouflon took one day on December 13. I fired to the running aim. It was moving in the group of 25 animals. We still don’t know what has scared the animals and why they have  run. Probable they heard or smelled the hunters.  I shot several times to the male which was not the biggest trophy from the distance 260-360 meters. We found three penetrations when checked it later.

Hunting for Altai Ibex

I hunted for the Altai Ibex in November,2019 in Altai. The shot was done from the distance 440 m at the angle 15 degrees. The used bullet Berger 210 VLD Hunting, Blazer 300 win mag. The length of the horns is 96 sm. Thank you very much to High Hunt for the organization of that hunt.

Hunting for the mouflon in Croatia

It was short and successful hunt. It was rainy and blew the north wind, which the locals called ‘Bura”. Such  weather was the reason why all animals descended to the bottom of the narrow gorge. But then the wind changed. We drove a little up to the mountains from the seaside and detected the group of mouflons. The herd consisted of females and males with good horns.  But we were looking for the nice trophy with horns not less than 70 sm that’s why we drove further.  We didn’t find one and decided to drove back and check one more time in the previous group. One of the males there had trophy size. I did the only but accurate shot from the distance 100m and got it. Then we made lots of pictures on the background of the sea and islands. I used Sakko 85, cal.300 WSM, optics Zeiss VICTORY V8 1,8-14x50. Thank you very much to our guide Ante, Joseph Tomlynovich for their professional job. My personal thanks to Edward Bendersky for this trip!

Kuban Tur

12 years old male, horns 77 sm. Shooting distance 470 meter. Fog

KCR 2019

I got the trophy in the first day. We spent five hours approaching to the male. The shooting distance was 200 meters. The shot was done at the angle 30 degrees.