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Hunting for three sheep in Iran

It was the mid of February when I and my wife Angela arrived to Iran. My goal was to get three sheep. It took us three hours to get the shotguns in the airport of Teheran and then we drove by two cars to the north, to the Northern Kharasan. All transfers in Iran are done by cars. We drove about 14 hours before reached the place. Weather was awful. Next morning started with guns’ testing. The aim was off and the gun shot in 10 sm lower and 2 sm left. It’s allowed to take just thirty cartridges to Iran and you can use for testing only three of them. I used seven and had to approved that usage separately. Weather in the first day was bad, It was raining. We watched several groups of animals with good males in them but the guides advised to look for the bigger one. Next day the weather changed and we moved to the mountains. The first animals, we met, were the group of boars but then we detected the herd of sheep and one more later. I found trophy size male and we began to approach. We ascended three hours and came to 800 meters. There was no further to go and we decided to wait. Four hours passed and the part of the group started to move to the right . The second part, we were interested in,was traveling to the left and we could came closer. But something scared them and all animals started to run away. The distance was 450 meters and increased. I took the position and shot. The distance was 470 meters. The male ran 20 meters and fell. We measured the horns. The left one was 99 sm and the right one -80 sm. I was really glad. Last time, when hunter took the male with such horns, was 30 years ago!We drove to Birzhent,South Khorasan, where I was going to hunt for Afghan sheep. We had the extra day because managed to finish the previous hunt earlier, and Israfil suggested to show us the town. We visited Akbariyeh Garden and the local market. The international Media released the information about the spread of Covid-19 in Iran that day. All museums were closed. Next day we moved to the mountains. First two hours I saw just several groups of females and youngers that’s why we relocated to the new territory in 20 km from that place. It was about 10 am when I detected the group of sheep lead by the big male. We approached it about an hour and came to 180 meters. I used my own gun P93. It has portable handle made by Russian producer Pavel (White Wind). It has 300 WM, bul. 208 Grey Eld. It was the first time when I used those bullets but they didn't dissapointed me. The sheep ran 20 meters and fell. It was the excellent 12 years old male of Afghan Urial. It was my twentieth sheep by the Club list!For the third sheep, Esfahan sheep we drove to the town Melme, in the Esfahan province. We arrived to the settlement and spent there some time sightseeing. Next morning our group moved to the Base near the town. It was a small three floor house with one bedroom on the last floor. It was chilly but we switched on the heater and it became warm. Toilet was outside. The cook Rasul followed us from the very first hunt . I had to mention that he cooked better than in the restaurants. There are three days for each hunt in Iran, than the hunter should change the location. It means that you can’t to start the next hunt earlier even if you have finished the previous one. Next morning we drove to the mountains and spent half of the day looking for the right male. We observed lots of sheep but not suitable ones. At last one of us pointed to the male who was in the group of twenty sheep but we wanted to come close to consider it. The animals were moving from us. I decided to fire. The distance was 410 meters but the problem was that sheep didn’t stay on the place but were traveling. I took the decision and shot. The sheep jumped and disappeared behind the hill. We ran to the place and found lots of blood there. It ran in 25 meters and fell. I was relieved because nobody wanted to chase the wounded one. It was old 12 years old male. It’s left horn was 76 sm and the tip of the right one was broken and was just 72 sm. Surprise.Israfil told me that they have the extra license for the Shiraz Mouflon and we needed just one or two days for hunting, it meant that we had time to try to get it. Thus we drove one again to the base near the town Banavat, Farce Province. In the next morning we divided into several groups and moved to the mountains. One of the guides who rode a bike spotted the group of males and informed us. We ascended to the top opposite to them and began to monitor. The distance was about 800 meters but suddenly they were scared and sheep ran up and to the left. We found one more herd which grazed in 200 meters behind us. The wind changed and the last group smelled us and also started to run away. We had no choice but to go up to the top of the opposite mountain. We detected several groups there but they all moved to different directions. We followed one of them and came to 300 meters. I took the comfortable position and shot. We were going to the place where the sheep were when noticed the lonely sheep, slowly went down. I shot once again and it fell. I took the excellent trophy of 10 years old male. Thank you very much to the Stalker Group company, to Israfil, Amir and their team!

Hunting in Iran

It was my first hunt in Iran and it left just good impressions. I was impressed by hospitality of natives, interesting culture and traditions, enjoyed local cuisine ( they don’t drink alcohol but I could bear it). The local mountains are really good for walking and the animal’s population density is really high.  The trip was organized by Eric Muller (huntgeo) and he did great job. Highly recommended. I did what was going to take. In the first day I got the trophy of the Persian Desert Ibex, next day was lucky to take the Kerman Sheep. The aim which I reached on the Day #4 was Esfahan Mouflon. Thus I closed the list “30 Ibexes” according the Club classification.

Chartreuse Chamois

After the lucky hunt for the Vercors Chamois in the weekend, we drove to the Chartreuse mountains for hunting for another kind of chamois inhabited there. We were driving by the mountain serpentine from one village to another and then arrived to the place, the last one as I thought but was mistaken. We stopped neat the chalet and I saw that the office of the National Forest (ONF) was located on the first floor there. It was five a.m. but one of the officers waited for us there. We took the necessary permits, listened to the instruction and had a cup of coffee. According to the rules, hunting in the state forests or the reserves should be done under the control of the ONF staff member. We changed the car and drove by the new one which belonged to ONF, arrived to the border of the reserve and then hiked up to the mountain. The Chartreuse mountains is near the Vercors mountain massif but there’s a lot of more snow though it'd almost melted under the rain. It took us an hour and a half to  reach the first gorge where we detected the group of chamois. Hiding behind the bush we carefully considered the animals. The authority representative nodded and I shot. The distance was 170 meters. Thus I got my trophy of the Chartreuse Chamois.

Hunting for the Afghan and the Transcaspian Urials.

At the beginning of February I hunted in Iran.  The Afghan Urial was taken in the Southern Khorasan, the Transcaspian urial was got in the Northern Khorasan. The weather was nice but sometimes it was strong winds with gusts up to 5 m/s. The both trophies was taken from the short distances from 230 to 280 meters. The altitude was about 2500 masl.  We hiked a lot when looking for the trophy of the Transcaspian urial. Everything was organized on the very high level. All team  worked hard. I should mention the good job of my guide Amir, the interpreter Masum (whose contribution to the hunting process can’t  be overestimated), our cook Rasul and the driver Mohamed.  The trip was organized by the outfitter  Esrafili Shafizade, who is wildly known in the hunting world.

Hunting for the Vercors Chamois in France!

At the beginning of this year I was invited to the hunt in France. Our goals were trophies of the Vercors and the Chartreuse Chamois. That trip was organized by one the well-known and the most professional hunter in France, Renaud Desgrées du Loû. We'd flown to Lyon and then drove Grenoble. After checking in n the hotel, we had dinner and discussed our plans. In early morning we moved to the mountains. Hunting for the Vercors chamois was arranged in the PARC NATUREL REGIONAL du VERCORS. It took us about an hour to ascend to the top through the thick forest. It was windy that didn’t like. We spend several hours looking for the worth trophy but didn’t find any. Then we detected the group of animals which grazed in about one km from us. We could approach them but the guides said that the group pastured on the land which didn’t belong to them and it was prohibited  to hunt there. I was really surprised and upset. We stood there for a while staring to them but then decided to go back to the car.  I was almost resigned, that the hunt was over but was looking around while coming back and hoped to find the trophy chamois. It was about 300 meters to the car when we detected the male which grazed beneath us. I examined the trophy carefully and decided to shoot. I made the accurate shot but  it was getting dark and we all decided to come back for the trophy next day (Sunday) and did it. It was much harder to reach the place where it was than to go to the place from where I shot yesterday. But I was in a very high spirit and could move heaven. Thus I got the Vercors Chamois.

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.

Punjab Urial

My friend Viktor Kim and I flew to Pakistan in the mid od January. Our flight to Islamabad was normal except one thing. I mixed up my Blazer barrel, that’s why left it at home. The representatives of the Turkey company “Caprine”, whom we knew, met us at the airport. It took us about two hours to drive to the base where we had lunch, checked guns and went for the hunt. Viktor got the really good trophy of the Punjab Urial at the first day.Next day we observed several males but all of them didn’t have the trophy size. At once we approached the group of four males but the animals left, while we were choosing. At the lunch time we detected and approached one more group. I spotted a good male and shot from the distance 200 meters. It ran about 30 meters and fell. It was very easy hunt..Thank you very much to the Stalker Group company and my personal thanks to Azad-Khan and Bilal Khany.

Hunting for the Punjab Urial in Pakistan

On January 18th, 2020 I got the trophy of the Puniab Urial in Pakistan.

Tajik blitz

The New Year 2020 I started with the hunt in Tadzhikistan. This fascinating trip was organized by Gennady Velichko and the AyHSafari company. After arrival to Dushanbe we drove 22 hours to Murgabky region . The local outfitter "Murgab Company" has hunting area there. Thanks to the hospitality of our hosts we forgot about that long and difficult road. In the first hunting day we detected the trophy size male but I couldn’t take the trophy because of the mistake. I couldn’t calculate the shooting angle well. After a lunch we spotted one more good sized male. I shot from the distance 740 m with the angle 24 degrees. The altitude was 4700masl. The wounded animal ran up and we followed it to the height 5100mals but couldn’t take. It was getting dark and we all decided to continue next day. Next morning we noticed the birds which were flying above our prey and found it. The next trophy was Matison Argali. It was foggy and snow and we spend the whole day walking while found and took the 9 years old sheep. The shooting distance was 350 meters. The we moved to Shurabad for the Markhor hunting. It was very easy hunt. I got it from the distance 305 meters. The trophy was 8 years old male with outstanding horns. It was my first trophy of this species. The most difficult hunt in that trip was hunting for Mid-Asian Ibex. It took us almost two days. At last I could fire from the distance 170 meters.

Mid- Asian Ibex in Kyrgyzstan.

This exciting and successful hunt in Kyrgyzstan was organized by my friend Timo Tipp and by his company  Everything was done on the very high level, he took into account all details starting with our landing in Bishkek till the hot shower in the Base camp in the mountains. The hunt took place on the east part of the country in a few km from the Chinese border.  We drove about 10 hours from Bishkek to the camp.  Next  morning we tested the guns  and divided into several groups.  I was accompanied by two guides.  We didn’t walk by foot a lot during this trip, that morning we rode by horses. It was nice sunny day and we could watch lots of animals. I spotted several  argalis while riding.  The guided told me that animals  use to go down at the end of November and gather into huge herds.  We missed the first male looking for the bigger ones.  At the second part of the day one of us noticed a herd leaded by the outstanding male. The animals pastured in 800 meters from us. The guided paid my attention to the strong extension of the horns at its back.  We measured its scope after the hunt and it was 70 sm. So we choose that male as the trophy and began to approach it. We could come to 450 meters and it was all. The altitude at that place was 3700 masl. I decided to try.  The second guide monitored my action through the scope and had shouted, that I got it, after the shot. It was seriously wounded but could cross the slope. We followed it and I fired the second time. It was enough to get it. So I took the trophy in the first hunting day. I was pleased by the professionalism of my guides.  They both got out their notes and accounted the number of animals each time when we saw the herd. The used rifle was Blazer R93, cal. 300 WN,  cart. Norma TSX. This hunt became for me very special because I took the trophy from such a long distance. I really like Kyrgyzstan mountains and nice weather  and people’s hospitality just added more charm to all trip.

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 Altay Ibex

I got  the nice trophy of the Altai Ibex . The used gun was Blazer R8 300 WM mag. The shooting distance was 380 meters. Thank you very much to the High Hunt Pro company and personal thanks to Dmitry Grigoriev.