Sergei Shushunov and Russian Hunting LLC offer Marco Polo and other argali sheep hunts for discriminated mountain hunters. Argali is the largest and the most magnificent sheep in the world. Several subspecies of argali are found on the territories of Russia, Central Asian Republics, China and Mongolia. Hunting Altai argali sheep in Russia is prohibited.
Marco Polo argali, the largest among all subspecies – in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
Littldale argali in Kazakhstan and China (Tibet)
Gobi argali in Mongolia
Altai argali in Mongolia, Russia and Kazakhstan
Karaganda argali in Kazakhstan
Tian Shan argali (Karelini) in Kyrgyzstan
Karatau argali in Kazakhstan and China (Tibet)
Argali sheep being the largest and having the widest horns span is the most magnificent wild sheep in the world. Argali is found on altitudes between 2,500 to 5,500 meters (7,500-16,000 ft.). The hunt is relatively easy physically for Gobi and Altai argali, which are found at lower elevations. The hunt for Marco Polo argali in Kyrgyzstan and especially Tajikistan can be very demanding due to very high elevations. Physical conditioning several weeks in advance of the hunt is strongly recommended. Stalking argali sheep requires a great deal of patience. Shots are usually taken from distances of 200 to 500 meters (320 to 550 ft.) and occasionally beyond. A significant advantage is familiarity with handling a horse. Local horses are easy to handle and well adapted to high altitudes. Travel on horseback enables one to cover longer distances, with less physical pain, in search of the perfect ram. Strict regulations by local governmental and international agencies allow the Argali population to remain stable. The limited number of licenses a year are issued for Marco Polo argali and Karelini argali hunts, and licenses for Karaganda, Littledale and Karatau argali licenses are issued extremely rarely, not even every year and in single numbers.
The largest among argali sheep is Marco Polo and the best trophies, reaching 60 inches and more are found in Tajikistan, where a hunt is very hard and for many unprepared hunters is almost impossible due to extreme elevations. For price-conscious hunters, Arpa river valley of Kyrgyzstan offers an opportunity to get a 60-inch trophy at the fraction of the cost of the Tajikistan hunt.
Location: Issyk-kul district, Kyrgyzstan
Season dates: August 10 – December 3
Hunting method: Spot and stock
Accommodations: Cabins, electric generator, satellite phone, radio
Number of hunters: 1-2
Included in the price:
Reception and assistance in Bishkek airport; Ground transfers; Accommodation in the hunting area;
Meals and soft drinks during the hunt; Transportation during the hunt; Horses; Services of 1 guide per hunter; Services of 1 interpreter in a camp; Dedicated cook in a camp; Field trophy preparation; Gun permit; Hunting license; Trophy export permit; CITES permit; 1 ram.
Not included in the price:
Insurance of any kind; International and domestic airfare; Hotel and meals in Bishkek before or after the hunt; Shipping trophies from Kyrgyzstan; Cost of sightseeing tours; Gratuities.
Day 1: arrival to Bishkek, car ride to the hunting area.
Day 2-11: 10 days of hunting
Day 12: return to Bishkek, overnight in Bishkek
Day 13: flight home
Kyrgyzstan argali is on average smaller than Tajikistan. However, trophies well over 50 inches and up to 60 are not unusual. A car ride from Bishkek to the hunting area takes about 7 hours. Base camp is located at 3,200 meters (10,500 ft.) above the sea level. The camp has warm cabins, an indoor toilet, running water and electricity from the generator. There is a satellite phone for emergencies. Hunting takes place at altitudes of 3,000 – 4,000 meters (9,500 – 12,500 ft.) and requires good physical endurance. Hunters should expect to spend up to 6-8 hours per day riding horses. Daytime temperature is around +10C (+50F) in the fall and –20C (-4F) in the winter, at night it can drop to -40C (-40F). Hunters are required to bring sleeping bags, camo clothes according to the season, sunglasses, spotting scope, binoculars, and sunscreen. Shots are expected within 300-600 yards range, therefore flat shooting rifle with good optics and a range finder are necessary.
For more information on argali hunting, including Marco Polo hunts, please visit www.argalihunt.com, or contact Sergei Shushunov at this site.