Caucasian Tur Hunting in Russia, Abkhazia and Azerbaijan
Many serious mountain hunters consider Caucasian tur as a must to have a trophy. Sergei Shushunov and the Russian Hunting Agency will organize a hunt for this unique animal. Caucasian tur is found only on the ranges of Caucasus mountains, at altitudes between 2000 and 4,000 meters (6,600-13,000 ft.). Its distinct look resembles both a goat and a sheep and is classified as a goat antelope. Tur is a nocturnal animal, eating in the open at night and sheltering during the day, usually in inaccessible places. Females live in herds of around ten individuals, while males are typically solitary.
There are three subspecies of Caucasian tur.
The West Caucasian (Kuban) tur is found in Russia and Abkhazia. This tur has a chestnut coat with a yellow underbelly and darker legs. The horns are scimitar-shaped and heavily ridged. Hunting is extremely difficult due to high elevations and very precipitous terrain, which precludes using horses for most of the hunt.
The East Caucasian (Dagestan) Tur is found in the Russian republics of Dagestan and Northern Ossetia as well as in Azerbaijan. It has a somewhat smaller body, but otherwise similar to Kuban tur, usually with larger, lyre-shaped horns. Dagestan tur hunting is usually somewhat easier than hunting Western tur.
Mixed (Severtsov) tur is a true naturally-occurring cross between the Dagestan (Eastern) and Kuban (Western) tur. The horns may look almost exactly like Eastern or Western tur, or anywhere in between. Hunting for this tur subspecies, found only in Russia, is as hard as hunting for Western tur.
All three tur subspecies can be hunted n Russia on one trip if time allows. Caucasian chamois can be added as a secondary trophy only in Russia and Abkhazia because chamois can’t be hunted in Azerbaijan. Shooting over a distance of 400-500 meters (440-550 yards) is not unsusual. Hunting camps are located at an altitude of up to 2500 meters (8000 ft.) and approximately 4-6 hours traveling from the airport. Transportation to spike camps from base camps is done either on horseback or on foot. This is one of the most difficult mountain hunts in the world. The hunt takes place at an altitude of about 2800 to 4000 meters (9500-1300 ft.) and is physically demanding due to very steep, rocky, and precipitous slopes. Two areas: Krasnodar region of Russia and Abkhazia, a newly independent tiny country sandwiched between Russia and Georgia, offer an opportunity to hunt Western tur at elevations several thousand feet lower than in other parts of Russia.
For more information, please visit www.CaucasianTurHunt.com.
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