The problem became so bad that the Mongolian parliament decided to close elk hunting in 1999 in an effort to protect the species. But without any real controls or enforcement, the move had no effect on poachers, and the parliament reinstated elk hunting in time for the 2000 season. What finally put an end to the extensive poaching about that time was a steep hike in the price of oil worldwide, which caused a 600 percent increase in fuel costs in Mongolia. Poachers could no longer afford to drive around in search of elk, and the illicit slaughter fell off dramatically.
What occasions this review of Mongolian elk hunting is a report we received from subscriber Jay Link, who recently hunted in Mongolia with Mongol Safaris, booking agent Safari Outfitters. Link says Mongolia's maral stag population is still in "rough" condition. He hunted about 160 miles southeast of Ulan Bator, where he found "spotty" numbers of elk. His outfitter had scouts looking for game for several weeks before Link's hunt, and the best they could find was a small band of stags. After glassing numerous valleys and mountainsides, Link shot the largest 6 x 6 he........(continued)