* In July, 2003, the Turkish Game, Wildlife and Environmental Department, headed by Professor Mustafa Kemal Yalinkilic, amended the country's antiquated hunting statutes that had stood since 1937. One of the changes deals with hunting guides. Applicants for a guide license now must be screened and tested, although existing guides are grandfathered in. Also, harvest quotas are being assessed on a biologically sound sustained-use basis.
* Moves are underway to allocate hunting areas to outfitters on a long-term basis, with an eye toward motivating them to invest more time and money into improving their areas.
* Several new areas and species previously off-limits to hunters are being opened.
It is this latter development that will be of most immediate interest to hunters. The major parts of the country affected are the eastern and central regions where some areas that have never been hunted are being allocated to hunting operators. Trophy quality in some of these areas should be excellent. In eastern Turkey's Boz- dag mountains, for example, the Konya mouflon is now on the list of available animals, with trophies expected in the 30-plus-inch range. There are only a handful of entries for this species in the SCI record book, and those measured only in the 20- to 28-inch range. Permits for this species were previously issued on a very occasional basis.
Another sheep made more available now is the Armenian mouflon. Armenian sheep migrate from Iran into Turkey, and can legally be imported by Americans when hunted on the Turkish side of the border. Trophies in the 28- to 30-inch range are expected and should score well in........(continued)