New Hunt Destination For Ibex And Mouflon


Published: March - 2005

The Republic of Armenia, slightly smaller than the state of Maryland, is in southwestern Asia surrounded by Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. It was incorporated into Russia in 1828 and the USSR in 1920, from which it gained its independence only 14 years ago.

The country is home to bezoar ibex, Armenian mouflon sheep and Caucasian bear. Sergio Dimitrijevic of Safari International is organizing what we understand are the first Armenian hunts for international sportsmen in pursuit of these species. In all, he has access to three government-owned hunting concessions. Two are situated in the area of Ehegnadzor (about 90 miles from the capital city, Yerevan) at an altitude of about 3,900 to 6,500 feet. There are two large canyons here that are home to bezoar ibex, Caucasian brown bears and some wild boar. Armenian mouflon sheep are found on high plateaux here in the wintertime. The third concession is about 240 miles from Yerevan at the border with Nachichevan, Azer- baijan. It is a high mountain area (5,000 to about 12,000 feet), fairly typical of mouflon sheep summer habitat. There is also a canyon here where bezoar ibex are found.

Dimitrivejic initiated an anti-poaching program in his concessions over a year ago, as well as some habitat improvement projects. He says game has increased significantly over that period. Twelve paid gamekeepers patrol and maintain the concessions, he says.

Dimitrivejic has received five licenses each for mouflon sheep and bezoar ibex, plus two licenses for Caucasian brown bear for scientific purposes. The bezoar ibex, also known as Persian or Turkish ibex, is a magnificent animal with large, laterally compressed and scimitar-shaped horns marked by sharp-edged knobs. Hunting for them is physically demanding because the goat favors very steep terrain. All the entries in the SCI Record Book are from Turkey and Iran.

Armenian mouflon, which are also known as Anatolian sheep or trans-Caucasian mouflon, are found in Armenia, eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran, where the three countries converge. Some of the sheep are known to migrate between them. The Armenian........(continued)

 
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