On a brighter note, there may be some good news coming from Kazakhstan in the near future. Bob Kern of The Hunting Consortium (Tel. 540-955-0090) tells us that Kazakhstan wildlife authorities have completed their five-year plan for Trans-Caspian urial and argali. He says they hope to have the plan implemented within months and the season open this fall. Should that indeed occur, hunters shut out of Turkmenistan will have an alternative destination for Trans-Caspian urial. Unfortunately for American hunters, argali will not be importable from Kazakhstan, but hunters hailing from elsewhere will be able to hunt this species here.
Over in neighboring Tajikistan, there is more good news. Kern says he has secured all of the newly available permits for Afghan urial and has already lined up hunters. The hunts go for $16,900 and will take place November 1, 2006 through February 28, 2007. There are two races of Afghan urial: the cycloceros found in Turkmenistan and most of Afghanistan; and the bocharensis, or Bukharan urial, found in southeastern Uzbekistan, southern Tajikistan and northern Badakhshan in Afghanistan.