Not according to Dimitrijevic, who reminds us that Armenia is a former Soviet satellite and that old Soviet hunting laws are still in use and valid. That said, the laws are not uniformly applied nor always sufficient to deal with changing challenges. We requested two years ago that a new hunting law be drawn in Armenia, says Dimitrijevic. That draft law is still in discussion. In the meantime, Dimitrijevic says he found a solution with the Ministry of Agriculture to lease concessions, which gives him the right to manage the wildlife on those properties. He has installed infrastructure and game guides who guard against poaching. On one property his management efforts have resulted in a dramatic increase in the ibex population. Some of those animals have simply migrated from neighboring areas, fleeing poachers and other harassment.
As for hunting permits, Dimi- trijevic says that under the old Soviet law, he receives permits to harvest animals for scientific purposes. So, relevant details and samples from all harvested animals are collected and forwarded to Armenia's zoological institute for study. Funds from the trophy fees go back into financing anti-poaching campaigns.
Poaching is definitely a big problem in Armenia, and an international hunter headed that way should be careful to book with someone with access to properties where poaching is controlled. One species that is particularly targeted is the Armenian mouflon.........(continued)