First off, you may not know that the takin is actually a rather unusual type of muskox, with a large, strong body and long horns. Another species of takin, called the golden takin (budorcas taxicolor bedfordi), is also found in China. It is the less common of the two, and is somewhat more expensive to hunt; I also feel the Sichuan takin (budorcas taxicolor tibetana) is the prettier of the two in color, with gold and brown patches. The females are larger by 20 percent than the males but have smaller horns. Previous takin in the record book were females, with our two males outscoring these.
These animals are usually found in very steep, inaccessible high mountains, such as the Qin Mountains of southwestern China, where our hunt took place. I was really surprised at how steep the mountains were, with elevations of up to 20,000 feet. They reminded me of the mountains on my tur hunt in the eastern Caucasus. Takin are night feeders and seek green grasses, browse and bamboo shoots, and it helps that they are very fond of salt licks. Our guides from the Sichuan wildlife and forestry department had located a very well-used salt lick, which attracted up to 13 takin at one time and helped us take all of our takin in only a few........(continued)