Tajikistan Marco Polo Hunts In Jeopardy This Season


Published: July - 2010

Hunters expecting to pursue Marco Polo sheep in Tajikistan this season will be disappointed to learn that their 2010 trips are likely to be cancelled. You'll recall our January report that the president of Tajikistan had announced Marco Polo sheep hunting would reopen in that country this season. Unfortunately, as of this writing in late June, authorities have yet to take the necessary steps to officially open hunting for 2010. According to sources we spoke with, the moratorium on hunting will almost certainly remain in place through the end of this year.

Why hunting has not been reopened is still a mystery, considering the excellent results of a sheep survey conducted recently and the subsequent announcement by the president. Three different sources told The Hunting Report that communications between NGO's, ministers and leading biologists in Tajikistan have been positive, but as of press time, no official declaration had been issued to reopen hunting in that country.

Of more concern to The Hunting Report is word from a source close to the Environment Committee, the government body that administers hunting in Tajikistan, that there are no plans to lift the moratorium until 2011. Furthermore, US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) had not received the population surveys and other information they require to issue import permits by the May 31 deadline. As a result, no permits have been issued for American hunters to import Marco Polo trophies from Tajikistan this year. While it is still possible that USFWS could issue permits if the Tajiks actually submit the information in time for the season, we are doubtful that will happen. But we'd like to be proven wrong for the sake of the numerous hunters out there who have been waiting several years now for this hunt.

One of them is subscriber Jerry Baker, who has been hunting for 55 years and hopes he will still have the physical ability to do this tough mountain hunt when it finally reopens. Tim Fallon of the SAAM shooting school (www.ftwoutfitters .com) is a second subscriber we've talked to who has........(continued)

 
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