Hunting Interest in Pakistan Cools Due to Politics and Security


Published: September - 2011

Hunt bookings for once-popular Pakistan have fallen off, at least from US hunters. We were about to publish three enthusiastic reports on hunts in Pakistan earlier this year when US Navy SEALS attacked Osama bin Laden's compound only 50 kilometers outside of Islamabad, killing him. At that point, it seemed prudent to hold onto those reports and watch developments carefully. Now that the hunting season in Pakistan is about to start next month, it's appropriate to discuss what's happening there, for readers from the US and other countries.

As we prepared this issue, we spoke with several operators of hunts in Pakistan, who told us bookings were down for at least some areas, particularly the south. Two operators we spoke with did not think safety is an issue for hunters. "Pakistan has never been a safe' place anyway," one said. "But there is no such thing as 100 percent safety in any country under the sun. Keeping a low profile in big cities helps a lot, and there are places in the country you should steer clear of. As long as you do this, you are pretty much alright. In a nutshell, even with the current situation, I do not see any real reason not to hunt Pakistan."

A third operator, had this to say: "Although the political and security situation has not improved in Pakistan, nevertheless hunters from around the world showed keen interest this past season. The entire quota for Blanford urial and Sind ibex in the Dureji Environmental Society (where we conduct hunts) was utilized; however, the quota for these same animals in Kirthar Sind was not. The quota for Kashmir markhor in Chitral and Astor markhor in Gilgit and Baltistan were also fully utilized, while the quota for Punjab urial in the Salt Range was not. Gilgit and Baltistan, home of Astor markhor, blue sheep and Himalayan ibex, continue to not to be affected by any political or security incidents. The quota allocation for next season remains unchanged."

A fourth operator, who books and organizes hunts from outside the........(continued)

 
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