Subscribers who saw our report last month on rampant poaching in Iran (see page 11) may want to know that we have received some very different input on the situation in that part of the world. Agent Jerome Knap of Global Expeditions (Tel. 613-256-4057) tells us some clients who recently went to Iran are very pleased with all aspects of their hunts, including the abundance of game. Also, we heard from Hunting Report subscriber, Georges D'Aoust, who just returned from a very successful trip to Iran booked for him by Turkish agent Kaan Karakaya (011-90-242-247-7880 - from the US). D'Aoust says he took a red sheep and an Armenian sheep and failed to take an Esfahan sheep only because he ran short of time and passed up too many chances to take an average-size animal. He says he saw very little sign of poaching in the areas he hunted and, in fact, notes that "...the game department appeared to be well organized to combat poaching, particularly in the Esfahan sheep area."
The sheep population figures D'Aoust says he was given are very impressive - namely, 2,700 Armenian sheep on the island hunting reserve and 400 Esfahan sheep in the reserve where he hunted, plus 3,600 more in the adjacent national park. The red sheep population in the reserve where he hunted was represented to him as being about 400 animals. D'Aoust says poaching may indeed have decimated animal populations in parts of Iran, but that was not the case anywhere he hunted.
He says the overall experience of hunting in Iran was so good he is going back this year. He promised to file a follow-up report. We hope other subscribers will do the same.... In the meantime, US hunters swayed by the positive news need to remember that an embargo on US transactions with Iran is still in effect. See this month's "Conservation Force Bulletin" for more details. Stay tuned....