The once-famous hunting country of Iran has opened its doors again to international hunters. In fact, as this issue goes to press, the first European clients are already in the field. Three prominent American hunters - Warren Parker, Al Cheramie and Wayne Pocius - are set to go there next month. Animals available include the important red sheep (Ovis orientalis orientalis), Armenian sheep (Ovis orientalis gmelini), Armenian sheep at Lake Urmia, Transcaspian urial (Ovis vignei arkal), ibex (Capra aegagrus), Persian goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), Asian brown bear (Ursus arctos) and wolf. The opening of hunting was arranged by an Italian company named Consulteco, headed up by Massimiliano (Max) Tornielli, who will be familiar to some subscribers as a former PH/safari outfitter in central Africa. In a fax note at press time, Tornielli said the quota of hunters this year has been set at 15, but plans call for a great expansion in years to come. The hunting season (which will open in August in future years) will run until the end of February this year. The cost of a hunt in Iran has been set at $950 per day (1 x 1) or $1,350 total for two clients hunted 2 x 1; plus license, gun permit and other documentation fees of $750 ($1,000 total for two clients hunting together). Trophy fees on horned game are on a sliding scale based on the size of the larger horn. For example, fees for a red sheep are as follows: 0 to 50 centimeters = $1,200; 51 to 75 centimeters = $2,900; 76 to 104 centimeters = $4,500; 105 centimeters upwards = $5,000. The most expensive ibex is $5,000, while the most expensive Transcaspian urial is $5,500. A brown bear is $7,500; etc.
At press time, it was very unclear how Americans will fit into the picture of Iranian hunting. The United States does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Travel Warning our government has on file is horrific. It flatly warns all US citizens against travel to Iran, calling it "...dangerous because........(continued)