Hunting in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan has become a serious destination for international hunters that are seeking Mid-Asian Ibex, Marco Polo Argali, and Tian Shan Argali. Kyrgyzstan has the largest Mid-Asian Ibex in the world with an average of over 50” and some specimens exceeding 60”. Mid -Asian Ibex are hunted at high altitudes, so it is common that you will start your hunt from a comfortable base camp. Many outfitters will stay there for a day to acclimate you to the altitude. Then your hunt will continue on horseback and it is likely that you will sleep in somewhat primitive fly camps until you have taken your ibex. Being in shape is a definite plus on this hunt, as is having some experience riding horses. A typical day’s hunt may see you riding for up to 8 hours or more. You will explore the upper edges of the mountains and will examine the hillsides and feeding areas with binoculars and spotting scopes looking for an exceptional trophy ibex.
The Marco Polo Argali that is found in Kyrgyzstan are typically smaller than those found in nearby Tajikistan, but the price is also significantly lower. Where a big Marco Polo sheep in Tajikistan might stretch to over 60”, in Kyrgyzstan a 50” Marco Polo sheep is a great trophy. But Kyrgyzstan is the place where you can shoot a monster mid-Asian Ibex and a Marco Polo sheep for significantly less than anywhere else. And for those more interested in the experience of hunting a Marco Polo Argali, Kyrgyzstan is the place to acquire that hunting experience without breaking the bank.
Marco Polo sheep are typically hunted from 10,000’ to 13,500’ in elevation. On a typical Marco Polo sheep hunt, a hunter may see a hundred Marco Polo argali. Some days a lot less will be seen, but in a good area, there are lots of these sheep presenting themselves. The hunt will be conducted somewhat like an ibex hunt but going higher than 13,000’ is rarely necessary. Horses are normally used and then walking up to the ridgetops and glassing is a typical tactic. Some experience riding horses is necessary, and you can expect shots to range from 200-over 500 yds.
Other animals such as wolves, Wild boar, Siberian Roe Deer, and a small but growing population of Asian elk are also available for hunting in Kyrgyzstan. A wolf can be taken while hunting Marco Polo argali, but a license must be procured in advance. Due to the high altitude and significant walking, being in good shape is strongly advised prior to embarking on this hunting adventure.