Marco Polo, Markhor, Urial, Ibex and wild Boar Hunting in Tajikistan
Hunting in Tajikistan is conducted in one of the most remote and barren spots on Earth.
Many find it incredible how the small, quaint villages in such areas survive, let alone make their living. Here, some of the highest mountain ranges on earth congregate – the Karakoram and Himalayas to the south, the Hindu Kush to the west, and the Tian Shan to the east. Hunting takes place in Central Pamir Mountains in Gorno-Badakhshan region. Tajikistan is the ultimate trophy destination for giant Marco Polo rams. Marco Polo hunting Tajikistan consistently produces the biggest rams in the world year after year! The average ram taken on this hunt will be in the mid-50s with a very real possibility to find a ram that will break that magical 60″ mark.
Due to remoteness of the area and the physical strain required for this type of hunting that not everybody can cope with, but game populations are remarkable.
Most are able to sight over 40-60 Marco Polo rams within the first hours of hunting. You’ll be staggered by the number and size of horns that came from sheep killed by wolves, age and/or winter. The sheep rarely descend lower than 3000m (10, 000ft). Russian 4X4 jeeps are used to transport you to a base camp generally situated at 13, 000ft above the sea level. The drive is scenic, but arduous due to rugged roads and continuous ascension as you will most likely start feeling the high altitude pressure at 8,000ft already.
The region is often described as the ‘polar desert’.
Not only does it pose challenge in terms of high altitude terrain, but also temperature wise that can get extremely cold and windy. Weather at such altitudes is rather unpredictable. Even the most experienced hunters may experience altitude sickness, in which case Diamox is recommended to prevent pulmonary edema or even brain swell. To this reason we also insist that you take one-day adaptation to the climate and altitude at the base camp. Since the climate is dry, keeping oneself well hydrated is a must. Good physical condition is a necessity. In addition, check with your doctor before the trip. Proper clothes and equipment are also key to combating harsh conditions and to making your hunt more enjoyable.
Marco Polo Sheep
Marco polo hunting Tajikistan is as well regulated and safe as mountain sheep hunting can be.
If you are looking for a 55 inch + Marco Polo sheep, look no further. This outfitter works directly with the same local outfit and guides year in and year out. They will make sure you have all the necessary licenses, tags and permits as required. This North America based outfitter spends 2-3 months every year on the ground in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan evaluating hunting areas, trophy quality, guides, and scouting for trophy rams.
The hunting areas vary as some will have well-equipped base camp(s) with permanent structures, outhouses, generators, and trophy care facilities. While other camps will be more of a spike camp with Yurts, Portable Trailers and tents. Heat is by coal or dung burning stoves.
- Early Hunt – The early Marco polo sheep hunt runs from September through October. *On early season hunts you will spike out to give you the best opportunity to get on trophy rams.
- Rut Hunt – The rut hunt runs Mid-November through December 25.
- Late Hunt – The late hunts run January 1 through March 1. On the late hunts you will usually return to base camp each night as the temperatures get quite cold. Typically you will travel to and from camp by either vehicle or foot.
- We hunt Ibex from September 1 through March 1.
- September and October are great for backpack style hunting.
- These ibex areas are lower in elevation than Kyrgyzstan, from approx. 8,000 to 11,000 feet.
- Hunts are 5 or 7/8 hunt days plus travel time.
- Hunt areas are located 2.5 to 5 hours drive either North or South of Dushanbe.
- Temperatures are similar to a mountain hunt in southern Utah or Colorado. It can be quite cold during the winter hunting seasons.
- Spike tents and donkeys or packers are used to access remote areas.
- We limit the group size to 2 hunters per hunt.
- Trophy sizes range from 38 to 52 inches with a 42-45 inch average.
- Approximate shooting distances are 250 to 500 yards.
- Trophies will be skinned, salted and properly prepared so the hunter can take them home if they choose.
- Ibex can be added to a Markhor or Urial hunt, but they are in a slightly area and a combo will require a 15 day schedule.
Markhor and Urial
Urial are a great value for an International sheep; they are handsome and elusive. Markhor are the rarest and most expensive goat/Capri in the world. Much of the money from these hunts goes to Governmental fees and local communities. The annual quota is approx. 8 to 10 animals of each species.
- Most hunts take place in November, but the season is September 1 thru March 1st. December and January are also popular.
- Single species hunts are 7-8 days plus travel.
- Combo hunts, are 11-12 hunting days.
- Urial and Markhor are hunted a 3-5 hour drive south of Dushanbe.
- Both hunts require hiking and/or horseback riding and precise shooting out to 500 yards.
- Due to CITES permit regulations, Markhor and Urial trophies must be shipped.
- It is common to see wild boar on these hunts.
- Elevations are 5 to 7K feet.
Wild boar are very strong, smart and elusive. They are widely distributed, especially in Western and SW Tajikistan. The climate is perfect for multiplying
and improving wild boar numbers.
- Full grown boars can weigh from 250 to 650 pounds.
- Tusks can reach 17-25 cm.
- Average shooting ranges are 150-300 yards.
- A group of hunters may consist of 2-3 people and hunts are 5 days.
- All transportation between hunting areas is with a “Niva”, “UAZ” or Toyota.
- During the hunt, horses or walking is used.
- We can hunt with dogs but most is spot and stalk, ambush/driven or tracking (only in snow).
- The main hunting areas are Kulyab, Romit & Khatlon regions, all less than 4 or 5 hours from Dushanbe.
This is a real hunt for real hunters with one of the best operations in the business.
- This North America based outfitter spends 2-3 months every year on the ground in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan evaluating hunt areas, trophy quality, guides, as well as doing some guiding himself. All to ensure that his clients have the best possible adventure and opportunity to harvest a trophy Marco Polo Sheep of a lifetime.
- Hunts in Tajikistan are well regulated and as safe as mountain hunting can be.
- This outfitter works directly with the same local outfit and guides year in and year out. They will make sure you have all the necessary licenses, tags and permits as required.
- Have a U.S. or Canadian Guide accompany you on the hunt. This can help you determine the difference between a 55″ ram and a 58-60″ ram. You will also have an interpreter with you.
- You will also have an interpreter with you.
- Pretty much all of the camps have sat phones and radios, but we highly encourage hunters to bring their own sat phone as well. We can help you make arrangements to rent a sat phone for your trip.
- Due to the elevations you will be hunting at you need to show up prepared to hunt in anything from 0-50 degrees.
- You will be hunting in elevations ranging from 10,000-16,500 feet, so you may also want to get a prescription for Diamox in case you develop any altitude sickness.
- Food is basic meats, rice and pasta, salami, bread, nuts, fruits and vegetables and soups. If you like special snack foods, coffee or drink mixes you will need to brings those with you. Tea is served with every meal, sodas, juice, beer and vodka are also available.
Our Outfitter will help you make travel arrangements to Dushanbe, Tajikistan where you will be met by an interpreter and camp management.
We highly recommend that you purchase the VIP or CIP transfers for clearing customs as there are far fewer hassles and the service is much better. You will also want to make sure that you get a U.S. Customs Declaration form for your firearm prior to leaving the U.S. otherwise it can be a royal pain trying to prove ownership of your firearm.
- You will get your visa upon arrival at the Airport in Dushanbe.
- Once you clear customs, you and your baggage will load up in a 4×4 vehicle (most are Toyota Land Cruisers) and drive several hundred miles to the hunting area. Most drives to base camp take 18-25 hrs depending on camp location and weather.
- On the drive to camp you will stop and stay at a hotel in Khorog for the night and complete your drive the following day.
Detailed Travel Schedule:
Day 1: Arrive in Dushanbe, Tajikistan where you will be met at the airport. Staff will help clear your rifle and make sure you have your visa. Stay the night in hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Khorog (13-16 hrs) stay in hotel
Day 3: Drive from Khorog to Base Camp (6-8 hrs) sight in rifle and relax.
Days 4 – 12: Marco Polo hunting or if you are tagged out you can hunt Ibex or leave early.
Day 13: Drive to Khorog, and overnight at a Hotel.
Day 14: Drive to Dushanbe.
Day 15: Catch your return flight home.
Interested in booking this trip? If you have not yet received pricing please request it here, and be sure to reference the trip number at the top of this page. Please note that reservations are not considered finalized until agreed upon deposit is received. This ensures agreed upon dates and current pricing. Quality outfitters are in high demand so let us know right away, as some trips do book years in advance.
- Travel and permit arrangements
- Firearm permit
- Visa Support (invitation letters)
- Meet and greet at airport
- All hunting licenses, tags and permits
- Area fees and taxes
- Russian Cites and Vet Cert
- English Speaking Interpreter
- Local Guide and assistant per hunter
- Food and Lodging during hunt
- Transportation during hunt
- Trophy prep
- VIP Transfers through Dushanbe Airport
- Travel to and from hunting area
- License and Tags
- Shipping of trophy
- Trip Insurance is critical on an International mountain hunt like this!
- Gratuities for Staff
Booking Your Trip
When you’re ready to book, if you haven’t already ask your Outdoors International Consultant for updated pricing. If it looks good, your consultant will write up a booking agreement for you.
Why You Should Choose Outdoors International
Our goal is to be the most respected, knowledgeable and professional Consulting firm in the Outdoor Industry; to offer the best possible outdoor experiences to our clients with outstanding, vetted outfitters; to promote ethics and conservation; and have clients who want to return and use our service again and again.