Argali Hunting Fact Sheet

Argali Hunting Fact Sheet

Gobi Argali - One of the largest argalis, with horns similar to those of an Altai argali, being nearly as massive but a little shorter. Upper parts are variegated yellowish-brown; the flanks and front of thighs are more uni- form with a brown center line, the belly whitish, and the muzzle, sides of face and upper throat a grizzled grayish brown. This subspecies doe not grow a neck ruff. Rifle SCI Bronze 160”, Silver 183 4/8” and Gold 196 3/8”.

Altay Argali - The largest wild sheep in the world, with the largest and most massive horns. The horns have round- ed frontal edges, are heavily corrugated, and when fully developed will form more than a complete circle. The longest horns of record measured 71 3/4 inches. Bases exceeding 22 inches have been recorded. Horns and skull, without the lower jaw can weigh as much as 75 pounds. General color in winter is light brown tinged with gray. Rump patch, belly, lower legs and face are white. Simmer coat is much shorter and lighter, with the upper parts a uniformly speckled brown and white, and the run patch only slightly lighter than the back. This subspecies does not grow a neck ruff. Rifle SCI Bronze 210”, Silver 222 7/8” and Gold 235 5/8”.

Marco Polo Argali - A large, long legged, light-boned argali with the most spectacular horns of all the world’s sheep. The summer coat is a light, speckled brown, with the face, chest, underparts, rump patch and legs white. In winter, the upper parts are somewhat darker brown and there is a full white neck ruff extending to the brisket. The winter hair is much longer, making the animal appear larger and heavier than it is. The long, slender horns are homonymous, forming 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 open spirals, and triangular in cross section with a sharp orbital-nuchal edge. The longest sheep horn ever recorded was 75 inches a Marco Polo; however the larg- est circumference for this race is only 17 inches, with 14 to 15 1/2 usual. Horns and skull will weigh only about 25 pounds, the horns’ slimness mak- ing them seem longer than they actually are. Rifle SCI Bronze 180”, Silver 197”, and Gold 207 7/8”.

Hangay Argali: Ovis ammon ssp.

The Hangay argali category was established in 1997 for record-keeping purposes. It is not a recognized subspecies (at least not yet), but is a distinct population in Mongolia that is neither Altai nor Gobi, as it is located a good distance east of the Altai mountains and north of the Gobi mountains. Most rams to date have been taken on a 7,697-foot (2,346 m) mountain called Üshigin Nuruu or Öshgoglyn Ikh, depending on the map (both mean Öshig Mountain), which is the southernmost part of the Hangay range. Öshig Mountain is south of the town of Bayanteeg and north of Baruunbayan in South Hangay Province. Map coordinates are roughly 45° 30'N x 101° 30'E.

During the first half of the 1980s, many hunters took rams in this area, which was then advertised as the "mid Altai." They were told they were hunting Altai argalis that were a little smaller than those in the West Altai, but at lower prices. Then in the 1990s other hunters were taken to the same mountain to hunt what they were told were very large Gobi argalis at premium prices.

From a record-keeping standpoint, it is obviously impossible to have both Altai and Gobi argalis from the same mountain, because they are subspecies that will interbreed and produce fertile offspring, and because they exhibit no consistent morphological differences by which they can be told apart. For the Record Book, all argalis from this area must be the same category: either Altai argali, or Gobi argali, or something else. We decided to call them something else-Hangay argali-because body and horn size in this area is consistently smaller than in Altai rams, but larger than in Gobi rams and, furthermore, this area is neither Altai nor Gobi, but is part of the Hangay range.

DISTRIBUTIONThe range of the Hangay argali includes not only Öshig Mountain, but also the rest of the Hangay range to the north.

:Gold:219 6/8"Gold (Bow):165 6/8"Silver:201 2/8"Silver (Bow):0"Bronze:173"Bronze (Bow):0"

Severtzov Argali - The smallest argali. Shoulder height for a male is 34-38 inches, with females being smaller. Their winter coat is dark brown above, slightly paler on the neck, and grayish brown on flanks and tail. The head is darker then the neck. Rump patch, belly and muzzle are white. Lower legs are dirty white except for dark reddish-brown stripes on the fronts. The white neck ruff is short (one inch) and tinged with gray. No saddle patch or bib. Horns are homony- mous and strongly corrugated. The record horns were taken by explor- er -naturalist Douglas Carruthers in 1908 and are now part of the International Collection of Heads and Horns. Rifle SCI Gold 93 1/8”.

Tian Shan Argali - It is said to be similar to the Marco Polo, but its horns have a tighter curl and are generally thicker. The winter coat was described by Severtzov as having light brown upper parts that lighten gradually to the diffuse, grayish-brown rump patch. The yel- lowish-white belly is separated from the flanks by a wide dark line. A dark dorsal line runs from shoulders to loins. Neck mane is white, shaded with grayish-brown. The record head was reported as picked up in 1921 in the valley of the Yuldaz, a small stream flowing northward into the Lli River in Kyrgyzstan. Its longest horn measured 70-3/4 x 15-1/2 inches, which was much larger than any other karelini of record. Rifle SCI Bronze 159”, Silver 179 2/8” and Gold 190


Kyrgyzstan; with the Naryn River as the northern boundary and the height of land of the Ferganskiy Mountains as the southern boundary.

DESCRIPTION: It can weigh up to 300 pounds. Although similar to the Marco Polo argali in size and coloration, its horns are shorter, heavier, and have less flare.

REMARKS: There has been a controversy for many years about this particular argali. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recognizes only two subspecies from Kyrgyzstan, the Tian Shan argali (found north of the Naryn River) and the Marco Polo (found south of the Naryn River). However, many knowledgeable hunters and scientists contend that there are three different subspecies of argalis in Kyrgyzstan. The GSCO trophy classification committee decided in January 2003 to officially recognize the Hume argali, although SCI still lists it under the Marco Polo argali category. This argali is importable into the U.S. as a Marco Polo.

Here is a rough Idea on cost for these Argali species; Mongolia Gobi Argali - $65,000+, Hangai Argali - $75,000+ and Altai Argali - $95,000+ Kyrgyzstan Marco Polo Argali - $28,750+, Tian-Shan Argali - $28,750+ or -, Hume Argali - $28,750+ or - Tajikistan Marco Polo Argali - $39,900+ Uzbekistan Severtzov Argali - $78,000+

These prices can change from year to year and cancelation prices do come up.

Other Argali Species Gansu Argali, Kara Tay Argali, Karaganda Argali, Kuruktag Argali, Lilledale Argali, Northern China Argali, Sair Argali and Tebetan Argali



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