Oct./2013 Tian Shan Argali, Mid-asian Ibex
I arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Oct. 15/13 to hunt Hume Argali , Tian Shan argali and Mid-Asian Ibex. I booked the hunt with Dmitry Borisov from Moscow, who I had previously hunted Marco Polo with in Tajikistan. The outfitter we used was an old friend of Dmitry’s, Yuri ……….? We started out south/west of Naryn hunting for the Hume. After hunting the outer mountains for 4 days, we moved back up against the Chinese border (within 1200 yds), it’s there that we found the most rams, but they had spotted us coming and moved up over the border. After 6 days with no luck, we decided to move the 12 hrs. by jeep north/east to the Tian Shan mountains and hunt for Ibex and Argali. It was then that Dmitry had to return to Moscow to attend to some business and I was to hunt on my own with 2 Kyrgyz guides and Sergey, a Russian hunter. From Yuri’s base camp we rode horses 9 hrs. east to the log cabin camp. On the first day of hunting I was able to connect on an 11 year old ibex that was 46” on his long side and had 11” bases. We hunted 2 more cold, snowy days for Argali, but after spooking many smaller (38”-42”) younger rams which I refused to shoot, the local guide and I had enough of each other !!! This was one of the worst experiences I’ve had, but I had no regrets shooting a ram just to satisfy an over anxious guide. After that portion of the hunt was finally over and we had returned back to base camp, they moved Sergey and I north to a different camp. Here we hunted with Kulu and Omurbek who turned out to be two of the best local guides I’d ever hunted with ! We only had 1 ½ days to hunt as I was now on day 17 of my trip. So the horse wrangler left main camp at 2:30 am with our horses and we followed 3 hours later with the jeep. After a 2 hour horse ride at minus 18 C we were looking at a group of 105 Argali’s, of which there was 5 large rams in it. After a long and very careful stock we were within 265 yards, we easily agreed on the largest, oldest ram and by 11:30am we had the ram down. He was 49 ¼” x 49” x 14 ¾” , lightly broomed and held his weight. The big surprise was he was only 7 years old. I had the usual good and bad on this trip, but overall it was another great adventure. I’m scheduled to return next November to re-hunt the Hume. I have to thank Dmitry for perfectly organizing this hunt, even though he had to leave part way through, he was in constant contact with everyone. My friend Eugenii in Bishkek did another great job of looking after the logistics and permitting, making Kyrgyzstan one of the easiest places to travel and hunt in. Also thank my friend John Amistoso for putting me onto the Hypoxico High Altitude training system, I first used the system this past spring in the Himalayan mountains of northern Pakistan and after this trip, I’m completely sold on how well it works !!! Thank you.
By Daryll Hosker