Kyrgyzstan is quickly becoming one of the most popular Asian destinations for hunters, and for good reason. The quality of mountain hunting is incredible with a value that is hard to surpass. The people of Kyrgyzstan are very hospitable, and eager to share their culture with foreign hunters. This small Central-Asian country is filled with spectacular mountains with many rising to more than 20,000 feet, leaving those who are in their presence in awe. Sound game management has allowed the species that live here to thrive, allowing for very high success rates for all species and truly fantastic ibex and Marco Polo sheep hunting. The experience for the mountain hunter here is simply great!
What to expect
Hunters can expect to see good numbers of game, with great trophy quality for those willing to spend long hours each day riding by horseback with their guide, often leaving camp before sunrise and returning after sunset. Marco Polo are plentiful in each of the guide areas; however, it’s important for those planning a Marco Polo argali hunting trip to keep in mind that these sheep are often very transient, and hunters may be required to cover many miles over the course of their hunt. Historical opportunity rates on mature animals are very high, very close to 95%. It is important to trust your guide on these hunts. The average trophy size for Marco Polo sheep in this area is 45 to 55 inches. The average for Mid-Asian ibex is 40 to 51 inches. As with all Asian hunts, hunters must travel with the understanding that delays or “hiccups” may occur and should be expected as part of the hunt!
Marco Polo Argali Hunting Season
Hunts can be organized from late August through the end of November and again during the winter months of January and February.
Best Time to Hunt
Although Marco Polo sheep hunting can be successfully pursued at any point in the season, October, November and January are the preferred months.
Due to the elevation of the hunting areas and the ruggedness of the habitat, it is strongly recommended that hunters arrive in the best possible physical condition, as this will help you have a more enjoyable and successful hunt. Although hunters need not be Olympians, the altitude will affect nearly everyone—most of the camps are located at approximately 10,000 feet above sea level, with the majority of the hunting conducted between 11,000 and 13,000 feet. Hunters travelling from sea level may want to consider taking Diamox during their hunt to prevent Acute Mountain Sickness or, in rare circumstances, Pulmonary or Cerebral Edema.
Although the horses can typically be used to get hunters very close to the game animals some climbing and stalking should be expected, particularly when hunting ibex in combination with a sheep hunt. These hunts are not recommended for any persons significantly overweight or with physical disabilities.
Camps and Accommodations
Our outfitter controls more than one million acres of exclusive hunting access in some of the very best habitat for Marco Polo and ibex. These huge concessions are divided between five hunting camps, most of which require a 10-15 hour drive from Bishkek. Shepherd’s houses and “vampors” (trailer-style campers) are commonly used as main hunting camps. These camps are very comfortable and warm, and provide electricity to recharge electronics. Hunters will enjoy traditional Kyrgyz national dishes during their hunt including soups, ibex and Marco Polo meats, rice dishes, and of course, tea. It is recommended that hunters bring a modest supply of snack food to supplement as needed.
Duration of the Hunt
Marco Polo argali hunting expeditions are scheduled to include ten full hunting days. The suggested itinerary may be lengthened or shortened upon request or due to any of the variables that hunters may encounter during their hunt. Hunters need to expect two weeks in Kyrgyzstan from arrival in Bishkek to departure. It is also necessary to allow one to two days in Bishkek at the end of a hunt for the preparation of trophies and paperwork. It is common for hunters to have ample opportunity to harvest a Marco Polo and an ibex over the course of a ten-day hunt.
Most hunters will arrive in Bishkek via Turkish airlines through Istanbul early in the morning. It is recommended that hunters spend the first day and night in Bishkek to rest before they begin the long drive to the hunting area, which may take more than 15 hours depending on the area they hunt. Once hunters arrive they will likely spend the first day in camp resting, acclimating and sighting in their rifles before starting their hunt the following morning. Most Marco Polo argali hunting itineraries will include approximately ten hunting days.
After hunters harvest their animals, they have the option of either adding additional species or returning to Bishkek. Several days will be required for all trophies to be properly prepared for travel as checked luggage for the return home. The outfitter will need one to two days to arrange all export permits, veterinary certificates, and CITES permits before the hunters return home. While in Bishkek hunters can shop, sight-see, dine out, etc. while the trophy and paperwork preparations are finalized.
The staff members who will accompany hunters are very experienced, and it is important for hunters to listen to and trust their guides for a successful hunt. Most hunting will be conducted on a ratio of one hunter to one guide; however, multiple guides will accompany each hunter if the staff is available. Hunters must understand that most of the camp staff does not speak English. An interpreter will be in camp for the duration of the hunt, but it is uncommon for the interpreter to accompany hunters while in the field.
Hunting Marco Polo and ibex require rifles capable of shooting accurately up to and beyond 400 yards. Crosswind and angle compensation are always variables while hunting here. We recommend flat-shooting rifles in the .270 to .300 caliber, but it is strongly recommended that hunters arrive with a weapon that they are intimately familiar with shooting. Most shots will be between 200 and 400 yards; however, more opportunities will present themselves to hunters who have the ability to extend their range beyond 400 yards.
Tags and Licenses
All necessary licenses, tags and export permits are included. CITES import permits for citizens of the United States are NOT included for Marco Polo (Ovis Ammon Polli) or Asiatic wolf. The application period with the USFW service has a DEADLINE of May 1st of each year for the following fall/winter season. The application fee is $100 and, generally speaking, most applicants will receive their import permit for argali.
Call today or fill out the form below and let us know what type of experience you’d like to have while Marco Polo sheep hunting in Kyrgyzstan. We’ll send you information on opportunities that match your goals. Our experienced outfitters are second to none and we’re happy to share personal experiences with you. If you would like more infornation on Mid-Asian Ibex hunting in Kyrgyzstan, click the active link.
|Hunt Duration||14 Days with 10-full days of hunting. Hunters should expect two days total for transfers, one day for acclimation and rest and one day for paperwork in Bishkek at the end of their hunt for a total itinerary of 14 days in Kyrgyzstan.|
|Hunting Methods||Hunting is by foot and horseback, the jeeps are only used for transportation to the camps at 10,000' to 13,000' plus elevation.|
|Rates||Marco Polo Argali hunt special $9,995 plus $12,000 trophy fee if successful. Add Ibex for $2995. Non-Hunting Observer fee is $2,995.|
August through November and January through February. The season is closed in December.
Airport pickup and drop-off services on arrival at and for return to Bishkek, transportation to the hunting areas, all guiding services, all meals and accommodations while in the hunting field, firearm import permits, licenses, tags, veterinary certificates and Kyrgyzstan export CITES permits for the species hunted, preparation of trophies for return on airlines.
Marco Polo trophy fee ($12,000), trophy fees for species not contracted in hunt package (to be paid at the end of the hunt; credit cards are recommended for trophy fee payment at a 1–2% surcharge), meals and accommodations while in Bishkek, international airfare to Bishkek, excess baggage fees, gratuities to guides and staff, personal spending funds, entry visa purchased upon arrival in Bishkek (citizens of the United States and Canada are no longer required to purchase an entrance visa, only a valid passport is required).
|License & Permits||See above|
|Travel Specifics||Fly to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where you will be met by the outfitter.|
|Additional Info||For detailed Information or to arrange this hunt please contact Derek Amadio at 888-850-HUNT, Ext. 705 or 307-473-1268.|
Please contact the following GSS Hunting Consultant for any questions on this destination:
toll free: 888-850-HUNT (4868) ext. 705