The Most coveted game Species on the Planet, the elusive Markhor is not just difficult in nature but only a handful permits are issued each year.

Markhor Hunting, Pakistan

Hunting Season:  October 1st – April 30th
The epitomy of success in hunting for conservation, the markhor was on the brink of extinction. With strict community based hunting projects introduced, the Markhor is making a comeback. What were stories of markhor being spotted deep in the mountains, have turned into actual markhor sightings, regularly from the roadside. The money invested by hunters in the scant available licenses has been re-invested into the local communities and promoted conservation to all the fauna in a manner that the wildlife cannot believe. Despite this presently only 6 licenses are awarded annually to hunt markhor, and these licenses are offered to the highest bidder in Gilgit’s annual auctions.

At 42” at the shoulder and weighing 200 – 240lbs this is the greatest of all the goats. In addition to the prominent horns which can reach up to 1.6 metres, the stocky male has a black beard and a shaggy mane of long dark hair that hangs down from the neck.
Arthur Brinkman, in his book Rifle in Cashmere, shot several Markhors and classed them as the most difficult of all trophies, mainly due to the dangerous and unforgiving terrain in which they reside. We needed to learn more about this mythical beast.

The difficulties of hunting a Markhor are numerous. He is a worthy adversary, incredibly alert and nimble, defying gravity with his movements through the rocks, that only the fittest of hunters would be able to contemplate. There are five subspecies of Capra falconeri, and we can almost guarantee that Colonel Neame’s heroic feat of having shot all five in 1901 will never, sadly, be repeated. Ranging from the Laghman province in Afghanistan to the swat district on the cliffs east of Mankialn in Pakistan, they hail from one of the most inhospitable and dangerous corners of the earth. This, coupled with their extreme scarcity; with only an estimated 3000 remaining in the wild, means that only a handful permits a year are awarded.

The largest of all the markhor is the Kashmir phenotype (Capra falconeri cashmeriensis), his horns flare less than only the Astor (Capra falconeri), but in length and body mass he is normally a little bigger. We have some of the best contacts in Gilgit-Baltistan & Khyber-Pakhtunkwa to obtain one of the few licenses issued for either of these magnificent subspecies.
The smallest of all subspecies is the Suleiman (Capra falconeri jerdoni), whose range is also the most southerly. His horns do not flare but instead rise up in a conical shape. Licenses for this subspecies are awarded in Balichistan. The Kabul Markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros) whose horns bridge the gap between the Suleiman and other 3 markhor phenotypes is also the rarest. Although he still exists in isolated pockets in Northern Pakistan and in locations in Afghanistan, due to his scarcity and unstable location of his habitat, he is the only subspecies that we would have real difficulty in obtaining permits.

The difficulties of hunting a Markhor are numerous. He is a worthy adversary, incredibly alert and nimble, defying gravity with his movements through the rocks, that only the fittest of hunters would be able to contemplate. There are five subspecies of Capra falconeri, and we can almost guarantee that Colonel Neame’s heroic feat of having shot all five in 1901 will never, sadly, be repeated. Ranging from the Laghman province in Afghanistan to the swat district on the cliffs east of Mankialn in Pakistan, they hail from one of the most inhospitable and dangerous corners of the earth. This, coupled with their extreme scarcity; with only an estimated 3000 remaining in the wild, means that only a handful permits a year are awarded.

The largest of all the markhor is the Kashmir phenotype (Capra falconeri cashmeriensis), his horns flare less than only the Astor (Capra falconeri), but in length and body mass he is normally a little bigger. We have some of the best contacts in Gilgit-Baltistan & Khyber-Pakhtunkwa to obtain one of the few licenses issued for either of these magnificent subspecies.
The smallest of all subspecies is the Suleiman (Capra falconeri jerdoni), whose range is also the most southerly. His horns do not flare but instead rise up in a conical shape. Licenses for this subspecies are awarded in Balichistan. The Kabul Markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros) whose horns bridge the gap between the Suleiman and other 3 markhor phenotypes is also the rarest. Although he still exists in isolated pockets in Northern Pakistan and in locations in Afghanistan, due to his scarcity and unstable location of his habitat, he is the only subspecies that we would have real difficulty in obtaining permits.

Finally the only markhor who can be hunted outside of Pakistan is the Bukharan Markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri), he can only be hunted in Tajikistan. A medium sized animal we are well placed to obtain a license in one of the few locations in the country where legal hunting is permitted.
Getting a Markhor is an extreme challenge not to be taken lightly, it is the world’s most expensive hunt, and can be a great challenge due to the terrain and altitude he favours. Due to the massive value of mature male markhor, spotters from the villages have good ideas where he will be resting up, and as a result your chances of success should be relatively high considering the overall scarcity of markhor. We encourage hunters to go for mature animals over animals with excessively large horns, for the increased benefit that it brings to the species.

There is an Option to hunt Himalayan Ibex on this hunt

 
We also offer a range of other services throughout Europe and across several continents, including Africa and Oceania.

For some of the best chances of securing a Markhor permit, contact Real Big 5 on info@realbig5.com

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