The Kashmir Markhor is one of the rarest of hunting trophies
Unattainable to the international trophy hunter until only two decades ago, the Markhor was reserved solely as a prerogative for distinguished guests of presidents, this rare trophy can now be legally hunted by the very few hunters who are fortunate enough to obtain a permit.
What makes Kashmir Markhor hunting so unique is the rarity of the animal. Four permits for each of the three subspecies of Markhor are granted each year by the Pakistani government, a total of only 12 Markhor licenses annually.
Acknowledged as the most sought after Markhor, the Kashmir Markhor’s difference lies in the configuration of it’s horns. Known also as Pir Punjal, the Kashmir Markhor is named after the territory it inhabits. Kashmir Markhor live in the Northwest Territories of Pakistan, more specifically, Chitral Valley. These animals can be found from about 40 miles north of Chitral town, southwards into Dir and westwards into Swat Kohistan. Around Chitral, Kashmir Markhor can be hunted in 3 separate conservation areas with the help of the local communities.
Being a comparatively low altitude animal, Markhor thrive at altitudes between 2000 and 3000 meters in this area. As with any other mountain hunt, chasing Kashmir Markhor also requires a great deal of physical activity. Although it is far easier than hunting the Astor Markhor, any would-be-hunters are advised to get into good physical condition prior to the hunt.
Day 2 – Transfer to the hunting area (3 hour drive)
Day 3-10 – Hunt for Kashmir Markhor (7-8 days of hunting)
Day 11 – Return back to Chitral (3 hour drive)
Day 12 – Fly back to Islamabad (2 hour flight)
Day 13 – Catch international flight home.
Legal hunting season for Markhor runs from November through mid-April. The rut occurs in December and often provides a unique advantage for the hunter. January, February and even early March have disadvantages with the weather as it can turn bad any moment. However, April is also considered a good time to hunt as the Markhor come down to forage for the green grass that appears when the snow melts.
Depending on the hunting area, accommodations may vary. Some of the areas offer good hotel accommodations. On the other hand local guest houses in villages may be used as a means of lodging depending on the locality.
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