Rich Variety of Game
Bezoar ibex, red stag, chamois, roe deer, wild boar, and Konya sheep are the major species you can hunt in Turkey
Hunts in Turkey take place in the midst of some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, including rugged mountains and beautiful coastal regions
Turkey is one of the best destinations in the world to combine a hunting trip with several days of sightseeing and shopping, especially in the bustling streets of historic Istanbul or the luxurious seaside resort city of Antalya
About hunting in Turkey
Turkey is well known for its architectural wonders, world-class shopping, and its rich history as the meeting point of Asia and Europe. But this fascinating country offers tremendous hunting as well. Its wildlife is well managed, and the country has a well-developed tourism infrastructure that includes a number of experienced hunting outfitters. Most of the hunting in Turkey takes place in areas that are mountainous and remote, and the hunting can be challenging. Depending on the area, hunters may stay in cabins, lodges, or local hotels. The most sought-after species in Turkey is the bezoar ibex. This species inhabits Iran, Armenia, and Turkey, with Turkey holding the largest populations. Bezoar ibex are among the most striking of all ibex species and have horns that can reach 55 inches, although 45 inches is more typical. Other species to hunt in Turkey include the Anatolian red stag (found exclusively in Turkey), Anatolian chamois, hybrid ibex, roe deer, and wild boar. There are also a few special permits available each year for Konya sheep, a beautiful wild sheep found only in Turkey’s Bozdag Mountains.
What you need to know
1. Planning your trip
2. Upon arrival
4. After the hunt
Planning your trip
Holders of passports from the United States, Canada, and many other countries can obtain e-visas online prior to arrival or obtain a visa upon arrival at an interactive kiosk in Turkish airports. Click here for information on e-visas: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/.
The procedure for receiving an import permit for your firearm takes some time, so you’ll need to send the necessary information to your outfitter well in advance. It’s important that the model and serial number of the rifle, as well as the amount of ammo you bring, match exactly the information you provide to your outfitter.
After passing through immigration and collecting your baggage, you will be required to have your firearm checked at the police office in the airport and receive a temporary firearm permit. Your outfitter should arrange for you to be met in the baggage claim area by a representative who can handle the details of this process. From the airport, you will likely transfer to your hunting area via car or a short domestic flight since most of the hunting takes place in the more rural regions of Antalya, Adana, Erzurum, and Trabzon.
The hunting season in Turkey runs from August through March. Bezoar ibex can be hunted from mid-October to end of March. The best time for ibex is between November 1 and January 15, since the ibex move more as the weather cools, and they rut between mid-November and the end of December.
Mountain hunting anywhere can be challenging, and the mountains in Turkey are steep, rough, and rocky, so a reasonable level of fitness is important. Quality gear, including waterproof boots with good ankle support, is crucial.
After the hunt
Tips are appreciated and expected in Turkey; be sure to include those who handle your bags and help with firearms transfers in addition to the guide, assistants, and other hunting staff.
Be sure you have arranged with your outfitter for the required export permits before attempting to bring or ship your trophies home. Additional paperwork, including proof of origin, is now required for import of some animals, including ibex, into the USA. Many export and import requirements have undergone dramatic changes in recent years, so to ensure you have the most up-to-date information, it’s a good idea to use the services of an expediter or customs house that specializes in hunting trophies.
Turkey is a fascinating tourist destination and well worth adding a few extra days at the beginning or end of your hunting trip for some sightseeing, especially in Istanbul and the coastal city of Antalya and its environs.
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