Where to hunt Snow Sheep
Snow sheep’s Latin name means literally “one that lives in the snows”, and for a good reason – they inhabit the mountain ranges of the North-East of Russia. They are closely related to bighorn sheep (some researchers believe they are a subspecies). Four subspecies of snow sheep are numerous enough to be hunted: Kamchatka snow sheep in Kamchatka, Kolyma snow sheep in Yakutia, and Kolyma, Okhotsk and Chukotka snow sheep in Yakutia.
Hunting opportunities for snow sheep start at about $10,000 and go up into $15,000-$18,000 hunts. Travel to snow sheep habitat accounts for a large part of the outfitter’s expenses, so the more affordable offers imply hunting with a group of other hunters. Prepare to shell out $30,000 if you are to have the camp to yourself. The most expensive are combination bear + sheep hunts, and opportunities to take two or three kinds of sheep during one hunt.
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Kamchatka is the prime destination for snow sheep hunts. Here you will find everything you need to know before arranging your adventure to the distant and wonderful peninsula that lies between the Okhotsk Sea and the Pacific Ocean, from what parts of the peninsula are more promising for a hunter, to travel tips.10 Mar 2017 Hunting Kamchatka Snow sheep, all you need to know
When to hunt Snow Sheep?
The season for snow sheep hunting opens on August 1, and continues until October 15 in Kamchatka, and until November 30 on the mainland (in Magadan Oblast’ and Yakutia). The best time to hunt is last two weeks of August and first two weeks of September. The later in the season, the higher are the risks that a spell of wrong weather may ruin your hunt or delay your return.
Indigenous peoples of the North-East Siberia invented many ingenious ways to hunt snow sheep, including the use of specially trained hounds. The animals escape from wolves to high cliffs that canines can’t climb; the dogs hold them there until the hunter arrives. However, most trophy hunters prefer the classic spot-and-stalk hunts, where you can focus on a specific old animal, that is long past reproduction age, and enjoy the slow and emotion-filled approach until the mighty ram is in your sights.
Why hunt Snow Sheep?
Snow sheep can’t boast of snow-white coat like Dall’s sheep, but Siberian natives valued it highly, and used the skin specifically to make clothes for children. Of course, the delicious meat was also prized. One had to be a child of the wilderness to stalk the wary ram within range of a primitive bow, and even today, for a hunter with a modern rifle, the hunt is full of challenges. But that’s precisely what makes it exciting. Asian snow sheep inhabit much the same environment as Stone and Dall sheep in North America and provide a chance to experience a sheep hunt for less than their American cousins will cost. An additional benefit is an opportunity to immerse in a new and unusual culture where modern advances are interwoven with ancient hunter/gatherer ways. The thick, tightly curled horns of the snow sheep will make a lasting memory of the adventure.
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