Where to hunt Tur
Tur is a common name for any representative of the genus Capra found in the Caucasus Mountains. The West Caucasian, or Kuban, Tur inhabits the western side of the range, and the East Caucasian, or Dagestan, Tur dwells on the eastern side. The West and East Caucasian Tur used to be considered subspecies, but current genetic research suggests they are independent species, with West Caucasian Tur very close to Wild Goat, and East Caucasian Tur can be roughly described as part goat, part sheep. At present, the go-to destination for a Tur hunter is Azerbaijan.
Tur inhabits the most inaccessible parts of the Caucasus, and typically for situations where transport makes up a lion’s share of outfitters’ costs, the price of a Tur hunt depends on the size of the group. If you need to have a camp to yourself, budget around $8,000. However, if you book a group trip for four hunters, it could go below $6,000 per each. If you have good friends, this is a great opportunity not only to save money, but also to share the experience.
When to hunt Tur?
Unlike most other wild sheep and goat, you typically can’t hunt Tur during the rut, as the hunting seasons are specifically designed to keep the animals undisturbed across the full reproduction cycle. The season opens in late May or early June and lasts until November, and the best time for hunting is considered to be mid-August to mid-October.
Tur hunting is not much different from other mountain game hunting. Historically the local peoples preferred to hunt for the animals from blinds positioned over waterholes, while princes and rulers occasionally carried out large-scale driven hunts. But for a hunter interested in harvesting a mature old animal with large horns, spot and stalk is the way to go. Like other Capra and Ovi, the Tur is too careful to approach from below. The hunter and guide(s) will have to hike well up to the mountains to glass for the suitable animal, and then perhaps raise even higher under the clouds and/or make a broad detour to succeed in stalking it. A hunter should also be prepared to take a long shot from an uncomfortable position.
Why hunt Tur?
“There’s only one thing that can be better than mountains - mountains you haven’t been on yet” – wrote the great Russian singer-songwriter and actor Vladimir Vysotsky after he spent a few weeks in the Caucasus. If you can relate to these words, you should definitely go Tur hunting. This will not only give you an opportunity for an exciting mountain hunt, but will introduce you to the strikingly beautiful landscape and ancient local culture. Today Turs are found only in the most rugged and impenetrable terrain, and it will take a lot of effort to reach the hunting grounds and harvest your trophy, making it so much dearer to a hunter’s heart.
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