Where to hunt Konya Sheep
Konya sheep is a very rare subspecies of the wild sheep. It is closely related to the European mouflon, and could be one of the progenitors of the domestic sheep. A small population, numbering about 2,500 animals, exists in the Bodzag mountain range in the Anatolia province of Turkey, near the town of Konya from which the animal got its name.
Only seven licenses are year are available for Konya sheep hunting. This limited availability, and the fact that a large part of the money is supposed to go towards conservation of the species, plays an important part in the pricing. With other costs involved in hunting in remote mountain wilderness, including travel and accommodation, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Konya sheep hunting costs well over $80,000.
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When to hunt Konya Sheep?
The hunting season for Konya sheep in Turkey is open from the beginning of October and continues until the end of December. Most outfitters believe that the best time for Konya sheep hunting is in the middle of the season, from the late October to early December, when the rutting activity reaches its peak.
Like their relatives, such as the mouflon and other wild sheep, Konya sheep are diurnal. The animals are most active in the mornings and in the evenings. The hunters try to be at the promising areas at dawn, to spot a suitable animal by observing the mountains with the help of powerful optics. Then they approach it as it beds to chew the cud in the afternoon, or, failing that, to intercept as it moves again in the evening. The hunter should be prepared to do a lot of climbing at high altitudes, as long detours and high rises to get above the sheep (the rams usually expect danger from below) are the norm. Good optics and a flat-shooting accurate rifle are necessities.
Why hunt Konya Sheep?
Mountain hunting comes in many forms. It may take the hunter to the highest peaks and mountains that are little more than hills, near civilization or to most inhospitable areas. What remains the same is the challenge that mountain hunting presents, the risk of climbing the slopes, the unpredictable play of mountain winds that could both spook an animal and carry your bullet well off the mark. Trophy hunting-based conservation programs work well for wild sheep, and hopefully in the future Konya sheep will grow in numbers, making the hunt more affordable. Now, however, it is a rare treat.
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