Hunting season begins: American hunter claims the first trophy of 2013

Published: January 10, 2013

Jerry Otis Bush spent four days in Gojal Valley where he shot an ibex with 40 inch horns. PHOTO: RAHMAN POSH

GILGIT: 

In the first week of December 2012, the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government announced a quota for trophy hunting in the region for 2013, inviting national and international hunters to the region, which is known as a “living museum” for its varied wildlife and natural beauty.

It is home to a number of exotic animals which makes hunters flock the area for trophy hunting, a male-dominated sport which sees them hunt wild game animals.

Such an opportunity was not passed up by an American national, who became the first hunter of 2013 to claim an ibex as a trophy when he hunted the animal in G-B’s Gojal Valley.

“Mr Jerry Otis Bush has hunted an ibex trophy at the junction of rivers Khunjerab and Ghewjerav,” said Rahman Posh, Chairman Khunjerab Village Organisation [KVO], an umbrella organisation of seven villages in Gojal Valley.

Posh told The Express Tribune on Wednesday that the ibex hunted by Bush had 40 inch long horns. He spent at least four days with the communities and wildlife officials in the valley, searching for a suitable animal to hunt.

Posh said that after the successful hunt, Bush announced a donation of $500 to KVO, which he said would be used for providing health insurance to vulnerable families of the community in the valley.

According to the latest survey, the number of animals big enough for trophy hunting in G-B stood at 446 ibexes, 117 markhors (large species of wild goat) and 190 blue sheep.

Wilayat Noor, a conservator in G-B confirmed the hunt and hoped that more wild game hunters would visit the region to hunt the game after paying a legal fee to the federal government. “It is the hunting season [and] we hope more hunters will come,” Noor said.

For the hunting season 2012-2013, the G-B government slapped a $40,000 hunting fee for a markhor, $6,250 for a blue sheep and $2,500 for an ibex. Upon a successful hunt, 80% of the fee goes to the respective community where the hunt takes place.

The trophy hunting programme was first introduced in the early 1990s in the Bar Valley of Nagar in G-B.

Last year, one markhor, one blue sheep and 28 ibexes were hunted in the region and as stipulated, 80% of the hunting fee was given to the respective communities as part of their share, an official document said.

The communities of Gojal Valley have invited more hunters to visit the valley for hunting the animals as they have a quota for more hunts.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Asif
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:35AM

    “80% of the fee goes to the respective community where the hunt takes place.”

    Really??? Or it goes in the pocket of corrupt officials??

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  • KJS
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:12PM

    It is appalling that Markhor trophy hunting is officially allowed in Pakistan. Markhor is an endangered species and according to some estimates fewer than 2500 mature adults are there in the wild in India, Pak and Central Asian countries. Besides Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan. Illegal hunting for meat and horns is another menace which is resulting in fast dwindling numbers of this animal.
    It is high time that India, Pakistan and other countries should formulate a joint mechanism to save this animal from imminent extinction rather than allowing some rich psychos the sadistic pleasure of killing innocent wild animals.
    Peace.

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  • Yahya
    Jan 10, 2013 - 12:28PM

    Disgraceful …

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  • Sher Ghazi
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:32PM

    Not a big deal that , such packages should announce for local hunters as well. All such luxurious arrangements only for white people and for dollars, not surety about the fee and how they utilize this hunting fee for the improvement of local community miseries specially in upper Hunza like Gojal and khunjarab valley where people lives in -15 plus degree. But people still facing problems in pure drinking water and shortage of basic necessitous.

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  • nadeem khan
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:42PM

    please any one kill this american hunter???

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  • s shah
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:46PM

    Everything is for sale in Pakistan, even defenceless animals. Shame on the Pakistan government.

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  • Ifti
    Jan 10, 2013 - 2:53PM

    Absolutely not to be encouraged

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  • Huma
    Jan 10, 2013 - 3:29PM

    disgraceful!

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  • Amer
    Jan 10, 2013 - 3:31PM

    This shows that absolutly everything is for a sale, you just have to have a few $$s in your pocket. Bush announced a donation of $500 to KVO, which he said would be used for providing health insurance to vulnerable families of the community in the valley.
    WHAT A CRUEL JOKE!!!

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  • Member Fourth Pillor..
    Jan 10, 2013 - 3:45PM

    Markhor, Blue Sheep and Ibex are already rare species. send him back and impose a penalty for hunting rare species rather than distributing “killing” licenses,,

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  • Zalim singh
    Jan 10, 2013 - 3:47PM

    what a shame. Such a beautiful animal.

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  • Uzair
    Jan 10, 2013 - 4:09PM

    I have always held in abhorrence the practice of hunting animals purely for sport, it is not a “sport” where the hunter has the huge advantage of using guns. If the hunters go hand-to-claw using at best weapons like daggers and axes against big game, then it would be a fair fight and worth being proud of. And if the thrill of the hunt is in the tracking and the chase, then do that by all means, get close to the animal, and then leave it in peace! Can anyone look at the photo of magnificent ibex and not feel sorry for the poor beast? And that too when it is a highly endangered species.

    In general it is ludicrous that our government is allowing the hunting of endangered species. We can not put a price on such species, once they are hunted to extinction they are lost FOREVER.

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  • A Khan
    Jan 10, 2013 - 4:22PM

    $500 for getting medical insurance. Surely he jests. This individual probably spends more on dinner wine bottle than that. Firstly, I am against trophy hunting of any kind as its a cruel and inhumane sport. But given as we are, seemingly beholden to rich Arabs or other nationals, if we must sell licenses then at least don’t do so on the cheap.

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  • Freakonomist
    Jan 10, 2013 - 5:31PM

    Being from the area, I admire this initiative where local communities to organize themselves and bieng able to as to who is going to hunt an animal in the wild. Earlier, Government officials and Army officers hunted these animals to almost extinction. I hope this practice is replicated in Baltistan District as well where the Army officers still continue to hunt them without any check as they are deployed in the natural habitat of these animals including Siachin Area. Same is true for the Indian side of the glacier. With the introduction of Trophy hunting the number of these animals has increased manifolds. Ibex and Marcopolo Sheep can been seen with naked eyes now which was not the case a decade ago. As a result the population of snow leopards has also been increased. Bravo people of Hunza and Nagar for thinking outside the box.

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  • VoiceOfgilgit
    Jan 10, 2013 - 5:56PM

    G-B is the best place on the universe of tourist but unfortunitly the Pakistani Gov is unable to attract the tourist…. hope fore change soon .

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  • Kira
    Jan 10, 2013 - 8:49PM

    They seem to have strange ideas about conservation. Even if the region was visited by numerous non hunting tourists, the hunters would still be invited to shoot down the birds or animals that are indigenous to the region. Gun and hunting cultures are the norm. It seems that no effort has been made to resolve the population explosion which is causing these people to invade those areas and destroy the habitats of these magnificent animals by coming into conflict with them. Neither are they willing to listen to reason.

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  • Bilal
    Jan 11, 2013 - 11:11PM

    All you people who are making negative comments dont know anything about community based hunting and yes the money do go to the community and this is not a luxury hunt it is definetly not its one of the world hardest hunts. And this hunting discourages poaching and illegal hunting which plays a good role in saving the animals because only a certain number of permits are issued like for markhor only four permits are issued every year imagine how many markhors would have been killed for meet or illegal hunting if this system was not there this community based hunting is not only in pakistan its all around the world and tahnks God we have a large number of animals now in pakistan now the only banned animal is snow leapard and markopolo i think soo please dont say anything bad if you dont know or seen anything i have seen and i assure you until we dont change our minds we will never be successfull in this world and our beautiful country will never survive and only the people who are working in this hunting bussiness are trying to convince people that pakistanis are very good and trust worthy people other you can see how the world see pakistan only these hunters who come from different countries when they go back and tell their friends and family how pakistan is in real

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  • ek_pagall
    Jan 20, 2013 - 11:57AM

    RIP Pakistan government.

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  • Cry Me a River
    Jan 28, 2013 - 4:53PM

    @ Same is true for the Indian side of the glacier.

    O RLY !

    In India, it is a fully protected (Schedule I) species in Jammu and Kashmir’s Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1978 (Ganhar, 1979). Currently, markhor in India occurs in only three
    small protected areas: the Limber Game Reserve and the Lachipora and Hirapora
    Wildlife Sanctuaries.

    I think the Indian Army soldiers know that it is protected by law and they clearly remember that even Salman Khan is haunted by WPA Act. to this day and they are no Salman Khan :P

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