A trophy hunter from the USA set a record by bringing down a mammoth 10-year old markhor with a 44 inch-long horns in the most challenging environment of Chitral mountains.
According to wildlife officials, American citizen, Edward Joseph Hudson, hunted down the longest horned Markhor in the Toshi Shasha conservation area in Chitral on Saturday evening.
Hudson assisted by wildlife officials, spent days camping and stalking the markhor on the rugged slopes of Chitral. The targeted prey had been identified by the game wardens for having outlived his virility.
The hunter was said to have paid the official authorities $88,000 as the permit fee to hunt the markhor under the trophy hunting programme.
Chitral Wildlife Range Head Altaf Ali Shah while talking to The Express Tribune said, the hunted markhor was 10 years old and its horns were measured at 44 inches.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Conservator of Wildlife Dr Muhsin Farooq told The Express Tribune that 80 per cent of the permit fee shall be utilised for development projects of the local community, and will help in conserving the wildlife in the region.
Dr Farooq said that the provincial authorities allow four permits every year, three in Chitral and one in Kohistan, for Markhor hunting.
The population of the rare species has now reached 5,000 in both regions of the province, and a proposal has been submitted to the federal government to demand an increase in the number of hunting trophy permits.
Another record was set on the freezing slopes of Chitral, where only the sure-footed markhor, leopard or their hunters would tread.
Some days ago, Joseph Bradford from the US brought down a Markhor using a hunting bow. According to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) wildlife department, Bradford successfully targeted the markhor in the Toshi area of Chitral. The horns of the hunted animal were measured at 40 inches.
The US hunter paid $80,000 or Rs17.12 million for the trophy-hunting permit and this was for the first time that the hunter used an arrow and a bow to hunt an animal.
Unlike a rifle, a bow hunter needs to stalk the prey for a long time to get close enough to shoot an arrow that would strike the target. They rarely have the time to reload and shoot the next arrow, as by that time the prey would have sped away.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2021.
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