Trophy hunter pays Rs10.3m for markhor

Richard Danely camped out in freezing weather for two days to find the right pair of horns

January 17, 2021
US hunter Richard Danley, wildlife officials and local hosts with the markhor he shot under trophy hunting programme on payment of Rs10.3m fee. PHOTO: EXPRESS


An enthusiastic trophy hunter out to test the limits of his marksmanship brought down markhor on the challenging slopes of Kaigah Game Reserve in Upper Kohistan on Saturday.

The hunter from the US, Richard Danley, paid some Rs10.3 million to shoot a markhor in Kaigah area after a quest of two days in the snow swept mountains of Kohistan.

Danley had reached the base camp after an eight-hour trek on foot from Karakoram Highway. He was assisted by local guides and game wardens to stalk the prey, an old male markhor with huge horns. It took them two days to find the target.

Danley along with the local team camped in the freezing cold on the mountains in search of the quary of markhors and then select a male that has lived past its virility. On Saturday morning, they finally found a magnificent creature and brought it down.

Danley said that it was great to have hunted in Kohistan area which was full of adventure. He added that there was no match to hunting in the world after walking through the snowy area of Kaigah in Kohisatn.

Hunting for conservation

Some 20 per cent of the trophy hunting fee will go to the government while the remaining 80 per cent would go to the local community who have been working with wildlife officials to protect markhor population for decades.

According to Wildlife Sub-Divisional Officer Kut Baz Khan, in 1990, the locals of Kaigah formed a community that decided to protect markhors found in the mountains of Kaigah. Following this, the road infrastructure was developed in the hunting areas by non-government organisations (NGOs) and the government, Kut Baz said talking to The Express Tribune.

The first markhor trophy hunting took place in Kaigah in 2005. Since then, the event is organised every year in which foreign hunters participate. Kut Baz Khan said that wildlife personnel remain deployed to protect markhor in the area throughout the year. There is a complete ban on unauthorised entry and illegal hunting in the conservation area, he added.

He said that around 5,000 markhors were conserved in the Kaigah while there were many other wild animals too including snow leopards, bears, and rare birds. Kut Baz said that there was a ban on entry of unauthorised people in the area while illegal hunting in the area could result in five years imprisonment or a penalty of Rs500,000.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2021.


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