Pakistan is home to mighty mountains and enormous plains and plateaus. Hosting some of the highest peaks in the world it is one of the most favorable destinations for tourists generally and hunters specifically, for hunting in Pakistan some of the rare and exotic species of animals and birds.
In the country, where highlands in the majority have crowned the whole geography; blue sheep, Himalayan ibex, Musk Deer, chukar partridge, Eurasian eagle-owl, Himalayan monal, Himalayan snowcock, Markhor, snow leopard, Kashmir Markhor, and Suleiman markhor are few among the wildlife inhabitants of the region.
With the weather changing from extreme to mild temperature, wildlife leaves their shelters and can be found roaming and grazing in fields. Often en-route to explore majestic northern Pakistan you will find marmots, pheasants, leopards, and ibex crossing the path. It is, therefore, very important to hire a guide while traveling to avoid unwanted interactions.
Gilgit/Baltistan, Kashmir, Swat, Chitral, Safaid Koh; its adjoining areas such as Upper and lower Kurram, Indus-delta, and plains of Sindh witness migrations of flamingos, Falcons, swans, geese, waders, cranes and ducks every year. But due to lack of proper arrangements to facilitate the migration of these birds; that leave behind extreme cold weathers of Siberia and other regions to find food and shelter in warm waters, the migration of birds is decreasing rapidly. The main reasons are hunting, food deficiency, habitat loss, agro-chemical contamination, etc.
Also Read: Treks in Pakistan – Guide
Illegal hunting practices are rampant in Pakistan and Hobart bird hunting often circulates news channels for being in the limelight of illegal hunting by big guns of Middle Eastern royal families.
Game/preys (Hunting Animals in Pakistan)
According to BookYourHunt, in Pakistan following animals can be tracked for hunting purpose these are:
- Astor Markhor
- Blandford Urial
- Blue Sheep
- Grey Partridge
- Himalayan ibex
- Hog Deer
- Punjab Urial
- Red-legged Partridge
- Sindh Ibex
- Wild Boar
The hunting methods adopted are of variety, depending on the location, surrounding and game/prey.
They can be;
- Driven hunting
- Hunting from a blind
- Rifle hunting
- Shotgun hunting and
Hunting period in Pakistan is generally considered by veteran hunters to start from November to End of March. From November to January it is considered to be the rutting time and preys are identified and hunted by putting less effort and energy on stalking them.
Some Hunting Destination in Pakistan
- Wild Boar: Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Rahimyar khan and adjoining areas
- Blue Sheep: Gilgit, Shimshal Valley and adjoining areas
- Punjab Urial: Kalabagh and adjoining areas
- Kashmir Markhor: Chitral and adjoining areas
- Blandford Urial and Sindh ibex: Karachi and adjoining areas
- Suleiman Markhor and Afghani Urial: Quetta and Adjoining areas
- Himalayan ibex and Astor Markhor: Gilgit and Adjoining areas
Foreign Hunters in Pakistan for Trophy Hunting
- Suleiman Markhor was hunted by Andreev Oleg in Torghar Valley of KP
- Himalayan ibex was killed by Robert Bicchiochi in Gojal, the hunter was from Italy
- Blue sheep were hunted by Scott dee Headly at Arbab Purian in Shimshal Valley
- Sindh Ibex was hunted by Jim Shockey at Jamshoro, Sindh
- Punjab Urial was hunted by Chris Nash and Corey Knowlton in Jehlum, Punjab
- Bradford Urial was hunted by Corey Knowlton in Saurah, Durreji, Balochistan
- Suleiman Markhor was hunted by Dmitri Yastrebov of Russia
- Sindh Ibex was hunted by Christopher Nash of Australia in Durreji, Balochistan
- Himalayan ibex was hunted by Dr.Josephy Zbylski of the USA in Kurumbar Valley
- Gazelle was hunted by Kenion in Darejji, Balochistan
- Royal princes and Arab guests hunt Houbara Bustard birds in Balochistan
Apart from rare game species in the mountainous north, there are also many other local famous game species such as Black Buck, Hog Deer, Indian Spotted Deer, Blue Bull, Chinkara Gazelle, Asian Wild Cat, Asian Feral Buffalo, Golden Jacka and etc. according to Pakistan Guides.
Recently, the KP government has allowed hunting of demoiselle crane, locally called ‘Koonj’.But hunters can only hunt a certain number in hunting season. Similarly, the government of Pakistan awards very few hunting licenses for the game in every season. They can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Gilgit/Baltistan wildlife department auction hunting permits every year for the rare species of prey in the region for hunters.