Mid Asian ibex, also known as Central Asian or Tian Shan ibex, is reportedly the largest of the all the Asiatic subspecies of ibex and is endemic to a number of Central Asian countries. China and Afghanistan being closed to trophy hunting, this kind can be hunted only in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. It is a well known fact that some of the biggest trophy entries for this race in the SCI book come from Kyrgyz Tien Shan making this country one of the best -if not the best- destinations in the world for the premium quality Mid Asian ibex hunts. Every year a number of exceptional trophies are still collected here by tropy hunters that come from all over the world.
Sturdy and sure footed Kyrgyz horses, used extensively on these ibex hunts, provides a greater mobility to check and glass more areas. Only the last stalk that will put the hunter within a shooting range is done on foot when a desired size ibex has been spotted.
Hunters are accommodated in base camps consisting of stove heated traditional felt yurts or hunting cabins. Most of the Mid Asian ibex hunt camps are furnished with saunas to ease the tiredness of a hard hunting day. Weather conditions during the early season hunts may allow hunters to overnight in fly camps far from the main camp. However later in the season when temperatures drop below freezing, comfort of a base camp appreciated more.
Hunting season for Mid Asian ibex starts as early as mid August and runs through mid December. After a few weeks of pause, the season starts again by early January until it ends by the end of February. Choosing the best time for an ibex hunt can be a compromise between having a comfortable and enjoyable hunt when the weather conditions are at its best and having better chance to observe more big trophies during late season when the rut is on.
Since Mid Asian ibex hunting takes place in many localities throughout Kyrgyzstan, altitude in these areas can vary. But as a general rule, most ibex can be found at an altitude between 3000-4000 meters (9800-13,000’).