American hunts first Markhor of season in Pakistan after obtaining high priced permit


ISLAMABAD: An American national has successfully hunted a Kashmir Markhor in the Chitral district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after obtaining the permit for a record 232,000 US dollar.

Chitral Wildlife Department Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Farooq Nabi told the media that the age of the hunted Markhor was nine years and six months. The impressive kill took place in the Thoshi Shasha Community Game Reserve by American hunter Deron James Millman. The Markhor had a formidable antler size measuring 45 inches.

Millman secured the permit through a bidding process held in October of this year, emerging as the highest bidder with a staggering bid of two hundred and thirty-two thousand US dollars (Rs60 million). Initially set at 212,000 US dollars, the final bid amount rose to 232,000 US dollars after the inclusion of taxes.

Trophy hunting, initiated in Pakistan in 1999, plays a crucial role in the conservation of Markhor. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species conference in 1997 granted Pakistan the authority to issue hunting trophies, aimed at curbing poaching.

Initially, Pakistan was permitted six trophies annually, a number later increased to 12. Thanks to trophy hunting and community-managed conservation efforts, the population of Kashmir Markhor in Chitral has grown from a few hundred in 1999 to now numbering in the thousands.

This year, four permits for Markhor hunting were auctioned in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with three issued in Chitral and one in Kohistan. The wildlife department officials, post-hunt, measure the horns of the Markhor, which are then handed over to the hunter as a trophy.

Trophy hunting serves the dual purpose of preventing illegal hunting and generating funds for community welfare. Eighty percent of the generated funds are utilized by local organizations for health, clean water, and other essential amenities.

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Farooq Nabi emphasized that trophy hunting also targets older Markhors, as their breeding may result in genetically weak offspring.

The funds from these hunts contribute significantly to the well-being of the local community, and since auctions are conducted in dollars, they also bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

The trophy hunting permits are awarded through an open auction held annually in November, predominantly attracting foreign hunters due to the use of the dollar currency in the bidding process.

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