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So I thought I'd share a few photos from a trip to Pakistan just before Christmas. I'll say upfront that this turned out to be one of the best trips we've ever done. Although my wife and I were a bit apprehensive about it in the beginning, it turned out the worry was for nothing. The people could not have been friendlier, and the entire trip was extremely well organized. (Admittedly, I'm kinda glad I'm not over there right now, though. Our timing was pretty good.)
Our initial reaction, after seeing the accommodations, was that this is going to be pretty easy. After all, we'd been met at the airport with armed escorts, and were staying with the Prince of the region. How hard could this be??
On the first morning, we found out how hard this was going to be. This was no picnic. I believe this was the most rugged terrain I've ever hunted in. More rugged than any mountain goat or sheep I had hunted. I just kept telling my wife.....don't look down and hang on.
There were a few things to get used to right up front. One was the number of people involved in the hunt. I've never been out with this many people before.
Another thing to get used to is that most of them were armed. I'm certainly used to a guide carry a hunting rifle. But this was a little different. Were they there for my hunt....or for protection?
What's he going to do with a pistol grip machine gun?
After a few unsuccessful opportunities, and a long day of climbing, we finally worked ourselves into this deep cut. The guides were expecting the ibex to come below us. Instead, a group crossed directly above us at a very steep angle. Steeper than I had ever shot. I've shot steep shots down before.....but never up, like this.
The motto of this hunt is turning out to be "thank God for femoral arteries!" I honestly didn't see the arrow connect, but my guide did while watching through binoculars. The blood trail was good enough....but he just didn't seem to be slowing down as we trailed him. And the sun was going down.
Eventually, the ibex worked to one of those mountains that was accessible only by....well, ibex. None of us humans were going down it, especially not me. My guide Ronna saw him in an inaccessible spot, so we decided to get off the mountain and leave for the night. The next day, the group went back and surrounded the canyon, just glassing for the ibex. The idea was to watch for the day, and if it was still alive, to just keep tabs on him. But after watching for the entire day, there was no sign of the ibex. So on the next day, we were all back to the same area. Except this time, we hiked in from the backside of the mountain. It was an easier hike, but much further. About 6 miles in. But what it allowed was for one of the guides to make his way down into the canyon from an opposite path.
I am enjoying following your hunt from China. That’s about as international as I care to get! Especially these days. Chance of me going to Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iran for a hunt or any other reason is zero. Slim left town twenty years ago. Good luck hope you find him. And hope you get home safely.
Once down in the canyon, the guide picked up dried blood in the white rocks. It led right to the ibex, that had obviously been there since the first night. Of course we were all thrilled, especially as much trouble as we were having finding him. This Sind Ibex is a beautiful animal, much smaller than they look "on the hoof." I've honestly never had this many people in one hunting photo before!
Our next quarry was Blanford Urial. While still rugged and rocky, thankfully it was not quite as steep or treacherous as the ibex country.
Been waiting for this, looking forward to the story and pics!
One of the greatest things about this hunt was the people and the culture. They could not have been nicer to us, and honestly were fascinating to be around. Although the verbal communication was limited (we did have an excellent translator and guide from the agency that booked it), we could still communicate just through signs and actions. There was still very much a "hunter / gatherer" mentality. We passed very few fruit trees where the guys didn't stop to gather something to eat.
And each of their personalities was unique. This man in particular was fascinating. He was humble, and kind. And quiet.
And you could tell how much they loved being out on a hunt. Even though we weren't hunting ibex in this picture, they couldn't help but stop and just glass. Looking over a great herd of ibex. Makes you realize that true hunters are pretty much the same wherever you are. They just really appreciated the game and being outdoors to experience it.
Wow, what an amazing adventure! I can't wait to hear more about it.
I'm told that the hunt for Blanford Urial usually involves waterholes and blinds. But due to heavy and unexpected rains....that wasn't going to happen. So it was good old spot and stalk. This was the one time that my head guide, Ronna, told everyone to stay back at a certain location. Just he and I were going down into an area to see what we could do. He knew just a few words of English. And one of them was "shoot." So after a few hours of crawling around, we finally had 4 urials in sight. I didn't really say in "range", although I'm not sure he knew the difference. He was able to communicate that 3 were shooters. And that I should shoot. So once again....thank God for femoral arteries. Anyway, it worked out.... And it didn't take long for the entire group to show up for the picture.
We had quite a few miles to pack out. But the walk always seems easier after a tough but successful hunt. As we came out of the mountains, we came across a couple of the trucks hauling rock from the mountain. We had seen hundreds of these, but never really got to inspect one. These guys take great pride in the decoration of their vehicles. And they were happy to show it off to us, and especially my wife. (Our translator said that my wife just as well have been an alien from outer space. She wasn't something they were used to seeing.) But they were gracious and kind, just as everyone else had been.
I'll finish up by repeating that this was an amazing trip. Not just because of the hunting, but because of the overall experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I realize Pakistan is not on the top of the list for bowhunting destinations, but I will say that for someone looking for an adventure....it will not disappoint.
C’mon! Surely you have a bunch more pics of your trip!? We would love to see more of your adventure!
BTW.....Congrats on a great adventure that you got to share with your wife!
Very cool. Definitely ballsy hunting Pakistan!
How long were your shots? Not judging just curious. Congrats on some fine animals and great to hear you had an outstanding experience.
Wow, what an adventure! Congrats!
Wow- trip of many lifetimes!
Looks like the adventure hunt of a lifetime. Please share more pics.
Definitely a different hunt than I have ever read about here on bowsite. Thanks for sharing. If you find time please fill in more details and attach more pics. What kind of food did you eat? Do the locals eat the two animals you shot? Did you have any and was it any good? What were the rocks for?
Looks like an awesome adventure. Thanks for sharing
Threads like this are what make Bowsite so great. What an amazing experience! Well done.
What a serious adventure, thanks for sharing it and congrats!
Congrats. Looks like you had a great trip. But I think I’ll stay out of the “stans” for the foreseeable future.
Such an incredible hunt! Congrats on such a massive hunting accomplishment.
Great hunt and pictures. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing . Amazing in so many ways!! Hunter
Thanks for sharing!! Congrats!!!
That's crazy neat to read this thread.
You did great
Good luck, Robb
Good pics,i used to work in the NWFP the Khyber region bordering afghan,which area did you hunt?
Thanks for a rare look into a world I'll never experience! Awesome experience. After seeing the landscape pics, it's no wonder their vehicles are so colorful! Awesome animals, and honest confession of the hits. Admirable!
this is just awesome unreal stuff
Thank you for sharing your hunt, especially because so very few of us will ever hunt there. You had incredibly good timing.
Wow! Spectacular adventure and great trophies! Congratulations!
Very Very cool. Congrats. As far as the hunting, did you see a good amount of animals? Does it seem like most archers have similar success hunting there?
Outstanding hunt and pics, also wondering what the rocks are for. They must have some pretty big machinery to load them.
That's awesome! Ibex are cool animals - awesome to make it happen with the bow!
That's super cool Alan!! Thanks so much for sharing. I truly believe that 99% of people are good people and that doesn't matter where in the world you are. What a great adventure.
What an unexpected title , (thought it was a CF revival. ) But no it’s an over the top bowhunting trip, (how many are ever going to do this) it seems daring just to visit this area of the world.
And to go there and kill two really impressive looking animals with a bow no less. Fantastic , CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You da MAN!
Thanks for sharing on BOWSITE. Setting the bar for 2020 rather high and early .
^Ditto on what APauls said, cool trip!
What an adventure! I haven't heard of too many guys doing it with a bow over there, congrats! Did you hunt with Pir Danish and Indus Safaris?
WOW! Didn't even know you COULD hunt Pakistan! COOL adventure- thanks for sharing!
Congratulations... a true adventure.
Looks like fun and congrats! I moved to Colorado 20 years ago for the adventure to be able to hunt different critters. Post like this make me realize I need to spread my wings and look for new adventures. Granted Pakistan a little over the top but Alaska or Canada at least. Awesome you can do things such as this!
One of the greatest hunting/adventure threads ever posted on Bowsite. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.
Would like to know more about your booking agent, equipment, and shot distances.
Great thread! Thanks for sharing it.
In your Ibex photo, looks like you used some brush to cover animal. Was it beat up from a fall or did a predator get on in over night? Or was it just the head and cape in the picture?
I am curious on equipment and shot distance as well(not to judge, just genuinely curious).
How did you handle the tip situation with that many people "helping"?
What an incredible adventure! Congrats on your success of a couple of great animals and the memories.
I'd want to have that kind of backup if I were bow hunting leopard or cape buff.
Thanks for posting and sharing! Really enjoyed it and was great to hear the good comments>
Thats one badass truck! Very cool pics. Even more cool to affirm that hunters are hunters no matter where you go.
Guys, I appreciate all the kind words. I could literally post 500 pictures, but thought I would keep it interesting.... And you've raised some great questions. I'll try and answer some of them, while putting up some pictures at the same time. May not all get done tonight....I hear there's a big football game! With respect to the rocks, I'm told it was all marble, and that they are getting trucked down to get processed. It's amazing how big these rocks really are.
I was also looking for some gigantic equipment needed to load it. But instead, it was this "home-made" crane, which is basically a guy sitting in a little cab running an engine that drags the rock over, and then hoists it high enough to load. You'll notice that even his little piece of machinery is decorated. The bigger machinery is just used to get rocks in place after they've been blasted.
And yes, even the inside of these trucks is decorated. What's really cool is that they have lights (Christmas lights.....but not Christmas) all over the trucks at night....so you can see them coming for miles. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't get good pictures of them lit up at night.
The food was really good. Out in the field, it was pretty simple, as you would expect. They had these things that we called tortillas, that weren't really tortillas. But they looked and tasted just like them. They carried these by the sack full, and would stop to eat them periodically. We also had them at dinner every night.
We would also have some tea..... and some chicken when we stopped. Again, it was nothing fancy in the field, but you wouldn't expect that. I will say that these times we stopped, were really interesting. Just sitting around shooting the bull like hunters do when they stop. Even if we couldn't communicate with words,.....we certainly were able to communicate with the fun we were all having.
This is awesome. What an adventure. You’ve got balls.
and she's a lefty too who knew?
OK….so I don't have the foggiest idea where the picture of Palin came from. I've never seen that picture in my life. Let's try that again, and see if this one works!
Back at "camp", the food was excellent. And so was the service. It really reminded me of a hunt in Africa from a service standpoint. Except in this case, the food had much more of an Indian influence. Curry, for example. And always some snacks, tea, and coffee laid out.
If I known Sarah was going, I’d have signed up too !
Like someone said above, a great adventure that I’ll never experience. That’s one of the great things about Bowsite, all kinds of hunters hunting all kinds of animals. And they share it with us !
Congrats on your adventure and your trophies ! Well earned !
One big difference with Africa, though, is the absence of alcohol. Pretty strict religious rules, one being with alcohol. So after a tough day in the field, rather than being met with cocktails....we were met with orange juice. When in Rome.....
As for how we handled so many people being with us, it was just something we had to get used to. Our agency contact (we booked through Caprinae, by the way) did a really good job when he picked us up for setting expectations. Some do's and don'ts of the culture (like not taking pictures of women without permission) to explaining how the hunt would work. We were guests of the Prince, and would basically be hunting the way and where he wanted us to. And this is just how they do it. Honestly, it wasn't a problem though. When Ronna decided that it would be just he and I stalking, then everyone else (including my wife) stayed back. Interestingly, there were lots of pow-wows where they would circle up and start trying to come up with a plan. Although I couldn't understand it, it sounded like what we would all sound like if we were trying to figure out the best way to attack a mountain. In the end....Ronna was boss, and he made the final decisions.
My equipment was the same equipment I use for whitetails, sheep, or any other animal of similar size. Matthews Vertix, Airstrike arrows, Slick Trick broadhead (in this case, because these animals are so small, I used Raptor Tricks). The weather was fairly cool in the morning, but warmed up pretty quickly. We were in southern Pakistan, flying in and out of Karachi. There wasn't much need for warm clothing. Just light jacket or vest. And the "khakier" the better. Interestingly, some of the locals wore coats throughout the day, even after hiking for miles. I guess they just didn't like the cold.
The ibex were plentiful. We saw some groups with 20 or 30 males. They manage this property (he controls millions of acres) very closely. It receives very little hunting pressure for being so large, so there is no shortage of animals. The real "defense" of these animals is simply where they live. I've hunted 3 other species of ibex, and that sees to be the common denominator. They hang out where we can't. From a bowhunting standpoint, they've been very successful. But honestly, it seems that only a handful of bowhunters have done this. I talked to several of them before going, just to make sure it was really doable. They made clear that it was no gimme, but could be done.
As for my ibex, it was a 37 yard shot. Pretty much straight up. The reason for the thorn bush picture is because unfortunately, we didn't locate him until the second day after I shot him. As I described above, where he went was inaccessible. After two days and nights in the field, he was pretty much devoured. So the head was all they hauled out of the canyon. Certainly not the way I wanted to find him, but I was glad he was located. A real testament to the guys who just wouldn't give up looking for him. As for the taste of ibex, I went to the cookout of my Bezoar ibex in Turkey the day after that hunt. It was a bit tough....but they soaked it in local vinegar before grilling it to help with the flavor. I would guess it was very similar in taste. Not my favorite, but certainly very edible.
Did you route Texas to London to Pakistan??
The Blanford's were numerous as well. There are a few places throughout the area that have both Blanford's and ibex, but mostly they hang out in separate areas. We hiked in a number of miles before seeing the first one. But once we found them, there were quite a few to look over. Getting in bow range was a completely different story. (As it always is.) I understand now why they usually hunt them over water. But because of our rains, that just wasn't a viable option. This was the one portion of the hunt where the language barrier was a bit of a problem. When Ronna instructed everyone else to stay behind...I lost my translator. So when we finally got within 90 yards of the group of four, he made very clear he wanted me to shoot. I think I could have backed up and worked to within 40 or 50 yards, but he just wasn't having it. Just some of the expected issues of not fully understanding bowhunting and effective range. It's not a shot I would typically take, but under the circumstances, and with the really wide open mountains that could be watched for miles, I decided to give it a go. Like I said above, thank God for femoral arteries. And oh yes, that's the first time I've ever been kissed on the cheek by a guide. I think he was more excited than I was. Just more proof that hunters everywhere are pretty much the same. They love what they do.
I'll close out by saying that I was really fortunate that my wife, Kathy, went along. The guys treated her like a queen. We've finally figured out after 32 years of marriage that if we each give in a little, and let the other get a little of what they want, then things work out a little better. In her case, she really wanted to see Dubai. So we flew through Dubai. It's actually a pretty easy flight. Direct flight to Dubai, and then from Dubai to Pakistan. Since we got done hunting several days early (we weren't going to stay and tour Pakistan), we came back through Dubai and spent several days there. If you've never been, it's a pretty incredible success story, and a great place to enjoy a few days. So in the end, I got what I wanted, and she got what she wanted. And now we're looking forward to the next one.
Iran has some awesome hunting:)
Wow, that is pretty incredible! Congrats and thanks for taking the time to post all the pictures and descriptions, just awesome!
Thanks again . So Impressive
Congrats on an awesome hunt! Thanks for sharing!
Very cool! Do you know what animals were feeding on your ibex before you found him? Curious what species predatory critters they have there. Jackals, perhaps?
Very cool story. Thanks for taking us along.
Incredible adventure. Thanks for taking us along.
So cool to see the culture and to hear about your adventure. People are people. And it's really awesome to have such a cool experience and share time with folks who love something just like you do - regardless of where in the world you may be. AWESOME!
What a trip!!! I'd never have the guts to go on something like this, but I sure am glad guys like you do. And then take the time to share the pictures and stories of your adventure. Thanks.
Something I would never think of doing but simply amazing....
Pretty damn cool! Living vicariously through others is what makes bowsite so awesome. Thanks for the pics and story!
Thank you for sharing this unique adventure, well done, Sir !
Thanks for posting your adventure really interesting and great photos. Well done!
Congrats and more power to you bro, you couldn't get me to the middle-east if the world record ram was standing there waiting for me to shoot it, no way no how not in that part of the world....
Great story and experience! Truly something that very few will ever get to do.
Huge congrats Alan!!!
We'll celebrate in Reno!!!
Wow, what an adventure. Really great thread. Awesome pictures. Had to laugh at the decked out SUV.
BTW That bread you ate is called Nan or Roti. Great stuff. I love Indian food. Lamb Biriyani is my favorite
Inshallah there is a way ... good hunt ... thank you
NOt in a million years, why risk it to another news story
Simply amazing where bowhunting can take us! Congratulations and thanks for sharing it with us!
Not a hunting comment but your story brings back memories of being a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small village in Iran 1969-1971 with a blond, blue eyed and, if I say so myself, rather cute wife.....great interest and curiosity but total respect and absolutely no obnoxious behaviour from the guys in the village.
great adventure and fantastic trophies Congrats!!!
Amazing story and photos! I am surprised a little that they did not ask you wife to wear the traditional cover that a woman would wear there. Congratulations and thank you for sharing this.
Thank you very much for the awesome story and pics! Jim Shockey's Uncharted T.V. show has shown similar situations and far off places as well. The only time I think he was ever in real danger was in Mexico. I think living your dream is what we are supposed to do. Congrats!
Congratulations Alan! Great story and pictures! Glad you and Kathy made it in and out safe. Talk to you soon.
Congrats! Glad it was successful and safe. I would not have done it.....would be looking over my shoulder too much and hoping an A-10 was flying top cover....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt.
Added question:....you said the first ibex was devoured. What do they have over there that would chew on it? Feral dogs, cats, buzzards???
Stellar thread, cool story and epic pics! Congrats on the gorgeous animals and thank you for sharing!
Holy cow man! What an adventure. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
What an incredible adventure! Thanks for sharing man.