Snails Great

By · Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Snails Great

The northern areas of Pakistan contain the highest concentration of peaks and longest glaciers outside the polar region. This is where the world's 3 largest clash mountain ranges the Karakorams, Hindu Kush and the Himalayas. Emanating from these rugged mountains flow rivers, their tributaries and melted glacier water, creating and a rich source of inhabitance for some of the world's rarest wildlife species the Astor, Pir Panjal markhor, Laddakh Urial, Himalayan blue sheep and Ibex.

Heavy poaching by locals and foreigners has led to an alarming decline in population of these important species until local NGOs and abroad came to their rescue and initiated a program for sustainable trophy hunting of game species and their use. The importance of perpetuating the population level Markhor community and local people through direct participation interest in conservation has led to success in achieving this goal. The social benefits derived through income generation from hunting

The license rights has played a key role in conservation successful. Those

Communities that previously did not have the resources to implement the education, health and other social activities were now able to undertake these projects.

The hunt for the "markhor" as it has been for many was one of my greatest desires. I was able to accomplish this exercise and sleep with the help of my Renaud du Desgrees friend Lou, who happened to know Anchan Ali Mirza of Karakroams – Pakistan and were able to organize a successful hunt for me in the Karakorams – Pakistan. Although there was an option of hunting or of the population of northern markhor I opted for the Astor since not many hunters who have known had ventured in the heart of the Karakorams fort where this animal survived.

We flew to Islamabad, where they were quickly controlled by customs and then embarked on a long journey along the "Karakoram Highway". Driving along the Karakorum Highway is a journey in itself, is once in a lifetime adventure with breath taking views of Nanga Parbat, the second highest peak in Pakistan (8125 meters). Today Silk is in markets around the world. Travels easily and cheap goods sea and air. This was not always so. The silk trade principles was carried out against all odds by caravans of merchants and animals traveling at snail's pace along some of the most inhospitable territory on the face of the earth – searing, waterless deserts and mountains of snow happens. It was through this "way Silk "agents of the ancient silk Kasghar carried on Taklamakan desert and Karakoram Highway into India.

Our first stop was in the bustling town of Gilgit, we continued driving further up the valley of Bunji. The inhabitants of Bunji expecting a foreign hunter first. It was the first year that their community was in operation and all were hoping and praying for a successful hunt, as this would mean foreign exchange for development plans. He advised our friend Anchan Ali Mirza, a son of the land for hunting markhor Astor pioneer in this virgin land. It was a new area and a test case for everyone. We crossed the river powerful "Indo" in a local traditional raft known as "Zakho. This form of transport in rivers is even used today. In the early steps from "Zakho" were made of goat skin but now days a more modern form of pneumatic tube being used. While a securely to the cross, but a hair raising experience.

It is a traditional belief that a good male buck has 19 times the wisdom of a man and therefore had to show some great strength, intelligence, courage and patience in the coming days. The hike in the rugged mountains of the Karakorams is challenging and demanding, and only the souls with the spirit of adventure is likely to succeed. At some points are used safety ropes for crossing ravines and waterfalls. Fortunately we saw a male deer a good distance on the first of our arrival and was able to successfully take a shot. It was not until the next morning we were able to bring down the animal due to poor visibility. As a result there was a mature male of about 34 inches, though we were expecting a big trophy. After all the hours of continuous driving and hard walk could not have been a happier man. Between them there was a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

We then headed towards our next objective was the Himalayan Ibex, near the town of Skardu. Interestingly, when we come to this area we were surprised to spot some exceptional size trophies markhor Astor. . Anchan Ali Mirza had already taken a hunter earlier Hungarian and therefore could not be markhor hunting license again as only they had used. The Himalayan Ibex survive here in good numbers and we have succeeded in bagging a deer buck 40. "I say that if he were driving at more forward in the deep Karakorams valleys is a very strong population of Himalayan Ibex. But by the time I thought these 2 trophies are sufficient. I've been fortunate to be able to hunt successfully on a trip that normally would have been a few days. I wished I had the pleasure of flying back from Skardu, but the UN favorable climatic conditions do not allow so quickly brought back to Islamabad. We said goodbye and returned.


Karakoram Treks & Tours, the Pakistan's oldest company, trekking. Offers trekking expedition to K2, Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat, Himalaya, Mir Tirich, Gasherbrum, adventure, G2, Spantik, Trango Tower, Diran.

We also provide services for hotels in these regions.

About The Author

Anchan Ali Mirza


21-B, Hotel Metropolitan, G-9 Markaz, P.O. Box 2803, Islamabad – Pakistan

Telephone : +92-51-2264876, 2250317, Fax : +92-51-2264192, 2653196



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