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Texas hunter grabs national attention with rare Pakistan mountain goat

Photo credit: Washington Post

When a hunter pays a lot of money to hunt a rare species on foreign soil, global fury usually follows. This is due to the fact that too many focus on the dead animal—in this case, a wild Astor markhor (a rare Pakistani mountain goat)—and neglect to see the bigger picture where the money paid for the exclusive permit goes into the (often poor) local economy and funds conservation initiatives.

Bryan Kinsel Harlan is the latest hunter to pay a lot of money to take a rare animal. According to Fox News, Harlan, who is the founding partner of Benchmark Mortgage, paid $110,000 to harvest the wild Astor markhor as part of the country’s conservation program. $110,000 USD equals $15,387,780.94 Pakistani Rupee, which is considered “a record-breaking sum in the country.”

“What has happened in this Astor markhor hunt is a prime example of what happens when a hunter and a village come together with a common understanding of conservation. And as that happens, it reduces the poaching and – something that is often overlooked – the amount of wages that are brought to that hunt, the amount of food, and the amount of foreign investment,” said Harlan.

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However, some say this type of hunt should be outlawed, especially when it’s rare animals like the wild Astor markhor. Yet, Pakistani officials and other conservation groups say that these types of hunts have “actually helped save a rare and endangered species from potential extinction” and, since they started allowing foreigners to hunt 12 male goats every season in specific areas, the markhor population has actually increased, according to the Washington Post. In fact, the once endangered species has recently been reclassified as “near-threatened.”

Tabarak Ullah, who guided Harlan during the hunt, told the Washington Post that “the presence of foreigners brought only positives to the country.”

“This is not just about hunting,” said Ullah. “The number of animals is increasing, and these foreign hunters are millionaires who go back and tell the world that Pakistan is safe.”

7 Comments

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SETH D. - posted 3 months ago on 02-15-2019 12:51:20 am
Sunny New Mexico
goHUNT INSIDER

He's probably chasing a Weatherby Award. But I agree on the concept that he shouldn't have posted the grip and grin.

I don't think Astor Markhor are importable. So this is a hell of a deal for the locals and other than this photo, he's got nothing to show for it.

SETH D. - posted 3 months ago on 02-15-2019 12:49:47 am
Sunny New Mexico
goHUNT INSIDER

He's probably chasing a Weatherby Award. But I agree on the concept that he shouldn't have posted the grip and grin.

I don't think Astor Markhor are importable. So this is a hell of a deal for the locals and other than this photo, he's got nothing to show for it.

Vance W. - posted 3 months ago on 02-14-2019 04:52:06 pm
Anthem AZ
goHUNT INSIDER

Yeah, Erik S the antis are going to slam the guy for posing with the animal. He could have done a better PR job and maybe he did but the press just locked on this one photo and ignored any of the conservation good his money did. I haven't looked into the story more than what was published here. Maybe if his intent was to support these animals and the conservation around them he should have considered hiring a PR company that could have filmed the trip and all the good that was likely done by the cost of the hunt. Then they could have released those photos and videos and he could have kept the grip and grin photos to himself.

Clifford J. - posted 3 months ago on 02-14-2019 04:04:15 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Erik S you are spot on!

Jacob M. - posted 3 months ago on 02-14-2019 02:53:56 pm
Gunnyson, CO

That is an expensive set of backstraps....

Thomas B. - posted 3 months ago on 02-14-2019 02:12:20 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Could have probably stayed in Texas and shot one off a high fence for $50k.

Erik S. - posted 3 months ago on 02-14-2019 10:56:49 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Obviously I support this conservation and economic value this man helped achieve in this situation. BUT when are these wealthy folks going to learn to stop posting pictures all over the internet? Go there, share the experience with your friends and family and stay off social media. Nothing good comes of these wide spread grip and grin photos of rare animals. They are better off sharing photos of the meat they are consuming with the villagers, this is the approach the more mindful "famous" hunters out there are taking and it works a lot better to convey the message.

Vance W. - posted 3 months ago on 02-14-2019 09:13:33 am
Anthem AZ
goHUNT INSIDER

This is such a huge win for the people in Pakistan. Pakistanis earn $1513 a year on average Per capita income, so taking the full amount that pays about 10000 people for an entire year. I hope they bank some of it for future conservation and use some to improve the carrying capacity of the land the Astor markhor live in because as we know from similar efforts here in the US improved carrying capacity ie. solid clean water sources help all the wildlife not just the game animals.