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Snowsheep hunt Print
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There are three subspecies of snow sheep (Ovis nivicola) in the Magadan region, they are Okhotsk, Yakutia, and Kolyma snow sheep.

In the last few years “KULU Safaris” has been a participant and one of the organizers of international scientific expeditions. The goal of the research is to collect DNA and chromosome samples, and, thus, to determine snow sheep subspecies’ habitat in the Magadan region.

SCI and GSCO began recognizing the following types of snow sheep in the Magadan region: extract from OVIS magazine #17 - page 20-21, "GSC/OVIS Hunter Trophy Classification"

KOLYMA SNOW SHEEP (Ovis nivicola ssp):

This sheep is found only in the Magadan Region, and predominantly in the Kolyma Mtn. range. The eastern boundary is considered to be the large river valley west of the Koryak Mountains of the Koryak Autonomous Region. The northern boundary is considered to be the Chukotka Autonomous Region border. The western boundary is considered to be the border of Yakutia, from the Omolon River to the Kolyma River. The western boundary then follows the Kolyma River to the Trans-Siberian Highway. The southern boundary is considered to be the Trans-Siberian Highway, which begins in the city of Magadan. This actually runs in a northerly direction. For all practical purposes, the range of the Kolyma sheep is west of the Koryak Mountains down through the Kolyma range of mountains, which are east of the Kolyma River.

OKHOTSK SNOW SHEEP(Ovis nivicola alleni):

The majority of this subspecies are found in the Khabarovsk Region of Siberia. However, within the Magadan Region, the boundary is the southern route of the Trans-Siberian Highway, from the city of Magadan until it crosses the border of Yakutia. The boundary then goes south and follows the border of Yakutia. The area for the Okhotsk snow sheep in Magadan is relatively small.

YAKUTIA SNOW SHEEP (Ovis nivicola lydekkeri):

 The majority of this subspecies are found in the Yakutia Region of Siberia. All the sheep located in the Yakutia Region are considered to be Yakutia snow sheep. Within the Magadan Region, the eastern boundary is the Kolyma River until it intersects with the southern route of the Trans-Siberian Highway. The boundary then runs westerly until the Trans-Siberian Highway intersects with the border of Yakutia.



Upon arrival at a base camp outfitter introduces the “KULU Safaris” staff to the hunters. Hunters and their guides then make necessary preparations for spike-camping. Sighting your gun at the base camp is advisable before you go out. Spike camps have a radio connection with the base.

On the second day hunters with their guides are transported to spike camps by helicopter (20-70 km / 12-45 miles away from a base camp) for a 3-4 days’ hunt. Then the helicopter picks up the hunters to move them either back to the base camp, or -- if the trophy has not been taken yet -- to another spike camp on a different mountain range, where they hunt for another few days.

When at a spike camp hunters and their guide stay in tents with wood stoves in them. The guides also have lightweight tents for a fly camp. Spike camp can be relocated during their stay in mountains depending on the circumstances of the hunt. In late September hunters stay in canvas tents with a woodstove (this time of year snow might cover tops of the mountains).

Guides’ responsibilities include but are not limited by: reconnaissance, assistance in taking a trophy, carrying a backpack, cooking meals when at spike camps, field trophy preparation and packing. Hunters pack their paraphernalia, rifles, sleeping bags, and pads.

Hunters and guides use their own binoculars and spotting scopes (x 60). We have spotting scopes available in the base camp. You still might want to bring your powerful spotting-scope for a sheep hunt. We recommend that hunters bring their own rangefinders. Unfortunately, GPS’s and radios are NOT allowed into Russia without a special permit. That is why we request that our clients do not bring these items along. We are NOT liable for any incidents that might occur due to violation of the rule.

Snow sheep hunt elevation in inland part of our hunting territories is 1800-4500 feet above sea level. During the coastal hunts snow sheep occur on cliffs. All hunts are done on foot. Trophy is taken by stalking.

Size of trophies taken by our clients varies from 34 to 41 inches (length of horns). Our current record is Okhotsk sheep 173 5/8 SCI taken in October 2008 by Stanley Golub (USA).

Snow sheep hunts are available from beginning of August to mid October.