There have been two different systems in use over the years in order to classify the wild sheep and goat species of the world. One of them is the taxonomic system used by the scientists and the other trophy type classification used by the hunting organizations. Taxonomically, Hangai argali is not a distinct subspecies but is identical with Gobi argali. On the other hand, from a record keeping standpoint, it is categorized as an intermediate subspecies between Altai and Gobi.
Before recognized as a different category, Hangai argali hunts were sold by outfitters as either low quality Altai argali hunts at cheaper rates or as very large Gobi argalis at very high prices. So the trophies taken during that period were entered into record books as something other than Hangai argali.
Argali in central Mongolia inhabit rocky mountains of Hangai range, the largest mountain chain of Mongolia occupying most of central Mongolian mountain steppe and forest zone. Southern ends of this range, offer more suitable habitat for the argali sheep as the terrain is formed by grassy rolling hills that are scarcely timbered. The major hunting areas for that reason are located on these southern slopes that lie at an average of 1000 meters.
The areas Caprinae Safaris hunts Hangai argali are within easy reach from the capitol city of Ulan Batoor. A jeep ride of 4-5 hours can take the hunters to the sheep camp which is consist of a number of dome shaped nomad’s tents traditionally called “ger” or “yurt” as the Kyrgyz name it. These well-insulated, felt tents prove to be very comfortable and serviceable even in extreme weather conditions. The camps are manned by competent and attentive camp staff.
The hunting is typically done by driving around in jeeps trying to spot a desirable size ram. Typical to sheep hunting, extensive glassing is required to initially locate sheep. Then a last stalk will be in order until the hunter is within shooting distance. As with any sheep hunt, this one as well may require some barrel stretching long shots when stalking comes to a halt.
Trophy hunting is well regulated in Mongolia although officials came with new restrictions on the quotas and the duration of the season in recent years. Previously, argali hunting season in Mongolia was basically like any other sheep hunting season. But new regulations put a ban on hunting during the rutting season. So the season for argali hunts starts by July 1st and runs through the end of September.