Some of the game species of Kyrgyzstan has been a controversial issue for many years. Only recently trophy classification committee of GSC / OVIS has decided to classify the Hume argali as another subspecies in addition to Marco Polo and Karelini (Tian Shan), while organizations like SCI and USFWS recognize only the latter two subspecies.
According to SCI, true Marco Polo exists in a small area in Kyrgyzstan and remainder of the country is occupied by Tian Shan argali. USFWS draws the boundary along the Naryn River and accepts any argali north of this line as Karelini, whereas the southern side is considered to be the Marco Polo country. However, Ovis club uses the Naryn River as the northern boundary for the Hume argali and Fergansky mountains as the southern stretch.
Marco Polo ( Ovis amon polii )
Marco Polo argali is indigenous to a number of countries like Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, and can be hunted in all three countries except in Afghanistan. Kyrgyzstan also holds a healthy population of Marco Polo. However, unlike Tajikistan, the sheep here is scattered across the country, which causes the misconception of thinned out population. Nevertheless, national game survey carried out by the Kyrgyz Game Department shows that the country is home to approximately 10.000 argali which is equal to population on the Pamir.
On the other hand, hunting in Kyrgyzistan is handled differently than the neighboring Tajikistan. Here, elevations are moderate compared to Tajikistan and hunts take place almost always at less than 13.000 feet, sometimes even as low as 10.000. These hunts require long hours of horse riding for ten consecutive days in search of a trophy of a lifetime, though they are completed usually on the 3 - 5 days into hunting.
Hunters stay in camps consisting of stove heated traditional felt yurts or hunting cabins. Most of the camps are furnished with saunas to ease the tiredness of a hard hunting day.