GILGIT: German citizen Thomas R Lemmerholz has hunted the season’s first blue sheep with horns measuring 29 inches in the Shimshal Community Control Hunting Area in Gojal, Hunza.
The hunter paid a fee of $22,000 to the department, according to the Gilgit Baltistan wildlife department statement issued on Tuesday.
The department auctioned permits for the hunting of 119 rare species under the trophy hunting programme 2022-23. Every year, such permits are auctioned in different areas of GB.
What do they hunt?
- Blue Sheep
- Astore Markhor
The licenses for above mentioned animals are auctioned. One to two hunting permits are auctioned for Astore Markhor. Permits for blues sheep are auctioned in big numbers due to their large population. Companies buy these licences in the auction from which hunters buy these.
Zulfiqar Ali, the deputy head of the local community, told Aaj News that last month the valley got 10 permits – out of which seven are for foreigners and three for nationals – for hunting blue sheep under the wildlife department.
“Foreigners pay around $20,000 to $22,000 worth of fees for hunting and national hunters pay around Rs700,000 to Rs800,000 worth of fees,” he said, adding that the Shimshal valley was the only place in Pakistan where blue sheep was present.
He added that 80% of the total amount received from trophy hunting goes to the local people and 20% goes to the Forest, Wildlife & Environment Department. “The amount is spent on education, health, natural environment and wildlife protection.”
Trophy hunting has played a vital role in the protection of wildlife, according to Ali. He added the programme has boosted G-B’s economic activity.
Last year, the licence for Astore markhor was sold for more than Rs30 million.