When Khalid messaged me and said we need to go to Turkey to hunt the Bezoar Ibex I was thrilled, excited, and a bit nervous all at one time. The idea of going into the history and beauty of Turkey was an awesome thought. The status of current affairs in Turkey has made it a questionable destination for some travelers while other press on during tumultuous times.
After talking with our outfitter we were both confident about taking on Turkey and mighty Bezoar Ibex in spite of some of the negative publicity that the country had been getting. In my mind I knew there were some dangerous occurrences happening there, but at the same time we have dangerous scenarios in our major cities in the US on a daily basis.
I flew into Istanbul’s International airport and would then take one more flight south to Antalya. The people in the airport were very helpful and friendly. This was very encouraging. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and I was on the plane to my final destination. I would be traveling in one day ahead of Khalid and his family.
Once arriving at Antalya our outfitter met me at the airport. We cleared our bags and my bow. I was traveling with my Bear Archery BR 33 just in case I would get the opportunity to hunt in Turkey even though I had not scheduled to hunt anything. I was literally on this trip as a personal Journey Hunts guide for Khalid since it was our first time to Turkey.
The Outfitter and I traveled that first day to check out some of the hunting areas and got to spend time getting to know each other. He shared the details of the hunt and we saw some of the local sights. The area where we were hunting was beautiful and full of great history. My outfitter was also a tour guide in the off season times, so he was very knowledgeable about the history of his country.
I walked on the Damascus Road right where the missionary, Paul, had walked 2000 years earlier as he took the message of Christ to that region. There were old writings carved into the rocks along the trails. There was a mix of Christian and Muslim history since both had times of influence in this country.
Turkey’s main income is tourism. While we were there we learned that because of the bombings and shootings that had happen recently, their tourism was down to only 20% of normal and the locals were really hurting. Restaurants were empty, the streets were not busy, and sales were way down. You could see the concern on every business owner’s face. This was such a shame.
This country is such a beautiful place. It has great food, businesses, beaches, activities, and rich history. But due to the few who choose to carry out terrorism, this region is hugely effected. Even while we were there the Russian Ambassador was shot and killed. I can say that I never felt endangered, the people were all great, and the sights I saw were wonderful. I was extremely glad we chose this Journey.
The hunt went very well. We were in Ibex right from the get go. We were trying to find a mature, old Ibex for Khalid to shoot. On day three we came back to a spot where we had seen some great Ibex a few days earlier. We got into position across a huge canyon from that spot in the morning. We just sat and waited for the Ibex to show up where the outfitter said they would. We sat glassing, relaxing, and taking in all the beauty for several hours until out came a big male Bezoar Ibex.
This Ibex was straight across from us, but he was at 450 meters when we first saw him. The scope on the rifle that Khalid was using was only a 6 power so it was a tough shot at that distance. The Ibex kept working down the hillside which was closing the distance with every step. The Ibex finally made his way to 372 meters and Khalid was comfortable at that distance with his sight picture. He was set up on a backpack in prone position for his best option at making this long shot across the canyon. He squeezed the trigger and that Ibex hit the dirt right on the spot.
Our experience in Turkey was really incredible. I cannot wait to get back there very soon with more clients. I will not allow terrorism to keep me from pursuing my dreams and the dreams that my clients also hold. Turkey is a great country with so much to offer that I am hopeful we will be able to introduce many hunters to this great land.
Khalid’s Ibex was almost 30 inches in length and was an old Bezoar Ibex. Khalid can check the box on another SCI species in his aggressive pursuit to shoot every SCI species that exists in his lifetime. This is one I was very glad to get to experience.
To watch this hunt, CLICK HERE or the image above
If you are interested in pursuing the Bezoar Ibex of Turkey please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org because we have made some great relationships that will help assure your safety and successful hunt.
Matt is available as a speaker for Game Dinners and Banquets and can be reached at email@example.com
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