(Ovis vignei cycloceros)
Local Name: Urial (Punjab) / Gad (Baluchistan) / Shapu (Northern Areas)
Scientific Name: Ovis vignei cycloceros
Local Area: Central areas of Afghanistan, two areas in Eastern Iran and Western Pakistan
Life Span: 10 – 11 years
Height: 76.15 – 91.5 cm (30 – 36 inches)
Weight: 50 kg (110 pounds)
Trophy Size: 63.5 – 105.5 cm (25 – 41.5 inches)
Hunting Season: October to March
The Afghan Urial is found in mountainous areas of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Its overall colour ranges from reddish to yellowish-brown, with a white rump and underbelly and a bluish-gray face. They also have a white bib and a long black ruff around their neck. Its horns are homonymous, triangular in cross section, and heavily wrinkled, curling outwards from the top of its skull, turning inwards, and terminating behind the head.
Afghan urials, like other wild sheep, are diurnal. They are more active in the morning and evening, and they usually chew their cud in the afternoon. Starting at dawn, a typical routine is to scope the area, moving from site to site. If a trophy animal is found, the hunters may wait until it is rested for the mid-day and stalk it from there. If something goes wrong with the stalk, Backup Plan is to try to catch the trophy as it makes its way to the nighttime feed area. This hunt is similar to any other mountain hunt in that it requires strong optics, a flat-shooting precise weapon, and, most importantly, good “climbing legs” and energy.