Yet again the BBC has lumped illegal poachers and legitimate trophy hunters into the same category, somehow paying a trophy fee that goes back into the national parks and targeting only the most mature rams that are past their prime is somehow detrimental to the overall welfare of the various wild sheep species in Iran:
What they fail to mention is that NO permits were issued this year and it looks increasingly like there will be no permits issued next year for Iranian and foreign hunters, and consequently there has been no foreign hunters this year. Many of the species such as bezoar ibex are doing well and you can understand the frustration of Iranian hunters who have a long tradition of sheep hunting being denied their sport due to a knee jerk government reaction.
Also hunting brings a lot of money into some of the poorest rural areas, which in turn teaches the locals that their sheep are worth more than just meat on the table, like anywhere in the world once trophy hunting is banned (Kenya is a good example) wide spread poaching occurs.
As soon as they reissue permits I for one will be heading out to meet up with a very good Iranian friend to go hunting.