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The Pamirs! The Roof of the World! It is the location for the highest altitude hunting in the world, and it is the home of the magnificent argali sheep, named after famed Venetian traveler Marco Polo. Throw in a few ibexes and a good cameraman, and all is ready for a great movie on one of the greatest game animals on earth.


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Outfitter/guide Ansten Ostbye operates a sheep camp high in the mountains of the Pamirs of Tajikistan where he takes hunters for Marco Polo sheep and ibex. The altitude is extreme, and the hunter's ability to breathe is almost nil as stalks go to 15,000 feet (4,500 meters) and beyond. So who would want the go? The hunt may sound like pure torture to some, yet each year a few dozen hardy souls venture where few others would go. Ostbye hunts are totally fair chase. Hunters are dropped off by a helicopter, and from there they walk to base camp with horses used as pack animals. There are no vehicles and all hunting is on foot; there is no racing around valleys with some sort of 4x4 that sports over-size tires. To get a good picture of the toughness of the hunt, the ibex spike camp is a further twelve-mile hike on foot and consists of pup tents and night temperatures of about zero. These hunts are not for the faint of heart: The hunters are constantly winded, and to make even a small stalk of only a few hundred feet in altitude can take hours and a supreme amount of physical and mental effort.

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