The big boy of the Iranian wild sheep, but dwarfed by the Marco Polo, is actually a sub-species of the Mouflon (Ovis Orientalis Aries) which is one of two recognised ancestors of our modern domestic sheep. The Urial has five further sub-species, none of which the 1900 Shikari club recognised as being one of the big five sheep.
The Urial is sometimes described as a prince of sheep, for he has a white ruff and double curled horns. Unfortunately, because he lives below the tree line he has suffered over a hundred years of hunting pressure. A conservation program began, and nowadays healthy populations exist in Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and parts of Afghanistan. With a lesser ruff so not quite as impressive as the Transcaspian Urial (Ovis orientalis arkal), we recommend our hunters chase the Afghan Urial (Ovis vignei cycloceros), who is more affordable and found in greater quantities.
We do not, however, for obvious reasons, hunt him in Afghanistan; instead, we venture into neighbouring Tajikistan where he can, with luck, be found in good volumes at comparatively low altitudes to other Ovis. Do not be deceived into thinking, however, that this will be an easy hunt.
The Afghan Urial will put the toughest of hunters to the test with their razor sharp