21 November Baglung. Seven naur and five jharal have been hunted in Sikar Yam earlier this year in Dhorpatan Sikar Reserve. Not a single quota has been victimised.
According to Avinash Thapa Magar, assistant conservation officer of the sanctuary, four US citizens, two from Mexico and one each from Canada and Germany used to play hunting. He said that a US citizen had missed the hunt. Two naur and two jharal were hunted in Ghostung block, one naur in Sundah, one naur in Seng, three naur and one jharal in Dogadi and one naur and one jharal in Phagun. American citizens used to play hunting in Ghustung and Dogadi blocks.
Assistant Conservation Officer Thapa Magar said Mexican nationals hunted Sundah, Seng and Dogdi and Canadian and German nationals hunted Naur and Jharal in Phagun block. “If all the hunters who came to hunt this yam have returned from the reserve, now the second yam will start from February,” he said.
For the first hunting season of this year, the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department had given permission to hunt eight naurs and five springs. Hunting companies selected through electronic bidding hunt in designated blocks. Every year foreign nationals come to Dhorpatan for hunting through the company. Shamsher Parajuli, managing director of hunting company Global Safaris Nepal, said he played with hunters from Germany and the US.
Hunting companies like Nepal Travel Expeditions, Global Safaris, Himalayan Safaris, Himalayan Wildlife Outfitters, Track and Trailers have been hunting in the reserve. The hunt is open every year in two seasons, October–November and February–May.
Foreign professional hunters are brought to Nepal by companies selected from a bidding competition organized by the department. At this time the company was ready to pay a revenue of Rs 20 lakh for a Naur Sikar and Rs 6 lakh for a Jharal. The hunting tourism of Dhorpatan annually deposits crores of rupees in the state exchequer.
Based on bidding competition between hunting companies, the hunting revenue rate decreases. Companies don’t want to compete when the demand for prey is low at some point. When the demand is high, the competition for the limited quota increases and the company is also ready to pay more revenue.
Foreigners spend lakhs of rupees to come to Dhorpatan, which is famous all over the world for hunting tourism. They reach the reserve by helicopter. Reserve representatives, guides, porters and helpers reach the hunting block from the base camp. From the base camp, it takes two/three to reach the block which is very far and in difficult terrain.
The hunting party goes with weapons as well as all the provisions. The reserve consists of seven hunting blocks namely Suratibang, Phagun, Barse, Seng, Dogadi, Ghastung and Sunda. According to the reserve, hunters are hunting naur and jharal in specified numbers according to the bulk.
The hunting quota is set by the department on the basis of a count of naur and jharal, which is done every five years. According to Bhandar, the choice of tourists seeking sophisticated and expensive hunting has to be Dhorpatan. The reserve is the only legal hunting ground in the country. Spread over an area of 1,325 square kilometres, the sanctuary is located in the highlands and mountains of Baglung, Myagdi and Rukum.