Privilege in the Land of the Turks

Privilege in the Land of the Turks

Pursuit of game around the globe is truly a life-altering, unforgettable experience.

Story and Photography by Bob Zaiglin


Hunting North American big game has always been my preference and still is.  However, the lure of pursuing Cape buffalo on the Dark Continent, ibex in Spain, and now the largest member of the ibex family, the bezoar, in Turkey, always represented incredibly alluring challenges in sometimes inhospitable, hard to get to places, generating incredible memories.

Amusingly, Jan’s mom asked my daughter Nan one day why her father drags her daughter all over the world in places oftentimes considered dangerous.  Nan responded emphatically “You don’t understand, grandma, Mom books those trips”.

It was no different at the 2018 SCI convention when we visited with Volkan Gokalp, owner of Safari Tours in Turkey, about a hunt for a bezoar ibex.  Fueled with the anticipation of another adventure together, Jan booked the hunt.

With my rifle on a backpack laid on a rock the size of a suitcase on a steep mountainside, I could not get comfortable for a shot at the ibex standing broadside on top of the opposing slope. Rapidly changing positions, I still could not stabilize those crosshairs, then my guide Ibo stacked three backpacks upon which I laid the forearm of my rifle, and with the butt of the gun in the pebbly soil, I found stability and prepared to shoot.