Dalmatian Wild Sheep Hunting Guides and Outfitters
The Dalmatian wild sheep, an endemic species to the Dalmatian Islands off the coast of Croatia, were once domesticated by the local peasants in the 16th and 17th centuries. However, due to a long drought in the 18th century, the inhabitants were forced to leave the islands and their livestock behind. Over time, these domesticated sheep became feral and adapted to the wild conditions on the shrub-covered islands, making them difficult to hunt.
The Dalmatian sheep have a shoulder height of 28-32 inches and weigh between 80-120 pounds. The females are considerably smaller. They have heavy, woolly hair that is mostly whitish with some dark spots on the skin and face.
Where to Find Dalmatian Sheep
The Plavnik and Dugi Otok islands are the primary locations where hunting Dalmatian sheep is officially allowed. Plavnik Island is situated on the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, covering an area of 8.64 km2 with a length of 6.3 km (3.9 miles) and a width of up to 2.3 km (1.4 miles). Its highest elevation reaches 194 meters (636 feet). Dugi Otok, translated as the Long Island, is larger with a square of 14,000 hectares. It is part of a chain of islands along the Croatian coast and is located just a few hundred miles from the Italian coast. Dugi Otok is known for being one of the first landing points for those discovering Croatia from the sea. The island is home to the oldest church in Croatia, dating back to the eighth century.
On Dugi Otok, there is a population of wild goats as well. These goats exhibit a variety of colors and horn types, some resembling the Kri-Kri ibexes found in Greece. The dense shrub cover on the island makes selective shooting difficult, leading to a mix of hybrid ibex and feral goat populations. The presence of Kri-Kri ibexes on the island was confirmed through sightings and DNA analysis of trophy samples. Hunting for Kri-Kri ibexes is currently prohibited in Croatia, but efforts are being made to bring males from Greece to revitalize the local population.
The situation regarding the Dalmatian sheep and the goats on Dugi Otok has prompted international cooperation with organizations such as the Safari Club International (SCI) and the Grand Slam Club Ovis (GSCO). DNA analysis is being conducted on samples collected from hunted animals to determine the authenticity of the local wild animals and their classification. The goal is to differentiate between the feral goats and the hybrid Kri-Kri ibexes based on their genetic makeup.
In summary, the Dalmatian wild sheep and the goats on the Dugi Otok island have become feral and adapted to the wild conditions. Hunting for these animals is permitted, and efforts are being made to classify and preserve their unique populations through DNA analysis and international cooperation.
Dalmatian Wild Sheep Hunting Gallery
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