“Congratulations, buddy,” says a voice off camera.
“Thank you,” Bryan Harlan smiles.
“It was an easy and clear shot. I’m pleased to take this trophy,” he said.
Harlan, a mortgage banker from Plano, Texas, is seen on a trophy hunt of the threatened, but legal to kill for wealthy foreigners, screw-horn goat called an Astore markhor in the northern Himalayas.
Under fire by some for his trophy kill of the wild mountain goat found in Pakistan, Harlan is nonetheless allowed by law, for a hefty fee, to shoot and kill the flare-horned wild goat that is native to Kashmir and northern Pakistan.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Harlan Paid $110,000 to Hunt Pakistan’s National Animal
A TV news station in Pakistan interviewed Harlan after the hunt: “It is an honour and privilege to be back in Pakistan. This is the third time I am in Pakistan. I have hunted almost all animals here. I saved the markhors for the last.”
Pakistan media reported Harlan hunted the Astore markhor in Sassi-Haramosh and paid the highest-ever fee for the trophy kill. According to SAMMA, the government “auctioned four permits to hunt markhors last year, of which three people have already hunted the screw horn goat.”
The money goes to “development of the area,” it was reported.
Hunting the markhor is illegal for the people of Pakistan but a program to auction off a limited number of permits to wealthy Western trophy hunters has been made legal, Pakistan media reported. The permits are auctioned and a trophy hunting license awarded the highest bidder. Harlan paid $110,000 to kill the markhor.
“It was quite an adventure,” Harlan said.
2. Once Endangered & Now ‘Threatened,’ the Wild Goat is Protected But Limited High-Priced Trophy Hunting is Allowed
Previously endangered, conservation efforts led to the animal being “downlisted” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014 and a special exemption for limited trophy hunting permitted. Still threatened by over-hunting, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has detailed rules on trophy hunting of the wild animal though it is still illegal for citizens to hunt the wild goat.
Foreign hunters can kill 12 male goats each season with a high-priced permit.
This is a video taken before a trophy hunt in January.
The Markhor can be found in the Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, Kalash Valley, and Hunza regions of Northern Pakistan.
3. Another American Trophy Hunter Paid $92,000 to Kill a Makhor in January
The Dallas Morning News reported that two other American trophy hunters did the same in the last month.
American hunter Chris Anthony was reported to have paid $92,000 for a permit to kill the wild goat.
He told Pakistan TV news, “Many people talk about hunters in a negative way, but I put my money where my mouth is.”
4. Promoting Tourism For Pakistan, Harlan Says ‘Mexico is More Dangerous’ & Blames ‘The Media’ for Negative Coverage
A Pakistani hunter, who was a guide for this and other hunts, told The Washington Post that “…these foreign hunters are millionaires who go back and tell the world that Pakistan is safe.”
Indeed, Harlan himself says as much in the video.
“..it is not dangerous. Mexico is more dangerous than Pakistan. So if Pakistan could put some effort and emphasis in promoting tourism …I think that would do a great deal of good for this country.”
5. Harlan is a Mortgage Banking Executive From Texas
According to his LinkedIn, Harlan has finance degrees from Texas Christian University and Dallas Baptist University. He’s the principal at Port City Capital Fund and is a founding partner of Dallas-Ft. Worth-based Benchmark Mortgage, according to his profile.