I was back on track for my third try, this time in mid-December, well past the November rutting season when the large rams suddenly appear out of the hills looking for mates. The rut is typically the best time for a large and mature ram to be spotted, but in mid-December, one could still find some of the rams hanging out with the ewes.
Five years later, as soon as the ban was lifted, it was time for a second shot! This time around, Mr. Mostofi had secured a permit for another mountain range much further to the Northeast within three hours drive from the city of Mashhad. This area is world-famous amongst sheep hunters for producing some of the largest horns in the past 25 years.
I still remember the day I saw the picture. It was in an old copy of a hunting magazine. I was 12, and the instant I saw it, I was fascinated by the curve of the ram’s horn. There was Mr. Riahi, the head of the Iranian game department posing next to a giant Urial ram.