(Capra falconeri) central Asia in the Western Himalayas, more specifically, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In Texas, the only subspecies represented as free-ranging is the Bukharan or Heptner’s markhor (Capra faloneri heptneri). Also known as the Tadzhid markhor or Russian markhor.
One of the largest wild goats, markhor can reach weights in excess of 250 lbs and stand close to 46″ at the shoulder. Females are slightly smaller in stature. Coats are smooth and thinner in summer, growing longer and thicker in the winter. Hair is silky with little or no undercoat. Male goats are light brown to tan in color with long, shaggy hair hanging from their necks and chest that can reach knee length. Chin hair and face of males is often black. Female are generally a slightly darker tan than males and have a thinner, much shorter hair tuft hanging from their necks. Both sexes have a white underbelly and black and white pattern on thier legs. Their short tails are often curled upward and have black tips. Markhor posess “flat” horns that spiral tightly and grow upward in a v-shaped pattern (overall appearance is similar to a drill bit). Male horns can grow to lengths surpassing 65 inches (nearly 5 ft, measured along the curve). Females horns only reach about 10 inches in length.
Are found naturally at high elevations (1,600 to 11,000 ft). Females form groups of 6 to 10 animals. Adult males are usually solitary except during the rut, where older males will keep a group of 2 to 20 females. Males fight for the attention of females during breeding season. They will clash into each other, twisting and pushing until one male loses its balance and falls. Rutting males spray face and front legs with urine. Will kneel to forage, stand on their hind legs, and even climb trees, to reach leaves. Even large males will use trees as hiding places. Markhor make vocalizations much like that of domestic goats — a nasally “aaa” sound.
Transition feeder — primarily a grazer in spring and summer, focuses feeding on browse in winter months. Consume a multitude of vegetative matter when available. Relish acorns.
Most mating takes place during the winter. Gestation lasts 4.5 to 5.5 months, followed by the birth of 1 to 2 kids; 3 possible, but rare. Mothers often give birth in the spring — late April to early June. Young are weaned for 5 to 6 months. Markhor mature sexually between 18 and 30 months (2.5 yrs typical in wild).
12 to 13 years.
Can tolerate a wide range of climates as long as sufficient shelter from sun and wind. Cross with true ibex, Persian ibex, and domestic goat. Mutiple males can often be keep together even with the presence of females. Ten foot fencing is usually sufficient, but higher is recommended for working pens. Are known to jump 8 foot fence only when escaping underneath fence fails.
Note: Only 2,000 to 4,000 markhor are thought to exist in the wild, which classifies it as endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
Availabilty in the U.S. is low and hunting opportunites are rare, so expect to pay upwards of $13k for a trophy markhor –> avg. cost is ~$10,750. Check out our ‘Find A Hunt’ section for featured outfitters.
Scoring Your Trophy Markhor
SCI Record Book Minimums:
(N. America - Introduced)
Current Record(s) Held:
111 & 4/8 - Darryl G. Cleary (pictured)