February 18, 2014
Hunter Sues Outfitter for Sending Wrong Sheep Horns
By Phil Bourjaily
An electrician from Great Falls, Mont., is suing his outfitter and his hunting guide for sending him the wrong horns.
In 2012, Rick Vukasin, 65, booked with Canadian outfitter Americ-Cana Expeditions to travel to Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains, the best place in the world to take a record book argali, or Marco Polo sheep, bearer of the most spectacular horns of any sheep species. Hunting in the thin air of 14,000 feet with guide Yuri Matison, Vukasin was able to take a nice ram with 58-inch horns. Although well short of a record, for Vukasin the horns were the trophy from the trip of a lifetime.
When Vukasin opened the box that arrived at his home two months after the hunt, he could tell immediately it contained the wrong horns. His outfitter at first insisted the horns were his; then offered to send replacements, the AP reports. But Vukasin wanted the horns from his sheep. He said exchanging them is difficult due to the treaties governing the hunting of the argali.
Eventually the outfitter brushed him off.
“It’s just hunting,” Ameri-Cana Expeditions co-owner Dan Frederick told him.
Vukasin said he contacted the FBI and was told he was probably a fraud victim, and that there was little the authorities could do unless he found other hunters in a similar situation. Vukasin is suing for $75,000.
"I've been fighting them more than a year. I finally got fed up and decided to do something about it," he told the AP. "I have this stuff sitting in my living room and every time I look at the horns, I just get that much more mad."