The tur is a large, robust goat with a long and deep body. In summer, its coat is generally a reddish-brown, while in winter it dulls to more of a greyish-brown. The guard hairs and underfur of the coat start growing longer during September and by the end of October the West Caucasian tur has a full winter coat. The winter coat begins to moult in March and continues to moult until mid-June. Males, and occasionally also females, have a dark brown beard on the chin which also becomes much longer and thicker during winter. The legs are short but strong, which is unsurprising for an animal that has to negotiate precipitous terrain with ease. Both male and female West Caucasian turs possess impressive horns, although those of the male are particularly striking, being much longer and thicker than those of the female.
Length: male 150 – 165 cm; female – 120 – 140 cm.
Weight: male – 65 – 80 kg; female – 50 – 60 kg.
The tur predominantly lives in single sex herds, typically containing several dozen individuals. Only during the mating season, or rut, which extends from November to early January, do mixed herds form, and continue to live together for up to two months after the rut ends. After a gestation period of 150 to 160 days, a single young, or ‘kid’, is born, weighing 3.5 to 4.2 kilograms. For around ten days after the birth the female will hang back from the rest of the herd, using her horns to protect the kid. The tur lives for up to twelve years.
The tur is most active from late afternoon until early morning, when it emerges from cover to start grazing. The diet of the tur contains over a hundred different species of plant, primarily grasses. In the winter, foraging is made harder by the snowfall and the tur may be seen using its hooves to scrape away snow to reach the vegetation buried below, or must rely on shrubs and trees for food. The tur is also known to visit salt licks all year-round for natural minerals.
The tur undertakes seasonal migrations, moving up to 2,000 kilometres up or down the mountain slope. In winter, when deep snow blankets the higher parts of the mountain, the tur struggles to walk, making it vulnerable to predators and exhaustion, so it migrates down the slope to escape these harsh conditions. In spring, when the snow begins to thaw at higher altitudes, the tur migrates back up the mountain, to exploit growing vegetation and flee biting insects.
The tur inhabits subalpine and alpine regions between 800 metres and 4,000 metres above sea level, where it may be found in alpine meadows, rocky, barren areas, or in forest. During the harsh winter months, the tur is primarily found on sunny slopes, below the timberline, while in summer, it may be found on a wider range of slopes.
Methods of hunting permitted for use:
- using wheel transport,
- ambush hunting,
- using hunting dogs
Permitted hunting tools:
Hunting firearm with a rifled barrel of caliber not less than 5 mm (but not more than 10 mm) and a seating distance of at least 39 mm (using a caliber of 5.6 mm for a rim-fire cartridge is permitted only for hunting musk deer); hunting fire smooth-bore long-barreled arms, including threaded length no more than 140 mm (only using bullet cartridges); hunting firearm combined weapons (smooth-bore and rifted gun), including with rebarreling and auxiliary rifled barrels; cold bladed hunting weapon.
Horns are clearly visible in males as well as in females, but female horns are smaller in size.
Horns of males are thin and weak, not bigger than 20-25 cm and sometimes does not exist. Horns of the old turs are longer than 80 cm. Their colour is black, have a smooth surface with shallow wrinkles and furrows. The young turs have transverse tubercles on anterior surface of the horn and deep furrows between them.