Spain: Big Game

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In pursuit of that heady blend of big trophy, eye candy scenery and romance in Europe? You’d be hard pressed to beat Spain’s big game stalking.

With a quarry list that includes two subspecies of ibex, two of chamois, Spanish red stags, Barbary sheep and mouflon, Spain offers a feast of stalking opportunities.

From a weekend break to a multi-venue stalking marathon, Spain can provide stalking and trophies to populate many a stalker’s dream.

Herd
Moufflon
How difficult can it be to stalk the world’s smallest wild sheep? Harder than you would think. What looks like a field of placid domesticated ovids vanishes with alacrity should the stalker set a foot wrong, the advantages of a herd with hundreds of eyes and ears becoming all too apparent. Add to that a predisposition for nocturnal activity that rivals a vampires, and a preference for the thickest (and inevitably thorniest), and they become worthy and canny adversaries.
Stalking-and-spying
If it’s an iconic Spanish stalk you’re after, then the quarry of choice is undoubtedly the ibex. The quartet of species offers plenty of choice in locale and scenery: hunting in the mountains offers breath-taking views of Spain, whether the rocky cliffs you’re perched on are in the Sierra de Gredos, Sierra Nevada or above the sea.

Take a weekend to pursue these nimble quadrupeds, and their tightrope-walking, death-defying balance and grace will leave you in awe of the wild goat.

ibex
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Red-deer
From an overnight in a small stone hut on the hill, to an espera, a waiting hunt for boar, our selection of offerings respects and celebrates Spanish hunting traditions and practices.

The result is a unique experience that captures the flavour of the country, shares its wild side, and shows a side of Spain less travelled.

All of the big game stalking is on land identified as containing animals of high trophy value, and most of it is on private ground. And of course all within a budget flight of the UK.
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SEASONS

Ibex

Gredos Ibex

September  to  May (the best is November in the rutting and Spring season).

Beceite Ibex

October to  May (the best is December in the rutting and Spring season).

Ronda Ibex

October  to February.

Sierra Nevada

October to  May (the best is December in the rutting and Spring season).

Chamois

Pyrenean Chamois

From 1st March to 31th May (only Males) and from the 18th October to 28th December (Males and Females).

Cantabrian Chamois

From 1st June to 15th July and from the 1st September to 15th November.

Mouflon

September to May.

Barbary Sheep (Aoudad)

September to May.

Boar

September – May.

Iberian Red deer

September to  March. The best is in the rut period  (half September -half October).

KIT & CLOTHING

Rifle of suitable calibre for the species being hunted, bring your own or rent on arrival.

From Lightweight summer shooting clothes for daytime, sun hats and sun block cream, to full thermal gear for winter shooting.

The temp can exceed 38C during the summer and can drop to -15c in the winter.

GROUP SIZE

1-4 guns

 Airport of arrival

Madrid

VISAS & LICENCES

If travelling from within the EU no visa required. From outside the EU visas issued at the airport, where a fee may be charged.

Hunting licences arranged by Outside Days.

MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

None

INSURANCE

We ask all our clients to ensure they hold third party liability insurance.

For foreign trips we recommend that individuals take out holiday insurance.

TIPS

Tips to the guide are recommended

CURRENCY

Euro

TIME ZONE

GMT +1

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Ibex

Ibex taxonomy is a tricky field, but certain things are definite: where once four species roamed the Portuguese and Spanish mountain ranges, now there are but two acknowledged subspecies of Capra purenaica, the Spanish ibex, with further regional variations. We offer stalking for both of these, the Gredos ibex (C. p. victoriae) and the Ronda, Beceite or Sierra Nevada ibex (C. p. hispanica). What is certain is that you can hunt for both of these subspecies in four distinct areas of Spain from the 1,200m + heights of the Sierra Nevadas to the less challenging landscape around Beceite. And wherever you’re hunting, you’ll find the rocky slopes and cliffs the nimble ibex prefer. Gredos ibex, endemic to Spain, provide the largest trophies with horns reaching in excess of a metre. By comparison, there are regional horn length variations that reflect the challenges the different populations face, but it would be rare for ibex from the Sierra Nevada to have horns longer than 90cm, and those from Ronda longer than 65cm.
Apparently horn length does not a subspecies make.

Chamois

Chamois have a reputation to uphold as the most difficult of the Spanish species to hunt. And neither species disappoints. The Pyrenean chamois, Rupicapra pyrenaica owes its sobriquet to the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France, which host a significant population.  The subspecies, R. p. parva, the Cantabrian chamois, is virtually indistinguishable from a distance, but has a habitat encompassing the Cantabrian Mountains.  Elusive and secretive both species are prized trophies, in part for their attractive hook-shaped horns, but also because of their reputation as being the most difficult Spanish species to hunt. Hunting is by stalking by 4×4 and then on foot, and occasionally takes in a night in a stone cabin to help you conserve energy for the next day’s hunt.

Mouflon

European mouflon look like a domestic sheep that’s been on a diet: slim with a flatter coat that conceals any wool beneath it. More often than not it is only the rams that sport the compact circle of horns sweeping back from foreheads and around in a three-quarter curl with tips toward the face. The older the mouflon male the more impressive the horns and the wilier an opponent, as a general rule, making large trophies true achievements.

Barbary Sheep

Native to North Africa, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) is a horned sheep perfectly adapted to the dry mountain desert. Blending into the rocks of their habitat, herds of these agile sheep cling to steep incline during the day, descending to sparsely vegetated valleys to feed in evening. A single dominant male leads each herd: only old males and pregnant females are solitary.

Boar

In Spain, wild boar are managed in the same way herds of deer are in Britain. To do this, espera hunting is practiced as a means of selectively targeting specific animals to meet management aims. Bait is used to attract wild boar into the range of highseats, hides or stands in the evening. Described as a ‘waiting hunt’, esperas give you the opportunity to watch other wildlife from birds to deer. Selection of the boar may take up to a half an hour of watching the herd before a target is identified.

Iberian Red

The Iberian or Spanish red deer population is estimated to be in excess of 350,ooo individuals. Smaller than European red deer, the Spanish subspecies Cervus elaphus hispanicus stags weigh in at between 180 and 220 pounds. Stags have antlers that are neither as long nor as heavy as the European, but can have more than eighteen points with crowning occurring regularly.

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