Ibex Hunting in Spain
by David Ratliff
Once you discover Ibex hunting, it becomes a passion.
A few years ago, I did a Marco Polo sheep hunt in Tajikistan and that time I took a beautiful Mid-Asian Ibex. Since then my fascination with the Ibex species had grown into a quest to harvest more of this species. Upon further research I found that Spain offered 4 different types of Ibex which included:
- South Eastern
Each one of these animals inhabited their own specific Mountain Ranges and each one in its own way was beautiful but like the others. The hunt planning was on!
I met friends at the 2016 SCI Hunter’s convention in Las Vegas and started sharing my desire to hunt the Ibex of Spain. Before long I acquired several references for Spain outfitters and met and talked with them at the show and decided to hunt with Alfonso Garcia – Lomas from GAMS International. Alfonso and I seemed to really hit it off well .He came highly recommended by Kevin Downer of KDS Sports in England who I have hunted with several times in the past. I booked my hunt for the end of October – beginning of November of 2017; which is the rutting period of the Spanish Ibex. Alfonso said the males would be very active and highly visible as they would be pursuing females aggressively and boy was he right!
My hunt would encompass 21 days in Spain so I also decided to hunt both Cantabrian and Pyrenees Chamois in two other mountain ranges. This would be quite a trip with lots of physical activity. Flights were booked, and I would depart for Madrid on October 20th.
I arrived in Madrid on October 2oth and Alfonso and my personal PH, Fernando, picked me up at the airport and we headed west to Avila where we would hunt the Gredos Ibex. We stayed in a beautiful small village hotel and had great meals there. The people were all friendly and tried to keep the language barrier to a minimum as most spoke broken English while Fernando made up for any translation that was needed. We would start to hunt in the Gredos mountains the next morning which I could see from the hotel. They looked spectacular.
Each animal harvested on this trip had its own challenges and difficulties due to terrain and steepness of the climbs. If you are in decent shape and can breathe well this type of hunting can be accomplished. As with any type of mountain hunting, your head must be in the game as perseverance is key. Sometimes you must mentally push yourself to get there. The scenery in all of Spain’s Mountains is spectacular and the fall colors were in full swing which made it even more beautiful.
Food and Wine in Spain
Food and wine in Spain is second to none. Fresh baked bread with the Rioja region wines (pronounced “Re-Ho-Ah”) are out of this world. Olives and Olive oils from all of Spain were fantastic, more Olive trees grow there then anywhere on the planet. As we drove from Madrid south to the Rhonda Mountains we drove through millions of acres of Olive trees it is something to see that it is beyond comprehension. The people in Spain were all friendly and happy to share stories and inquire about America, especially our political environment.
Hunting Bucket List
Spain should be on every hunter’s bucket list. They have lots of good quality animals with incredible scenery. I had the good fortune of being able to harvest all four Ibex and both Chamois on this trip thanks to the help and hard work of Alfonso Lomas, Fernando and the GAMS teams.
If you would like more information regarding hunting in Spain please contact GAMS International at email@example.com
Good Luck and Good Hunting!