SPAIN: Beceite Ibex Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Europe' started by UKHunter, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    Location: Spain

    Dates: 22/11/15 – 25/11/15

    Target Species: Beceite Ibex

    Hunting season: October – May (rut during November to mid-December)

    Beceite Ibex: The Beceite Ibex inhabits the mountains of Tortossa and Beceite. It is the largest of all the Spanish Ibex in body size and horn length. Male’s horns are wrinkled and ringed, rise vertically and lean out in a very open fashion.

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    Looking to go on another hunting adventure, one of the prerequisites for the destination was that it had to be somewhere I had not been before and a species I had not hunted. Well, after lots of research, following up leads and reading reports I decided that Spain and the Beceiete Ibex was to be the destination and target, and an outfitter sourced.

    I have some friends here in England for whom I organise all their shooting and hunting. So when I mentioned that I was planning a trip to Spain one of them said ‘great, when do we leave?’ I explained that this was a tester trip for me and that he was more than welcome to join me but I could not guarantee anything. Needless to say he was on board and we departed on the 22nd November for Madrid.


    Day 1

    After an early start and flight we made the 2.5 hour flight to Madrid where we were met by our outfitter and soon on our way to the hunting area - some 3.5 hours’ drive away. We soon arrived after a drive through some amazing landscapes and talking all things hunting, as well as the plan for the trip.

    We were shown to our accommodation, for which we had our own very comfortable mini-apartment each. We were asked to quickly change and then we would head to the range to check the rifle was sighted (we borrowed a rifle out there) and head to out hunting. The jokes soon started flowing when James’ shot was an inch closer to the bull than mine. Happy that we and the rifle were shooting straight we headed out to check some of the valleys near to the lodge for Ibex.

    We soon spotted a group of 15 animals in the distance, high up on the slope and made a plan to get closer and take a look if there was an animal that was suitable. We climbed up one of the valley sides, hidden from the Ibex in the hope we would come out in range of the group.

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    Sadly none of the animals were what we were looking for but it was a great start to the trip to be seeing animals so early. The weather was perfect for hunting these animals and the rut was starting to kick off so animals were moving more than usual. Just as we turned to head down the valley our guide spots a very large Ibex coming down the valley to our right and up the opposite side. He was a huge animal and was estimated to be a bronze/silver medal animal. He was an impressive beast.

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    One thing you learn very quickly is how good these animals eyesight is. We had been caught and he was soon heading up and over the opposite mountain side without offering a shot. What a start to the trip and was certainly an omen of things to come!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016
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  2. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    Day 2

    We were up at 0700 for a 0730 breakfast and heading out hunting by 0800. One of the great things about the accommodation is that it is situated in the center of the hunting area. We would drive from valley to valley, glassing the mountain sides as we went and driving to high points where we could scout the surrounding area for Ibex. Dirt tracks weaving through the mountains meant that large areas can be covered to find the right animal. In the morning we saw and looked over around 60 Ibex.

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    Back for a well-earned lunch to refuel for the afternoon ahead and full of anticipation for what was to come. The food throughout the trip was excellent and we certainly never went hungry.

    Driving to another area of the mountains more Ibex were spotted in the distance and so we got out the spotting scope and looked over the group for a suitable male. There were some very nice representative animals in the group which would have suited me but I wanted James to get his Ibex first. He was the priority and I wanted him to have plenty of time to find the medal class Ibex he was after

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    We move to another area and as we come over the crest of a hill we see a group of Ibex who have come down to feed in the fields. Several medal quality Ibex are in the group so we make a plan to try and walk around them by going round to the right with the wind in our favor. We make the assent to get ourselves in range.

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    The Ibex have sensed something is up and begin to make their way up the mountain to safety - their eyesight is incredible. With a suitable male identified James in instructed to settle down behind the rifle and get ready to shoot. You don’t need your binoculars to see this is great Ibex and James takes the shot. At 180m across the valley the shot echo’s into the distance immediately followed by a thwack as the bullet strikes. The ibex tries to make a run for safety but he is dead on his feet and falls after a 20 meter run.

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    A great result, James couldn’t be happier and nor me for him! The Ibex has dropped high up on the slope and we agree that I will go up with Jose to collect it and bring it down.

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    The Ibex only gets more impressive the closer we get. He makes a very high bronze medal, only just missing out on going silver. The smile says it all and James has his ibex on day 2. He was a great animal to take at 10 years old. The short rings of growth at his bases showed he didn’t have much growing left to do and confirmed that he was the perfect one to remove.

    The Ibex is caped for mounting and we head back to the lodge to celebrate with one or two beverages and a great meal. The whisky comes out and we are talking about the hunt and reliving the experience well into the night.

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    On the way back we are watched from way up high….

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  3. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    Day 3

    We awake slightly later than usual after a late night to a much needed breakfast. We discuss the plans to find me an Ibex and where we will head. So far this trip we haven’t hunted the same place twice and have barely seen the total hunting area - It is huge!

    The Ibex don’t like to start moving until the sun is on their backs. It makes a nice change of pace from the very early starts here in the UK.

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    We spot several groups of Ibex throughout the morning and make 2 unsuccessful stalks on some really nice males. Being at the top of a mountain and having amazing eyesight makes them a very worthy quarry.

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    We park up and decide to take a walk down a valley with a lot of cover in the bottom. The idea being it will shield us from being seen and hopefully we see something to peruse. The plan works and we spot a group of Ibex way up high with a great male holding a small group of females. As with every animal we have seen they are examined very closely to decide the age, size and potential of the animal. It is decided that he is what we are looking for and I crawl forward to a suitable rock and deploy the bipod of the .270 WSM.

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    I took this picture of him while the guides looked him over to decide his fate. He was just what I was looking for with a wide spread to his horns. He was also unusual for area, having a really dark brown coat and lovely black markings which are typical of the mature males.

    I waited for him to move to his left to give me a suitable back stop. He was at 290m so with him quartering towards me I aimed for the very top of his left shoulder to exit behind his right and squeezed the trigger. The shot rang out down the valley and I had time to reacquire him in my scope to see him drop to the shot. He took a little tumble down the mountain side out of sight but we were all in agreement the shot was good.

    The Ibex was stood on the 2nd ridge of mountain side in the picture above taken from where the shot was taken.

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    We made our way through the valley to bellow the shot site and made the assent to find the Ibex. One of the guides stayed at the bottom to guide us to where it was last seen. It was a steep climb up with lots of loose rock so one must be careful. We located the Ibex and he had not gone far. A short tumble off the rock he had been standing on and there he was! I was filled with joy to find him and was struggling to come to terms with the fantastic animal I had managed to shoot. After several unsuccessful stalk on other males, when it finally works out you are left with nothing but pure elation.

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    The ground was too steep and unstable to take the pictures up high at the shot site, so we decided to take it down to the valley bottom for the obligatory snaps. Getting the Ibex down the mountain can be difficult and leaves you with nothing but respect for how these animal can survive up here and how they can skip from rock face to rock face with such ease.

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    The Ibex suffered some scratched to his horns from the fall but nothing major and only adds to the character and memories I will remember from the trip. A great 9 year old Ibex and I could not be happier!

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    The animal was caped, then butchered in the field and carried out to the truck to be taken away. Nothing goes to waste and the vultures take care of the pluck and remaining carcass.

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    As with all hunting, as soon as you have shot your animal suddenly they are around every bend!

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    Once back at the lodge we unloaded the Ibex and went through the formalities of measuring it and tagging it, then into the freezer it went. We were back in time for lunch and decided that afterwards we would like to visit the local curing shop in the village for Spanish meats, etc.

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    We decided that we would drive to Madrid that evening to save us the journey in the morning. That way we could visit the taxidermist and drop off our Ibex, as well as visiting a hunting shop in Madrid the following day before our flight back to the UK.

    We left the hunting area and its amazing scenery behind us as we continued to Madrid.

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    Looking back it was a fantastic trip and it was great to share it with James and hunt together again. We both decided that we would like to return and try for some of the other species which Spain has to offer. The hunting, landscape, people and food make Spain an amazing place to go. I would not hesitate to recommend the trip!

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    One of the highlights for me and was really great to see was the detail and attention paid to the management of the area. Every animal we saw was carefully looked over and discussed. Many animals were turned down because they were too young and had great potential. The management is clearly working as we saw over 200 Ibex in the trip and at least 15 medal class animals.

    If anyone is interested in a trip like this, then please contact me and I can put you in touch with my outfitter.
     
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  4. ChrisPy

    ChrisPy AH Veteran

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    It is looking like a great start. Spain has always been on my list, got to love mountain hunting
     
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  5. ChrisPy

    ChrisPy AH Veteran

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    My up load was slow , good job on your hunt. I have watched goats more than once and figured I would go get the skull when they fell off the mountain, still don't have a skull. Congratulations On a job well done
     
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  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations on two nice trophies.
    It does look like a very beautiful place to hunt.

    Thanks for the write up.

    Can you take meat back to the UK?
     
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  7. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats for a great hunt and very good trophies !
     
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  8. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Beautiful pictures! Congrats, nice ibex!
     
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  9. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    The cured meat from the village is fine to take back to the UK, as it has gone through the required processes and been vacuum packed.

    The meat from the Ibex is used by the guides and given to the local people.
     
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  10. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very good report about great hunting.
    Beautiful pictures and excellent trophies.
    I envy you.
    Congrats UKHunter.
    Witold
     
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  11. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks for your trip report. A Ibex hunt in Spain is on my wish list. Would love to do a Ibex slam there. Beautiful area you hunted. Congrats Bruce
     
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  12. Environ

    Environ AH Veteran

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    Great write up mate! Well done on the ibex they are both beauties.I love the fact you don't have to get up too early in the morning for them, so civilised....keep in touch abut going back, maybe we could get a group together for a monteria?
     
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  13. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    A Monteria would certainly be of interest! Talk of Mouflon in the Czech republic too!
     
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  14. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    Impressive trophies and hunt!
     
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  15. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Sounds like a fun hunt. Congratulations to both of you.

    Becite ibex are beautiful animals.
     
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  16. VicenteG

    VicenteG AH Member

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    What a beautiful report, thank you for sharing.
    The photos are amazing and they prove the abundance of the game in Spain! Congratulations.
     
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  17. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Hello UK,
    great Journey,
    great Story,
    fabulous pics.
    Thanks a lot.
    Foxi
     
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  18. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    The capes are at the taxidermist to be mounted and should hopefully be with me in 6 months. I am having a standard shoulder mount and my uncle has opted for a pedestal mount.

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  19. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Excellent trophies and nice pictures UKHunter.
    Congrats.
    Witold
     

  20. JWB300

    JWB300 AH Veteran

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    Great write up! That is certainly on the bucket list. Thanks for posting!
     

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