Ibex & Chamois
Our Ibex and Chamois hunting takes place in Spain and Eastern Europe (Croatia & Slovenia).
Ibex (Capra.) are Chamois (Pyrenaica. & Rupicapra.) are the ballet dancers of the mountain cliff edges, passing up mountain slopes that look inaccessible, leaping from ledge to precipice, balancing on the tiniest of ridges - living their lives in alpine and sub-alpine meadows habitats above the timberline, wintering on steep slopes or flatter forested terrain where snow does not accumulate.
Hunting ibex and chamois requires a hunter to be in good physical condition, often stalking in from above, at altitudes of 400-1800 metres above sea level - through forested mountainous terrain for the Spanish ibex species and high alpine scree for the Alpine ibex & chamois, or through Mediterranean forest and karst topography, the favoured habitat of the Balkan chamois.
Sybarite Sporting™ organise selected ibex and chamois hunting experiences in Europe:
There are two Spanish / Iberian ibex sub-species, generally known as “Macho Montes“;
• Gredos ibex (Capra pyrenaica victoriae) or Western Spanish ibex,
• Beceite ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
A further two Spanish ibex derived from Capra pyrenaica hispanica (the Beceite ibex);
• Southeastern ibex or Sierra Nevada ibex,
• Ronda ibex.
The Gredos ibex is slightly larger than the Beceite ibex, with lyre-shaped horns that have a pronounced curve and spiral turn. Hunting can be challenging in the winter, with the cold, rocky high-altitude terrain of the Sierra de Gredos mountains.
Different to the Gredos ibex, the Beceite ibex, of the Beceite and Maestrazgo mountain regions, have horns that expand to sides like airplane wings.
The Southeastern ('Sierra Nevada') ibex is smaller and generally lighter in colour to the Gredos and Beceite, with horns that rise vertically and lean out, and back, with inward tips, the keel is smooth forming a roundish cross-section.
The Ronda ibex is the smallest Spanish ibex, with a short light brown coat and black colouring on the back. The horns are more of those of the Alpine ibex, a V-shape with a backward spiral turn to the broomed tips.
The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), also known as the Steinbock or Bouquetin, was once restricted only to the Italian and French Alps, until reintroductions at the turn of the 20th century into Switzerland. Today, there are increasing sustainable populations through the European Alpine regions of France to Slovenia.
The ibex hunting season varies across the countries of Europe, and often by region but generally the Spanish season is longer, starting in September (Gredos ibex - September to April) and finishing in May (Beceite ibex - November to May).
Alpine ibex season runs in central Europe from September to December
The rut, the breeding season, for all ibex starts around late November to December, and typically lasts around six weeks.
Alpine & Balkan Chamois
The Alpine chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra) are widely distributed in the central European Alps, with increasing sustainable populations from France to Slovenia. In the summer they tend to inhabit the high-altitude meadows above the treeline, during the winter months, they tend to migrate to lower altitude forests.
The Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) is larger than the Alpine chamois and can be found in large numbers in rugged sub-Mediterranean mountain scrub of the Adriatic coast. Hunting is a magical experience with stunning views on the Dalmation coast and Croatian islands.
There are two Iberian chamois in Spain; the Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) is larger, more robust with heftier horn, than its Iberian sister, the Cantabrian chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica parva), but slightly smaller than its alpine cousin. Its hide is yellowish in the summer and darker in winter, with a buff-coloured throat and a black tail.
The Cantabrian chamois is the smallest chamois in the world. Its coat is reddish in the summer and turning to light grey in the winter, maintaining a reddish brown tail.
The chamois hunting season varies across the countries of Europe, and often by region but generally the season runs from September to December.
The rut, the breeding season, begins in November, and is one of the best times to hunt chamois.