Southeastern and Ronda Ibex
Well, this was to be my third hunt with Val, the owner and operator of IbexHuntSpain and knowing the high level of professionalism of not only him, but his staff and the gamekeepers he deals with, I was able to forgo those pre-hunt jitters, as there was nothing to worry about because I knew every aspect of this hunt would be top-notch, as the previous two had been.
I arrived in Valencia, Spain around 5:30 pm and once I had retrieved my suitcases, I proceeded to the Exit of the airport and as expected there stood Val awaiting me. We got to his vehicle, which is modern, clean, well kept and a pleasure to ride in. We had a 6 ½ hour drive to our hotel, which would serve as our accommodation for the entire hunt. The highways in Spain are extremely smooth and well kept and the miles just flew past while I enjoyed the beautiful, serene landscape. Once darkness overtook us, I was able to grab a couple of hours of shut-eye, which I knew I needed at my age.
Finally, we arrived at Hotel Lazaro, outside the city of Antequera, where we were warmly welcomed by the owner. We checked in and then retired to our rooms. The room was extremely well laid-out and the bed was beyond comfortable. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. The bathroom was extremely clean and possessed everything one needed.
Val is an extremely punctual individual and when he says be down for breakfast at 7:00 am, he means 7:00 am. This is an admirable trait, as the whole hunting day and those other individual personnel who have already been given timings for the various aspects to begin and end, are depending on this schedule. The Gamekeeper was due to meet us there at 7:30 am and that is exactly the time he arrived. We arrived in the hunting area shortly after daylight and at once everyone turned professional, dedicated to spotting the trophy Ibex we were hunting. I was made aware that the weather was and would continue to be unseasonably hot and the Gamekeeper had observed the Ibex moving from the feeding grounds to their bedding area, which now was the ridgelines, where they could rest-up under good foliage cover and take advantage of the breeze at those levels. The Gamekeeper informed us that the Ibex moved until 10:00 am and remained hidden from view until around 6:00 pm, when they would arise and move once again to the feeding area(s).
We enjoyed a super bag lunch, while we also sought refuge from the mid-day heat. I have to admit, the food I have eaten on all trips to Spain have been excellent, although I always found, maybe a bit too much – smile. I personally am not a “big” eater, but thoroughly enjoyed the excellent, well prepared food at all meals. There was always lots of cool water available on a daily basis, while we were hunting in the mountains.
It is indeed a pleasure to embark on a hunt with such an experienced Outfitter, as Val, who is backed up by a Gamekeeper, who is intimate with the animals, terrain and weather of the geographical area we were assigned to hunt in. This young man had phenomenal eyesight and could pick out Ibex at great distances, judge their trophy size and recommend whether they were big enough to harvest or we should be able to find a better representative. Val possesses excellent eyesight also, but probably is just not as intimate with the land, due to hunting in other areas of Spain, when chasing other animals.
In summary, Val produced two worthy trophies for me and due to his excellent organizational abilities, two SCI Silver Medal level Ibex were harvested by me, then the skinning was done, the hide and horns were transported to a taxidermist who works for him and once the trophies are completed, his shipping company will ensure the trophies are securely packed and transported to my home in British Columbia, Canada.
It is indeed a pleasure to be under the auspices of such a dedicated Outfit as IbexHuntSpain and not only is Val a dedicated hunter himself, he pays attention to every minute detail, in order to provide a first-class hunting adventure and above all he is a gentleman.
In closing, I must thank Val and his complete staff for the excellent hunt they organized for this 75 year old hunter, whose age somewhat limits his hunting ability nowadays.