Where to hunt Cantabrian Chamois
Cantabrian chamois is a subspecies of chamois, a small mountain goat-antelope that graces with its presence many a mountain range in the Old World. Cantabrian chamois is one of the smallest subspecies of chamois. True to its name, it is found in the Cantabrian mountain range in the north-west of Spain.
Cantabrian chamois hunting in Spain typically cost between $4,000 and $7,000. Before booking a trip, check the outfitter’s pricing policy: some offer the hunt at a flat fee, others – on a daily rate add trophy fee basis. Trophy fee may depend on the size of the horns. The most expensive offers are combination hunts, usually involving an opportunity to harvest both subspecies of Spanish chamois: Cantabrian and Pyrenean.
When to hunt Cantabrian Chamois?
Hunting season for Cantabrian chamois in Spain usually runs from May to mid-July, and from September to mid-November. In the summer chamois dwell in alpine meadows where they are easier to spot and stalk, while in the winter they descend to lower, wooded altitudes, where other hunting methods are possible. Chamois usually rut in November-December.
Jagdart alle Jagdarten (4)
Chamois hunting is, with a few exceptions that will be mentioned below, as pure a mountain game hunt as it goes. It's all about spot-and-stalk. The animals spend most of the day lying about chewing cud, so you'll have to be up the mountain by sunrise to catch the "happy hour" when they move from feeding to bedding areas. Then comes the stalk, where escaping the creature's powerful eyesight is as difficult as navigating through rough mountain terrain. A chamois is a small target, and mountain winds are proverbially treacherous, so even if you are a confident long-range shot, a close stalk is advisable. Some European outfitters take advantage of the chamois's seasonal migration to wooded areas, and may arrange hunts from blinds, high seats, or driven hunts.
Why hunt Cantabrian Chamois?
In the old Europe the saying that someone would "climb the mountains after the chamois" had a definite, if broad, message. It was a bit of looking down on recklessness of risking life and limb, and spending so much effort, to secure such a small animal. But it was also a sign of respect for the strength, agility, courage and marksmanship that it took to bring the animal home, especially when armed with a crossbow or a primitive musket. It was the chamois hunters that made the glory of the Swiss marksmen. Chamois hunting is not only about immersion into an ancient tradition, but also one of the purest forms of mountain hunting. Cantabrian chamois hunting in particular carries, as a bonus, an opportunity to explore the wonders of Spain.
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