Where to hunt Ibex
Ibex is a representative of the Capra family – in other words, a mountain goat – that carries impressive, mostly scimitar-shaped, antlers, and lives on Alpine meadows, migrating to lower or higher altitudes depending on the season. Ibex inhabits almost every significant mountain range in the Old World. You can hunt various species of Ibex in the Pyrenees (Spain), the Alps (Austria), the Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Turkey), the Altai (Russia), and the Pamirs (Kirghizstan, and Tajikistan). Ibex has also been introduced to a number of exotic countries, including the USA, and in New Mexico it inhabits much the same type of environment as in its natural range.
Considering the difficulty of travel to ibex habitat, and and as compared with other species such as argali or markhor, ibex hunting is relatively affordable. Offers for introduced animals start at about $2,500-$3,000. Hunts for free-range ibex in their natural habitat begin with $5,000 and may run into six figures for the more remote and desirable subspecies. Hunts in Spain vary greatly in price, depending on which of the four species of ibex we’re talking about, and the size of the trophy you may harvest. The more expensive ibex hunts are usually package deals, with more than one trophy or species included, or calculated for a group of a few hunters. You’ll generally find that going with friends is not only more fun, but also saves money. Perhaps the best value are ibex hunts in Tajikistan, because the country is less known to mountain hunters, but is nevertheless second to none in either experience or trophy size.
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Many outfitters that offer ibex hunt do it within community based conservation programs. These programs provide an incentive for the local population to preserve nature, as the income from harvest of a few old males overweighs that from killing many animals of all ages and sexes for meat. Read about the journey of four Americans to take part in one such hunt15 Mrz 2018 Zu den Wurzeln der Bergjagd: Amerikaner in den Bergen Tadschikistans
When to hunt Ibex?
The most generous seasons for ibex hunting are in Spain, where ibex hunting opportunities may be found starting from early autumn and well into spring. The best time for ibex hunting is usually the rut, which happens in November-December, but here weather may have its say. In the higher and wilder ranges such as the Pamirs, mountain passes that lead to ibex habitat may be closed in early winter.
Jagdart alle Jagdarten (12)
Ibex hunting is the classic mountain game hunting – it is all about spot-and-stalk. In some locations it is possible to glass from below, and cover a lot of ground on all-road vehicles or horseback, but ibex expect danger from below, so even if you manage to mark the bull, a long detour and a high rise will be necessary before you can get within the range of even a modern long-range rifle. Most ibex hunts are still the hard work kind, where you have to ascend the commanding mountain or ridge just to begin looking for them. For high-altitude hunts, allow a day or two for adjustment.
Why hunt Ibex?
Ibex is one of those species that make a perfect introduction to mountain hunting. If you want to hunt the wildest and most desolate ridges of the world, like the Pamirs, a.k.a. the Roof of the World, but can’t afford a Marco Polo, by all means hunt an ibex. It’s every bit as challenging, and it will get you to explore the same environments and cultures. Your will see the rising sun shine on the tips of snow-covered peaks, and where you might have to spend the night in a shepherd’s hut that could remember Tengiz Khan, or a cave with prehistoric paintings of people bowhunting ibex. It would make your heard beat so hard you’d be afraid it would jump out of your chest after you’ve climbed a few hundred yards of elevation over rock slides, and will double your heart rate when you finally realize it’s time to take that long shot or go home empty-handed. You may skip the shepherd’s hut bit if you hunt in Spain, where all creature comforts along with the ancient culture and gourmet cuisine are at your disposal. But you can’t fail to get the same hard work and excitement of the hunt. Book your Ibex hunt now.
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