Longbow Hunting Ibex in Madrid: Preparing for Unknown Territory
Posted on June 12, 2013
The far off voice was saying something, but I couldn’t understand, and I wanted it to go away. Then it came again, and again I couldn’t understand. Finally, along with a gentle touch on my shoulder, I distinctly heard a female voice saying, “We’re going to be landing soon,” and suddenly I was wide awake! I thanked the pretty flight attendant for rousing me, as I discreetly checked to see if I’d been drooling. The droning of the engines and the bustle in the cabin of the big transatlantic jet came into focus, as people were preparing for landing in Madrid, Spain.
An hour later, standing at the “Oversized Luggage” conveyor, I saw the long, black, cylindrical plastic traveling case that contained my two identical Habu Venom longbows. When I did, the realization that I was actually in Spain to hunt Gredos Ibex in the mountains west of Madrid hit me full force, and a huge grin spread over my face. I must have looked pretty goofy, because a gal standing next to me said, “You sure look happy about something!” She couldn’t have been any more accurate. I was in Spain to hunt for the first time on the European continent, my weapons now safely in my possession, and I knew I’d be stalking Ibex the next day. Yeah, you could say I was pretty stoked!
After gathering my gear, clearing customs, and meeting my famous Spanish outfitter, Giuseppe Carrizosa, we were zooming down the expressway headed two hours west. A quick stop for lunch and some spectacular twisting mountain roads later, we arrived at a beautiful old hotel at the base of the Gredos Mountain Range. We had a nice dinner, a good night’s rest, and then got serious about finding a huge old billy in the rocky and overgrown terrain.
Hunting in Unknown Territory
Hunting in Europe is definitely a different deal than hunting anywhere else I’ve ever pursued big game. The huge tracts of land are generally private, or are state controlled, but in a different way then, for example, our National Forests or BLM.
We had, in addition to Giuseppe (a great guy and quite a character) four other guides and game scouts who worked for the landowner whose property we were hunting. The Head Guide was a very nice guy named Carlos Chamorro, and he, along with the rest of them were looking sideways at my longbow! Though a very few of this Ibex species had been taken with arrows, there was no instance we could find where one had been taken with an arrow launched from a traditional bow. And, apparently, they weren’t very optimistic about the possibility for success.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which will cover getting primed for the shot!
By Lew Webb