It was late afternoon of the fourth day of a three-day hunt when Brenda finally had the opportunity to pull the trigger on her rifle. The ibex was broadside, across a deep canyon, at about 300 yards. For Brenda, this was a routine shot; but the last few minutes were pretty unnerving as she first had to locate the ibex on the side of the brush-covered mountain, make sure it was “the” ibex, then wait for the right shot – while three gentlemen, one speaking Spanish, were directing her where to look and how to prepare for the shot.
The Beceite ibex is the largest of the four ibex subspecies in Spain; it lives in the Northeastern Teruel Mountains - north of Valencia and south of Barcelona. The ibex is from the goat family and they are quite at home in the rough mountain terrain of this area. Brenda had already shot the Gredos, Southeastern and Ronda ibex on earlier trips, so this Beceite completed her Grand Slam of Spanish ibex.
At the shot, I was the only one to have binoculars on the ibex, hear the impact of the bullet and actually see the animal jump forward and fall
behind a bush. There were a few minutes of explaining to convince everyone that the shot was good and the ibex was dead. Leaving our driver behind to spot for us, we climbed down into the canyon and up the other side, arriving at the ibex in 45 minutes. Just over an hour later we made the return trip under flashlight, taking a full hour.
Bad luck had extended our hunt into the fourth day, which was our scheduled travel day to get back to Madrid for an early morning flight home. But now, our driving time was cutting into our sleeping time. We checked the trophy, completed the paperwork and at 8:00 pm headed toward Madrid – four and one half hours to the west. Dinner was about 10:30 (typical time in Spain) and we checked into the hotel at 1:30 am.
This probably sounds like an endorsement, and it is; in my opinion, Spain doesn’t get the credibility it deserves as a great hunting destination. The history and culture here are well worth the visit, and when you add a few stops and short side trips to the hunting travel route, the overall experience is very special.