Brett Niles, Croatian Brown Bear Hunt Report
The trip to Europe all together was excellent and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Eurasian Brown Bear
Our first European hunt was for brown bear and I was surprised to learn that it was a night hunt using night vision scopes and binos. My guide was a professional and he had done lots of scouting preparing for my visit and had identified a trophy bear that we would go after. The first night we sat in a 5×10 well constructed permanent hunting stand with chairs and a padded bed to rest on. We hunted over a bait pile and we sat for about six hours. We saw several bears but none were what I wanted. The next night my guide moved us to a new stand location because he had been checking trail cameras and saw the big bear had come into the new stand the night before. We got in the stand about 6pm and just after dark an hour later the bear came out and after some discussions between my guide and I as to whether this was the bear we were hunting I pulled the trigger and harvested a 432 CIC monster.
Within 15 minutes of me pulling the trigger word had got out and there were about 10 Croatian locals arrived at the hunt site to congratulate me and salute the hunt. The evening was filled with toasts and fun with people I had never met all taking part in the celebration. I’ve never seen anything like it and was amazed at the spirit of the locals. The bear was taken care of by my guide carefully and I left for my next hunt the next day.
A day later I was on the Croatian coast hunting mouflon. We were hunting right on the Adriatic Sea and the views were amazing. The first morning my guide and his spotter found some mouflon moving along with hillside and we made our way on foot to cut them off and see what was there. The terrain is some of the worst I have ever hunted in. The rock is jagged chunks of stone with no flat terrain. It’s mainly hilly terrain but very difficult to hunt in.
We found a rock perch on top of a hill overlooking the sea and watched as about 30 mouflon bucks worked their way along with hillside below us. My guide was very experienced and found the largest mouflon ram in the group. After about 90 minutes of careful adjustments I was given a shot opportunity at 325 yards and knocked the ram down. After a long descent down the mountain we took photos and my guide and his spotter took careful care of my trophy and I was all done. I was able to spend an extra day on the coast enjoying the weather and the sights before my next hunt for fallow deer.
Fallow Deer and Dalmatian Wild Sheep
The last hunt was on a private island full of feral sheep, fallow deer and dalmatian rams. We stayed in a very old stone caretakers house that had been on the island for many years. It was very quiet and peaceful with 360 degree views of the Adriatic sea all around you. The sheep hunt wasn’t difficult with there being tons of them spread throughout. My guide and I hunted for about 1 hour before settling on a nice sheep. After photos and congratulations we spent another day on the island enjoying the weather and the good food.
How would you rate this hunt? FIVE STARS
- How likely will you be to refer friends to Outdoors International about this hunt? Excellent
- How was the outfitters pre-hunt communication? Excellent
- How would you rate the overall trophy quality? Excellent
- How would you rate the outfitters lodging? Excellent
- How would you rate the food? Excellent
- How savvy/knowledgeable was your guide? Excellent
- How was the Field Dressing and Trophy Preparation: Excellent
- Was your hunt successful? Yes
- Were you happy with your trophy and the overall experience? Yes, very much so.
- How physically difficult was the hunt? Moderate
- Is there anything that the outfitter should do differently in your opinion? No
- How likely would you be to refer Outdoors International booking services to your friends and family? Very Likely
- How were your conversations with your agent? Good
- How was the agent’s pre-hunt correspondence? Good
- How savvy/knowledgeable was your agent? Excellent
- How was your agent’s post-hunt follow up? Good
- Will you book another trip with Outdoors International in the future? Yes, because Outdoors International vet’s their outfitters.
- Anything about this trip that you think we should be aware of? No, it was great. But you do need to offer more European hunts.