Ibex hunting is a true mountain hunt, they are often referred to as the “poor man’s sheep”. Often though, an ibex hunt is more challenging than a sheep hunt. They live in higher, steeper, bigger, meaner country and they are more wily as well. Ibex are native to Europe, mid Asia and southern Russia, and the average hunt will cost you about the same as a mountain goat hunt North America. There are a number of subspecies of Ibex around the world, but not all of them are huntable.
Huntable Subspecies of Ibex
The Alpine Ibex, native to the mountain range of the same name, holds a significant status as a revered trophy in Europe. Although it is currently huntable, permits to hunt these Ibex are limited, and it is advisable to book them in advance.
In the 17th century, the Alpine Ibex faced a severe threat of extinction. The local population held a mystical belief in the healing properties of various parts of the ibex, including its bones, blood, and even excrements. Fortunately, King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia recognized the importance of protecting the Alpine Ibex and took measures to ensure their survival. Thanks to his efforts, the Ibex population has significantly recovered over time.
Today, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia boast thriving populations of Alpine Ibex along the main alps. However, it is worth noting that the number of hunting licenses issued each year remains limited, emphasizing the importance of planning and securing permits well in advance.
The Altai Ibex, one of the two Ibex species found in the Altai range of Mongolia, nestled within the provinces of Hovd and Gobi-Altai. Its majestic presence graces the precipitous cliffs and narrow canyons adorned with scattered rock strips. The majority of Ibex harvested in this breathtaking landscape span the range of 40 to 45 inches (100-115 cm), with only a select few attaining the coveted pinnacle of 50 inches (127 cm) each season. Astoundingly, the success rates have surpassed the elusive 100 percent threshold, a testament to the past decades of conservation efforts by hunters.
The Altai ibex boasts massive horns with an impressive curvature that envelops three-fourths of a circle, culminating in gracefully tapered points. These formidable appendages exhibit a relatively flat front surface adorned with meticulously defined cross ridges. In stark contrast, their female counterparts adorn themselves with short, slender horns, void of the luxuriant beards that grace the males.
The Beceite Ibex, the most prodigious among the four Spanish ibex species, holds a dominant presence in the expansive coastal mountains of Spain. Not only does this magnificent creature possess a remarkable degree of corporeal mass, but it also boasts an awe-inspiring spectacle in the form of its astonishingly broad horns.
The Ibex exhibits two distinct horn configurations, namely the gracefully curving ‘lira’ horns akin to their Spanish ibex counterparts, and the ‘palm’ shape characterized by remarkably flattened horns that lend an illusion of even greater magnitude to their already impressive appearance.
The Bezoar Ibex, regarded as the ancestor of the domestic goat, holds its place within the same species. This remarkable creature thrives amidst the lofty mountainous regions of Asia Minor, primarily presenting captivating hunting prospects within the boundaries of Turkey. They are arguably the prettiest subspecies of ibex, but a Bezoar Ibex Hunt is also the most expensive.
Despite Turkey’s contemporary identity as a progressive industrial nation, embarking on a Bezoar Ibex expedition entails venturing far beyond the sun-kissed shores of its popular beach resorts and the bustling streets of Istanbul. Instead, it beckons intrepid explorers towards secluded mountainous terrains, where the echoes of ancient civilizations, such as the Greeks and Trojans, still reverberate along the distant coastal lines.
The Gobi Ibex, a close kin of the Altai Ibex, dwells among the rugged peaks in the southern reaches of the Gobi Altai Range in Mongolia. This remarkable creature, owing to the dearth of vegetation and limited water sources in its habitat, is of smaller stature compared to its Altai counterpart. Its lustrous coat bears a hue of brown, embellished by a gentle patch adorning its underbelly and the space betwixt its limbs. A male Gobi Ibex attains a formidable height exceeding three feet and carries a weight of approximately 260 pounds.
The legacy of hunting in Mongolia traces back more than eight centuries, harkening back to the era when Genghis Khan held dominion over the mightiest empire on Earth. Remarkably, this tradition has undergone scant transformation over the course of countless years. Mongolia stands as a realm of nomadic equestrians, an ancient culture, untamed wilderness, and above all, a populace renowned for its warmth and hospitality. The custom of extending a gracious welcome to travelers has ingrained itself deep within the bedrock of Mongolia’s heritage since time immemorial.
Nestled between the formidable borders of Russia and China, Mongolia emerges as a realm of boundless opportunities for the avid hunter. In stark contrast to the bustling lands of Asia, Mongolia boasts a population of merely three million denizens, with a sparsity of 3.6 individuals per square mile. Towering mountains, endless steppes, arid deserts, and crystalline lakes collectively comprise the majestic tapestry of Mongolia, eagerly awaiting your exploration. The pursuit of hunting and fishing encompasses a diverse spectrum of experiences, as varied as the myriad species that grace these lands. We extend an earnest invitation to embark upon a voyage of discovery through the realm of Genghis Khan, offering you an unrivaled glimpse into some of the most superlative hunting grounds our planet has to offer.
The Gredos Ibex, renowned and widely recognized among the various species of Spanish Ibex, finds its habitat in the majestic Gredos Mountains, nestled in the western region of the country. Throughout the ages, this noble creature has persevered as a regal species, safeguarded by the ancient monarchs of Spain.
They boast an impressively large bodies, and are distinguished for their remarkable horns, which gracefully curve akin to the delicate strings of a lyre. Undoubtedly, the Gredos Ibex reigns supreme among the Spanish subspecies of ibex.
The enigmatic Himalayan Ibex, true to its name, finds its dwelling amidst the majestic Himalayan peaks, which stand as the loftiest mountain range known to mankind. Within the depths of Pakistan, nestled in the far-flung and untamed recesses of the land, lies an opportune hunting ground where time seems to have left the local communities untouched for millennia. Remarkably, those who have ventured into this realm attest that the region’s fearsome reputation is significantly embellished.
Envisioned as awe-inspiring trophies, the Himalayan ibex possess elongated horns, reminiscent of scimitars, adorned with knobby protuberances that may extend well beyond the remarkable span of four feet. These majestic antlers embody the quintessential emblem of an unparalleled escapade into the realm of mountain hunting, set against the backdrop of a rugged and primordial terrain.
The kri-kri ibex, also known as the Cretan goat, Agrimi, or Cretan Ibex, is a feral goat species that can be found in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was previously considered a subspecies of the wild goat. The kri-kri has a light brownish coat with a darker band around its neck and two horns that sweep back from its head. It is known for its agility, being able to leap long distances and climb seemingly sheer cliffs.
While the kri-kri is not native to Crete, it is believed to have been introduced to the island during the time of the Minoan civilization. However, it is now endemic to Crete and can be found nowhere else. The kri-kri used to be widespread throughout the Aegean region, but its population has dwindled, and its last strongholds are in the White Mountains of Western Crete. These mountains, reaching heights of 8,000 ft (2,400 m), are home to various endemic species, including the kri-kri. One notable location within the White Mountains is a series of almost vertical 3,000 ft (900 m) cliffs known as “the Untrodden,” located at the head of the Samaria Gorge.
The kri-kri’s habitat also extends to the Samaria National Forest and the islets of Dia, Thodorou, and Agii Pantes. The entire region, including the White Mountains, is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, offering protection to the kri-kri and other endemic animal species found there.
Despite its previous presence in the Aegean, the kri-kri’s survival now heavily relies on the conservation efforts in the protected areas of Crete. The species tends to be shy and avoids human interaction, often resting during the day and displaying their impressive climbing and leaping abilities when needed.
Overall, the kri-kri holds ecological significance as an endemic species of Crete and serves as a symbol of the unique biodiversity found in the region’s mountainous landscapes.
Found in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, these are the most common subspecies of ibex, therefore the least expensive to hunt. However, they are also the most difficult as they live in extremely high altitudes. It is common to combo these hunts with a Marco Polo sheep or a moral stag.
The magnificent Nubian ibex roams the enchanting Red Sea Hills of Egypt and Sudan, as well as the majestic mountains of Eritrea. This captivating creature also graces the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, and can be observed in Israel, the southwestern region of Jordan, and even the wondrous Arabian Peninsula. It possesses a more delicate and nimble frame compared to other subspecies of ibex, and its elegant horns boast a slender allure. Its coat showcases a gentle hue of light brown, adorned with a striking dark dorsal stripe, while its legs proudly display distinctive black-and-white markings. Furthermore, its beard, long and velvety, emanates a deep darkness.
Notably, the Nubian ibex distinguishes itself from the Asian and Alpine ibex through its horns, which possess a graceful narrowing and rounded outer edges. In the realm of Asian Nubian ibex specimens, they tend to be marginally smaller than their African counterparts, with horns that are shorter and more slender.
The Persian Ibex, occasionally referred to as the Bezoar goat or Iranian Ibex, is native to the Montane forests spanning the vast expanse from Turkey to Iran. Its elusive presence graces the arid expanses that lie eastward of the illustrious cities of Qom, Yazd, Kerman, and Bandar-e’Abbas.
In 1970, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) imported 15 Persian ibex from Iran and released them in the Florida Mountains near Deming, New Mexico. Soon after, an additional 27 were released, and a sustainable population was established. By 1974, the first Persian ibex hunt in the Florida Mountains was offered to the public, and one to two hunts have been conducted every year since. This is a highly coveted draw hunt, and if you would like help with putting in, check out our Hunt Application Service.
The Ronda Ibex, a diminutive variant of the Ibex subspecies found in Spain, inhabits a restricted mountainous region within the province of Malaga. Distinguished by their distinct physical proportions and a distinctive arrangement of horns that grow shorter and more linear, these Ibex embody an unparalleled peculiarity. The exclusivity of their habitat in Ronda contributes to a remarkable divergence from other types of Ibex, resulting in a comparatively low population density. Consequently, locating mature and trophy-worthy specimens among them can prove to be a formidable challenge. This subspecies of ibex is often considered to be the most difficult to hunt for International hunters trying for the Spanish Ibex Grand Slam.
Sindh Ibex hunting takes place in Pakistan. Diverging from the traditional hunting grounds of the Himalayan Ibex nestled in the northern region of the country, the Sindh Ibex thrives in the southern domain. Nestled amidst lower, undulating landscapes rather than towering mountains, this locale rests in close proximity to the serene Indian Ocean coastline and the bustling city of Karachi. It is a civilized and secure enclave, bearing semblance to the picturesque essence of Spain, rather than the commonly envisioned lofty, snow-clad, uninhabited peaks synonymous with Ibex hunting in Asia.
Engaging in the pursuit of Sindh Ibex within Pakistan frequently entails a captivating blend of hunting experiences, often accompanied by the pursuit of Blandford urial. Embarking on this adventure has been hailed by avid hunters as one of the most extraordinary and unforgettable undertakings of their lifetime. Fundamentally, it encompasses the time-honored tradition of mountainous spot-and-stalk hunting. However, one must be prepared for the unexpected: a scene bustling with activity and resonating with voices. This captivating pursuit involves an array of community members acting as scouts, skillfully traversing the mountainous terrain on motorcycles, incessantly exchanging vital information through the means of mobile phones.
Southeastern Spanish Ibex
The magnificent Sierra Nevada Ibex, scientifically recognized as the Southeastern Spanish Ibex, gracefully roams the expanse of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Granada, Spain. This picturesque region, nestled along the southern coastal fringes of the country, boasts awe-inspiring landscapes that merge seamlessly with the glistening waters of the adjacent sea.
Revered for its distinctive characteristics, the Southeastern Ibex exhibits a petite physique and a lustrously pale hue. The males of this species boast a remarkable set of horns, characterized by their robustness, elongation, and a captivating curvature that arcs gracefully towards the rear. However, encountering these majestic creatures proves to be no trifling matter, as their population density remains relatively modest, rendering the sighting of truly sizable males a challenging endeavor of great rarity.
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