HUNTING IN SPAIN
Shooting days in Castile, Andalùcia & Navarre...
Classic driven redlegged partridge, birds over dogs & big game stalking in the Sierras
Shooting in Spain is a great sporting classic. Spain has the reputation to offer challenging birds and by "birds" we're meaning the unique red legged partridge, patiroja or perdiz brava in Spanish. The driven days (ojeos) started to attract foreign visitors since the reign of late king Alfonso XIII, when the Spanish aristocrats were inviting friends from other european countries. The countryside and the beautiful estates are still recalling these glorious days. There is also more to shooting in Spain than just shooting... Spain is a unique country where people seriously take the pleasures of life.
The atmosphere of the bars, bodegas, restaurantes in Madrid is beyond imagination
There is the city of Madrid, a lively place, day and nightthat will leave you with the illusion of everlasting youth. There is the drive to the shoot, across dark hills and white villages -los montes pardos y las aldeas blancas- (a phrase I found in Spanish in the Dangerous summer of Ernest Hemingway). There are the road side bars, where you take your morning cafe con leche and where you can't resist ordering a small plate of ham and cheese -platito de jamon y queso- with a glass of tinto. There are the smiley sun-tanned faces of the countryside people telling the jokes you probably won't understand but will still make you laugh and feel like Don Quijote eventually finding his Sancho Panza.
The Spanish gastronomy is gaining a worldwide reputation, with tapas bars now popping up everywhere. Tapas showcase the real art of Spanish cooking, small plates which offer you small delights. Here, with tapas, true gourmets will recognize the value of genuine simplicity. Wonderful dishes are presented for your selection, but words cannot describe the effect of a chilled Sherry and some olives eaten after a day in the field. Imagine yourself and your group of friends in the midst and silence of an ocean of centuries old olive trees. Your palate starts finding similarities between the taste of the fino fresquito and the red earth dust of the fields with an aftertaste of gunpowder !
Hunting season & Shooting offers
Occasionally, shoots can be arranged in August and September on quail over dogs and turtle dove shooting from blinds. This is named the media veda, sort of "half season" to translate it literally. The real season runs from early October to the 1st Sunday in February mainly on red-legged partridge or perdiz brava. We're offering walked up shooting over pointers for individuals or small groups and of course driven days for small groups. We're mainly organizing this near Seville (Andalùcia), near Pamplona (Navarre), near Madrid (Castilla la Mancha) and also in Catalonia (near Barcelona). Stalking of Ibex, Red-deer, Mufflon, Chamois and wild boar days can be organized also.
The Spanish countryside offers a pristine and colorful scenery. Some winter days can be chilly in Spain, but layering with a good shirt, a light sweater and a shooting vest is the most common way to dress afield in Spain.
The atmosphere of the blind (puesto) with loader, secretario, keeper and friend. The shooter is protected by steel screens (pantallas) not because Spanish guns are more dangerous than others (the only neighbors are your own friends), but safety is a priority and some guns get hypnotized by the number of birds and their speed.
Real waves of rockets can be surrounding your blind. It is quite common to use a leather hand guard, placed on the barrels of side by side guns, to protect your hands from the heat of firing guns. These hand guards are sold at the gun shops of Madrid, which are worth a trip in their own right to see the fine arms and other beautiful leather accessories. You will find the prices in Spain to be very affordable.
Secretarios picking up your birds. There was traditionally a competition between secretarios to pick up as many birds as possible for THEIR hunter -not to say steeling birds from the neighbors- as they would bet sometimes and the tip given by the smiling "top gun" does not compare to those given with the grin...
The estate uses luxury 4x4 vehicles for the transportation to the shoot. Weather permitting, lunch can be taken afield but, in any case, drinks and snacks are always served to take forces or wipe the dust during the day.
The pride of the guarderia after a successful day. The countryside people of Castile are wonderful persons to meet. Always quiet, smiley and gentle, they give you the feel to meet characters of an other age.
As for individual hoping to stalk big game, Spain offers a huge variety of different quarries. Wild fallow deer (like this one), mufflon, Barbary sheep, chamois (with 2 subspecies, the Cantabrian or Pyrenean), roe-deer, wild boar and the famous and noble ibex named Cabra Montès, or Macho Montès if you go for trophy- (with also 5 subspecies slightly different from one sierra to another).
The Spanish red deer along with
the wild boar, remain the quarry most sought after in Spain, either
individually for trophy stalking or in groups when the famous monterias