Well, after a long flight from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, it did one’s heart good to see Val standing at the incoming gate to meet me. The warm smile and firm handshake certainly went a long way in assuring one they were in good company. This was my second hunt with Val and if it was going to be anywhere as good as the first one, I certainly was in for a top-notch hunt. Previously, I had hunted Beceites Ibex and Pyrenean Chamois and had been more than pleased with the great service I had received.
So, after a short renewing of our friendship we were off to the town of Madrigal de la Vera, located north-west of Madrid. I am always pleasantly surprised at the great condition of the highways and roads, which I have driven over, in Spain. Soon we arrived and were settled into accommodations. This time was no different than my previous visit, the lodge was rustic, with so much personality of its own. The room was extremely spacious with all the necessary amenities. On this trip I had forgotten my “international electrical wall plug” but Val had a cellphone charger in his vehicle, so his preparation once again came to the rescue – smile.
Next morning, we were up early, ate a super breakfast at a local restaurant (right across from our accommodations), selected for their excellent food and their opening early to accommodate us. Soon we were climbing in elevation, heading up to meet with the Game Keeper who would look after finding the Gredos Ibex for us. We stopped on the way for me to shoot the rental rifle, to ensure it was accurate for my eyes. Val supplied an excellent firearm for me and it was the same one I had used successfully on my last hunt with him. A beautiful Sauer 101 topped with a Leupold scope, in 7X64 Brenneke and 140 grain Nosler AccuBond bullets.
Soon we came to the Game Keeper’s house and he was awaiting us outside. He and Val were old friends and had hunted together over the years, but still had some “catching up” to get done, like most hunters do. Soon we had transferred our gear into his vehicle and we were on our way up the mountain. What a spectacular sight I was privileged to witness. Val had previously warned me that the fog could and most likely would interfere with our hunt this time of the year. The Gamekeeper has two other Game Keepers up where we were headed to scout for Ibex. These men were experts at their chosen profession and soon had located Ibex. Val, one of the most patient people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, was beside me all the time, providing advice and support constantly. Soon we has my Gredos Ibex on the ground and when the Game keepers took over, it was evident they were certainly good at their overall job.
In summary, I have hunted world-wide over my lifetime, but Val is in a class of his own. Being a dedicated hunter himself, he certainly understands what a hunter needs in order to be successful and he provides all of that at an extremely high level. Accommodations and food were second to none, as were the vehicles and rifle used on this hunt. One of the extremely important aspects of this hunt, was I never felt pressured to take an animal and it was apparent this was my hunt and Val was there to provide any support he could in order to make it “my” hunt. I have already re-booked for next year for my Ronda and Southeastern Ibex. Great hunt with a great professional at all levels. I would be remiss if I were not to mention the excellent support I also received from Val’s staff who work so hard “behind the scenes” to make all the hunts such a success.