Once again I meet with my friend Valeriano, I was hunting with for a big ibex in Tortosa Beceite last year. We go to a hunting area Ibexhuntspain has in the east of the country, which is known to be inhabited by a big number of Barbary sheep. We arrive almost at night and we stay in one hunting house in the same hunting area. By the way it’s really beautiful and luxury building with huge trophies decorating the walls. The cooks are already waiting for us with a delicious supper prepared, during which we talk and drink a good Spanish wine.

The next morning we have to get up early. We load the pick-up with everything necessary for the whole day of hunting and we leave almost at daybreak as Valeriano wants to check one area, where different groups of animals have a habit to come to eat almost at night. Thus we could catch them unaware from the high of the slope. After having made few miles among the wood of Mediterranean pines we start to walk up a small mountain. We lean out in silence from one side of the ravine. Soon despite a little light we can distinguish a movement of the animals among the trees. And indeed in a moment we see a group of sheep. They are very quite and we can locate a big male in the middle. Valeriano concentrates on it and observes it through a telescope. In a short time he comments it’s a good specimen and I can hunt it, but to approach we need to come down few yards without making any noise as at this time of the day the animals are very alert and it’s easy to fail to come closer unnoticed.

We come down the groove of rocks and what a bad luck, some of the stones dislodge and make enough noise. The herd of sheep group together with big male in the middle. Now it’s impossible to shoot any of them. In little time they get more nervous and run away among the pines.

We come back to a car to change the area to one more mountainous. We charge the backpacks on our backs and we start to walk searching a new group of animals. All the time the way goes up and up. Finally we are high up on the mountainside, from where we have an amazing sight of the magnificent landscape. I can make out an extensive forest, which riches the edge of a small river. Valeriano and the guide observe the mountains in the north and in few minutes they notice a group of Barbary sheep. Once again I’m full with hope and for a moment I forget about how exhaustive am I.

After one hour of walking we lean out of a big cliff. The animals are some 170 yards away. I prepare to aim, but I don’t see the animal Valeriano and the guide indicate me. The group of the sheep hears us talking and they start to move, in a few seconds we loose them among the pines and rocks. We have failed again. These animals are very elusive.

We continue walking among a spectacular landscape. I feel myself a little bit dishearten, but Valeriano assures me that soon we will find a good herd and right now it might be a good idea to get our strength back having a short meal, resting a little and than continuing to hunt. So we do it this way and once again I find myself walking.

Finally my preys are listened as we locate another group big enough. It is in the other side of the forest situated below our feet. We move silently and we find a good position so the animals can’t see us nor hear neither smell.

We are 218 yards away and I have a good support for the gun. I’ve put two backpacks between the rocks, in this way I’m quite comfortable and I feel sure. Valeriano locates a chief of a herd. He gives me indications to recognize the animal. This time I detect it straightway. It’s a magnificent male with big horns. It seems to be hidden among the females, but as it moves slowly finally I can see its full body. Its hair in the chest reaches the ground. It’s spectacular. I follow it with a cross of sight reflected in its body. I’ve already told Valeriano I will shoot but I continue waiting to get a better position of the animal and to relax to do not fail a shot.

The silence is disturbed by a deafening noise and a moment of waiting is over. I see how it fails down suddenly on a ground meanwhile the rest of a herd runs away. Valeriano screams from joy and shakes my hand. It’s so sensational.

We cross the ravine and we approach to the shot zone where we can see a magnitude and a beauty of this great Barbary sheep. It has big horns, very thick ones and its hair is very long. We make a photo and video session. The occasion is really worth it.

So once again I want to point out a big professionalism of Ibexhuntspain and a great work of its manager Valeriano Belles and his team.

Johannes Stefansson