A description of Spain’s big game species
The Spanish Stag or Red Deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) exclusive from Spain- is the classical trophy of our Sierras. It is a little smaller than the Red Deer of Central Europe (cervus elaphus hipelaphus), but its antlers usually have more points. A good trophy should have at least 14 points and main stems 80 cm. (30 inches) long. There are about 200,000 Red Deer in Spain and about 25,000 are taken annually by hunters, most of them during the drives.
The Spanish IBEX, found only in Spain, is certainly Europe's most special trophy.
Spanish IBEX, Gredos Type (Capra hispanica Victoriae), with the typical lyra form with a strong growing curve. There are about 25,000 animals in the Gredos Mountains, and a good trophy should be of 9 or more years of age with a horn length of 25 inches or more.
Spanish IBEX, Beceite Type (Capra hispanica Maritimus), with horns adopting a more straight and vertical growing curve. There are 8,000 animals in the Beceite area.
Spanish IBEX, Almijara Type (Capra hispanica Penibeticus), with their horns resembling the configurations of Mouflons, with a strong curve growing aggresively backwards from the skull.
Spanish IBEX, Ronda Type (Capra hispanica Meridionalis), which is the smallest of the four. The growing of the horns is flat and with a small angle.
The Fallow Deer (Dama dama dama) was introduced from the Middle East, where it was confined since the glacier ages, to Europe by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Its habitat is the wide-open spaces of our Sierras. This graceful spotted animal makes a spectacularly beautiful trophy.
The Pyrenean Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra pyrenaica) and the Cantabrian Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra parva) live in the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains, respectively. Both subspecies have hook-shaped horns and are a challenge for sportsmen who love mountain hunting. The Pyrenean variety number about 20,000 and are larger than the Cantabrian subspecies, of which there are about 12,000 animals.
The European Mouflon (Ovis musimon) was introduced from the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, confined there since the glacier ages, to continental Europe in the 17th century and has firmly re-established itself in our sierras. It is a quick-moving and intelligent animal with highly developed instincts, which makes it difficult to hunt, as any wild sheep is expected to be.
The Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), the ghost of the forest and the most numerous hunted species in Europe, has curiously pearled antlers with six points. Spain has a substantial population of roe deer and yields very good trophies.
The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) is the favorite hunting trophy for many Spaniards. It is also the most sought after animal in the Monterias, Spain's traditional hunting technique. Wild boars are especially numerous in the thick undergrowth characteristic of our sierras. When wounded, the razor sharp tusks of a wild boar become weapons capable of killing the fiercest dog or reckless hunter. It is legal in Spain to hunt them at night and it is usually hunted during the full moon.