The pristine slopes of the Karwendel mountains in Tyrol, Austria, are home to a respectful population of chamois. Hunting these Alpine animals is very challenging physically, but all the more rewarding.
Taking on a challenge like a chamois hunt, is usually a team effort, not only because of the challenging terrain, but also to make chosing the right specimen easier. It is recommended to embark on this adventure in groups of two or three: hunting guide Stefan and his apprentice Tobias are taking Nikolaj out today.
Chamois live in the higher parts of mountainous areas. In summer, they may dwell in altitudes of up to 3.600 meters. In winter, they usually wander into lower regions and into the forests down to 800 meters.
From afar, we try to spot where the chamois are currently located, in order to choose our route.
Chamois are always very agile creatures, but even more so during the rut season. The males chase each other over miles and miles across mountain slopes. There is constant movement.
Even for experienced hunters, it can be hard to spot the chamois’ sex and age.
We approach the chamois hide through precipitous, rugged, and rocky terrain. Being in a good physical shape is vital now, otherwise we could not be stalking here.
Nikolaj focuses on his breathing. His body is calm, his mind fully concentrated. This is the right moment. While Stefan spots the chamois through the ATX spotting scope, Nikolaj exhales and releases the shot.
What a relief! We have reached our goal. Emotions wash over us.
As is tradition in the Alps, we respectfully approach the chamois to give it its last bite.
the hunting guide congratulates the shooter on a successful hunt with the customary greeting:
answered with a
Grateful and at ease, we carry the harvested animal down the mountain. With every step, the adrenaline, tension and excitement are slowly fading away and an immense joy takes over.
If you are taking on a challenge such as a chamois hunt, you want to make sure to be in excellent shape and to be accompanied by high-quality gear. The EL O-Range helped to measure the distance separating us from the chamois. When selecting the right animal to harvest (the one with the broken leg), the ATX 85 with its high magnification and still manageable weight was our first choice. In order to place a clean shot, we took the Z8i 1,7-13,3x42 along with us. It is an absolutely precise rifle scope, yet still light in weight and small in size, which came in very handy during the demanding ascent and descent. The reward was a swiftly harvested female chamois.
Thanks to their healthy diet of alpine herbs, weeds and needles, the chamois’ meat is very tasty and their leather is of high quality. We will gratefully accept these gifts of nature and make use of all parts of our prey.
Then stay tuned at #wild2table and find out what Caribbean delicacy we created.