Greece has opened ibex hunting on its mainland. This is a free-range hunting opportunity for Kri-Kri ibex. We learned of the new hunt from subscriber Jay Wolfenden (Report 10751), who took an ibex there in October 2016.
Wolfenden purchased this hunt at the Grand Slam Club Ovis auction in Las Vegas in 2016, with the booking represented by Joe Jakab’s Point Blank Hunts (www.pointblankhunts.com; 724-557-4274). We got more details from Wolfenden via email.
“I got to the hunt area with a good drive from Athens with guide Paul Skalidus. It is about 100,000 acres of former church and monastery land with no fence. The area has not been hunted by outsiders since the 1970s, and trophy potential is good. Hunts are for two days, and my hunt took place on the last two days of the season.
“The first morning, I shot a midsize ibex and then went pig hunting with the locals in the afternoon. I shot the only pig taken that weekend. The next day, Skalidus offered me the last unfilled ibex tag out of five for the season, and I shot a top 10 ibex. I saw about 10 ibex during the two days of hunting and shot the two I could get closest to.
“Skalidus is an excellent guide and knows the ibex well. It’s a wonderful hunt, and the area is picturesque. I did not have the occasion to meet the outfitter on this hunt, but all details were looked after well. All food, lodging and transport was included in the price. I stayed in an upscale spa near the hunting area. My wife would have loved it. I like ‘power hunting’ and was happy to get in on Friday, hunt a couple days and be on my way on Monday.”
As continuing subscribers know, Kri-Kri ibex are a rare, feral goat subspecies endemic to the Aegean Islands. Hunts mostly appeal to collectors looking to take a unique Capra trophy for a slam, and hunting options are limited. Other than the new area, Kri-Kri ibex may be taken only on the Greek island of Sapienza and in two large, fenced reserves in Macedonia: Lakavica and Tikves Lake (see Article 3014). Like Sapienza, this new area is also operated by Christos Liatas, the only international hunting outfitter in Greece. Liatas was behind the effort to get Greek authorities to approve a small hunting quota in the new area, which is called North Preserve.
In an email, Liatas told us, “My personal efforts back in 2006 opened Sapienza to international hunters. Last year, I was finally able to secure a quota to hunt this area on the mainland, which is near Thessaloniki, about five hours north of Athens. It’s a state preserve. Hunting there is much like Sapienza. The good thing is that hunters won’t have to get there on a boat, which can cause problems in bad weather.
“This year we only have five licenses for the preserve and 10 for Sapienza. I am working on getting more in the future.”
Liatas indicated that his guides make every effort to hunt spot-and-stalk style, but rifles cannot be used or imported in Greece, and hunters are limited to borrowed shotguns with slugs. The new area has dense vegetation and rocks similar to Sapienza, so hunters may have to wait in ambush. Unlike Sapienza, hunters do not have their hunt time diminished by taking a boat to and from the island each morning and afternoon.