I was up to 29 Capra and wanted to get to 30, so last year booked a hunt with Joe Jakab (Point Blank Hunts) for the hybrid ibex on the Greek Islands.
I was thinking I wouldn’t have to do too much climbing and this would help as I’m getting a little older. The Greek authorities had lost their ranger for that island but said it would be no problem by the time the hunt rolled around in early November. It turned out to be a big problem and the hunt got cancelled a short time before.
Joe was able to contact Bo Morgan who had a Chartruese chamois hunt available and after delaying the hunt for one week, I was on the plane to Lyon, France.
Bo’s wife made amazing plane arrangements to get me there. I was met by Renaud Desgrees du Lou. His son, Com, was with him and we packed the car with two Jack Russell terriers and were off to Chambrey.
The next morning we hunted the Chartruese Massif with one moderate climb and one very steep climb to a point where we looked over a large area above some cliffs, but never saw a chamois. The walk down was horrendous, but the next day we had to get another permit and made our way to Die. This permit was on the Vercors Massif.
Here we glassed some very steep cliffs and found chamois in two places. The small town was delightful and the next morning we were climbing again, up a very well used trail. We were out all day and only at the end of the day did we see a chamois bedded on a small cliff.
The shot would have been 342 yards and toward a house, so we tried to get closer with a different angle and it didn’t work. Just as we got to the place to try the shot, we saw another chamois much closer to the area we left. Next morning we made the same climb but saw no chamois, so we decided to move again.
We drove to Grenoble and settled-in to hunt the Vercors Massif. Com left to go south and do some Alpine chamois hunting with his friends.
The next morning we drove to Grasser en Vercors and started up a back road. I was hoping it would get us to the top of the mountain, but no luck. We walked up a very steep road and then a well used trail until we broke out in an Alpine meadow.
We made our way over to a rock outcropping but didn’t see any chamois. We then made our way over to the cliff area and slowly started back down, looking over each ledge.
On the last ledge we spotted two chamois about 100 meters straight below us, but the fog was coming in and out so the view was poor.
We waited for what seemed to be an hour but was probably five minutes until the fog cleared enough to see the chamois on a very narrow ledge. The largest was old and we decided to have a go at a shot.
The shot was close to 90 degrees, but the Winchester .300 wsm did the trick. I watched through the scope as the bullet flattened the goat. But soon its left leg started moving and then all I saw was a black spot falling 200 meters down the slope.
We made our way back to the car and then went sideways around the mountain to get the chamois. The chamois was at nine inches with decent bases.
I was elated, as the weather was getting bad and I probably wouldn’t have been able to hunt the next day, due to the fog.
We took the train to Lyon, which is a delightful city, then I flew back to Athens and on to the USA on Election Day. I voted earlier and was very happy when I arrived home as all hunters should be thankful with the results of the election. Thanks to Renaud, Bo and Joe for making this happen.--R. Douglas Yajko, M.D.