Never Big Enough



It will be difficult to top the year that I had in 2010, and honestly I don't know if I'll be able to. While reflecting on the hunts I went on and participated in I find myself wanting bigger and better. The sheep is something that I will not top for a long time, but I left room for improvement on my mule deer and the spike elk I never shot.

Don't take this the wrong way, I am always grateful for what I get, but I think every hunter has a desire to go bigger and better each year.

The agenda for the year is to scout locally around home for the bowhunt, muzzleloader, and rifle deer hunts. I relisted in the dedicated hunter program for the next three years, and I love being able to hunt all three seasons. I would love, love, love to shoot a nice four point with my bow this year. I'll be working toward that goal.

On my dall sheep hunt I met a great friend who lives in Spain. He invited my husband and myself to hunt on his 19,000+ acre ranch in Spain. I couldn't pass up that opportunity, so we'll be heading to Spain the end of June to hunt roe buck, wild boar, and chamois.

I'll take another stab at the archery spike elk hunt in San Juan. There are few things I love more than being in San Juan country hunting elk with my bow.

I really enjoyed recording my hunting last year, so I'm going to give it another go. I hope you enjoy it with me.


What's Up With LadyShooter?

Well now that it's months later here's a bit of an update. I apologize for the long break, it's a little bit rediculous!

Spain was incredible. Our host, Mario, was beyond generous and went out of his way to make us feel at home.

Our journey started on July 24th flying out of Salt Lake airport. We had just dropped our four year old twins off with grandma and grandpa and were on our way. After a plane change in Chicago and long flight we arrived in Madrid. Mario was there in his Range Rover to pick us up. Dinner that night was at a friend's house where we enjoyed appetizers of jamon (a staple at all meals; a pig hind quarter hung for about 2 years), some kind of sea animal that grows in strings on rocks, bread, roasted peppers, followed by barbecued shrimp (whole), lamb, and sausage.

Eating outside Pepe's "small" shed

The next day was spent rabbit hunting at Mario's family ranch. It was beautiful. The house had a huge dining hall/trophy room that could seat about 200 people. The walls were lined with animals from all around the world.

One side of the trophy room

The Miguelanez family ranch

The rabbit hunting was no joke. I could tell they were hunted often. They ran so fast and did not expose themselves very often. I was able to get one, but that was it. I wasn't the only one who wasn't very successful. Everyone but Mario shot just one. Mario shot two. All the gear was very traditional with all leather pouches and beautiful wood stock shotguns.

Inijio, Pepe, Me, and my husband

It was a fun day touring his ranch and seeing a little part of Spain. We left around 2:00 and headed to Tamajon where the roe buck and wild boar hunting took place.

More to follow . . .



The drive out of Madrid was beautiful. We soon discovered that Spain looks almost identical to Utah, only scattered with random rock walls and ancient castles.

I didn't quite know what to expect with Mario?s hunting area. In my mind I pictured a ranch like in Texas with high fence. I knew he had about 19,000 acres, so I knew there was a lot of land to hunt. I was delighted to learn that it was all free range land where Mario and five others lease the hunting rights from the city officials of Tamajon. They pay a land manager who puts out corn for the wild boars and looks for the roe bucks. He was sick while we were there so we went to different spots to put out corn.

We spent three days hunting for roe bucks and wild boar. The first night I had an opportunity to shoot a roe buck as it was walking away, but decided not to shoot. Looking back I regret that decision. It was a good buck and the shot would have been fatal. As it turned out, I didn't end up with a roe buck. That night we sat on bait waiting for a boar to come in. We had a sow and piglets come in and eat, and a boar came in directly behind us about 20 yards and took off after getting our scent. These boars are very smart and take a long time coming into the bait. Any movement or scent will quickly send them to another spot to feed.

The next morning we went hiking in search of roe buck. It is worth it to note these deer are very small and spooky. The deer we did see were in the distance and running away. They had been hunted since the season opened in April.

Tamajon hunting area

We didn't have any success with the roe bucks for the first full day of hunting. That night we went back to the same bait site to try for the boar that winded us the night before. We moved our chairs to a new location and waited until 1:00 am for the boar to come in. Once he started eating and felt comfortable I took the shot. The shot felt good and I was sure he went down. Mario went to check for blood and came back with news that he saw nothing. I was a little discouraged. We decided to get his tracking dog and come back in the morning. After a restless night we went back to see what we could find. It didn't take long to see him 50 yards from where I shot him. They are ugly animals, but I was excited to see my shot was good and he was down. He was a two year old and had some growing to do.

Mario & I with my boar

It felt good to have an animal on the ground after two nights of trying. In between hunting Mario made sure we were fed well. One lunch (which is the big meal of the day in Spain) was in a neighboring town where we ate a kid goat cut in half and roasted, head, ribs, and all. It was delicious.

Neighboring town where we ate kid goat


Roe Buck Hunting

Every day in Tamajon was spent roe buck hunting and restocking the corn for that night's pig hunt. Time was winding down to when we had to leave to the chamois hunting location in the Castilla de Leon region. On the last day we split up with Brayden going with Mario and myself with Inigio. The language barrier made hunting interesting. I was pulling up Spanish from high school and was surprised with what I could remember, and also realized that it wasn?t near enough to really communicate. Inigio was great to hunt with; very friendly and happy. We both knew enough of each other?s language to keep it interesting. He owns a telecommunications company and, like Mario, is not hurting for money. You wouldn't know it though; he was very down to earth.

We started hiking in an area where the game manager had seen some bucks. There was a lot of thick brush where the bucks were and we never did see them. We did hear their ?bark? that sounds surprisingly like a dog.

Here is a clip of the roe deer bark.


Inigio then took me to his part of the hunting land to glass for bucks. It was beautiful, lush, and reminded me of home with steep hillsides and a stream flowing in the bottom. It was perfect to glass the opposite hillside and just close enough to make a shot. Unfortunately we did not glass up any bucks, but it was an enjoyable evening of hunting.


Brayden and Mario had more luck than we did. They went in the lowlands and were able to shoot a buck as it was walking away. They were not able to see blood, but knew it was a hit. They went looking up hill with no luck. Mario got Bobby out of the car and put him to work. He ran down hill and the hillside erupted with Bobby barking and the roe buck barking. Brayden and Mario ran down to where they heard the noise and Bobby had the deer pinned down. Brayden said it was impressive to see the dog at work. Mario went up to the buck and stabbed him in the chest, following Spanish tradition. He then performed another Spanish ritual where he picked some grass and put it in the deer?s mouth representing its last meal. Then more grass is rubbed in the kill site and given to the hunter representing the animal giving itself up to the hunter. It is an honorable way to recognize the sacredness of life.

Bobby & Brayden's roe buck

As I mentioned before, I didn't get a roe buck, but I was happy to get a wild boar. Being at Tamajon was so nice. The area was beautiful and it was pretty laid back and just felt comfortable. We packed up and got ready to go to San Emiliano where we would stay and hunt chamois.

We visited one of Mario?s friend?s who hunts an unbelieveable amount. This is his roe buck wall. They hunt a lot, you should see the wild boar wall!

Like I said earlier, Tamajon looks exactly like Utah


Chamois Hunting

Now comes my favorite part of the trip. I loved everything about hunting for chamois. The location was incredible. Tall white rock peaks with lush green grass covering the hillsides. We stayed in a cozy hotel in a small town called San Emeliano. We met up with Julio, our chamois guide. He is young and a chamois hunting fool. He will hunt other species, but his true love is for chamois. He is very selective and will only kill the really big ones. The day we hunted was the opening day of the season, so it promised to be a good day of hunting. We had three days to hunt, but Julio was confident we would kill in the first day.

San Emeliano Lodging

We woke early and drove out to Julio?s hunting land. As we drove higher in the mountains it became more and more beautiful with tall peaks and streams flowing in the bottom. There were meat horses and cows grazing, which oddly added to the beauty. I'm not usually a fan of cattle, but these were different and seemed to fit into their surroundings. After 30 minutes of hiking up the mountain we spotted our first chamois. Julio made quick work of his spotting scope and said there was a shooter in the group. We ran up the mountain a hundred yards to get into a better shooting position. The chamois was 200 yards facing up the mountain. I got comfortable, and still breathing hard took a shot. That was a mistake, he ran off and over the ridge into the National Preserve that we were not able to step foot onto. I felt horrible. Julio said it was a very nice ram (I'm not sure what the correct term is for the males, but the locals called them rams) that would be at least a bronze medal, possibly silver medal. I was discouraged and feared that I blew my chance for the day.

We decided to continue hiking higher up the mountain to a pass where the chamois cross over from the preserve. We continued on and after about an hour of hiking Julio spotted a lone chamois high in the rock cliffs. He observed it in the scope and got very excited. ?Mas grande, mas grande? He was bigger than the last one. To get to him we had to go down into a valley and up another mountain. We left Brayden and Mario?s girlfriend to spot for us and booked it down as fast as we could. We started up the other side and slowed toward the top so we wouldn't spook the ram. Julio peeked around a rock and he was right above us about 150 yards. I crept around the rock and set up. The shot was at an aggressive angle and felt like I was aiming straight up. It took me a while to find him in my scope, I found him looking regal on the edge of a cliff, settled in, and shot. It was a clean miss . . . again! I couldn't believe it, and neither could Mario & Julio. Julio then explained to Mario that this ram was huge. Out of the 150+ chamois on his land, there are only one or two as big as that one. Wow, what a blow to my confidence. I couldn't figure out what was going on. The shots felt good. It was getting frustrating, and not just for me.

We hiked further up the mountain and stopped for lunch and a siesta. We glassed more chamois, but didn't find a mature ram. I moved to a different glassing location and spotted a lone chamois. I called Julio over and he said it was a shooter. I set up and really took my time to make a good shot. I shot and the chamois ran straight up. The chamois are one tough species. It was shot three times and finally went down. My first shot would have put it down, but better safe than sorry. After hiking to get to a better vantage point we saw the chamois and the tough sucker was still alive. After one more shot it was finally over. Walking up to the chamois I could tell that Julio was very excited. He said it was bigger than the other two I had shot at, and that it was a female which was remarkable. I got some teasing about being lucky to have the chamois be bigger each time. Julio asked if he could hang on to the horns for a little while so he could get a replica. There were a lot of high fives, hugs, pictures, and laughs over the mishaps of the day.

Here is a video of the chamois hunt including photos.

My Chamois


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