Hi Guys, i've not had time to post for a couple of weeks. I recently went on our annual family vacation. We flew off to Mallorca (Spain). Home of our LHR friend Älg. It was great finaly to meet Jaime (aka Älg) he is an absolute gentleman, keen hunter and has access to some hunting over some absolutely breath taking terrain. Along the the snorkeling kit, beach ball, bucket and spade etc i was packing my 30-06. Big game hunting isn't exactly what comes to mind when one thinks of a trip to Mallorca.. but with the wife and kids settled on the beach or at the hotel pool, i stole away for a few hours and Älg and i went hunting.. The first problem i had was the fact that the airport security on the German side didn't have a clue about what regulations to follow with regards to flying with ammo. hence i arrived in mallorca minus the 40 rounds i had packed. Älg bent over backwards and scoured the island to find a source of 30-06 ammo. unfortunately no Hornady (favourite load of my 30-06 and trajectory tested every 25m out to 800m +) but he managed to drum up 14 rounds of Norma factory stuff, with 150gr ballistic tips, my rifle bieng set up for heavier bullets, doesn't particularly like the lighter 150 grainers, but hey, beggars can't be choosers right. A quick trip to the range confirmed the nessecary adjustment to zero and that the Norma stuff shot into about 1.5" at 100m, good enough for hunting it would have to be. we compared the trajectory chart for the Norma on Älgs lap top to my proven data for my ammo, it was near enough out to maybe 450m and then the bullet paths drifted apart. Time bieng short, and ammo supply even shorter, (9 rounds left after using 3 to chech zero and 2 to check adjustmenst made) i figured i would just make do.
Off we went to the mountains.. parking the 4x4 just off a mountain track. We climbed on to the top of a volcanic boulder to give us a good glassing possition up the mountain side. It was still very hot ( i think the top temp during these couple of days reached 40 Celsius) any sensible wild goat was still hiding in any shade it could find, after all, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out (hunting) in the mid day sun !! ok it was late afternoon, like i said,, and i guess Älg is just as mad as i am about hunting, so he qualifies for the funny farm as much as me.
Älg had a better plan. we wouldn't waste time here, but get around the other side of the next mountain( the highest on the island), the next but one mountain would cast shadow once the sun went behind the peak and that would cool things off enough to encourage some goat movement.
Taking the 4x4 back through the pass, we set of on foot again near what looked like an abandoned farmstead. We caught a female with a couple of kids out in the open, but carried on up the mountain to find a good vantage point and start looking for a decent buck (or billy). We got into a good possition over looking 2 mountain sides and the pass or valley in between. We where perched on top of a cliff at the end of a valley of gorge( we where maybe 1300m or so above sea level) that dropped rapidly down to the sea, about half way down there was a plataue of sorts with a couple of fields in the centre.
We began hearing goaty bleatings and not long after we caught sight of a decent sized mature male goat, browsing its was up the mountain side to our left. We watched it through the binoculars and took a closer look through my 4-16x50 S&B scope. The goat was certainly suitable. only to far away for my liking, given the non tested ammo i was using. We ranged to goat at something around 560m, Älgs leica rangemaster and my geovid BRF giving the same readings. We then saw a couple more goats emerging from the shade of the brush in the valley floor. Deciding we should take the male, who was by now heading up but away over the mountain side. we dropped back from the cliff edge to avoid skylining our selves, and moved to get into a better possition and hopefully a bit nearer. finding a decent possition to shoot from, right on the cliff edge, at least a vertical 100m drop below us, so no chance to stalk any nearer. But we had lost the goat. a few minutes frantic glassing and i cought sight of him, he was grazing up reentrant and i could just catch glimpses of his antlers of horns. he finaly emerged out of the tope of the gulley and continued to browse between the boulders and brush. I got into a comfortable shooting possition ( comfortable is a joke, between rock formed from larva, thats as jagged as heck, grass thats razor sharp and cuts you to bits and nasty little thistles that spike you in the most awkward of places, this is certainly some of the most challenging terrain i have ever shot over).Älg counted down the range as the goat moved up the mountain side, 416m 410m when the goat reached 400m he presented a nice broadside shot so i took the oppertunity and fired. I lost the goat monentarily in the recoil and Älg said " i think you hit him) the goat ran a few meters and stopped, looking defiantly up at our cliff. He didn't look to be injured at all to me, until he turned and i could then see the entry wound dripping blood onto the grey rock. I fired again, hitting just slightly further back from the first shot. The first bieng in the heart lungs area, slightly rearward, the second certainly taking out the liver and rear end of the lungs.. But the tough ole boy still stood. I fired again, this time into his kneck and that dropped him. He fell a couple of meters and ended up lodged behind a boulder among some shale. He was basicaly dead after the first shot, but i was realy surprised just how tough these mature male goats are and in terrain like this, if you don't drop em, they tend to do a lemming impression and dive straight off a cliff. which looks realy spectacular, but tends to ruin any trophy when they hit the deck.
We made the treck out to the goat, some carefull climbing and trying not to slide all the way down the shale. I was absolutely thrilled to bits with the hunt and with the trophy, a fanastic experience. We removed the gead from the goat, and cut him open to make it easier for the vultures to devour him. Unfortunately the meat from the mature goats is all but unusable, The local hunters only eat the younger goats. Also the rut was on, and this goat realy did stink.
We walked climbed and decended back to the 4x4, pausing to enjoy a fantastic sun set over the mountains. Thirsty and hungry after a successfull hunt, luckily Älg has some rations in the coolbox, some tasty traditional Mallorcan sausage meat and thick crusty bread, washed down with a very welcome cold coke.
A few days later I met up with Älg again, this time one of his hunting buddies was with us and we visited a different area of the mountains. We had hardly entered the area when we spotted goats, quickly debussing from the 4x4, we spotted a shootable goat about 300m up a steep mountain side. I got my back agains an olive tree and with the harris bipod on full extension i couldn't get the angle to make a shot, I had to get my body into a dry river bed and have the rifle up over the bank to enable any chance of shooting from a good possition. I read of the angle adjustment from the angle cosine indicator. the red line settled on the 78 and that meant an adjustement from the actual 300m range down to 225 ish to compensate for the angle, This goat dropped with 1 shot, but he was no where near as big as the last one. We climbed, and i realy mean climbed up to where the goat was, and once there we spotted more goats, several groups at variouse distances across the side of the mountain. We got tempted by a good buck at over 850m and i chanced a shot. But not knowing for definate where i would hit at that range, it was basicaly a wasted shot. Unless you count that fact that the sound of the rifle echoed back of the mountain, confusing the goats as to where the shot came from, which caused them to move towards us. We cought sight of a good shootable buck making his way along a narrow game trail. He eventualy stopped, hight up above us at about 400m, presenting a frontal chest shot. I adjusted the scope accordingly and took the shot. The goat took 1 step forward at the shot and dived of the ledge just as a cliff diver does into the sea, it was pretty amaizing to watch, but ruined a decent trophy, still.. a spectacular experience. We then spotted more goats above and to our rear. Älg took a nice shot on a male at 300m ish and the goat took a few steps into a bush before expiring.
Deciding we had created enough comotion in this area, we gathered up and made back down the mountain, this involved some pretty precariouse climbing in some places, not all that easy with a hand full of goat head. We moved to another area. Specatularly beautifull, one of the nicest places i ever hunted. We proceeded to take a couple of females before it was time to call it a day.
2 short hunts, but full of great experiences, beautifull country and first class hunting friends.
I'd like to thank Älg / Jaime for all his help, kindness hospitality and friendship, he bent over backwards to make my trip something realy special and certainly one to remember. We also managed to get in some socailising taking the ladies and kids out for a very nice meal. I will certainly return the favour either in germany or Scotland and can't wait for my next trip to Mallorca,, if they will have me back !!