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Evaluations : Patrick Gordon
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Video Evaluation: Bogner's Passport To Europe
By Patrick Gordon
Sep 20, 2006, 00:31

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You guessed it!  Gary Bogner is at it again and this time he's hunting Spain for the "Grand Slam" of Spanish Ibex.

    I would say a good pair of boots is what it took to hunt for Ibex in Spain.  Hunting Ibex took Gary through some of the roughest mountain terrain you could ask for.  Each hunt presented its own challenges, but hard work and determination brought him to the end results.  Not only did Gary learn about 7 new animals, their habitats, food sources and ages, but he also learned the value of a walking stick and good boots.

    Gary, with his guide Giusseppe Carrizosa of Great Spanish Hunts set out to take the Grand Slam of Spanish Ibex.  Each Ibex is hunted on steep mountain slopes and rocky terrain with the spot and stalk method, much like an antelope hunt in the Western United States.  The animals can see for miles and there is little besides a rock or two to hide behind, so the hunt takes Gary and his guides over miles of steep, rough, open ground.  Gary takes his first Ibex high in the Gredos Mountains west of Madrid.  It is a hard earned trophy as Gary had quite a climb with some slips and falls before felling his trophy.  There's nothing like a bruise and some sore muscles after a good hunt.  He then takes a Ronda Ibex along the Mediterranean coast, but the shot happened so quickly, it didn't make it to film.  His third Ibex was hiding in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and proved to be a wary adversary until a hint of luck and great planning pay off.  The Beceites Ibex is the final Ibex in the Grand Slam.  It is found in the Beceites Mountains and the scenery is beyond beautiful.  All these beautiful Ibex were taken with his Hoyt bow and XP Pro expandable broadheads and most of the shots were nothing less than spectacular. 

    Just before his final Ibex, Gary and Giusseppe take a few days to hunt some of the other game animals of Spain.  Watch as he takes a European Wild Boar with one shot using an expandable broadhead, baits the Mouflon Sheep from an elevated blind, and my favorite, the Red Stag. 

     The rut was over during his stag hunt and his guide Giusseppe had told him they would need every trick in the book to take one.  After a failed attempt at hunting from a ground blind, they moved to a new position and Gary waited as the guides tried to drive the bucks his way.  This too resulted in failure which we can all relate to.  Finally, they drove the road until they spotted a herd and put a sneak on them a Marine Sniper would have been proud of, ultimately resulting in a very badly placed arrow.  The stag was hit way back in his hind quarters, but after trailing him a short distance, Gary finishes the job with a second arrow….this one to the neck.  I liked this hunt for two reasons.  It showed the failure of a few attempts before ending in a hard earned reward and it showed that like many of us, Gary can make a poor shot as well.  

What did I think of this video?  Of course I loved it.  Without a video like this, I would never have a chance to experience the hunts that Gary Bogner enjoys.  As a full time firefighter, chances are that I'll never be able to afford a hunt in the Beceites Mountains of Spain with the Royal Games Keepers as guides or dine on rich Spanish hams in exclusive villas throughout the country, but I sure can enjoy watching someone else do it.  Gary's videos are always well put together and you have to respect his hunting practices.  Gary's number one rule for the hunt is to take older mature animals that are out of the breeding age range.  Herd management and hunting ethics at their finest in my opinion.  The only thing that I found wrong with this particular DVD is that the camera work could have been much better in places.  We miss his shot on one of the Ibex and then his camera person shoots them telling us about it directly into the sun.  We can't see the Ibex or the faces of Gary and his guide as they relate the story to us.

Rating:  3.5 of 5

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