Macedonia: Balkan Chamois

3 Hunting Days
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The mysterious & rugged Mountains of Macedonia might offer some of the finest Chamois hunting on the planet! Incredible population densities, breathtaking scenery, with warm hospitable staff complete this all-inclusive mountain adventure

TRIP DURATION  3 full 1×1 guided hunting days
PHYSICAL LEVEL Medium
PRIME TIME August – end of December. Rut occurs in November
WILDLIFE STATUS Wild, Free-ranging & Indigenous

Package Highlights

In one of Europe’s far corners is a free-range Chamois hunt that many would rank as arguably the best out there. Living in this region of the Suva-Planina mountains is a thriving population of Balkan chamois that rivals any other. Hunts are scenic, and while challenging, not overly brutal, making them very rewarding. With a long season, Balkan Chamois can be hunted from the beginning of September to the end of December, with the rut occurring in November.

At 3 all-inclusive hunting days and nights, these Chamois packages are not lengthy yet boast near 100% success rates year after year. Hunters are welcome to add any additional days if desired, but not usually necessary. Game management is strict and meticulous, and these Chamois are harvested on a quota basis per unit to ensure excellent genetics, sustainability, and trophy quality. Most hunters can usually add a second Chamois (permit depending) to their hunt if desired for a fairly priced flat-rate trophy fee, only due upon success. While not always available, the region also boasts a healthy Red Stag and Wild Boar population, that can occasionally be combined with on a Chamois hunt.

What resonates long after a hunter returns home is not only the incredible views or Chamois numbers seen but the warm hospitality of the hosts and guides/stalkers. As well as the incredibly fresh, local and traditional cuisine, wines, beers, and liquors. An exciting and memorable mountain hunting adventure, often best experienced with a fellow hunting partner or non-hunting observer, with lots to see or do while already in Europe.

Typical Day & Tactics

Wake up before light, enjoy a quick breakfast, and arrive at the trailhead ready to begin hiking right around dawn. Start by ascending through the timber using bench cut walking trails, arriving to strategic vantage points, often above the tree line, and begin glassing strategic areas.

Look for Chamois feeding along vegetated slopes and draws, or traveling along canyons walls or mountain ridges. Should conditions be normal, quite quickly the sheer number of Chamois here will impress even the most seasoned mountain hunters. Continue locating and judging Chamois throughout the day, often stopping for lunch in a good glassing overlook. The local stalkers are very knowledgeable and know these mountains intimately stemming from decades of experience. They are also very intuitive to the resident chamois populations’ daily or annual movements. This holds true for Red Stag and Wild Boar as well.

As the season progresses, visibility dictates the main hunting strategy. Should visibility be good, more time is spent glassing. In times of poorer visibility due to low lying clouds or fog, efforts can be better spent covering more ground on foot to find Chamois. Each evening, begin heading down with plans to arrive back at the truck ideally just before dusk. It’s then just a short ride home to dinner and cocktails.

Once a shooter chammy is located, the stalker assesses the best route for a concealed approach into shooting range. Typical shots are usually under 250 meters for meaningful and ethical opportunities. Once back at the lodge, the chamois are hung, caped, and butchered, with some of the meat finding itself into the kitchen and enjoyed in camp! The capes are prepared and delivered to a taxidermist, while skulls are cleaned immediately on location. Once the hunt has concluded, hunters are shuttled back to the airport in Skopje to catch their flights home or to continue traveling or hunting across Europe.

Meals & Accommodations

Stay in a historic old stone manor home directly in the mountainous hunting area. Nestled in a small valley, chamois can be hunted along the various rugged slopes just around the lodge, usually only a 5-15-minute drive to a trailhead. Enjoy spacious common areas, separate private bedrooms, Wi-Fi, and an outdoor fire pit with verandas overlooking the valley and surrounding mountains. The guides stay in a separate building next door, and so are always nearby or available. The lodge’s personal abattoir is also onsite, so hunters can be a part of the complete process.

Enjoy three hearty traditional meals daily, with all the ingredients fresh and local. Breakfast consists of a typical European spread. Fried eggs, thick cured bacon, sliced tomatoes, local cheese and toast, coffee, tea, or freshly squeezed fruit juices. Lunches are usually sandwiches and fruit, packed and brought out in the field. Fresh bread, local cheeses, smoked or cure meats, complete with local orchard fruits.

Most dinners start with soup. Main courses range from fresh lamb chops, whole grilled fish, or local game meat such as Wild Boar stews, or grilled Red stag or Chamois medallions, served with a side of potatoes or rice and salads. Emphasis is also placed on local, handmade desserts. Popular items being various cakes, desert crepes, mousse and custards, accompanied with fresh fruit.

Landscape & Climate

Situated in the Balkan region between the Adriatic and Aegean seas, Macedonia is a small landlocked country, that shares borders with Greece, Albania, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Home for these Chamois are the Suva-Planina mountains, which are as beautiful as they are rugged. Descending into the tree line, and enter the mixed forests of poplar and ash, as well as endemic stands of Macedonian Oak and Pine. The region is rich in flora as well as fauna, with other species such as Eurasian Jays, Otters, and Brown Bear, Balkan Lynx, Wolves, Golden Jackals, Red Stag, and Wild Boars residing here also.

Macedonia has four distinct seasons. Chamois are hunted in the fall with the hunting season spanning from August to the end of December. Early season is generally green and warm but cooler overnight and, in the mornings, especially at higher altitudes. During the midseason November rut, light dustings of snow can become expected in the higher country. Late season in December can be cool to slightly below freezing overnight, with a thin blanket of snow and occasional fog.

Key Equipment Suggestions

This hunt only requires basic but appropriate mountain hunting equipment. A good lightweight, weather-resistant layered clothing system, day pack, 10x binoculars, rangefinder, quality, broken-in, rigid hiking boots, rain gear, sunglasses, trekking pole(s), or a light spotting scope if desired, European double-adaptor, and a digital camera covers the essentials. Hunter orange not required.

Pricing 

Flat Rate Trophy Balkan Chamois Hunts: 3 full days – 1×1 guided – x1 Chamois – Aug-Dec = $4200

Additional Trophy Balkan Chamois (if extra permits available): No Size Restrictions = $2800

Included

  • Round trip airport pick-up and drop-off services in Skopje
  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • All permits, licensing, and trophy fees for x1 Balkan Chamois with no size restrictions
  • 1×1 professional guiding with experienced local mountain stalkers
  • All ground transportation while hunting
  • Bonus European skull cleaning, scoring & hide preparations for the taxidermist
  • Delivery of trophies to the taxidermist/shipping agent

Not Included

  • Travel to the destination city of Skopje, Macedonia.
  • Any pre or post-hunt meals or accommodations
  • Trophy fees for any additional game animals harvested
  • Rifle rental for the duration of the hunt & ammunition (50 euro/day)
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • Taxidermy and trophy export
  • Personal side ventures or tourism
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: $350/day
  • Non-hunting observer days: $250/day

Trophy fees costs for additional game species;

  • Second Balkan Chamois (Permit Dependent) No size Restrictions = $2800
  • Red Stag (Sliding Scale trophy-fees only) = priced by size/medal class categories
  • Wild Boar (Sliding Scale trophy-fees only) = priced by size/tusk length

Destination City

Hunters are asked to arrive at the International Airport in Skopje, Macedonia, where they will be greeted by the outfitter or his staff and shuttled to the lodge in the mountains. The Chamois hunting areas are roughly 2-3 hour’s drive south and west of the airport.

Travel Suggestions

Skopje is best reached through various European airlines, with the best connections typically occurring either in Vienna, Austria, or Istanbul Turkey.

Airport Shuttles

Round trip airport shuttles between the hunting areas are available and already included with every package

Special Info

Passport required for all international travel. Visa’s or Immunizations may be required for certain destinations.

Cole – Wyoming, USA

Hi, my name is Cole. I grew up hunting the western United States, but over the last five years have begun to hunt internationally. I have hunted Europe several times now, and this is my second European chamois hunt that Adrian helped me arrange.

This Balkan Chamois hunt in Macedonia was easily one of the best European mountain hunts I have done thus far. The guides went above and beyond during our late season hunt, despite conditions being less than ideal. We saw large numbers of chamois and multiple shooters. I ended the hunt with a medal class billy!

The process of coordinating and communicating with the outfitter was easy and straight forward. Adrian also provided a detailed trip summary which answered nearly every one of my questions before I even needed to ask them. For anyone seeking a great free-range European mountain hunt in a target-rich environment and amazingly beautiful country – this one should be at the top of their list. Thanks again Adrian and Taiga!