Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)

Description and characteristics of chamois

The mountain chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is the only representative of the mountain goat in our territory, and only in two localities in the Lužické Mountains and the Jeseníky Mountains, where it really thrives and benefits, especially in terms of health.

However, its true homeland is the Alps, but it is widespread in the Tatras, the Pyrenees, the Middle East, etc.)

The mountain chamois measures around 80 cm at the withers and its length is around 120 cm. The weight of the chamois is around 40 kg. Its dimensions may vary by gender and line of chamois.

As its generic name suggests, it lives in mountainous areas, to which it is perfectly adapted. It feeds on various mountain plants at high altitudes around 2,000 m.a.s.l. Understandably, for example, in the Czech Republic it lives in completely different conditions than in the Alps or the Pyrenees.

It moves brilliantly on rocky outcrops, where it also spends most of its time.


Chamois horns

The chamois has dark horns that grow throughout its life. Both chamois and chamois have pinks. The length of the horns increases with age and usually reaches twice the length of the ears, while the twisting of the tips of the horns is much more pronounced in males than in females.


Where is the chamois found

The mountain chamois is a typical inhabitant of majestic mountains. There are several branches of chamois that are named according to their appearance (Pyrenean chamois, Alpine chamois, Tatra chamois, etc.). However, they have one thing in common. They are only found at higher altitudes, where they like to spend time on rocky outcrops. At the same time, he is also looking for food here. In the High Tatras, it is found above forest level, but when conditions are inhospitable and it lacks food, it descends lower into the forests.


Behavior of chamois

Old male chamois are loners who only come to the herds of chamois during the rut, which is from late October to November. Of course, chamois live in herds throughout the year, often together with young chamois in herds.

Estrus takes place by the males approaching the herd of chamois, for which the sows fight. The fight takes place with the chamois swinging their heads at their opponents flanks and the belly can be ripped open. It’s a show of force, won by the more dominant male who gets his juices flowing. In heat, chamois call with a murmuring voice. Outside of heat, chamois communicate with short barks.

After estrus, old chamois are separated from the herd again. Chamois also separate from the herd at the time of laying the young, and the young lay alone.

Chamois mark their territory using scent glands behind their horns.

Chamois give birth to young sometime between May and June, which are able to follow their mother on rocky outcrops after a few hours


Hunt of chamois

The best time to hunt of chamois

The season for mountain chamois hunting in the Czech Republic is from October 1 to December 31. At the same time, this is a suitable time for hunting, when the cubs are already grown.

At the same time, chamois are more active because they are in heat.

The mountain chamois is hunted mainly in the light during the day, in such a way that it is necessary to approach it at the optimal distance for hunting.


Methods of hunting chamois

Mountain chamois is quite difficult to hunt. Historically, hunting it has been a great challenge for all hunters who set out to hunt it. Not even because of the size, or the fact that the chamois would be dangerous. But simply, the chamois is found in very inaccessible terrain, which requires great physical fitness of the hunter. At the same time, the chamois is a very sharp animal, so the hunter had to make not only a great effort to approach the chamois, but also not to be detected.

It is no different these days, even though hunters have incomparable equipment. From high-end functional equipment, GPS tools, weather forecasts to the weapon itself with perfect optics and long-range ammunition.

The chamois must be sought out on rocky slopes, plateaus and within hunting distance. Many hunters shoot chamois at more than 300 meters, which at the very least requires marksmanship and emphasizes the accuracy of the hunting rifle.

But it doesn’t end there. At the moment of successful chamois hunting, it is necessary to go for it and carry it to the valley or to the hunting camp. Many hunters hunt from one cliff face across the valley to the other cliff face. So, if he wants to go for a chamois, he has to get from one place to another while climbing down one mountain/rock and crossing a valley and climbing again on the opposite side. Take the chamois on your back and complete the entire route once more.

All this does not change the fact that this is exactly what many adventurers are still looking for, and a successful chamois hunt is a wonderful thing in itself, and if you add to that the beautiful environment of the mountains with solitude, it is one of the nicest hunting moments ever.


What I need to hunt of chamois

As already written above. Somewhat laughably, the hunter’s physique is the most important. Without a good physique, it doesn’t even make sense to think about hunting in the mountain tops. It’s a big risk.

In terms of technical equipment, it is important to have good clothing, spotting scopes for good reading of the game and a rifle tuned for hunting at long distances and more than 300 meters.

Chamois can be hunted, for example, with ordinary calibers of the 7 mm range.


Trophy of chamois

The chamois is a very photogenic animal. Most hunters value the trophy so much that they have the chamois head and chest dissected.

The standard trophy is chamois horns, which are graded by the CIC method and awarded medals.

For hunters, the so-called chamois beard, which is the extended hair on the back, has unprecedented trophy value. They are made into decorative brushes for hunting hats, where the hunter shows off his successful hunt.

Last but not least, chamois have a bezoar ball found in their stomach.


Venison from chamois

Chamois meat can be tasty, but it can also have a strong smell and be greasy to tough. It all depends on how old the piece of meat is. another aspect of the role, whether it is female or male.

Chamois meat is very dark, tends to be greasy and can be smelled with a stick, especially during chamois estrus.

There are a number of recipes and marinades to mitigate this aroma, but meat is not for everyone.

Older pieces are usually made into sausages. Roasts can be prepared from young pieces, which must be pickled for at least a week.


We hope you found this article useful!

Your Huntastic Team


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