Until Craig Boddington’s 2006 article in Petersen’s Hunting, few if any international hunters had ever even heard of the Kri-Kri ibex. Now everyone who considers himself a mountain hunter wants to collect one. And while a Kri-Kri ibex is certainly a desirable trophy, the only two available hunting opportunities for this species have some serious caveats. One of these hunts takes place in Greece and is the one Boddington wrote about. The other is in neighboring Macedonia. Before you set off on either of these hunts, there are some things you should know about each opportunity.
For those unfamiliar with the Kri-Kri ibex, this is a species of ibex native to the island of Crete. According to some Greek myths, a Kri-Kri nanny nursed the god Zeus as an infant. For this reason, the ibex was sacred in ancient Greece. Unfortunately, the Kri-Kri has been hybridized with domestic goats in most places in Greece. Today, there are only a handful of populations that are still pure-bred Kri-Kri ibex.
Seeking to protect the Kri-Kri, the Greek government transplanted a number of ibex to two islands. One is the island of Atalanti, located east of Athens in the North Evvian Gulf of the Aegean Sea. The other is Sapienza Island, off the southwestern coast of the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Both islands are managed by the Greek government’s equivalent of the department of the interior, which oversees wildlife and national parks. The rules governing access and hunting on the islands are very strict and doggedly enforced.
Atalanti allows hunting from September through February but only on Fridays. The public is not allowed to overnight on the island. On Fridays, the island is closed off to sightseeing to allow for hunting to take place. Hunters are taken to the island from the mainland by boat. If the seas are rough, which is often the case in the Aegean and its gulfs, the boat trip is cancelled. Hunting starts at 9 am and shuts down at 3 pm. Because of the one-hunting-day restriction, Atalanti is a better destination for local hunters than international hunters.
That leaves the hunt on Sapien- za Island, which has its own restrictions. The hunting on Sapienza is open only in November, although it is allowed five days a week. However, the park rangers must be on the island during the hunts and they usually have Mondays and Thursdays off, so there is no hunting on those days. Hunters typically get four days of hunting, but that can vary depending on inclement weather. Also, the time frame allowed is 9 am to 3 pm, when the last boat leaves the island. There is no flexibility or variation from this schedule. Again, if the rangers decide the seas are too rough, the morning boat ride to the island is cancelled. There are no public facilities on the island either.....