VELEBIT

CHAPTER: VELEBIT

  For many years, Velebit was just an obstacle for me to cross in order to reach the Adriatic Sea for holidays. While my parents drove me by car – Velebit was synonymous with the painful ascent and descent full of big turns often accompanied by a feeling of nausea. Now after hunting on Velebit, I can’t wait to get back to Velebit! The harsh mountain and harsh landscape hides the wealth of wildlife, beautiful landscape and unique views.

               The goal was Chamois. We arrive at Gospic, settle into a hotel and the hunt starts in the morning. We’ve been together for a few days now and Chamois is the last in the list. The weather forecast  is rain, but the guide says the weather forecast means nothing in the mountain. Morning signifies movement up to the mountain. We packed up our gear and started. The very ambience after leaving the vehicle indicated that this hunt would be something different. Collision of the worlds – Mediterranean / Mountain / Continental. “How many chamois are there,” followed inquiry after about fifteen minutes’ walk, “the guide has no equipment,” followed statement. Along the way, we see a lot of roe deer, rock partridge  and fresh bear droppings “Hmmmm”. We walk through incredible monuments of nature, momentarily look at the sea, momentarily look at the continent.

             At one point, we see a Chamois male at a distance of about 600 m. Sunbathing, resting and controlling the females in the mountains. “There it is,” I say, “Yeah,” we need to get closer, says the hunter. We are now at 300 m “I’m not sure, let’s go closer”. But it does not go any closer – there is a path, but it needs to be climbed by sharp rocks, we go back, I say – we will try as it is. We come to a shootable location. The hunter sets in, and we wait for the shot and watch with the binoculars respond  reaction of the male after the shot. “What is the strength of the trophy,” the hunter question followed, looking at me, I nodded my head significantly. A shot follows, nothing, the male still stands. The second shot, the male disappears under a rock. I think it’s okay, let’s go, guide and I will take a look and the hunter will wait. The ascent to the chamois was difficult, dangerous and long – we climbed for almost 40 minutes. The guide finds Chamois at the very moment  when the hunter has visibly lost her patience and started to follows us up in to the mountain. I send the picture to the hunter, “It looks good, very good,” the hunter replies. We descend and we also brought the Chamois down. The hunter is pleased, – the shot list is full – it’s over!

                    Last glance at the sea and the island of Pag. I’m leaving with thoughts of going back!