Dream hunt: hunting chamois in Slovenia

Renato Brodar lives in Slovenske Konjice (Štajerska region) close to the Pohorje hills. His favourite type of hunting is going up into the mountains to hunt chamois. When we met him he told us with all his enthusiasm: “I love stalking, the views, and to spend days in peaceful and mighty mountains, sometimes we hunt because of the places it takes us. I also like shooting longer distances. I like that you have to 'earn' your chamois. On Pohorje you can shoot a chamois and drag it 50 meters to your car and drive back home. In mountains, you have to carry it down on your back and it can mean all day of carrying it in some cases.”

Slovenia – why it’s a perfect place to go hunting?

Slovenian Alps
The Slovenian Alps.

Slovenia is a small country, you can drive thought it in 3 hours, the land is green and the hills are covered in forests, with hot summers, colourful autumns and snowy winters. Slovenske Konjice, is a small town, it sits under the Pohorje hills (highest peak is 1.543 m). The Julian, Karavanke and Kamnik-Savinja Alps (highest mountains in Slovenia, Mount Triglav rises to 2,864m) are a 100km drive from Slovenske Konjice. To make it short: nature at its best and perfect place for wild game.

Roe deer thrive in all areas of Slovenia, in the forests of Pohorje there are red deer, and numerous wild boar. In the valleys around Pohorje you can also hunt pheasant, hare and foxes, and a little further out you can find Mouflon. Chamois also live in the forest but Renato’s favourite are the chamois in the mountains where they live in packs. The harsh terrain makes the hunt very challenging as the cover is limited and the animals easily pick up on movement, and any scent. Chamois hunting season in Slovenia is from 1st August – 31st December.

Passion for hunting – why hunting is Renato’s lifestyle

Meeting a passionate hunter is always a very special experience. We asked Renato about his motivation to become a hunter and what’s the fascination for him. Here is what he told us:  “If you become a hunter, you are affected by it on every step: how you spend holidays, what type of clothes you wear, what type of car you drive, how you want to spend your free time. Eventually, hunting becomes a lifestyle because everything else in your life becomes affected by it. The more you discover, experience, and learn about hunting, the closer it gets to you and eventually on one day you realise, this is who I am.”

Renato Brodar hunting on Gradiška Tura (Nanos). 
Renato Brodar hunting on Gradiška Tura (Nanos).
Hunter with a chamois on Pohorje. 
A chamois on Pohorje.

Renato’s favourite hunting place in Slovenia

To find the mountainous landscape Renato loves, he drives 100 km or more away Kamniško-Savinjske Alpe, Karavanke, Julijske Alpe (Julian Alps- favourite peak is Jalovec), and Nanos, to hunt Chamois in November and December, he also welcomes the snow. Renato leaves his car in the valley, and travels on foot to a hunting cabin in the mountains, and stays there until dawn. 

Hunter taking a shot in Gradiška Tura
Renato taking a shot in Gradiška Tura (Nanos).

He explained us some details about his perfect day for hunting: “You start your day with a coffee and small breakfast, pack up your gear, and the adventure begins! Hiking all day (sometimes for one day, sometimes all weekend), observing and spotting animals, predicting weather, crossing rivers, paths, peaks, choosing the right animal and eventually – if everything goes according to plan and you are lucky enough – taking a shot. This is the first part of the hunt. The other half is going back to valley with your prey. This can mean hours of carrying: rifle, riflescope, spotting scope, binoculars, clothes, knife, lamp, tea, additional clothes, rope (sometimes climbing rope), rangefinder, backpack, first aid kit, and Chamois! When you go back to the valley, you really believe that you deserved your animal and you learn respect: respect the mountains, respect the effort, respect animals, respect nature and eventually respect yourself.”

Shooting distance in this area is usually between 100 and 350 meters in the Slovenian Mountains, but most are taken between 150 and 250 meters to grant a safe and huntsman like shot.

Renato’s preferred firearms, ammo and accessories for hunting

Renato’s equipment gives him the confidence, his rifle choice is lightweight and ideally suited for climbing mountains in pursuit of his quarry, Kipplauf has been called the ultimate hunter’s rifle because of the accuracy and portability: “I love my Kipplauf, a single short rifle, popular in Austrian Alps and in Germany for stalking. I use a Merkel K3 Extreme in .308 Win with Innomount, a KAHLES CSX 2.5-10x50 riflescpoe or ZEISS Classic Diavary 2.5-10x50 M with ASV ballistic turret, the classic binoculars SWAROVSKI Habicht 7x42 GA (allrounder), a modern laser rangefinder LEICA Rangemaster CRF 1000 R and the spotting scope ZEISS Dialyt 18-45x65.”  Renato also hunts with bolt-action rifle, a Rössler Titan 6 Luxus in caliber 6.5x55 SE, and shoots a Beretta shotgun for small game.

Renato’s personal Dream Hunt

For us, Renato’s home, Slovenia is a great place to go hunting. But we wanted to know, what is his Dream Hunt?  Renato thought for a while, and then shared his dream hunt: “I truly love hunting chamois in the Alps, but okay, it is Marco Polo sheep in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan or maybe a mountain goat in Rocky Mountains on the other side of the world. I choose Marco Polo sheep in Kyrgyzstan / Tajikistan because of the harsh environment: cold weather, high altitude, rocky terrain. It is truly a test of your will and your body, and you have to put in a lot of effort to win the prize. You are one with nature, going back to your roots, hunting with horses (riding for several days), sleeping in a tent, and stalking animals for several days. I love to test myself, get to know my limits and push myself beyond them to achieve the goal.”

Renato Brodar hunting chamois in the Slovenian Alps
Nanos - Renato's first chamois.
Renato Brodar hunting chamois in the Slovenian Alps
Nanos - Renato's first chamois.

Who is our author Linda Mellor?

Linda Mellor is one of Scotland’s foremost shooting, fishing and hunting female writers and photographers. She is the product Ambassador for Venator Pro, a premier hunting company and stockist of the European brand Hillman. With a lifetime of countryside experience, Linda’s passion, enthusiasm and respect for the outdoors and hunting is explored and shared across her writing and photography. 

For more information on Linda Mellor, please visit Linda Mellor's website, Twitter (LindaMellor) and instagram (linda_mellor).

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