Despite the generally poor infrastructure in France for the foreign hunter, we have a number of local outfitters who are able to offer hunts for all of France’s Chamois species.
The most common capra the World over needs little introduction. The Alpine Chamois, One of the larger of the 10 subspecies of this little goat in fact records the longest horns. His coat is generally darker, although colour variations can occur in each subspecies. Although Austria is the heart of Alpine Chamois with an estimated 130,000 animals, France comes in a close second with roughly 100,000 individuals. As France is also home to another 2 classified and arguably one more subspecies, and home to a minimum of 150,000 chamois; we feel that France is the home of the Chamois hunter in Western Europe.
The Pyrenean Chamois is endemic to the Pyrenean Mountains, running through France, Spain and Andorra. In France Pyrenean Chamois can be found in good numbers throughout the Pyrenees, from West to East. A medium sized chamois, his coloration on the bib is slightly different to that of other chamois, in that if forms a point rather than a rounded edge, and the coat tends to be a bit lighter. The biggest threat to Pyrenean Chamois is disease and in the past both France and Spain have suffered heavy losses in their Chamois populations due to disease. However the good news is that both populations are on the increase currently. Most Pyrenean Chamois shot are shot in France, so it is a highly desirable location in which to hunt.
One of the rarest of the Chamois, his range is restricted to a mixed conifer and deciduous forest at the western edge of the French Alps. He is considered as a link between the Northern Chamois and the Southern Chamois. His coat is the darkest of the chamois, sometimes reaching black. His horns generally have more girth and there tends to be a flattening on them as they curl backwards. With a habitat of only 6000ha, his numbers in 1985 were as low as 157 individuals. Due to the work of hunter conservationists, protection for the Chartreuse Chamois was introduced in, with hunting opening up again in 1990, with 2% cull plan. Once again hunting for conservation has proved successful and Chartreuse Chamois numbers were estimated to be at a healthy 2000 individuals. We can obtain, the very hard to come by, permits to hunt Chartreuse Chamois.
Currently classified as a Chartreuse Chamois by some bodies, as an Alpine by others, the debate about the classification of this subspecies rages on. Whatever your thoughts, he is a great animal to hunt, and licenses for the Vercor Chamois can be relatively easily obtained by us. We feel now is a good time to hunt this species, because once he is classified, there will be a massive increase in price.