The Spanish Monteria, the queen modality of hunting in Spain
The Spanish Monteria is unique in the world and is part of the Spanish rural culture. It is the queen modality of hunting in Spain, where you can bag two or three different animals in one day. It is a driven hunt where normally at least 200 hounds beat the thickest chasing out the animals. That is why it is worth talking about it today in this post. This type of hunting raises real passions among national and international hunters. If we look at the oldest books on the history of Spain, we will discover that it is a very old hunt, it has more than 8 centuries of existence. This method of hunting is usually done in pursuit of the Spanish Red Deer although Wild Boar, Fallow Deer, Mouflon Sheep and sometimes the Wolf is hunted in the same way. This activity has changed over time and has been modernized to adapt to new eras. But even so, it still maintains almost all the complexity and essence of the original.
Do you know this beautiful modality?
The monteria in Spain is a unique and unparalleled way to hunt wild cattle. We can say that its hallmark lies in the indispensable participation of the rehalas, this characteristic is what allows differentiating it from the rest of the hunts practiced in the world. The rehala is, therefore, the true protagonist of the monteria and the symbol of it, it is the one that gives it a unique character. And it is that without rehalas can not be made monterias.
You are shooting at running game, as they are being chased by very aggressive hounds. The number of packs of hounds, as well as the place from which they are released varies in accordance with each Monteria. There are usually ten to twenty Spanish breeds (Podenco, Mastif and cross breeds between them.
In Cazatur we like to share with you our history, our great culture, our food and the exquisite wines of Spain. Consequently, we could not fail to offer you the possibility of living an exciting Spanish Monteria. Live your first monterias with us, and we assure you that you will experience unforgettable adventures. We are the pioneers of hunting and touring Spain, we have more than 35 years of experience, and we want to offer you much more than just hunting trips. Enjoy the countryside and the first rains after the long summer with our magnificent monterias.
Vibrate with the best hunting in Spain!
History of Monteria in Spain
The evolution of firearms in each era has determined the hunting modalities that are practiced over the years. It is thought that since the Middle Ages and until firearms appeared in the seventeenth century, the Spanish Monteria was very different from what is known today.
In those times the weapons that predominated were spears, and then they were bows and crossbows. Spears were more used to hunt the fiercest species, such as wild boar or bear, along with the use of horses and trail dogs. Arches and crossbows were rather used by king’s graces, nobles, clerics and officials in the hunts for more gentle deer.
The dogs were the main hunting companions of the monteros, they went with them into the mountain to look for the traces left by the bears and wild boars on their walks during the nights. When the hounds found a trail they followed him, even when it came to long distances, to locate the place of the encame. When that happened, the monteros met to decide which encame they were going to choose.
Then they traced a series of strategic steps around the encame. Sighthounds and alans broke in the encame and chased the animal until they reached it, held it until the hunters arrived on horseback to throw it. For the practice of this modality of hunting, called Spanish Monteria, it was required that hunters have knowledge of the mountain and the behavior of the animals to be hunted. In addition, it was necessary to have well-trained dogs.
In short, it is a selective hunting modality, sporty, and only suitable for the bravest. The dogs were the real protagonists of the monterias. Later, the firearms arrived and the monterias, although they retained their essence, they became less savage. Emperor Charles V was the one who allowed the use of weapons in hunting and this caused the change towards the monteria, as we know it today. The horses no longer gallop through the bush after the wild boars, and do not even carry the hunter to his post on their rump. Now, off-road vehicles flood the bushes in long caravans across rural roads.
What is the current Spanish Monteria like?
This variety of hunting with a long tradition in Spain consists of closing a certain extension of land where a number of hunters (monteros) will settle in strategic places, such as areas of passage and escape of the cattle. These stalls are raffled by the organizer of the monteria. Armed hunters are located at various points, taking into account safety first and checking that they have a reasonable firing range. These positions are drawn by the entire group of shooters that same morning after the meeting at breakfast time.
The bidders are the ones who take the hunters to these posts. When they are already in them, it is time to let go of the packs of dogs. These animals will move through the mountain, lifting the hunting pieces of their encames and directing them towards the lines where the hunters are. The goal is to hunt them down when they try to flee.
Species that are hunted in the monterias
Every year, when the month of October arrives and the first rains appear after the summer, the Spanish Monterias begin. These will take place approximately until mid-February. This method of hunting is usually performed for hunts of the Spanish red deer, but the wild boar, the fallow deer, the mouflon sheep and, sometimes, the wolf, are hunted in the same way.
Normally, it is allowed to hunt 2 or more unlimited red deer and wild boars, it can also be allowed to shoot sometimes the mouflon, and even the Iberian wolf.
Dogs, the real protagonists of the Spanish Monteria
Dogs are the real protagonists of these hunts in Spain. Without them they would not be possible, because they are in charge of lifting the species to hunt from their encames and directing them towards the posts where the hunters are so that they can shoot them.
The number of dog packs, as well as the place from which they are released, varies according to each monteria. Generally, there are usually in the Spanish Monterias of ten to twenty Spanish breeds, among them podenco, mastiff and crosses between them. The owner of the dogs will be responsible for preparing them properly so that each monteria is a success.
When hunting a wild boar, if dogs catch a large tusk, the owner or hunter of the nearest dog should finish the wild boar with a knife, never with the rifle. The reason is to avoid shooting a dog or being frightened of the noise by releasing the wild boar.
The Spanish Monteria has a long tradition in Spain and has been practiced since the thirteenth century. It consists of closing a land where the hunters will be located in strategic places with their weapons, the dogs will lift the pieces of their encames to take them to them and will proceed to shoot them in their attempt to escape.
The monterias begin in october and end in mid-February. It is a unique and unparalleled way to hunt deer, wild boar and, sometimes, mouflon and fallow deer. Their symbol of identity is the participation of dog packs, they are the real protagonists of these hunts.
The Spanish Monteria is unique!