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Home / John Stallone / Journey to The Ibex

Journey to The Ibex

October 21, 2015
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Many of you know I finally drew an Ibex tag in New Mexico’s Florida Mountains. The Florida Mountains is the only place in North America where you can hunt pure-blood free-ranging Persian (Bezoar) Ibex. Introduced from Iran in 1970 it has become one of the most sought after hunts in North America… It also boasts one of the lowest success rates and highest rate of hunter abandonment…..

“The Rock” as it is called by the locals… is a very inhospitable place, As if the steep, rugged and often deadly terrain wasn’t bad enough…. if it doesn’t sting you, bite you, poke you or make you bleed you wont find it on The Rock, everything is out to stop you here. Peterson’s Bowhunting lists it as “the most challenging bowhunt on earth”

So why?.. do you ask…  There is an unexplainable draw to the idea of matching my abilities against an adversary that has beaten so many before me and so many better than I….  I know very well that the odds are stacked against me and chances are I will not succeed but I still want to go there to do battle… not with The Rock, not with the Bezoar but with myself…. Its funny because most people almost all the people I have met that have gone to The Rock and failed… wish you “luck” in a manor that’s says more like ” I hope you fail” “I hope the rock crushes you as it did me” but I don’t care… I’m not out there to beat you.. or to prove I’m better than anyone, I’m doing it for me…

My quest for the Ibex started 12 years ago when I drew a Muzzle loader elk tag in NM, I unfortunately did not have a whole lot of time for this hunt and no one to go with me… so I found myself alone fumbling my way through a unit I had no experience in trying to locate a bull . I only had 3 days to hunt and my first 2 were fruitless to say the least…. Finally my 3rd morning I heard some bugling off in the distance and made a desperate play to close the distance. Step by step I was getting closer and closer and I could hear the bulls screaming their heads off… I could almost feel the impact of their antlers as they began to fight each other…. This was it… I was gonna make it happen I checked the wind and picked my line of attack….. Boom!!!!! and then silence….. someone had just shot the bull I was stalking, I hurried in the direction hoping to maybe get an opportunity at the other bull or at least see what had happened….. I showed up just in time to see a middle aged Gentleman walking up with a youth hunter to a great looking 6×6 bull… My anger turned to and almost joy that it was a young kid taking his first bull so I walked up to them and told them the story how I had been chasing the bugles all morning yadda yadda…

After talking for a bit I realized that these two were far off from their truck and that help was far away so I offered my services and helped them pack out this bull until I had to leave to head back home myself… Well my efforts did not go “un-paid”… The gentleman happen to be a well known guide in the area by the Name of Dennis Kauffman of Kauffman Outfitters and he was generous enough to offer me his services in return for my helping them.. ” if you ever need help on a hunt you let me know I will be there” well it turns out that I never drew another tag in NM but Dennis and I kept in contact and spoke often, and he introduced me to a good friend of his Tim Barraclough who  owns Kiowa Hunting Services Tim graciously tried  to help me put together a DIY barberry sheep hunt in NM with an OTC tag (which never panned out because I couldn’t get my friends to go with me).

So through a chance encounter  that brought me 2 new friends (both of which introduced me to the idea of hunting ibex)… I began putting in for ibex 9 years ago which has finally come to a head with my successful draw of this coveted tag in 2015…..

I feel blessed to have 2 of the most successful Ibex hunters in my corner and I have high hopes I will have a successful adventure… weather that means I get one or not… that story has yet to be written…..

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About John

John Stallone

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My Bio

John Stallone Marketing Director: The Hunting Channel Host of Days in the Wild Content coordinator: for The Outdoor Insiders Field Editor for Earned DIY journal  Facebook Twitter Instagram I am the marketing Director for The Hunting Channel, a National pro-staff shooter for Mathews, Swhacker, trufire, Sneek Tec, Bow IQ , cogburn and Gold tip as well as many more . I am a outdoor videographer and writer in the hunting industry. My program is viewed over  4million x monthly, I am a published outdoor writer and have over 4 million views on youtube and receive traffic upwards of 65 million each year on my video clips. I have completed my whitetail slam and currently working on my super slam. My TV show was voted viewer’s choice for 2014 on Carbon TV and I have been successfully producing shows for over 11 years. Here is some of my video work: Chevy :Mathews, Tenzing Swhacker Broadheads, Cogburn    Here is a sample of my Hunting Show My books: The Whitetail Hunter’s Blueprint The Secrets of Hunting Western Game  Some of my accolades:  Featured in Tom Miranda's book rut hunters  Certified Deer Steward from QDMA and Clemson University Certified Wildlife Manager from Penn Foster Master Degree from Colorado State in Rangeland Management and Ecology   Some more about me:  1981 first deer hunt 1990 first deer with a bow 1996 won first archery tournament 1998 Received a Bachelor’s of Science from Grand Canyon University 2001 Started shooting Mathews as Pro-shop field staff 2002 Became chief of Infield testing for Huntech Inc 2004 started The Hunting Channel online 2004 Published First article in Midwest Whitetails 2005 Started TV Show Days in The Wild 2006 Release 1st book The Ultimate Guide to staying Scent Free 2006 Enter # 11 pope and young by spot and stalk Antelope 2007 Started Market My Hunting Business 2007 Started THC’s Tip of The Week 2008 Released  2nd Book The Secrets of Hunting Western Game 2008 Began The Hunt Fit Program 2009 Released 3rd Book The Whitetail Hunters Blueprint 2009 Began The Hunting Channel Blog 2013 Completed Master’s of Science Rangeland Management and Ecology 2013 Was awarded  The Whitetail Slam 2013 Was featured in Tom Miranda’s book The Rut Hunters 2014 Became Field Editor for Earned Magazine 2014 -2015  Days in The Wild awarded Viewer’s Choice Carbon TV 2015 first to Harvest a Florida Mt. Ibex with a bow on film 2015 Became The Content Coordinator for The Outdoor Insiders