In 1976, 17-year-old de Araoz’s career was launched when he was asked to guide clients who were among the first foreign hunters to experience Spanish ibex quality trophy hunting. He proudly states that Cazatur “pioneered trophy hunting in Spain,” and “set the quality standards followed by Spanish outfitters.” For 37 years, de Araoz has personally guided hunters and confidently expects to continue his chosen career for many more decades.
De Araoz guides for big game trophies species found in Spain: ibex, chamois, Spanish red deer, Iberian mouflon sheep, European fallow deer, roe deer, Barbary sheep, wild boar, Iberian wolf and the newly accepted big game species in Spain, Balearian bok. From the Pyrenees in the North, to the Cantabrian Mountains in the west, de Araoz pursues chamois. In the North Eastern Mountains in Beceite he hunt for ibex, and in the arid mountains of the eastern coast he looks for Barbary and mouflon sheep. South to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Granada, de Araoz hunts southeastern ibex, which he also hunts in Ronda to the west. In the central rolling hills in the vicinity of Toledo, de Araoz hunts other game animals such as red deer, fallow deer, roe deer and wild boar. Farther north and west in the Sierra de Gredos, he hunts the magnificent “Macho Montes,” the Spanish ibex.
Among de Araoz’s most memorable hunts, he recounts, “…when I guided a hunter looking for Spanish ibex and mouflon sheep in Spain. He had an accident when he was a young boy and it left him completely blind. He developed a very special scope and mounts to be able to continue hunting. With him pulling the trigger while I aimed this specially designed scope, he successfully collected both trophies, with Gold and Silver medal quality.”
De Araoz describes other services he offers, “For non-hunting companions, I arrange a ‘Huntour’ of Toledo and historical sites. I also arrange sightseeing tours throughout Spain and sometimes in Europe or in Morocco. On my safari consultancy side of the company, every year I arrange a number of photographic safaris to Africa, mainly in Tanzania, but also in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.”
From 1988 to 2011, de Araoz was president of the Spain Chapter of SCI. Currently, he is president of the International Professional Hunters Association, which is active at the biennial CITES Convention as the only professional hunter association holding the right to have a Convention seat.
In 2010, de Araoz was recognized as the SCI Outstanding International Professional Hunter. For 20 years, Cazatur has exhibited at the annual convention. Their donated hunts have generated more than $100,000 for SCI. Cazatur is also one of the most active record book measurers.