The Ibicencan Hound (Podenco Ibicenco) is also sometimes called the Pharaoh Hound in reference to its assumed Egyptian origins. Some sources claim that any Egyptian roots have been disproved and are nothing but a myth, both historically and genetically. Well, whatever.
In Mallorca where the Podenco species is very popular and rather prolific, this dog (or should I say hound), whilst it is not an indigenous Mallorcan breed, is widely used as a hunting dog for rabbits. In a rabbit hunt with Ibicencos, no fire arms are used, no nets and nothing but a pack of hounds. The dog retrieves the live rabbit (or hare, as the case may be) to its master. Often the rabbit is not killed but put in a cage to then be relocated to another farm or forest where rabbits may have become extinct due to the rather widespread Myxomatosis disease.
Yesterday, on the occasion of the Fires de Llucmajor, the Associació Federada de Caçadors amb Cans Eivissencs organised its annual Ibicenco Dog Hunting Championship (Campionat social de caça amb cans eivissencs), and what a to-do it turned out to be. Eleven teams, all from the Llucmajor area, participated with six hounds each (a limit that is legally imposed by the Consell de Mallorca). Each team consisted of one hunter and two helpers. The teams each drove to a different finca, accompanied by a Jurador (umpire). The team that I accompanied was also followed by a local TV crew. We all went to the S’Aguila Sa Boal finca, not far from the Cabo Blanco lighthouse.
You might be interested to learn that the hunting season for rabbits starts every year at Sant Joan (June 24th) and lasts until January of the following year. This year, hunting rabbits with Ibicencos is only permitted on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The number of rabbits that are allowed to be caught per day is unlimited, whereas only three hares may be caught on any day with hounds (only two hares if hunted with rifles). All rabbits caught this year appear to be of good health which might indicate a possible end of the Myxomatosis virus that has been raging in Mallorca for almost 40 years now. Consequently, more rabbits are being caught this year than ever.
The photos were taken between Cap Blanc and Llucmajor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 6th, 2009. The time was 15:51:28, 15:36:49 and 15:55:28, respectively.