small ground nesting owls wait patiently for the dove to fall out of the sky
I carry two cell phones, one for the United States and one for Argentina as I have yet to find a provider anywhere that offers reasonable rates and seamless number options in either country. When I am home in Mississippi I use one and when I am home in Argentina I use the other, I have another one for European travel, but that is a story for another day. I regularly check the voice mail no matter what continent I am on and the other day I had several viscous messages from a clear nut job in reference to our photo gallery at Argoshunts.com. Their comments ranged from suggesting I needed to be shot to several other colorful and vivid suggestions of where and what to do with myself, so it occurred to me that perhaps actual educated hunters might view our site and think what are they thinking with all these piles of birds, surely this is a waste.
Anyone that has ever hunted with us or any other Argentine dove outfitter worth a hoot has seen the unprecedented abundance of the Golden Eared Dove, Zenaida Auriculata or as some locals call them Palomas Doradas. They number in the legions in central Argentina and for years have been the bane of the local farmers large and small. It is a slow day at the office for our local doves to only decimate a fraction of a grain field. It is normal for farmers to lose a fourth of their crop or more. With the most recent esitmate of over 32 million doves in a small geographic area it is no wonder that it is a wing shooting paradise. Add to this the fact that they rarely migrate ,nest 4 to 5 times a year and the discussion of conservation and survival shifts rapidly from fowl to farmer.
I get that images of piles of birds can be off putting to some but the survival of the fittest in this case is an actual issue for the humans. Dependent on grain crops for their economic survival with no defense against the torrent of swooping doves from sunrise to sundown 365 days a year other than the small groups of hunters that come to try to damp down the ever growing population. The birds we take don’t go to waste, they are on our menu at the lodge and the tables of our staff, local schools and churches benefit as well. This is not a wealthy area and no one wastes anything.
Pigeons are equal pests and much harder to hit!
With that little rant out of the way for another year we intend to happily continue firing away at the doves and pigeons that blacken the sky in Santiago del Estero. If you understand conservation and would like to help our cause please join us at Argos Hunts. Oh, and there has also been a sharp increase in the health and welfare of all predator birds in our area as they sit and wait for their daily meals to fall from the sky!
I have been doing sporting and hunting shows for years and there is no doubt that the National Wild Turkey Federation show in Nashville this past weekend was the best I have ever attended. The doors opened on Friday afternoon and from that moment until they closed on Sunday our booth was covered up with folks that were looking for something special for this year or next and we seemed to possess the magic ticket – the Argentina Mixed Bag hunt we offer.
This combination hunt offers unlimited dove, unlimited pigeon, great duck hunting and our ground nesting Perdiz all from our lodge in Santiago del Estero. The attraction of being able to get up in the morning and take 40 to 60 ducks and then hit the dove and pigeon in the afternoon seems to have been too good to pass up. I went to Nashville hoping to fill out some available dates for the 2013 season and came away having almost completely booked the year along with covering most of next years mixed bag season.
The added options of adding Red Stag or some of our other large game options seemed to be the icing on the cake and the flexibility we offer to customize your hunt pretty much any way you would like seemed to set us apart. We didn’t do anything we haven’t always done but this year I guess the stars just aligned and the huge crowds ( I lost my voice by the end of each day!) knew what they wanted and they had come to Nashville to find it. I have been in the same booth at this show for years sharing the aisle with some other great outfitters from Kansas and Alaska and we were all just stunned at the turnout and the business we were doing.
So hats off to the National Wild Turkey Federation and whatever you did this year I hope you plan to do it again next year. We will be, as always, in booth 851 again and looking forward to seeing more new friends and all of our old ones. For more on our hunts please visit us @argoshunts.com.
We are packing up and heading to Nashville this week for the National Wild Turkey Federation convention and show and we hope you will all come by and see us if you are there. We are in booth 851 as we always are and are offering a great show special for our Argentina Dove hunt. $1995 for 4 nights and 5 days with 1000 shells, hunting license, all ground transportation, all meals and beverages including open bar and great rooms, personal bird boy per hunter and guaranteed great fun!
Along with this special we are also booking for our Mixed bag season which kicks off in May. This is my favorite time of year when the weather turns crisp at night and the early mornings are really chilly so the fireplace stays roaring for breakfast, but it also marks the time of year when we can offer top notch duck hunts, stalking perdiz hunts and our fantastic unlimited hot gun dove and pigeon hunts all from our lodge in Santiago.
If you have not come to see us during the Argentina winter yet you are missing a great time and amazing hunting experience so get in touch with us soon at argoshunts.com and we will put your package together for you or better yet come see us at the show!
May is perhaps my favorite month of the year in Argentina. This is the month that duck season opens and we are able to combine that great shooting experience with our Red Stag hunt that is in full swing. The Red Stag, also called Red Deer in other parts of the world, was introduced to Argentina in 1907. The initial breeding stock came from France and was released in the Province of La Pampa, these were later subsidized by stock from Scotland and Germany. The stags and hinds immediately took to their new surroundings and have thrived ever since. The Argentina Red Stag stands 4 feet on average at the shoulder and can reach weights of 300 to 370 pounds. They will average 69 to 91 inches in length and carry a tail of 4 to 7.5 inches. The antlers are long, hard and form the sought after crown. Continue reading
On June 4, 2011 the Puyehue Volcano erupted in the Andes Mountains of southern Chile and threw a plume of ash 6 miles into the sky. The immediate devastation was visited on the areas in very close proximity to the cone itself, but it became quickly apparent that the path of destruction would be vast. Ash began to fall the same day in the pristine areas of Patagonia, Argentina that are known for their beauty and winter sports, suddenly it was hard to tell the snow from the ash. The enormous cloud continued to rain ash up and down the Andes causing airport closures in Santiago, Chile as well as across much of Argentina and setting up days of flight cancellations all over the world.
The impact on hunters from the United States and around the world trying to get to their ultimate destinations in Argentina escalated within hours resulting in delayed and canceled flights. Many hunters lost days while trying to re-arrange flights and some lost their entire hunt. The groups that managed to finally arrive in Argentina and were unfortunate enough to be hunting in regions that were remotely near the path of the ash plume found that, while to the naked eye there appeared to be no trace of the floating debris, they were about to have the rudest of awakenings…no birds. While I have made my rounds of the hunting expos and exhibits we attend each year I have heard horror story after horror story from last summer and we got countless emails from our groups coming in asking the same question – if we had birds. Continue reading