We saw a record amount of rainfall last year in Argentina and while it poured and the rivers near our lodge in Santiago del Estero eased over their banks to fill the nearby cotton fields I thought what a great duck season we were in for and we were. Now we are getting a continued bonus from all that rain it seems. The dove hunting, while always fast and furious here, has been simply amazing. The local experts are attributing the record number of doves to an elevated hatch rate brought on by the abundance of food and water that came about early and stayed late in 2011. Summer always sees an increase in the daily flights of doves as their feeding patterns alter to adapt to the high heat. Our routine stays basically the same but becomes a bit more leisurely due to the fact that the days are much longer and that the birds are not only coming out of the roost each morning but continue to come and go in large flights until the sun goes down and we just can’t see to shoot. This allows for sleeping in a bit and lingering over breakfast and coffee if our parties care too then heading out to shoot until they just can’t anymore.
We spend a good deal of time around the pool this time of year during the heat of the day sometimes just to get that second wind before heading out again after lunch, but some of our diehard hunters are out all day and this year they are being rewarded with more birds than normal to hammer at. Our dove can be relied on to breed and hatch several times a year, but in 2011 we have seen an above average hatch level, this has brought on the phenomenal about of birds we are seeing. It is hard for a first timer to realize that this is a special year when you have never see the likes of the number of doves that abound normally in Argentina, trust me when I say it is even more jaw dropping this year.
In addition to this fantastic dove and pigeon hunting we are enjoying we are also having a ball with our Golden Dorado fishing. This fighting tiger of Argentina is showing up in greater numbers and at record setting weights this summer. We fish year round for these great golden beauties, but the warmer months offer the best size options of course! We are pulling 13 to 16 pounders pretty much every trip and are seeing success using every method and from just about any spot – fly or reel, bank, stream, boat or shallow riverbank. If you have never experienced this great sporting fish you need too. They are the acrobats of our local waters and an unusual and exciting species for fresh water fishing. They have been compared to Tarpon for their leaping ability and strength and when the sun hits them they truly shine like molten gold. They are finding their way to our grill pretty frequently this summer.
As we make our way toward fall in the next months I believe we will continue to see an increase in the bird and fish activity over our normal great hunting. I am constantly amazed at the twists and turns of nature, what can seem catastrophic one moment later results in abundance and joy in other areas. For us here at Argos it is a daily wonder.
I head to Nashville next month for the National Wild Turkey Federation show February 10 through the 12 in booth 851 so drop by an see me if you are in town.