Argentina is home to a diverse landscape with the Andes mountain range along its western border and the Atlantic Ocean to the East. In between these two incredible geographic features lies some of the most coveted land for wing shooting in the world. Teeming with wildlife, the wetlands and farmland in Argentina offer the perfect habitat for many different species of birds, most prominently for an avid hunter, dove and ducks.
Dove are not a game bird in Argentina like they are in the States, they are considered a nuisance to farmers due to their sheer population size. There are approximately 50 million dove who call Argentina home and even though they are migratory, they do not often travel far in the migratory season meaning that the population of birds is there year round. This creates an environment that can be called nothing less than a dove hunter's dream.
Any experienced bird hunter would be able to tell you about a hunt where they said they couldn’t shoot fast enough. The whole meaning of that saying changed for me after experiencing an evening of dove hunting in Argentina. Outside of a town called Santa Fe you will find miles and miles of farmland where local farmers grow various agricultural crops and raise cattle, producing some of the best beef in the world, and flying above these plots of land are hundreds of thousands of dove. To gain access to these lands you have to go through an outfitter who will lease the land and allow you to hunt on it. Once you get into the field the experience is like no other. You can shoot as little or as much as you’d like and the birds do not stop flying. Because there’s no limit on birds you can shoot as many birds as you’d like.
Upon arrival to the field you can see birds everywhere and as a hunter from Texas I had the feeling that we had to get shooting before the birds stopped flying just as I do at home when I get to the dove field. What I soon figured out was that they do not stop. I shot all afternoon at my own leisure. Only taking breaks to chat or have some water. It looked as though there was an endless field of birds in front of me the entire afternoon. This is what people are chasing when they make the trip to Argentina for wing shooting and I have to say it did not disappoint in the slightest.
One of the things that makes these dove hunts unique is the opportunity to shoot other species while hunting dove. There are many pigeons as well as parakeets that I was skeptical of shooting at first but soon came to realize that they are just as delicious as the dove. Due to the volume of birds we shot over the 4 hunts we were unable to keep all of the birds we shot. A larger majority of them were picked and given to the farmers who leased their land for us to hunt on so they did not go to waste. We did keep a few and cook them while we were there but the locals much prefer pigeons over the dove.
The duck hunting experience is nearly as impressive as the dove. During the winter months the ducks we were hunting were a variety of South American teal, specifically Brazilian teal, silver teal, and ring teal. These ducks are slightly larger than teal in America such as blue teal and they don’t fly nearly as fast but they decoy well and are really fun to shoot.
We hunted ducks on small patches of open water in wetlands that are used for cattle grazing. We had a small spread of decoys set out in the small opening with a backdrop of long reeds. It wasn’t much different from a traditional duck hunt in the US other than the frequency of shooting. There wasn’t more than a 15 minute lull period in our two hunts. Everyone in our group limited out both of our hunts. One of the major differences between the hunts was the limit itself, each hunter has a 20 duck limit so there’s a lot more shooting to be done.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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