Larry's Short Stories

Bird Safari in Argentina

Nine-year-old grandson Jay wasn’t quite ready to have his own shotgun on this Perdiz hunt, but he happily carried my birds, and fetched the empty shells.
Nine-year-old grandson Jay wasn’t quite ready to have his own shotgun on this Perdiz hunt, but he happily carried my birds, and fetched the empty shells.

When there’s talk about bird shooting in Argentina, mostly it’s about three-day, high-volume doves; certainly that was my first experience – and many since. However, there are a few outfitters that offer a variety of other bird shooting opportunities; including perdiz, ducks, and pigeons – in addition to doves.

The perdiz are slightly larger than our bobwhite quail but not quite as fast. They’re certainly the most sporting to hunt, and best eating; the season in our area ran May through August, with the daily limit set at eight. The birds didn’t hold well, so it was necessary to move up quickly when the dog got birdy – in order to have a reasonable shot with an improved cylinder.

Most of the ducks were teal, not much different than ours in the States. They flew early and fast, and came readily to a call and decoys. The season was also May through August, but the daily limit was twenty-five, which was not a guarantee. We could shoot on first sight, but it was very difficult to hit them before there was enough light to see the lead between the bird and the barrel. Our outfitter limited us to 100 shells for

The limit was 25 ducks per day; here are the first six (all teal), with a 20 gauge Benelli Montefeltro.
The limit was 25 ducks per day; here are the first six (all teal), with a 20 gauge Benelli Montefeltro.

each duck hunt, but we always had a few left.

Pigeons are a bird we don’t get to shoot much in the States; they are surprisingly hard to hit and even harder to kill cleanly, shooting 20 gauge #5 shot and a modified choke. Mostly they came into our decoys, set up in a harvested grain field; but some were passing shots. There was no limit, as they are pests to the farmers; but a good morning shoot averaged about 50 pigeons, with 3-4 shots per bird. Getting the lead right was everyone’s greatest complaint.

Unlimited dove shooting is always a treat! Every setup was different, in terms of where the birds came from and whether we got incoming shots, left to right, right to left, or a little bit of everything. Some days, and times of the day, the shooting was pretty light and straightforward; but sometimes it got absolutely crazy – with hundreds of birds within range over our heads. Frankly, I prefer a manageable number of doves within range at any given time.

Our five-day Bird Safari featured a modern lodge, with exquisite food, drink, and accommodations. This lodge and shooting operation gets a lot of repeat business.

This beautiful, spacious and comfortable lodge, on a bluff above the Paraná River, was home for our group of twelve, during five days of shooting.
This beautiful, spacious and comfortable lodge, on a bluff above the Paraná River, was home for our group of twelve, during five days of shooting.
Larry's Short Stories