We arrived in Cordoba, Argentina on Tuesday, August 5th, having left Houston on Monday. We got through customs, and then on to the lodge. That trip was another two hours, but at the lodge, Eduardo met us with champagne and goodies to snack on. So it was 5 AM by the time we got to bed.
Needless to say, we choose to forgo the early morning hunt – but not the afternoon one. This came after a wonderful lunch of beef and of course the fabulous desserts at each meal.
The first hunt was wonderful, with a lot of birds. But we are in Argentina, so we expected that. The nice thing was the field was very close to the lodge… like, right around the corner. Yay! A true advantage for La Zenaida Lodge.
The wind picked up in the afternoon, so the birds were very challenging. But the OSP “Kick-Ash” method worked again! If you got behind these birds, they were gone. As we went to visit each student, we learned that they wouldn’t start their move early enough to be able to stay in front of the bird. And with the wind, they could not catch up to the bird, much less get in front of it. So we stood behind each student and told them when to begin their move and let the bird come to them. It worked a lot better that way.
When everyone got tired, we went back to the bus to go to the lodge. Then we were met by Eduardo and the ladies who had fresh towels and mugs of cold beer for us to enjoy. What a nice surprise. I had not had a cold beer in over a year, and it tasted wonderful. I think I had forgotten how good a cold beer is after a hunt.
Dinner again was fabulous and the wines were delightful. Argentina is known for its beef and Malbec wine, and both are wonderful. Our chef did a great job of cooking the beef perfectly, the way we like it. And the dessert was great. It’s not like we have in the States – but ice cream with fruit, flan, crepes with blueberry ice cream, etc. We rationalized that it was fruit and therefore it was good for you. HA!
The second day, Gil and I started out with our protein shakes, as we knew if we kept this intake in we would not be happy by the next Tuesday when we were to go home. The morning hunt was without wind – much nicer. The birds were not quite as erratic and many went down. We worked with everyone on moving earlier with the birds to stay in front.
Gil had the job of shooting videos with the ShotKam to get more kill shots for the website. He was a tired boy after shooting the ShotKam on the end of his gun, but what great movies he got. They will be coming to the website soon.
The third day was even better. Everyone had gotten over their fear of using their full chokes on the birds. Many of the birds were high with a lot of wind, so we put those full chokes and went to town. By the end of the day, full choke was the perfect choke and the two students who had rented guns from the lodge realized the importance of bringing their own guns. Three of us will not hunt tomorrow as we have to travel four hours to the pigeon lodge in the hills west of Cordoba. The two that weren’t going to shoot pigeons hunted that morning and then went off to the airport to return to the States.
The long drive was worth it. We arrived at the estancia that was built in 1611, and the pigeon shoots all four days were superb. There was a lot of laughing and howling as each bird went down. We added four of our students from Mexico City to add to the four days worth of fun and laughter. This lodge was in the hills and had a completely different feel. It was also much colder than the dove lodge in the valley.
We had an absolute ball at both lodges. Now we’re going home to lose the weight we gained… but what a way to go. Great food, great hunting, and most importantly, great people. We will return to do this trip again.
Remember, the life of the hunter is hard. He must rise early in the morning and eat, then hunt the birds, then eat again, then siesta, then hunt the birds, then eat and drink the wine… Very hard!