After leaving the snow of Colorado and the floods in Houston, we left for Cordoba, Argentina to rid the country of those pesky doves and pigeons.
It was fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Usually, it’s not that cold, but this year it was unusually cold. But we were prepared for it.
We have this system of packing that makes it pretty easy to take the correct amount of clothes. In the lodges, you can get your clothes laundered so you take for half the trip and wash for the last half.
Hunting Doves in Argentina
La Zenaida is the dove lodge and it sits close to the roost. But this year Argentina had a lot of rain (sound familiar?) and the birds were not stopping at the roost so we had to venture other places to find the birds – and we did.
Tomas Frontera has one of the finest lodges in Argentina. The meals are fabulous and staff is great. It is a pleasure to visit them and they make you feel like you are the only one there by taking care of your every need.
Gil and I each take an end of the line and start going toward the middle to teach and help work on everyone’s move and how to be more proficient in the field, which includes which kind of birds to shoot.
We had two new folks on this trip and eight repeat offenders. Unlike bird hunting in the United States, there is no limit on these doves. The farmers hate the birds because they eat approximately 30 percent of the crop. So the farmers are not very happy with the doves and the green parakeets are just as much of a nuisance.
So it’s a time for revenge and our group got it. Birds: 0. Our group: a lot.
Pigeon Hunting Time
After four days of dove hunting, we went to the pigeon lodge which was a three-and-a-half-hour drive over the mountains. It used to take about an hour-and-a-half to get there, but the road over the mountain was washed out by the rain. So we took a long way around but got there in time for a light lunch and an afternoon hunt.
The pigeon is not quite as prolific as the doves, since the doves have five hatches a year the pigeon has maybe one or two a year. So the outfitters limit the amount of pigeons you can kill with a limited amount of shells. You get six boxes of shells per hunt or 75 pigeons per hunt. That way the outfitter is protecting the birds from being completely shot out.
Also, pigeons (unlike doves) have a season, which is from May to August. We used to go in February where the days were longer and you could have your lunch then a siesta, and then hunt until late. In August, the days are shorter. Either way, you get a lot of good shooting and great memories.
The pigeons are a much bigger bird than the ones we see here in the States, about 1.5 times as big. They appear to fly really slow, but in fact, they fly really fast. It’s like looking in the sky at a large airplane and thinking it’s going slow when you know it’s going fast and watching it come off the ground where it appears to be going fast, which it is.
The visual confusion from the sky (where there is no reference) and the runway (where there are a lot of things moving) is confusing. But once you get going the same speed, it doesn’t matter.
I think everyone really understood how important going the same speed was in making a good shot and harvesting the bird. You know it’s getting across when students start talking to themselves – same speed at the end!
Back in the U.S.A.
We were home for a few days in between flood issues, then Brian and Gil were off to Iowa to teach some SCTP teams. And I’m off to Oregon to babysit our granddaughter Avery while Andrea and Tim go on a business trip to Sonoma. Tough life!
We’re back in a few days and hoping to do a little fishing before we are off again. Hopefully, our field at American will be dry enough to get in there and assess the damage of our traps. We will come out okay since our traps are on platforms, but the two rabbit machines are lower and were underwater for about a month. Brian has a job on his hands.
We are still better off than so many folks in Houston – especially Simonton, which is four miles from our house. The mighty Brazos River completely flooded the whole town.
I think we are out of the drought for a while.
Until next time.