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Argentina – Duck Hunt

We got home from teaching in Montana on Monday, July 24, and quickly unpacked and washed clothes, as we were headed for Argentina early Wednesday morning.

After going to Argentina all these years, we have found the best way to get there is to go from Houston to Panama City, Panama, then on to Cordoba, Argentina. The total flight time is about 14 hours. You get into Cordoba at 1:30 AM, but go to the lodge and sleep until 11 before getting up to hunt.

But this year we had planned to go in early and do a duck hunt to get more ShotKam videos of ducks for the website. So we drove the five-and-a-half hours to Tomas Frontera’s Veracruz Duck Lodge. And it was worth the trip.

The lodge is off of the Paraná River, and it is beautiful. We came to duck hunt, but there are other things to do, like fish for golden dorado and piranha. Who knew you would fish for them? I thought they were fishing for you! You can also hunt perdiz, dove, or pigeons, swim in the pool, or just go and sit down by the river and enjoy the birds singing.

It’s August in Houston, which is the beginning of winter in Argentina. So it’s a good time to get out of the heat and come on down.

The duck hunting was challenging. We had to wade in water and mud up to our knees then stand in the mud and muck to shoot. The staff at the lodge took very good care of us. They worked with and around the abilities of our party.

We are not as young as we used to be and I, for one, was not used to walking in the muck. But we all made it and had a great time. And we shot a lot of ducks, so be on the lookout for those videos on the Knowledge Vault real soon.

Gil and I shot together, and the first morning we walked not too far in the mud to a small jon boat. Our guide poled us to our spot. We actually shot from the boat that he had pushed us up on the ground and plants on top of the water.

As sunrise came and we were looking right into the sun, the birds came to our guide’s calls as we were standing in the boat. We didn’t make any sudden moves, because the boat would rock a bit.

Not being a duck hunter, this reminded me of a tournament we went to in 1985 for the New England Championship, where one of the stations was a boat on a pond. You had to get in and sit in the boat and shoot your targets from a sitting position. That was the last time I had been in a boat to shoot anything.

We had a good morning. Our guide got out of the boat and waded in the water to pick up all the ducks.

We found out two days later that one of our group members went to the boat and when the guide went out to pick up some of the birds, some of them had been eaten by the piranha in the water. Probably a good thing to not know when we were there.

The second and third days were just as good, only the mud and muck were deeper.

We shot a lot of different types of ducks. There are at least eight different species of ducks and I think we shot at least one of each. The cinnamon teal and regular teal were just beautiful, and the neon colors on their wings were gorgeous. There were big ducks and smaller ducks, which made it even more challenging.

The ShotKam performed great, and we got some good footage. It also showed us where we were when we didn’t hit the bird. Oops, I meant to say you never miss on video.

Now it’s Monday morning and we are in the van for the five-and-a-half-hour trip back to the dove lodge for the next three-and-a-half days.

We will be meeting up with the rest of our group that wanted to do dove and pigeon hunts, so check out next week’s blog to see what fun things we learned about dove hunting.