Argentina - Dove Hunt

Author: Vicki Ash
Posted on August 9, 2017

It’s Thursday morning and we are in the van again to make the trip to the Pigeon Lodge.  This one is only 4 hours away. 

 A great time at Tomas Frontera’s Lodge LaZenida or what is referred to as the Dove Lodge where there is never a time when there are not thousands of doves in the air.

It is the perfect place to learn to shoot live birds as you can work on one trajectory and really ingrain the picture and the move.  On the first day you need to be aware that you have 3 more days of shooting and not get too excited and shoot too much.

And, of course, no one shoots too much the first day—it’s hard to contain yourself as there are so many birds. 

 We met everyone after we got in from the Duck Lodge, and off we went to the first afternoon hunt.  The weather was perfect and the birds were really flying.  The first hunt is to get used to the birds and see how they fly and to get your rhythm down.

The OSP System of shooting was deadly on these birds.  Gil and I didn’t shoot, we walked the line and helped everyone.  This is the great thing about this trip as we don’t shoot, we teach you in the field on the real thing. 

The biggest reason for the miss was the fact that the eyes were not still to see the birds.  There are so many birds and they are darting and diving from all directions that it is hard to find one bird to focus on.  I told everyone to watch the birds and see where they are coming from and which way the wind was blowing so they could find a place for their eyes to be so they could see the birds.  I always look way out with my eyes focused on something and let the birds fly in to my vision, but because of the numbers of birds, it is hard to not be looking all around.  The first day is learning that.

 On the second day, the rain set in and it was wet all day, not downpours, just sprinkling all day, but everyone hung in there and the birds flew all day.  The lesson that day was to learn to look past the raindrops and not try to keep your glasses clean because that’s all you would be doing and not focusing on the birds.  Remember you only have 100% focus and if 60% is on keeping your glasses clean; you only have 40% on the bird.

The third day brought the howling wind and it was cold too.  It became another day of challenging birds.  When the wind blows the birds have the advantage.  The afternoon hunt the sun came out and the wind stopped blowing so hard and it was a beautiful day to kill birds.  Everyone had big smiles on their faces when they got back in the van.  A lot of learning had been done and all was good.

This is a special day for Gil and I, as this is our 42nd wedding anniversary, and they said it wouldn’t last, so at dinner we were surprised with a special cake that had a story behind it.  It looked like it had a lattice hard hat on top of the cake.  The “bride” has to break through the lattice hard hat for the marriage to last so I was given a spoon to break the sugar hard hat.  No pressure here—what if I didn’t break it?  You will all be happy to know that I broke through the hat so I guess our marriage will last a little longer besides we are having too much fun helping make students better shooters and better people.

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