Nothing but Celebration – Part I

Brad Meyer’s group arrived a Monday at 8.30 am to Cordoba’s airport where David was waiting to take them straight to the field. That morning the highway was quiet because it was a holiday in Argentina for San Martin death’s anniversary. José Francisco de San Martín y Matorras (25th February 1778 – 17th August 1850) was an Argentine general and the principal leader of the successful struggle for independence from Spain by the southern nations of South America.

Celebrated on the third Monday in August, this holiday commemorates the death of José de San Martín since he is regarded as the most important Argentinian founding father, who liberated not only a part of Argentina but also helped liberate Chile and Peru along with O’Higgins and Bolívar.

So, after an hour and a half of driving, they got to the camp and had lunch with another group of 8 people that had arrived 3 days before them and were leaving the next day. Right after lunch and a quick pause to get everything ready, David took them to the hunting spots, where the field assistants were waiting.

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I wasn’t lucky this time because I couldn’t be that afternoon with the groups, but the guides told me that, since it was not windy and doves were constantly flying, it was an unforgettable afternoon hunt, mostly for someone that is in Argentina for the first time, knowing that Cordoba is the best place for dove shooting.

That night I went to the Lodge to introduce myself to the group and to spend some quality time with them. We had pasta for dinner and then we went to the fire pit to enjoy that beautiful night, but just me and Steve were the only ones left after a couple of hours, since the rest of the group was really tired after 24 hours of non-stopping activities and, of course, because of all the traveling.

The next morning, the group decided to stay at the lodge and relax a little bit. It was 10 am and everyone was ready. Some had scrambled eggs with bacon, others chose fried eggs with bacon, a cup of black coffee and a glass of orange juice. And then it was 10.30 am when I saw Martin arriving to the lodge with the Van to pick the leaving group up and, after him, I saw Facundo arriving too, looking for me and the group to take us that and the rest of the days to the field in a white Ford for 10 people._MG_4768.jpgThat afternoon we hunted in the hills, on a field located 30 km northeast from Villa del Totoral, town in which Plaza Real Lodge is placed. Totoral, as we call it here, is a town in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. It has 7,110 inhabitants per the 2001 census, and is the head town of the Totoral Department.

While I was climbing the hill, I found the first hunting spot in which there was Brad with Juan, his field assistant.

After 10 or maybe 15 minutes, we decided to move him to a different spot because, even though doves were flying great, they were unfortunately doing it too high and on a high speed because of the wind.

I kept walking, and I saw David and Juan in the second spot, cutting some branches to make a better spot for Brad, place in which doves were flying up on the flush of the mountains and coming across Brad, waiting for them around 20 to 45 yards away.

After a little while, Brad gave me his shotgun and invited me to hunt a bit with him. I’m not going to lie, it was super fun, and I still remember when not only one, but two doves came closer to us trying to land on a branch in front of us and I just could not resist the temptation and that’s how, from one moment to the other, laughter and feathers appeared.

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I gently gave the shotgun back to Brad and, after I thanked him for inviting me to spend a moment with him, I left to check how the other guys were doing.

I walked something about 80 yards and found Steve. I asked Santiago, the field assistant, how was the afternoon going on this spot so far and, before he could even answer, I saw a group of fifteen doves approaching us. Steve killed 3 in a row, and missed other four for just a centimeter.

I decided to stay for about 25 minutes with Steve and Santiago to see how everything was going there. Then, I started walking uphill and I found Ricky and Emanuel on this amazing hunting spot of the afternoon since doves were flying low and slow. Ricky killed 345 doves that afternoon!

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At the top of the hill I remember I saw Shane, who was hunting with his field assistant, Facundo. After 15 or maybe 20 shots, we realized that doves were passing just behind a tree that was not too big, but really dry, so we offered Shane to take a little break of 10 minutes and to grab an ice cold beer while we cut down some of the branches of that tree.

So that was how I climbed that tree and Facundo told me which were the branches that were bothering Shane. I stayed 15 more minutes with them and then I went down the hill where the last hunting spot was.

That was the biggest of them all, and it had the advantage of being in the shadows and, even though doves were not flying straight, they were doing it from right to left and the other way around, but don’t get me wrong, it was full of doves still!

To be continued…

Juan Aguiló

Host & Media

Pointer Outfitters

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Dancing with Doves

The protagonists of this adventure were Mike and his son Wind, and Howard and his sons Andrew and Adam. This amazing group came from Arkansas.

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I met the Johnsons and the Wiecherns back on the lodge after their second day hunting and I must say that they all had a great smile on their faces when they get off from the van. It could only mean that the trip has started in the best way possible: anincredible dove shooting.

On the third day the fathers’ and sons’ group decided to take a break of so much shooting and I accompanied them through a city tour in Cordoba. They spent a great day going around our South American culture.

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If you would like to get to know this amazing city, let me tell you a bit of what a City Tour in Cordoba looks like. First we would visit Plaza San Martín & surrounding areas; Cordoba’s cen-tral square. Its western side is dominated by the white arcade of the restored Cabildo and close to it there is the architecturally impressive Catedral.

Then, we would continue with the Córdoba’s magestic Manzana Jesuitica. The Jesuit block contains the core buildings of the Jesuit system: the university, the church and residence of the Society of Jesus, and the college.

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In this area we can also visit some stores or boutiques where you can find our well known leather, nice souvenirs and silver crafts.

After visiting the museums, we are ready to have lunch in a traditional restaurant in the area, pre-paring ourselves for the one and only Paseo del Buen Pastor and Sacred Coeur Church. There are a couple of hip cafe-bars in the central patio area where you can kick back with an Appletini or two. The attached chapel (which has been desanctified) hosts regular live-music performances to finish a nice afternoon.

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We would also go to the city’s best contemporary art museums: The Emilio Caraffa Museum, and Palacio Ferreyra Museum. There you will enjoy paintings, sculptures and a Beaux-Arts mansion de-signed by French architect Ernest Sanson and built between 1912 and 1916 for Dr. Martín Ferreyra.

Finally, ten blocks away from the Córdoba urban historical shell, we get deep into the renowned Bohemian neighborhood called Güemes to visit Paseo de las Artes (artisan flea market).This area is a meeting place and a hot tourist spot that grows constantly

In this case, I decided to start the tour a bit different than how we are used to doing it.

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First we visited the old winery “La Caroyense”, located in the town of Colonia Caroya just 48 km on the road to the City of Cordoba and fully integrated into the Argentine enological-tourist circuit; there they tried several types of local wine and Mike decided to take with him a box of the premium production. Lunch time! The best Italian restaurant in the city was waiting for us with pasta and pizza, and Andrew enjoyed eating both at the same time! After lunch they walked through the streets of Cordoba to get to the cathedral in the central square, and then right to the shopping mall. To end the tour and before getting back to the lodge, the flea market receives us with dozens of stands where they bought beautiful handmade jewelry to the artisans.

The day was over so we arrived at Plaza Real Lodge for a relaxing shower and a delightful dinner, ready for another day of dove shooting.

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I had the pleasure to spend some great days with these two families. I must say that these gentlemen made me feel really comfortable and we all had lots of fun together.

I hope to see them again soon!

 

Florencia Pezzollo

Operation manager & host

Pointer Outfitters.

 

Four Incredible Shooters

When I arrived to Plaza Real Lodge, located 80 km from Cordoba city and between the best dove roosts of the area, to meet these friendly gentlemen, they were already having a great time. This is something impossible not to do if you are in Cordoba and shooting doves with Pointer Wingshooting.

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I found exhausted but happy faces after a long day at the field. All of them had takenmassages the first evening so they could feel reborned to enjoy spending some time next to the fire pit and then, of course, the amazing dinner we are used to having at Plaza Real. Our menu has a variety of options featured every night. We offer sirloin, pork, chicken, pasta, and salads. There is also a spectacular dessert every night.

Massages at the lodge are the best option to relax after a tough day smoking thousand shells. It allows your body to be at 100% through the entire trip. Some guests choose to have one at their arrival, others before leaving but most of them choose to have one every day!

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Matt, Patt, Hudson and Brent enjoyed the wonderful weather. After some cold days the weeks before, there was not even a cloud in the sky during their shooting trip with us. Cordoba offered them the best climate for an outstanding experience. The sun made it feel as spring while we still are in winter over here and that helped birds to flew endlessly throughout all the hunt.

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On the third day of shooting all eyes were on Brent. Why? He shot 2000 birds in just one day! Isn’t that crazy?! This gives you an insight of the amount of birds that fly in Cordoba. It has its own reputation as the world capital for dove shooting. The Northern area of the Province of Cordoba is a paradise for wing shooters coming from the United States and Europe. The Eared Dove population is more than 50 million birds.

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Lunch time was here. For every group that comes hunting with us, we like setting up a tent and preparing the famous Argentinean barbecue. You will immensely enjoy the cuts of meat pre-pared, accompanied by our well known Malbec wines. We have two options as far as red wine is concerned, Malbec and cabernet sauvignon, which are the perfect accompaniment to the meat served in the field.

After such a long day of hunting, laughter and great achievement, Brent deserved a prize, so Pointer gifted him with a beautiful leather shell pouch.

These gentlemen really enjoyed their hunting trip in Argentina and they have promised to come back. We hope they do because we really appreciate to have people like this with us!

 

Florencia Pezzollo

Operation Manager & Host

Pointer Outfitters.

 

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Testimonials

Pablo and Florencia,

Thanks for a great experience, outstanding service and a lifetime of memories! I look forward to doing this again with you and your team.

Matt Plitt.

 

Pablo,
 
It has been several weeks since I have returned from out hunt with Pointer Outfitters, however I think about it all the time. It was truly an awesome experience.  This was the first week of dove hunting here in the US and there is no comparison.  I am very blessed and fortunate enough to say that I have been to the dove hunting capital of the world. 
 
I have been on several hunts, but your operation sets the standard.  I was very impressed with every aspect of your hunt.  Your guides did an outstanding job and the staff at the lodge were superb.  It was truly an awesome experience and I hope to share it with my sons when they get old enough to be able to physically do it. 
 
Hudson Brown

Seventeen Amazing Friends

We are at Cordoba airport waiting for a special group of 17 people that came to stay at Plaza Real Lodge, located at 80 km from Cordoba City.

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The flight arrived on time and our clients were all ready to go directly to the field and have the one and only Asado Argentino for lunch. They are very excited because they know that, after lunch, the hunt begins.

We decided to take this group to one of the best hunting fields we have; Campos Bajos.

When we talk about hunting, we like talking about the amazing Beretta 400 and 391 cal 230 shotguns, since those are super light, with a high level performance and, because of the great number of doves that Campos Bajos has, you really need a shotgun like this, that is fast and light.

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This group is composed of 17 gentleman, friends and work mates. John Tudor (the big boss), Tracey Tam, John Voltz, Nathan Goutro and Darrell Brown, among others, came to Cordoba to hunt with us.

This is a great huge group, in which you can see the friendship and the enthusiast. Plaza Real was ready to welcome this incredible group and to take care of them during their entire trip.

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When you arrive to Cordoba’s airport, we like asking you if you would like to take a massage session before or after dinner once you get to the lodge, since we know that, after such a long flight, you must be exhausted.

The massages service is something super heartwarming. Even after a long day of hunting, the best way to end the day, is taking a massage and then going to sit next to the fire pit with your friends or family and enjoy the nice company.

At dinner, there is nothing like good Argentinean food; abundant, tasty, unique.

The next day – and actually every single day with this group-, in terms of the shooting, everything was very productive. They shot an unbelievable number of doves, individually and as a group. They shot over 42457 doves!

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When you shot so many doves, you need a great recoil shield to absorb the energy from your gun. We like recommending the Past Recoil Shield – Model 310010 so you can concentrate on your shot, not the shot to your shoulder from your gun. This heart-shaped recoil shield provides maximum recoil suppression and coverage by absorbing and spreading out the recoil energy from your gun. Extends protection to upper arm.Helps prevent the unintentional development of bad shooting habits caused by heavy recoil. Foam pad absorbs and spreads out recoil energy from the shot, and it’s a heart shaped recoil shield that works for right- or left-hand shooters.

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Our staff is always ready to give all our clients the best attention, in the lodge and at the field, that’s why our guests are amazed by the attention, and also, by the unbelievable number of doves Cordoba has.

We hope to see you guys again soon.

Martin Andrada

Head Guide

The Hammer

What is the hammer? A betting game. Do I have any idea how it works after countless explanations? Nope. Was it explained adequately and at length? Yes. I will say someone lost a lot of money playing that game. The group of gentlemen that arrived brought the hammer down. Figuratively and literally.

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The gents were from Texas and Colorado. To say they knew how to party would be an understatement. They were the party.

We were headed to my favorite field that day. A field I call “the honey hole”. The previous two weeks had been non-stop rain, so it was good to see the sun out finally. Unfortunately for us, that also meant hordes of mosquitos buzzing incessantly. Normally the only bugs that persistently pester are flies. So to arrive at the field and be almost swallowed whole by clouds of mosquitos was less than ideal. Luckily there were brief bouts of wind which subdued the evil blood suckers. The gents were placed in ideal locations throughout the field. Hunting beneath trees or behind large rolls of hay. The birds were coming in frequently and consistently. Parakeet, pigeon, and dove fell in scores. As to be expected, the gents were all good shots. They were serious in the field, concentrating fully on decimating the dove population. I knew better than to believe that they were timid. They were wild. Lions, bears, and buffalos! The birds started to dwindle towards the afternoon and it was time for lunch. They trickled into camp, had beer or wine, and conversed jovially with each other sharing stories.

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The feast began with bacon wrapped dove breast and a light salad, accompanied by the famous Argentinean Malbec wine. The next course, pork ribs cooked to perfection followed by chicken breast and thigh; lightly seasoned with lime and salt. The third entrée was tenderloin, pink in the center, which was extremely moist seasoned with pepper. Lastly, a layered tiramisu with two layers of graham cracker crust. It was filling,it was delicious, it was just what everyone needed. Having finished the meal, we sat around and conversed a little longer before we headed back out to the field.

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The morning was okay, but the evening was phenomenal. We moved to another corn field which was closer to the roosting area. The gents were set up in an L shape effectively funneling the birds to each other. Cloud after cloud of dove started pouring in. With each shot in the back line, about a hundred dove would peel off from a cloud and start swirling in the middle of all the blinds. A living hurricane composed of feather, meat, and bone. Oh, the horror! So they did what any cowboy would do, shot until their arms nearly fell off. This went on for about two hours. There was hooting, there was hollering, and there was plenty of dead birds littered across the field. Around 5:30 pm the birds slowed down and the shooting became less frequent. The gents started walking back to the van. Everyone was very content with their day. Each having a bigger smile than the person before.

All in all it was another great day of hunting in Argentina! As far as the outcome to hammer is concerned? Let’s just say Benton knows how to make it a “sure thing”. Sorry Boom Boom, maybe next time.

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Parker Tipton

Host & Guide

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The Mischief Makers

You never really know what to expect when a group arrives. These particular gentlemen caught me off guard. They looked normal enough, soon I would find out how lively they really were. The gentlemen first to arrive were Frank Brienzi, Brian Edwards, Derek Ethridge, and Brian Herndon.

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We exchanged stories around the fire while they enjoyed some drinks. They each filed away in turn to go take showers before dinner. Once they were done, they came back to the fire and each had another drink before dinner. Dinner was fantastic as usual.

Silvia, our head chef at La Loma, always does an astounding job. About this time, I realized Derek was feeling pretty good. They headed back to the fire and another round of drinks was downed in the act of socializing. At this time Greg and his son Chad had arrived. I ushered them into the dining room and they began eating. We chatted for a while exchanging stories.

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Outside, unbeknownst to me, Frank had suggested that Derek should climb the 100 foot Sepia tree on the property, the prize being a thousand dollars if he made it to the top. This tree has been on estancia grounds for the better part of a century and no one has climbed it. Derek, never backing down from a bet, began his climb. To say Derek was ‘feeling alright’ wouldn’t be doing the phrase justice. To be clear, Derek is a 53 year old pharmacist who does not have an athletic physique. Did that stop, concern, or worry Derek in the slightest? Nope. He scaled halfway up the tree as fast as any chimp ever dared to climb. The speed and voracity to which he attacked the limbs he used as steps was almost inhuman. I heard the gentlemen roaring with laughter. I can only imagine how hilarious it actually was. Derek made it halfway up when the other gentlemen started to call him down. He was already far above the top of the lodge at this point. He meandered down and by the time it was all through, everyone had had a good laugh. Derek had forever endeared himself to us as “el mono blanco” (the white monkey).

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The shenanigans were far from done. The next morning Brian E. heard Frank get up to go to the bathroom. He snuck silently into Frank’s room and waited in the dark, like a predator waits for prey. Frank washing his hands signaled to Brian that the moment of terrifying surprise was about to commence. Frank, still half asleep, walked back to his bed expecting nothing. Pouncing from the darkness, Brian scared Frank to death. An unearthly howl emitted from Frank the likes of which I’ve never heard, waking me from my slumber two rooms down. I’d say the reaction which occurred seemed to delight Brian to no end. It was certainly quite funny to hear it recounted over breakfast. Our van arrived shortly after breakfast. We all clambered inside waiting for Derek to finish climbing all the trees in the courtyard. He was surprisingly fast.

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After about a 40 minute drive we arrived at the field. The guides were waiting and quickly led their hunters to each individually placed blind. The weather was quite agreeable. There was a slight misting of rain that was rather refreshing. The birds were flying steady. I went to visit Chad and Greg first. I walked up to Chad and we exchanged a few words. I stood there for a couple minutes. Chad was knocking dove out of the sky left and right. More than once he dropped a bird that his dad was going to shoot. Always great to see a little friendly competition!  I know for a fact that Greg enjoyed the hunting. I also know for a fact that the hunting paled in comparison to the joy he felt spending time with his son. They both shared laughter, respect, and contentment in a variety of unforgettable moments throughout their trip. I then walked back to camp and jumped in Martin’s (the head guide) truck. We drove up to where Frank and Brian E. were shooting.  The blinds were set up in optimal flight paths. Frank was a great shot. Ol’ lanky Franky was taking high shots, long shots, whiskey shots, and consistently hitting them. I’d say he was shooting about 65 percent. Across the field in a feed lot, Brian E. was slaying em as well. Content with what I saw, I started walking towards the other blinds where ‘mono blanco’ and Brian H. were shooting. It turns out Derek’s skills in climbing trees didn’t transfer over to shooting. He was hitting one in every three shots. Not bad, for a silverback. I turned my attention to Brian Herndon’s blind. Brian H. was probably the best shot in the group. He was meticulously killing birds in the 25 – 35 yard range.  He was extremely patient, focusing on his follow through and a slow trigger pull. He knew the bird was going down before he pulled the trigger. Beautiful shooting.

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Shortly thereafter it was time for lunch. The gentlemen jumped in the van and headed back to camp. I was busy with Frederico at this point preparing lunch and tending to the fire. The gentlemen milled around the camp having a beer before lunch. Lunch was just about ready so everyone got themselves situated around the table we set up prior to their arrival. For lunch we had traditional Argentinean barbeque known as “asado”. A light salad composed of avocado, onion, tomato, and lettuce was our first course. It was doused with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, giving it a sweet tang. Juicy sausage was served next. Then came the pork flank. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and lime juice; it was the perfect consistency of fat and muscle. It is akin to eating a large succulent piece of bacon. The main entrée was tenderloin. Slow cooked to perfection with a moist pink center and a charred exterior. The two textures playing off each other exceptionally. Lastly, chicken thigh and breast seasoned with lime juice, salt, and pepper. For dessert we had a layered chocolate pudding. The first layer was chocolate sauce followed by chocolate pudding. The second layer was a graham cracker crumble over a crème custard. Lastly, chocolate pudding again. Compliments to the chef, Frederico! During lunch, everyone took their turn exchanging funny stories. These hilarious little marvels will remain unspoken but they were excellent to say the least!

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After lunch the guides took off to prepare the afternoon hunting locations. We waited in camp for them to return. At one point Frank, the ‘beast master’, telepathically communicated to the giant blonde Labradors which roamed the farm. Loyal to their master’s wishes, a vigorous humping party commenced. Amused by the spectacle, Frank grinned. He had a glaze to his eyes which suggested he was once again telepathically communicating with the dogs. He never informed us what he exactly said to them, but both of the dogs took off in a dead sprint. Martin returned with the van shortly thereafter and it was time for the afternoon hunt.

To be continued…

The Wild Ones

The morning was pleasant. Plenty of cloud coverage and a soft breeze to accompany it. We were hunting on a local rancher’s farmland. The blinds were set up underneath sprawling trees on the edge of soybean and corn fields. Federico would be our head guide for the day. I accompanied Joshua, Cody, Andy, Jason, and Sam.

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These men all came from Texas and all of them embodied the ideal of a “Southern Gentleman”. These men struck me as intelligent, well spoken, and highly respected in their individual fields of business. They were pretty good shots as well! The morning hunt began shortly after arriving at the field and the gentlemen departed with their guides accordingly. Shot soon began to fill the air along with shouts of encouragement and revelry. It was sure to be a great day of wing shooting. 

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Federico, David, and I began setting up camp. We cleared brush and leveled out the ground. About midway through the process, David uncovered an Adder. It was the first time I had seen any type of snake in Argentina. Federico quickly put his machete to work and shortly thereafter, there was one less Adder. The snake itself was beautiful. The same diamond pattern you would find on their near cousin the rattlesnake. After dispatching the snake, we then set up the table and started the fire for lunch. Shots became less and less frequent signaling that the gentlemen were arriving for lunch shortly. Final preparations were made and David began placing meat on the grill.

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For lunch we had traditional Argentinean barbeque known as “asado”. A light salad composed of avocado, onion, tomato, and lettuce was our first course. It was doused with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, giving it a sweet tang. Juicy sausage was served next. Then came the pork flank. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and lime juice; it was the perfect consistency of fat and muscle. It is akin to eating a large succulent piece of bacon. The main entrée was tenderloin. Slow cooked to perfection with a moist pink center and a charred exterior. The two textures playing off each other exceptionally. Lastly, chicken thigh and breast seasoned with lime juice, salt, and pepper. For dessert we had flan. It was light and airy providing a sweet but not overly filling end to our meal.Compliments to the chef, David! Everyone exchanged stories and laughter filled the air. The afternoon hunt began shortly thereafter.

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I stayed behind to help pack up the equipment and then set out for the blinds. They were set up at the edge of a corn field on the tree line. It was a mile walk from where our camp was and I passed corn, soybean, and sorghum fields on the way. As I neared the tree line, a fierce hollering pierced the air. Joshua, Cody, and Andy (the wild ones) were filling the sky with lead. Dove and pigeon fell from the sky in increasing numbers. They were excellent shots! I greeted them on approach and was welcomed into their midst jovially. I stood behind Andy and watched all three men knock bird after bird down. A chirping occurred in the distance, signaling a trio of parakeets incoming. Andy and Joshua shot at the same time, knocking all three birds from the sky instantaneously! There was a moment of amazed looks shared between everyone present. Then a chorus of laughter and yelling. I pitched in adding my own greeting and a victory dance. After another two hours of shooting, everyone seemed to be pretty worn out. We all headed back to the van triumphant. Another great day of shootingin Cordoba, Argentina.

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Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Parker Tipton

Host & Guide

Pointer Outfitters