Having a Blast Once Again

Alex’s group arrived in Cordoba a day before coming to hunt with us because they wanted to stay one night at the Sheraton Hotel in Cordoba City and then, the next day at 8am, a truck from our company went to pick them up and take them directly to the field for the morning hunt.

They had time to hunt for around 2 hrs and a half before the Chef called us for lunch.

A few glasses of Argentinean wine, pork, sausages and lots of meat followed by an amazing tiramisu for dessert, separated the morning from the afternoon and after a little nap in the hammocks, Alex, Matt, Tim & Katie went to their respective positions that afternoon , which are never the same as in the morning.

That evening was incredible, according to Alex and Matt, something that had never seen in their lives and it is very difficult to explain; you have to see it to know what it is like.

Once we arrived to the lodge, Alex and Matt had a massage session, so an hour later, they joined us in the living room with Katie and Tim who were taking a few glasses of wine accompanied by delicious salami, cheese and chips.

Half an hour later, at 7.45pm, another truck from the company came to lodge with another excellent group which was supposed to go to the field right after arriving, but their flight was delayed 5 hours so they went directly to the lodge. Federico and I helped to put all their luggage down, show them their rooms and then, once they were feeling a bit more comfortable, at 8.30pm the nine of us got together to have an amazing dinner of pork, vegetables and ice cream as dessert.

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The next day we went to hunt up in the hills, about 35 minutes away from the Plaza Real Lodge.That morning the dove flew a little higher that other days due to strong winds, in large quantities, but not close enough as they did on the afternoon. Jay killed more doves than the others that afternoon and, of course, he was the one that used more cartridges. Jay managed to pass the 1000 pigeons with a total of 611 in the morning and 534 afternoon. Les shot all the boxes that had planned for that afternoon in just 35-40 minutes. Alex shared the position with Katie, who was looking very concentrated sticking a lot of pigeons.

On the highest point of the hill, I met Matt and Gaby, his assistant. Since it was the highest point of the mountain, the view was just amazing. Going down the mountain, on the other side, I first found Jay and Ronnie and, about 200 yds diagonally, at the same height, was Corey and Fran. That afternoon began ahead of schedule and with no time to nap out  because we had planned to hunt around 1.15pm, since a clear storm was coming to kick us out the field soon. And so it was. Luckily, all came to end when we were putting our things back inside the truck to return before the water began to stick on the glass and roof of the truck. It was time to leave. And once at the Plaza Real Lodge, we took a shower and again, accompanied by good music, had a few drinks with a funny talks until again, at 8.30pm, the girls at the lodge called us to the table, to enjoy dinner; ham and cheese crepes and chicken with baked potatoes as a main dish – which some ate a second plate- .

 

Once we finished eating, we went to the fire pit to take a last glass of wine accompanied by some cigars and background music.

The next day, the original plan was to go to hunt in the flatlands, but the rain of the previous evening precluded some roads so Federico wanted to go hunting in the mountains again, but, of course, to a different field; because the same field is never used two times in a row except we are talking about an emergency.

On the third day, there was not even one cloud in the sky, and doves, as we are used to, were flying amazingly, even though it was really windy. That afternoon, we were meeting a new group that had just arrived and who were staying in a Lodge that was close to ours (I join them in their third day, after saying goodbye to my new friends, half of them from Dallas and the rest from Mississippi).

So it was Thursday, the fourth day for the guys from Dallas, and the third for the guys from Mississippi. We left the lodge at 8:30 am towards Jesus Maria after a delicious breakfast: coffee, juice, eggs with bacon and some yoghurt. That day we were hunting in the flat lands, and most of the guys liked it a lot because it was more like to what they are used to; watching the dove flying from far away.

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The day was amazing, no wind and a lot of sun with some clouds without getting hot. The morning was very good and for lunch and we were 14 people, since a group of 5, who was staying at La Loma Lodge, would be added.

After an incredible lunch and a few glasses of wine, we returned to the field to start hunting in the afternoon. Some were wagered well along the river while others would be on different sections in the middle, some reaching 2-3 meters high. They were finishing the hunt, until finally at 5pm, they all were back in the camp telling anecdotes and enjoying a last glass of wine before returning to the Lodge to get a refreshing shower.

That night, they took their last drinks and smoke their last cigarette around the fire pit, as the next day everything was already arranged to take a group in the morning to Cordoba, while the other was going to hunt one last morning and then return to Cordoba, with first stopping by the lodge to get their things, take a shower and get comfortable to leave.

Those were 5 amazing days, being once again the best part of this job; the friends that you make over time.

 

Juan Aguiló

Host & Media

Pointer Outfitters

Great Beginners

The first day in the van, when I met Patt and Jason, they told me it was their first time dove shooting so I said to them that they are in the best place to learn and practice, always, of course, having fun!

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“Yeah yeah, so we do then; I’ll meet you at the entrance of the field so I do not get in there with my car.- Great J, I’ll call you once the clients arrive in Cordoba’s airport.- Ok, Thanks David.”

That morning I had planned to be at the office in the morning and then meet David at the field entrance, before climbing to the hills, because my car is a little lower than the Van we use to transport groups of more than 3 people.

It was 1.25 pm when I reached the entrance to the field, just a few meters from the main route.

And while waiting I thought, why not? It doesn’t seem to be in bad conditions; I’ll climb. So, the first thing I did was to call David to let him know, otherwise, he would be waiting for me without knowing that I’m already at the field.

So it was then when I went up and left the car just 500 yds from where the camp was. About 15 minutes later David came, went up to the van and introduced me with the group. This time we had visitors from North Carolina: Jeffery, Mike, Patrick, and Jason.

Once in the camp, Filo, our chef,  was waiting for us with a delicious lunch with roast, chorizo (Argentinean Sausage), chicken and pork. I remember standing Jason finished eating and I was tired of sitting after 2 flights (although I also was anxious to meet the famous pigeons of Cordoba). AC-DC still sounded when after a quick lunch our friends started changing, leaving traveling clothes inside the van, in their respective bags. The real purpose of his trip will now begin: Hunting, drinking and having a great time.

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That afternoon Jeffrey Canarian was on one side of the mountain, while the rest would be more ventured into the mountains, being Mike the one at the highest position.

Jason was the first to finish his 20 boxes and Santiago, his field assistant, offered to open another case but, since it was Jason’s first time dove shooting, he had had enough by that afternoon (other than the second day that he would shoot more than 45 boxes).

Then I went to Emmanuel and said to him “Ema, this is Patt, and it is his first time dove shooting… Can you guide him a little please?” and so he said “yes, of course, do not worry J, I will help him” (Ema was going to be Patt’s assistant).

So it was; he took 7 or 10 boxes for Patt to start shooting as if he had already done it several times. That afternoon Patt throw 20 boxes killing a total of 201 pigeons !! Let me tell you something because watching how happy he was is the most rewarding thing about this job: to see our guests being really happy having a great time with his friends. Patt surprised us all, specially the rest of the group, because of the skills he had and how fast he was learning and shooting as he was doing (the second day, he achieved a total of 434 pigeons between morning and afternoon).

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The first day in the van, when I met Patt and Jason, they told me it was their first time dove shooting so I said to them that they are in the best place to learn and practice: you would see (just for the record, if we only take what Patt killed on the second day, it will take you 29 full days on the hunting season in the US to achieve what he did in just one day in Cordoba!) That evening Jason, Mike and Patt returned in the Van with David, while Jeffrey wanted to go with me since that day I had gone with my car.
We chatted for a long time but when Jeff heard on the background the first chords of Daze and Confused, he turned up the volume to the maximum and neither of us could resist it; we started screaming trying to follow the lyrics.
I still remember the face of Jeff surprised when we entered the car to the lodge. We joined the rest of the group and they were all saying thanks appreciating the excellent afternoon they had, because they had found everything above expectations. I remember the words of Jeff in the car: What is this man?, and I replied “This is your lodge, we are gonna stay here, this is gonna be your home for the next few days! And he could not believe his eyes! Too much ! 
The girls at the lodge were waiting for us with some juice and wet towels and after a bite, drinks and a great dinner with more and more drinks in the living room, we went to get some rest.
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On the next day, we had breakfast at 8 am, leaving to the field at 9 (although we expected to do it at 8:30, it was not easy to get them ready for that time). We all went up to the same mountain, but it was a different field. This time Chanqui, the photographer, came with us to document the day with photos and video. In the morning, we hunt near the camp, next to a small lake, where pigeons often go to drink water.
Even though we know that the mornings are way different than the afternoons, they shot a total of about 65 boxes, being Jason the one that did the most with a total of 20.
The dove was flying until late lunch. In fact, when the chef called us to eat, we were still hunting in place. They were shooting two guys together, but we were all there, putting together skills and waiting for lunch since we were just about 30 yds to the camp.
Meat, meat ,and more meat with pears in red wine as dessert. Oh no, that’s fruit, no thanks. Just try it. Pears in wine with cream, ate everything, left nothing.
Jason opted for a nap in the hammock while the rest decided to lay on the grass; Jeffrey was in charge of the music. I could see that the boys had already climbed to prepare the hunting positions, so I calculated that we would climb in about 5 or 10 minutes.
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Once in the hunting positions, I was surprised of how the wind stopped blowing because that morning had been very windy. Sunny but windy. Actually, the afternoon was very pleasant; a little breeze, not even wind.
Patt and Jeffrey were the last to finish that afternoon and I could still see the dove flying on posts while we were in the Van toward the Lodge. Patrick was impressedwith the dish that night: a tasty lasagna with bolognese sauce.
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The next afternoon, Jason and Patt finished the day with the same number! yes, 366 doves each! Jason finished first while Patt was about 6 pigeons to reach him and he still had 10 or 11 cartridges. Unhurriedly, waiting for that best doves, he saw the ones that fit to reach Jason, and knowing that he had 2 chances to catch them, he saw a dove coming in front of him on the distance he liked and missed the first, but then, as soon as he saw the shotgun giving a little more swing and achieving impact with his last round, he reached Jason with 366 pigeons in the same amount of boxes: 30!
That evening all the boys returned to the lodge in order to share the last great night together. 
Good music, drinks, chess, backgammon and more drinks.
I’m gonna miss this guys, we had a hell of a time those days!
Juan Aguiló
Host & Media
Pointer Outfitters

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