Dove Shooting in Argentina Summary
Grain and soya grown on the fertile plains of Cordoba province combined with a proliferation of scrub and timber in the surrounding hills have conspired to provide the Argentine dove with such a perfect habitat that the ever increasing population runs into countless millions of birds, which fly continuously from dawn to dusk between roosting and feeding grounds. Not for nothing has the Argentine province of Cordoba been described as the dove shooting capital of the world, and shooting guests at our selected lodges will regularly be presented with the opportunity of bags unheard of anywhere else on the planet.
That you will be accommodated in great comfort, served delicious food and benefit from skilled organisation places our selected lodges in a league of their own when it comes to choosing between the many different shooting operations available in Cordoba, which is a 60 minute flight north west from Buenos Aires. There are several flights each day and is it normal to be shooting the same afternoon as arrival, with a morning shoot prior to departure at the end of your stay.
For a insight into the experience you could have whilst dove shooting at either La Dormida or Pica Zuro please click on the picture below to watch a short film clip of La Dormida lodge:
Guests at Wild and Exotic’s lodges are driven into the foothills after breakfast, however scouts will have been busy since dawn identifying the most prolific flight paths for the day. Guns are placed in strategic positions, and are often given the choice of easy or difficult birds according to the topography, with most British guests choosing quality over quantity. By lunchtime even the most experienced and fittest (continuous shooting is surprisingly tiring) shot will be ready for a break, which is either a picnic or asado in the field, or in some cases at a nearby farmhouse. Shooting continues after a siesta, with most guests choosing to return to the lodge for a swim or bath in the early evening. Each gun is accompanied by a secretario, who will keep an accurate tally of the bag and collect what birds he can when the day is over. These are often distributed amongst the local community.
All the lodges we work with have a range of guns for hire and all supply cartridges for most calibres from .410 to 12 bore. Cartridges must be paid for at the end of your stay. Non shooting partners often join the party for lunch in the field, but there are always plenty of alternative activities for them to enjoy, including riding and visits to Cordoba city.
For non-shooting partners who wish to go riding, we can arrange for you to be transferred to Dos Lunas, a boutique farm house that boasts a unique style, located in the heart of the Ongamira valley in the province of Córdoba. Surrounded by an extraordinary 2,300 hectare (5,689 acre) natural environment, Dos Lunas offers an amazing mix of nature and comfort that makes guests feel like home from the moment they arrive. The tours around the valley, coordinated by expert guides and providing the best equipment, are the highlight of Dos Lunas and make it a premium destination. You can explore the valley from horseback together with our expert staff through a variety of paths featuring different levels of difficulty and length. Trekking on foot is also an option to visit the area and actively enjoy its beauty through specially selected paths.
Best months to visit Cordoba
Ideal months for dove shooting are from September to February inclusive, with October, November and December the very best. We can offer high birds at any time during the season, subject to weather and flight paths. Most visitors from the UK choose to shoot during the months of February to May inclusive.
There is no close season for dove shooting, but there are four distinct timeframes for the dove shooting year in Cordoba:
15th March – 15th June: These months equate to Autumn in the northern hemisphere. By now all young birds have flown the nest and the dove population moves to flat agricultural lands to glean soy beans, corn, sorghum or sunflowers left behind by the harvest. During these months we target feeding areas, water holes and temporary roosts, located between 30mins and an hour’s drive from Pica Zuro and up to 45 minutes from La Dormida.
15th June – 15th July: This time of year equates to mid winter. Shooting continues on the flat lands where food supplies still exist, but also follows the dove population into the hills. The shooting areas during this short time frame are rarely more than 45 minutes drive from either lodge.
15th July – mid February: During this long period of time, which equates to late winter and spring in the northern hemisphere, all of our shooting is amongst rolling hills which offer superb variety in scenic surroundings. Guns are usually positioned on flight lines but can also cover water holes and food supplies where they exist. The hills are less than 30 minutes drive from either lodge.
15th February – 15th March: This equates to late spring and early summer. Doves cease breeding about now as the food supply diminishes, and begin to favour temporary roosts closer to the flat lands, although there is usually still plenty of sport to be had in the hills. Most shoot days involve a drive of less than 45 minutes from either lodge.
Pica Zuro and La Dormida Lodges
Pica Zuro and La Dormida are under the same management and are located approximately 20 miles apart with access to superb shooting areas that are home to countless millions of doves. La Dormida is a modern contemporary lodge, tucked away in the fold of green hills approximately 90mins from Cordoba airport, with 7 spacious and comfortable rooms overlooking a grass courtyard with an asado area and a plunge pool for guests to cool off in after a hot day in the field.
Pica Zuro is approximately 20 miles closer to Cordoba than her sister lodge, and by contrast fits most people’s perception of an old fashioned estancia being an imposing colonial building surrounded by mature gardens, trees, sweeping lawns and a lake. There is a lovely colonial feel to this lodge, especially when sipping a cool drink on the shady veranda. Pica Zuro has 5 rooms of different size and character inside the main house, and 3 more in the grounds with room for up to 16 guests at any one time, although 14 is the recommended maximum. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and plunge pool.
The shooting from both lodges is well organised, with excellent shoot staff doing all they can to assist their clients, quickly moving them to different positions should the flight path alter during the course of the day. Lunch is a full blown asado served in the field, with delicious cuts of choice meat and freshly prepared salads, followed by a shady siesta before a resumption of shooting later in the afternoon. There are also plenty of activities available for the non shooting partner including riding Peruvian Paso horses and visits to Cordoba city.
For an insight to your stay at Pica Zuro / La Dormida please click on the picture below to watch a short film clip on dove shooting at La Dormida:
Argentina General Information and Map
Capital: Buenos Aires
Getting there: There are regular flights from most major European cities direct to Buenos Aires. British Airways flies from London Heathrow with a touch down in Sao Paulo (Brazil) en route. Flying time from London is approximately 15 hours.
Time: GMT minus 4 hours.
Try not to miss: Buenos Aires! In all probability you will arrive in Argentina via this most glamorous and cosmopolitan of all south American cities, often described as the Paris of South America. We recommend at least at a two days and nights based either in the hip Palermo part of the city, or the elegant and refined barrio of Recoleta. We use hotels in both districts and can organise anything from private tours of the city to theatre tickets and tango lessons.
From Buenos Aires fly down to Patagonia, land of legendary beauty and inaccessibility that is home to vast estancias and some of the best riding and fishing opportunities in the world. Begin in the north by staying at one of our hand picked estancias scattered about the Patagonian steppe surrounding Lanin National Park, before heading south to explore the Argentine Lake District and the alpine town of Bariloche. Move further south still to Calafate, where the Perito Moreno glacier – one of only 3 in the world that is actually advancing each year – awaits in Los Glaciares National Park, as does the extraordinary estancia Christina at the western end of Lago Argentina. Across the border in Chile lies the rugged and beautiful Torres del Paine National Park, instantly recognisable from the iconic peaks of her famous towers.
Visit the beautiful provinces of Salta, JuJuy and Catamarca in the North West for spectacular high Andes scenery, rich colonial architecture and the southern end of the Inca trail. Explore the fascinating settlements of Cachi and Purmamarca, stay in luxury at estancia Colomé, the oldest bodega (vineyard) in Argentina, visit the dazzling white salt flats of the Salinas Grandes, and be driven along a dried up river bed to experience the charms of isolated Iruya in JuJuy province. Ask us about our high altitude trek with llamas from the eastern jungles across the Andes Mountains to Tilcara. Mendoza lies halfway between the northwest and Buenos Aires, a province celebrated for her vineyards and stylish bodegas, and perhaps a hike to the base of mighty Aconcagua mountain. For something completely different visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls close to the border with Brazil and Paraguay, which are surrounded by tropical rainforest alive with colourful birdlife.
You could also visit Dos Lunas, a boutique farm house that boasts a unique style, located in the heart of the Ongamira valley in the province of Córdoba. Surrounded by an extraordinary 2,300 hectare (5,689 acre) natural environment, Dos Lunas offers an amazing mix of nature and comfort that makes guests feel like home from the moment they arrive. The tours around the valley, coordinated by expert guides and providing the best equipment, are the highlight of Dos Lunas and make it a premium destination. You can explore the valley from horseback together with our expert staff through a variety of paths featuring different levels of difficulty and length. Trekking on foot is also an option to visit the area and actively enjoy its beauty through specially selected paths. Dos Lunas is an excellent destination to combine a riding and shooting holiday.
Visas: No visa is required for visits of up to 90 days for UK citizens.
Why Argentina: Because we cannot think of another country anywhere in the world that boasts such a diverse range of landscapes, from glaciers in the south to steamy jungle in the north east and arid desert in the north west, with a huge variety in between, ensuring there is never a bad month to visit some part of this remarkable country. Come also to experience Argentina’s indefinable spirit and style, her fine wines and celebrated cuts of tender meat – all three fuse together at a weekend asado or barbeque.
“Our guide (Pablo) got us summed up very quickly, realising we were keener on challenging shooting than numbers. He continuously asked us if we were happy, was very engaging, on time, and smart so we all had a great time. Pica Zuro Lodge was perfect – the food excellent, fantastic staff and the rooms very comfortable. The girls loved it.”
“We felt like royalty with 10 staff looking after our every need at Los Laureles. After some fun sport with doves each morning we caught lots of golden dorado and piranhas in the afternoons.”
“…and of course our few days dove shooting, which I think for everyone exceeded expectations…. “
“I can honestly say we had the very best holiday we could have wished for. All the arrangements you put in place were on time, comfortable and Connie our guide could not have been nicer. As for the shooting at Pico Zuro Lodge that was delightful. The staff were excellent, Pablo the head manager had a terrific sense of humour, was charming and extremely professional. If ever you have other clients who wish to do the same as us, then I cannot recommend it more. The lodge we stayed in was authentic, with high ceilings, lovely terracing, a huge pool and a terrific atmosphere. You can take great credit that the holiday we had exceeded all our expectations.”
“It was just incredible and can’t wait to return”
“Brilliant holiday – we had a really great time. The volume of shooting is incredible. All aspects of the holiday was exceptional and you did a fantastic job of organising it so thank you very much for all your efforts, absolutely everything went to plan.” Stephen Ramsden, December 2012 Argentina
“Pica Zuro is a great lodge, the staff were excellent and we felt right at home. Very good choice, the shooting is out of this world.”
“We had a great time and everything was spot on – the shooting was truly fanastic and the lodge we stayed at was fab too – service, staff, food. Ground crew at either end was tip top.”
“Shooting was quite amazing, I had set myself a limit of cartridges, and blew the budget on the first session! The great thing about it is that there are so many birds you can pick your own level of difficulty, some challenging crossers at some great distances. Lunch cooked in the field at Pica Zuro by the bird boys was another special moment”
“La Dormida was an amazing lodge everything was first class from accommodation to food and wine. The staff could not do enough to help you. The shooting was great as much and more than I expected, making the effort to take us to the highest doves they had in 4 different places. Having great bbq lunches in the field and then siesta in the shade in hammocks was also great fun.”