Dove Hunting in Argentina

I’m slightly biased about Argentina. Bwana Mbogo is slightly biased about Africa. And we live in Texas! So we’re a perfectly balanced hunting couple!

When Bwana Mbogo and I first started dating, we would only see each other on the weekends because of the distance between our homes. A few months after seeing each other every weekend, much to my surprise (remember I was clueless about hunting at that time), he informed me that he wouldn’t be coming to visit me the following weekend as it was the opening of dove season. He would be traveling to south Texas to spend the weekend shooting doves. I made note of it on my checklist: “Takes weekends to go dove hunting, but is considerate enough to give me advance notice. And apologized that he couldn’t invite me to go with him as he was a himself a guest at the lodge.” Bwana Mbogo ended up being a keeper, and I became a dove widow!

Then I became a huntress and widowhood ended! And because I’m a good wife, I expanded Bwana Mbogo’s dove hunting experience by giving him access to year round dove hunting in Argentina!

That’s right, dove hunting in Argentina is year round! However, the high season (January-March) is considered the best time to hunt doves, as that’s when the sunflower crop is available. There are no bag limits or seasonal restrictions, so the dover hunter will experience high volume non-stop shooting- over 1,500 rounds daily, making Argentina a paradise for the dove hunter!

Dove shooting

The climate in Argentina makes it ideal for dove hunting. The country is generally warm and dry year round, which makes it a popular and accessible destination during any month of the year.  As experienced dove hunters know, this particular weather is ideally suited as a habitat for millions of doves, making Argentina the mecca of the dove hunting industry.

Another factor that has contributed to the popularity of dove hunting in Argentina is the country’s agriculture. The region produces a number of crops that are attractive to doves, including grain crops like sunflower, corn, sorghum, peanuts and wheat. Another factor that contributes to the massive population of doves in the area is the local roosting cover. The combination of these two factors has created a population of birds in Argentina that are a dove hunting dream.

Dove Field

To add to the dream, to recover from the hunt, the hunter will be nourished with some of the award winning Argentine wine, an ‘asado’ (barbeque) with chicken, several cuts of grass-fed beef, sweetbreads, chori-pan, morcillas, and other select meats!

Asado

With all this in Bwana Mbogo’s future, he should be a happy hunter!

Posted in Argentina, Dove, Hunting Experience

Photographing the animal

As a novice huntress, most things hunting are new to me. I’m generally a curious person and want to understand why things are done certain ways. Additionally, since I don’t like surprises, I generally ask tons of questions so that I am prepared. On our recent African trip, it never occurred to me to consider the memorialization of the harvested animal (I was probably too focused, while preparing for the trip, on getting the actual animal and not about what happens after I got it!). It’s a very important aspect of the hunt. As a huntress who took her first animal, and as a visual person, the photograph taken will always bring back the excitement and memories of that day. (The mounted trophy, when it is placed in the soon-to-be-trophy room, will also be a reminder!) Additionally, there’s an etiquette in how the harvested animal is photographed!

With the gemsbok I took on my first day, because of where the first shot struck the animal, by the time we reached where it fell, there was quite a bit of blood. Hunters understand that there is blood involved in hunting, but when showing off my first trophy photo, I had to consider that I would be showing it to non hunters or those more sensitive to blood than I.Bloody GemsbokI know a few that would object to seeing the photo above! Therefore, cleaning up the blood on the animal, or positioning the animal so that one doesn’t see the blood is preferred.

Cleaning up the surrounding area so as not to obstruct or detract from the viewing of the animal is also important, especially if the animal drops in thick brush or in deep water!

Making sure the bakkie and other non-native items are not in the photo is also advised! When I show my photo of my trophy animal, I want to make it appear that I was out in the middle of nowhere, far, far away from civilization! The photo should emphasize the animal, and not on the cell tower or suped-up bakkie!

Tucking the legs and positioning the head so that the animal is sitting in as normal position as possible will make the trophy photograph look normal and live. With my first gemsbok, and the impala, the trackers moved the animal so that it was away from any brush, and they tucked in the legs and propped the head. With the gemsbok, we had a hard time keeping the head up, so I had to hold it up by the horns in the photos. Holding the gemsbokIn hindsight, we probably should have made a mound of dirt under the head to help prop it up.

Also make sure to include the whole body of the animal. If you are going to memorialize the animal with a photograph, include the entire animal and not just the head and horn!

A good way to show off the antlers/horns is to use the sky as a backdrop.The horns emphasized by the sky!Take the photo from the ground to get this perspective, unless the animal is placed on a natural ledge of course! PH setting up the photograph

Include the rifle or bow used to harvest the animal. Make sure it’s unloaded and not pointed at anyone!

If wearing hats, and removing the hat would disclose hat hair, make sure that your face is visible and not shadowed.

Include the PH and tracker in your photos. They worked very hard to get you your trophy and should be recognized for it by being memorialized in your photo.
Gemsbok and tracker
Our tracker, Evans, was so proud to be included in my first animal’s photo, he repositioned his cap to look cool!

The photograph should represent the wonderful experience you’ve just had!

Posted in Africa, Hunting Experience | Leave a comment

High Caliber Gun Show

We will be at the High Caliber Gun Show on July 13& 14 at the Reliant Center, as well as on July 20&21 at the George R Brown Convention Center, both in Houston, TX.

Please stop by and say Hi! We will have something special for you if you mention you saw this post!

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Experience Africa and Argentina with Priority Safari Services

We represent many highly experienced professional hunters in south and east Africa, including Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We have access to concessions for all plains (including zebra, nyala, lechwe, kudu, giraffe, gemsbok, bush buk and blesbok) and big six game (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hippopotamus and rhino). Hunting in Africa is a year round event depending on the trophy you want to hunt, and Priority Safari Services will assist in the arrangements for the export of your trophies and taxidermy, as well as the transport of your rifle or bow. Accommodations can range from tented camps to five star lodges.

Bwana Mbogo and his lechwePriority Safari Services also offers affordable bird hunting in Argentina. Dove hunting is available year round, while duck season is May through July. Depending on the farm operator and state laws, duck limits vary from 30-70 ducks per day, while there are no limits on dove hunting. You will also experience the Argentine ‘asado’ (barbeque) and ‘estancia’ (ranch), which should not be missed!

Dove FieldSpouses/friends will find plenty to keep them busy with photographic safaris, spa treatments, or relaxing by the pool. Whether you are an experienced trophy hunter or a novice, our professional staff will design your hunting package specifically to your desires, experience, budget, and the size of the group.

Additionally, we will be happy to make, or assist you, in your travel arrangements to Africa and Argentina!

Visit us on Facebook/Priority Safari Services, call (979) 220-2435 or email us at huntsenter@gmail.com for more information to book your next hunt.

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“God writes th…

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Discover more of God’s creation in Africa!

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Bwana Mbogo and Twiga depart….

image

….To their Africa trip in their travelling outfits and carry-on only luggage for two week trip.

And Twiga over packed!

Conclusion: dressing in Africa during safari is much simpler than day to day back in the US!

Resolution: Purge closet of clothes and dress like in Africa.

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A good PH makes all the difference!

In general, men are all about the task. In general, women are all about the relationship. Men go out to hunt to get their trophy. Women go out to hunt and worry if they are going to make a fool of themselves in front of everyone, whether they are going to hit the target, whether the others on the hunt are going to like them, and even talk to them, whether the PH will be nice and understanding of their nervousness, whether they look good in the hunting outfit, whether their hair looks good in the pigtails, whether they are going to need to go to the bathroom out in the bush and have to remove all the layers of clothing, whether they are going to be able to climb off the bakkie, and take hold of the gun and position it on the sticks, and sight in the animal, aim at the kill zone, breath normally, exhale and squeeze the trigger before the animal moves away, and finally whether they get their trophy! An excellent professional hunter (PH) knows how to manage these differences and still make both men and women enjoy their hunt and get their animal.

At our recent South African safari, my’s first hunting experience, we had a most excellent PH. Before I write how wonderful he is, let me explain a few things about PH’s.

Our Professional Hunter (PH)

Our Professional Hunter (PH)

A PH in South Africa has to be licensed. The PH has to attend a course to qualify as a professional hunter and outfitter. After he/she has completed the course successfully he/she will be qualified to guide a client on a plains game hunt. If they can provide sufficient proof of their hunting experience of the dangerous six (cape buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, black and white rhinoceros), they qualify to guide a client on any of the dangerous six hunts. Their coursework includes: laws; tracking; hunting ethics; bullet placement and skill; general knowledge of firearms and ballistics; firearms – safety; clients; repair and maintenance; sighting in of firearms; photography; bowhunting; handling of trophies; loading; transporting and skinning; measuring methods RW and SCI; ecology; facilities – camp and vehicles; horn judging; bird shooting; bird identification; first aid; outfitter; hunter and client relations; administration; marketing, etc. Their outfitters license will only be issued after enough experience and certain criteria.

A PH should also be a member of Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA). When they become a member, they agree to PHASA’s code of conduct which states:

• Each member of PHASA shall commit himself, upon acceptance of membership, to this Code of Conduct whereby he:

• shall promote and observe the Aims and Objects of PHASA, the provisions of the PHASA Constitution and its By-laws;

• shall obey the laws of any country in which he operates at any time in professional hunting or related activities;

• shall conduct himself in a manner which will reflect honesty, integrity and morality and shall not allow material gain to supersede such principles;

• shall respect the natural resources of the country in which he hunts;

• shall respect the rights and interests of property owners and local communities;

• shall not misrepresent himself to clients or mislead clients in any way;

• shall take every reasonable step to ensure that his clients receive the services contracted for, and to ensure their safety, comfort and satisfaction; and

• shall not act in any manner that brings the good name of PHASA and it’s members into disrepute.

A PH will honor and apply this code of conduct, his/her knowledge and experience so that his/her client has a successful hunt. An excellent PH will go above and beyond what is expected of him/her.

With that, let me explain why our PH was excellent. As I wrote earlier, this was my first hunting experience. As much as I tried to appear calm about it, I was nervous. Bwana Mbogo knew I was nervous and made sure to address my condition by explaining, in quite a bit of detail, all of my questions and concerns. Despite all the questions and answers and preparations, we both knew that I wouldn’t relax until I’d actually walk the talk. Bwana Mbogo and I both told our PH that this was my first hunt, ever, that first early morning hunt.

Our PH took the information  and was extremely conscientious with it. As we were driving in the bakkie looking for our first animal, he took the time to explain:

  • when he spotted the animal, he would have his tracker slow down the bakkie so that both he and I could ‘hop’ off,
  • he would collect the sticks, and I would retrieve the rifle that Bwana Mbogo would hand me,
  • I would then follow the PH as close as possible, and as quietly as possible, so as not to scare off the animal,
  • when the animal was positioned for a good shot, he would set up the sticks, and I would lay my rifle on it, and sight the animal in the scope and take the shot.

And that was exactly what we did. We spent the morning hunt and the first  part of the afternoon hunt of the first full day of the safari spotting an animal, getting off the bakkie, and tracking the animal (this was when I realized that I needed to be in better shape as I was panting quite a bit), laying the rifle on the sticks and sighting in the animal. For various reasons, I was never able to take a good shot. Our PH never pressured me to take a shot, and kept emphasizing that I needed to be comfortable and was supportive when I didn’t feel I could get a good shot. Each time we did this, I felt more and more comfortable with what had to be done. I was walking the talk!

Our PH also made sure to check things with Bwana Mbogo. Given that Bwana Mbogo is an expert hunter, and he’s an expert about me, our PH knew to consult with him about questions I would have no idea how to answer with respect to the hunt!

In my post about my first animal, Twiga’s First Safari Animal, I describe how our PH took care of me and the animal.

Twiga's first animal

Twiga’s first animal

When we returned back to the lodge with the gemsbok in the back of bakkie, we dropped off the animal with the skinner and we discussed what we wanted for the trophy.  That evening, he made sure we had a beverage to celebrate my first animal.

On the second day’s hunt, we went to a neighboring game farm. I’ll leave the story of that day’s hunt for another post as I want to get to the really good stuff that our PH did for us. During one of the many drives in the bakkie looking for the animals, we happened to mention to our PH that this trip was our honeymoon. This piece of information got to his romantic side!

That evening, after cocktail hour, we were told that we needed to go back to our tent before dinner.  We did as we were told, and found that our PH had ordered a romantic, lantern lit dinner  for us on our tent porch! And it included a bottle of wine! It was lovely! Bwana Mbogo and I enjoyed it tremendously. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the dinner in my surprised state!

The next morning, I was feeling the effects of our romantic dinner, so Bwana Mbogo went off hunting without me.  Sleep and a really good cup of coffee with a hearty breakfast cured what ailed me, and I was ready to greet my happy Bwana Mbogo when he came back with his kudu at lunch time!

Waiting for the kill!

Waiting for the kill!

Finally, on our last day, we were unsuccessful in getting our last animal, but our PH made sure we ended our safari with a bang!  Towards the end of our evening hunt, he had his tracker drive us to a reservoir. We were going to celebrate our honeymoon and my first safari!

Game reservoir

Game reservoir

 

Preparing to celebrate

Preparing to celebrate

Our PH has other skills

Our PH has other skills

 

The happy couple

The happy couple

An excelent PH makes sure you stay safe, you get your trophy animal, and fills your safari with exceptional experiences and memories!

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